Monday, March 19, 2018

Science and Religion

Richard Dawkins is a prominent scientist who wrote the book: Selfish Gene, a controversial book which changed the worldview of many who read it. The Catholic Peace Weekly reporter in the Word And Silence column gives us his reaction on reading the book.

Dawkins is provocative, intense, sharp and uncompromising. The reporter purchased a Korean translation some five years ago but was afraid that it would shake his weak faith and never read the book until recently.

In his book The God Delusion: Dawkins sees belief as a delusion, a meaningless, subjective belief. Medically a kind of mental disorder. For him, it is a mental virus and irrational and socially harmful.

After reading the book the aftertaste was not good. Do we have an opinion to refute Dawkins? and started to look.

We have the conflict model: science and religion are always in conflict. The independence model holds they explore separate domains and ask different questions. The dialogue model proposes a relationship between science and religion. There is a common ground in presuppositions, methods, and concepts. In any system that deals with dichotomy, we have blind spots. Almost all human societies have had religion in some form.

Religion exists in a community. The church is a community. The teachings of religion always aimed towards the good of the community and strongly supports the values necessary for the survival and prosperity of society. Religion is institutionalized morality and ethics. 

Religion is older than nations and more fundamental. Faith instinct is hidden deep inside the human being. Religion played its part when there were neither police, schools or judges. Early humans in a hunting-gathering society embodied strong social values through religion. All the societies that did not have such a center were eliminated and disappeared.

Today, religion seems to have lost its place at the center of society. Often swept away by power, material, money, and pleasure. However, the more confused the values, the more important is the role of religion that reflects man's historical wisdom and reflection. The value of the common good persists within the community. Love, mercy, spiritual poverty,  purity, repentance and fasting are the vitality of religion.

We are in the middle of Lent. A thick fog surrounds us. If faith is not a delusion, it's time for believers to cry together. We need to beat our breasts and repent. "My sacrifice is this broken spirit, you will not scorn this crushed and broken heart" (Psalm 51:17).

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