Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Is Science a Religion?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Neutral Singh, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,009
    Likes Received:
    81
    Yes many of you are probably thinking science is the ultimate antithesis of religion but if you break it all down science shows all the signs of a faith. Like religion science attempts to explain how we got here and how we continue to live (big bang and evolution), how to live (common medicinal practices i.e vitamin intake, diets etc) a baptism of sorts (vaccines and shots during infancy), predictions of future catastrophes similiar to armageddon but without the horesmen.....hehe.(which involve asteroids or other natural or man made destructive forces.) Priests, Sheiks, Rabbis = doctors and scientists. Ten commandments = laws of physics etc. Charismatic figures in religion such as Jesus Mohammed Buddha Nanak... in science Darwin Einstein Mendell. Rituals in religion= scientific method in the lab. Blame for the worlds problems have been placed on both science and religion as well as its saving. These similarities, though many may argue are rooted in different things (science in "fact" and religion in "fantasy") nevertheless are rooted in the same intentions or ideals of the followers of either one. and who is to say it isn't the other way around, that religion is the fact and science is the fantasy, though on paper science may win that war or perhaps not? other similarities... Many Sikh Gurus & Jesus were killed for what they believed and preached, so were many scientists through out the ages.

    All this may seem far fetched to most but consider all these similarities and think of your own ones.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Movies Movie: "The Secret," Fiction, Religion Or Science? Theatre, Movies & Cinema Jul 18, 2013
    Christianity Losing My Religion: Why I'm Raising My Child To Believe In Science, Not God Interfaith Dialogues May 21, 2013
    Harmony in science and sikh religion Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Apr 8, 2013
    Why religion needs science's approval Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Oct 5, 2012
    Yogism Is Yoga Science or Religion? Interfaith Dialogues Aug 10, 2011

  3. Eclectic

    Eclectic
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Does science have to be classified as a religion? I think that both religion and faith should work together as I believe that the purpose of life is to learn and grow. Both religion and science can help us do that. Both of them, if you look deep, ask us to look within ourselves. For religion, it is the soul. For science, the atoms and how they work.
     
  4. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    54
    Dear Neutral Singh ji and Eclectic

    I think you are quite right and i always believed in a fact that science an dreligious effort are in same direction and both have same driving and motivational form and you already have given good examples of that It i sinteresting ti read what the greatest scientist ever belived :

    "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

    "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind

    " The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."

    "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

    God is subtle but he is not malicious."

    God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."

    Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

    "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

    Albert Einstein

    I was really amazed when i found out that and it apeared to me that einstien was amonng the most religious people that existed at That time
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. S|kH

    S|kH
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    29
    lol, did you ever read the mathematics t-shirt, that says,

    "And God said...."
    and then it has like 5 mathematical formulas, and then it says,
    "and Poof! there was light!"

    I always thought that was funny ;)

    Einstein was the man though.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    62
    Religion is something that attempts to describe life and the world around us. Science does this so science is a religion :)

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  7. Eclectic

    Eclectic
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Or is religion science? :D
     
  8. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    Ref; Is Science a Religion
    A very interesting topic indeed.Before the matter is discussed it should be clarified tha tthere is SCIENCE behind everything happening in the UNIVERSE.and that is the science of NATURE itself.
    That is why there is nothing INVENTED ;it is all DISCOVERED only the tools and apparatus are invented to expand the use of what is DISCOVERED from within NATURE.

    IN VIEW OF ABOVE FACTS THE SCIENCE CAN NOT BE REFFERED AS RELIGION'ON THE CONRARY THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANY RELIGION CAN BE BASED ON PRINCIPLES OF SCIENCE OF THE UNIVERSE.AND THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF ANY RELIGION PHILOSOPHY TO BE KNOWN THIS IS GENERALLY NOT UNDERSTOOD BY MOST OF LAYPERSONS BECAUSE THIS IS SCIENCE.

    SO IT IS THE RESPOSIBILTY OF PEOPLE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE TO PUT FORWARD THE CORRECT IDIOLOGY OF ANY PHILOSOPHY.

    I AM HOPEFUL THAT WITH THE CONCEPT OF MODERN PHYSICS THE BASIC FUNDAMENTALS OF PHILOSOPHY OF ANY RELIGION CAN BE INTERPRATED MORE CLEARLY THAN EVER BEFORE.

    With best wishes

    Prakash,s.BaGGA
     
  9. Sinister

    Sinister
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    394
    the question reduced; can you get a feeling of ought from an is?
     
  10. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    SINISTER JI

    I think you are right in your view.I appreciate that

    With thanks

    Prakash.S.bagga
     
  11. fsf

    fsf
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    11
    No, science is a method that is necessarily fallible. Religious inquiry need not be fallible (though it can be). To the extent that the religious inquirer uses the scientific (ie prediction-making, falsifiable, methodologically and ontologically reviseable) method, then their inquiry can be a scientific one.

    Science undergoes radical paridigm shifts, in which the basic terms of a theory have radically different meanings than they did in the old theory. When a religion undergoes a paradigm shift, it becomes a new, different religion. While a paradigm shift in science is certainly a new theory, it is the same science - the same fallible method - being used to explain the world.

    This is not to say that people who don't understand science don't approach scientific facts religiously. They certainly do. We've all met the die-hard internet atheist that is bad at science or doesn't understand that our current science is incorrect (witness the contradictions between QM and relativity). But the fact that some are bad at science and approach scientific consensus (insofar as it exists) religiously instead of as a set of hypotheses that are the best we have (but inadequate) does not imply a conceptual collapse between religion and science.

    Peirce wrote about four methods of inquiry. The scientific method takes the external world to trump all - scientific inquiry constantly revises itself in light of evidence provided by reality. The a priori method theorizes and then tries to fit the data to the theory, instead of the other way around. The method of authority believes whatever an authority says. The method of tenacity believes whatever it believes, just because it believes it.

    (Although I say what follows as if it is the only understanding of Waheguru, I do not believe that. I do not even mean to say that it is the best (or even a good) understanding. It is MY understanding, and I would very much like to be corrected in my understanding where it is flawed, as I am sure it is.)

    Of course, one could apply the scientific method to religion, but that will necessarily limit the ontological import of that religion (see the problematic commitments of Abrahamic traditions, though Maimonides and similar Christian and Muslim thinkers have understood god in less- or non-problematic ways). And this, I think, is why Sikhi is more compatible with contemporary scientific thought than many other religious doctrines. Waheguru is without form, is form itself. Waheguru is rationality as such - the very structure of the universe that allows rational inquirers to cognize it. And Waheguru is beyond this - Waheguru is also the brute fact of uncognizeability, the recognition of the fact that human inquiry is limited, that objects and dogs and other minds and moral laws are theoretical posits we project onto the chaotic and messy world to make sense of it. The possibility of rational structure and the inevitable violation of that structure we call 'Waheguru.' We need not believe in particular immaterial (or material, I suppose) agents that will respond to prayers or create miracles - we just need to believe that the world could make sense. And science is precisely that practice that tries to make sense of the world as it is, on its own terms.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    :welcomemunda: and :thumbup:

    fsf ji

    In my opinion, your thinking about science and religion are super! Maybe one of the best that has been stated in a very succinct way. I disagree with you on a few specifics. They are not worth, again in my opinion, laboring over.

    Thanks. It was an uplifting read for me.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    #11 spnadmin, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  13. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,988
    fsf ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    You write:

    Sikhi is all about learning. Its name dictates that. Its main objective is to go through paradigm shifts. These tectonic plates of understanding in Sikhi keep on shifting to create more understanding in us.

    So, where does your theory stand in Sikhi according to your above definition?

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 5
  14. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Cleverness is not wisdom
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    973
    Great contribution FSF Ji

    I guess one way to look at both is in terms of how one accepts what is truth

    In Science, the emphasis is largely on peer supported empirical evidence/observations

    In Religion, the emphasis is very much on your own evidence/observations through practice

    And as Tejwant Singh Ji has noted, like Science, what you understand to be the truth can change as you continue to learn throughout your lifetime

    Perhaps in that respect then, Sikhi goes beyond some established organised religions that seem to give you everything you need upfront and you are just constantly re-affirming by going through various rituals and ceremonies....or is that too much of a sweeping generalisation!
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. fsf

    fsf
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    11
    Tejwant ji & Seeker9 ji,

    Thank you for your response! I can see a few possible responses to it, but (spoiler alert!) at the end of the day I was wrong.

    First, I could hold fast and say that the type of paradigm shift we see in science isn't present in Sikhi. While we certainly learn new things and correct what we take to be mistaken beliefs, a complete paradigm shift in this technical sense would be something entirely new, something that isn't Sikhi properly-speaking. This new religion would be something where we could see the ways in which Sikhi was right, and it would also let us understand how Sikhi could lead us astray. Our new vocabulary would better describe the world, but would also let us exactly describe just what's wrong with Sikhi. But this response fails. After all, adherents expect that the Sikhi of long study really is a radical rearticulation of the neophyte's Sikhi, and that even though the terms might look the same in each model, the meanings are radically different. Since we certainly want to say that both understandings are articulations of Sikhi (though the wise one corrects and accounts for the errors of the naive one), this response fails.

    The second response would be that Sikhi is unique, and uses a fallible methodology where other religions do not. But surely this is false, too. Naive Christian understandings are radically incompatible with existentialist Christianity, and "Adonai" in storybook Judaism means something far different than "Adoni" on the lips of a negative theologian. So this cannot be right, either.

    A third response (similar to the second) would be that religion proper is practiced non-scientifically, and Sikhi or Buddhism or whatever becomes a sort of interior/spiritual science or something when practiced fallibly. In this case, the practices of Sikhi (and other religions) wouldn't count as religion at all. As they approach science, they become scientific (as opposed to religious) inquiry. This is the direction I'd go if I had to defend my prior view, but I think the violence done to the term 'religion' is probably too much. As such, I think it's best to abandon my prior definition, as it simply doesn't match with what the word 'religion' actually means and how people use it!

    I should have realized this when I said that religion can be practiced scientifically and fallibly, but I did not take the full import of this into account in my definition. If religion can be scientific, then something can be both religious and fallible. This obviously conflicts with my definition of religion as dogmatic, and was a mistake!

    What, then, is the right definition of religion? I very much like the start that seeker9 ji gave us. To alter it a bit, perhaps religion is primarily about the subjective, the internal world as opposed to the external world (that is, all the evidence we have comes from us). Then the difference would be that only we can tell if a set of religious practices is right, because that is indexed to us. In any case, I certainly concede that my previous definition was wrong.

    I think that most of my comments in the prior post can be preserved. Science really IS defined by its methodology, so that part at least was a-ok. There's still a distinction between science and religion, but now there's also room for an overlap of the two, in fallible religious inquiry. Which is much better than what I had before!

    Thank you again Tejwant ji and seeker9 ji for your help in wrestling with this issue and for correcting my mistakes!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. akiva

    akiva Israel
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    153
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    Well, religion is defined as the belief in a supernatural being. Science is a method, one that is based around hypothesis, experimentation, and theory along with numerous other things. All which are based on evidence, that is to say, fact. Science cannot be defined as a religion based on the fact that it tries to explain the origin of the universe and other things you have noted. The reality is that religions make scientific claims, many of which are false (dependent on the religion) and thus those religions contain failed science. Science shouldn't be thought of as an ideology of sorts or even as a group. It is merely a method of observing reality and contriving conclusions from that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. akiva

    akiva Israel
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    153
    Not necessarily. The term has a much wider definition(s) -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion for a good overview.

    Ideally, maybe -- but in reality it has become very much an ideology. Theories that go against the group consensus are often rejected without the evidence being considered.

    (There are a number of accepted theories today that took decades before they would be considered, because they went against the "accepted view" of the time. It took overwhelming evidence before they would even be considered.)

    Akiva
     
  19. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    Right, but you'd agree that the definition of religion is totally different from the definition of science?

    Hmm, would it at all be possible if you could cite some examples of those theories? And also explain what sort of factors, in your mind, have contributed to science becoming more of an ideology and not remaining solely a method?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,988
    Akiva ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for the URLs. In fact anyone can post a list of them along with some books for others to read. If I remember correctly, you wanted to have conversation in this forum.

    So, please start one by sharing your thoughts rather than copying and pasting some URLs. That is the only right thing to do as you initially desired.

    Don't you think so?

    Hope to read your insights for the sake of the conversation that all of us can have and learn through it.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 2
  21. akiva

    akiva Israel
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    153
    At their root both are attempts by man to understand and explain the world around us.

    But, yes, they are different in many ways -- specifically the scientific method.

    A few examples of theories which were rejected at first: Plate tectonics is the classic example. The idea that bacteria cause ulcers. Cold Fusion is another. The use of psychoactive/hallucinogenic drugs in psychotherapy. Sheldrakes work. For that matter, ANY attempt to scientifically explore what's called "fringe science" is almost guaranteed to be professional suicide these days.

    Why the shift? IMO it's because the "Age of Reason" led "Modern Man" to reject the old religions -- but since Man is, at the core of his psyche, a "believing" animal -- we have a genetic need to believe in/be part of something more than ourselves. WIth the rejection of "Religion" that need was filled by the various "isms" of the 20th century (communism, capitalism,environmentalism, etc) and by science.

    Once science is replaced by Scientism it starts becoming a religion -- along with all the personality cults and other "baggage" that religions can have.

    Akiva
     

Share This Page