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Valenti observes that religion and science are incompatible because it would be unreasonable to compare the claims of modern Christianity and modern science. Based on this, it is clear that tension exists between traditional faith and science.
Although most people attest to the incompatibility and inherent conflict between science and religion, Valenti (2002, p. 55-60) reveals that in reality, the two are objectively compatible because of the uniqueness of their domains. Even Albert Einstein remarked that the two cannot do without each other and hence purification and collaboration is not easy in an environment that is full of hostility, suspicion, and doubts.
The reason for existence of hostility between the two domains is the attempt by religion to purify science, yet a significant number of scientists fail to acknowledge that the interests of humanity are served through unification of truthful conscience and scientific knowledge.
The existing conflict is mainly between believers of religion and followers of science. In the end, some scientists and religious leaders may feel uncomfortable upon the realization that one domain cannot comprehensively address the needs of the other.
Contradictions between Science and Religion
Contradictions between the two domains come about because of an attempt to justify scientific claims over religious principles. If one were to claim that the world is not ten millennia old, then there would be no contradiction between faith and science. Nevertheless, religion always seems to have its way in avoiding the forces of absolute contradiction.
For example, the evil problem is a strong reason for the rejection of convectional atheism. However, one cannot rule out the possibility that the creator permits suffering and evil to achieve some levels of greater good (Dawkins, 1997, p. 7).
According to Paulson, the main sources of incompatibility between the two domains stems from the fact that the methods used in critically evaluating aspects of science are not applicable to supernatural hypotheses and theories (2010, p. 25).
Notwithstanding the aforementioned sources of incompatibility between the two domains, it is important to understand that the two realms are compatible because they both seek to understand the events and objects that we encounter.
The predicament that arises from incompatibility of the two domains is that an individual has the will to accept the hypothesis and theories that are evaluated critically in the scientific field. On the other hand, an individual interjects the supernatural in seeking explanations of particular objects or events.
After ignoring philosophical naturalism during explanation of various instances, one has to accept that the theories that are established in science can violate the religious theories. Nevertheless, because religious theories are not available for critical evaluation, most people see this as acceptance of contradiction.
The contradiction emanates from the introduction of religious theories in explaining objects and events, which translates to suspension of theories in the scientific field. The problem emanating from such contradiction is that if it is left unsolved, it impedes causal understanding (Dixon, 2008, p. 30).
Another source of incompatibility between the two is that a number of scientists generate evil will. These scientists suggest that religion is responsible for softening the brain and prevents people from thinking, which is a tiresome process. This is usually the situation when people live with ethical principles and religious dogma.
Plantinga asserts that just as science, religion promotes rationality and thoughtfulness that is as more orderly as the world that we live in (2011, 45). Similar to unalterable scientific postulations, dogmas and ethical principles do not sway the way of thinking. They help an individual to think in a structured way hence providing everyone with categories that need a deep understanding in daily lives.
Sound principled schooling and spiritual creed provides an individual with indispensable categories that are needed in dialogue, which play a critical role in resolving the problems that all individuals face in all facets of life. These are questions on morality, purpose, and the destiny of humanity. In the words of Ward, religion is a relentless provocation of thoughts (2008, p. 200).
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To move from the suspicion and incompatibility that exists between religion and science is a crucial step in deciphering how science and religion are compatible. The two dominions do not only co-exist peacefully but, according to scientists, they toughen and interrelate with one another.
Stolberg and Teece reiterate that all investigations conducted in the external world should discover the harmony and rational order that God imposes (2010, p. 30). Moreover, this harmony and rational order is revealed using the mathematical language.
Whether Communication Can Eliminate Contradictions
Given the numerous sources of contradictions between science and religion, it is important to note that communication between the two domains is met by serious challenges. The unquestionable dogmas are irrelevant in a world where accepting and understanding scientific ideas is essential because of technology.
Moreover, communication of scientific information and articulation of the areas where controversy is rife presents a responsibility for the scientist. Most of the Americans harbour the notion that technology and science has improved living standards, working conditions, health, and life in general. This is regardless of science knowledge or the religious beliefs that are highly contradictory (Einstein, n.d.).
Draper (2006, p. 15) mentions that communication is not enough to address the differences that exist between the two worlds of religion and science. This is because religion demands relentless faith without any questions. On the other hand, science demands having nothing on faith and rejecting any form of anecdotal evidence.
Because of this realization, it is hard for the opposing disciplines to collaborate in the improvement of understanding and its impact on policy making without undermining the wellbeing of spirituality. Numerous conferences have emerged to discuss the way forward for science and religion.
These conferences assume that religion and science are compatible. In this sense, the dispute is that there exists no inconsistency between the two. Moreover, some uphold that science offers substantiation for the morality of faith in religion.
Before deciding which way forward on the issue of religion and science, it is important to know the sources of disparities between the two. Gould (1997, 16-18) indicates that although religion has coherent theories, the hypotheses are not testable. Hence the evidence for them lacks and religious explanations and cannot
Surviving Scrutiny from the Critics
Sceptics, who see that religion and science cannot relate, focus on the examination of claims that are paranormal. They do not address the allegations made by the beliefs unless such claims experience experiential examination. Humanists, who are secular, wish to address the claims by the religion and test them to the bet of their ability.
In the recent years, the boundary between the religion and the paranormal has become unclear. To analyse meticulously the association between faith and science, there is the necessity to differentiate and define each sphere. Most individuals consider that religion has spiritual truth and the truths are; the truth of faith and science.
The former rises above reason and detail categories while the latter utilizes methodical investigation and the investigation of assert realistically, experimentally, and empirically. Sceptics doubt the claims of the truth of religion (Draper, 2006, p. 89).
The supple means are those that satisfy validation and confirmation standards. Eyewitnesses who are highly dependable and are based on oral customs that are highly dubious confirm disclosure claims in the sacred texts of antique times. The claims that are made in the Quran and the Bible express primitive science and cannot withstand scrutiny by modern scientists.
Inequalities between the two spheres are also entrenched by the fact that some historic faith proponents use their doctrines to stifle or obstruct inquiry by scientists. The free will to query the scientific world is important for the development of people.
Efforts to limit research by scientists are often counterproductive. An illustration of this is the attempt to curb the study on embryonic stem cells on the grounds of religion or morality. This experiment has been deemed immoral and this is reminiscent of how Galileo works were suppressed alongside Darwin’s teachings (Draper, 2006, p. 45).
According to Paulson (2010, p. 45), nothing can foster a good relationship between religion and science. This realization comes in the domain of morality and science. This query is raised as many people are predisposed to harbor the consideration that ethics is the main purpose of religion. The science domain addresses truth while that of religion addresses ethics.
This position is mistaken because there is the need for separation of religion and ethics. This is because the religious leaders do not have the capacity to frame the moral judgement. Science has an immense position to play because it increases the resources that are at our disposal and changes judgement based on the facts and the ramifications.
Many individuals are of the view that there cannot be moral principle that lacks spiritual practicalities. Ever since rebirth, the secularization of ethical issues has been autonomous meaning that they do not relate in any way with the commandments in the bible.
Can Science and Religion be Compatible?
Science and religion can be compatible depending on the meaning of religion. Religious conviction has a very important role that cannot be discharged. Furthermore, the function of religion will persist and cannot be thwarted by the wave of science. Knowledge and faith are both autonomous and in the political sphere, the adherents of religion do not have competence.
In states where spiritual knowledge is followed stringently, the role of hope, narrative, and thoughts ought not to be ignored. This is because the previously mentioned ideas are influential terminologies of human anticipation, imaginings, desires, and thoughts.
Religious thoughts have also been a source of anticipation and comfort. This religious interpretation is a revelation that religion and science are compatible. This is because they address a variety of human needs and interests (Plantinga, 2011).
Science is not merely a way of accepting and opinion but also a way of information that has distinction in its overreliance on testable clarifications and experiential evidence. Because evolution accounts for the events that are also of concern to religion, evolution remains a contentious idea in the society. Recognition of evolution substantiation seems to be a foundation of compatibility with the religion.
Presently, a number of religious denominations have accepted that evolution is the cause of diverse living things witnessed currently. Many writers have subject assertions, which disclose the remark that evolution is well coordinated with some faith doctrines. Scientists and theologians have articulated expressively about their marvel and dread at the life on the planet Earth and the universe.
They explain that there exists no conflict between faith in God and the evolution evidence. Religious groups that do not agree on the occurrence of evolution think that texts in the religious principles experience factual explanation.
The two conflicting domains are founded based on experiences that human beings have on daily basis. In the scientific world, scientific explanations are connected on the evidence adduces from examination of the pure world (Paulson, 2010, p. 67).
Scientific remarks occurring out of tests that are inconsistent with rationalization at the end lead to desertion of the systematic clarification or rejection. In contrast, religious faith does not entirely depend on empirical evidence. In addition, it is not tailored based on contradictory data and concerned paranormal units or forces. Because such bodies are not part of the natural world, they cannot undergo scientific exploration.
In the light of this, faith and knowledge are dissimilar and they tackle the nature of human understanding in a number of ways. Attempts to compare the two against each other evoke unnecessary controversy.
The major assumptions of the philosophical views of Bentham are that the consequences of human actions are the most important in any environment when it comes of evaluating the advantages and the disadvantages of any aspect. In this regard, human beings have to do anything possible to avoid pain and always achieve pleasure or happiness, since this is the ultimate goal of each person in life.
For any action in a business environment, its effects ought to be felt through calculation of the extent of satisfaction. The pleasure or happiness has to be sustained for a long time and it must produce the desired results while at the same time keeping off any form of suffering.
This means that the net value of any human action has to be calculated for it to be determined whether it achieved its objective and goals. When formulating a business policy, the interests of the majority ought to be considered, as individual interests will never bring about satisfaction and pleasure.
On the other hand, duty-based ethics suggest that an individual has to follow certain established rules and regulations mainly because each person has a natural duty to do. Based on this perspective, setting up a dressing code and code of behaviour for employees is justifiable
In short, the modern society is in an era of intense religiosity. The appearance of new divine prototype is a source of contest for faith and scientific naturalism. Most individuals attest to the incompatibility and conflict that exists between science and religion. Nevertheless, some individuals argue that the two domains are compatible because they are unique.
Even revered scientists like Einstein remarked that the two domains cannot do without each other and collaboration cannot be achieved in an environment full of doubts, suspicion, and hostility.
The existence of hostility between religion and science is that religion attempts to purify science. This is notwithstanding that all theories in science have to undergo hypothesis testing. The conflict cannot be solved because of numerous incompatibilities.
List of References
Dawkins, R 1997, Is Science a Religion? <https://thehumanist.com/>.
Dixon, T 2008, Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Draper, JW 2006, History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science, Cosim Inc, New York.
Einstein, A n.d., Prayer; Purpose in Nature; Meaning of Life; the Soul;a Personal God, <http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einprayr.htm>.
Gould, SJ 1997, ‘Nonoverlapping Magisteria’, Natural History , vol. 106. No.1, pp. 16-22.
Paulson, S 2010, Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Plantinga, A 2011, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, Oxford University Press,Oxford.
Stolberg, T & Teece, G 2010, Teaching Religion and Science: Effective Pedagogy and Practical Approaches for RE Teachers, Taylor & Francis, Milton Park.
Valenti, JM 2002, ‘Communication challenges for science and religion’, Public Understanding of Science, vol. 11. no. 1, pp. 57-63.
Ward, K 2008, The Big Questions in Science and Religion, Templeton Foundation Press, Philadelphia.