Religion vs. science

Religion vs. Science December 10, 2003 I would like to approach this subject from the position of being a member of the panel who has awaited his turn to speak and approach this not in the spirit of argument, rather in the spirit of discussion. My views are based on being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in no way do I wish to force my beliefs on any of the members of the panel, instead I prefer to place them on the table objectively to be discussed later. It is true that many people after obtaining some knowledge of science begin to doubt the teachings of their father’s religion. However, I would say that this is not because they have come to a greater knowledge of science, but rather they do not understand God. Many have grown up with a mystical understanding of God – that He is a being who has no body parts or passions large enough to fill the entire universe but small enough to dwell in one’s heart. To a scientist, this view is illogical and goes against natural laws. God is flesh and blood; we are created in His image as pointed out in the Bible, in Genesis. This viewpoint was also expressed in the Bible, in Mathew, when Christ was resurrected and His apostles were asked to come forward and feel the prints in His hands and feet and see that He was still flesh and blood. Feynman in his essay made it clear that scientists must be able use the scientific method, ” If I do this, what will happen?”, in order to answer its questions. Any question, philosophical or not, that cannot be put into this form must reside outside the realm of science. The mistake is that scientists do not believe that this type of questioning can be applied to religion. However, the very teachings of God show us that not only can it be applied, but that it must be applied in order for one to come to the same type of knowledge of God as he/she would about something scientifically. In the Bible, which is common to most religions as well as mine, it says concerning tithing, ” Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…and prove me now herewith. If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”. Therefore, one may apply the scientific question to the principal of tithing. Christ gave us another example: He said that if we want to know whether or not the doctrine is true and comes from the Father, we must ” do his will” then we ” shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself”. Again, the scientific method is applied in this situation and the scientific experiment must be carried out with the question in mind – ” If I do this what will happen?” Too often religious leaders try to persuade men and women to simply believe in their words by saying that you must have faith in what they say. Here again is a misunderstanding. In the Bible, James said, ” Faith without works is dead”. Just as it is in science, one cannot simply believe a principle; he must have some belief that his hypothesis is correct and then put it to the test, which is also the only way to come to the knowledge of whether or not there is a God. The best example of this is found in the text of the LDS church where it says, ” And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye ask god the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true: and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith In Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” In other words, ” If I try this, what will happen?” In conclusion, in order for the young man who has begun to doubt the existence of God because he has come to some knowledge and understanding of science, he need only apply the same type of questioning and methods to religion has he has done with his quest of scientific knowledge in order to reconcile the two. The tools will be different. In science one will need to use electrometers, microscopes, telescopes, etc. and in religion, one may need to use their knees, the power of prayer, and their feelings, but the question is the same- ” What will happen if I do this?”