Monday Personal Log

Warning! Content May Disturb Some Readers: Monday’s Personal Log 7

This week I am throwing caution to the wind and allowing some rather controversial content on my blog. Just FYI and please remember to be polite and respectful if you feel the need to comment. I will be patrolling the comments rigorously.

I am not big on socio-political-theological controversy in general, but since I have a review scheduled that could be controversial, I decided to just go ahead and get it all out there this week. So in the theme of this week, I’m going to speak from my heart today about something that really pisses me off.

scivsrel

Science and Religion

Before they started waxing theological, I loved keeping up with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. In fact, I still do keep up with them and I really try to just ignore their jibes at religion–well, not all religion, just one religion in particular.

The reason why it pisses me off that they have taken it upon themselves to lead people away from religion is because they try to make science replace religion thereby making science itself a religion. Don’t they understand the difference between the two?

Science defines the universe through human interaction with it. We observe this universe and all that is in it and try to explain how it works. We create laws that help us define this place and help us understand what we are looking at. We experiment, observe, fail, and redo in order to get to the ends of the universe and it’s beginnings. Theory and law go hand in hand to give us a working cosmological understanding.

Religion does not and was never meant to do what science does. Science defines this universe–religion gives it meaning. Religion gives us hope for a future when we look out into the cosmos and feel insignificant. Religion looks behind us and gives meaning to the lives that come before ours in the evolution of our planet. Religion is meant to give hope, encourage love, build trust, strengthen faith–these qualities of humanity that cannot be so helpfully defined by science as with religion.

The two, Science and Religion, have never been at odds within me. I love learning about this universe and all that is in it, and I do that best when I address both my scientific curiosity and my faith in God. Sometimes I look out into the past and future of our planet and I wonder at the beauty of it, how complex and organized it seems, and my faith is built up; sometimes I look out into the past and future of our planet and I see the chaos and violence and I wonder at how we came to be; but I never feel out of place in either state, because to me Science and Religion are two sides of a coin–the one undefined and useless without the other.

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17 thoughts on “Warning! Content May Disturb Some Readers: Monday’s Personal Log 7

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the candid view you presented here! Perhaps because I agree with it? LOL, on the whole, I think [personally] they are exactly the same thing, but using two different languages to present their cases; while one cater for emotional well being, and the other for intellectual wellbeing.
    Like you, I believe the one cannot flourish without the other. we need stability and balance in both those aspects… Thus we need to learn and understand both languages in order to form a central platform for interaction and communication.
    Some feel the need to choose, and that is their prerogative – but if you are going to ram a fist full of believes down my throat, I’m going to gag, spit up and probably fight the violation with every fiber of my being.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. I couldn’t agree more. When the topic is only ever framed as “Science versus Religion,” people feel compelled to have to choose a side. But it’s a false binary. Science is concerned with questions of “how” and religion/spirituality/mysticism with questions of “why.” Even Carl Sagan, who’s such a darling of the atheist movement now, articulated this when he talked about science and religion as two separate “magisterial spheres.” People: these things are not in conflict with one another, and please don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise. Science is wonderful and we’re blessed to live in an era when we can benefit from its fruits, and yes, religion has often overreached over the centuries in trying to provide answers to scientific questions. But at the heart of all religions are the profound spiritual experiences humans have had for thousands of years, experiences that connect us to something bigger than ourselves.

    Seriously, I could talk about this all day. Thanks again for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree whole-heartedly. I’m so glad to know I am not the only person with this opinion! Too many times one or the other tries to re-read, as you said, and it doesn’t work. Both have a wonderful function in this world and I’d like to see each flourish within the boundaries of their function.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Myself, I’m an atheist. My husband is agnostic. We’re raising our son to question and choose his own path. We also teach him not to ridicule other people’s beliefs. We live in Toronto where there are many different religions, not just Christianity.
    The only time I have an issue with religion is when it tries to replace science. Taking certain writings as literal fact bothers me and not just the bible, although that is what we hear about the most.
    If more people could see that they can exist side by side without exclusion, it would be a wonderful thing. I’ll probably always still be an atheist, though, because that is my belief system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Atheism doesn’t bother me in the least so long as I’m given the same respect 🙂 I don’t have the capacity to exclude anyone from my life because of different theistic ideologies. Some of my closest spiritual sisters have been Muslim and Hindu. And yes, inclusion is a wonderful thing. I think that we find more strength and knowledge in the tension of our differences than in the unity of our agreements. I’m all for unification so long as we don’t all become clones, haha.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Awesome post!!! 🙂 I agree with what you said, and I’m speaking as an agnostic. I’ve studied multiple branches of science, and am continuing my studies now in graduate school. One of the most basic tenets of scientific study, all scientific study in all branches, is that if you can’t disprove it then it is possible.

    The preponderance of evidence, now at this moment in time, may indicate a certain answer to a question, and we may use that answer as a working hypothesis. That answer may be accepted by nearly every expert in the field as the correct answer, and we may base inventions, calculations, and new experiments on the premise that the answer we have is correct. However, all of this has to be done with the understanding that the answer may change based on new evidence we acquire in the future. We, at this moment, do not have the ability to see the future, so we don’t know what new information will be available to us.

    So, under the scientific method, we can use hypotheses that have repeatable evidence to support them, but we can’t say, beyond any doubt, that they are correct. They may be accepted and used, and that’s fine once they’re supported by sufficient evidence, but there is always the possibility they may be disproved in the future. Sir Isaac Newton told us that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, now, with new information brought to light from the study of quantum particles, we know that ain’t necessarily so.

    The history of the development of science is filled with such examples. It’s always struck me as the height of arrogance, not to mention sloppy science, to assume one can know that there is no deity of any kind. Since it’s impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist, you can’t discount the possibility, scientifically speaking. Now if someone chooses to operate under the working theory that there is no God or deity of any kind, that’s their prerogative. What isn’t their prerogative is to ridicule anyone else who chooses a different working theory to operate under. Basically, I’ve typed a very long, rambling comment to say that I think everyone should be free to believe as they choose, and everyone else should respect their right to do so. No one has the right to tell other people what to believe.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you, Jen, for posting this and to the prior commentators for having such an open, refreshing, and balanced point of view.

    I’ve seen the good and bad, hypocritical side of region that goes along the lines of “love thy neighbor, but curse him, if he doesn’t believe as I do.” I’ve seen a few different religions and talked with atheists and agnostics, trying to understand their beliefs and admiring their strong faith in them. I’ve also watched writers’ groups in FB break down into either someone’s personal pulpit or a religious flame war, not so much out of anger, but of passion. Then there is my own experience of feeling like I don’t have enough faith or belief in something I can’t touch or feel. Yet, I know in my heart that there is more to the universe than just what we can perceive by our senses.

    I wish, for me and the rest of humanity, we could find the balance that is stated and embraced here. There is definitely one. It just seems like we don’t have time or chance to find it. Yet, we need to before we destroy ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m not going to state my religion expect to say we are very religious attend church every Sunday with my four very loud kids. My son is 8 and has a brain for science and he loves God. I asked him once if he believed you can religious and love science. He looked at me as if I had grown two heads and announced yes. How can you not look at the world and think it matter just happened? It doesn’t make since everything from the human cell to the grass as a purpose and a reason for being here. That just didn’t happen God created it. God help created me and a doctor God help created helped bring my sister into the world.
    Look at the stars (Than he listed about a dozen things I had to look up myself to see what he was talking about to understand his thoughts.) Science is organized and someone had to organize it.
    Yes I have thought him that God created the world but he can decide what he believes. I believe in evolution because if you look at mankind me have evolved in so many ways. From the ability to go from walking to driving cars. From sailing ships to flying in plans evolution is nothing more than matter finding its way to survive. I believe in Adam and Eve and I believe in evolution. Most people will say they can not coexist but they can in so many different ways. We just need to be opened minded like my 8 year old who tells me all the time he believes he is surrounded by people who love him who he can’t not see.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Science has flaws, and therefore I don’t put 100% faith in it. Science and religion both have their places. Science has done a lot of wonderful things for mankind (vaccines, antibiotics, etc.) and has ended a lot of human suffering. But religion gives a lot of people a moral and philosophical base. I’m not saying that people need religion to be morally upright, but a strong spirituality gives one a sense of “soul” (if that makes sense). And I hope I’m not straying too far off topic, but I don’t think that creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with this. Science is important, understanding our world is important. My hubby is a Brainiac from the planet Smarto… he deals in science, and cold hard facts. His life was not one that let him have faith in anything or anyone. There is no magic for him.

    I had a very different life, I still have faith. I don’t want to know how the magic trick works. I believe in gut instincts, intuition, and that sometimes dreams are more than just random information dumps. I have found a way to combine science and faith, it works for me.

    There is no reason to take jabs at people and their beliefs. We need to live and let live.

    Liked by 1 person

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