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Should we abandon the framework for science when evaluating the claims of religious beliefs?

"Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That’s an idea we’re so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it’s kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? – because you’re not!”

-Douglas Adams

Should the scientific method be applied to other claims, or should religion be exempt from such critical examination? If not, why?

Answer Question
 
jsbenkert

Asked by jsbenkert at 10:57 PM on Feb. 25, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • The scientific method should be applied to ALL claims, even religious ones. If the religious claims do not hold up to scrutiny it is not the fault of the investigative process but the religious belief.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:05 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • what do you mean by religious claims? like statues weeping blood, incorruptible corpses, and things in holy texts or the inner feelings of a person. im assuming you mean the former.

    i say the method should be applied to all claims b/c imo the higher power doesnt work outside the laws of nature. we should not just believe that something happened blindly when we are intelligent enough to at least attempt to prove if something is valid or not.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 11:16 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to empathize with someone's belief - say a friend who believes something that is probably irrational but it gives her hope and happiness - then the scientific method is totally unnecessary and unhelpful. If your goal is to determine whether belief in religious teachings or events should influence public policy or something else tangible to others, then yes we should use all the rational, logical tools at our disposal including the scientific method.
    Sebbiemama

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 11:30 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Science is based on fact. Religion is based on faith. I don't see a connection between the two so yes one would be exempt from the other imho
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 11:38 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • No doubt that religion is based on faith but ALLAH advised us to conquer this universe with knowledge and knowledge is science.
    Seven hundred and fifty verses of Qur'an (Almost 1/8 of the Book) exhort believers to study nature, to reflect, to make the best reason in their search for the ultimate and to make the acquiring of knowledge and scientific comprehension part of the community's life.
    Moreover, almost everything that occurs in this universe had been explained in Qur'an, either it is the study of heavenly bodies or the function of your own body system. Even there is all about the creation of a child in mother's womb. And all is described in Qur'an about 1450 years ago. If you keenly understand this Holy Book, you can also find many predictions about future of this life and universe but also about you own.
    kity-bity

    Answer by kity-bity at 2:16 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Science and religion are not necessarily at odds with each other. There are aspects of many religions that cannot now, and may not ever, be proven or disproven using the scientific method. But there's no reason to believe, at least for many people, that scientific fields and theories such as evolution, paleontology, psychiatry, and astronomy cannot co-exist with most religions. Personally, when I hear religious types bashing science or discrediting well-established theories such as the age of the earth or the existence of dinosaurs, I wonder if they are needlessly worried that their faith won't hold up under scrutiny. Religion, to me,has nothing to fear from scientific probing, although as I said, some aspects of faith are too subjective to be proven or disproven by science as we currently know it.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 3:13 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • absolutely it should be.
    HOw else could one truly understand what it is they are putting so much faith into? Seems kind of backwards to close your eyes and say "blah blah blah! I can't hear you!" in regards to science approaching claims of a religious nature.
    I do think science threatens SOME religious peoples' security in their faith.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:11 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • almost everything that occurs in this universe had been explained in Qur'an


    Yes. The Qu'ran is quite the scientific book. 35:11 Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid, then He made you pairs (the male and female). 35:13 He maketh the night to pass into the day and He maketh the day to pass into the night. He hath subdued the sun and moon to service. Each runneth unto an appointed term. 67:5 And verily We have beautified the world's heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame. The sun follows the moon, the earth is flat, there are only five planets, we were made of dust, or clots, depending on which verse . Who needs science? The Qu'ran certainly does seem to have all the answers . . . ;)

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 7:41 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Religion is personal its based on theology and philosophy. Science isn't the only worthwhile pursuit of the human mind. I do critically examine my beliefs, and they don't conflict with science. If they did I'd reexamine my belief in a certain area.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 7:50 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • I'd venture to say that if your religious beliefs don't conflict with science it's because you use different methods to consider each.  Would that be fair? So your answer is, "yes, we should abandon the framework for science when considering religious claims".   

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 7:54 AM on Feb. 26, 2013

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