Friday, November 24, 2006

Religion vs. Science: A free-for-all?

I read with interest this article from the New York times:

"A Free-for-all on Science and Religion."

It seems that some scientific partisans have had enough with the unscientific religious elements in our society, and are fighting back. Sounds like a good idea to me, but I have to confess a certain interest in religion myself.

If science sets itself up as a new ideology, and also posits a "pointless" universe, it won't get very far in winning human hearts and minds. It seems that humans need a sense of purpose in life -- indeed I wouldn't be surprised to find it has something to do with the structure of our brains.

Better it would be to have a genuine debate among religious beliefs and practices, and judge these by the pragmatic test: does the belief foster the well-being of our species and the planet, or the opposite? I have my own ideas there, and so I can't disagree too strongly with many of the scientists quoted in the Times article. But I do think we need some kind of "religion." Of course, it may all hinge on what we consider religion.

Thoughts, dear audience?

No comments: