Originally posted by Varqa
We must be intelligent enough to follow directions. The enemy is "ignorance" not God and religion. Science and religion can and must go hand in hand. Without science, religion will end up becoming a mere set of rituals and superstitions. Science is good at answering the question "how." But it needs true religion so it can also contemplate the "why." Religion can give meaning to science so it does not become so cold, impersonal, and inhumane.
Furthering what you have written regarding what questions science and religion answer:
Science = a prediction, if this, then that
and then testing that prediction. (1)
Science asks "What can I know?" and How can I know it?" Science can answer how something occurs, but not why something occurs. "Religion, and to some extent philosophy, believes it can know, or at least address, the question, "Why?"" (2)
“Without science, religion will end up becoming a mere set of rituals and superstitions.” (Varqa)
I disagree with this statement. With religious moderation, religion will become ceremonial in nature, or as you eloquently put it, “a mere set of rituals and superstitions.” Religion may still thrive in the absence of scientific reasoning.
Science and religion can be reconciled, but that does not imply scientific evidence to believe in God. I’m curious in the rationale in one’s beliefs because problems arise with irrationality; people must strive towards integral consciousness to ensure world stability.
“Religion can give meaning to science so it does not become so cold, impersonal, and inhumane.” (Varqa)
Yes. But consider the monotheistic religions in regard to atheism. Below is a video clip that does not by any means defend atheism, only atheists.
The video brings up a few passages from the Bible which condemns atheists as “fools, corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” (Psalms 14:1) And the video shows many prominent people that have done much good. Thus belief in God is not necessary to have moral values.
Ironically, Christians understand how it is to be an atheist in respect to Islam. Yet people do not apply the same rationale that they use to criticize the beliefs of others when contemplating their own. Sure, people may find meaning in religion, but the effects of unjustified belief may be good or bad, depending how people interpret their religion, and more importantly, how they act upon their beliefs.
But to be a true believer in a religion, one has to be a fundamentalist. Any religious moderation indicates that one is not a true believer, or else one would be admitting flaws in one’s religion.
“Fundamentalism is often, but not always, associated with Biblical literalism, the view that the traditional religious scripture in question is absolutely inerrant, and epistemologically an emphasis on Divine Revelation as the only ultimately reliable source of knowledge.” (3)
Let us consider the Bible then. Read Deuteronomy 20:10-14. 2 Samuel 12:11-14. Leviticus 21:9. Deuteronomy 22:20-21. Leviticus 25:44-46. Exodus 13-2. And with regards to freedom of belief, especially Deuteronomy 13:7-19.
What is the Bible, and implicitly God, condoning? It’s your choice to believe whatever you want to believe. Notably the Bible is written and read by humans and one may interpret what the Bible is saying in anyway one wishes. For me, it would not be reasonable to accept everything in the Bible literally. In fact, there are many outright contradictions and inconsistencies, and naturally there is always a way to find an eloquent explanation for inconsistencies that may appear reasonable.
Countering Bible Contradictions
Now if you were to would act as a fundamentalist, or a true believer in your faith, it is for you to decide what that means, and whether the consequences of doing so are good or bad.
(1) (Barry, John M.; "The Great Influenza", p.17)
(2) (Barry, John M.; "The Great Influenza", p.14-5)
If you perceive this as an argument against any religion that you may subscribe to, you are mistaken. But perhaps you may see how beliefs, based on one’s religion, can have detrimental effects. I am simply opposed to the bad things that happen in the world, which result from irrational thinking. And, despite this very long tangent, I am interested in how one chooses to believe because it is not so easy for me to relate with the beliefs of some people.