Why Religion And Science Are Closer Than Some Think

Science and religion are often perceived to be opposed to each other. But in many ways they are not very different. Both have common elements of philosophy, both are widely followed. More importantly, people have faith in both. Even the conceptualization of universe in science and religion has very interesting commonalities. In fact, understanding one may help in appreciating the other.
Why Religion and Science are Closer than Some Think
Source - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AYin_yang_symbol_taking_the_place_of_the_nucleus_in_an_atom_symbol.svg

In many ways, religion is the science of ancient times, and science, in more ways than one, is the religion of modern times. In a strange, way, they are closer than what some people think, even if the usual perception may be different. Perhaps a factor that binds them close together is that they are both very important conceptual products that have enriched humanity and made us what we are today.

Some Features of Religion & Science

Religion means somewhat different things in different civilizations, but almost always it has certain distinct features - philosophy, faith, social (human) welfare, a curiosity to

know and understand life and this universe, finding the best course of action and humility about own ignorance and smallness. Most of these are essential characteristics of science too.

It is easy to agree that elements of philosophy, welfare, curiosity, and finding the best course of action are common to both science and religion, but there could be a possible argument that faith may not belong to this list. If I am asked that question, I will like to respond by asking another - have you seen an electron? or a proton? or even a bacteria? You have not, nor will you ever do, yet you believe that they exist, because somebody whom you believed said so. So, most matters of science are, for most of us, as much a matter of faith, as are the matters of religion.

Religion is a Way of Life

Different civilizations have different religious concepts. One of the earliest surviving faiths on this planet is "Sanatan Dharma" or 'eternal duty', more commonly known as Hinduism. Interestingly, those who believed in it never called it so. 'Sindhu' in Indian languages means 'river', and as Indian civilization, like all others, was nurtured around major rivers. The lands adjoining those rivers came to be called as land of rivers (sindhu), and were referred as 'Hindu' by foreigners from the West. Everything existing in that territory was called 'Hindu' by them. The faith that is now sometimes called Hinduism literally means 'eternal duty', and it revolves around the question as to what should

be the duty of every individual in his own life, family, society and profession. The whole faith is based on solving this riddle, but during the many thousand years of its existence it has become riddled with many myths, mystique, legends, poetry, traditions and rituals, all of whom have not only become an inseparable part of the faith, but sometimes they overshadow the basic philosophy itself.

Most other religions are also primarily a result of human quest for understanding itself and the universe. Between the two, or interspersed with them, lies the concept of 'almighty god' - the eventual superpower, who is the creator and the creation of all that exists.

The Almighty God

It is the concept of this 'almighty god' which is one of the strongest common factor between religion and science. Ancient religious philosophers in India defined god as something that has neither a beginning, nor an end, which cannot be created and which is beyond the understanding of all living beings. They also defined the changes in the world - the daily happenings of our life - as very trivial, like a myth. In fact, a particular text, titled "Srimad Bhagwat Gita", that gave rise to 'Yoga', calls human existence and human experiences themselves as 'superfluous' ("mithya").

Science also tells us something very similar. Matter and energy can neither be created, nor destroyed - only converted from one form to another. The human being is nothing but a working system of many molecules of mass and some forms of energy, which once separated will continue to remain, without the existence of our own being - in that way, our existence is hardly real. it is more like a dream, which never exists, but for humans, it does, and that is the irony of mankind.

Science and religion and not very distant, though maybe, the approaches are not exactly similar.

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