People who view science as a threat to their religious beliefs.

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Terri Ann Ragoonanan's picture
People who view science as a threat to their religious beliefs.

Good day everyone. There is something I've wondered about and I would like to hear your views on this topic. Now because I am most familiar with Christian dogma, that is what I will be referencing. Christianity has its explanations for the creation of the universe, the earth, humankind, animals and well, everything else. Of course, scientific theories such as the Big Bang, Evolution and Abiogenesis contradict the Bible's version of events. However, science does not stand alone in its opposition to Christian theology. There are many religions (n.b. I am not saying science is a religion) that have their own version of events. Followers of these faiths believe in entirely different creation scenarios and even dissimilar gods. So my question is, why do Christians have a problem with science and not other religions? Now, this is a narrow-minded statement because there are probably some Christians who do overtly protest against other religions the way they advocate against science. But let me contextualize my issue, when people talk about religious freedom or freedom of religious expression, there never seems to be any acknowledgement (at least to me) that every religion believes in different things. What I mean is, in a Christian (again just using this religion as an example, not saying everyone in the religion is the same) viewpoint, it's okay for other faiths to express their fictional, antiquated irrationality but science cannot claim its findings which are based on the methods of observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusions as a valid way to understand life?
Could it be because deep down they know that scientific reasoning is most likely right and that other religions are also just fantasies like theirs? To me that seems to be the only reason they would make such a fuss about denouncing science as "propaganda" and attempting to dissuade children from learning about facts. I know that oppression of science does not happen everywhere and also probably not as often as I am assuming, but I still think it's interesting that some Christians have what seem to be a fear of their children finding out about topics in physics, chemistry, geology, biology and anthropology. One prominent televangelist even once told her congregation that "Satan" (the outside world) would try to tempt their children with "reason". So every time I see Christians kicking up a fuss about science, I always wonder, is it because they know that what they "believe" in isn't true? So that's what I want to know. What do you think are the reasons? Or what are your reasons?

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Unknowntyper's picture
I will be glad to address

I will be glad to address this issue.

When conflicting with the views of another religion the argument is far more simple because the opposing religion is by default a false religion. Given this sort of stance, any conflicting religious account for the creation of the world is also false. The real "fight" in these cases is boiled down to dogma, salvation etcetera, and the particulars of a creation story are of little consequence. There is nothing to really fight, just conflicting stories.

The problem with scientific accounts for the creation and function of our universe is that it is entirely secular. In science, accounts are based on continuous testing, backed up and then put forward en masse to the public. The theories supported by the scientific community conflict with pretty much all faith-based creation accounts. This gives them "something" to fight and oppose... the evidence. Scientific evidence is "in your face" and directly refutes these fundamental "literal accounts" from scripture. For a biblical "literalist" if the biblical account is not true, then God is not real either. This creates a very serious problem. Because these people put God in a box, they must protect the box at all costs lest God be dumped out and blown away amidst winds of logic and reason.

Another related issue that may be shared with literalistic and some of the more liberal Christians (and members of other faiths), is that the scientific account are specifically devoid of divine reliance. The arguments and explanations put forward by scientific discovery allow for a completely secular understanding of our world. Unfortunately a lot of people of faith seem to feel that you should believe in God because there is no other choice, God is a variable "lack of options" deity. Truly I find this sort of sad and weak.
E.g., Q: "Why do you believe in God?" A: "How else can you explain ______?"

Science keeps progressing, our knowledge keeps growing... it is the ever current issue.

If your faith hangs by such fragile threads, and your entire religion is equally founded; science is a serious threat.


ginamoon's picture
I am a Catholic and I do not

I am a Catholic and I do not view Science as a religious threat. I treat knowledge of Science or generally knowledge as gift from God and there are some advancements that are really helpful such as in the field of Medicines.

SammyShazaam's picture
I'm not a theist so I have no

I'm not a theist so I have no personally relevant answer - I think UnknownTyper had an excellent response from the Atheist side, but it would be interesting to see more theist takes on this.

I do find it interesting that in today's world, religion appears to be much more afraid of science than the other way around!

Anecdotally, I do notice that Christians seem to have much more of a problem embracing scientific developments than the people of other religions.

mysticrose's picture
I don't think science is a

I don't think science is a threat to religious beliefs because religions have their own biblical reasons to prevent science from disturbing their faith. They have miracles to present that science can't explain. They have prophets that were able to tell the future events so science itself is not a real threat. I think the major threat for religions is the awakening of human beings to their higher self. That they are not an ordinary being that a religion can control. That they can search for further knowledge beyond religions can explain.

SammyShazaam's picture
Miracles science can't

Miracles science can't explain? Science is progressing by leaps and bounds, and many more "miracles" are finding their explanations by the day. Of course, when it comes to historical events there is no way to go back and prove that science's proposed answer was the indisputable cause of the original event, so science may not volunteer answers up front as most scientists don't throw around concepts like "proof" lightly.

However, there's a lot more information out there in the arena of science than many people realize. Miracles don't phase us, really :)

mattyn's picture
I believe that religion is a

I believe that religion is a threat to our scientific beliefs. We see it every day, religion slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives and we try to keep it at bay the best we can until one day at a family gathering, your twin cousins tell your child that she is wrong and there is no such thing as a dinosaur because their parents told them so. Really? To tell something like that to your own children and at such a young age? Then they look around in disbelief when no one else in the house agrees with them. At all!
I apologize for the rant, but this really happened and I really was shocked. I thought these people were smarter than that.

gardenerclematis's picture
Good points. I had a

Good points. I had a somewhat similar situation with a cousin attempting at a family reunion to save my daughter. At the heart of this behavior is incredible intolerance and a judgmental outlook and a huge helping of arrogance.

firebolt's picture
Terri raises some very good

Terri raises some very good questions that almost seem too easy to answer until you stop and think a little more about it.I think most people know that the scientific reasoning is right, but they still hold onto their religious beliefs because that might be what's keeping them going or what they have learned to live with their entire life.

gardenerclematis's picture
Very direct and to the point

Very direct and to the point

mysticrose's picture
Well, there are still

Well, there are still miracles that religions honored and yet science can't explain. Example is how a 4th stage cancer patient managed to survive and immediately gain back his physical health after praying in the name of Jesus or to any saints. I think those miracles is still one of the strong reasons why religious people hold on into their faith

Rob Beasley's picture
This is what happens when

This is what happens when people face up to reality with knowledge and compassion and conquer false assumptions and beliefs.

5 The "real" Jesus said, "Know [not believe] 'what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.

For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised."]

Rob Beasley's picture
@mysticrose. Miracles are a

@mysticrose. Miracles are a fraud invented by Rome. In particular it was Roman Emperor Nerva that made them up for the Flavians.

That's why you'll not see any of the Jesus miracles mentioned in the 7 letters attributed to Paul/Saulus. They were made up by Nerva when he orchestrated the Gospels of Luke for the Judea community, Mark for the Alexandrian community and Matthew for the rest and in particular the folks from the East. The Book of Acts was written to counter the works of Paul. Nerva also created the incredulous (not necessarily historically incredulous) works of that Jewish Benedict Arnold character called FLAVIUS Josephus. When we talk about fake "miracles" its worth considering Josephus and the "fact" that he was the only survivor of a 40 person game of Russian Roulette before going on to be one of histories greatest turncoats and "historians".

Rob Beasley's picture
@ Terri, It's quite simple

@ Terri, It's quite simple really, with a slight twist.

When people are fed a belief story it becomes part of their notional(idea of their) identity. It is how their mind sees themselves. A movie star learns through popularity how to "make" people love them and so modifies their behaviours accordingly. Christians, at some point, accept the story, which let's face it has some valid wisdoms encapsulated in it. The issue though, is that its a fraudulent corruption of those wisdoms that can only be resolved with faith. They have to accept as real, miracles, prophecy and Gods in the sky.

Now if you come across someone that has ego issues, you'll know that when there fake ideas about themselves are challenged they will immediately fight back and if push comes to shove they will get quite angry. This is fundamentally the basis for all the religious persecution and the associated rage we see over history.

I often use this old Cherokee story to help put human behaviours into a sharper perspective.

“An old Cherokee told his grandson “There is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is go(o)d. It is joy, love, peace, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”

The boy thought about it, and asked “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”The old man quietly replied. “The one you feed.”

The more important question is can it be proven that people have made these stories up scientifically.

And the answer to that is Yes. Modern biblical scholars are closing in on historical evidence that shows that books formally thought of as prophecies were in fact written after the fact. Just look up the Books of Isaiah and Daniel in Wikipedia and you'll find they were written, at least in part, after the facts they allegedly predicted.

So soon science will have its day and religion will become a relic of the past. The twist, there is a philosophical debate to be had regarding the Jesus story.

gardenerclematis's picture
Nice post. I have Cherokee

Nice post. I have Cherokee ancestry and that is one of my favorite stories. It contains much wisdom.

deponed's picture
yep it is, science and

yep it is, science and religion is very contradictory ,science says evolution and bible says adam and eve but THE real question for religon is why were we created? and addition to that why were dinosaurs created either?

SammyShazaam's picture
I wonder what religion's

I wonder what religion's official take on dinosaurs is. Given the age of the Earth, dinosaurs occupied it for much longer than humans have as yet. Why waste so much time on them if *we're* supposed to be the rulers of the Earth?

gardenerclematis's picture
I think what might be added

I think what might be added to this discussion about religion (particularly fundamentalist) is the degree of brainwashing and resulting fear that has been instilled in the child. Even though the parent does not realize it because of their own damaged psyche, the child trusting his parents, has been given false information, it has been steadily reinforced over and over(attending services, forced prayers, etc), and strong punishment related outcomes (hell) have been associated with it. Different children have different sensory reactions to this threat of punishment, some being hypersensitive. These individuals will have a very difficult time overcoming this brainwashing and gaining a realistic (scientific) view of the world. These are the individuals that will fight like an addicted drug addict to hold onto their misguided false beliefs. When the whole definition of who you are has been defined this way, "reason" becomes the enemy.

ginamoon's picture
I am not sure if it is a

I am not sure if it is a majority but doctors would say to there very ill patients to pray or to ask for miracles. That could mean that some "scientific" people still believe on a God. So, I think religious beliefs more probably not a threat to science. But I could somewhat agree that Science could be a threat to religious beliefs if something believed is proven wrong by it.

mysticrose's picture
Miracles in the bible are

Miracles in the bible are closely be fraud, fake and just products of good writers during those centuries. I think there are still things that happens now that we can consider as miraculous but it doesn't mean that we can give that credit to god, spirit or to angels. Examples are the people who were very sick and healed in an instant and no doctors can explain yet. It's miraculous isn't it? Maybe time will come that such incidents can be explained by science but until that time it will appear as miraculous.

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