|26 Jul 2002 @ 06:36, by Haohua Jiang|
(This is an introductory statement of mine as a member of con-side in a campus English debate of my university. The debate title is With the development of science religion has become obsolete. I don¡¯t agree to it.)
1. Science and religion are both in entirely different worlds. To most extent, they are not opposite, conflicting each other, but are mutually complementary, in order to meet different demands of human beings. They are also equally the products of human mind, but born in distinctive parts of it. All of those conflicts seen in history, just happened between religious organization and scientific circle, not between religion and science themselves. If religious organization equals to religion, accordingly, scientist will equal to science. This proposition is obviously false.
2. religion is a bridge linking the limitless of universe and the tiny of human being, it provides mysterious mighty power to support our poor soul. Science gives us tools for daily life, and can never substitute the fundamental function of religion to comfort human soul. Science is a limited knowledge, as everyone knows. As long as human race are unable to go beyond the limitless and uncertainty of universe, beyond the boundary of space and time, religion won¡¯t be deleted from human mind perpetually. Could our exaggerated science possess such an incredible to save human race go beyond the ¡°speed of light¡±?
3. We must distinguish varied manifestations of religion, there are three basic forms of them, namely, organization and ceremony, doctrine, and religion complex(spirit). The first two ones are distorted appearances of religion, penetrated by individual secular utilitarian orientation, and somehow against the original essence of religion itself. The last one, which we called religion complex, is an authentic seed in human mind with which a religion is pregnant. This complex is accompanied by the endless anxiety of salvation of human being from secular anguish to transcendent happiness. Up to now, regardless of in history or in our time, it is possible to see certain organizations, ceremonies, and doctrines has got some changes, and even more or less has become obsolete, however, it is impossible to see the flowers of religion spirit rooted deeply in human soul, to be withered. Some new manifestations of religion are slipping into modern life, while some old ones are quitting from historical stage. There are so many so-called evil cults prevailing somewhat in this or that corner throughout the world. Undoubtedly, religion hasn¡¯t become obsolete, but become changed.
4. In scientific circles, it is the same case. Religion spirit and science spirit like twin brothers, getting along with each other very well. Admittedly, some scientists refuse to accept certain organizations, ceremonies, and doctrines, but this doesn¡¯t yet tell us they have cancelled the religion complex from their hearts. No one can kills his own religion complex existing in his sub-consciousness. Even if those scientists who refuse any belief and fight against religion firmly, and, naming themselves as atheists, still can¡¯t avoid exposing their deep believes and instinctive religion complex. The reason is very simple, nobody can exist without a certain belief, no matter how firmly he refuses to confess it, and, those who are merely royal to the science, are royal to the very religion of science also, as soon as science is exaggerated by them to be an absolute and boundless reason power, science itself has become a new religion in which science is worshiped as a god. There is another kind of scientists, who not only accept certain religious manifestations, but also devote themselves to the study of testifying the existence of God. Such as some scientific giants, say, Descartes, Newton, Einstein, and so forth. Descartes in his Discourse consumed generously one chapter to prove the existence of God, Newton followed his footprint, and even went further more, he spent half his lifetime to search for evidences of the existence of God, forgetting his physical research at all. Einstein left a famous word, he said, I was convinced that God does not play dice.
5. To some extent, science can verify the falsehood of some religious doctrine, but only in a limited degree, and not in an absolute level also. Most doctrine and almost every kind of religion complex or religious care, are beyond the boundary of scientific explanation. And strangely, even if their falsehood has been judged by science, most such doctrine are still out of people¡¯s suspicion, and are still rooted in their minds.
6. It is apparent, in history, religion likes any other institution or culture(including science), were often utilized by people to pursue their individual or group interests, and these purposes inevitably caused a wide variety of social conflicts. However this is not the fault of religion itself.
7. Science and religion both have their distinctive functions and roles in human life. The limitless of universe produces a huge non-scientific area for religion to serve human spirit. In that area, human science doesn¡¯t work at all. Therefore, science not only can¡¯t substitute the role and functions of religion, but also can¡¯t challenge its status or destroy its foundation.
8. The expression forms of religion have changed in history and will continue to change in the future, but never thoroughly quit from human life. Science can make certain expression forms obsolete, but can¡¯t obstruct the reborn of new forms, and similarly, can¡¯t hinder the permanent existence of religion. Regarding the obsolete of some expression forms of religion, as the obsolete of whole religion, is the methodological error leading us to the wrong conclusion of pro-side¡¯s. Exaggerating the power of science to a limitless degree, is the epistemological error conducting us to worship science as a new and sole god governing religious world.