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Previous Theses in Religion | Whitman College
Some ask whether evolutionary challenges to moral beliefs apply in ananalogous way to religious beliefs (see Bergmann and Kain 2014,especially part III). Others have examined whether evolutionary ethicsmakes appeals to God in ethical matters redundant. John Hare (2004),for example, has argued that this is not the case, becauseevolutionary ethics can only explain why we do things that ultimatelybenefit us, even if indirectly (e.g., through the mechanisms of kinselection and reciprocal altruism). According to Hare (2004),evolutionary ethics does not explain our sense of moral obligationthat goes beyond biological self-interest, as evolutionary theorypredicts that we would always rank biological self-interest over moralobligations. Therefore, theism provides a more coherent explanation ofwhy we feel we have to follow up on moral obligations. Intriguingly,theologians and scientists have begun to collaborate in the field ofevolutionary ethics. For example, the theologian Sarah Coakley hascooperated with the mathematician and biologist Martin Nowak tounderstand altruism and game theory in a broader theological andscientific context (Nowak and Coakley 2013).
Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealthof topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, andconsciousness. Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning,in particular design arguments based on it (e.g., R. Collins 2009),the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance ofthe Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson (2013) haveexplored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possiblemultiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generatedsubstantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action(and the closely related topic of creation), and human origins.
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According to Koenig (1989), religion incorporates people’s rituals, beliefs, and practices pertaining to the “transcendent.” Which means, these beliefs relates to the supernatural and mystical elements of the world (Koenig, Siegler & George, 1989)....
Religion is important to as many as 75% of the population, more profound and relevant with people over 65 years of age and older (Richards and Bergin, 1997).
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In the contemporary public sphere, the most prominent interactionbetween science and religion concerns evolutionary theory andcreationism/Intelligent Design. The legal battles (e.g., theKitzmiller versus Dover trial in 2005) and lobbying surrounding theteaching of evolution and creationism in American schools suggest thatreligion and science conflict. However, even if one were to focus onthe reception of evolutionary theory, the relationship betweenreligion and science is complex. For instance, in the United Kingdom,scientists, clergy, and popular writers, sought to reconcile scienceand religion during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, whereas the United States saw the rise of a fundamentalistopposition to evolutionary thinking, exemplified by the Scopes trialin 1925 (Bowler 2001, 2009).
thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”(Jefferson) The concept of the separation of religion from state has been battle that has endured through the furnace of time.
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Religion and Country Music Essay - 531 Words
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.
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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).
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While the conflict model is at present a minority position, some haveused philosophical argumentation (e.g., Philipse 2012) or havecarefully re-examined historical evidence such as the Galileo trial(e.g., Dawes 2016) to argue for this model. Alvin Plantinga (2011) hasargued that the conflict is not between science and religion, butbetween science and naturalism.
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The independence model holds that science and religion exploreseparate domains that ask distinct questions. Stephen Jay Goulddeveloped an influential independence model with his NOMA principle(“Non-Overlapping Magisteria”):
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