SCIENCE AND RELIGION: The Need for Ongoing Cooperation

“Life is the center where the material and spiritual forces of the universe seem to meet and to be reconciled.  Spirit is born in life.”
~ Edmund W. Sinnott, Science and Spirituality, p. 182

Science is a product of the modern world, whereas religion goes back to the beginning of time.  The major religions of the world are of previous eras, where science is of this age.  How then can the two come together and cooperate?

Science is based on a method of examining evidence and coming to conclusions based on the examination: it is called “the scientific method”.  Religion, on the other hand, is based on revelation, which is an inner experience and may not be readily proven through reason.  People of this age have come to trust science because of its ability to produce visible results and through technology make many changes in the world we live in.

The reason that I use the word “religion” rather than spirituality is that it includes both morality and spirituality.  Both are important, and they do go together.  Religions exist as teachings, buildings, communities, and in many other ways.  “Spirituality” is the vertical aspect of religion; that is, it is the relation between the individual and God, called by any name or no name.  “Morality” is behavior based upon the teachings of religion that have certain standards.  Religions teach people how to live in ways that are supposed to be honest, loving, merciful, nonviolent, respectful, and hopefully also healthy.

The problem is that religions are largely ancient, and their ways of doing things are not necessarily congruent with the ways that people relate to in this age.  It is therefore an opportunity for science to approach religion differently, to make it more understandable and more applicable to this age.  We do need standards to live by, things to do and not to do, but we also need to be reached in a way that fits for this age.

We are in transition now between the end of western civilization and the beginning of global civilization.  The reason that there is so much violence and unrest in the world is largely due to the uncertainty which this transition brings.  As the guidelines become clearer as to what is acceptable behavior, and what are the goals of the new civilization, then gradually people will find a clearer purpose for their life and will be able to settle into fulfilling that purpose.

Our reaching out into space, seeking to discover what the other planets have to offer, and perhaps to find life on some of the other planets, is part of the discovery that awaits us on our journey.  Live has much to offer us as we look around and observe its many gifts.  It is in that discovery that life increases its meaning and becomes enriching for all of us.  “Spirit is born in life.”

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

~Leland Stewart

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