The thing that offends me most about many people on both sides of the science/religion debate is their extraordinarilly limited view.
Their argument generally seems to go something like this:
1) My understanding of the world through my experience with religion is (x)
2) My understanding of the world through my experience with science is (y)
3) (x) and (y) have facets that do not match up.
:.Therefore, either religion or science is false.
The flaw is assuming that one's experience and understanding of religion, science, and the world is complete- a staggeringly egotistical and narcissistic viewpoint.
Adding this premise:
4) As a human being, my experience and understanding of the world is fundamentally limited.
Gives us a much more valid conclusion:
:.Therefore, I do not have enough information to draw any logical conclusion from these facts.
Which brings us to the center of the human experience, the fundamental existential quandary- the question of faith
. In an inherently unpredictable and chaotic world where nothing is certain except for existence itself, one is forced to make a personal choice as to what to believe in.
If you choose to put faith in the experiences given to you through your five senses, it's called science. If you choose to put faith in the experiences given to you through the processes of language, it's called philosophy. If you choose to put faith in the experiences given to you that are beyond sensory perception or
language, that's spirituality or mysticism (commonly expressed through religion).
These three are by no means mutually exclusive- in fact, it should be obvious that each strengthens and reinforces the other two. One does oneself a grave disservice by denying the validity of any of these modes of understanding.
Denying the validity of religion on the basis of science not "matching up" is not only foolish, but damaging to one's human development. If your understanding of religion doesn't 'jive', your best couse of action is to expand your understanding of religion!
If what they taught you in Sunday School seems incompatible with what you learned in Astronomy or Biology, take that as as sign that there's a whole lot more to religion than what you've been taught. Read the Tao te Ching. Try yoga and learn about chakras and meditation. Study about the Kaballah, or Native American spirituality. Listen to Christian speakers from various traditions- OPEN YOUR MIND.
Also, don't forget the philosophy part either. Critical thinking skills are essential to making sense of the world. Expose yourself to the great thinkers' ideas with a questioning attitude.
More than anything, these steps will help you to become more comfortable with the fact that there is no way one will ever be able to rightfully claim that they have "figured it out" or "have the complete truth". It's not something we are equipped to understand.
When you watch that video, first realize that the furthest out it goes is 1.5% of the width of the Universe. Then realize that that's just what we know from what we can see. Then realize that quantum physics tells us that that's just one of innummerable parallel Universes.
Existence is truly infinite in every sense of the word: that which man cannot measure or comprehend. Claiming to be able to do so is incontrovertable proof of self-absorbed ignorance.
Edited by underworlderZer0, 26 March 2008 - 10:03 AM.