The Science of Religion, the Dogma of Faith

Scientists love making fun of the ‘ghost-worshippers’ but most religious people agree, their god is the best, and he does not like scientists. Scientists often dream of a day when all the religious folk will at least agree on which specific god being the best, it would really cut down a lot on the bloodshed and so forth… Scientists are so blessed to be spared the childish emotionality and blind obeisance of the god-fearing. After all, it is obvious that only Science provides Real Truth, and to deny Science is primitively stupid, “everyone knows” that only science can describe reality properly. Does this sound familiar?

The word “science” has specific meaning. “systematic and formulated knowledge” This is what gives economists the linguistic-legal right to call their specific branch of navel-gazing ‘science”. In real terms, Economics Theory fails the final test of a science: they can only predict the “Market” with perfect vision in hindsight. Real science makes predictions possible, because real science explains the world in a set of formalised rules and reasons. “If A happens, and B is present, C will happen” is a common result of scientific enquiry. We call the science ‘good’ if C can be shown to happen without fail in response to the stimuli A and B. That said, the test for a thing is not the definition of a thing. The definition of science requires a formal database of knowledge, no less, no more. So what about Christianity, for example?

If you classify your reality in terms of divine privilege, you are a theist. You see the workings of god in everything around yourself. An economist sees reality as a set of interdependent financial interests, the biologist sees the world in terms of live organelles, the astronomer sees it all in the stars. Each one of these people are practicing science, from the priest asking for vengeance upon the sinners to the nuclear physicist praying to find dark matter, to the young political activist who firmly believes the world will be at peace as soon as we all vote for the right candidate. What is your favourite science? Of course, if every religion, political theory and profession out there is actually valid science, then the converse must also be true?

Every science is a religion! Remember the definition of science? A formalised system of knowledge. How shall we define religion? “System of faith and worship” says my dictionary. So, there is a structured, formalised system of beliefs, and worship. Let us not specify that worship, a protestant’s first experience of a catholic service often seems devoid of devotion to the protestant’s idea of God, the Mary-thing is confusing, then all the weird ritual… Imagine what the Buddhists must be like! Even in a belief system, there may be schisms. Physicists think biology messy, biologists laugh at the silly games with lasers, it cures no ills! These differences are the result of the worship of the believer’s own belief system. This is where it gets weird. This is where the dividing line between science and religion becomes blurred.

You want to see a real angry dude? Go tell a scientist his science is wrong, tell a priest his god is imperfect, tell a democrat his vote means nothing. The scientist is as emotionally invested in thermodynamics as is a priest in his faith, as is a communist in the myth of an ever-growing economy. Insulting any belief system results in violent protectionism by adherents of that faith, no matter the philosophy or lack thereof underlying the faith being questioned.

When it comes to brass tacks, there is no difference between science and religion, one system of beliefs are as valid as any other system. The difference lies only in applicability. Christianity has civilised many a land, but it also wiped out entire cultures. Nuclear physics brought us the internet as well as The Bomb. The only real difference between thermodynamic engineering and a good catholic service, is that no amount of prayer has yet propelled a man to the moon, no atomic theory has put a man’s heart at ease after the tragic loss of a loved one. Which one is more important to you? Really? That your final answer? Or is the importance (therefor reality) of a thing dependent upon the eyes we look at it with? It’s all science, it’s all religion. Put not your trust in faith, and there should be no faith in science. Ever second fool thinks he holds the Truth, and those who are not trying to sell you their beliefs, are trying to kill you off for “believing wrong”. From the witches burning at the stakes, to vaccine cocktails for the useless eaters, the high priests of every religion always find some sinners who deserve to die. Heaven for the believers, poverty to the sinners. Or was that money for those with tax breaks and Hell for the non-invested?