Should Science And Religion Be Allowed To Mix In United States? Argumentative Essay Sample
Science and religion are both compatible, and one cannot do without the other. However, in the case of the United States, science and religion are not supposed to mix. This is the case since, as explained by the Everson v Board of Education case in 1947, the separation of church and state ensures that religious matters are not mixed with secular ones. The Supreme Court’s ruling was based on an interpretation of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in Virginia. The US Supreme Court interpreted it to mean that the matters related to the church must not mix with matters pertaining to the state, such as education or political policies. Therefore, it can be argued that although science and religion deal with the human experience from two different aspects, science and religion are not compatible; and hence, science and religion should not mix in the United States because the claims made by people who are religious are based on hypothesis that cannot be proven scientifically. This paper’s purpose, therefore, is to argue that religion and science should not mix in the United States.
Religion and science have always been pitted against one another due to the various views expressed by individuals in both fronts. Some believe that these two aspects employed in explaining human phenomena are compatible while others believe that these two should not mingle at all. For instance, Stenger, a retired particle physicist, proposes that atheism and science should remain to be the only true foundations of any civilized society. Further, Stenger suggests that all forms of religion are consistently incompatible with science and that having blind faith in religious claims that do not have concrete evidence is proof of a brain dysfunction. He strongly condemns all forms of a religious mindset on the origin of the universe. According to him, such beliefs are extreme superstition and the idea of an existing God is not welcome to all. These attacks against Christianity by scientists are common because most of these scholars believe the Christianity is never based on factual information that can be proved. Despite all the attacks Stenger launches against Christianity and religion at large, he offers no alternatives and explanations concerning these issues he strongly fights. This is the major weakness most by critics (Ross .233).
The constant claims put across that science and religion are not compatible does not mean that religious people cannot be first-class scientists. Some of the immense strides in science have been raised by known religious individuals. Einstein, for instance, a man who had little German education, was involved in huge scientific discoveries. Notable among these discoveries is his exceptional theory of relativity. Steven Gimbel proposes that the Einstein theory of relativity is “Jewish science “after all because he believes there must have been some Jewish influence on Einstein’s thinking prior to his discoveries. To further prove his point, Gimbel cites parallels between Einstein’s thinking and the common practices employed in Talmudic Interpretations. The approach Einstein had towards the Universe reminded Gimbel of the means the Talmudic scholars employed in a bid to understand the truths of the Lord. These similarities enabled scholars to conclude that religion played a role in most of the discoveries by Einstein (GoldSmith, 52). Deductions from the life of Einstein can show that religion can play a positive role in science. This assumption is because religion can shape the minds of scientists into thinking in a particular way that can help in making huge discoveries and inventions. .
Over the years, the relationship between sciences, the society, and religion have been under scrutiny. Various sociologists have assumed that as the societies are developing, reason and science are slowly substituting faith and religion as a foundation for understanding the world. Studies on the American populations concerning the Union of science and religion show varied perspectives and opinions. Through the General survey data, recent studies have revealed three groups that are based on attitudes and knowledge about science, preferences, and religiosity. 43 percent of the citizens involved in the survey believe in the traditional perspective. These individuals often have the preference for religion as compared to science. Contrary to these people, 36 percent hold the opposite view whereas 21 percent view both science and religion favorably. Interestingly, the post seculars opt for religion rather than conventional science when faced with opposing accounts of religion and science like evolution and creation. Indications from regression models show that the different perspectives on religion and science do not necessarily reflect other underlying ideological and denominational differences. As a matter of fact, the religio-scientific perceptions help in molding the attitudes of individuals about issues where scientific and some religious communities disagree. These trends suggest that the divisions exhibited in public by individuals are as a result of epistemological and cultural differences. In as much as science and religion are always pitted against one another, this combination can help people make rational decisions when it comes to matters that are politicized such as abortions and stem cell research.
Fabio Gironi, a religious studies intellectual, wages war against the field of religion and science from his perspective that is different from what the scientists have to say. Fabio argues that religious studies, when employed in scientific fields, are used in unreflective ways that use more of historical and methodological sophistication (Josh, 73). Religious leaders are also against some of the scientific claims that are taught cross. For instance, the Charles Darwin theory of evolution is highly opposed by Christians who believe the world was created by a supernatural being on over a period of six literal days. The theory of evolution and the archeological evidence presented by scientists in support of this theory shows the rift between religion and Science. As a matter of fact, most of the scientists contend to the fact that the evolution theory is a well thought out scheme that explains the origins and development of the world. They believe that evolution through the process of natural selection is a proven fact. They thus dismiss the creation theory, as well as, intelligent design as a form of creation theory that is dressed up as science. The religious people also have countless claims they believe will invalidate the Darwinian Theory false. All these facts combined together show that Religion and Science are incompatible and worlds apart (Augustine, 450).
Mixing religion and science is not a permissible idea because of their varying nature and methods of explaining the typical phenomena affecting human beings. Science, for instance, is based on testable and repeatable experiments whereas religion rarely based on tangible evidence. Any scientific inference is always made, after all, the relevant tests have been done, and the possible outcomes determined. This gives scientific claims concrete grounds when talking about the general issues affecting humankind. Religion too strives to explain the phenomena affecting human beings. However, all forms of religion are based on a hypothesis and lack the evidence required to explain the claims they put across. Due to this fact, religion has faced extreme criticism from scientists and nonbelievers alike. Mixing these two beliefs that are worlds apart would be detrimental to the United States of America. Science and religion should be play differing roles in the society and each should be allowed to work independently so as to achieve the best out of them. Further, a union of these two would lead to one influencing the other thus poor results would be achieved in the end.
In conclusion, mixing of science and religion in the United States should not be allowed because of the implications such an act would bring about. Some individuals believe that religion plays a role in influencing scientific results in shaping the mindset of the researcher. Others believe that science and religion, when combined, will shade more light to individuals when they need to make decisions concerning politicized issues such as abortion. Despite the various arguments that support the mingling of these two aspects of life, science and religion should not be allowed to mix due to various reasons. To begin with, these two aspects are divided by a huge rift in their attempt to explain the natural phenomena surrounding human beings. Science depends highly on information that is tried and tested whereas religious beliefs are based on hypothesis and faith on things that are not seen. Most of the claims made by various religions have limited evidence and proof. For instance, evolution and creation are two conflicting ideas. While physical evidences in support of the evolution theory are mounting daily, the theory of creation has its evidence within the human mind. This shows that religion and science are highly incompatible and mixing these two would lead to detrimental results.
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GoldSmith, Donald. "Einstein'sJewish Science: Physics at the intersection of Ploitics and Religion." Physics through a Jewish Lens? (2012): 51-53.
Josh, Reeves. "A Response to Fabio Gironi's "Turning a Critical eye on Science and Religion"." Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (2014): 75-86.
Ross, Collin. "God and the Folly of faith and the Incompatibility of Science and Religion: Book Review." Journal of Psychohistory (2012): 232-234.
Timothy, O'Brien. "Traditional, Modern and Post Secular Perspectives on Science and Religion in the United States." American Sociological Review (2014): 93-113.