I’ve got a douzy for you today, folks.
I’ve been reading some essays for English class, and since I take an interest in other people’s opinions, I’ve read some not assigned to me. That was how I came upon this essay or article by Steven Weinberg cheerfully titled “Without God.”
Weinberg undertakes in the first half of this piece to explain how religion and science have been at odds, and in what I thought a very condescending tone, he admits tat many attempts have been made to reconcile the two. But he does not apparently think those attempts of much value.
Though he admits that science has as yet not found the answer to everything (such as the origin of life) he does not seem to think that is any reason to continue with religion. Science will obviously find the answer eventually, and religion has been “proven” wrong so many times that it is inevitable it will be proven so again.
But all this was no more than I would expect from an atheist scientist writing about this topic. But it was in part 2 of this piece that I thought it crossed over into the ridiculous category.
First let me address a little of part one. You should read the essay yourself for his full opinion since my paraphrase is imperfect, but it was too long to put the whole thing here.
But as I understand it, the idea of religion being trumped by science was the main point.
He may find the idea that religion and science can be reconciled to be laughable, but I don’t see in what way it is. Even from an objective perspective. If a religion is true, then one would expect scientific discoveries to back it up. Because science is the pursuit of truth, is it not?
IF religion is pure belief in abstract ideas, then science is under no obligation to prove it, though it still may prove certain things about it. (Such as that happiness, an abstract; promotes health, an observable fact.) Religion, at least Christianity and others like it, is not about only abstract ideas. It offers explanations or how the world was made and how thing in it work and why things happen. If there is a religion that does not do this, it does not come to my mind. Except perhaps Post-Modernism.
That being said, science and religion are bound to overlap at some point. hey cannot be separated because in order to pursue truth you must have some sort of foundational belief about what truth is. Even thinking science is truth requires belief.
So the condescension about Poor Christians trying to make the case for a scientifically accurate Christianity is rather hypocritical.
But leaving that aside, I think plenty of science supports Creationism. I suggest researching Quantum Physics and Earth Science for more about that.
I also don’t like the way this man lumped all religion into the same category. Myths trying to explain why the sky is where it is, and where the sun comes from and what not. Putting all religions on the same level. When they aren’t. Religions vary in how much time they spend trying to explain any of this in great detail. Those that base their whole mythos around natural phenomenon (or most of it I should say, they all have a creation story also) are unique.
Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and I think Buddhism are primarily about addressing inward things, and morality, not explaining trees and waterfalls.
I don’t mean that myths of that sort are less intellectual or interesting or even believable really. I happen to like them. Bu My point is, those religions are built more around nature, while religions like the above four put nature as a secondary thing to the spiritual realities.
I think that difference is important if you are going to knock a religious approach to science. Because, at least in Christianity, a big part of the doctrine is acknowledging how little man knows about the ways of God, or the ways the world works for that matter. And how easily men error. And since science itself is mostly a series of trial and error, nothing in it can be completely infallible. Science is always changing, so it is not hard truth but only part of the truth.
Even if Science did support Evolution, for instance, the idea of evolution is constantly evolving (pardon the pun) so your belief in it has to change every decade or so, probably more often then that. The deeper we get into molecular science and Quantum Physics, the more we realize we know nothing.
And if we know nothing, then science has yet to become a complete source of truth.
Which Weinberg admits, to his credit, but what he seems to miss is that if science is fallible and incomplete, religion is all that is left to run to to understand life. If human effort fails, divine revelation is all that we have left. That or nothing.
And Weinberg sets out in part 2 of his article to show us how “nothing” really isn’t so bad.
But that will take another post to cover, until next time–Natasha.