The End of Science and Religion

06/19/2013

Everyone wants to know the unknowable.  However, do you think that if anyone actually knew that they would tell anyone?  Very unlikely, without a large check being attached.

Monday morning quarterbacking

I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries on my recent post entitled “Real Life, True Reality.”  One of the problems in writing on this kind of topic is how much of a detailed explanation to give.  On the one hand if I were to take a big picture approach, some people will not be familiar with the terms used and therefore not fully understand what I’m saying.  On the other hand, a very detailed explanation is very boring, and overly long, especially for those who are familiar with the topic being discussed.  Writing style can also be an issue if one is using sarcasm but the reader thinks you’re serious (or the other way around).  So let me elaborate on my previous post.

“Real Life, True Reality” revisited

Man has always been fascinated with the unknown.  In some respects, the discovery of the unknown is the ultimate high.  But the unknown is, for the lack of a better word, unknowable – especially if you’re talking about the Creation of life.

Religion, for one, relies on a bewildering array of holy books each of which is considered by its believers to be the only valid expression of the Absolute.  Despite all efforts, their God is nowhere to be found and evil reigns supreme in the world.   To its credit, the Vatican realizes that times are changing (and very rapidly at that).  In an effort to get in front of the change curve, the Vatican has been making very unusual disclosures recently.  For a discussion of those changes, you can read my posts “The Vatican Surprise,” “The Pope Must Be Crazy,” or “The Coming Revelations” if you would like more on that topic.

Science, meanwhile, has also been in search of the unknowable, or as they call it The Theory of Everything.  Their Theory of Relativity and Theory of Gravity are two wonderful theories.  Unfortunately, however, those two theories cannot entirely co-exist together. That’s what I was referring to when I said that science cannot explain why the physical laws governing building blocks are different than the physical laws governing the building itself.  Having two important theories in conflict with one another means that the theories are, at best, only approximate descriptions of reality.

Where science and religion meet

Today, we are on the precipice of the end of science and religion, as we know it.  Man can no longer rely on theses two institutions to find God (as if they ever could).  However, there is a middle ground – sort of.  It was Albert Einstein, himself, who admitted that, “Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man….”  The spirit that Einstein was talking about was consciousness, the one thing that science can not measure and the one thing that renders it impotent, since science is essentially a process of measurement.

During the Classical Period, civilization flourished.  Religion and science were both in their infancy.  Great minds, who could embrace both religion and science, ruled the day – men like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  It was the dawning of a new age that led directly to Western Civilization.  What’s needed today is to return to that golden age; what’s truly needed is a few good men, or women, who could help create a new philosophy concerning man’s place in the universe, one that wouldn’t involve the dogma of religion or the arrogance of science.

So let’s hear it one more time for the creationists in their never-ending debate with the evolutionists and another round of applause for the deists and the atheists.  I suspect that they will still be at it until the end of time.  It was Albert Einstein who so correctly observed that, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

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5 Responses to “The End of Science and Religion”

  1. I enjoyed your essay but I disagree with your conclusion.

    Rather than being on the precipice of the end of Religion and Science, I see many choosing to follow blind faith, holy books, and nonsense of religion off a cliff (particularly here in the US) and abandon science.

    The frightening statistics of the majority of Americans believing in the Bible as the word of some anthropomorphic involved being, that provides life guidance, and that is in fact a historical document is unnerving at best, and depressing.

    The continued rise of Creationism as legitimate science, clothed as Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity, with the attendant court challenges to the separation doctrine underscores the continuing power of religion.

    However, I think it inevitable science will persevere.

    It has been the gradual, deliberate, sometimes dramatic, sometimes snail-like progress of science that has discovered truths. Repeatable, supported by evidence, and well documented.

    All religions have ever done is evolve (now there is irony) to adapt to the latest science (see the Vatican’s apologies, albeit a bit late, to Galileo and in particular to Giordano Bruno), or fade away.

    I think a more realistic understanding of Einstein’s quote is “Science without conscience is lame, Conscience without science is blind”

    Most of the world’s greatest physicists, biologists, theorists use the term “god” as a simple representation of the wonder of the mechanics that make this universe, and perhaps mulitiverse, exist.

    The “believers” of the myriad holy books, religious doctrines, faiths of all kinds twist the quote to reinforce their individual beliefs, and that even the geniuses believe in god.

    Lets hope if we are witnessing the end of science and religions they will be replaced by Reason and Conscience.

    Joe Broadmeadow

    “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary at least one in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things” Rene Descartes

    • chicagoja said

      Thank you for your comments. Loved your quote from Descartes. However, Socrates actually hit the nail on the head when he said that if I know anything at all it’s that I know nothing. Without that kind of mindset, we are always a slave to our belief systems which is why society struggles so much with the truth. By the way, you were spot on with respect to Reason and Conscience.

  2. I like to think, naively, that the humanists in the atheist camp and the liberals, progressives, alternatives and nones in the spiritual camp may one day lead the way into a new philosophy. Brings to mind John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a call to those with eyes to see.

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