Science and Religion

Hello everyone,

I am a self proclaimed scientist. I have no religious views, but please do not shun me for that reason. I’m here to be a diplomat between science and religion because I do feel that they have a lot in common. I am educated. I’m not necessarily a believer in evolution (although I do find the argument very persuasive). I do not submit to “intelligent design” or “creationism” either, although I can find truth in my own speculations of the two. I saw an episode of “Through the Wormhole” a while ago where a priest openly voiced his opinion on some of my own work. I have the utmost respect for him. He did not deny religion, and gracefully tip toed across the tight-rope of scientific inquiry. I just want to make sure that you guys understand and accept that I am not here to bash your religion, and likewise, I am not here to proliferate scientific wisdom. I do believe that the two can benefit from each other and I hope to unify the two respectfully. I’m not doing this for political reasons or to demonstrate a difference between knowledge and belief. I’m doing this out of the goodness of my heart and my love for “trolling” the internet.

Hi then! Glad to be a part of this community :slight_smile:

Welcome, know that we here do not pray at the worldly alters of power, pleasure, honor or wealth. If you wish to approach the alter of our Lord Jesus please do so with respect and humility.

Glad you could join us!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Faith and understanding
vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm

**
159 Faith and science**: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth."37 "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."38

Thanks for the warm welcome. I do intend on treading very lightly, as I have learned over the years on forums in general that they have very strict rules that one needs to abide by. I do not know whether or not I should make a separate thread for this, and I hope I will be forgiven if I should have.

I have to admit that I do kick and scream, so forgive me for doing so. I really want to get down to the nitty gritty though, and I think that we can all have a lot of fun in the process. :slight_smile:

Note: I will be making citations, quoting, and posting links to other forums, but not in the intent to persuade people or to bring more attention to other sources. I do it only when it’s relevant, to make a point, and/or maximize our knowledge while making sure that we are up-to-date.

Why is it “in spite of himself”. Our God must have preordained this outcome right? God must’ve known, and loved (or at least would’ve loved to see), the idea of people taking separate paths toward wisdom. I, as a scientist, cherish every new insight. Knowing that our universe has secrets is what drives me to even participate in discussion on forums like these.

Encyclical Lettor of Pope John Paul 11 to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Relationship between FAITH and REASON

See Chapter 1V The Relationship between FAITH and REASON

“Faith asks that its object be understood with the help of reason; and at the summit of its searching reason acknowledges that it cannot do without what faith presents.”

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

And LumenFidea from Pope rancis:

vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en.html

Short extracts from paragraph 32 and 34

The dialogue between faith and reason

32
“Blessed John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, showed how faith and reason each strengthen the other.[27] "
"
Nor is the light of faith, joined to the truth of love, extraneous to the material world, for love is always lived out in body and spirit; the light of faith is an incarnate light radiating from the luminous life of Jesus. It also illumines the material world, trusts its inherent order and knows that it calls us to an ever widening path of harmony and understanding. The gaze of science thus benefits from faith: faith encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness. Faith awakens the critical sense by preventing research from being satisfied with its own formulae and helps it to realize that nature is always greater. By stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation, faith broadens the horizons of reason to shed greater light on the world which discloses itself to scientific investigation.”

Therefore as you see the Church and Catholics are already aware of the relationship between faith and science, faith and reason, so you needn’t be concerned on our behalf. :slight_smile:

Be assured that the Catholic Church (some 2 Billion strong) is up to date on all matters of humanity and spirituality. The 2000+ year history of the Church includes by far the most profound thinkers of all generations and has contributed enormously to human understanding.

There are 3 great professions…Law, Medicine and Theology. All three are profoundly influenced by Catholic teachings.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church more specifically:

39 In defending the ability of human reason to know God, the Church is expressing her confidence in the possibility of speaking about him to all men and with all men, and therefore of dialogue with other religions, with philosophy and science, as well as with unbelievers and atheists.

159 Faith and science : “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” (Dei Filius 4: DS 3017) “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” (GS 36 ’ 1)

2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man’s dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.

2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.

2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. The subjects’ potential consent does not justify such acts. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject’s life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.

God’s will for us is himself…which is Truth and Love. The bottomlessness of this mystery are what drives our human search for understanding.

To put it another way…the glory of God is a human being fully alive!

Most of my education is in the sciences. I do not believe that there is a “conflict“ of any kind between science and religion.

I’ve found that the more you study and truly learn such subjects as microbiology, quantum physics, astrophysics, etc., belief in God becomes unavoidable. Don’t think that just because a person has a little knowledge of the sciences, that that person cannot be religious in every sense of the word.

:thumbsup:

Just to clear up a possible misreading, “himself” in this case refers to the “humble and persevering investigator,” not God.

You guys must’ve heard about the recent consensus that there is no free will then. Wasn’t this concept central to religious beliefs? I had someone complete refute my argument against the free will and literally say, “*”. I asked him to quote something other than John 3:16 and he couldn’t.

Once again, the extent to which someone denies the opportunity to expand their vocabulary and see the reason behind such an assumption astounds me.*

That’s an awesome name you have there Cartesian :).

I’ll follow your advice when I can.

Welcome to CAF

When I think of religion, I think of heaven and hell, and I consider it to be a very powerful force behind ones belief in it. It really is, as I see it, a belief among those with a “truncated” version of Christianity, but is it really central to the whole ideology? Dare I call it a hypothesis? I really hate to see this whole heaven and hell thing get in the way of reason.

As I see in Facebook posts- “Fear not going to hell, for if you do, you will be in good company.” I seriously believe this. It’s a very powerful argument against Christianity. (The ideology of heaven and hell at least).

Retitled the thread.
Evolution is actually a banned topic, but you seem honest and above board, so I’ll let it go.
I’m really am a pussycat despite what others think. :smiley:
But if management notices, I’ll have to shut it down.
Even I have to obey the rules.

It might help us understand your position about heaven/hell if you can express your objections to belief in them. :slight_smile: Can you be more specific?

There is no way to prove that we don’t have free will because to do this you would have to prove that someone outside of yourself is controlling your every thought and action. But, if you are interested in how faith and science can go together here is the perfect link for you: Magis Center of Reason and Faith

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