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  1. #1
    Bronze Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    I noticed that most religions that I've been around are against science. Mostly in Christianity. So my question is are most religions anti-science?

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    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Very few religions are actually against science per se. It's mostly institutions.
    Jehova's Witnesses, for instance, see science as a tool to better understand God's creation.
    It's the same for Islam, too.
    Jewish tradition sees science as a tool to carry God's will as well.


    It's organizations that profit from ignorance that are against science in most cases. I'd love to hear about actual religions that refuse science altogether though, and not just the bits and pieces that conflict with their beliefs.

    Historically Shintõ in Japan had tensions with the scientific community a couple of centuries ago but since then has advanced a great deal and some more modern take on local Shintoism reveals that most shintoists equate scientific progress as a better way to understand nature's wonders.

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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean R. R. View Post
    Very few religions are actually against science per se. It's mostly institutions.
    Jehova's Witnesses, for instance, see science as a tool to better understand God's creation.
    It's the same for Islam, too.
    Jewish tradition sees science as a tool to carry God's will as well.


    It's organizations that profit from ignorance that are against science in most cases. I'd love to hear about actual religions that refuse science altogether though, and not just the bits and pieces that conflict with their beliefs.

    Historically Shintõ in Japan had tensions with the scientific community a couple of centuries ago but since then has advanced a great deal and some more modern take on local Shintoism reveals that most shintoists equate scientific progress as a better way to understand nature's wonders.
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    In my experience, religions themselves are anti-science, not just their institutions (provided you could actually separate the two); religions offer alternative ways to explain the world and its phenomena to science, and needless to say, they do prefer their own explanations to science's.
    Last edited by Florenna; 10 Feb 2019 at 09:37.

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    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florenna View Post
    In my experience, religions themselves are anti-science, not just their institutions (provided you could actually separate the two); religions offer alternative ways to explain the world and its phenomena to science, and needless to say, they do prefer their own explanations to science's.
    Would you mind elaborating?
    Historically science was used by very prominent and very religious people to better understand their sacred texts or the wonders of creation.

    In fact, I'd even argue that most of today's western understanding of mathematics, physics, and most other sciences (including medicine, botany, geology, etc.) comes directly from the efforts of very religiously inclined people.

    Most of the time, science and religion are very compatible, as usually they delve into very different levels of explanatory demonstration that are not necessarily contradictory in nature.

    The two most notable's examples are the Islamic Golden Age, for, well, Islam, and from the 17th to the 20th century for Christian scientific development.

    Back in the day, the Jewish people were also extremely kin on scientific development as well. The Greeks also used science, and most prominently geometry, as a way to understand and better appreciate nature and explain religious phenomena (cough, cough, Euclid, cough).

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    Newbie Florenna's Avatar
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean R. R. View Post
    Would you mind elaborating?
    Historically science was used by very prominent and very religious people to better understand their sacred texts or the wonders of creation.

    In fact, I'd even argue that most of today's western understanding of mathematics, physics, and most other sciences (including medicine, botany, geology, etc.) comes directly from the efforts of very religiously inclined people.

    Most of the time, science and religion are very compatible, as usually they delve into very different levels of explanatory demonstration that are not necessarily contradictory in nature.

    The two most notable's examples are the Islamic Golden Age, for, well, Islam, and from the 17th to the 20th century for Christian scientific development.

    Back in the day, the Jewish people were also extremely kin on scientific development as well. The Greeks also used science, and most prominently geometry, as a way to understand and better appreciate nature and explain religious phenomena (cough, cough, Euclid, cough).
    Hmm, I'm not sure what there is to elaborate...? Clearly we disagree about religion and science being compatible (and maybe also have a different idea what is meant by "anti-science"); IMO they are very incompatible, no matter how many religious individuals have used science for their own particular purposes in the past, as you describe... And also they are necessarily contradictory in nature, IMO - to give a most glaring example, either the world was created by a god (as Abrahamic religions would have it) or it evolved via big bang, or some other scientific explanatory model - one can't have it both ways.
    Last edited by Florenna; 14 Feb 2019 at 06:33.

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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florenna View Post
    IMO - to give a most glaring example, either the world was created by a god (as Abrahamic religions would have it) or it evolved via big bang, or some other scientific explanatory model - one can't have it both ways.
    Why not? This is the most hillariously easy contradiction for a theist to solve. Assume God(s) set the initial conditions to produce a big bang in place, authored the rules to make things progress the way he/she/it/they wanted and then hit the play button. You now have God(s) creating the universe via big bang. Sure it doesn't work well if you're a fundamentalist Christian but the Catholic Church seems perfectly content with it.
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean R. R. View Post
    Would you mind elaborating?
    Historically science was used by very prominent and very religious people to better understand their sacred texts or the wonders of creation.

    In fact, I'd even argue that most of today's western understanding of mathematics, physics, and most other sciences (including medicine, botany, geology, etc.) comes directly from the efforts of very religiously inclined people.

    Most of the time, science and religion are very compatible, as usually, they delve into very different levels of explanatory demonstration that are not necessarily contradictory in nature.

    The two most notable's examples are the Islamic Golden Age, for, well, Islam, and from the 17th to the 20th century for Christian scientific development.

    Back in the day, the Jewish people were also extremely kin on scientific development as well. The Greeks also used science, and most prominently geometry, as a way to understand and better appreciate nature and explain religious phenomena (cough, cough, Euclid, cough).
    As a scientist who grew up in a denomination of Christianity that accepted science's explanation of the origin of the universe and the evolution of man and started exploring other religions because of disagreement with the basic claims of its mythos with regard to the state of man and his need for salvation, this.

    I've extensively studied the history of science. Which has pretty much been the history of religion for most of human history.
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    Sr. Member Austin.Apollo's Avatar
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    From my experience Religions love Psychiatry. Religous people will not hesitate to tell you if you need medication and therapy.

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    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Are Most Religions Anti-Science?

    I agree with Sean. It's not the religions themselves that are anti-science, it's institutions. Always has been.

    The church for example used to be the most powerful institution in Europe for centuries, even more powerful than kings. And when people gain power they want to keep it. So if there were people with ideas that threatened the position of the church, they would make sure the threat was removed, using their religion as an excuse.

    The days the church reigned using fear (at least in most countries) are over and people are free to believe whatever they want. Most religious people are ok with science nowadays. But there will always be the silly few who scream "science is the devil" and also believe the Earth is flat and the sun moves around the Earth. Those types usually get more media attention as well, so it might only just seem there's a lot of them.
    Last edited by Eleanor; 10 Feb 2019 at 00:13.
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