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Chris December 2nd, 2007 8:03 pm

The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Science and religion have been intertwined throughout history. Many of the most famous scientists of all time have been deeply religious men and women, who viewed science as a way to explore the world that God created. More recently, scientific advances have often gone up against religious beliefs, with a common question becoming "Should this research be done, since it violates religious teachings". The controversies over stem cell research are one example of this phenomenon, but it is certainly not limited to this one hot-button issue.

Discussion questions:

1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?

More questions may be added as I think of them, and I think that there is room for discussion of more than just what I outlined in the discussion questions.

An interesting link to start us off:
Emmanuel College finds its angel in pharmaceutical firm
(Note end of article, where it talks about Merck not conducting certain forms of research at their facility)

USNAGator91 December 3rd, 2007 7:26 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
[quote]
Quote:

Originally Posted by chparadise (Post 4857303)
Discussion questions:

1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

I think that there can be an accomodation from both sides that works in mutual self interest. The embryonic stem cell issue is a good example of this. First, there are adult stem cells that can be researched extracted from core blood that do not run into the religous question. Second, recent advances have determined a way to produce embryonic stem cells from skin cells that eliminates the destruction of life question. On the whole, as a Catholic, there are many ways to mitigate the interests of both parties without necessarily pitting one versus the other.

Quote:

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?
There are always cases where religion has impeded scientific advancement, however, I think more often than not, religion has helped advance scientific research. In the middle ages, the true exercisers of the scientific method were monks in the monastaries. Albert Einstein wrote essays on the relationship of man with God, which espoused the purpose of scientific discovery was to understand the universe that God made. Today, some of the best research institutions are Catholic universities. While we have some general impression of the Inquisition demanding that the world is flat, most of the drive for discovery and self-awareness has been driven by religion.

Quote:

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?
I think religion and science are closely related. Science offers humankind, who have free will given by God, the opportunity to explore and understand God's universe. In essence, we are blessed with inquisitive minds about the world around us and scientific advancement gives us the opportunity to discover those secrets. When man launches himself to the stars, he will go with a prayer on his lips.

Dawa Lhamo December 3rd, 2007 9:30 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted? No, not really. I have an ethical objection to some methods, like animal testing for cosmetics (though I don't object to lab rats or whatever to test cures for things... but cosmetic use just seems unnecessary cruelty.) But my religion doesn't teach against any kind of scientific inquiry.

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?
Positive and negative. There are some points in history where scientific advancement was motivated by or supported by religious institutions/religious paradigms... Architecture, astronomy, and chemistry being prime examples... and there are other points in history where scientific advancement was blocked by religious institutions/religious paradigms... like certain medical advancements - particularly to do with sexual health - heliocentric astronomy, etc. If we consider all religions and all sciences, then it's hard to say that there's been one overall impact.

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be? I think that they should be two autonomous bodies, either way - offering support, advice, and criticism - but each being allowed to proceed without any major interference from the other. Honest friends, but individually responsible for themselves. ^_^ I don't know if that's possible, but hey, that's what ideals are for. ^_^

USNAGator91 December 3rd, 2007 9:48 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawa Lhamo (Post 4858227)
[b]
3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be? I think that they should be two autonomous bodies, either way - offering support, advice, and criticism - but each being allowed to proceed without any major interference from the other. Honest friends, but individually responsible for themselves. ^_^ I don't know if that's possible, but hey, that's what ideals are for. ^_^

I think its entirely possible. In fact, I believe there can be an almost symbiotic relationship between the two. Religion allows for a healthy fear of the unknown while science can help alleviate that fear through explanation. When that happens, religion expands the frontier of what's unknown, making way for science to advance those boundaries.

I guess my caveat is the same as you mentioned with regards to medical technologies. Religion can inhibit things when it comes to dealing with the holy vessel that is the human body, yet medical science is exploring the most unknown region of learning, the inner self.

Chris December 4th, 2007 2:13 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Taking a crack at the questions myself

1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

Well, the one that immediately comes to mind is stem cell research. Thing is, I haven't fully decided on my position. Real impact from them is years away, so many hurdles remain. The new advances from skin cells have several limitations, but it's a start. So...hard to say.

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?

Historically, I don't think it has. As was pointed out a couple posts ago, much of the early research was specifically to find out about God's mysteries. But, at times, religion and science have butted heads - The Earth revolving around the Sun is one that comes to mind.

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?

I do think that, for the most part, they should remain separate. However, I think that in some areas of science there is the perception that they don't mix, which I disagree with. I don't think that to be a scientist means that you have to deny religion, and I don't think that a religious scientist is an oxymoron. Yet, being within the sciences myself, I do see some of that attitude.

Tiberius December 4th, 2007 2:37 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chparadise (Post 4857303)
Science and religion have been intertwined throughout history. Many of the most famous scientists of all time have been deeply religious men and women, who viewed science as a way to explore the world that God created.

Bear in mind that for many of these people religion was the only way to look at the world. Newton beleived that God created the world because there was no scientific explanation.

Quote:

More recently, scientific advances have often gone up against religious beliefs, with a common question becoming "Should this research be done, since it violates religious teachings". The controversies over stem cell research are one example of this phenomenon, but it is certainly not limited to this one hot-button issue.
This comes down to whether the beliefs of one person can be used to dictate law to others. If my religion says that driving is wrong, should I have the right to make that into a law?

Quote:

Discussion questions:

1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?
No. Scientific research is the best way we have of learning about the universe. it shouldn't be limited.

Quote:

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?
Religion may have inspired people to find out how God created the universe, but this was more the case a long time ago. Also, religion has held up scientific progress, such as the religious opposition to stem cell research, and the teaching of evolution.

Quote:

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?
I think the two are incompatible. No part of religion is scientific, and no part of science is religious. The two may not always disagree, but one plays no part in the other.

Spirit December 4th, 2007 4:09 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?
No. The only thing I wouldn't want happening is human cloning -- like not just the organs and stuff, but actual human beings.

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?
I think that, unfortunately, religion has slowed scientific advancement over the centuries.

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?
I think that they should not mix together. I don't think people should be allowed to say, "I don't agree with blood transfussions because my religion says it's bad, so we're not going to do them ever." Science should be allowed to do it's own thing with few restrictions.

I am both religious and I love science, and I wish highly strict religious people and highly scientific people would both be more opened minded about each other's beliefs.

USNAGator91 December 4th, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spirit (Post 4858510)
3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?
I think that they should not mix together. I don't think people should be allowed to say, "I don't agree with blood transfussions because my religion says it's bad, so we're not going to do them ever." Science should be allowed to do it's own thing with few restrictions.

I am both religious and I love science, and I wish highly strict religious people and highly scientific people would both be more opened minded about each other's beliefs.

I applaud your willingness to be open minded. I agree, but the case you mention above where people should not be "allowed" to reject blood transfusions based on their religious conviction may not be the right course. Everyone has a right to believe what they want. If it causes them to reject scientific means of extending their lives, then so be it. The line is drawn when they push their beliefs on others, specifically their children, who have not been given the choice in the matter. In that case, I think you're right. As a society, we need to be careful of what we "allow" people to do based on their religion. People have a right be ignorant.

Alastor December 4th, 2007 6:38 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Me thinks that refusal to accept blood transfusions is about refusing to apply things already researched. That was not the topic here. :)

Chris December 5th, 2007 5:00 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
If you do think that science and religion don't mix, do you think it's OK for religious figures to step up and voice their opinions that certain science research not be conducted?

Personally I think that it is in the right of religious leaders to voice their opinions. Whether it will stop the research from being done, I doubt it. But a few talented researchers might choose a different path based on their own beliefs.

Dawa Lhamo December 5th, 2007 8:51 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Here's a related article for you all. I'll post a snippet, but the main article can be reached by going to this link:
http://news.scotsman.com/internation...?id=674042006&
Quote:

Brother Consolmagno argued that the Christian God was a supernatural one, a belief that had led the clergy in the past to become involved in science to seek natural reasons for phenomena such as thunder and lightning, which had been previously attributed to vengeful gods.
It's specifically in regards to creationism, but I thought it was interesting (and pertinent), his view of science with regards to the Christian religion. Any thoughts?

Chris December 6th, 2007 3:40 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
That's an interesting article. I wonder if he's speaking on his own or whether he is speaking for the Vatican.

That being said, I do like his thoughts that science and religion don't have to be competing ideologies. Good find :)

Lyra Black December 6th, 2007 1:08 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawa Lhamo (Post 4859955)
It's specifically in regards to creationism, but I thought it was interesting (and pertinent), his view of science with regards to the Christian religion. Any thoughts?

He can speak on behalf of the Catholic church, but he's not speaking on behalf of all Christians because across all Christian religions there are vastly different views regarding science.

The Catholic church learned not to disagree with science a long time ago. Galileo was excommunicated because he claimed the earth traveled around the sun (it wasn't his idea, but for some reason the Church ignored Copernicus). Of course the Church realized a long time ago that it made a mistake, but it was only recently that they overturned the excommunication. As the Church wants to avoid any future embarrassment they never challenge the correctness of science. Evolution, for example has been accepted by the Catholic church for several decades (although, strangely many Catholics don't seem to realize this). What the Catholic church does sometimes challenge is the morality of science which is a different thing.

Yochanan December 9th, 2007 7:55 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Ecclesiastes 1 (or 2) mentions about research and development of earth as a part of task imparted by God to men as a way to pass time. So in a way, the Bible seems to encourage it. The Church of the past, in my opinion, seems to restrict science not so much because the Bible said so (actually, the Bible says very little of science) but because their common sense and perceptions have been deigned to be the same as the Bible's words.

And they're not supposed to be the same. And I'm rambling.


I find that people tend to choose sides, and then regard the one they choose as the only way and look down on the others. But I know that people really need both of them. Religion can give answers that science can't figure out, as well as giving a certain guidance. Science is needed, because without knowledge of our own world, how are we going to survive?

I'm rambling again.

Out of curiosity, what religion are you, if any? I'm Presbyterian, though I still don't know the extent to which I can speak of my personal beliefs without offending people.

mariebeth83 December 9th, 2007 10:13 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

To be honest, I'm not sure if it's my religious or moral beliefs that make me feel this way, or are they interlinked, but I do have a problem with people researching cloning - either animals or people. I guess that I believe that everyone has a soul and if you create a clone that it's really going against the laws of nature, IMO.


2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?

I feel that in the past, when various Churches - particularly the Catholic Church - had more power over their congregations and politics, that it would have held up scientific progress. Now, however, churches are losing power as there has been a marked separation between church & state, so I believe that, while it might still have some impact on scientific advances, it's probably nowhere near the amount of impact it had in the past.

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?

I don't understand science & I don't try to pretend that I do. And it's not because of religious beliefs, it's just something that I'm not very interested in and could never understand in school because my brain isn't logical enough :)

I do believe though that religion and science can co-exist together. They are too seperate things and should be kept different. IMO religion is a belief or faith is a belief in the unproved, while science is a knowledge of something that has been proved or can be proved. I don't think that science can disprove the existence in God, but I don't believe that religion or the bible can disprove science.


I hope that makes sense! :)

LoonyMagic December 9th, 2007 1:32 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

I don't really have any religious views, however, I think that some forms of research would be better left alone. Cloning, for example, can be seen as "playing God" and I see it as ethically wrong to clone. Think of all the hundreds of embryos that were abandoned for Dolly the Sheep. I think it's wrong to do that, and I think if we delve too far into Science we could have repercussions.

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?

I think religion has definitely held up the progression of science and scientific discoveries. In the past I believe religion was a lot more of a stronger force. Science was only just coming through and being recognised, and scientists were thought of skeptically. Now that Science is taking over more and more I believe the advances will be quicker, although I believe religions will still protest :)

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?

I've heard some interesting ideas of how science and religion can interlink, however, I really can't see it happening. Religion and science are very separate things. I think it would be good if they could co-exist, but I don't see it happening any time soon.

Kharina January 10th, 2008 9:54 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chparadise (Post 4857303)
Science and religion have been intertwined throughout history. Many of the most famous scientists of all time have been deeply religious men and women, who viewed science as a way to explore the world that God created. More recently, scientific advances have often gone up against religious beliefs, with a common question becoming "Should this research be done, since it violates religious teachings". The controversies over stem cell research are one example of this phenomenon, but it is certainly not limited to this one hot-button issue.

Discussion questions:

1. Based off of your religious beliefs, do you think that some forms of scientific research should be restricted?

2. What impact has religion had on scientific advances? Has organized religion held up the progress of scientific advancement?

3. What do you think the relationship between religion and science should be?

More questions may be added as I think of them, and I think that there is room for discussion of more than just what I outlined in the discussion questions.

An interesting link to start us off:
Emmanuel College finds its angel in pharmaceutical firm
(Note end of article, where it talks about Merck not conducting certain forms of research at their facility)

1) Even though I'm an atheist, I think some forms of scientific research should be restricted on moral grounds: animal testing using the methods that are used now, particularly for non-essentials like makeup, being an example. However, I don't think scientific research that has no clear harmful consequences in the physical world should be restricted for spiritual reasons: after all, there are so many people with different beliefs living together it would be impossible to sort something out that would please everyone, in my view. On the other hand, I think there could be majority agreement on some issues if looked at from a moral standpoint.

2) Most of the time I think science carried on anyway, but I suppose the examples of science carrying on anyway are the only ones we hear about!

3) Well, I think it's inevitable that religion and science will clash, as scientific evidence is so often contradictory to what's written in a particular religious text. However, I think if society is to function then the two need to tolerate each other: as in most cases, they do.

Mundungus Fletc January 11th, 2008 7:57 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
Quote:

Tiberius wrote
No. Scientific research is the best way we have of learning about the universe. it shouldn't be limited.
I don't know how I missed this thread. I will answer more fully later but I have to address Tibs statement. Under the NAZIs much valid (and in many ways valuable) research was carried out in concentration camps. For example on how to help people recover from hypothermia or into space medicine (google Hubertus Strughold.) The Japanese did a great deal of research into how diseases spread (Unit731) Unfortunately the experimental subjects died in the process. IMO that is science that is utterly immoral and should not have been carried out.

I believe scientists have to be aware of the moral implications of what they are doing and whilst nothing on the scale of WW2 is going on nowadays as far as I am aware there are areas of research that should be banned.

Tiberius January 11th, 2008 11:22 am

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
But remember that killing people isn't the only way to conduct research.

BabyCarrot January 11th, 2008 1:33 pm

Re: The Relationship Between Science and Religion
 
But remember that the dehumanising that was needed for the Nazi's to conduct experiments on humans, to effectively treat them as animals, has roots in the pseudo-religious beliefs that was rife within Germany before the Hitler came to power. (e.g. That the Jews drunk the blood of Christian children). It was the dehumanising of the Jews that allowed them to be treated so badly.


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