Religion Information


Religion Versus Science: The Truth


I find myself amazed and appalled that such strong antipathy exists in this day and age between non-believes and believers--and between diverse groups of believers--that murder and injustice are perpetrated daily on innocent men, women and children.

Whether Christian, Jew, Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, or any other believer or non-believer, we must know that hatred and intolerance are not God's way, no matter how we may conceive the fact of creation: whether as an Old Testament God or Wrath and Mercy or the Big Bang.

The Truth must encompass it all, not just one aspect which taken as the only truth leads inexorably to suffering. The atheist is right; the faithful are right.

How can that be? The believer can not imagine how the world and all that is in it could possibly come to be without a Divine Being as the cause. Atheists, with their absolute faith in science, are just as sure that the universe was not created by some old guy with a long white beard up in the clouds handing down salvation and punishment. The misunderstanding, I believe, lies in the proprietary nature of creation as seen from different perspectives. We must look for consensus if we are to live together in peace and harmony.

A good attempt at an understanding that both sides might accept has been made by some believes who advance the concept of a Divine Plan or Intelligent Design. In this scenario the universe is thought to have evolved naturally in accordance with what science has discovered since biblical times. Proponents point out that from an ancient perspective it is easy to understand that a god could be imagined to rule from a mountain top or above the clouds--or a devil inside the earth. The whole world at the time ranged from the mountains to the north, the desert to the east, the jungle to the south, the sea to the west and only as high as the clouds or as deep as a well.

However, as accepting of natural laws as intelligent design seems to be, science does concur. The reason is the same one my mother gives when someone says that God didn't create the universe it was created by the Big Bang: Well then who created the big bang? Science cannot accept any system where a divine being is held up as the cause of creation. Creation, to science, just happened.

Fundamentalists find intelligent design just as unacceptable for obvious reasons.

The real truth is we don't know how or why the universe came into being, or even if there was such an event as the big bang much less who or what was behind it. Science is the first to admit that all knowledge is fleeting with new theories replacing the old. The perspective from our vantage point thousands of years later is still far too limited, not much bigger in comparison to what is actually exists than what Abraham believed he heard from G_d back in pre-biblical Ur: that which started us on the road to Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Then did Abraham and others like him throughout history and before actually hear God's words or where they just imagining them? Perhaps a little of both, certainly his comprehension and the words he passed down to us and all the words added since can only be a metaphor for the Truth. Surely, our awareness at this point in our evolution is still too limited still to grasp the magnitude of the Ultimate Truth.

Science too needs to admit its ignorance. True, fossils were not place in the earth by the devil to fool the gullible into believing the world is much older than 6,000 years, or whatever number that misguided cleric worked out by counting the ages of people mentioned in the King James Version. But that does not mean that life on earth came into being by a fortuitous accident involving inorganic chemicals in a primordial soup. And while we almost certainly did evolve from simpler life forms that Evolution is only the mechanism, not the reason we evolve.

If there were no driving force behind evolution we would still be bacteria. Nor does Darwinist survival of the fittest come anywhere close to explaining why we would even want to survive so badly to pass on our genes, why should we care as humans or amebas? The purpose of our survival instinct: the spark of life, the will to not only exist but to transcend. That remains unexplained. No, science needs to look a bit further, a bit deeper.

Religion, however, can be even further off the mark. Taking the words of men-even granting divine inspiration-as literal truth is almost criminal. And if that seems blasphemous, take a look around; take a look at history.

Surely, there is no true and compete belief system to date. If there were, truly the Word of God, we would flock to it, all questions would be answered. We would understand completely. There would be no doubt, no debate. Nor is God testing our faith in the way many believe. He doesn't have to. We are his children, if only metaphorically, and he knows exactly what we are about even if we do not.

To find the truth-limited as it is--look to the Bible and the teachings of Christ, Mohamed, Buddha, and Moses (to name but a few of our past spiritual teachers) for their underlying universal truths.

First, that we are here and somehow created in the image of God--or in non-secular terms, a product of the unfolding of the Universe in accordance with physical laws. We don't know why. Anyone who says they do is lying or deluded.

Second, there is no evil being battling with God for the souls of men; no devil, living in hell or some such place. That's just a tale to frighten us into submission before the will of corrupt men now and throughout history.

That's not to say that there is not struggle between good and evil-metaphorically speaking, at least.

It is the struggle between the law of the jungle and the law of justice--that which protects all of us from savagery--and the very forces fundamentalist religion tends to unleash that define our polarities. (In scientific terms it might be thought of simply as the balance between entropy and organization, that which seeks to construct and that which seeks to deconstruct.)

Third, the true words of God at the core of all religions are and have always been: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There is no room for hatred or intolerance in the Word of God. Fail to heed these words and delve into a hell of our own making right here on earth. Hear these words and walk the path of righteousness in the light of the Supreme Creator of the Universe, whatever the specific features of your personal belief. We do not know where we are going. We do not know why. We just know how to get there. That's all that matters.

Dennis Maier
DennisM@RENY.net


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Pew Research Center

Key findings on global rise in religious restrictions in 2016 | Pew ...
Pew Research Center
Restrictions on religion increased around the world in 2016, according to Pew Research Center's ninth annual study on global restrictions on religion. This is the ...
Global Uptick in Government Restrictions on Religion in 2016 | Pew ...Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project
Global Religious Freedom Takes Its Biggest Hit in Over a Decad ...ChristianityToday.com

all 7 news articles »


Blood sutra: whatever happened to Buddhism, religion of peace and compassion?
South China Morning Post
Tolerance and compassion may be the qualities most often associated with Buddhism. But Asia has been witnessing a spate of violence as new Buddhist movements emerge across the region based on the idea that the religion is under threat and needs ...



Baltimore Sun

The race and religion bargain in politics
Baltimore Sun
In “The Story of O.J.,” rapper Jay-Z famously examines wealth, fame and race through the character of disgraced former football star O.J. Simpson. The song is a thoughtful and instructive interrogation of a social dynamic familiar to most outsiders in ...



Religion News Service

Oklahoma conservatives' views on medical marijuana evolving
Religion News Service
LINDSAY, Okla. (AP) — Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every political issue. The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President Donald Trump and is ...

and more »


Express.co.uk

Christians are MOST persecuted religion in the world - reveals new report
Express.co.uk
The Pew Research Centre Report, which analysed religious freedom in 198 countries and territories, revealed religious antagonism saw its biggest surge in over a decade in 2016, with Christians and Muslims - followers of the world's two biggest ...

and more »


The Recorder

Upcoming Religion Events: June 23, 2018
Longview News-Journal
Vacation Bible School. Alpine Church of Christ, 610 E. Loop 281 in Longview; 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 24 to 27. Classes for ages 4 through fourth grade. Participants must register at vbspro.events/p/events/alpine2018. Call (903) 758-0161. Calvary Baptist ...
Your Religion News: June 23, 2018The Recorder
Erie-area Religion Calendar, June 23 and laterEllwood City Ledger
Flagstaff Religion NewsArizona Daily Sun
Meadville Tribune -The Keene Sentinel -The Republic
all 116 news articles »


Aiken Standard

FAITH AND VALUES: Is your religion sick?
Aiken Standard
George Gallup, the famous pollster, reported years ago that there is more religion per square inch in America today than ever before in our religiously checkered history. But what kind is it; and is it really good for us? Is it as William James would ...



Religion News Service

Photos of the Week
Religion News Service
(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week's gallery includes images from International Yoga Day, World Refugee Day and more. Officials check an area where mats are laid in ...



Crux: Covering all things Catholic

Study finds mounting global restrictions on religion - Crux Now
Crux: Covering all things Catholic
Government restrictions on religion continued to rise across the globe in 2016, according to a recently released Pew study, which linked the stifling of religion to ...

and more »


Religion News Service

After Canadian court ruling, Christian law school re-evaluates ...
Religion News Service
(RNS) — Days after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the accreditation of a Christian university's proposed law school, school leaders said they are ...
GIESBRECHT: Freedom of religion disappearing in Canada ...Winnipeg Sun

all 8 news articles »

Google News

home | site map
© 2007