Philosophy and Religion. Arts & Sciences in the disciplines of philosophy and religious studies accessible to students of many interests. Philosophy helps provide ethical accountability for science projects. disciplines in relation to religion, but with the birth of empirical science in the renaissance of the great cosmic Brotherhood - the great brotherhood of the children of God. What is the relation between the mind and the body? What is the Students of philosophy learn to think critically and clearly, argue forcefully, and read carefully. society and culture; issues in religion and science, including the psychology of religious experience; religion in literature and the arts; religious morality;.
It was in the 17th century that the concept of "religion" received its modern shape despite the fact that ancient texts like the Bible, the Quran, and other sacred texts did not have a concept of religion in the original languages and neither did the people or the cultures in which these sacred texts were written. Throughout classical South Asiathe study of law consisted of concepts such as penance through piety and ceremonial as well as practical traditions.
Medieval Japan at first had a similar union between "imperial law" and universal or "Buddha law", but these later became independent sources of power. Christianity accepted reason within the ambit of faith. In Christendomreason was considered subordinate to revelationwhich contained the ultimate truth and this truth could not be challenged.
Even though the medieval Christian had the urge to use their reason, they had little on which to exercise it. In medieval universities, the faculty for natural philosophy and theology were separate, and discussions pertaining to theological issues were often not allowed to be undertaken by the faculty of philosophy.
It was an independent field, separated from theology, which enjoyed a good deal of intellectual freedom as long as it was restricted to the natural world. In general, there was religious support for natural science by the late Middle Ages and a recognition that it was an important element of learning.
With significant developments taking place in science, mathematics, medicine and philosophy, the relationship between science and religion became one of curiosity and questioning.
Renaissance humanism looked to classical Greek and Roman texts to change contemporary thought, allowing for a new mindset after the Middle Ages. Renaissance readers understood these classical texts as focusing on human decisions, actions and creations, rather than blindly following the rules set forth by the Catholic Church as "God's plan.
Renaissance humanism was an "ethical theory and practice that emphasized reason, scientific inquiry and human fulfillment in the natural world," said Abernethy. With the sheer success of science and the steady advance of rationalismthe individual scientist gained prestige. This allowed more people to read and learn from the scripture, leading to the Evangelical movement.
The people who spread this message, concentrated more on individual agency rather than the structures of the Church. It teaches people to be satisfied with trivial, supernatural non-explanations and blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we have within our grasp.
It teaches them to accept authority, revelation and faith instead of always insisting on evidence. Because of this both are incompatible as currently practiced and the debate of compatibility or incompatibility will be eternal. Stenger 's view is that science and religion are incompatible due to conflicts between approaches of knowing and the availability of alternative plausible natural explanations for phenomena that is usually explained in religious contexts.
Carrollsince religion makes claims that are not compatible with science, such as supernatural events, therefore both are incompatible. According to Dawkins, religion "subverts science and saps the intellect".
According to Renny Thomas' study on Indian scientists, atheistic scientists in India called themselves atheists even while accepting that their lifestyle is very much a part of tradition and religion. Thus, they differ from Western atheists in that for them following the lifestyle of a religion is not antithetical to atheism. EllisKenneth R. MillerKatharine HayhoeGeorge Coyne and Simon Conway Morris argue for compatibility since they do not agree that science is incompatible with religion and vice versa.
They argue that science provides many opportunities to look for and find God in nature and to reflect on their beliefs. What he finds particularly odd and unjustified is in how atheists often come to invoke scientific authority on their non-scientific philosophical conclusions like there being no point or no meaning to the universe as the only viable option when the scientific method and science never have had any way of addressing questions of meaning or God in the first place.
Furthermore, he notes that since evolution made the brain and since the brain can handle both religion and science, there is no natural incompatibility between the concepts at the biological level. He argues that leaders in science sometimes trump older scientific baggage and that leaders in theology do the same, so once theological intellectuals are taken into account, people who represent extreme positions like Ken Ham and Eugenie Scott will become irrelevant.
Conflict thesis The conflict thesiswhich holds that religion and science have been in conflict continuously throughout history, was popularized in the 19th century by John William Draper 's and Andrew Dickson White 's accounts. It was in the 19th century that relationship between science and religion became an actual formal topic of discourse, while before this no one had pitted science against religion or vice versa, though occasional complex interactions had been expressed before the 19th century.
If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule. By Galileo went to Rome to try to persuade Catholic Church authorities not to ban Copernicus' ideas. In the end, a decree of the Congregation of the Index was issued, declaring that the ideas that the Sun stood still and that the Earth moved were "false" and "altogether contrary to Holy Scripture", and suspending Copernicus's De Revolutionibus until it could be corrected.
Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves. He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions. The Church had merely sided with the scientific consensus of the time. Only the latter was fulfilled by Galileo. Although the preface of his book claims that the character is named after a famous Aristotelian philosopher Simplicius in Latin, Simplicio in Italianthe name "Simplicio" in Italian also has the connotation of "simpleton".
Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings. Graylingstill believes there is competition between science and religions and point to the origin of the universe, the nature of human beings and the possibility of miracles  Independence[ edit ] A modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as " non-overlapping magisteria " NOMAis that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-exist peacefully.
Stace viewed independence from the perspective of the philosophy of religion. Stace felt that science and religion, when each is viewed in its own domain, are both consistent and complete. In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Scientifically based observations or experiments that conflict with an explanation eventually must lead to modification or even abandonment of that explanation.
Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities.
Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to put science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist. He views science as descriptive and religion as prescriptive. He stated that if science and mathematics concentrate on what the world ought to be, in the way that religion does, it may lead to improperly ascribing properties to the natural world as happened among the followers of Pythagoras in the sixth century B.
Habgood also stated that he believed that the reverse situation, where religion attempts to be descriptive, can also lead to inappropriately assigning properties to the natural world. This view of science, here labeled as a fiction, has come under increasing criticism in the last two decades.
Relationship between religion and science - Wikipedia
Two of the leading critics are Michael Polanyi and T. Kuhn's work will serve as the model of criticism of this view labeled "scientific fiction. A paradigm is a model or pattern. A paradigm means also an understanding of a particular set of events, facts, or problems. Before a paradigm begins or is completed, only a set of unrelated problems or questions are in existence.
Gradually an understanding of these problems emerges around a particular viewpoint and a paradigm is born. The paradigm gains its status because it is successful in solving problems that the researchers are regarding as acute. It may not solve all the problems, but a paradigm does at least three things: Many instruments of science would not exist if a different paradigm had been held.
Once a paradigm comes into being, people are recognized by their adherence to it. Those who cling to older or different paradigms are "simply read out of the profession, which thereafter ignores their work. Those unwilling or unable to accommodate their work to it must proceed in isolation or attach themselves to some other group. Normal science is resolving problems within the paradigm, not creating new paradigms. New paradigms only arise when increasing dissatisfaction arises over the old paradigm's inability to solve certain problems.
Science is puzzle-solving within the paradigm. Kuhn notes, "Once a first paradigm through which to view nature has been found, there is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself. Since a paradigm is a certain way of looking at the world, a paradigm will enable one to see things he would not otherwise see.
A layman looks at a chair without the paradigm of science and sees a hard piece of metal or wood. A physicist may look at the chair and through the help of the paradigm "see" the atomic structure of the chair involving a lot of empty space of the atomic nature of the chair. Without the paradigm the physicists could not reach that viewpoint.
The crucial implications of this change of paradigm, or no paradigm, is seen in Kuhn's statement: As a result, the reception of a new paradigm often necessitates a redefinition of the corresponding science. Some old problems may be relegated to another science, or declared entirely unscientific. Others that were previously non-existent or trivial may, with a new paradigm become the very archetypes of significant scientific achievement.
And as the problems change, so, often, does the standard that distinguishes a real scientific solution from a mere metaphysical speculation, word games, or mathematical play. The empirical becomes important within the paradigm, and in establishing the paradigm once the rationality of the paradigm is conceived.
One other charge of Kuhn is that science known for its insistence on the facts, actually goes out of its way to twist the facts.Existentialism: Crash Course Philosophy #16
This is noted on the use of textbooks as a method of teaching the profession of science. Kuhn noted The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of others sorts. This creates the impression that science is a cumulative effort, rather than one related to revolutionary changes in paradigms, which is the actual historical fact.
The cumulative appearance is wrong, argues Kuhn, for many of the "puzzles of contemporary normal science did not exist until after the most recent scientific revolution. Very few of them can be traced back to the historic beginning of the science within which they now occur.
Hence there is a problem of objectivity. A better substitute term is probably inter-subjectivity in which one person follows another person's thinking, agreeing or disagreeing because their views make more sense in interpreting the present problems, puzzles, and questions about the world. But a new paradigm may be in the making to bring about a different and presumably better understanding. Science has maintained for itself the image that it has no presuppositions, that it begins with work on the raw materials of nature and the universe.
In contrast to other studies, particularly religion, science has viewed itself as asking no sacred beginning points. This is a fiction, or a myth. It is false and misleading. Instead, science requires--as does all disciplines--presuppositions. What is a presupposition? There are different words used by different thinkers.
Some speak of presuppositions, others of assumptions, still others of principles or premises. We draw no lines of distinction between these terms for our purpose here.
There are different kinds of suppositions and some of them are more debated than others. It is important to know that if presuppositions are changed, the interpretation of the data studied will also be changed. Survey the brief list that Conant describes as "common-sense assumptions. We assume the existence of other persons. We assume we can communicate with other persons. We assume a three dimensional existence of objects.
We assume the existence of objects independent of the knower. We assume the uniformity of nature. We assume the reproducibility of phenomena. The assumption of the uniformity of nature is debated in contemporary literature. Many others argue against the premise of the uniformity of nature. But even when it is rejected something else is put in its place. Stephen Toulmin rejected the principle and declared, "So it is not Nature that is Uniform, but scientific procedure; and it is uniform only in this, that it is methodical and self-correcting.
During Galileo's time it was assumed that the universe could be understood in mass-in-motion terms "governed by laws of mathematical dynamics. No one knows what the future may bring in new world-view presuppositions. Having talked about the importance and place of presuppositions let us turn to examine some types of presuppositions. Presuppositions basic to knowledge. Reciprocal communication can take place 4. Nature exists independent of the mind 5. Discourse depends upon forms of logic Type II.
Additudinal presuppositions necessary for continuing development of science. The desire to observe, organize, measure, and experiment is vital to science.
Science, Art, Religion: The Role of Speculative Philosophy in the Adventure of Rationality
The activities described in II. In the pursuit of discovery, men must make choices and the choices determine the knowledge he may or may not derive. The scientific endeavor depends upon the integrity and honesty of the scientist.
Presuppositions concerning nature and methodology. Nature is real, not an illusion. There are orderliness and regularity in nature. Nature is understandable, and knowable.
Nature can be expressed in mathematical terms. Measuring something gives us knowledge of that item. Natural laws are not affected by time.
Space is infinite or finite. The four types of presuppositions listed above bear some comment. Types I-III can be accepted without much difficulty though one may find people who have questioned and rejected some of them. Type IV relates to the theoretical dimensions of science. The I-Believe statements relate to views that are not established firmly in science.
As an example, George Gamow advocated a "big bang" theory of the origin of the universe. Fred Hoyle advocates a "steady-state" view. Each bases his views on data, reasoning, and each has his supporters. Their conclusions are not irrational, although they oppose one another. Their conclusions are probability conclusions. But their views are categorized as an I-believe position because they are not firm as an accepted law in science.
A fifth category might be listed in terms of generally accepted laws of science. The first three types of presuppositions seldom receive much consideration from men of science. Philosophers of science are often interested in category III. The fourth type relates to that dimension of science that is yet up for grabs, as it were, or always open to question.
It is an area that lacks finality. There are two basic conclusions to be drawn from the list of presuppositions. First, the myth or fiction that science has no presuppositions is false. Science, as well as any other study, has many presuppositions. Second, changing presuppositions makes a change in the treatment of data. The change of presuppositions affects the conclusions drawn from the same data. There is a small controversy that will illustrate the significance of presuppositions.
Critics of evolution argue that present biological theory is based on slow, small, almost imperceptible views of change. If life changes so slowly in its development it requires up to 2 billion years to explain.
These critics of evolution suggest that another model be used, a paradigm of catastrophism, or great cataclysmic changes that require little time to explain. One paradigm makes the world billions of years old, the other paradigm makes it quite young. Each paradigm attempts to use the same data as the other, but the presupposition, or model, or paradigm used to interpret the data leads to different consequences.
Consequently, presuppositions are important to know. Different kinds of history are written on different types of presuppositions. Different kinds of psychology arise out of different presuppositions.
Presuppositions are important and should not be avoided. Man must order his life another presupposition and make sense out of the universe. Life becomes easier if we are aware of the presuppositions from which we and other people operate. The real clashes in disagreement in many disciplines are clashes based on presuppositions that differ.
Then some presuppositions are better than others. Some are too reductionistic. Others ignore part of men's existence as a total being.
Resolution of differences have to take place in the larger setting of man's rationality. In summary, we have looked at the methods of science, some fictions associated with science, and presuppositions needed for the progress of science, as well as criticisms related to these topics.
We are now turning to the second heading of our chapter, Philosophy. Philosophy The second part of our chapter title, Philosophy, may appear to be short-treated. The brief treatment may give the impression that philosophy is not important. The reader must keep in mind that the total book is related to philosophy, its problems, issues, and answers. With this in mind we can turn to the two relationships. The early philosophers were the first scientists. Thales seems to have been one of the first to combine an interest in science and philosophy.
Other philosophers, Anaximander, Anaximens, and others, followed in their attempt to understand the world. Eventually philosophy was baptized into the Christian tradition and one of the earliest to synthesize these studies was Clement of Alexander, and later Origen. Yet later a close relationship existed in which theology was regarded as the "queen" of the sciences and philosophy as a subordinate step-child.
With the coming of the enlightenment, philosophy separated itself from its close relationship with theology and eventually committed itself to the new science that was emerging from its domain.
So today we can say that philosophy secures much of its intellectual building material from the sciences. For better or worse, some philosophers will not speak on certain issues until science has spoken. Others will not speak unless there is a precedent for verifying their remarks by means of some scientific method.
But the influence of science on philosophy has not brought unanimity by any means to philosophy or science. Some may argue whether psychology is a science, but it serves as an example of a discipline appealing to the methods of science.
However, psychology has within its fold a number of competing schools. In the more traditional sciences, the "hard sciences," there are sufficient "I-believe" statements that affect world-views.
Examples of this would be accepting or rejecting the indeterminacy principle, or the second law of thermodynamics. Here a philosopher can pick and choose according to his mind set. Just as there are myths or fictions in science and religion, it is true in philosophy.
Most philosophers would like to be thought of as even-minded, open, tolerant people. Unfortunately, there are no completely objective philosophers, who arrive at the ungarnished truth without biased beginnings. The philosopher is a bundle of attitudes, rebellions, sensitivities, biases, moral failures, and criticism by the time he arrives at philosophy and begins to formulate his own views.
Rather than starting from "scratch" in discussing the limitations of philosophy, its lack of method, the problems with the scientific methods, or alternative world views, he may seek material to support his own intellectual idiosyncracies. In many cases he may regard his view as the "objective" one while opposing views are nothing more than sentimental nonsense. There may appear a strong urge on the part of a philosopher to appeal to scientific beliefs as a basis of undergirding his own philosophical viewpoint.
An example of this is Corliss Lamont who appeals uncritically to evolutionary theory and writes that science has proven that God did not create the world.
- Relationship between religion and science
- Religion and Science
Because evolution is proven by science, therefore, humanism--Lamont's philosophy, is a proven philosophy. Philosophy may appeal to science both for facts and a "snow-job.
Academic disciplines are often narrow with such divisions as biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, and others. It is only in recent times that cross-disciplines research has been stressed. We can now speak of a bio-chemist, or an astro-physicist. Philosophy is interested in all of these areas at those points which information relates to a comprehensive view of reality.
Unless philosophy is geared to a rejection of metaphysics, or the study of reality, philosophy seeks information from the sciences to be the building blocks of its world-view. Philosophy and science differ in another regard. We have seen that science, as science, is a-moral. As a scientific endeavor, a scientist is only interested in building a better hydrogen bomb.
His role as a scientist cannot dictate how this product is to be used. He may violently oppose war as a private citizen, but he does it on other than scientific grounds. Thus many types of philosophies take up where science has to stop, namely the area of people and values. Philosophy is concerned, in many ways, with values, and values are not generally related to scientific methods. Philosophy and science also part company regarding a method. Science prides itself on its method of investigation.
Philosophy has no method of its own. Some philosophers have smarted under this lack and have renounced the traditional interest of philosophy and metaphysics for the advocacy of a method for philosophy, namely, language analysis.
Not only does this limit philosophy greatly, but the interest attached to the traditional philosophical questions is transferred to other disciplines, religion, psychology, or psychiatry. As for science, it pays little attention to philosophy.
Since the days of Hume, "the fashionable scientific philosophy has been such as to deny the rationality of science. In a word, then, every effect is a distinct event from its cause. Some variant of Hume's philosophy has generally prevailed among men of science. But scientific faith has risen to the occasion, and has tacitly removed the philosophic mountain. What reasoning it has wanted, has been borrowed from mathematics which is a surviving relic of Greek rationalism, following the deductive method.
In other words it has never cared to justify its faith or to explain its meaning; and has remained blandly indifferent to its refutation by Hume. The religious matrix for the birth of science is especially significant in spite of the traditional warfare of science and religion. The enmity of blood brothers is often serious and deep, but the two need each other. Some philosophers are sympathetic to the issues in religion. But the present climate is perhaps one in which religion is regarded by many philosophers as a bag of pseudo-questions and answers.
Religion often looks upon philosophy as a prodigal son at best and an atheistic antagonist at worst. Nevertheless, both disciplines have much to offer each other when dialogue is taken seriously.
This is particularly true in the area of metaphysics, or the nature of reality. Philosophy, building upon knowledge of reality drawn from science, is directed to the conclusion that reality is physical, atomic, chemical, or electric, etc. While this is meaningful knowledge, it is a restricted type of knowledge. Suppose that the basic fact of reality were person or spirit. Philosophy directed by science would have no method now of coming to that knowledge. If the whole of man is more important than his components, we have to think in terms of persons rather than electrons, chemicals, etc.
If there is another dimension to reality other than the scientific, religion may offer a key to knowing about it. Our most meaningful knowledge about other persons comes through self-revelation, not empirical investigations. Our investigation on the body speaks little about the person. Likewise, if we are to know anything about God, the most meaningful knowledge will come through self-revelation. Only God can speak for God.
This is a prime idea in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. There is a quality of reality transcending the physical which is the cause of the physical. God as creator is known because of self-revelation. The idea of the Incarnation--God became man in Jesus Christ--sets forth an understanding of reality which science cannot deal with, nor philosophy achieve in its own right.
Science and philosophy have neither the method or the general desire to deal with these kinds of religious issues. But religion poses a solution for an understanding of reality that transcends both disciplines. Philosophy and religion have something in common in the matter of a method. Philosophy has no method, and religion has no method of searching out God. Philosophy professes to receive information from science, and religion professes to receive in terms of God's self-revelation.
Philosophy may reject a relationship to religion. It may accept either atheism or a rationalistic theism, or some hybrid. Yet in a positive way, philosophy and religion may be regarded as complementary. Paul Tillich wrote of this: Philosophy is that cognitive endeavor in which the question of being is asked. The question of being is not the question of any special being, its existence and nature, but it is the question of what it means to be. Philosophy asks the questions about the meaning of being, and religion, depending on the realm of the question, gives a transcendent answer.
This would appear only possible when religion is admitted as having the revelation of God. In summary, the relationships between philosophy and science, philosophy and religion, have been changing through the centuries. There is no reason to believe that things will be different in the future. We must not be deceived by these relationships. Philosophy is not science, nor religion. Religion is not science nor philosophy.
Each has its own way of looking at the world. Philosophy is concerned with criticism, questioning, doubting, examining, and Socrates is the prime example in this area. Philosophy makes its case primarily on the ground of reason. Philosophy, unlike religion which takes its source in authority of Scripture, takes its case to the high court of reason. All questions, even unanswerable ones, are treated from the standpoint of reason. Religion in this context of science, philosophy, and religion is predominantly a relation of western thought.
Consequently, we are thinking primarily of the Judaeo-Christian influences rather than dealing with all religions. There is no single definition of religion that will fit all religions. What must be undertaken is the definition of a particular religion. Even this is not without its critics. Our example in this context reflects biblical theism rather than institutional organizations, denominational biases, or rituals. What we aim for is Biblical religion without the trappings of cultural conformity or innovation through different periods of its history.
Beneath the veneer of present Christianity, there yet stands the Bible, often ignored, demythologized, or relativized. No defense is made of many practices, failures, or distortions of various Christian movements. One should frankly admit that religion in general and Christianity in particular has a history, at times, that is morally shameful. Moreover, religion has been and will yet be used by men who are unscrupulous, greedy, and selfish. Pascal noted that "men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious convictions.
The Christian claim or view of religion is that God has spoken of Himself, revealing himself as a person in many ways to many people, but in a pre-eminent way in Incarnation. Christians claim that they have an answer to some problems or shortcomings of science and philosophy when it comes to a certain type of knowing about the nature of reality.
Some religions speak about the nature of reality but their claim of knowledge is based on intuition, or inner meditation. Christian faith involves the claim of a different approach--God's self-revelation. Without the event of self-revelation, there can be no meaningful knowledge of God. A purely rational approach to ultimate reality gains little. Intuition or inner meditation does not get beyond man's psyche. Without the idea of self-revelation, we can argue for God who is a conclusion, an abstraction, or an impersonal force, or an It.
But none of these things can speak. If God is an It, it might be possible for man to know God, but not for God to know man. But persons speak and reveal themselves. If this claim is true about God, then it has a dimension for metaphysics that overcomes some of the limitations of science and philosophy in their search for total reality.
There are some fictions or myths perpetuated about religion that need some measure of exposing. It is imagined that primitive man was frightened by some phenomena of nature, perhaps lightning, and came to attribute the forces of nature as some form of punishment by an angry god.
Religion thus began with fear, or in the attempt to placate the anger of the displeased god. One must consider two beginnings of religion. The first beginning relates to prehistoric man. How primitive or prehistoric man began to be religious is unknown.
There are no written records of that beginning. One may just as well conclude that his religion began because he knew God directly, or because he had a sore toe, or whatever. Without records, anybody's theory is as good as anyone else's.
As long as evidence is not possible the myth cannot be disproven, nor can it be proven. The second beginning of religion that is more important concerns the historic religions. Certainly Christian faith did not begin in fear, nor did Islam or Judaism. There is another wrinkle in the statement worth pursuing.
Grant for the sake of argument that religion did arise from fear. Does this mean that it is nothing more than a projection of man's psyche? Is religion therefore not related to a transcendental reality?
Even on these grounds, one might draw an analogy from mathematics in which case mathematics is a pure creation of the mind, but it corresponds to the reality outside of one's mind. It might be argued that man had an adequate cause for postulating a deity.
Instead of projection of purpose on the world about him, man recognizes rather the purpose and design of the world. This kind of argument could probably be held equally as well as the "all-religions-arose-from-fear-idea" but it too lacks pre-history documentation. As far as primitive man goes, we are really left with two alternatives: This fiction implies that religion uses reasoning for its proof rather than turning to "things" that can be manipulated, and in the case of experiments, reproduced.
It is true that religion does not deal in things.
But one may argue for a reproducibility of experiences.