What Science Can Learn From Religion

Hostility toward spiritual traditions may be hampering empirical inquiry.

Just as ancient doesn’t always mean wise, it doesn’t always mean foolish. The only way to determine which is the case is to put an idea — a hypothesis — to an empirical test. In my own work, I have repeatedly done so. I have found that religious ideas about human behavior and how to influence it, though never worthy of blind embrace, are sometimes vindicated by scientific examination.

What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t)

My claim is that religion can provide direct access to this emotional life in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder at the majesty of nature, but there are many forms of human suffering that are beyond the reach of any scientific alleviation. Different emotional stresses require different kinds of rescue. Unlike previous secular tributes to religion that praise its ethical and civilizing function, I think we need religion because it is a road-tested form of emotional management.

Did Math Kill God?

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The Galileo Affair becomes part of a metanarrative, or, in Jean-Francois Lyotard’s term, a Grand Narrative. It says that early seventeenth-century Europe hung at a crux, with religion pulling it backward into medieval ignorance and science straining to push time forward into modernity…

Scholars began thinking “with empty and abstract information symbols,” which catalyzed a revolution from “thing-mathematics” to “relation-mathematics.” Because this form of knowledge went beyond ordinary language, which previously was the primary means of conveying information, people slowly began to conceive of a world contingent on “natural” laws rather than the word of God.

https://newrepublic.com/article/148150/math-kill-god

Reza Aslan: Why I am a Muslim

“Faith is mysterious and ineffable. It is an emotional, not necessarily a rational, experience. Religion is a fairly recent human invention. But faith, as I have elsewhere argued, is embedded in our very evolution as human beings.
“And yet, in the end, faith is nothing more or less than a choice. You either believe there is something beyond the physical world (as I do), or you don’t. You either believe you are more than the sum of your material parts (as I do), or you don’t. You either believe in the existence of a soul (as I do), or you don’t.
“No one can prove or disprove these things, not any more than anyone can prove or disprove love or fear or any other human emotion.
“Religion, on the other hand, is the language we use to express faith. It is a language made up of symbols and metaphors that allows people to express to each other (and to themselves) what is, almost by definition, inexpressible.
“After all, if there is a God, then that God is utterly beyond human comprehension.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/26/opinions/believer-personal-faith-essay-reza-aslan/

Whatever the soul is, its existence can’t be proved or disproved by natural science

“When his results were first published, critics argued that the weight loss could be explained by physiologic factors, such as evaporation. Moreover, his report failed to mention several patients in whom he found no weight loss. Finally, subsequent attempts to reproduce his results failed to find any weight loss. Indeed, MacDougall’s vision may have been clouded by confirmation bias, the tendency for investigators to see what they expect.”

https://theconversation.com/whatever-the-soul-is-its-existence-cant-be-proved-or-disproved-by-natural-science-61244?mc_cid=6e8e6bd94e&mc_eid=34e2887073

Iceland Is Officially Worshiping Norse Gods Again

Hilmarsson said: “I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet. We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.” Membership in Asatruarfelagid has tripled in Iceland to 2,400 members, out of a total population of 330,000.

http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/iceland-to-officially-worship-norse-gods-again?mc_cid=84d899c964&mc_eid=34e2887073