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A science-y god
Posted By Ash On June 16, 2010 @ 10:20 am In All Posts | 13 Comments
There was, as we all know, a time when religion WAS science…and just now we are coming out on the other side, where science is becoming religion. That is to say, religion is starting to conform (or contort) itself to the scientific understanding of reality. God is harder to find in this model, so we hear science-y theories about God influencing our universe at the quantum level. Or rather than denying evolution outright, many believe that God *guided* evolution to produce us (neverminding that he killed off 99% of all existing species to do it).
Whenever I hear these kinds of theological conjectures, I can’t help but picture God in critical condition and on intellectual life support. I can fully understand the effort, though…there was a time when I eagerly sought out similar theories to explain Tarot divination and magic spells. We have a powerful attachment to our beliefs.
And it isn’t enough to say that religion is necessary to address morals and purpose…after all, upon what authority can religion decide such things? If a religion calls upon God or revealed scripture as the source of purpose and morality, as many do, then it is reasonable to question the reliability of those sources. If religion does not call upon such sources, then we can ask, why look to religion at all? Do we really think that morality requires a belief in a god in order to carry sufficient weight in society?
Or can we have a religion without God? Without magic, angels, and souls? Can we? That’s a serious question. No matter how far science advances our understanding of reality, will humans have an irresistible urge to find God in the gaps of our knowledge? Will we always look for Someone Out There?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. I hope, though, that it is possible to transform religion itself, just as we’ve transformed our understanding of the world. Community, purpose, meaning, and well-being do not require religion, but religion can play a positive role in their advancement, especially if it becomes fully informed by science. As a parallel, the practice of medicine is not, in itself, a science, but it is fully grounded in science. Why cannot religion have a similar relationship? I think it can.
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