Thursday, January 8, 2015

How Can A Scientist be Religious?

I have encountered this question, in one form or another, so many times in my life as a Hellenist. Whether it be through the question itself, or through hints that seek to immensely separate religion and spirituality from science. However, I am proud to say that I am a great lover of science, and might even be considered a scientist in many ways. Yet, I am also extremely religious and spiritual. 

The problem, I think, is that modern science has fought very hard to make this separation, and tell people that they can't have both, which is among the most faulty logic and one of the greatest fallacies of our modern age. And many scientific leaders have made it clear that they are not accepting any evidence of divinity or spirituality. They've made that abundantly clear. Not that there is no evidence, but that they will not accept any. When we look back to Ancient Greece, where my religion comes from, there were great many scientists and philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato, who clearly believed in the Greek Gods as well. And, of course, we must not forget people like Pythagoras and Empedocles. But, in this post, I don't want to go too much into examples of ancient scientists. Rather, I want to explain why one does not have to abandon their religious and spiritual beliefs in order to embrace science. 

Science is the study of truth, and from that truth we gain much wisdom, in so far as wisdom can be obtained. My maxims encourage me to pursue wisdom, and my beliefs to seek truth as far as a mortal can seek. Science, to my understanding, is basically the study of how things work, and how things have been, are, and will or could be in the future. Now, obviously, that encompasses a great many areas of study. Now, I ask myself, why should this pursuit force me to abandon my religion? Certainly, we will find out things we did not know before, but to me, science is basically finding out how the Gods do things, and if they did not want us to know how our world and universe works, they would not have given us the knowledge and the means by which to achieve it. Our beliefs can vary and change as we grow older and learn new things. However, the Gods themselves are the Gods. Their existence is, they just are, and science, to me, is a pursuit of better understanding them.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

1 comment:

  1. I do wonder if someday in the distant future the era we now find ourselves in isn't going to be given some flattering little nick name like the age of obscurity or the 'misinformation age'. They're so many erroneous concepts not to mention a compulsive tendency to rally behind two-dimensional thinking, as if they're only two side and two sides alone to every argument, yeah right!

    I see this all to often the notion that one either "believes" in science or that the universe was created. I wouldn't say that science is the study of truth but rather the attempt to learn more about the universe existence whatever you want to call it, through the objective gathering of provable evidence to support a claim. This is usually done one of two ways depending on the situation. 1) Through the use of the scientific method, where you form a hypothesis about what you think the most likely results will be and why you think this, then you conduct your experiment, you'll usually have a control group and a variable, then you record the data and present your claims which will either lend prove to your original hypothesis or disprove it forcing you to come up with another one. The second way is by theorizing in the case where an experiment is not possible, for example you can't create a hurricane in a lab, much less a sun. In some fields of science conclusions can only be drawn by coming up with theories based on observable evidence, the temptation to be subjective for the purpose of financial gain, ego, or already predetermined world view, becomes to great for the majority of scientist. Perhaps rigorous practice in exercising the restraint of one's impulses makes a religious person, if they practice one that emphasis personal discipline and moral responsibility a better scientist. Ha!

    It is this need for empirical evidence and an objective observer that is the very essence of science as much as I love science, I also realize that this is also what defines it's limits. We just don't have the technology right now to prove whether a god or gods in your case exists or doesn't exist. The atheist love to say that the burden of prove is on the religious yet I beg to differ, I think it's illogical to say that a universe who's nature can often be predicted by sheer mathematical equations done previously on university black boards, and now run through computer models, that is full of repeating numeric codes and ratios, is a random occurrence.

    I say prove it! Show me a tornado that builds a house complete with plumbing and electric wiring. I'll let you in on a little not so secret secret, atheism is not new, but in the ancient world only the extremely ignorant were atheists you couldn't get into Pythagoras' math club if you didn't understand it's sacred nature (not that I agree with elitism, it isn't a person's fault they're ignorant and there is usually some kind of system in place designed to breed ignorance but that's another subject). More examples of scientists who are not atheist though not Hellenic mind you, Issac Newton and Galileo Galilei *cough*ironic*cough*.