First things first. Science and religion are similar in some areas and different in other areas. Science can be measured. Religion, not so much. Religion is closer to philosophy and the ethical part of subjects. Science is closer to the discreet and quantitative aspects. They both perform different functions. You don't use science to answer ethical questions and you don't use religion to measure the universe.
A quote by Mark Booth sums it up rather nicely:
Imagine if you fed all these great works of literature - in fact all literature - into a giant computer and asked it the question: What are the laws that determine whether or not a life is ultimately happy and fulfilled? I suggest the result would be a body of laws that included the following:
If you duck out of a challenge, then that challenge will come round again in a different form.
We always draw towards us what we fear most.
If you choose the immoral path, ultimately you will pay for it.
A good-hearted belief will eventually transform what is believed in.
In order to hold on to what you love, you must let it go. [...]
Now imagine what would happen if you fed all the scientific data in the world into another gigantic computer and asked it the same question. The results, I suggest, would be very different:
The best way to keep something is to try your hardest to do so and never give up.
You cannot transform the world by wishful thinking - you must do something about it.
If you can avoid being found out and punished by your fellow man, there is no reason to suppose a providential order will punish you.
So as you can see, science and religion both have different ways of doing things.
Pros and Cons
Cons of Religion
Pros of Science
Cons of Science
How religion and science differ on certain questions
|How Did We Get Here?
||Science says that the big bang was the beginning of this universe. Religion says we were created in the likeness of God. Perhaps they are both right?
|Is there a God?
||Both science and religion have fair points to consider. Science likes the universe but doesn't like the personal God/mythology stuff. Religion focuses more on the personal God aspect and less on the overall big picture of energy.
|Is there an afterlife?
||Since an afterlife can't fully be proven scientifically the scientific stance is no. Religion has always taken the stance that there is an afterlife.
|Is there a purpose to life?
||I think the approach that religion takes is favorable as it gives people a sense of hope and belonging. Even if there was no purpose to life I think taking a negative view and saying that our life has no meaning is a less favorable way to live.
|Do we need ethics?
||I think ethics are one of the most important parts of life and without some type of foundational ethics we may face problems moving forward together as society.
|Is reasoning important?
||Science clearly has the upper-hand here. At some point religion decided thinking was not its thing and decided to let other people do that for them.
|Should we obey authority?
||Both organizations love authority, although religion probably likes it a tad more. Science still praises the large scientific institutions and schools however.
So from this chart we can see that science and religion both have pros and cons in different areas. In general, science asks how and religion asks why. Let's continue on.
Religion and science both worship the same God
Although we don't know precisely what God is, we can get a pretty good idea. God, as defined by most major religions, is the source of energy behind everything we have. We can also get a pretty good idea of what God isn't - God isn't religion, God isn't a person and God isn't a planet. Let's just say God is energy or light for a moment. Saying now that this light belongs to one religion is completely elementary - just as elementary as saying that energy belongs to science. No, energy does not belong to science. Energy is a part of science, but it is not science. Light is a part of religion, but it is not religion. Science is man's way of understanding energy. Religion is man's way of understanding God. And God and energy derive from the same thing and are the same thing. They are all aspects of the source. So science and religion are both tools extracting data in different ways.
Religion has the exact same relationship to God as science does to the universe. They both try to build a box around it and say that they hold the keys to it, but neither of them hold the keys. They are both simply one level of interpretation we are currently using for these things. And at the end of the day they are both saying the same thing. If God is the universe and the universe is God then you have religion and science both claiming ownership of the same thing. Meanwhile, God/the universe is indifferent to either and holds no bias. Call it what you want, but they're both embarking on the same journey. Science and religion are both seeking out and understanding God/Light/Energy/the Universe, they're just doing it different ways.
Science and Religion both throw out the good with the bad
This is probably the crux of this article. Science and religion both, as do so many other things in life, throw out the good with the bad. This is because people are too stupid to take a refined approach to understanding. They are all or nothing. They are too egotistical and patriotic to develop the mix that requires hard work and careful discernment.
For example. Science currently has to take the stance that there is no God or afterlife because its current tool set does not allow it to see into such aspects of life. So scientists blindly throw away the whole God and afterlife thing like it's nothing. This is a huge shortcoming of science and a classic example of smaller minds only being able to go so far as their tools will take them. As soon as topics move into mental areas of discovery they give up as their scientific tools haven't quite caught up to measure here yet.
First of all, energy is essentially God and so is information. The universe as a whole is God. So as long as scientists are believing in the universe and laws of the universe you can't throw God out. Next, the whole afterlife discussion is quite perplexing. We know there are many, many people who have had near death experiences and they all report similar things. Even though science can't quite tap into this, it doesn't mean it's not real - the same way science couldn't tap into the world being a sphere despite the learned secret societies (all heavily religious, mind you) that knew this thousands of years before science caught up with them.
Science sometimes can be a bit arrogant in thinking it can throw out religious foundations because the majority of less intelligent religious people misrepresent these foundations. Just because majority of religious people don't know what they're talking about when it comes to God doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. Just because they take the literal interpretation of a physical God doesn't mean there isn't a more philosophical energy God. There is much more to it.
Conversely, religion pulls the same crap, but from a different level. Religion is much more apt to take the emotion/love > logic approach. This is fine and all, but at some point you will need to develop your logical and reasoning faculties. Emotion and love only goes so far. Religion thinks that if there is data that disproves a religious belief that the data is wrong. This may be the case some of the time, but a lot of the time science has it right and religion has it wrong. Religion has a hard, hard time refining their beliefs as scientific data sheds new light and understanding on them.
Religion focuses on personal growth and love
Religion focuses much more on the personal growth of individuals and the development of loving relationships. Yeah, I know, I know... What about all the wars started in the name of religion? What about all the religions that go around killing people? What about all the killing in the Bible, etc, etc?
Once again, a bit of discernment would do one well in these topics. The wars started in the name of religion are always started by the organizers at the top who are almost always corrupt. They are never started by the good-hearted mom and pops just trying to get through the day a little better than the last. Unfortunately, these manipulators at the top of these religions know that these loving and kind people are not so good at science and have very little discernment so they are easily able to manipulate them to their every whim in the name of religion. This is a negative and unfortunate aspect of religion.
Science focuses on faculties of reasoning
Science is much more focused on rational, logical things. Science measures something objectively and scrutinizes all the data to find the best possible solution. When better solutions come about science adopts them. This is a huge strength that science has over religion. Religion doesn't really work this way.
That said, science also pulls the same religious war stuff but in a much different context so few ever catch it. Science takes this approach: the world is heating up and carbon emissions will eventually lead to the destruction of our planet. We must take action immediately, please pay your carbon tax to the king. Wait a minute, I just payed my tithe to the Pope and now you want me to also pay my carbon tax to the king? What's going on here? Oh right, they both are used to manipulate people. Get over it and deal with it.
So which one is right? In my most humble opinion the answer is clearly both - and the positive aspects of both. We don't need the stupidity of religious people or the egotistical stance of the scientific people. We need the ethics and integrity delivered by religion and the logic and reasoning championed by science. It is all about blending the two, and believe me, it's not easy to blend them. It takes time, patience, understanding and commitment. That is why the two parties love attacking each other, they are having a hard time meshing the two polarities.
Filed under:Science, Religion