Christianity Essay, Research Paper
Since the beginning of human history and in recent history there have been many explanations for events that seem out of human control. In recent civilized history, religious and scientific views have often bumped with one another. Religious ideas are usually presented first and then enough scientific evidence accumulates to challenge religious beliefs. These findings of science are met with amazement and most are considered a heresy.
Since the middle ages until the 18th century, religious ideology was the most accepted way of explaining the unexplained. During the next couple hundred years, many members of academia (a school of philosophy), using science to back them up, came up with new ways of dealing with the unanswerable questions. When the church had the greatest power, men and women of science were viewed as the “bad guys.” In most cases it was safer to believe in the church and their ideas, in order not to be excommunicated by society, than to place their trust in fake scientists. As a result, many conflicts arise between men of religion and men of science. Even if a scientist set out to prove the church wrong and show some very strong evidence contrary to popular belief, he was usually shunned and his ideas denounced publicly. It is not until many people have similar evidence and findings do they gain any credibility with normal people and the church. Nowadays people believe that if a scientific view is false, then by continuing study and research the truth may be discovered, one may conclude that if no one presented new ideas, then intelligent thought would have no place in a society like that.
Scientists like Darwin accepted the risks involved in presenting new ideas. Voltaire also was a revolutionary thinker. Although, he presented ideas of his own, he decided to satirize science and religion.
Each society, church, men of academia, believes that their ideas are correct and therefore are the best of the world. It is true, even to this day, that each nation has a different set of standards, reasoning, and beliefs on how life works and what are the best possible things to believe in. In some cases, nations try to push those beliefs on other nations. This results in a push for new scientific research and other religious and philosophical beliefs of that nation, to fight the ideas that are being reflected on them. In both cases there is a gathering of new information but, growth in understanding and the opportunity for higher thinking, are achieved. The Bible is considered by some people to be the truth. In extreme cases, they take the Bible purely literal and do not leave any room for the arguments of science. The views in the Bible, especially on the subject of creation, had been the predominate way of thinking about how the Earth and humans were formed. Most religions, in the world, believe that God created Adam and Eve. For the most part of history, this is what people believed. They had no notion of evolution or any of the ideas presented by scientist. This belief that God created man out of the powder of the earth and Eve from one of Adam’s rib was the way that religion portrayed the formation of man. Until the idea of evolution came around, people believed their religion for lack of a better answer.
Even in today’s society there are fundamental religious sects that take the Bible literally and believe in creationism, not evolution. The main cause for so much conflict over who has the correct answer stems from the point that there is not one single idea that has been proven beyond doubt. Until that day, there will always be constant struggling to find the right answer with the best proof. If there were no conflicting views on issues, there would be no gaining of new information. There would be no progress in either scientific understanding or an upward growth of the spirituality of man. Worldly and lifeless could be terms used to express societies that do not question and argue.
It is true that some arguments on science and religion have caused wars or other acts of hate. The Crusades are a perfect example on how conflicting religious beliefs can cause serious confrontations between nations and their views. If people did not try to advance there scientifically, then no progress could be made in the fields of biology, psychology or any other field of science. On the other hand, if there were no argues or conflicting views the world might be a happier and less angry place to live. On the downside of this, there would be no reason to stimulate the mind. Technological advances would come to a stop because no one wants to argue their new and different ideas. This would lead to a lack of man’s ability to reason and think.
Religion has held the upper hand in ways of thinking about the unexplainable. It has been that way until the 18th century when great philosophers, such as Voltaire or Darwin, presented revolutionary views on society. In all cases religious beliefs replace these new views. It was not until they had enough scientific evidence and popular support that they gain any recognition in a society dominated by religion. The men and women of science were considered the “bad guys,” yet they continued to express their ideas until people took notice of them and realized that they may have some truth. These conflicts between religion and science are necessary if society wants to remain intellectually active.