Science and Religion

We are currently living in an era defined by a technological renaissance. Humanities machines, weapons, and access to knowledge have surpassed the imaginary limits of many 20th century novelists and—to be quite honest, elicit in me a curious sense of caution as to our limits. The Internet, genomics, Solar-Photovoltaics—these are instruments and ideas that would have been inconceivable fifty years ago. My generation has always been exposed to a world of knowledge that hadn’t existed a few years before our birth. The Internet can provide us with the answers to all of our non-transcendental questions almost instantly. To many, religion is regarded merely as the manifestation of the human unknown—meaning, it is the explanation of what we have yet to prove with science. As an atheist myself, I used to frequently dwell on God’s existence, or more appropriately, the disproof for God’s existence that I could piece together using logic into a vain philosophical argument which proved to me nothing. To many, ‘logic’ and religion are incompatible.

Einstein takes a very different standpoint. He argues that religion has the answers to our aspirations and nature—something which cannot be entirely explained using proof. Einstein claims that overzealous nationalism and totalitarianism are destroying the human spirit, by resting their crosshairs on destruction rather than creation. Objective knowledge, he argues, is extremely important and has been colossal in its achievements. But does not, however, come close to giving us the meaning of our existence.

2 thoughts on “Science and Religion

  1. I think the point Einstein is trying to make, is very similar to that of Galileo centuries before him. Just because science challenges certain aspects of contemporary religion, it does not necessarily contradict the idea of God, and religious morality. Additionally, another point Einstein might have been making was that science is the method through which humans progress, but religion is the inspiration and goal of these advancements. WIthout religion and it’s orthodox moralities, science can be easily corrupted, by concepts such as overzealous nationalism and totalitarianism.

  2. I too feel that the rapid progression of science and technology in our society can be unnerving at times. Technology has unquestionably benefitted our world, but with each of these advances a number of constantly repeating questions cycle through my head: “Do we NEED this new gadget? Do people buy these things simply because advertising makes them seem essential? Or worse, do we buy these things simply out of habit?” While I fear that scientific advances are in some ways contributing to our loss of agency in our own lives, I am still typing this post on a laptop computer to contribute to an educational online forum. I suppose that scientific development is a double edged sword that must be mediated by our reason and moral compass. Perhaps this is a corollary to Einstein’s argument for the symbiosis of science and religion?

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