The Harmony of Science and Religion

Religion that opposes science tends to look ridiculous. Baha'i teachings offer a solution

jamesrfitz

03/02/2004 04:30:28 PM

In most faiths, God or enlightenment is truth in its most complete form. If God is indeed truth and science searches for the truth, then is not science a search for God? If the language of science is geared towards physical truth and the refinement of knowledge, then the language of the scriptures and poetry must be geared towards the truth of the heart and soul and the refinement of devotion to truth.

unkown

01/19/2004 01:06:14 AM

the simple answer is no.they are not contradictory.the reason i say this is that they answer the same questions in different ways.science is the study of mechanics of the universe,world,etc.religion is the vehicle by which we can understand our place in the cosmic mechine.at least that my guess anyway.

SeeKing1972

12/14/2003 05:44:54 PM

I can tell my sons that they are the direct result of their parents' love, or their lovemaking. One answer is like religion, the other is science, both are the truth.You have to understand that science and religion speak a different language, same words, different levels of abstraction, different authority,different axioms, different assumptions. It's like comparing the beauty of your wife or life to the beauty of your car, or its engine. The similarities are so superificial as to be meaningless. Science addresses the question of how things happen, religion explains why. Both proceed from a basis of incomplete knowledge. Both are valid and necessary areas of exploration and explanation.

Zeean

04/13/2003 04:23:01 AM

Lets just say that science and religion are not ment to be contradictory. True science is open and exploratory using ideas and experiments to prove or disprove the idea. True religion attempts to explain our being and porpoise from life to death and like science uses ideas and experiences for answers. Problems ocour in both science and religion when people make conclusions and closes their mind to new ideas or evidence and refuse to advance any further. Open science and open religion would look at the contridictions and try to explain why it is so. It is better to say that people for their own reasons (ie; ego, greed, position ect.) creates the contrictions in religion and science.

KathkeenStone

10/08/2002 02:30:41 PM

I am really not sure,however, there seems to be some conection.

SARACEN

07/27/2002 06:15:53 PM

Salam Aleikom, "Seek knowledge even if you have to go to China" - Prophet Muhammad

bkusha

04/25/2002 05:03:53 AM

I also want to humbly share this Baha'i writing with this forum: "Scientific knowledge is the highest attainment upon the human plane, for science is the discoverer of realities. It is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Material science is the investigation of natural phenomena; divine science is the discovery and realization of spiritual verities. The world of humanity must acquire both. A bird has two wings; it cannot fly with one. Material and spiritual science are the two wings of human uplift and attainment. Both are necessary--one the natural, the other supernatural; one material, the other divine. By the divine we mean the discovery of the mysteries of God, the comprehension of spiritual realities, the wisdom of God, inner significances of the heavenly religions and foundation of the law. -`Abdu'l-Bahá, "The Promulgation of Universal Peace," p. 138

natureboy_the0

07/03/2001 11:31:01 AM

Part 2) As written in the Bible I have interpreted to read: "In the beginning was the 'verbal means of expressing' and the 'verbal means of expressing' was with god and the 'verbal means of explaining' was god. All things was made by the 'verbal means of explaining' and without the 'verbal means of explaining' was not made anything that was made." suggests, we are to know the how and why of all things, but it is only with science and religion together that we can come to know it.

natureboy_the0

07/03/2001 11:26:28 AM

Religion and science are the 2 sides of the coin. Religion explains the how and why of existence while science determines the makeup of existence. Thorugh religious metaphors, parables, myths and types properly interpreted we find the answers concerning how every living thing are made. Through science we are able to determine the content or makeup of the material half of being. Example: The Bible (religion) gives us, in metaphors, the full extent of the eternal cycle, the way to caculate how long the cycle of man on earth is and how it is divided into a boy ruled meterial time and a girl ruled spiritual time. It gives us the metaphors showing us how man are able to mate for the plesure of the act diviating from the natural norm. It shows us how man are divided into as much as 150 different fragments of our selves. Science tells us what the earth and Zeroverse/universe are composed of, how any object can be transformed into another form, and why or how reproduction takes place.

lehket

09/27/2000 04:24:38 PM

GeminiWench, True, since we are both spiritual and material creatures, religion and science are both of great importance to us. 'Abdu'l-Bahá compared religion and science to the two wings of a bird, noting that the bird cannot fly if one wing is broken or weak. --Dale

lehket

09/27/2000 04:22:14 PM

circlefist, We should distinguish between what religion says and what adherents of particular religions say. There is a big difference. In the Bahá'í view, religion results from revelation. The Messengers of God reveal truth, but truth that is relative to the capacity of humanity. A child doesn't learn everything all at once. His knowledge must be gradually increased and deepened. Humanity has gone through a similar process of spiritual education through successive revelations. We must therefore be very careful in interpreting religious statements. Humans, however knowledgeable, are not infallible. Interpretations that take ancient Scriptures as a guide to physical reality are likely to be technically wrong, since knowledge of the physical world was very undeveloped when they were recorded. Many spiritual truths can be gleaned from the ancient Scriptures, but Bahá'ís believe these are better understood when interpreted through the filter of the most recent revelation, that of Bahá'u'lláh. --Dale

GeminiWench

09/25/2000 04:14:02 AM

I belive that science and religion can easily go hand in hand. You just need to realize that you need both to answer lifes questions. One cannot fill the place of both. Just because evolution is the most likely cause of human existance does not make our existance any less important, spiritual-wise. And just because I believe in an omnipotent god, doesnt mean that it is god that makes my telephone work. Yes, I may believe in a rain god, but that doesn't blind me to the fact of the science of pressure systems, the jet stream, and condensation that actually make rain.

circlefist

09/25/2000 12:30:26 AM

JMB, As long as religion stays out of science, just about everything religion has claimed to be true about the physical world has been shown to be highly unlikely, if not out-and-out wrong. why should we be forced to accept it's pronouncements on science.

lehket

09/24/2000 10:15:07 PM

A minor correction to my previous post: "John Hatcher" should have been "William S. Hatcher". That's what I get for posting messages at midnight. ;-) --Dale

lehket

09/23/2000 11:52:38 PM

Kerri, Many others differentiate between science and religion based on "how" and "why". There is no doubt a lot of truth in this, but there is much overlap, too. ("Why" can be a legitimate scientific question, and religion speaks to "how" regarding spiritual and social advancement.) Still, I agree that the two disciplines require different approaches and deal with different subjects. Bahá'í scholar John Hatcher holds that there isn't a sharp distinction. He sees science as method, not content, and religion as content, not method. Even if a revelation from God did provide scientific content, it could only offer what its recipients could fathom. Genesis couldn't have talked 20th-century cosmology and biology because nobody would have understood it! Instead it makes its points via myths that made sense to the people of the time. Thanks for reading and commenting on my article. I'm glad you enjoyed it. --Dale

JMB

09/23/2000 01:59:58 PM

(Part 1) Mr. Lehman makes a good point - comparing religion and science is like comparing apples to oranges. One should approach each with the proper mindset. I think we get in the most trouble when we set out to prove or disprove one with the other. Scientists who claim religion is false because it makes supernatural claims are committing a serious logical fallacy - if there truly is a God who is omnipotent and created all the universe, could he not do whatever he wished, even if it violated the physical and natural laws he created? (I use "he" for convenience. I do not wish to offend anyone who does not agree with my beliefs.) If scientists would agree for the sake of argument that an omnipotent God could indeed do this, what remains is to prove whether there is a God. Unless and until we have incontrovertible physical proof, this particular issue is then the province of philosophy, not science, and thus we have our catch-22.

JMB

09/23/2000 01:59:27 PM

(Part 1.5 - okay, I didn't plan the divisions well enough :) On the flip side of that coin, people should not attempt to use their religious beliefs to claim that science is false. For one thing, that statement is far too general. To say that all science is false is ridiculous to say the least. If there is truly incontrovertible scientific evidence for a certain thing, then no amount of Bible-beating (or waving of any religious text) is going to change facts. (Unless you agree with Bishop Berkley that we are mere figments of God's imagination, in which case the argument is moot anyway.)

JMB

09/23/2000 01:57:57 PM

(Part 2) I think the problem here is that some people are afraid that science will disprove their religion, which is sort of silly since I just demonstrated (however briefly) that such is not really possible (at least right now.) In addition, such arguments make believers look fearful and ignorant, and people wonder, "If they're so paranoid about science that they'll go so far as to denounce it completely, their religion must be too weak to stand on its own merit." Let me quote from Handbook for Christian Apologetics by Kreeft and Tacelli: "We should always interpret a book by the standards appropriate to its literary form or genre. Thus we should first find out what that form is. There are different principles which govern the interpretation of poetry versus law, parable versus biography, science versus religion, myth versus history.... [discussion of the folly of comparing Machiavelli's The Prince with Plato's Republic]

JMB

09/23/2000 01:56:34 PM

(Part 3) A more crucial example of this confusion is comparing Darwin and Moses, or whoever wrote Genesis. If Genesis were science, or if On the Origin of Species were religion, the two accounts would meet and perhaps conflict. But in order to conflict, they must meet, and they do not. Darwin does not ask who created species or why but only how they appeared. His answer is evolution by natural selection. Genesis tells us who created (God) and why (goodness) but not how. Oceans of ink have been spilled and wasted on this confusion." (Ch. 9) Thus, since religion and science do not truly overlap, I do not think they are contradictory. Thanks for listening. Peace, Kerri

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