The Conflict between Religion and Science
Arguments on the nature of the relationship between religion and science frequently start by pointing out the essential features of scientific and religious perceptions. After this preface, subsequent discussions emanate from these characteristics and attempt to bring out the conflict. I have noted that adopting such an approach will eventually lead to failure since science, to a certain degree, and religion are cultural constructs possessing an expansive diversity that cannot be explained with a combined worldview. I hold a different attitude and strategy. After this reflection, new questions will reveal that it is difficult to have an unequivocal answer. Therefore, the extent to which scientific and religious perceptions clash depends mainly on individual views. The conclusive paragraph will focus on the consequences of this dilemma for science education.
Religious extremists defend the Bible as factual, literal, and fail-safe, and in the event that science differs, they assume that science is flawed. Science presents its evidence and results, and therefore, its proponents argue that everything in the world has to be discernible and measurable. Therefore, scientists claim that religion deals with elements that are intangible, incalculable, and beyond description (Barbour 45). I have heard scientists summarize religion as pure fabrication, a waste of time, or even a distracting delusion (Evans and Manis 12). I think that there is a possibility that religion and science can coexist. If such coexistence were probable, it would be necessary to define their relationship. One of the ways of seeing this affiliation is through the perspectives of different scholars. Ian Barbour has examined this dilemma and proposed four options for science and religion to interact namely integration, dialogue, independence, and of course, conflict.
Barbour‘s stand was legible and effective in attempting to explain the relationship between the two variables. Personally, I know it is more useful and accurate to perceive science and religion as a mutual enterprise. I also remember an attempt at criticism of Barbour‘s theory by another scholar, Brooke (Barbour 76). His assumption was that both religion and science are independent of each other. In other words, one can operate devoid of the other. In fact, all significant actors agree that in the discussion on science and religion, the four elements proposed by Barbour can function without any separation (Evans and Manis 90).
Several issues are evident in the discussion on science and religion. First, I think that thesecularization thesis has since proven to be flawed. One of the exceptions is Europe. The secular levels within the universe have not increased in general when compared to the rate of scientific progress (Barbour 18). At an individual level, the assertion that there is an internal conflict between faith and reason is false; the modern atheists attempt to mystify people by combining their supernatural with science (Evans and Manis 45). Many renowned scientists, in history and at present, have held religious perceptions that failed to identify any tension between their scientific contribution and their beliefs (Barbour 16). I remember a section of Darwin’s proponents were staunch theologians. It is essential to evaluate overtly that the problem between modern atheists and religion cannot be construed as a competition between science and irrationalism. Instead, I think that the two philosophical worldviews each possess equal amounts of unproven content. However, proponents of each faction can present legitimate arguments in the public square.
The conflict between religion and science is a tension that can be dismissed by changing the attitudes towards both elements. Religious extremists must embrace the intellectual challenges and must sincerely tackle new discoveries. Nonetheless, a more significant part of academics hostile to Christianity is founded on philosophical assumptions that are can be questioned, and this is one of the objectives of this essay (Barbour 23). The individual Jesus discovered by historians can be classified as a creation of fiction just as much as Christ exists in the creeds (Evans and Manis 78). It is easy to see thatby identifying the variousversions of Jesus, it is easy to notice where science and religion meet. Elements of science are evident in religion while the reverse is also true.
In his publication, Evans examined diverse approaches to religion. I was particularly interested in fideism that refers to the assertion that faith is the basis for considering religion. I tend to agree with Evans’ stand that was being guided by critical dialog. In his perception, he used reason and a readiness to test individual dedication. I saw it necessary to include aspects of theism and natural theology. I attempted to understand how scientists perceived God and his features. I have a small issue with his definition in that Evans relied extensively on academic definitions. Before progressing on the arguments on theology, I was interested in the way they were looking for evidence of God. These attempts by scholars were somewhat convincing. I am vaguely aware of the classical arguments for God’s presence. The reasons are mostly ontological, cosmological, and ethical. Numerous cosmological arguments in addition to moral arguments were the most appealing. I appreciated the analysis of the merits, flaws, and uses. For example, Evans confessed that the ontological argument was the least convincing, but was useful in other areas.
Therefore, I think that in specific areas, science and religion coincide. The situation is very common when it comes to the creation story. Some reactionary religionists deny the apparent truth of a changing universe (Evans and Manis 23). I know that the important thing is that both science and religion are deeply entrenched in an aspect of the mystery of the creation. Most solid religions will always question the moral and spiritual base. I have seen religions ask the hard questions such as what is the moral code that guides thought and behavior (Evans, and Manis 18). After all this discussion, I can safely conclude that science lacks the ability to dispute the presence of God. From the arguments I have presented in the previous sections, God’s plans arerevealed to man through the bible. It clearly explains that human beings originated from God’s creation. Conversely, I have also covered the argument that science proposes that human beings arose from the process of evolution.
After all the discussions, I propose the integration
strategy as a way of dealing with the relationship between religion and science.
Scientific development has enhanced individual lives and the universe. A religion
that refuses to embrace science is imprudent and possibly risky.Conversely, science in the absence of faith
is equally dangerous. I think that in the lack of religion, science would overlook
assumptions and concerns about reality that form the core of the scientific
agenda. I propose that we can integrate the two and come up with a system that
incorporates the different aspects. Science has been useful over the centuries
in coming up with solutions that have built cities and created solutions for humankind.
However, I know that science has been unable to explain some of the
supernatural things in the world. At the point where science fails to explain
certain things in life, faith steps in to offer answers. I think that religion helps
scientistsmake sense of the world.
It gives humans a sense of morality as they carry out their research and innovations.
The world needs both science and religion in equal measure since they assist and
improve each other.
Top of Form
Barbour, Ian G. Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues. Cambridge: International Society for Science and Religion, 2007.
Evans, C. Stephen, and Zachary Manis. Philosophy of Religion: Thinking about Faith. InterVarsity Press, 2010.
Bottom of Form