Inquisitive Part 8 – What’s the purpose? (Science vs. Religion)


Inquisitive Part 8 – What’s the purpose? (Science vs. Religion)

Submitted by admin on Sat, 01/24/2015 – 16:07

Inquisitive Part 8 – What’s the purpose? (Science vs. Religion)

I had some topics slated to discuss next—my views on the Old Testament, the power of story, culture, and what grace/atonement mean to me—but some of my recent posts have touched nerves, both in the comments and in offline conversations. I love it actually, because it forces me to think and evaluate. Dialogue prompts me examine different perspectives, especially when points are as valid as the ones my friends raise (you know who you are). I also see that where people get passionate, it’s usually because of intensely personal experiences. Where people get angry, it’s usually because they’ve been hurt. In other words, we each come by it honestly.

So I’d like to shift gears and discuss why I think much of the science vs. religion debate is unnecessary.

Let’s start by saying what religion is NOT. Scripture isn’t a textbook, and I’m 83% confident that holy book scribes never set out to write one. Oral traditions might weave yarns about this or that in the natural world, but today we’d be fools to study Greek mythology for clues about the weather. Ancient ideas on medicine or mental health are not only dubious, but dangerous. Would you trust your child’s diagnoses to someone trained in the Roman Empire school of thought? Would you lean on a scholarly interpretation written in 1373? Why, then, are we relying official explanations voted upon a thousand years ago? It’s curious that modern people feel the need to entertain convoluted explanations, hoping they can force the Bible and science to jibe.

Any God I can believe in would say it’s okay to let go of inaccuracies. Perhaps the humans who wrote those books simply narrated the world as they knew it at the time. God gave us brains for a reason and as those brains grow, we need not cling to the ignorance of past millennia. Seriously.

It’s real simple folks. Science is not religion’s bailiwick. Science and religion serve entirely different purposes. So you pastors, pontiffs and prophets, just keep your noses out of it already. Whew, that felt good.

Science seeks to understand how the world works. Religion asks why. Science explores what can be measured. Religion asks what matters. Researchers advance physical technology, while religions are the keepers of spiritual technologies. Engineers study efficiency. Sages teach humility. Science advances ways to live longer while religion (should) help us live better. Universities advance progress. Chapels invite stillness. An MBA taught me how to administer. Church reminds me to minister. The scientific method reveals what can be proved. The golden rule guides what is right.

Each realm needs seekers, and the spheres need not be mutually exclusive.

And that’s what I have to say about that.

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