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Question:

A significant debate in the field of sociology ?
 
 

Answer:

Introducation:

A significant debate in the field of sociology in the recent years has been on the topic of whether religion and science are mutually irrelevant and scholars from across the world have responded to the argument. The common notion prevalent among the societies is that the war between theology and science is a coarse oversimplification and the topic is a deformed piece of propaganda[1]. The present essay compares and contrasts religion with science from the point of view of sociology. It explains whether science is a form of religion and whether religion and science are similar social constructions. The essay considers both the relationship between proof and faith and how irrational social factors influence every aspect of life.

Religion and science are not to be regarded as enemies. However, they are not friends either. Religion and science are mutually irrelevant, and they are the representation of tow domain that is non-overlapping. The concept that individuals have in their minds is that religion is to deal with faith whereas science is to deal with facts and reality. Nevertheless, this concept is an unpleasant misrepresentation of religion and science. When the universe is being probed from the scientific viewpoint, there is a number of question and problems that are encountered which are predominantly philosophical in character. There is often a lack of scientific explanations for these questions, but theological perspectives may illuminate the solutions of the issues[2]. It is not true that religion does not contribute towards factual claims regarding any societal issues. The authors argue that religion makes various conflicting claims about the origin of humanity and how the universe works but all of them cannot be true. Religion and science are therefore just like two circles intersecting each other or rather partially overlapping each other[3].

The last few decades have been witnessing a thriving dialogue between theology and religion. To discuss about implications of science for theology is a matter of much speculation. The authors explore different aspects in which religion and science serve as collaborators in the search for truth. Firstly, religion fosters the conceptual framework for science to flourish in. Moreover, the complete scientific enterprise has the foundation on different assumptions that are not possible to be proved in a scientific manner but are guaranteed by the religious world view. Secondly, science has the power to verify as well as falsify claims made by religion. When religion puts forward claims regarding the natural world, there is a fine line of intersection with the sphere of science. Thirdly, science comes across different metaphysical issues that religion can help in solving. Science has often been known for an insatiable quest for an explanation. But the ability of science to hold up explanations is limited, and this is where religion can help. An individual who has the belief in God is possessed with a strong force of resources that can be applied for getting the ultimate explanations for any arising question. Next, religion helps in the adjudication between stories of science. The adoption of a number of scientific theories rests on philosophical presuppositions. In addition, religion has the ability to augment the instructive influence of science. Lastly, science establishes a premise in certain arguments where the conclusion has religious significance[4].

 


There has been an ongoing debate regarding the differences between religion and science and different issues set them apart. Though the differences between the two schools are far reaching, the similarities are also significant. Both religion and science have the basis on a never-ending search for more knowledge and wisdom. Many religions have a strong emphasis on the idea that researchers are to obtain more knowledge of wisdom and self and the earth for coming closer to the holy spirit. This can be done through prophecy, traditions and nature symbology. Likewise, science puts the emphasis on the need for researchers to understand and identify all forms of wisdom and knowledge to come closer to nature. This can be done through ideas, symbolism and textbooks. Keeping this in view, religion and science are found to be two different groups of thoughts with each having a possession of a rich pool of information beneficial for humanity and nature[5]. There that there are similarities between science and religion since each claims to be the “real” truth. In this regard, several elitists and purists view them to be mutually exclusive[6].

Many schools of thoughts have compared and contrasted religion and science from the sociological point of view. One of the fundamental differences between religion and science is that unlike religion science can undergo changes. Religion and theology do not undergo any changes once it has been established among the common. Science has theory and evidence, and they claim things to be true since they fit in different theories and evidence. However, with the emergence of a new theory ann previous theory can be proved wrong and scientists may consider not applying it any further. For instance, the theory of relativism of Albert Einstein has proved the laws of motion of Newton to be invalid outside the world. In contrast, religion resists changes completely. This leads to conflict between scientists and churches and epistemologies change often[7]. In contrast to science, religion is reliant on faith. A religious person believes in a lot of things that he cannot see. This is not the case for science. Science aways demands proofs for supporting the theories and thesis[8].

A number of scientists have put forward rationales and theories that aim to prove that the universe is not created by God. For example, Stephen Hawking strives to prove that God has no role in creating the universe and makes God redundant. According to the famous scientist, if researchers can find the fundamental laws of nature then we can understand how God function and what are the implications being held for us. The search for the Holy one is almost over, and the behaviour of all basic particles and forces accounts for all origins in the universe. It is prominent that scientists contributing most enthusiastically to the disagreements are from the field of fundamental physics and evolutionary biology[9]. Many scientists belive that science is more advanced over the theories and religion, and there are major fundamental differences between theories and experiments. Even if a theory or belief is beautiful, it will get discarded if not backed up by any proof[10].

In conclusion, it can be stated that science and religion have their own cosmology, belief and sanctity and each has their own impact on the lives of people. The logic of religion and science are challenging in their own respect and an ordinary individual can believe in all of them. We are living in the advanced level of technologies and at the top of modernity; however, religion still has a major influence on our daily lives. The debate of which is more powerful religion and science would continue for ever, and from the social viewpoint new ideas may be coming up highlighting the interrelation between science and religion. There are many comparables between religion and science, and there are few reasons to place them totally at odds.

 

Bibliography

Clulee, Nicholas. John Dee's natural philosophy: Between science and religion. Routledge, 2013.

Coleman III, Thomas J. "James W. Jones: Can Science Explain Religion?—The Cognitive Science Debate." Review of Religious Research 58, no. 3 (2016): 459-461.

Greenway, Tyler S. "Can science explain religion? The cognitive science debate, James W. Jones." (2017): 1-2.

Polanyi, Michael. Science, faith, and society. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Ross Jr, John. Science & Religion: A Handbook for Interpersonal Dialogue, Discussion and Debate. Xlibris Corporation, 2016.

Schütz, Gunter M. "Faith and Science: Friend or Foe?." Contemporary Physics 57, no. 1 (2016): 104-109.

Smart, Ninian. The science of religion and the sociology of knowledge: Some methodological questions. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Stahl, Devan. "Building Better Humans? Refocusing the Debate on Transhumanism." (2017): 1-4.

Warren, Elizabeth Curran. The Religion-Science Debate. AuthorHouse, 2016.

Weldon, Stephen P. "1 Science and Religion." Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction (2017): 1.

 

[1] Warren, Elizabeth Curran. The Religion-Science Debate. AuthorHouse, 2016.

[2] Coleman III, Thomas J. "James W. Jones: Can Science Explain Religion?—The Cognitive Science Debate." Review of Religious Research 58, no. 3 (2016): 459-461.

[3] Smart, Ninian. The science of religion and the sociology of knowledge: Some methodological questions. Princeton University Press, 2015.

[4] Ross Jr, John. Science & Religion: A Handbook for Interpersonal Dialogue, Discussion and Debate. Xlibris Corporation, 2016.

[5] Stahl, Devan. "Building Better Humans? Refocusing the Debate on Transhumanism." (2017): 1-4.

[6] Clulee, Nicholas. John Dee's natural philosophy: Between science and religion. Routledge, 2013.

[7] Weldon, Stephen P. "1 Science and Religion." Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction (2017): 1.

[8] Greenway, Tyler S. "Can science explain religion? The cognitive science debate, James W. Jones." (2017): 1-2.

[9] Polanyi, Michael. Science, faith, and society. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

[10] Schütz, Gunter M. "Faith and Science: Friend or Foe?." Contemporary Physics 57, no. 1 (2016): 104-109.

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