A classic and, above all, a very equivocal debate, we find it in the already typical dispute between science and religion. This debate, which opposes science and religion, has been distorted to the extent that the participants must choose one while rejecting the other. It is common to find all kinds of absurd reasoning on social networks. And, if the unreasons are many, the attacks on the defenders of the opposite position are no less so.
As always when there is a misunderstanding, there is always a loser among the defenders and detractors of the science-religion dilemma. Although the sense of loss in a debate may well be subjective. In the end, this debate, no matter how many losers it may leave, neither clarifies nor convinces. Nobody ends up going over to the other side or questioning their initial position.
Debate between science and religion
To show some of the arguments most used in this debate, below are the two sides of the coin that we can find in any forum or social network in which the subject is discussed. The defenders of science charge against the religious arguing that what is written in the sacred books is not true. For example, against Christianity, to overthrow it it is common to refer to the myth of creation. This tells how the first man was created by God and the first woman arises from the first rib of this man.
In a distortion of evolutionary theories, the defenders of religion declare the impossibility of man coming from the ape. This absurd debate, which starts from erroneous interpretations, is one of the most common. Although some do not understand evolution, others literalize the Bible, ignoring its metaphorical writing.
“Nature itself has imprinted on everyone’s mind the idea of a God”
-Marco Tulio Cicero-
Another of the hottest topics is the one that falls on the religion of people who have stood out in history. Both the defenders of science and those of religion often name philosophers, chemists, physicists and countless famous people who believed or did not believe in God. For some the religious scientists have been the best; for others, atheists are better. However, they only name important people because they are important. Scientists who have delved into religion or religiosity are rarely appointed .
On the other hand, science has been considered the religion of our time. And, not least, the religious use scientific arguments to prove the existence of God. Obviously, the arguments to prove its existence or non-existence end up collapsing without solving the question.
How to interpret these debates
These debates away from pause and reflection, only seek to discredit the opponent. The one that is done through the internet and not face to face, gives people more fluency to express themselves at first. The supposed anonymity provided by the internet also makes the object of the attack diffuse. When someone criticizes the position of religion or science, they do not attack particular people, but a general. Although the debates can end because people take what is said personally.
This process encourages arguments to become more ridiculous and focused on personal attacks away from the main topic. Science and religion are compatible and there are different positions that integrate them. Those who do not appear to be compatible are the people who approach the debate without listening to the arguments of the other party or taking the interpretation of it that is more conducive to criticism.
Modern views on science and religion
It must be made clear that science is a method : it can be understood as a tool that helps us understand the world. But science is not perfect – the method is not and those who use it are not – and its conclusions may be biased or false. There are many aspects of life that are beyond the understanding of science. Although this does not mean that we should accept all the crazy theories and fall into absolute relativism.
“If bulls and lions knew how to paint, they would paint the gods as bulls and lions”
On the other hand, religion fulfills certain functions that tend to escape for those who have a simplistic vision. Religion serves to bring people together, to ease tensions and fears related to death, to generalize generosity and sharing. Although they may start from erroneous or false assumptions, religions themselves are not bad. Those who can do evil are people who live religion in different ways.
Scientist Carl Sagan gave a practical example of how science cannot interpret all of reality. Sagan said that we had to think of a two-dimensional world where the inhabitants were flat squares. In this world, one day, suddenly, a ball appears. The square inhabitants could not see it as the ball was floating in the air. But, on one occasion, the ball landed on the ground leaving a round mark. The inhabitants did not leave their amazement at such an aberration.
This story, although absurd, serves to reconsider possible unknown dimensions. We do not know everything and we will not know. Therefore, maintaining a critical mind, without missing those who think differently, will help us not to enter into absurd debates. Disrespect only causes conflict and drives people away. Dialogue and understanding promote rapprochement and understanding.