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Science vs. Religion

Dr. Thamee Shahid for Hyderabad Youth Mirror #

Our world is changing faster than we can perceive a change that moves with the speed of light. While most of us prefer the normalcy of daily routines with little or no change in the schedule of everyday activities, including our prayers without question, the world we live in has a completely different outlook, of us, of life, of ideologies, and of religion.

With much that has changed in the modern day era and as mankind has surged forward on the path to scientific research at an awesome speed, it is with the same speed that man has decided to leave behind the essence of faith and spirituality. No more will you come across a debate of whose religion is better, or which deity is the One, or which methodology of worship is the right one.

The modern man will ask you a new question, why religion? Why worship? Why God? The sad part is we aren’t prepared with the answers. The biggest war that this era of human civilization has witnessed is the war between Science and Religion.

While men of science and rationality have gone on to say that religion is flawed and is nothing more than the “opium of the masses”, men of faith have countered saying that Religious Scriptures can be scientifically proved (and therefore the relentless pursuit to prove religion scientifically) and make sense to the human brain, and if not, then when God destroys the world, men of science will eat their words!

What we have forgotten is one crucial point – science requires a brain, faith resides in a heart. As long as we continue to present any religion to anyone on the grounds of the number of scientific facts that validate it, it might work, but to a limited extent only. Science can never be the criteria that validate faith, because science is human understanding, and even though we may establish that science cannot be wrong due to its basis in proof and fact, science is young.

Everyday science disproves itself in some way or the other and one theory is introduced to fill the vacuum left behind by an earlier disproved theory. Religion, on the other hand, makes you accept one fundamental point that human capacity of all forms is limited. It does not matter who you are, but you have to accept that and function with those limitations. How convenient is it, that when religion tells us to believe that there is a world of the Unseen, one can hear the ridicule that men of science indulge in. But science itself has proved that we have a limited wavelength of light beyond which we cannot see, limited frequency of sound beyond which we cannot hear, and anything that passes beyond these limitations is automatically the unseen.

And yet if you choose to reject religion, and adopt atheism as the way of life, there is one simple question, who will guide science? Who will save science from its own self as the power it carries has destructive tendencies? Who will prevent any other city from becoming a Hiroshima? Faith brings with it things that science cannot define or dismantle with its theories or rational debates. It brings with it peace, a feeling of immense satisfaction, spirituality which is not guided by meaningless rituals alone but by the light in your heart, the desire to serve mankind and enslave one’s self to God.

For those of us who have faith, we do not call science the enemy of religion, neither do we have a burning desire to fight this battle, not because we have already accepted defeat, but because we happen to humbly believe that the people who reject the Existence of God are the biggest believers of His Presence. It is true. You will never come across a “religious person” as zealous in his talk about God as an atheist when he directs all his efforts and time to prove that God doesn’t exist. This idea clogs the mind so badly that everything, even if negatively, is centered round God.

For example, none of religious folks ever asked for it or provoked it, and yet scientists call their latest discovery, ‘the God Particle’, or the captain of the Titanic would claim his ship to be ‘Unsinkable – even God can’t sink it’ or the numerous examples throughout history. The ones who deny religion and faith are the most obsessed with God, and yet science is their religion! And those of us, who do believe in God, find beauty in what you see, in what you hear and in what you perceive.

For those who do believe, use science as a tool to come closer to God, to appreciate the Beauty of His Creation. For those who do believe, in the face of ridicule and mocking, be grateful for having science as a way of understanding that God has blessed us with. For those who do believe, which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? “He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.” (Surah Al Baqarah – Ayah 29)

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