Tag: David Tiller

Science Entails Practice; Likewise Religion

Religion and science are both practiced by humans, therefore they are not as unlike as many argue.  There is much overlap in the skills of emotions and of understanding required to practice either productively.  Both fall disappointingly short of realizing their ideals in practice.  Both are corrupted by the common human flaws.

Faith is one foundation of most religions.  All religions also involve practice.  It’s not so obvious how to master one’s anger and violent tendencies.  Selfishness is a persistent human trait.  And greed, and so on.  But practice tends toward perfection.  Not being a good person for some future reward, no.  I am talking about practicing behavior which will bring happiness to oneself and to others.  Christianity is in alignment with every major religion in placing the golden rule at it’s center.  Treat others as you yourself would be treated.  This simple guide defines a human technology which could actually prevent warfare and end torture.  It is a much more effective approach than simply being right-which is where science, or being reality-based, rears it arrogant head.

I stress arrogant, as opposed to confident in oneself as a result of disciplined practice of rationality.  For science entails practice as well.  No matter how deep one’s knowledge of the heuristic methods of science, acquiring the skills of a practicing scientist requires years of practice-as in religion, the acquired skills are never fully mastered.

Oops, did I call science arrogant?  And I was so wanting to be nice.  Sigh.  If it makes you rational ones feel better, pretending to have co-powers with god is rather breathtaking in its audacity, not to mention claiming to know the unknowable.  So let’s call it a tie.  Okay, go ahead, give religion the black mark on this one.  The over-riding point is that humans tend to be arrogant.  Add that one to the list of human afflictions.