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Reasons for the conflict between religion and science.


knyazik
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Yes, Imatfaal, I apologise for always sniping. It must be annoying.

 

But really, this stuff is very naïve. Science has not disproved even one important teaching of religion, and it never will. It's a confusion of territories. Philosophy and metaphysics might refute some of its ideas, even all of then in theory, but the physical sciences do not have the tools.

 

And as it happens philosophy endorses a religious view. The trouble is that it's easy to say 'You're wrong', but to explain the mistakes would take weeks.

 

I'd be happy to mention my blog, where I put my money where my mouth is, but I always feel I shouldn't do this here.

 

Meanwhile, I'd just ask the OP to factor into his religious equations more than Popery and Protestant dogmatism. There is also advaita Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Theosophy, transcendental idealism and so on, all of whom are doing very nicely thank you. The idea that this worldview has been falsified by science is a mistake. Regardless of whether it is true, correct, accurate, as a description of the world, it makes no claims (and never has) that would be inconsistent with current science.

 

To be dismissive of one narrow approach to religion does not work globally. It just addresses one form of dogmatic religion, a form I'd also be happy to see the back of.

 

I was dismissive of the OP because it is clear he is not a student of comparative religion but has a narrow view based on his local form of religion. Or, that's how it seems from here. It is a problem that where people become opposed to religion they also become disinclined to investigate it. Then their critical arguments tend to become toothless.

 

But yes. You're right. I should stop sniping and learn to live with it.

Edited by PeterJ
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Willie - I guess that your post took a lot of time and would say it's well put together. Unfortunately it almost completely misses the mark. Why does nobody bother to research religion properly before writing about it? A mystery. This is not an example of a scientific approach but of a lazy approach taken by many amateur detractors and the odd biologist. Sorry, but not impressed. Get to know your topic before risking writing about it.

do you have any specifics regarding what I am so misinformed on?

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First, let my apologise to the OP. I muddled up who posted what and confused you (Willie) with him at one point.

 

Above you've posted a long post that displays no understanding of religion. It seems to be based on an acquaintance with the public face of the Abrahamic religions, but never seems to get past the Dawkins level of research. I won't quote since the whole thing is a bit weird, but this was not a good start...

 

"Religion is way to explain the natural world in the absence of scientific evidence."

 

We may as well say the same of philosophy, and it would just as untrue. I know that many modern theists despise science, but even they get up every day to be confronted by mountains of scientific evidence. Without it there's nothing to explain. Also, dismissing existential realisations by reference to dopamine levels is no better than simply saying that you don't believe in them, even if it looks like a vaguely more scientific thing to say.

 

The real issue is that religion is judged on most shallow and most easily dismissed forms. Try taking the philosophy of the Upanishads as your target and you'll find your comments no longer make any sense.

 

I'm fine with dismissing much of religion as being dumbed-down for didactic reasons or for easy public consumption, or, as the Rig Veda has it, for the recruitment of large numbers of followers. But as the Rig Veda shows, this form of religion has always been criticised from within religion. Let's criticize it, but let's not imagine this is all of religion.

 

I'm all for scientists coming in and sorting out what is true and false within religion. But all that'll be affected is superficial stuff like what revolves around what or corrections to history. For a real attack on religion we'd have to get to know the doctrine of dependent origination, the doctrine of two truths, the ramifications of nondualism, the logic of absolute idealism, the doctrine of Divine Simplicity, the claim that nothing really exists, the claim that there is no personal or 'intentional' God and many other ideas that are endorsed within religion.

 

After all, if it were as obvious as you say that religion is nonsense then no sane person would give it the time of day.

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Posted Today, 08:50 AM

First, let my apologise to the OP. I muddled up who posted what and confused you (Willie) with him at one point.

 

Above you've posted a long post that displays no understanding of religion. It seems to be based on an acquaintance with the public face of the Abrahamic religions, but never seems to get past the Dawkins level of research. I won't quote since the whole thing is a bit weird, but this was not a good start...

 

"Religion is way to explain the natural world in the absence of scientific evidence."

 

We may as well say the same of philosophy, and it would just as untrue. I know that many modern theists despise science, but even they get up every day to be confronted by mountains of scientific evidence. Without it there's nothing to explain. Also, dismissing existential realisations by reference to dopamine levels is no better than simply saying that you don't believe in them, even if it looks like a vaguely more scientific thing to say.

 

The real issue is that religion is judged on most shallow and most easily dismissed forms. Try taking the philosophy of the Upanishads as your target and you'll find your comments no longer make any sense.

 

I'm fine with dismissing much of religion as being dumbed-down for didactic reasons or for easy public consumption, or, as the Rig Veda has it, for the recruitment of large numbers of followers. But as the Rig Veda shows, this form of religion has always been criticised from within religion. Let's criticize it, but let's not imagine this is all of religion.

 

I'm all for scientists coming in and sorting out what is true and false within religion. But all that'll be affected is superficial stuff like what revolves around what or corrections to history. For a real attack on religion we'd have to get to know the doctrine of dependent origination, the doctrine of two truths, the ramifications of nondualism, the logic of absolute idealism, the doctrine of Divine Simplicity, the claim that nothing really exists, the claim that there is no personal or 'intentional' God and many other ideas that are endorsed within religion.

 

After all, if it were as obvious as you say that religion is nonsense then no sane person would give it the time of day.

 

I will freely admit that my religious knowledge decreases significantly when moving away from the Abrahamic religions. But to say my level of understanding is "Dawkins" level is silly. There is ample evidence from a sociological, psychological, anthropological, and neuroscientific level to address the processes of religion. Religion is not beyond scientific study. That view has been maintained from the perspective that faith does not require proof, and on the surface seems logical. On the other hand, providing evidence for a positive assertion can be measured, while "proving" a negative is much more difficult.

 

My comments are not on one form of dogmatic religion, but on the process of religion.

 

The assertion that philosophy endorses religious view is lacking in evidence. There are a number of philosophical viewpoints that do not in any way support religion.

 

Instead of taking weeks to explain why science, or atheism is "wrong" how about an overview, like the one I provided a few posts above? A sampler if you will.

Edited by Willie71
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Philosophy discovers that all partial metaphysical theories are logically absurd. It is the claim of the esoteric or mystical religious tradition that all such theories are false. Ergo. philosophy endorses religion. Not any old religion, but the religion that was endorsed by Erwin Schrodinger, viz. the perennial philosophy or doctrine of the Upanishads. This is factual information. There is a mountain of evidence and it is easily accessible.

 

I did not say that atheism is wrong. I'm an atheist. It is a mistake to imagine that religion requires theism, and this is what I'm trying to point out. To criticise religion in a meaningful we have to get past the window dressing. I'd join the critics for many religious ideas, especially in the west.

 

Perhaps you're right Willie, and it was rude to compare you with Dawkins. But I see no greater grasp of the issues.

 

Religion is not beyond scientific study, as you say, but it is beyond the natural sciences. All metaphysical issues are beyond the natural sciences, which is why they are metaphysical. Even consciousness is out of reach.

 

I would say more, but not sure what.

 

Personally I find there to be no disagreement between science and religion, only between certain speculative but unnecessary views that clash, like the religious and scientific views held by some people here. I feel the old 'dismiss religion out of hand' approach is becoming a bit dated and holding back progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Might be worthwhile to point out that religion is in conflict with anthing and everything that is not subjected to religion. Religion is even in conflict with itself as can be wittnessed by basic East Vs, West religious doctrines.

 

Behind religion at it's core, you will find Philosophy, behind that you will find metaphysical aspects of orgins. behind Science you will find Philosophy, behind that you will find metaphsical orgins.

 

So the conflicts are not black and white or inherent too..... they are the shadow's of mans involement.

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Might be worthwhile to point out that religion is in conflict with anthing and everything that is not subjected to religion. Religion is even in conflict with itself as can be wittnessed by basic East Vs, West religious doctrines.

 

Behind religion at it's core, you will find Philosophy, behind that you will find metaphysical aspects of orgins. behind Science you will find Philosophy, behind that you will find metaphsical orgins.

 

So the conflicts are not black and white or inherent too..... they are the shadow's of mans involement.

 

 

It seems like a lot of people agree that the differences are made by men involvement, I would thinking from a scientist point of view that it would be really good to quantify it. In effect I'm interested in the history of both science and religion from the point of view of different people that either brought the two closer together, or pushed them further apart. I'm sure there's multiple examples with inquisition, scientology, etc. that people can come up with. If you're up to the challenge please contribute an event, an approximate date, and how it effected the conflict. Thought this would be a stimulating exercise!

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To me the "authority" that the church leans on in establishing what eventually leads to it's conflicts, is the excersie of authority. The church being an outgrowth of devotion to it's jesus, under Emperor Constanine became a figure head of an individual, from Bishop to Pope. Men vested with such power use their authority perversely. With nothing to stop them and with the religious control of the head of the political goverment (Armed forces) the conflict is set. Religion rules in faith and belief to some degree that translate to submission, to that which is close to the height of that belief or faith, that would be Man (Bishop/Pope)

 

When the church sought to alienate it's particular doctrine from that which was it roots (Jewish faith) perhaps that was the first conflict.

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To me the "authority" that the church leans on in establishing what eventually leads to it's conflicts, is the excersie of authority. The church being an outgrowth of devotion to it's jesus, under Emperor Constanine became a figure head of an individual, from Bishop to Pope. Men vested with such power use their authority perversely. With nothing to stop them and with the religious control of the head of the political goverment (Armed forces) the conflict is set. Religion rules in faith and belief to some degree that translate to submission, to that which is close to the height of that belief or faith, that would be Man (Bishop/Pope)

 

When the church sought to alienate it's particular doctrine from that which was it roots (Jewish faith) perhaps that was the first conflict.

 

So what do you think prevented a scientist from acting in a similar way to the figure head you just described. Why didn't aristotle, wind up the people by showing them his discoveries and using them to instill faith in science, and gain control of the masses to gain political power and displace the pope, bishop, or whoever else?

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So what do you think prevented a scientist from acting in a similar way to the figure head you just described. Why didn't aristotle, wind up the people by showing them his discoveries and using them to instill faith in science, and gain control of the masses to gain political power and displace the pope, bishop, or whoever else?

 

Because a scientist is limited to what the evidence tells them, and they aren't the ultimate authority. Somebody with a divine hotline can make almost any sensational claim they need to in order to establish their power or justify their actions. Many ancient rulers claimed to be godly: Bantu, Egyptian, Babylonian, Roman, etc.

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Religion unfortunately tends to attract the morally weak, and those who need to be 'given' a purpose in life.

These people are then easy to control and take advantage of by unscrupulous clergy.

 

Anybody want to buy salvation ?

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Aristotle while being a quasi scientist, was first and foremost an philosopher with a high ranking in the meta-physical. His science stemmed from his understanding of the mysteries, therefore they had no conflict within him. The only measurable/scientific variable I can think of for the conflict of religion and science would be the old adage, So as a man think, so he is" Religion dispenses with thinking for faith/belief, science dispenses with faith/belief in favor for observable facts. the earliest conflict could have been the issue of the world (Earth) being the center of everything, a religious view. whereas science saw it as a part of, not the center of...

 

Those who challenged the church's view were prosecuted and often put to death. While eventually, science established the truth of the argument. This could have been a early warning sign to the church, which caused them to hover over science like fly's hover over garbage, setting the stage for future conflicts.

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Aristotle while being a quasi scientist, was first and foremost an philosopher with a high ranking in the meta-physical. His science stemmed from his understanding of the mysteries, therefore they had no conflict within him. The only measurable/scientific variable I can think of for the conflict of religion and science would be the old adage, So as a man think, so he is" Religion dispenses with thinking for faith/belief, science dispenses with faith/belief in favor for observable facts. the earliest conflict could have been the issue of the world (Earth) being the center of everything, a religious view. whereas science saw it as a part of, not the center of...

 

Those who challenged the church's view were prosecuted and often put to death. While eventually, science established the truth of the argument. This could have been a early warning sign to the church, which caused them to hover over science like fly's hover over garbage, setting the stage for future conflicts.

So why were there no "churches" that used science as the absolute truth and put to death anyone who didn't approve? There has to be a fundamental reason why that never happened because scientists, and minister's/bishops, etc. are both people that have similar strengths and weaknesses and that could exploit other people for their personal gain.

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Religion is not beyond scientific study, as you say, but it is beyond the natural sciences. All metaphysical issues are beyond the natural sciences, which is why they are metaphysical. Even consciousness is out of reach.
That's a bad bet to make. The discovery that issues formerly considered metaphysical had of late come within reach of sufficiently sophisticated natural science has been rmade often enough for its possibility to be a presumption these days.

 

 

Science has not disproved even one important teaching of religion, and it never will.
It has disproved many teachings of several religions that millions of people for thousands of years have been willing to kill each other over .

 

It has provided examples of extensions of capability and visible improvements in people's lives based on principles contradicted by the nearest religion.

 

As Dawkins points out explicitly: the existence of sophisticated religious people and theoretically reasonable religious belief is not a contradiction to his claims and assertions. He's only talking about the mainstream, public, 99% of religion as it exists.

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The reasons for the conflict also include the fact that religion tells lies like this.

https://richarddawkins.net/2014/11/catholic-bishops-in-kenya-oppose-tetanus-vaccine-because-its-population-control-in-disguise/

 

It is despicable to see how people abuse their power to control people. I wonder about this bishop though... Is he really doing this to gain political power. Based on what I saw it is more because he is insanely ignorant, and afraid and therefore passes his paranoia onto other people. This whole part makes me question more the intelligence level of religious leaders, and if there is a way to ensure that it is relatively high. Perhaps better education is the answer... What do you guys think?

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It is despicable to see how people abuse their power to control people. I wonder about this bishop though... Is he really doing this to gain political power. Based on what I saw it is more because he is insanely ignorant, and afraid and therefore passes his paranoia onto other people. This whole part makes me question more the intelligence level of religious leaders, and if there is a way to ensure that it is relatively high. Perhaps better education is the answer... What do you guys think?

The problem is that the church explicitly refuses to accept independent thinking.

So it collects all the people who are unwilling, or unable to think for themselves,- and, since they are all that it has, they make them bishops.

The only way to change this would be for religious groups to admit that they are wrong about many things.

That's not going to happen.

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The reasons for the conflict also include the fact that religion tells lies like this.https://richarddawkins.net/2014/11/catholic-bishops-in-kenya-oppose-tetanus-vaccine-because-its-population-control-in-disguise/

Scientific success decreases the need for faith. If people are worried that disease is regulated by the magic man, that need a hotline to him through the church.

 

Or, it could just be ignorance.....

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  • 1 month later...

It's so peculiar that there has always been a lot of conflict between religion and science. Why do you guys think that is?

Religion doesn't like science because science enlightens people and moves them away from religion. Religion needs to stop science or make science religion friendly. It has succeeded in doing so for thousands of years. If religion does not stop science or fails to make it religion friendly, religion becomes extinct. Religious people obviously don't want religion to become extinct.

Eventually religion WILL become completely extinct and all humanity will embrace science and knowledge and be fully enlightened. Not for a very long time will this happen though.

Religion dominates the 7 billion or so people who live on this planet. There is no room for science without religion at this time.

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