Jumat, 20 Maret 2015

Science and religion

This is a comment on “Religion is sweet poison, heaven is a state of mind” (The Jakarta Post, March 30) by Jennie S. Bev.

Ever since physics started to be taught in schools and universities, we’ve grown accustomed to the scientific method. From the laws of thermodynamics to Einstein’s theory of relativity, we study science in a manner that requires us to find a problem and then ask how that problem came about.

Through the years, science has answered a lot of questions: What is the smallest part of matter? Is the earth really flat? How does a black hole form? It’s obvious enough that science will answer a lot more questions.

However, science, which relies on empiricism, has only answered the questions of what and how. Science only needs empirical evidence, that is, evidence that can be captured by our five senses, to produce a conclusion.

This is not a bad thing. After all, scientists have made enormous breakthroughs using empiricism. However, science has its limitations since its job description only calls for the identification of phenomena by empirical evidence. This is why science can’t answer questions starting with “why”.

There are a lot of people who believe that science can provide the answers to everything.

Take for example, Stephen Hawking. Famous for his intelligence and work in theoretical physics, he holds an utter belief in science, to an extent where he once said that science will always better religion because it works.

However, I wonder if science is enough.

It’s beneficial for us not to take something from only one viewpoint. It gives us a better ability to pin down conclusions. Take Western and Chinese medicine for example. There are things in Chinese medicine that do not make any sense to Western-trained doctors. But they work. Why don’t we use such examples as ammunition?

That’s why I use religion as my ammunition when it comes to proving God’s existence.

Ahmed Lats
Jakarta

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