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Is religion merely failed science?

  • 27-10-2021 2:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 621 ✭✭✭ Relax brah

    it could be argued that religions originated as primitive attempts to answer questions that now belong to science.

    equally modern science’s explanatory successes have rendered religious belief obsolete.


    Post edited by Ten of Swords on



  • Registered Users Posts: 468 ✭✭ nj27

    I think it's more of a survival mechanism which propagates itself by protecting its adherents from a bunch of challenges posed by the environment in which the religion was developed, thus allowing them to have kids they can pass it on to. Lots of the rules read more like some kind of game theory strategy if you remove the Godly elements. I'm actually kind of into religion from that point of view. Also a lot of them are like the Simpsons too in that it's layered and obviously a lot more complex than the caricature which smug atheists like to beat up. It has deeper aspects like Biblical exegesis to appeal to the intellectual members of the religion, but the basic message is accessible to anyone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    Religion and science are not necessarily incompatible unless you are a religious zealot or an atheist zealot.

    Science explains how it doesn't explain why.

    For example evolution, science can explain how life came to be as it is today but it can't answer how it originated.

    A religious zealot will say evolution is made up, an atheist zealot such as Richard Dawkins will use it to say it's proof of why God doesn't exist. A rationale person will accept we don't know how life began in the oceans but it did. There's no proof it was a creator but equally there's no proof it wasn't.

    As such absence of proof is not proof of absence and so science and religion are not incompatible unless you take extreme views.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,777 ✭✭✭ Cork_exile

    No, because science (at it's most basic) assumes that our current knowledge is our best attempt at understanding.

    It is open to changes. While extraordinary claims will require extraordinary evidence, science changes to fit repeatable observations.

    Religion operates in the dark and refuses change. In fact it goes out of its way to criticise dissenting views.

    Religion claims to have the answers without proving it, relying on "faith".

    Science will admit that knowledge is our best attempt and we know very little, in the grand scheme of things.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,777 ✭✭✭ Cork_exile

    Define an "Atheist Zealot"

    How is how a zealot when one's default is the non-existence of a supreme being? You can't go beyond that...

    Also the lack of evidence in something is not a reason to move to magical beings.

    A scientist will admit they do not know but will not make up a fantastical tale to cover their ignorance of a topic.

    Religious leaders on the other hand...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,777 ✭✭✭ Cork_exile

    Everyone is an atheist to some extent. Some just don't believe in the final few gods too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,339 ✭✭✭ BluePlanet

    Religion doesn't employ the scientific method so no, it's not science.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,654 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    Most people don’t fear god... a rapist won’t fear god.. but he’ll be in fear of getting caught and made pay for his crimes by law enforcement or say a relative of his THIS life.

    zero proof of heaven / hell or any afterlife. Nobody ever returned from the dead... if it’s there, we’ll find out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    One might say the rapist isn't afraid of being caught either in this life or he wouldn't be a rapist in the first place.

    I don't see how a rapist is representative of most people though. Regardless of religious beliefs or not most people are not or will never be rapists.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    Just to clarify it's not the fear of getting caught in any life stops most people being rapists, it's just wrong and a horrific idea to most people myself included.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,654 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    its just one example, there are tens of thousands of criminals in this state as I type :) over 3,800 are currently incarcerated...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    Depends on how you define religion.

    You can have belief and faith in the scientifically unproven. A lot of the science we view as fact today was once considered nonsense, but some had a belief and faith in their hypothesis.

    Organised religion is a form of control even Jesus didn't support.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    There are millions of people in the country, most don't do bad things out of having good morals for want of a better way of putting it.

    It's nothing to do with a fear of retribution from God, the state, or a relative.

    Now the criminals you speak of are probably not afraid of any of that either but they have different morals when committing crimes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 621 ✭✭✭ Relax brah

    Good post.

    They all defer, from my perspective I believe they are all philosophers - for example the Buddha didn’t believe in worshipping anything or anyone. Buddhism has no spiritual text or prayer, yet, it is defined as religion.

    Ask a Buddhist monk about god and they will tell god is from within. A stark constraint from the likes of Islam for example

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    Religion and Science, one a system of personal or collective beliefs, the other a system of data and consensus, nothing wrong with either apart from the mobs who abuse both as a weapon to control others

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,734 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly

    Science can't tell me how what we see came into being. It can tell me how it thinks it works but not its origin. Its really not all its cracked up to be

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,601 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl

    No matter how far science goes you will always be able to push one step further and ask why and thus the avenue for a religious belief is never closed. Also, ultimately, religion is not a scientific ideal so can neither be proven or disproven by science.

    Many of the tenets of religion are borne out of burgeoning science. A ban on eating swine recognized that they are more likely to spread disease at the time and thus those who abstained were healthier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,891 ✭✭✭✭ Pherekydes

    Religion tells you the whys. It's completely cocksure, but in reality it doesn't have a clue.

    But it'll saw your head off for not believing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 255 ✭✭ techman1

    thats a very good summary. There are alot of things that still cannot be answered by science, if the Universe is so large why are we the only living planet, statistically if everything happened by chance it should have happened elsewhere due to the immense size and number of stars and planets yet we have not encountered a smidgeon of life anywhere else. Our radio waves have now travelled over a 100 million light years into outer space since the start of the technological age yet no intelligent life has answered back within that immense distance. Also we have not detected any radio waves from other intelligent planets

    This is of course the "Fermi paradox" "Where is everybody" statistically there should be many more intelligent planets and we should have heard from them as some should be far more advanced than us, yet silence. Fermi is one of the fathers of modern physics and was critical figure in the manhattan project

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    Well if it wasn't religion they'd find another excuse. Many things are done in the name of religion as an excuse to attack or persecute those don't agree.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    Religion can tell you based on belief, but it can't tell you for a fact.

    Personally I have issues with anyone who believes in a deity being put in a position of authority. To quote Fr. Dougal, "It's all a bit mad Ted".

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,867 ✭✭✭ Grab All Association

    jesus walked on water. Walking on water is one of the common delusions schizophrenics have. A lot of these miracles in the bible could be psychosis.

    organised religion are just a grift and a way to suppress promiscuous women and marry them off to guys with really tiny tinklers.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    On the back of experiencing some injustices both personally and witnessing it in general society in some very extreme ways (which you do if you are a minority) I decided to go back and study law in the hope that I might better understand the "just world" theory which seemed to make all these injustices ok. Y'know, "the only bad things happen to bad people" theory. It only took two weeks to realise I was studying the wrong subject and after a bit of struggling found my way to opening the books on what I believed was just a different kind of law. I thought it might give me greater insight on the subject. It's been about three years now and it hasn't been easy but it's definitely helped clarify some things, especially with regard to that whole "Just World" stuff.

    I barely remember the movie "The devils advocate" (which I highly recommend, given the time of year it's appropriate) but it was a little bit like that. Taking hold of all these legalisms and needing to find the loopholes or get out clause. Trying to find that place where it is written. I've two months left to complete the bible and it's actually incredible. I do know where it is written glad to say, and that's definitely been a help to me personally.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,210 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Ten of Swords

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,151 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    and plenty of athiests will tell you (they always tell you they are atheists) that they are "spiritual"