TImage credit (above): Courtney Phelps.

Phoebe

Phoebe Baldwin

The way I see it, theories such as evolution are undeniable facts. But, it’s statements such as this that have gotten me into some heated arguments with religious friends and family.

The relationship between religion and science is a complicated one. The two have not always intermingled well and in the modern era, with science and technology advancing at astonishing rates where will the relationship go? Could the next uprising be between creationists and evolutionists?

I consider myself to be agnostic rather than atheist, if I think about it for too long I find atheism kind of depressing. The attitude that this is it and in the end we just decompose is awfully gloomy.

In saying that, I haven’t ever been able to commit myself to a religion, it simply doesn’t make sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I respect religion and admire the faith of others, I just have more confidence in science.

The modern era, with it advances in science, has had both positive and negative effects on religion. 

Before the world became so interconnected you were told what your faith was and never had much of an opportunity to think otherwise. Now these opportunities are accessible and with the rise in multiculturalism it is easy to explore faiths other than the one you are born into.

Despite going to a Christian school, I was given the opportunity to study Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. I am grateful that growing up in the ‘age of the internet’ I was able to have this possibility as it opened my eyes to faiths other than Christianity.

Irrespective of this accessibility, increasingly young people such as myself are turning away from religion in favour of an agnostic or atheist lifestyle.

There is no doubt that technology has played a role in this phenomenon by making alternative views so easily accessible. On the other hand, for some, the progression of technology and ultimately science is an intimidating prospect.

Many people often reject scientific theory if they believe it contradicts their beliefs. This is a common misconception as many religions accept scientific theories such as evolution into their faith. 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient Gerhard Ertl is just one of many Christian scientists and living proof that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Science has given us so much throughout history and I believe that religion should not view or be viewed as the enemy of scientific progress. To paraphrase Carl Sagan: Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality… The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.

In the end, we may we get sucked into a black hole, the rapture dooms upon us or more likely, we are killed by our own greed then someone can have the right to turn around and say to another person “Ha! I was right”. But until that day comes, we are either going to have to learn to accept one another’s beliefs (or lack thereof) or waste our lives arguing about who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’.

This is part of a megastory on religion in Australia today. Visit the megastory here.

 

This article has been commissioned by Griffith University’s Multi-Faith Centre. For more information on the centre and its upcoming International Symposium on Religion Journalism, please go to it website: http://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/international-symposium-on-religion-journalism

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

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