Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H


The laws of science and the laws of nature are hoped to match up but they may not. Laws of nature are also laws of science in principle.  It takes work to make sure you have got it right.  When there is no match, all that is wrong is that there is science to be discovered.  Science is not about just what we have but about what is out there and that is waiting to be found.


Reason is science. Science is reason.  Reason is basically if a then not b. Science does everything with that principle. Just seeing that your tea is cold not hot is science. Your body is the machine you do the experiment with. The computer in your head is what is assessing and interpreting and understand the experiment.  Science at its core goes back to all that.  Science is about what can be tested to see if it is there.  Then it thinks about it.  So reason is based on natural things.  Metaphysical reasoning is not reasoning at all. There is no test to see if a being without parts or material components or a body can exist.  Thus science and supernatural claims are in conflict.  Notice I said supernatural claims.  That is not the same thing as saying science and the supernatural cannot agree.  It is the same thing as saying that the problem with the supernatural is not the supernatural but the claims made about it.


Science whether secular or coming from Christians has destroyed many religions.  It has shown that you cannot control how the sun rises by offering human sacrifices.  It shows that there are no gods living on Mount Olympus.  Most religions have been exposed by science.  Some go a step further and argue that science debunks, at least implicitly, the religions of Christianity and Islam.


Religion cares about what you believe and what you think and not how you think.  That is what religion is for.  Some religions try to brainwash while others try to draw you in by being nice to you.


Science does not care in the slightest what you believe or want to believe.  It is ruthless regarding truth and finding it.  Even scientists who assert something in the name of science cannot appeal to their own authority - they have to present the case for what they say and are subject to ruthless examination.


We have already shown that scientists/theologians who say religion and science fits are lying.  Both the scientists and the theologians are probably just Trojan Horse people or liars who want to wear down the other side gradually while pretending to respect it.


Science is not based on proof by experiment. It is proof. The experiment is only necessary to show that it is proof. It is thought that science has nothing to say about religious faith for it is verified or shown probably true by ways and means other than science.  But the reality is that science only regards testable stuff as possibly true and the testing is done by experimentation and reasoning to see how a discovery fits other discoveries.  Religion never experiments in any form.  Science upholds all experimentation even if it is testing nonsense and regards anything that does not experiment as not only non-scientific but anti-scientific.  Even bad experimentation methods are better than nothing in the estimation of science.  There is nothing worse than something that is put outside the realm of testing.  Science rejects whatever is unconcerned about experimentation 100%.


Science depends on the working assumption that the supernatural does not happen. The supernatural does not help science understand the universe so science sees itself as mattering and religion as not mattering. It is that simple. But many ignore it and tell lies to obscure and confuse.


The other matter is that not a single religion gets the official support of science not even as being the one religion that is more scientifically supported and respectful to science than the others. Science does not say any religion has got it right in terms of science.  Religion never lets science ratify its own scientific statements.


The Questions


Is it true that science and religion are in conflict? Some prefer to say that science and faith in God are in conflict. They think that is clearer.


Others think that science is the only field that can show that religion's truth claims are false or at least without believability. That is an error. A religion with an incoherent and fanciful theology shows itself to be a man-made concoction rather than the true religion. So science is not the only way to debunk religion.  It might be the best for debunking some religions but not others.  It depends.


For some, science is demanding that religion prove itself on scientific terms. They say this demands unfairly that you either be for science or against science.  What do they mean?  They mean that religion cannot be tested for truthiness in the lab and its unfair.  And if it is not testable in the lab you are accused of being anti-science.


Think about evidence and why it is important. Ask yourself why saying, "I believe Jesus turns bread and wine into his body and blood" cannot be as good as saying, "I believe that if I jump into deep water I can drown." Then you will understand what kind of question we are asking. The person speaking as a religious person wants his belief to be exalted over everything else and that is unfair and unreasonable.


They add that it is not fair to ask religion to scientifically verify its claims for that is not what religion is about.  But religion is more than just God and magic and supernatural revelations but is a way of looking at everything including science and politics.


Religion does not want to be about science to any degree.  The reason that is that if there were tools to check itself out it would not use them or let others use them.


Some religion does not think science is a totally different thing from religion but embraces it.  Liberal religion changes its beliefs and waters them down to avoid any overlaps with science. For example, liberal Christians claim the story of the first man and woman is only a parable and there was no Adam and Eve.


Some feel that science has sometimes misled people and brought in harmful discoveries and help to make weapons. They say that it is unfair to blame science for this so one should not blame religion for all the lies and violence and superstition that seems to follow it. But science is a need and religion is not. We can all adjust without being in a religion. And each one of us is a scientist in our own way. It is science that you need to go out with the brolly when it is raining heavily. Science then is a basic human right.

Religion is a worldview. Some say science is not a worldview but a limited tool. If it is just a tool, then it appears it can fit religion or at least some religions. But science is not about using a tool. It is about using a tool to work out a picture and the truth about reality!


In a nutshell, science is about what the evidence says and about checking theories out before they can be accepted. It is self-correcting. Religion does not care about evidence much and will hold on to nonsense regardless of the weight of the evidence against it. So in a contest should you believe science or religion? The self-correcting system is the one that should get the benefit of the doubt. And that is science. Also there is more agreement among scientists than there is among religionists so science promotes unity through truth and love of truth. Even if religion believes in using evidence for its own claims, it presents that evidence in a way that it cannot be checked. It gives you the wrong kind of evidence. Its brand of evidence is dangerous for even evidence is bad if it cannot be checked out or has not been.


Scientific and natural beliefs are self-correcting. If you think bees can live in the snow that is easy to check. The supernatural belief is necessarily non-self-correcting. For example, if somebody thinks the risen Jesus, undetectably except by faith, boiled her kettle this morning there is nothing that can be done to help the person see this is nonsense. You cannot do an experiment. It cannot be checked. A belief that is not testable is not as valuable as one that is. The risk of error is greater. And the craftiest lies cannot be found out.  They make the worst and most persistent lies of them all!


Science is about testing and taking nothing for granted. Science is superior to some religion even if such religion is okay and seemingly reliable. Science is in conflict with many religions and their scriptures.  

In relation to the debate on whether or not religion opposes science and science opposes religion, James D Williams of the University of Sussex, says: "Where we have issues, they generally revolve around people trying to reconcile science and religion or using religion to refute science. This misunderstands the nature of science. Science deals in the natural, religion the supernatural. Science seeks explanations for natural phenomena, whereas religion seeks to understand meaning in life." This is a lie.


It is a lie for he says religion. If one religion fits science what about the rest?  If one religion fits science reasonably but is not a perfect fit the others will be a bad or terrible fit.  Catholics hold that their Church is the one true Church and if other religions are not the one true Church then they will have to have their disputes with and threats from science. When man invents a religion that religion will have all kinds of errors including scientific ones.


It is a lie for you can have a sense of meaning in life without bringing in the supernatural. Some atheists believe or hope that through physics eternal life is somehow possible but not in the sense that the supernatural is involved. They call it a mystery but it makes their lives feel ultimately and eternally important. It is not true that meaning in life is confined to supernatural religion.


Some mystics redefine the natural as being supernatural without seeming to be. They see their lives and the mundane as somehow magical. They reject magic as in wafers turning into God and apparitions but they pretend reconcile naturalism and supernaturalism in their own way. But in reality they redefine natural as supernatural. Their attitude is credulous in principle. They cannot talk if some doctor starts saying that those who eat his garden peas will have everlasting life on earth.


Many people feel their lives have meaning because they love science and its benefits. And religion makes many historical and even scientific claims many of which have little or no importance in matters pertaining to the meaning of life. For example, if the Catholic Church is wrong about Mary being a lifelong saint or if it is right what has that to do with your sense of purpose in life? Also, religion is not all about the meaning of life - it is about explanations for phenomena too. Suppose remarkable coincidences take place after somebody prays that cause what is prayed for to happen. Religion will say this shows God at work in and through and with nature. Science will say it is a coincidence and is not remarkable when you consider how even bigger coincidences happen in nature that have nothing to do with anybody praying for them to happen.


It is a lie for if science proved that nature shows signs that no God was involved Williams would say this only means God is hiding or could be hiding. It could also mean that there is no God. If science cannot refute a hiding God, it does not change the fact that science has no reason to care if there is such a God. God by definition is that which alone matters so therefore if science does not care about God then science and God are irreconcilable.


It is a lie for saying science is not about religious stuff and religion is not about natural stuff IS trying to reconcile science and religion.  Putting things into boxes so that they will not conflict is a form of reconciliation.


Williams lies also in saying the natural and supernatural can be treated as separate. To deal with the natural, you have to assume that no supernatural force exists that will tamper with it or manufacture or corrupt the evidence.  And if the natural is caused by the supernatural and run by it then it is just the supernatural under a different name.


Science involves working out what is a possibility and what is not. If you recover from an illness and have been taking appropriate antibiotics then science will deny that the supernatural cured you. It will not argue, "Okay the pills could make this person better but that does not mean they did. God did it." It will not say, "The person who takes these pills gets better but that does not mean the pills cured him. God could have decided to act directly when somebody takes the pills so the pills in themselves have no power at all." It will say the antibiotics cured you. Thus it excludes magic and the supernatural. Supernatural and science are mutually exclusive.

The statement that religion and science complement each other is useless. What religion is compatible? It makes no sense to say that every religion is compatible. How could Mormonism agree with science when it holds that we are only on earth 6000 years?
Some would say, "No scientist is being professional if he judges which theologies and religions fit science. That is not his job. The prophet, pope, Messiah, theologian and minister has to assess the science to see if it fits the religious beliefs of his sect. Therefore science can't say they fit unless religion says it." That is putting one or two religions over science. They are its adjudicators. It makes a mockery of science.
But suppose science or religion should decide each other's boundaries and judge.
Who should say it first? While both voices may matter whose voice matters most - the religionist or the scientist?  The self-checking discipline is science.  Science owns the voice that matters.  Religion does not matter at all if push comes to shove.
What if there is nothing in a religion that contradicts science. Being compatible does not mean they agree. It does nothing to make the religion more credible for anybody can invent a religion that fits.
Some religions say there is only one correct religion. If Christianity is the true religion then if religion and science can go together that is the same as saying that Christianity and science go together.
The argument that science started with religion and particularly Christianity actually accuses religions that don't bother with science or research of being anti-science or indifferent to it. They are accused of not compatible with science.  As for Christianity causing science, it was only copying the pagans who attempted it and no command from God can be found in the Bible that demands that science be respected never mind carried out.
The Christian religion as a whole does not finance or engage in scientific research. Many anti-science faiths have members that go their own way and engage in scientific research. It does not follow that the religion approves or that its version of God agrees with it.
Some go as far as to argue that Islamic Iran which is extremely religious has scientists. But these scientists are not investigating religion or travelling into religious territory. Their kind of science is about warfare and medicine. Science within parameters is not proper science though it may get results. Science treated like that is treated as something that needs to be contained for furthering a religious-political agenda -  it is more like treating science as a necessary evil as something necessary but regrettable.  That attitude ruins and threatens science by despising its majesty.
Religious people say that religious truths are not discoverable by science but by other ways. They point out that something can be true without science being able to prove it. Their argument could be sincere or it could be just a ploy to put religion outside the pale of scientific scrutiny to fool the people. I would insist that sincerity should only be assumed if the religion has a marked and above average production of good works and good and smart people. But if a person tries to protect his doctrines and religion from refutation the person is more interested in deceiving himself than in the truth. Even if he is not deceiving himself he is suspect for he wants to too much.
Ideology or methodology

Science is not an ideology. It is a methodology. Religion is an ideology. Those who argue that science is an ideology assume that it can be reconciled with other ideologies such as religion. To get science and religion to agree means that science is no longer science.


Science has only two dogmas: one is to doubt and challenge what is accepted by us as believable or true. The other is that we must change our ideas if the evidence justifies it. Science comes up with theories - doubt is helpful but doubt alone is not helpful. We need to have opinions and beliefs which comprise our theories.


Even when something is proven, science still refers to it as a theory. The reason is that though its a fact, science is based on doubt so it cannot call it anything but a theory.


In contrast, religion treats its teachings as statements of fact. There is none of the humility of science there!


God is the ultimate fact in religion - religion says that if hypothetically we had to choose between saying a prayer to God and science then let science go. The importance given to the God theory surpasses science's devotion to facts. Science considers such extremism to be inappropriate.

Religion is authority. Popes and Bibles claim to teach with God's authority. But science wants to endlessly probe and search for proof and truth and overthrow authority. If you listen to authority it is not because it is an authority but because the evidence happens to say the authority is correct.

If science cannot refute the content of faith it can refute faith being a safe way to live and think. Religion likes to tell you science does not refute its faith content but does not tell you that science by default regards faith is fit only for ignoring.  That is even more important than science debunking some doctrine.  It attacks the core of religion and faith.  Religion and faith claim to be of extreme and central importance which means even an undermining counts as attacking but science does more than just undermine.


Science does not spell out what we are to believe. It spells out what the evidence says. That is not the same thing as saying we must or should believe.  Giving the evidence that x poisoned the dog makes the other person believe but does not say they must or should. 


It is not science faith versus religious faith.  It is science versus religious faith.


Secularists and atheists are accused of believing only what they understand. Understanding isnít everything. But beliefs you understand ought to be valued more than ones you do not. Scientists agree and live that philosophy.


Science is pro-faith that constantly looks for correction and greater understanding and it accomplishes this through testing theories. Religious faith is faith you stick with even when the evidence refutes it. The two forms of faith are as different as night and day. Science if you understand it as faith opposes religious faith. It has to.


Science accuses many religions if not all of blind faith. They are believing without evidence or against the evidence. The religions say, "Okay science says that only science helps you be sure about things. But it never did an experiment to prove this. It is blind faith itself. Science is as much an assumption as assuming our faith is correct is." That overlooks the fact that the whole point of any experiment is to be sure. Science is not arguing in circles.


The Church likes to claim today that there is no conflict between science and the Christian faith. We are told that science is about the how and religion is about the why. This is the idea that science is one form of knowledge and religious faith is another.


But science approaches all things with an open mind. Christianity does not. It says it is your duty to believe what ever its God says.


Science is about doing experiments to determine the truth. Christianity never does experiments to test its theories. Even if the faith claims to be supported by some evidence, the Christian appeal to this support is just a gimmick. It doesn't really care about the evidence in itself. It only uses it to trick thinking people into embracing Christianity. It needs to present an aura of sufficient credibility.


Scientists may have many disagreements but they use the same method. They experiment and test. Religion doesnít do that at all. It doesnít have a reliable method for testing its claims.

Religion however is often forced to submit to science.


It is thought that there are no laws of nature. But then let us not use the word laws but the word regularities. Science needs to assume regularities otherwise it has no method for testing anything. Religion pretends to believe that it is a law of nature that dead people stay dead. They say dead people stay dead but Jesus was an exception for he rose again. But how do they know that he is the only exception? They say the evidence tells them. But evidence is not everything! Perhaps it happens a lot and no evidence is left behind? What gives them the right to assume that dead people staying dead is really a regularity?


The person who does not believe that anybody rose is more supportive of regularity than they are.


The supernatural attacks science. It denies regularity. It cannot be tested. It provides then no direction for doing research.


It is good that the believers sometimes revere evidence - but in practice it is only a few top level Christians that even bother analysing the evidence. They are the only ones who use it. This makes the vast majority of believers to be mere superstition fans.


There has always been good Catholic scientists, good Muslim scientists and good atheist scientists. To do science, one does not need to belong to any religion or to have any religious faith.


Science only hopes to be good science not perfect science. Because scientists are human and imperfect, science has to be always under suspicion of imperfection. Religion argues, "Science is imperfect. If science does not believe miracles happen, then we can put that down to the imperfect knowledge given us by science." But if science can be imperfect despite all the precautions being taken, it follows that science though imperfect should get more trust than religion. Religion does not have the testing procedures and so it will be more prone to human error than science. Remember, that if science doubts things it doubts the supernatural most of all.


Religion today says science answers the how while religion answers the why. For example with evolution, some Christians claim that we evolved and that is how we came to be. But why were we evolved? Their answer is that God our father made us to have a love relationship with us. That is actually a scientific statement for science can check that evolution helps our wellbeing. A universe made with a loving purpose should not look like a universe with no loving purpose at all. But it does. Evolution is only part of the story - most of the terrible things that happen show it has made us into monsters. Hardly a great evolution in spiritual terms!


Science is more than a method of looking at what exists. It explains things. It gives the why too. It says that as far as it can see, we were not made for a purpose. We evolved through luck and chance.


When science is told about this God whose existence cannot be proven does that mean science has to reject God? Why can't it just suspend judgement? If science rejects God's existence or simply does not take a stand then clearly science will not accept God until evidence turns up. But suspending judgement on God IS rejecting God too. God by definition is all that matters so if science cannot find him then science is bad or there is no God. God is not to be seen as an object but as a loving entity and the personification of love. God is found in verbs not nouns.


Catholicism bizarrely accepts what science says about the characteristics of living things. Eg breathing and so on. The communion wafer does not breathe and it is supposed to be alive.  This is a total repudiation of science.  Religion not only is unscientific with God but has many doctrines that are equally unscientific.


Christians love to say that the claims of Jesus can be shown plausible without science.  So that is saying that science does not tell you what to believe about Jesus.  What if it cannot?  Suppose it cannot.  But then it can declare that the evidence for Jesus being God's self-revelation is good and that the contrary evidence is not. It can measure the evidential value.  To say the evidence for x is good is not the same as saying you advocate x as true.  But it is saying you should advocate x as true.  Christians say that faith includes the acceptance of evidence as a gift from God.  If so, then the love science has for evidence is


It is clear that the thesis, science is about "how" and "why" but religion is about "what for" is nonsense.  It tells science that if it can investigate and answer "what for" it must not for that is religion's territory.  The notion that science must keep out of religious questions and religion must keep out of scientific questions is odd.  There would have to be overlaps.  If Jesus died and rose today in the presence of scientists that would be a clear overlap.  Religion comments on maths about how three persons can be one being and maths is a part of science.


To assert the supernatural is automatically to oppose the scientific method. That is always fundamentalist no matter how easy going and moderate the religion proclaiming it is. It is essentially anti-truth and that is worse than dishonesty. And religion goes about saying, "Science is not the only source of truth" as if science claims to be that! In fact science will always be superior to religion for it is the sole source of verifiable truth despite not being the sole source of truth. And if science had the tools it would claim to be the sole source of truth.  And there is plenty of dishonesty coming from religion in the science and religion debate. As a last resort, it falsely accuses scientists of being obsessed with destroying its teaching and thus of fabricating evidence against religion. That is just an absurd conspiracy theory. Who is your real friend? Tough talking no-nonsense science? Religion?




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