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Religion as a Method of Explanation

By Punkerslut

Image by NiD
Image: "Skeleton" by NiD

Start Date: November 4, 2001
Finish Date: November 4, 2001

     Where did fire come from? If you ask a Hindu, they will say that the god Agni produces fire. If you ask an Roman religionist, they will say that the god Prometheus brought fire down to earth. If you ask a physicist, they will give you the truthful answer: fire is produced by atoms vibrating at high velocities.

     Where do metals come from? If you ask a Roman religionist, they will say that the god Pluto placed them in the earth. If you ask a chemist, they will give you the truthful answer: metals are caused by the fusion of atoms in suns. Where do women come from? If you ask a Christian, they will say that god created woman from the rib bone of man. If you ask a biologist, they will give you the truthful answer: men and women evolved from asexual species as a means of diversifying the gene pool. What of the winds, lightning, animals, medicine, warriors, the flute, and - in general - the world and its workings? Where did they come from? Religion has already given its answers. The answers that satisfied primitive man who believed the world to be flat and diseases caused by demons are not answers that science has verified. In fact, the very opposite has happened: where religion made a shortcut explanation of something that individuals could not once understand, science has destroyed the superstition and provided a real answer that was backed up with evidence, logic, and reason. The sun does not cross the sky because the god Apollo pulls it across in his chariot, nor is the sun a god - the sun is a mass of hydrogen atoms that the earth revolves around. So, surely, if we are to discover the truths of the Universe, if we are to understand the world and its workings - the physics, the mathematics, the chemistry - we best not dabble in the dogmatic scripture of past religions (the Bible, the Qur'an, the Vedas, the Talmud), yet we must examine the world.

     Surely, then, if a man is wrong in saying that fire came from Prometheus, how right can another man be when he claims that an ill individual's health improving can be a miracle of the gods? Primitive man thought that the rainbow was a miracle from god, a sign from the divine. Today, however, the rainbow is recognized as a chemical reaction that can be reproduced with the right circumstances. As man enters the realm of science - a world of understanding, order, and general knowledge, - he inevitably leaves the realm of religion - a world of shortcut explanations, feasible attempts at ethics, and superstition.


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