Madeline B.

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Can there ever be a way to reconcile a "lame science" with "blind religion"?

Science and religion often seem to be at “war” with one another. For many, science has become their religion while others try to incorporate science into their religion, which may contradict their beliefs. Both “heartless science” and “mindless religion” miss truths about the nature of our existence in the universe. Naturally each side is quick to point out the errors and flaws that are in the other’s position. Albert Einstein once said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” What do you think? What is the root of our own morality and ethics? Where does the development of ethics fit into the advancement of science? What do you think should be the basis of our moral compass- religion, the collective will of the majority, common sense, rationality, or something else? Is the evolution of science moving faster than the evolution of ethics? Is this necessarily a bad thing?

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    Apr 27 2011: If you let science dictate morals and ideology then it is a religion. Otherwise it's an instrument and a tool. A very useful one.

    Human imagination is the root of all morality. As a collective humans decide what rules and conduct is acceptable in their community. I can't think of how morality can be established without a collective. So in my opinion that is definitely the only moral compass in a society.

    This is how I would rule out other things that you mentioned

    Rationality by itself doesn't determine anything unless it exists in relation to a premise or a theory. This applies to both science and morality. We can't begin to rationalize science without a theory or morality without a proposition.

    Common sense can ensure that our moral and scientific theories are sound but it too cannot determine what is right and wrong only the consequences of our actions.

    Religion is about a guy upstairs who dictates what's right and wrong, and literally never appears himself to tell us what's right or wrong. So i think we can rule that out as a moral compass.

    In the end I believe it comes down to the collective. Is science moving faster than ethics? That depends on the kind of ethics we are talking about. For me ethics is based on imperatives with obvious limitations. If we as a community can nurture a responsibility and will to act on what is necessary to prolong our existence and improve each individual's quality of life I think ethics can become completely obselete.
  • May 29 2011: it's impossible, science is relativism when religion is absolutism.
    then there full gods thus which history, which god would you choose are to associate it with science?
    finally, do you really believe that there exist gods? or is this the fear of dying which pushes you to accept supernatural things?
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    May 26 2011: "What is the root of our own morality and ethics?"

    From everything I've seen, WE are, society, the chosen norm of the age or the zeitgeist of the era...but then I'm a moral relativist so I don't really believe in any absolute moral truth. What was good 500 years ago may be seen as utterly evil today and vice versa...there's little if anything to suggest either one is "right", just "different"
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    May 8 2011: Sam Harris is completely wrong because what matters is behaviour not moral values. Same behaviour could be observed being motivated by different moral values. At the same time same moral values could generate different behaviours in identical situations.

    About the root of our morality:
    Look at a swarm of birds - it moves and changes as if it is alive. Our moral values as individuals are like individual birds inside the swarm. If we want to function in the society (stay in the swarm) we have to comply with the established moral rules (to fly more or less in the same direction as the birds that surround us). So there you have it - a moral compass of a kind.
    If you pursue some set of universal moral values (as in absolute truth) then there is no such thing because all moral values exist in some context of reality. If the context changes the moral values inevitably will change ( like the change of the swarm of birds - it changes but at the same time it kind of stays the same, nevertheless it is different with every fluctuation of the air).

    As far as religion goes - We just emerged from the dark Ages of religious dogma. Give us another thousand years and religion in its current form will disappear and will join the Greek and the Egyptian Mythologies.

    The new religion is the media, the X-factor, The Pop-Idol, the Matrix, Star-Wars, etc. It is benign, commercial type of religion - more of a kind of wishful thinking without the ambition to explain reality.
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    May 1 2011: Science by its very nature often pushes at the boundaries of current common sense or rationality. So using rational thinking and common sense is not always going to work. As for religion which one do you chose? Here I have a problem many religions have been at war from day one, waring with other religions and civilizations, it is the nature of religion to fight anything that looks like it may be a challenge. For science to progress and for humanity to benefit from this science needs to reflect the needs of society. The problem is the needs of society changes. Take the atomic bomb as an example. I think most people would say that this was not science at its best but when it was first developed it was considered a better alternative than fighting a traditional war where losses on both sides would have been in the millions. Now with hindsight and more information, since this was a secret use of science, most people would say this was not a good thing and they would say this without instruction from their religious leaders.
  • Apr 29 2011: To me it's really easy to reconcile both because they are answering two very different questions. They don't really fight over the same turf.

    By choosing a religion, I choose "Why I want to live" and "How I want to live". And you gather with people, to think together, you work and help each other to reach a better understanding of yourself.

    Science is about understanding "How did it happen" "what can we do with it". And you gather with people to think together, you work and help each other to reach a higher understanding of the world.

    Problems only occur when religion tries to pretend to be rational, or when people have blind faith in science, believing it's gonna save us all.

    Stay in your turf, and there won't be any problems.
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    Apr 28 2011: A thinking, self-reflecting, honest person shouldn't require 'guidance' from any set of rules or code of conduct. It should become obvious over time (if there is such a thing as a true and right path to follow).
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    Apr 28 2011: Base of morality & ethics can't be religion only. I saw lot lot more immoral unethical people who are religious. Even with in same religion morality changes with the influence of culture & collective will in different part of the world. Moreover it eveolves with time.

    Interestingly evolution of science was always much more faster than that of ethics. Just as an example when Hippocrates segregated many human illness as a natural curable condition instead of being curse of god morality, ethics & belief system of that time found it difficult to agree. Disecting a corpse to understand human anatomy better was immoral at the time Hippocrates.

    Scientific quest of human being more dynamic then it's "moral compass" (nicely coined by you) , always will supercede
    the speed of evolution of morality and ethics and I don't feel that to be bad at all.
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    Apr 28 2011: I'm sorry I don't know!
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    Apr 27 2011: Hi everyone!!!!!!! It's interesting question. no one knows exact answer of this question. for example if I don't know, I say I'm sorry I don't know! People who says God exist as stupid as they who says it's wrong. It's the question which make world go round.
  • Apr 27 2011: at personal level Yes.
    at world level currently No, but by change Yes.
    and that change is:
    sacrificing the Love of world.

    love of money, love of power, love of oil, love of land, love of food and totally love of Material.

    " Love of World is the head of all mistakes"

    who loves world says:
    what is in my pocket is mine and what is in your pocket is mine

    who not loves world says:
    what is in my pocket is mine and what is in your pocket is yours

    who loves God says:
    what is in my pocket is yours and what is in your pocket is yours
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    Sky F

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    Apr 27 2011: Ghandi's Seven Dangers to Human Virtue:

    1 Wealth without work
    2 Pleasure without conscience
    3 Knowledge without character
    4 Business without ethics
    5 Science without humanity
    6 Religion without sacrifice
    7 Politics without principle
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      Apr 28 2011: Ghandi was brilliant.
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        May 26 2011: He had his moments...had a bit of a strange sexual penchant (all that stuff where he made kids bathe and sleep together is a little odd in this day and age)...and he was a bit of a racist (going so far as to write "...the white race in South Africa should be the predominating race."), but outside that he had his moments...I agree with a lot of Ghandi's writings, but he had his own issues to deal with too...