When it comes to Religion?
Science is seldom willing to be very accommodating…
Especially when it comes to a reconciliation of the two:
[via io9] Can Science and Religion be Reconciled? ~Robert T. Gonzalez
Physicist Sean Carroll and @YourTitleSucks agree. The answer is “No.”
Slate has republished a thought-provoking essay by author, blogger and physicist Sean Carroll about why he won’t take money from the John Templeton Foundation, “a philanthropic organization that supports research into the ‘Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality,’ encourages ‘dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians,’ and seeks to use science to acquire ‘new spiritual information.'” In other words: the JTF seeks to unify science and religion.
Carroll’s essay is ultimately about two brands of centrism: the first ontological, the second professional. The former, he asserts, is impossible. He refuses to work directly with or accept funding from the JTF, because he believes their mission undermines the role of scientists to be as “clear and direct and loud” about the nature of reality as possible, and that “collaborating with organizations like Templeton inevitably dilutes that message.”
The latter, however, is doable – at least in Carroll’s eyes. While he will not accept funding from JTP directly, he readily acknowledges that he will work with people who do take money from JTF, “money that is appropriately laundered, if you will,” if he believes them to be worth “collaborating with in their own right.” This places him in a bit of a situation:
This means that approximately nobody agrees with me; the Templeton-friendly folks think I’m too uptight and priggish, while the anti-Templeton faction finds me sadly lacking in conviction. So be it. These are issues without easy answers, and I don’t mind taking a judicious middle ground.
I worry that Carroll’s piece will strike some people as hypocritical, for at least two reasons that I can think of.
1. There’s the obvious one: Carroll’s “twice-removed” policy of handling JTF money and his “lack of conviction” to the naturalist/atheist cause. He mentions this himself in his piece, and it’s something he has effectively asked us to :: sunglasses:: Deal With, as is his right.
2. Carroll’s assertion that professional quandaries such as where do I get my funding? are “issues without easy answers,” whereas conundrums like is there a higher power? aren’t really conundrums at all.
In the grand scheme of things…
FauxFoxNews]Atheism is a religion, too ~By Johnnie Moore
For a theist there’s nothing quite like watching an atheist get an intellectual walloping from a preacher. There’s just something apocalyptic about it, and it most easily occurs when the atheist tries to chop up religion to irrelevancy without realizing that he is himself awfully religious.
It happened again recently at the Cambridge Union debating society when former Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams took on the best known name in contemporary atheism, Richard Dawkins. They were debating whether religion has a role in the 21st century.
Dawkins said it didn’t.
Williams said it did.
In the end, Williams was handed a decidedly strong victory with more than two times as many votes from the audience as the infamous atheist, Dawkins. It was a triumphant day for the faithful and a shameful one for the irreligious.
But actually no one really is irreligious.
This world beats to the rhythm of religion in a thousand ways, and absolutely everyone is religious — including atheists.
Religion certainly includes an idea of a God under whom man is inherently subservient, but religion also governs the belief system undergirding the way people think about, and live, their lives.
It tells them who their authority is and it informs their values and behavior. It gives them their sense of morality and goodwill, and it guides them in the way they treat themselves and others. Religion does nothing less than construct one’s view of the world.
Atheists are, in fact, some of the most religious people.
First, they have a functioning God under whom they are subservient (normally it’s science or rationality, but mainly themselves), and that idea of God informs the way they live and interpret their lives. It informs their biases and determines their values, and governs any sense of morality or ethics they adhere too, or ignore.
Once that’s all settled all that’s left is the preaching.
And they preach all the time.
This new breed of atheists is obsessed with the idea of God. They write books, deliver speeches, comment-bomb the evangelical blogosphere and generally rant on ad nauseam about the ills of believing in God.
Honestly – comically – some atheists must type the word “God” on the Internet five times more often than most Christians I know and they do it with the fury of a fire-and-brimstone zealot!
Maybe no one invokes the name of “God” more than they, and they are doing so in more and more virulent ways such as the shocking moment when Dr. Dawkins recently told Al-Jazeera television that he believed being raised Catholic was in itself even more psychologically damaging than being abused by a priest!
Instead of just ignoring God, or the idea of God, atheist preachers feel somehow compelled to rid the Earth of him; so they argue endlessly that theists can’t prove God exists without confessing that they can’t prove he doesn’t either.
Despite Science’s lack of belief that Religion does anything EXCEPT complicate the “discussion”…
Religion DOES indeed have direct benefits applicable for our day-to-day lives.
The big benefit being?
How the application thereof reflects in our relationships:
[via The Blaze]Prayer Can Allegedly Do This to Your Relationships With Significant Others and Friends~ by Billy Hallowell
A new study is giving a boost to the actions of many religious people, as it found that praying for partners and close friends may actually have some beneficial outcomes. Among them, people purportedly become more forgiving and cooperative, the Christian Post reports.
A report, recently released by Florida State University, provides intriguing details of the five studies that were conducted. Collectively, the information found that those who pray are essentially less vengeful and tend to cooperate more with others around them. WCTV-TV has more about the fascinating results:
The findings are significant because they are the first in which the partners who are the subject of the prayers reported a positive change in the behavior of the person who prayed, said Frank D. Fincham, eminent scholar and director of the Florida State University Family Institute.
“My previous research had shown that those who prayed for their partner reported more prosocial behavior toward their partner, but self-reports are subject to potential biased reporting,” Fincham said. “This set of studies is the very first to use objective indicators to show that prayer changed actual behavior, and that this behavior was apparent to the other partner, the subject of the prayer.”
In addition, objective observers found those who engaged in partner-focused prayer exhibited more positive behavior toward their partners compared to those who did not pray for their partner.
The results were published in a recent edition of the journal Personal Relationships in an article entitled, “Shifting Toward Cooperative Tendencies and Forgiveness: How Partner-Focused Prayer Transforms Motivation.” Increased prayer helped alleviate vengeance aimed at a partner, led to more forgiveness and it led to quicker action to fix an issue when prayer was used on the day a conflict emerged (versus when it was not).
Just as with Science…
Though I am sure Scientists DESPAIR in understanding it?
Religion will ALWAYS have a place in our lives.
And because it will?
One would think a bunch of Science-smarties would figure out the benefits of ALL…
And the wonders even a little bit of reconciliation would do.