Science with Religion

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Light Travelling, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Light Travelling The only road i've ever known Registered Senior Member

    Whilst science is of utmost importance and value to humanity and brings us medically and technologically forward in leaps and bounds, it does have its limits.

    Theology, religion, spirituality can take up from where science leaves off. It is therefore possible to have a relationship between science and religion and the question shouldn’t be science or religion but science and religion and getting the balance right.

    I found what I think is a good article on this subject, here;

    And here are some excerpts from it to give a general idea of contents;

    “Fundamentalism is the claim that a partial truth is the whole truth. This tendency to claim that a partial truth (of course the one that the proclaimer happens to be expert in) is the whole truth, is one of the dominant ways that humanity goes astray intellectually. It derives its power from the fact that the partial truth being proclaimed is indeed true, or at least is experienced as true by the believer. It derives its destructive power from the refusal to acknowledge all the other significant factors in the causal nexus influencing events, either denying that they exist, or at least denying their effectiveness. It makes the implicit or explicit claim that the proclaimer is the person with sole access to truth, who others should therefore defer to, while also closing the minds of the proclaimer to seeing any larger reality that may exist.”

    “It is crucial to note that fundamentalism occurs not only in religion, but also in all the sciences - natural and human - and indeed even in the humanities. Scientific fundamentalism is bad philosophy, and will usually lead to bad science.”

    “One must recognise the limits of science - it can't deal with values, ethics, aesthetics, or metaphysics. These limits of science follow from the very nature of the scientific enterprise and its methods.Neither can science examine the reason for the existence of the Universe.
    These are metaphysical issues, whose examination lies beyond the competence of science per se, because there is only one Universe, and we are unable to perform experiments in which we vary its initial conditions or the laws of physics that apply in it, nor can we even compare its properties with those of any other universe. Neither can science investigate the issue of whether or not there is an underlying purpose or meaning to physical existence, for these are non-scientific categories. However these issues are of significance to us; in particular they underlie the existence of humanity.”

    “Scientism - the claim that science is the sole and perfect access to all truth”
  2. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    I don't see any other way to access the truth except science. Anything else is pure mental speculation.

    You can have Islamic truth, Christian truth, Hindu truth, Trobriand truth, Cherokee truth, !Kung San truth, feminist truth, Marxist truth, etc. Each of these is inferior to science because none are willing to revise their "truth" with the availability of new evidence. Only science is truth that is conditional and seeks verification and testing. Only science holds falsifiability to be a virtue. The other "truths" that one might seek are versions of truth that religious and political leaders have already determined and the information that is related to them is only permitted to support these truths and never question or challenge them.

    There is only one way to access truth, and that is through science.
  3. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    What about a priori truth?
  4. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    A priori truths are still assumptions, regardless of their truth. But they still have one common characteristic with science: they can be tested. You need not accept from a parent that 2 + 2 = 4. You can actually line up 2 green plastic dinosaurs and 2 blue ones then count the result. You can't have a priori truth without first observing and testing the world around you. Even to accept the a priori notion that all bachelors are unmarried requires that you first observe what a bachelor is and, on some level, verify that information.

    I'm sure Lightgigantic will come along later today with some postmodernist mumbo jumbo to add to the thread. This is right up his ally.
  5. Fire Registered Senior Member

    Not when it comes to explaining things.

    Scientific fundamentalism? If this suggests that there are people who state science is infallible then I certainly don't know of any. Science is progressive and always evolving. An average school child today, could dazzle the most intelligent men of thousands of years ago with new facts and explanations of things that used to be a mystery.

    Values and ethics are dealt with by societal consensus - nothing to do with religion. If a man suddenly lost all memory of the morals of his society, and used to Bible to remind him, you better not invite him to your dinner party. Also, what does religion have to do with aesthetics? The most staunch atheist is very capable of finding beauty.

    To an extent this is true, but it doesn't mean religion can claim to be any more qualified. It is a question which science is more capable of giving a reasonable hypothesis, because a complicated divine creator being the first cause is not a likely explanation.

    I tend to go with Dawkins view of this:

    Again, the anthropic principle delivers its devastatingly neat solution. Physicists already have reason to suspect that our universe - everything we can see - is only one universe among perhaps billions. Some theorists postulate a multiverse of foam, where the universe we know is just one bubble. Each bubble has its own laws and constants. Our familiar laws of physics are parochial bylaws. Of all the universes in the foam, only a minority has what it takes to generate life. And, with anthropic hindsight, we obviously have to be sitting in a member of that minority, because, well, here we are, aren't we? As physicists have said, it is no accident that we see stars in our sky, for a universe without stars would also lack the chemical elements necessary for life. There may be universes whose skies have no stars: but they also have no inhabitants to notice the lack. Similarly, it is no accident that we see a rich diversity of living species: for an evolutionary process that is capable of yielding a species that can see things and reflect on them cannot help producing lots of other species at the same time. The reflective species must be surrounded by an ecosystem, as it must be surrounded by stars.
  6. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    An absolutely flawed statement. Science is a process for discovering truth. Theology / religion / spirituality are methods of human relationships which unfortunatly assert incorrect claims. Science could probably be used to better understand the psychological needs that religion meets and then be a base to create a religion (i.e. method of human relationship) that doesn't make or rely upon wild fantasy assertions.

    IMO, science is an excellent tool to deal with values, ethics, and even asthetics. Metaphysics on the other hand is pseudoscience... fantasy.
  7. ggazoo Registered Senior Member

    I don't know why a lot of peopel think it's ScienceVS Religion. The two go hand in hand IMO.
  8. lightgigantic Banned


    the fact that there are scientists who are religious and who, contrary to the popular consensus on this forum, can make notable contributions to science indicates that this is true
  9. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Or the fact that there are scientists who are NOT religious and who, as is well known, can make notable contributions to science indicates that they are totally unrelated.
  10. Fire Registered Senior Member

    Those who don't let their preconceived irrational beliefs interfere with rational investigation can be excellent scientists. People who are strongly religious though, tend to persue their time and energy trying to prove real science wrong and donate all their time and energy trying to prove evolution false. So far they have not succeeded, and is a great example of how religious scientists can be at a great disadvantage if they choose to go about trying to prove the existence of god.

    Scientists in stark contrast to the general public, are notably irreligious though.
  11. lightgigantic Banned

    You would have to determine to what degree theistic minded scientists holistically incorporate theism with their practices

    "I saw in it (the atom) the key to the deepest secrets of nature, and it revealed to me the greatness of the creation and the Creator" - Max Born

    "An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God" - Srinivasa Ramanujan

    "My religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emmotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of god" - einstein

    " ... to understand either science or eligion, we must use all possible human resources - instinct, logic, observation, experiments, thought, and so on. We must use all avenues to understand; that is true in science. I don't think people recognize how much we use instincts in science. We use assumptions, or we might call those postulates, which are really identical to faith. We use all our human instincts. We can never be completely sure of anything, but we try to make the best picture we can and we try to understand as much as we can. We do and should use everything we can assemble in order to understand." - Charles H. Townes
  12. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Obviously a religious scientist will express both parts of his personality. But the fields of science have nothing to do directly with religion, and one's religion never affects the practice of science. The scientific method is the same regardless of whether you are a Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian, or whatever.
  13. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    The biggest difference between science and religion is that science is based on finding answers based on verifiable evidence while religion is based on inventing answers based on wishful thinking.
  14. lightgigantic Banned

    Did you read the Townes quote 2 posts down?
  15. lightgigantic Banned

    Of course theism will not bear an influence on an atheistic scientist - bu thtese quotes, and there are many more like them, indicate that theism was a positive influence in their discoveries and observations - even though they must have had other extra curricular activities, it was theistic notions that got the mention .....

    And to add another problem to the notion of religion and science being two completely independant and unmixable disciplines, the problem with science operating independantly of religion is that it doesn't innvolve any ethics - for there to be universal ethics there must be a universal reference point, and somehow the universal reference points of science (which are totally divorced from our human reality) don't seem to be capable of doing the job - in other words the rest mass of a proton doesn't help us determine whether we should or should not use atom bombs.

    Ironically you can also argue that the problem of religion without science (philosophy, logic etc) is that you wind up with the same stalemate in determining if use of atom bombs is warranted

  16. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Again, I don't doubt that a religious scientist actually is religious, i.e. lives in the particular way of his religion -- and that includes research. What I am saying is that you don't need one to do the other well.

    Of course, but this rests on the very point I am arguing -- that science does not encroach upon the field of religion. Otherwise you very well could use science to explain whether an action is ethical; and obviously in reality you can't.

    Well, neither philosophy nor logic are sciences. You probably could apply ethics or religious doctrine to determine whether an atom bomb should be used without doing any actual science yourself.
  17. audible un de plusieurs autres Registered Senior Member

    that quote is BS,
    no, not assumptions read this quote from skinwalker.
    as long as it truth, that can be tested.
    religious truths, are just subjective truths, untestable.
  18. lightgigantic Banned


    does this make science fundamental (as explained in the opening post of this thread?)
  19. SnakeLord Valued Senior Member

    Inaccurate. What usually happens is that some theist comes along and 'steals' one sentence that appears religious from a much larger statement and then makes claims that the one sentence shows that theism helped their 'discovery'.
  20. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    No. I don't see how it would. Science can address one particular type of question, and religion can address another, completely different, type of question. They don't intersect, and they can't each be universally applied.

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