Reconciliation of science & religion

I believe that the first principle of religious study is that one should approach the Scriptures and the Creation with a mind free of the sayings of other people, especially the interpretations of the theologians and clergy, and a heart free of attachment to the people and things of this world. “Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate independently in order that he may find the truth. The religion of forefathers and ancestors is based upon blind imitation. Man should investigate reality.”

With that principle in mind, I suggest that study of what God has revealed through books and scriptures (the foundation of religions) is one path to truth. We each should develop and discuss our own understanding of what scriptures mean, form and test theories about the meaning of one passage by considering its place with the rest, and even compare the scriptures of different religions to find the consistent theme,

It also seems clear that study and investigation of what is revealed in this world which God has created and set in motion (the subject of the sciences) is another path to truth. Hopefully you learned about the process of scientific research in school, and have developed respect for the nature of scientific knowledge: how our understanding of a thing or phenomenon or process becomes clearer and more detailed as research progresses.

In this time of conflict between many followers of religions vs. the scientific community, good explanations or descriptions are needed for how one might reconcile these two paths to truth.

I hereby invite you to collaborate: to share ideas which you have encountered, to bring fresh ideas to the table, and to offer improvements to one another’s ideas.

I have no problem with science and religion having a collaborative tete-a-tete in striving for the truth. Either can support the other while exploring the spiritual and existence which we all share.

Fulfillment and understanding can be achieved through both venues if there is no belittlement between the two. When devisive agendas permeate through either there can not be alignment of thought. I have recently found out the Catholic Church has priests who head different fields of scientific research within their exclave that explore how those affect their organization.


I have never found conflict between Science and Religion, only between scientists and the religious.

Recently Science has taken the path of being a religion, “scientism”, defending the faith. True Science died that day.

Influence governs the world (what else would). And influence is politics (pathos) mixed with a little logic (logos). But logic requires thinkers and most people are not interested in such. That leaves pathos to be the more profound influence. Pathos involves the manipulation of passion in people using anything that works. What works most often is spurious deceptions that yield temporary high hopes, fears, and thrills. The catharsis of such experiences is addictive and thus the average person, unknowingly and unwillingly becomes addicted to the excitement potential of theories that actually have no scientific basis at all (Hawkins comes to mind).

There is a competition for allegiance going on as we speak. Who shall have the final voice for Truth? Scientists make extremely poor social managers and Science cannot dictate purpose. That means that Science can only be a tool for some other social manipulator, not Science itself. Who is that? Who is behind the scenes speaking for Science yet is not really Science? Religion has similar concerns. Who is speaking for God? But in religion, we know who is speaking. In Science only the replicated experimental data is supposed to be speaking. That was the whole point in Science. That is the ONLY reason it ever got attention. But it is no longer altruistic.

What people believe is now a matter of government control. You shall not use certain words. You shall not mention certain sects. You shall not shine negative light on certain peoples. You shall not shine positive light on other peoples. You shall not share information on certain subjects (nuclear arms, poisons, biochemical and germ warfare,…). Where is there room for altruistic Science in such a world?

Religion and Science only conflict because the world is being manipulated into a new regime and changes in authority must be made. There is nothing to be discussed with honesty that pertains to what is going on in the world of political control tactics. The chaos and conflict are themselves contrived. Expect no agreements to stand, no gatherings to grow. The conflict comes from above, the “war in heaven” as angels become the slaves of men.

I think the seperation between the two is a bit sad. As science pushes further and further into the void, so many things are popping up that seem to make ‘god’ more and more plausible. It’d be nice if we could spend a little less time on trying to prove the other guy wrong and focus a bit more on looking for the actual truth, even if it doesn’t fit into our mentally predetermined universe. I don’t suspect this change will come easy though. People spend their whole lives promoting their views and finding ways to reinforce them, it’d be a tough pill to swallow to find out after 30+ years you were dead wrong, be it science or religion.

I think it’s also important to note that there is a substantial difference between god and religion. Religion seems to be a human institution for control, god is who knows what.

IMO, “who knows what” is as good a definition of God as any.

Haha… exactly. =D>

I prefer “who knows what.” There is no reason to assume that “God” is a person (or anthropomorphized projection).

That is what made it funny. :smiley:

…grumble grumble

I think the crucial element for both science and religion is not the material that we work with but rather the way we approach and use that material.

We tend to look down upon one type of person or the other but they are the same as our own human nature.
Their minds do not function in different ways - only the material that they apprehend is different.

I have met countless religious people who approach their religion with pride and identification.
I have met countless scientists who approach their science with pride and identification.
I have met countless drinkers that approach their drinking with pride and identification.
I too approach my life with pride and identification.

I “know the truth” becomes the nature of the identification rather than “I seek the truth”.
We all begin with “I seek the truth” - unfortunately we lay claim to it and claim exclusive knowledge “over” it.

Science, politics, sports trivia, chess, sex, religion, alcohol, food, money, appearance, humor,… take your pick.

The nature of all of our minds is the same - only the material differs.

We - as a society - need to change our minds and not the material that we work with.

There can be no reconciliation until we have changed our minds - peace (internal or external) cannot be enforced.

Directly related to this thread is another, “The Metaphysic Detective”;

This reminds me of the “Duty” thread, so I’ll repost my response there, to the question, “What is duty?”

In trying to reconcile religion and religion (and religion, and religion!) much less science and religion(s) there needs to be an honest assessment of the master narratives being served. That necessarily flavors the entire experiment. I was recently reading a book on Islam and modernity. Within it, I found a great deal of resonance with Tu Weiming’s critique of the Enlightenment mentality run amok; however unlike the Confucian critique of modernity whose language and ideals are heavily influenced by the May Fourth Movement and thus intrinsically accepting of the notion that scientific inquiry is the most reliable method for understanding of the phenomenal world, if not the world as a whole, the Islamic critique devolved into a long screed against Evolutionary Theory and other long-settled concepts of scientific fact.

That forced incompatibility shows the difference between the masters being served and how they seek to proceed is also dependent upon those areas. A cross-cultural study of scriptures is an old pursuit that (at least as a formal philosophical approach to study) dates back to the Age of Exploration. But the Natural Theologians of that time sought not some supreme religion of all men, but rather to read Christian elements into native religious movements in order to facilitate conversion. Because of personal biases, that is a natural and somewhat unavoidable response.

So how do we make those masters transparent and, having identified them, what are we to do with them?

Function in tangent to them; significant to you, irrelevant to them.

Dispite their best efforts, they still do not really define your life (wish they would actually), but that leaves you to define your life by your own understanding and pursue it regardless of what “they” propose is real or not. Tehy will certainly not merely let you go free, but “they” merely become one facet of your own decision making process for your own life.

Do it right, and “they” will either comply or die, instead of you

It seems to me such a ‘reconciliation’ (whatever that means) is only really necessary for those who confuse the supernatural religious stuff with the scientific stuff that’s based on evidence and rational thinking.

Well, again, I’m all for “fresh ideas” as long as we take note of what seems to be the basic truth that most people have reasons for what they believe. And either those reasons are backed by reasonable claims based on the evidence around us, or they’re fictitious reasons that make people feel better, regardless of whether or not they have any rational basis. Or sometimes despite the fact that they have no rational basis whatsoever (the ‘faith as a noble effort’ approach).

I happen to prefer those that are backed by reasonable claims about how the world actually works. Holding the beliefs that a virgin gave birth back in the Bronze Age, or that this baby grew up to perform some miracles and was then killed but came back to life and rose up into the sky on a cloud simply isn’t reasonable. As well, that this stuff is considered to be at the core of one system of ethics and morality is bad enough…but what’s worse is that because it isn’t based on rationality, it competes with, but can’t overcome, all the magical stories that underlie other world religions (we all know about those, presumably female, virgins waiting, for presumably males, in paradise) and which end up fueling wars of ideas that end up as very tangible, WMD-type wars. Science may have furthered the technologies we use to blow each other up, but doesn’t fuel the drive to destroy each other.

Which is all to say that the schism between science and religion is not only real, but also valid, and it isn’t going to get ‘reconciled’. Science can’t accommodate religious belief based on magical occurrences, and it’s ridiculous to think it ever would. And the gap is only going to grow wider as global cultures end up in one another’s faces. There are, at least in the US, people who keep their kids home from school just so they can teach them that “Biblical creationism” is real. Even worse, there are universities that these people choose for their kids to attend that support such nonsense. Yet because we are a nation ‘tolerant’ of these nutty beliefs, we continue to let such ignorance be propagated to young people, even at higher level educational institutions.

My sense is that bridging this ‘schism’ between religion and science is mostly desired by the religious, and not so much by scientists. That’s because organized religions are growing increasingly desperate. They already know that their core doctrines contain a heck of a lot of stuff that can’t be supported by science and reason and that, therefore, maintaining their power over human beings requires that conflicting knowledge gained through science and reason be squelched in any way possible. Not that this is going to happen in the near future. So what we’ll find is an increasing escalation of the conflicts between Bronze Agers, and an increasing direction of resources into those wars rather than into sustaining the planet and its occupants.

The problem is merely, what do you do with 6 billion irrational people?

You can’t ask them to just be logical or rational. If they could do that, they would be doing it already. But they already think they are. Billions of irrational humans were spawned and have created a huge population void of deep thinking ability. Socialism attempts to maintain a few clever souls keeping the masses in line and in order.

The religions (including the newer Scientism) were designed, by whatever means, to retain the legion, maintain the gathering. They have always assumed a socialistic oligarchical architecture. Such an architecture has the inherent and unavoidable problem of having to keep irrational people inspired with exaggerated concerns; wars, diseases, and “blood” conflicts.

True understanding of the real situation has always been the exclusive domain of the few elite, except that they never realize that by such a proprietary claim on hidden Truth, they blind themselves in false confidence. Such a situation then leaves the entire population from the least intelligent to the highest elite influence as actually truly insane, not really knowing good from bad and being held that way eternally.

Each side of every argument believes they are the wise, rational people and the other side are the stubborn foolish ones. The phrase, “you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground” came from the concept that a person doesn’t know his mere stubbornness (his ass) from something missing in his understanding (a hole in the ground). Such a phrase suits the entire population.

Extremely few people ever learn how to know that they know without merely being presumptuous. Yet so very many are willing to be ultimately stubborn in their arguments. The religions and today the governments as well, instill that property into people. It is intentional that people are blinded from their own cause of stubbornness. That is how you make a strong proponent for your cause, whatever it is. You turn people into asses so you can ride them through rough territory. Asses riding asses to market ass meat and ass blood to other asses.

Today’s technology merely serves to make it easier to maintain the relentless insanity, to mechanize it even to the point of removing the need to involve humans at all. But why not physically improve what a human is since we have the technology with which to play. So now we have insane people redesigning humanity to fit their insane image of a god to forever control all things.

Yeah, reconcile Scientism with Religion; two names and political parties for the same thing. Reconcile them into what? A single political party with no competition or contrast with which to see their worst weaknesses? Well, that might be one way to stop it all. Take away Mankind’s contrast consciousness entirely.

The only other option is to form a small, very small gathering of the extreme few who can understand life and logical rationale. Good luck finding them.