science vs religion = meta-religion
Ok, be honest how many of you groaned when you read that title?
Apologies for the weight of this entry, I have to get it off my chest… don’t worry, I’ll post something stupid again soon!
(click for the full entry –>
About a week ago I was discussing an internal conflict I had regarding religion.
On the one hand, I think it is all rubbish and that believing in things of that nature causes a number of issues:
1) It holds back society and mankind as a whole from furthering our understanding of the world – religious fanatics in America have held back stem cell research by years, thereby increasing the time to develop cures for things like Alzheimer’s.
2) Religion causes wars. You can argue this one with me till you’re blue in the face, my mind is made up. It causes wars, get over it.
3) It externalises responsibility – hopefully I can explain this one. By believing in something greater you’re more likely to remove responsibility for your own actions in certain circumstances. Lack of ownership and responsibility is a real problem in the world today; everything is someone else’s fault or problem.
…but on the other hand I want to respect people rights to worship g-d, allah, Buddha, his noodly appendage… whatever.
These two positions seem to contradict, leaving me a bit confused at times. After some discussion with a colleague, he told me that he used to have the same conflict until he realised that science was just another religion.
His logic is that under pinning everything in science is a belief or a hypothesis, there is very little that is actually proven, like religion.
My gut reaction was, “no way”… at the time, I couldn’t answer why, but, I trust my instincts so I left it in my unconscious mind to resolve and let me know when it was done.
My brain went “ping” this morning. I have the answer as to why Science is NOT just another religion.
Fundamentally yes, they are both built in beliefs and theories. I had to agree this one, in part.
Here’s my reason why science is not a religion. If you assume that science is another religion on the basis that in the end they all boil down to a set of beliefs, then you must accept that science is inclusive of other beliefs in so much as, yes all things in science start off as theories (or matters of faith) but that it is an inclusive approach – ie it allows for other theories/hypotheses and beliefs to be examined and either accepted or dismissed where as religion is essentially exclusive in that it offers only one possible theory/hypotheses or set of beliefs.
….Doh! I just had a thought…
Does this make science a meta-religion?
i.e. a religion of religions??? THE “religion” that allows for the others as a part of, not an alternative too… hmmm…
Bugger… would that mean it IS just another kind of religion!?
Whatever the answer to these questions, I’m still convinced that we need to evolve.
At first homo sapiens invented “gods” to explain things we didn’t understand like volcanoes and the sun… we then developed religion as we know it today to explain things beyond our comprehension, like the creation of the universe, space and the babel fish (geek joke alert)…
Human nature is inquisitive, adventurous and experimental by nature… we move forward by this continuous process of development and rejection of things we can disprove, not by blind faith in things with 6 arms or supernatural powers.
“oh but plenty of things in (the bible/the torah/the koran) can be proven to actual real events” – sure, some of it probably is based on factual events and the morals/teaching were great in helping us develop as civilisations, in the same way that believing in Wagara (the volcano god) kept us alive all those years ago.
Damn my over thinking brain, I clearly have too many brain cells available for use… good thing I’m planning on killing a few this weekend!!