The Truth About Physics And Religion

1158 words - 5 pages

Many people believe that physics and religion are separate entities. Theyclaim that physics deals only with the objective, material world, while religiondeals only with the world of values. It is obvious, from these, and from manyother comparisons, that conflicts have arisen between physics and religion.Many are convinced that the two fields completely oppose each other, and arenot related in any ways. Many people, who follow a particular religion, feeloffended by the claims that physicists have made, while physicists believe thatreligion has no basis in reality. I will show, however, that these conflicts arefounded on a misunderstanding, and that there is no division between physicsand religion. I will also prove that the misunderstanding lies in the parables ofreligion and in the statements made by physicists. Furthermore, I will show thatonly physicists can really know the truth of physics, and only religious followerscan know the truth of that religion; everyone else has to take it on faith.Many people believe that physics and religion are entirely separate. Theyclaim that physics is only concerned with discovering what is true or false, whilereligion is concerned with what is good or evil. Scientists appear to agree that"physics is the manner in which we argue about the objective side of reality."Religious followers, on the other hand, agree that "religion is the way weexpress the subjective decisions that help us choose the standards by which welive." Although these definitions seem to be contrasting, an important elementremains absent, an element that must first be considered before religion andphysics can be compared.Those who think that religion has no basis in reality also believe thatthere is an "obvious" separation between the two fields. They think thatreligion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. Paul Dirac, aphysicist, once said:The very idea of God is a product of the humanimagination. It is quite understandable why primitivepeople, who were so much more exposed to theoverpowering forces of nature than we are today,should have personified these forces in fear andtrembling. But nowadays, when we understand somany natural processes, we have no need for suchsolutions.Dirac, and those who think the same way, however, fails to consider theessential element that has caused many to misunderstand the relationshipbetween physics and religion. What they fail to realize is that religion useslanguage in quite a different way from science. The language of religion ismore closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science.The fact that religions have, throughout the ages, spoken in parables andimages, simply means that there is no other way of understanding the reality towhich they refer. But I strongly believe, however, that religion is a genuinereality. Neils Bohr once said:The relationship between critical thought about thespiritual content of a given religion and action basedon the deliberate...

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