Several typologies characterize the interaction between science andreligion. For example, Mikael Stenmark (2004) distinguishes betweenthree views: the independence view (no overlap between science andreligion), the contact view (some overlap between the fields), and aunion of the domains of science and religion; within those views herecognizes further subdivisions, e.g., the contact can be in the formof conflict or harmony. The most influential model of therelationships between science and religion remains Barbour’s(2000): conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. Subsequentauthors, as well as Barbour himself, have refined and amended thistaxonomy. However, others (e.g., Cantor and Kenny 2001) have arguedthat it is not useful to understand past interactions between bothfields. For one thing, it focuses on the cognitive content ofreligions at the expense of other aspects, such as rituals and socialstructures. Moreover, there is no clear definition of what conflictmeans (evidential or logical). The model is not as philosophicallysophisticated as some of its successors, such as Stenmark’s(2004). Nevertheless, because of its enduring influence, it is stillworthwhile to discuss this taxonomy in detail.
Because “science” and “religion” defydefinition, discussing the relationship between science (in general)and religion (in general) may be meaningless. For example, Kelly Clark(2014) argues that we can only sensibly inquire into the relationshipbetween a widely accepted claim of science (such as quantum mechanicsor findings in neuroscience) and a specific claim of a particularreligion (such as Islamic understandings of divine providence orBuddhist views of the no-self).
You don't need to explain general philosophical terms, like "valid argument" and "necessary truth." But you should explain any technical terms you use which bear on the specific topic you're discussing.
Terms applied both to God and to any aspect of the world have beenclassified as either univocal (sharing the same sense),equivocal (used in different senses), oranalogical. There is a range of accounts of analogouspredication, but the most common—and the one assumedhere—is that terms are used analogously when their use indifferent cases (John limps and the argument limps) is based on whatis believed to be a resemblance. It seems clear that many terms usedto describe God in theistic traditions are used analogously, as whenGod is referred to as a father, shepherd, or fountain. More difficultto classify are descriptions of God as good, personal, knowing,omnipresent, and creative. Heated philosophical and theologicaldisputes centre on unpacking the meaning of such descriptions,disputes that are often carried out with the use of thoughtexperiments.
Most philosophy of religion in the west has focused on differentversions of theism. Ancient philosophy of religion wrestled with thecredibility of monotheism and polytheism in opposition to skepticismand very primitive naturalistic schemes. For example, Platoargued that the view that God is singularly good should be preferred tothe portrait of the gods that was articulated in Greek poetictradition, according to which there are many gods, often imperfect andsubject to vice and ignorance. The emergence and development ofJudaism, Christianity, and Islam on a global scale secured thecentrality of theism for philosophical enquiry, but the relevance of aphilosophical exploration of theism is not limited to those interestedin these religions and the cultures in which they flourish. Whiletheism has generally flourished in religious traditions amid religiouspractices, one may be a theist without adopting any religion whatever,and one may find theistic elements (however piecemeal) in Confucianism,Hinduism, some versions of Mahayana Buddhism, as well as in thereligions of some smaller scale societies. The debate over theismalso has currency for secular humanism and religious forms of atheismas in Theravada Buddhist philosophy. Consider first thephilosophical project of articulating theism and then the philosophy ofdivine attributes.
In the last century philosophers around the world have refocused their examinations onto the nature of religious beliefs, religious language and the religious mindset. Indeed, some philosophers have entered into critical reflection and dialogue on the nature or essence of religion itself. This text will approach religion in both the traditional manner and in the more contemporary fashion as well. It will examine the issues related to the existence and nature of the deity and it will consider the nature of religious belief. This study will also take note of the findings of modern and contemporary science in its examination into religious phenomena. in the end it is hoped that awareness of the productions of scientists and philosophers will put the reader in a better position to understand the nature of religion, its essence.
Philosophy is about thinking critically about religion in all of its aspects. Thinking critically about religious beliefs might indicate that they are flawed in a number of ways:
Each year, the Philosophy program hosts a Philosophy Essay Contest for students enrolled at James Madison University. It is not necessary to be a philosophy major or minor to take part in the contest, but students wishing to submit an essay must be enrolled at JMU during the spring semester of that year. Submitted essays may be on any topic in philosophy, and must be between 2000-5000 words in length.
The winner of the Philosophy Essay Contest earns a cash prize (typically $200), and is honored at the yearly Department of Philosophy and Religion Honors Banquet.
Unfortunately, many people also see a conflict between religion and science. Yet, religion and science are both similar in that they are attempts to make sense of the world. Religion is an attempt to understand the nonphysical or metaphysical, and science is an attempt to understand the physical. Science can not prove or disprove the existence of God since scientists can only study things that can be directly observed and measured. Religious believers think they already know the ultimate truth; scientific knowledge is always being updated. A scientific theory is only valid until another, more accurate/comprehensive theory takes its place. When viewed this way, it becomes clear that they are complimentary. (For more information, look at by Albert Einstein, , and the page.)
The relationship between religion and science is the subject ofcontinued debate in philosophy and theology. To what extent arereligion and science compatible? Are religious beliefs sometimesconducive to science, or do they inevitably pose obstacles toscientific inquiry? The interdisciplinary field of “science andreligion”, also called “theology and science”, aimsto answer these and other questions. It studies historical andcontemporary interactions between these fields, and providesphilosophical analyses of how they interrelate.
This entry provides an overview of the topics and discussions inscience and religion. Section 1 outlines the scope of both fields, andhow they are related. Section 2 looks at the relationship betweenscience and religion in three religious traditions, Christianity,Islam, and Hinduism. Section 3 discusses contemporary topics ofscientific inquiry in which science and religion intersect, focusingon creation, divine action, and human origins. Section 4 concludes bylooking at a few future directions of the study of science andreligion.
Philosophers examine the nature of religion and religious beliefs. Philosophers in the West have focused on ideas related to the existence and nature of the deity because that idea is central to the religions of the West. Western Philosophy of Religion has centered on arguments or proofs for the existence of god and explications of apparent inconsistencies in the description of the nature of god.