rel212 week1 discussion 1 RESPONSE n.w.
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Professor and class – wow, what a first question. This has been a hotly debated topic recently in the news and among professionals over the last few years. As much as every religion has a world view around what it entails, every person has their own world view which paints how they see things and how they act. When a person’s world view is challenged by someone else’s, then conversation (or conflict) occur.
So the big question: is truth secular? Is science completely independent from religion? I’m going to answer this from two different viewpoints.
Firstly, my own. I personally do not have religious beliefs, instead opting to be agnostic. To me, there is no way of knowing whether there is an all knowing god or gods out there, so I put my faith and beliefs in knowledge created by science. However, what happens when science can’t explain something? Is there a more advanced science that can be used to explain it? Or is there something else that is driving that force? As of this point in time, there’s not really a way to know. We don’t know the ins and outs of the universe, let alone how big it is or when it acts in ways we don’t understand. Is there something out there that has a bigger hand in this? Maybe, but it’s nothing that we can currently prove or disprove. Human beings tend to want to know the “why” behind things and what makes them tick, so I believe that eventually we will have more answers. Will we have enough? That’s hard to say.
A second viewpoint can be from someone who has deeply held religious beliefs. Even though science has been able to prove many theories and shown hard facts, they may believe that all we are doing is uncovering the work of a god, and that everything was created through their doing. Intelligent Design follows this closely around the creation of the universe – could it have turned out the way that it did without someone pulling the strings? For some people they could stick purely to the creation story for their religion while others may be open to it being a loose interpretation while also accepting parts of science.
Again, a large part to answering the initial question of truth being secular is up to personal interpretation, depending on a person’s world view. I do like the four positions listed in our text (pg. 24) that call out how people treat these differing views:
- Conflict – pure rejection of the opposing view (i.e. science proves everything, religion has nothing to do with the situation)
- Separation – science and religion are two separate realms, science dealing with physical reality while religion deals with morality, philosophical questions, and what happens after death
- Dialogue – scientists and religious believes find common ground through religious interpretation and scientific research with each side softening up their absolute truth
- Integration – science and religion integrate together to explain phenomena
With these four positions in mind, a person can think about where their own views are and what category they would find themselves in. With all of this discussion and review of the positions, I would probably say may stance would be with the separation position, though I would be open to having a dialogue should someone want to pose a differing view.
Fisher, M. P., Rinehart, R. (2016). Living Religions, 10th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version].