Why We Don’t Believe – Science and Religion

Science has been one of the major factors that has fed to the growing sense of disbelief in the world today. When you look at the correlation between the growth of science and religiosity throughout history, it is hard to miss the increase in atheism and agnosticism in times of great scientific progress. This can be demonstrated by looking at the Renaissance, Victorian era and the 20th century where disbelief reached critical mass; and the stark contrast during the Dark Ages when science was at its lowest.

Why is this so? Is it because disbelievers are better at science? That could not be further from the truth. It is more likely that science and religion are so incompatible that people have no choice but to de-convert. Some of the greatest scientists started as religious people, the most extreme example being Charles Darwin, who would have chosen to be a priest if he had not chosen to go on the Beagle.

When you look at the real histories of all religions, you can see why modern science trumps ancient religions every time. Every religion is man made and the older the religions are the scientific “truths” in the “sacred and holy” books contain the errors of the time they were written in. None of them contain science ahead of their time. Judaism, Christianity and Islam claimed that the earth was flat till the 19th and 20th centuries. Buddhists and Hindus believe in rebirth though there is no scientific evidence behind their reasoning. The faulty science continues on and on. Religious people end up putting logic on hold to hang onto their beliefs or cherry pick parts they can reconcile with. One example is Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project who is an Evangelical Christian. It is similar to a vegetarian that eats fish. Is it so hard to stick to your principles? These people who cherry pick get less respect than total fundamentalists from me because they see what is wrong with their beliefs but still stick to those mythologies and rituals.

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11 Responses to Why We Don’t Believe – Science and Religion

  1. shamelesslyatheist says:

    I think Jerry Coyne and Matthew Cobb said it best in a letter to Nature last year:

    In reality, the only contribution that science can make to the ideas of religion is atheism.

  2. Riz says:

    Islam doesn’t claim the earth is flat. Infact Islam says the earth is spherical by comparing it’s shape to an ostrich egg.

    • Dilhan says:

      Well Riz, it is debatable what the exact word is because the English translation says flat

  3. Riz says:

    And the Quran talks abt the merging of the day Into the night and vice versa as transitions which won’t occur if the earth was flat

  4. Isn’t science the “religion” of the atheists? Science too is inconclusive and progressive, science also cannot explain many things to one’s satisfaction, just like some religions.

    Buddhism, which does not believe in God or a Creator of the Universe, is a philosophy that even explained the existence of electrons and neutrons, long before someone looked under the microscope. It explains things that are not even thought-of in science. Starting from the ABC of science – concept of the two extremes, zero and infinity, Buddhism goes in to extremes of controlling energy and dimensions that we don’t read about in Science journals.

    So where does this philosophy that cannot be “proven wrong scientifically” fit in? Can an atheist explain the existence of “mind” which is the centre of the spirit, to begin with?

    I too only believed in science until I experienced certain things that could not be explained in science. What we know is only too little, what science knows today is the collective sum of the brain-power (percentage used still not proven in science) of the the scientists. So what about the rest of the masses and their brain-power? There is a whole universe out there, right?

    I personally think religion and science both deserve equal respect, one is good for the soul and the other is good for the body.

    • Dilhan says:

      Serendib Isle
      1.Science is not the religion of atheists for we do not pray to science(most of us trust the process, that is all)
      2. Buddhism is a theistic religion since it believes in a supernatural entity called karma

      and please list texts or teachings with specific chapter and verse as evidence of the so called science of buddhism, I have been a buddhist for the first 17 years of my life and I have checked most of the pseudo science in buddhism

      keep reading this blog, as I will continue this series on Why we don’t believe, and I will do some posts on specific religions

    • tharindra says:

      Serendib_isle, Hi there, you mentioned above that you have experienced certain things that could not be explained by science. Would you be kind enough to give a couple of examples? Thanks.

  5. chathura says:

    can u please tell why dont u believe in karma and believe in gravity (or scientific process) how the science has so superiority……..

    there is no such thing called rebirth in Buddhism …………

    you are such a genius to identify what is Buddhism in 17 years can u tell me how the rapidly changing science helps you to identify Buddhist concepts ……….

    science creates models describing scenarios of nature in a material way……..
    what Buddha did was identified the truth in immaterial manner ………..

    First try to understand science , then try to understand what is Buddhism on your own………(the Buddhist books were written centuries after Buddha’s enlightment )

    read “kalama sutta” …………

    cheers…….

    • Dilhan says:

      Chathura
      Karma would require some sort of intelligence guiding it, and as far as I know there isn’t one(unless you are privy to such information)
      The scientific process is superior because it relies on evidence(rather than faith) and can be tested.

      “there is no such thing called rebirth in Buddhism” – are you sure? I think you need to read up on your religion again

      I am not a genius(probably), just willing to explore the truth(instead of covering my ears shouting nanana) and standing on the shoulder of giants

      kalama sutta is all good and I urge you to read it again. buddhism is just another religion claiming to know about the afterlife without ANY empirical evidence. If you follow it, no skin off my back, bt don’t try to claim it is any better than christianity, islam or scientology

  6. chathura says:

    he he…

    can you explain where their is rebirth in buddhism………(Their is no sush thing in Buddhism….)
    If you dont have any idea on that please try to read “Milinda Nagasena thero debate” it makes you some aware on that…………

    “The scientific process is superior because it relies on evidence(rather than faith) and can be tested.”
    this part is really funny this is just an imagination of you due to your ideology…….

    In Aristotalian logic “If h==0” then h!=0 is false………..
    when we consider four fold logic (super positioning) the two can be true in same time ……. how can you describe until you dont know the concept “super positioning”(non existence or “Anathma”)………..

    “buddhism is just another religion claiming to know about the afterlife without ANY empirical evidence”

    If you want to idenify this then try to meditate because Buddha didnt try to explore every thing in universe because every this changing and make life pain full thats all . …….(But it is so difficult than “standing on giants…… :P”)

    you cant test gravity …….. but you create model as gravity…….. (Albert Einstine was laughed at Newton’s theories……….. he even shows their fallacy….)
    It’s your mind creates knowlege due to unknown of “Thrilakshana”

    “Buddhism is much far away from science….. It is only for itelligent people…… not for a person who stand on others shoulders……………..”

  7. Dilhan says:

    Chathura,
    “can you explain where their is rebirth in buddhism” unless I was taught something totally different, what people are being indoctrinated into in sunday school
    + http://jathakakatha.org/english/
    + the Dalai Lama reincarnations
    +the whole “point” of buddhism is to attain nirvana, apparently

    “If you want to idenify this then try to meditate because Buddha didnt try to explore every thing in universe because every this changing and make life pain full thats all” meditation(in some studies) have shown to have a calming effect, that is all. I dont understand what thats got to do with empirical evidence.(and as for standing on the shoulders of giants, I’d rather do that than just have blind faith in anything)

    “you cant test gravity …….. but you create model as gravity” you can test the effects of gravity and people at the particle accelerator are trying to figure out what causes it

    “Albert Einstine was laughed at Newton’s theories……….. he even shows their fallacy….)” science is a process that changes when new evidence is presented, nt faith as this case clearly shows

    ‘It’s your mind creates knowlege due to unknown of “Thrilakshana” ‘ what do you mean? please elaborate

    “Buddhism is much far away from science….. It is only for itelligent people…… not for a person who stand on others shoulders……………..” I agree that buddhism is unscientific as any other religion(and followers just as dogmatic). and I urge you to read Newton’s quote again as you clearly have not understood it

    “It is only for itelligent people” don’t mug yourself son

    just on a side note, which ‘brand’ of buddhism do you follow and why? and why do you think you have got it right.

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