Many might consider science and religion to be the opposite ends of a spectrum. In recent history mainstream science has forgone spiritual values and conservative religion has abhorred the notion of a faith based on evidence. Yet with the world at the brink of a natural cataclysm, can these two perspectives stay at odds with each other?
Beyond A Dogmatic Mainstream Science
To me science is the study of facts based on observation and research. Science helps our governments to make critical decisions that affect each and every one of us. It is thanks to science that in the past century we are able to make decisions based on reason rather than on blind faith.
Yet Dr Rupert Sheldrake, biologist and author, argues that mainstream science is basing itself on 10 major dogmas rather than on facts. According to him, one of such dogma scientists have come to uphold is that nature is 'purposeless and mechanical'. If scientists have passed on such ideals over to our governments and organisations, could they be responsible for our society's frenzy to rape mother Earth?
I firmly believe that the role of science in our society is to be a beacon of reason. To play this role science needs be free of dogmatic ideas and lust for titles and money. Only then will science be a suitable bachelor that will bring peace to our planet.
Beyond Judgement-Based Religions
It was amazing to see humans united together to watch a game that is so creative and skillful: football. Yet few realize that football is based on a long list of rules. Moreover it is these rules that allow players to express their creativity and skill to its full potential. Can you image how a football game would end up being played without those rules?
Like the rules of football free the players to express themselves, I believe that the religions should provide the basis on which people are able to reach their full potential. All love based religions have some form of Universal Laws that allow for this. It is very unfortunate to see some practice their religion in a judgmental way when this goes against what their teachers spoke of. Does anyone still wonder why so many people are despising religion when it cannot hold to its own truth?
Irrespective of the way religions are thought of and practiced, the laws they hold have helped billions of people across millenia. If such laws are upheld with love and freedom in mind, then Universal Laws can be our framework for working towards a better world. Only then can religion be the beautiful bride that will make life beautiful.
Is a Marriage Even Possible?
In the book 'The Territories of Science and Religion', Peter Harrison argues that the idea that religions and science are separate is very recent. This Professor of History states that in the ancient and medieval world, the Latin roots of both science (scientia) and religion (religio) were understood as inner qualities of the individual, never as doctrines, practices, or actual sources of knowledge.
And if you look at Eastern traditions this separation disappears. Yoga is sometimes referred to as the Science of Religion. More than this, in Vedic traditions, their saints and mystics, the rishis, found their highest potential through mastering spiritual science.
That means that not only is marriage possible, but it means that science and religion were once married and our modern society divorced them. Perhaps this event occurred when church and state were separated to protect the state from the church's overpowering influence. As evident as the reason for this divorce might have been (and maybe still are), the cost of this divorce is being paid by the state in increased health care, poverty measures and recovery from environmental devastation.
State and church can exist separately but can the state cannot afford to make away with Universal Laws in favour of selfish laws? I believe that our society needs to re-marry the reason of science to the universal laws of religion if it wants a world that is blissful again.
In therapy, relationships are healed when the idea of being right disappears and selfless love is embraced by both sides. Likewise, for a marriage between religion and science, both sides needs to wear the veil of humility and an open heart to each other. The greatest scientist of our time, Albert Einstein captured this idea when he stated that religion gives science a purpose whilst science gives religion its reason.
"Science without religion is pointless. Religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein
In a similar fashion Saint Francis of Assisi, a revered saint in the Christian tradition, speaks of seeing the divine in all of the creation. When science can look at all creation with love, it will find solutions that will make our lives beautiful.
Heavenly Father, You gave Your servant Francis great love for each of Your creatures. Teach us to see Your design in all of creation. We ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen. Saint Francis of Assisi
As knowledge explodes in our world, we need to let go of our pride and beliefs that we are the only ones who are right. This arrogance of wanting more, has put us in chains and deteriorated our lives. The easiest way, to my mind, for a return to harmony is when we uphold reason and universal laws in our lives and our society.