Essay on Science and Religion

There can be hardly any compromise between science and religion. The startling discoveries of science are only inroads and erosion in the domain of faith. As a result, science and religion have been in the opposite camps since the Victorian Age. Science deals with the material world that we know; religion is concerned with a divine order that we imagine and faith with devoutly purpose.

Science believes in things that can be proved; religion deals with spiritual ideas that cannot be proved. Science depends on reason; religion on intuition and inner conviction or faith. The scientist works in the laboratory of the material world; the religious teacher probes into the chambers of the inward mind. The goal of science is achievement; that of religion is realization. The truths of science can be proved to all; the so-called truths of religion have to be taken on trust. Thus, the two worlds are antithetical. (Opposed to each other).

Whether God exists is a proposition that is beyond proof.

Tennyson said of God –

Whom we that cannot see Thy faces,

By faith and faith and faith alone embrace.

Believing where we cannot prove.

Sri Chaitayayna also said Hari (God) is perceived through faith; argument distances him immeasurably. Beyond the known world of life that is before us, there is the illimitable unknown world beyond death (which we cannot know) being unknowable.

Religion, therefore, is the refuge of man where science has failed to resolve his failed to resolve his doubts. The Biblical theory of the genesis or origin of man is not borne out by Darwinian Theory of the evolution of man. But a pious Christian of the church wholeheartedly subscribes to the Genesis.

The layman cannot go without science. But there is the other element in life. He does not know whence he has come, whither he will go; the mystery of life and death baffles him. In this mood, he falls back upon the idea of God, upon the bounds of religion. That is why even the scientist feels the need of religion.

So James Stuart Mill once said, it there is no God, God should be created by man. His religion teaches him to worship God within himself. This sort of disparity between belief and action, or theory and practice, would be unthinkable to science; he goes to church or mosque or prays or worships in temples of shrines. He may also try to hold communion with God at least for spiritual solace and mental peace. At other times, he attends to his mundane duties. Thus he tries to be true to the kindred points of heaven and home.

Furthermore, through there is a fundamental opposition between science and religion, religion will be sought by men as long as there remains a feeling of helplessness. In his adversity, in his agony, man feels the need of turning of somebody for some sort of help and solace.

Some Western countries are immensely advanced materially; people there are steeped in consumerism. But after that they feel some hidden want and this turns him towards some esoteric spiritualism. Thus, man cannot live by body alone. Hence, science and religion will maintain their parallel courses which, however, will converge someday at some point.