Does the progress of science and technology in the West affect your choice of religion?

Does the progress of science and technology in the West affect your choice of religion? In other words, is one of the reasons that you are Roman Catholic or Protestant, and not Orthodox – that you are proud that science and technology have developed in the West more than in the East?

Not sure I even understand your question.
How would science and technology affect where I go to church?

No. After all, Tesla was the son of an Orthodox priest.

Actually, I think, I understand what he is talking about… :idea:

Does the progress of science and technology in the West affect your choice of religion? In other words, is one of the reasons that you are Roman Catholic or Protestant, and not Orthodox – that you are proud that science and technology have developed in the West more than in the East?

Greetings, brother! I was baptized as Russian Orthodox, but has never been practicing in ROC. Neither my parents have.

I think, I got what You are talking about. You know, I don’t think it is science and technology that I am proud of. But I think, it is rationalism and, to some extent, legalism, that attracts me. These are things that Orthodox are often repelled by, but I am attracted to them.

Also, think whatever of me, but I like the spread of Western culture over the world in the modern era, captivated by the spirit of exploration and frontier, characteristic of the time. These are things modern Westerners are ashamed of, but, again, I don’t think it is something worthy of that shame.

Nowadays, technology is something believe in more than religion. Which is bad and not worthy of pride.

No. Like most people, I grew up in the religion of my parents.

Well, in a way science did have an affect on my choice of religious affliation because I could no longer cling to the “head-in-the-sand” attitude about scientific discoveries, which was the response of my Pentecostal sect. Also, reason and logic played a large part, for which I have C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton to thank.

I found (and still find) scientific discoveries fun and inspiring once I embraced Catholicism, rather than a constant challenge to my religious assumptions based on a literalistic interpretation of Scripture I had had in the sect.

While I appreciate the many and good contributions of other Christian bodies, I find Catholicism best fits the realities of life while endowing us with the grace of God to deal with them. :slight_smile:

I completely agree with what you’ve stated here. As an Evangelical, I found it disturbing that the only ‘right’ answer was to disregard scientific discovery vehemently. There were many reasons I was discontent being in the Baptist and nondenominational churches I attended but I was delighted to learn that the Catholic faith was compatible with science. It makes me view my faith as solid truth, whereas before I was always conflicted (do I disregard all science or believe in the literal creation story? Do I follow this pastor or that pastor? Who has the final word when there are doctrinal and practical issues in conflict? You get the idea.). Becoming Catholic has given me so much peace, as I am no longer in constant internal conflict about issues such as faith and science. For this and many other reasons I believe Catholicism to be an intelligent world view.

Hmm… Interesting question. I will admit that the impressiveness of the Catholic Church, even in the human plane (its size and accomplishments in society) did help my decision, only insofar as they seemed to reflect the power and presence of God. That is, one would expect the Church which God founded to be accompanied by signs of its divine origin. For me, though, the development of the empirical sciences would not be highest in the order of signs. I’m more impressed by the Church’s saints, her religious orders, missionary work, etc., which would include hospitals and education, and I suppose therefore the sciences as well. Ultimately, though, it’s about what is true, and where the body is that Christ himself founded.

This makes me think of the “We are the Catholic Church” commercial associated with Catholics, Come Home.

Hi. Science and technology–and where they originated–had nothing to do with why I chose to become Catholic. I never even considered those questions. I simply felt that I was called to Catholicism. I love the Eastern Orthodox churches–they are beautiful, with wonderful people, architecture, and music. But, I just felt that Rome has the better argument from the Bible and from history.

Greetings. Why do you think that rationalism is good? The Holy Scripture says that we mustn’t be attracted with it: “Let no one deceive himself: if anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, so that he may become wise.” (1 Cor. 3:18)

I think that every good scientist realizes that there is a whole lot that he does not know.

This is indeed an interesting remark. To a Catholic these terms usually refer to errors (reason divorced from faith, and letter divorced from spirit). Care to elaborate?

I misunderstood the scope of this thread by first only reading the title, so I’ll go ahead and answer both questions: the one I thought you were going to ask and the one you actually asked. :slight_smile:

  1. Yes, science and technology has informed my choice of religion in general. To be more precise I’d say they have informed me of which religions I can not be a part of. I’ve been a Mormon all my life but thanks to the DNA revolution, advances in linguistics, stylometry, textual criticism, and a host of other academic pursuits, I’m absolutely confident that Mormonism is utter hogwash.

To a lesser extent I couldn’t be a member of any religion that would require me to profess disbelief in biological evolution. I’m a professional biochemist and I’m far too familiar with the evidence for the theory that there’s just no fathomable way for me to engage in the cognitive dissonance necessary to be aware of such evidence while claiming disbelief in the theory. Joining a church that required explicit disbelief in evolution, for me, would be like joining a church that required me to believe the moon is made of cheese (and this is not hyperbole).

There are also certain beliefs that I have always held a priori with which any prospective religion I’d join must be congruent. For example, I firmly believe that any technology that facilitates or improves the human condition (especially human longevity) without any rationally deduced moral dilemma is ipso facto good, and any religion that concludes otherwise is obviously false. Blood transfusions in and of themselves are wonderful enhancements to the human condition that I do firmly believe any God worth worshipping would not forbid without just cause. I also firmly believe there is no just cause in deeming blood transfusions bad or immoral. For this reason I could never be a Jehovah’s Witness. I won’t even humor the possibility. It therefore goes without saying that I also could never join the Christian Science church, or any other “Faith Healing” advocating religion that eschews modern medicine. In fact, I have some very strong, very negative opinions about such religions due to such beliefs. I find such religions to be destructive and their teachings to be so immoral that it’s very hard for me to have a dispassionate discussion about such religions. I truly have nothing nice to say about them.

In these ways the progression of science and technology absolutely informs my choice of religious belief.

  1. To answer your actual question, no, the progress of science and technology in the West has not informed my decision on whether to join the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church. In fact I still can’t decide which communion to join and am still fleshing out the differences between the two and weighing the arguments of both sides.

The mere fact that modern science, technology, and medicine has (for the most part) been developed in the West is quite inconsequential. I think Western Christianity is accidental to the rise of science and technology in the West. Arguing that modern science owes its existence to Western Christianity simply because modern science arose in the West would be logically fallacious. It’s as silly as the Muslim apologists’ argument that one should give Islam extra consideration simply because the Arabs had a scientific golden age while Christian Europe was stagnant during the Middle Ages. Furthermore if we want to get real technical about it, most historians of science consider the Scientific Revolution to more closely coincide with the Age of Enlightenment, the philosophers of which were quite indifferent to Christianity and if anything held beliefs contrary to traditional Christianity and who today would likely be classified as Deists (if not atheists or agnostics).

I think you’re reading a lot into that proof text that simply isn’t there. Where does it say there that rationalism isn’t good, or that we cannot know anything by reason? At best all I can flesh out from that passage is that we all need to adopt a bit of humility in our assumptions and modesty in our conclusions while using our God-given reason, much like this sentiment:


“Be careful not to let anyone rob you through philosophy” (Col. 2:8) – I mean that maybe in our time some people are sometimes attracted by science and technology in a similar way as at the time of Apostle Paul some people were attracted by the philosophy.

JurisPrudens wrote in this thread that rationalism attracts him:
“But I think, it is rationalism and, to some extent, legalism, that attracts me.”

I thought that the most popular today’s form of rationalism or philosophy is science and technology, so maybe they can attract too. Maybe science is sometimes a form of rationalism or philosophy, so to speak.

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