Andre Kormendi

Commentary

11-10-99

Philosophy of Science

 

Thesis: Science is a religion because it rests on articles of faith that cannot rationally be justified.

 

Pro:We cannot know what goes on outside of our own sensory experience, and even our senses are subject to doubt.While we try to explain the world around us with science, we are merely creating stories that match what we experience.Religion is much the same, telling a story that explains why the world is the way it is.†† We prefer science for its values in prediction, but like religion it only can create a story to explain reality, not have true knowledge of it.

 

Con:Certainly science does not truly know reality in all its essence, but unlike religion, science is base on empirical evidence.Religion is stories passed on from generation to generation, suggesting the way the earth came about, and usually a moral message to boot.Science does not try to deal with issues that it cannot know from evidence, nor with issues that have no objective answer like morality.Science tries to study nature to predict how it works, and will change in order to better match reality.Religion does not change to match reality, itís claims are not falsifiable as any differences are necessarily the plan of the preferred deity.While we must have faith in the stories we tell in science, our faith is reinforced by the constant occurrence of nature around us that shows our theories in action.

 

Conclusion:Science is not a religion, because it seeks to predict reality rather than explain it.Further, I contend that the articles of faith can rationally be justified when we see the effects that believing in our stories has on our lives.