Do you agree with the following statement regarding science and religion?

Please read carefully and take time to give a thoughtful answer - this is for ten points, after all:

Technology and industry's advancement as well as knowledge acquired through science has been achieved in spite of religion, not because of it.

Please tell me the following:

1. Your religious background (optional, of course);

2. Whether you agree or disagree;

3. What evidence you can use to support your opinion (very important);

4. What you think this statement means regarding religion and the modern world.

Thank you in advance...


Gee, thanks for bringing some useful arguments from your side of the debate, Christian101... next time, why don't you send it via snail-mail? If I got it after the question was resolved it would still be just as useless...

Update 2:

Problem JPAS: I would argue that these things appear to support your opinion, but are really just hiding places, arent they? The father of the scientific method may have indeed been muslim, but hasn't the method itself been the ultimate adversary of religion in the quest for proof of god? Alhazen himself said that truth is sought for it's own sake - he didn't seek a research method because of his religion. I don't disagree that one can be a religious scientist... but what has that got to do with anything?

Update 3:

BIGourami: Correct me if I am wrong, but a Deist is someone who acknowleges a creator god (or higher power), but also believes that they no longer influence the universe, don't speak to anyone or demand any respect, and may not even be around anymore, am I right? I think this is an interesting view (even if I don't share it). Aside from that, I think that the Galileo situation might be the smoking gun - the church wanted nothing to do with Galileo's proof of a sun-centered solar system; three-hundred years later, they officially apologized for ruining him as a scientist and admitted that they were wrong to persecute him. If religion was in favour of science, why the delay, and why the resistence? Could it be that they view too much knowldege as being dangerous?

Update 4:

cadisneygirl: The founding fathers of the US were actually very non-religious - quite possibly atheists (if their own writings tell us anything), and deists at best. I believe this is why scientific advancement was less restricted in the USA (also Britain, western Europe, Canada, to name a few others). I think your point about the will of those who hold power being more important than religious ideals is an interesting one, but I might also argue that the lack of religion among these particular leaders may have caused them to desire a different outcome in their respective nations instead... but that is certainly debatable from both sides. Good answer.

Update 5:

Seridee: To me, your analogy seems to be a fair one.

Update 6:

Fartman: I think that your answer lends credence to cadisneygirl's answer, and vice-versa; the inate "religiousness" of a society seems to have an effect on how advanced it can become. The examples you provided also make for a delicious icing on the cake - clearly, science has advanced beyond the realm of any logical "bible interpretation" - hence the need for attacks on biology education and the advent of "'Intelligent' Design."

Update 7:

BIGourami: Yeah, that's kind of what I meant about Deism - a god creates a universe and a set of laws, and then sits back and watches... I don't believe in a god at all, but I think this would certainly be the most logical view otherwise.

Update 8:

cadisneygirl: Absolute power corrupts absolultely. No doubt about it... Of course, the founding fathers had to use religion to some extent as well - ask anyone around at the time, and they'll tell you that Ben Franklin was religious. They had to present that image to the public (as american leaders today do as well) to be accepted. But religion wasn't making the decisions behind the scenes, and I think that is where the distinction lies between the western world and, say, the Middle East. No matter how religious the society itself was, and no matter how mistrustful of the government they were, it still came down to the religious opinions of the men in charge when making morally-based decisions. I wouldn't doubt for a second that a government would vote on bills and laws the way their religion (or lack thereof) would dictate they should...

Update 9:

meissen97: I would have to disagree. Although I would be the first to point out that science was begun by religious people, I would also point out that this does not mean that science is a result of religion itself; it is the result of the desire of a few people to learn more than their religion would allow - religion didn't start science, religious PEOPLE did; there is a big difference. In fact, there are many scientists today who study in their respective fields in spite of religion, not because of it - the fact that they cannot let go of beliefs that they themselves have proven false shows how much of a hold religion has on the mind, and just how far apart scientific inquiry and religious thought are on the spectrum.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Disagree. Religion started science. At a certain point they separated. After a longer point science began to dismantle religion.

    At this point science is being bogged down by religion. The various opponents to stem cell research. The "debate" over evolution. The wanting to teach creationism in school via ID.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    problem Jpas i respectfully disagree..

    such people's contributions were not in light of theism but a side note..

    when most of the major discoveries were made (sci. theory, gravity, anti-geocentrism etc) atheists or agnostics were looked down upon much more so than today and admittance of such would be career suicide.. most if not all were closet atheists or bannished like galileo (and even he was a creationist)

    1. deist

    2. agree

    3. as stated religiou people people aided science and math, but the religion itself played little to no role in such works

    4. the same.. religious affiliation pays a mute role in discovery, only one's personal journey

    religion itself is a human creation invented to desribe the the processes of the natural world.. in a way religion was almost the 'first science'

    it's only understandable that as more and more is becomming known there may no longer be a need for a supernatural exlination. we may very well (eventually) know everything

    even knowing most would be grounds for dismissal of religion on the whole

    a deist *at least in my perspective* is one who follows science as the natural order (physics saying how the universe formed, and biology about life, etc) but at a certain point (typically the origin of the universe of even before then) is a rather large blank.. before the universe there is no empirical evidence to say anything was one way or another, so it is not an assumption that god would have existed and put this universe forth into creation (for unknown reasons)

    i know it sounds like a lot of "i don't know" but let me paraphrase:

    god (could have) started the universe, but science guides it from then on

    to cadisney.. they have been intertwined because the people who wrote the history books were the people who's religion managed to supress the most others..

    should history have played out any different than it had...

    worshiping anything other than odin might be blasphemy

    had alexander the great conquered the world, or caesar, or ghengus khan.. history would be completely different..

    history is written by the victorious

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Christians are to love everyone, no matter what their beliefs. As the saying goes, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." It is our duty to try to show people the Truth and spread the Gospel, but we cannot force it on people (many Roman emperors and the Crusaders did that, and the results were dreadful). The only way that it is intolerant is that Christians SHOULD believe that Jesus is the only path to God. Unfortunately, many don't; that is why the Episcopal Church is in danger of splitting. Jesus himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  • 1 decade ago

    1. Your religious background (optional, of course); agnostic turned Christian

    2. Whether you agree or disagree; Disagree

    3. What evidence you can use to support your opinion (very important);All religions have and do contribute to science. Father of scientific method was Muslim, Big Bang Catholic Monk, microscope, Calvinist, First universities the Catholic Church. Sunday, around 46 percent of all Ph.D. scientists are in church; for the general population the figure is 47 percent.

    4. What you think this statement means regarding religion and the modern world. It means prejudice and bigotry are alive and well.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. LDS(mormon)

    2. agree to a certain extent

    3. Religion and gvt has been intertwined significantly thruout the history of the world, esp the western world. Religious leaders had great influence over the gvts and many of them were hardly as religious as they claimed. In order to hold onto their power they felt it was necessary to stop any kind of thought or discoveries that would lessen their power and hold over the masses. Religion was an easy way to keep this hold because they preyed on the superstitions and fears of the masses, who were very ignorant in those days and had very little education.

    A great way to keep a strong hold over a population is to keep them poor, uneducated and cut off to any ideas that might threaten their hold over them.

    Jump to the establishment of the US. Here you had people that were sick and tired of the church dictating their rights and a gvt that provided them with very little. People werent less religious. They were just not ok with a religion and a gvt thousands of miles away telling them what they could and couldnt do. They saw the damage corrupt religious people could have on society.

    When they wrote the US Constitution, and many laws before this, they were aware of that corruption. They established, pretty much for the first time, a gvt that not only kept its hands off of scientific and technological discoveries, but encouraged and protected such research. They wrote in intellectual property laws to encourage and support such research. It was pretty historical for a gvt to do so. The US was still pretty dang religious, however they recognized the benefits to supporting such advances and since the gvt wasnt reliant on a dictatorship, there was no threat in allowing such advances to occur.

    Add to this a capitalistic society that allowed people to benefit monetarily from such advancements and you get the technological boom that you have seen over the last couple hundreds of years compared to the thousands before that.

    (see capitalism and democracy are a good thing)

    So in reality, its not really religion, but the intentions of those in power, that boost or hold back technological advances.

    I dont think it really affects religion in todays world because the westerns world gvts arent set up in a way where technology is any kind of threat to religious beliefs. The "masses" get at the very least a basic education, so they arent as ignorant as they use to be.

    I think this supports the idea that its not the religion that stopped the advancement of technology, but the people in power.

    I was really not talking solely about the founding fathers. They were not the only ones that influenced the creation of the US. In fact, the US was being founded in the manner we know it now, including the concepts within the original Constitution, the first moment the first colony was established. Early colonists and americans in general were extremely religious back then. They attributed practically evertything to God. Again, this is why it was easy for those in power to use that to their advantage. It just didnt affect advancements in technology in the US because there was also a big mistrust of a large fed gvt amongst the colonists and early americans to interfere in the individuals business, so much so that their first gvt, the Articles of Confederation, almost collapsed the nation.

    I really dont believe most of the "powerful" leaders thruout history that used fear, intimidation and suppressed knowledge, were doing any of that because of their beliefs in their religions. I think they wanted to hold onto power any way possible.

    I agree to a certain extent

    We all vote according to our morals and values. Religious people get some of those morals and values from their religion, but a lot of it comes from society in general. A Christian in the US might have a very diff opinion on public nudity then a Christian in Brazil simply because their societies have such an impact on their morals and values.

    The founders of our nation shared certain concepts, like the distrust of a centralized fed gvt and the seperation of church and state, that went beyond religious faith.

    I think americans, regardless of beliefs from even the beginnings of this country, had some unique values that seperated them from their european counterparts. Even now, regardless if its an atheist or a christian, most europeans could spot an american in their country because we all share values based on our society.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, I think that's a pretty fair summation of the situation. To put it in the form of an analogy...religion tends to impede the flow of concepts like a dam impedes the flow of a river.

  • 1 decade ago

    Which came first...the chicken or the egg?


    you're welcome

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