Religion vs. Science
This page is one of the explanatory pages for my website, http://www.CardinalKnowledge.org. The website is a work in progress, and each and every part of it is open for discussion. The comments to these explanatory pages are where this discussion is to take place.
Although many unreasonable people (and some reasonable people whose definitions of these words are different from mine) often say that religion and science can co-exist, I have to say this: religion and science are absolutely direct opposites of each other, because doubt is the direct opposite of faith.
Science can treat religiousity as a subject of study, be it neurophysiological, sociological, historiographic, or otherwise, but science cannot implement any methods of religion without ceasing to be science. Religion often attacks science because logical reasoning is so obviously incompatible with faith, and some religious leaders are quite vocal about it. In Europe, Martin Luther came up with his famous “Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding”. On the other side of the globe, buddhists echo this rejection of reason, repeating Tilopa’s Six Words of Advice (“Don’t recal, Don’t imagine, Don’t think, Don’t examine, Don’t control, Rest”).
Of course, there aretheologians who attempt to use reason, hoping that its great persuasive power could further their religious goals or honestly believing that their religious convictions are reasonable. A famous example was Thomas Aquinas who believed that reason played as much a part of understanding God as did faith, and made a great effort at smoothing out christianity’s most glaring anti-logical statements in an attempt to build a self-consistent religious philosophy. Of course, refutation of his failures at logic became a favorite game for many philosophers since.
It is also true that some religious people were also scientists: Gregor Mendel (an Austrian priest who pioneered the study of genetics), Roger Bacon (a Franciscan friar who defined the scientific method), or Georges Lemaître (a Roman Catholic priest who postulated the expansion of the Universe and the Big Bang). What they did was using the scientific method when dealing with the matters of science, with no religious procedures mixed in. I am not saying that one and the same human cannot be both religious and do meaningful scientific work, what I say is that no knowledge can be created when scientific and religious approaches are used simultaneously.
In the ideal world, science and religion would have no points of intersection and would ignore each other completely. When not studying it as a curious human behavioral pattern, modern science ignores religion. As Steven Wienberg said, “most scientists don’t care enough about God to call themselves atheists”. Modern religion, however, spends a great deal of its resources on fighting science — from attacks on basic geology and on the theories on evolution to state-wide bans on medical research and disruption of education.