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Why are we always pushing God away?

Science, Religion and Aristotelian Theology |

Why are we always making the concept of whatever God is farther and farther and farther and as soon as we have scientific knowledge about something we say, "Okay, well, that's not God. God must be farther out still. It's like, 'Okay we know why the Sun shines, we know why the seasons change, but lightning?

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That really is Thor. Everything that we explore we actually add to our body of knowledge. And while I am not personally religious, it seems to me to be a disservice to the idea of God that God constantly gets farther and farther away. You put him, or however you want to call it, just outside the grasp of human knowledge.

Someday we will understand what set off the Big Bang and I don't think the answer is going to be God. Maybe God is something more personal to you. Maybe it's how you relate to other people, maybe it's how you define your morality, maybe it's something that's very, very important in our culture.

Science, Religion, and the Big Bang

But I also think that we do the universe a disservice because we're putting our own ego, our own vision of ourselves out there. There are many religions that seem to think of God as something like a person, some very, very powerful version of a human being. And there are other religions that don't that talk about natural forces or gods that are incomprehensible. But all of them seem to be too much about putting our own selves, our own fears, our own version of what morality should be, out onto the universe and the universe really doesn't care about any of that.

I sort of wish we observed the universe the way it is and then turn it back on ourselves.

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We are a reflection of the physical laws around us. People often say, "Why is the universe so perfectly tuned that human life can exist at all? Why do we have the right temperature planet around the most perfect type of star you can have? Why are all the physical laws exactly what you need for matter to hold together? We are a product of the laws of the universe.

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The reason we have evolved to be this type of biology is because we evolved on this planet. There may be creatures that evolve on very different planets that are asking the same question: "Why are we on the perfect planet for life? I mean, who knows. You have to really understand that the universe has nothing to do with our vision, but our minds, our sense of beauty, our sense of mathematics and how things fit together, they do work really well with the physical laws of the universe, but that's not a coincidence.

They evolved inside the universe. Our minds came to consciousness with these physical laws and these conditions. So I think we actually can learn more about the larger universe by studying ourselves better. Why is it that we enjoy the golden ratio in mathematics? How do our minds really reflect what the physical constants and the laws of nature are? I find that wonderfully rich and it helps me fit into the larger context of the universe, which I think is the most noble goal of any religion. Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.

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Videos How less professionalism will get you ahead in the workplace of the future. Why spiritualizing the cosmos is a disservice to science and religion. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.

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They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect. If one conceives of religion and science according to these definitions then a conflict between them appears impossible. For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary.

Opposing methods for discerning truth

Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts. According to this interpretation the well-known conflicts between religion and science in the past must all be ascribed to a misapprehension of the situation which has been described.

For example, a conflict arises when a religious community insists on the absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible. This means an intervention on the part of religion into the sphere of science; this is where the struggle of the Church against the doctrines of Galileo and Darwin belongs. On the other hand, representatives of science have often made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect to values and ends on the basis of scientific method, and in this way have set themselves in opposition to religion.

These conflicts have all sprung from fatal errors. But both men were misguided in suggesting that this tactic can harmonize science and religion.

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  8. For one thing, because they ensconced human goals and values firmly within the magisterium of religion, completely neglecting two millennia of secular morality beginning with the ancient Greeks. Religion is surely not the only source, or even a good source, of how to behave or find meaning in our lives. Indeed, in the third paragraph Einstein notes that religion does in fact involve truth statements, so his definition is clearly off.

    Gould got around this ambiguity simply by claiming that religions that made truth statements—that intruded into the sphere of science— were not proper religions. But of course such a ploy disenfranchises most of the believers in the world, for most faiths, including the Abrahamanic ones, make claims about how the universe is arranged. An expert in physics is not necessarily a doyen of philosophy. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.