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Mike Aus's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Mike Aus

Comment 54 by jman_dc :

Great article Mike! Well written and it is great to see you work through how science and faith connect (or don't). Thanks.

I did have a question about this statement:

[Mike Aus] Religion is really not about “knowing” anything; it is about speculation not based on reality.

Most of my religious friends would be quick to point out that you can describe their belief as "speculation" regarding facts but cannot really defend the statement that their speculation is not based on reality. Any defense would undercut your own theorizing from facts. For example:

The instinct for self-preservation and a concern for the well-being of other individuals appear to have both played a role in the survival and evolution of our species. If that is the case, then the tension between “sin” and selflessness might actually help define who we are as humans. The project of religion has been sin eradication, and that approach now appears to be a fundamental denial of human nature.

Thoughts?

And thanks again.

Yes, I guess you could say that certain aspects of religion are based on reality to some degree. The doctrine of original sin, for instance, is clearly an attempt to describe a real dilemma that humans experience. But religion also has numerous areas of "study" that have no connection with reality at all--Christology, sacramental theology, and eschatology, just to name a few. One random example that comes to mind is the book "The Two Natures of Christ" by the 16th-century reformer Martin Chemnitz. It's massive tome, hundreds of pages long, on properly understanding the balance of Christ's divinity and humanity. It looks impressive on the book shelf, but when you dig a little bit you realize it has all the intellectual integrity of The Star Trek Manual. It's sheer speculation. And even today Christians still quibble over the nature of Holy Communion--is it transubstantiation, con-substantiation, or something else? It doesn't get much more speculative than that. I hope I didn't misunderstand your question. Thanks! I

Comment 54 by jman_dc :

Great article Mike! Well written and it is great to see you work through how science and faith connect (or don't). Thanks.

I did have a question about this statement:

[Mike Aus] Religion is really not about “knowing” anything; it is about speculation not based on reality.

Most of my religious friends would be quick to point out that you can describe their belief as "speculation" regarding facts but cannot really defend the statement that their speculation is not based on reality. Any defense would undercut your own theorizing from facts. For example:

The instinct for self-preservation and a concern for the well-being of other individuals appear to have both played a role in the survival and evolution of our species. If that is the case, then the tension between “sin” and selflessness might actually help define who we are as humans. The project of religion has been sin eradication, and that approach now appears to be a fundamental denial of human nature.

Thoughts?

And thanks again.

Wed, 09 May 2012 16:13:39 UTC | #940741