logo-quill

Religion and Meaning

As science continues to erode the viable realm of religion, apologists for religion seem to cling to the life-vest of “meaning” as the last stand for the value of religion.

In other words, religionists claim that science is unable to answer the “why’s” of an issue (which, I think is a tenuous claim, but which I’ll put on hold for now), and that these questions are best left in the hands of religion.

OK. If this is the case, then let’s discuss it directly. This posting is meant to solicit responses and ideas.

Can anyone give me some examples of “why” answers that religion does well? If this is the realm in which religion excels, then let’s have a listing of those answers it provides.

Anyone?

  • I’ll bite on this one: Why doesn’t everything just self destruct? Why is their order in the universe? That’s the ultimate question, and nobody has ever examined it successfully, scientifically. What I’m saying here is: science has found ways that random assortments of atoms can end up together in random assortments of molecules and then has been able to come up with a great, very believable theory for how all those molecules, eventually, are able to come together in to random assortments of living and unliving things. What science has failed to yet explain is why this order exists. Why is it possible for atoms to join in molecules? Why do atoms have a certain number of particles in them that themselves join together? Why is there any order at all in the universe?

    Religion, in its various many-hued forms, explains exactly that. I don’t believe science ever will be able to, because science itself has said so.

  • A Nonny Mouse states: Why doesn’t everything just self destruct? Why is their order in the universe? That’s the ultimate question, and nobody has ever examined it successfully, scientifically.

    That nobody ever has does not mean that nobody ever will.

    A Nonny Mouse states: What science has failed to yet explain is why this order exists. Why is it possible for atoms to join in molecules? Why do atoms have a certain number of particles in them that themselves join together? Why is there any order at all in the universe?

    “Failed to explain” is a bit misleading in the context of science. It might be better to say “has yet to discover” instead.

    If you are trying to replace a view of an all-knowing, all-powerful god figure who dictates absolutes with the same thing but in scientific clothing, then I think you misunderstand, fundamentally, what science is and does.

    A Nonny Mouse states: Religion, in its various many-hued forms, explains exactly that. I don’t believe science ever will be able to, because science itself has said so.

    And this is the crux of my point. You can’t say “religion does this well” merely becuase it makes claims that are non-falsifiable. Here, try this:

    “The Universe exists and manifests itself into one magnificient and all-powerful entity because a giant turtle decided to kiss a unicorn, and then did a magical dance around a glowing pyramid.”

    So, I’ve constructed a story here, and I could call it a religious explanation in answer to the questions you raise. But that I’ve crafted this story does not mean that I’ve succeeded in doing anything other than using my imagination to craft a story.

    You can’t say “religion does this well” when you provide no method by which to measure “does this well.”