Science, Magic and Religion.

People confuse these.

Atheists can have a viewpoint on Religion, because it’s about faith, belief. Science can’t, because how can Science measure it or do experiments on Religion any more than on Hope, Justice, Mercy, Love, Hate or Morality?  To be sure some people have tried to have a logical system or scientific basis for these, but it’s not science or mathematics, but speculation often smuggling ideas in from Religion.

 

Religion

For major Religions, Magic is wrong and forbidden, it’s not important if it’s real, Demonic or self-delusion. Similarly Religion properly can have no viewpoint on science other than if it’s moral or immoral to apply the knowledge in a particular way (for instance Eugenics based on knowledge of Genetics). Both Religion and Science can have an opinion on Magic

Science

Magic unlike Religion claims to physically change the real world when ‘practised’. But no evidence or repeated application of any alleged Psychic power or Magical method has ever been found to do this. Thus Science says that so far there is no evidence for it.

Magic or Miracles?

When adherents of Religion start believing a certain formula of words or application of relics changes physical reality then they have strayed from Religion to superstition and practice of magic. Of course many religions may have a majority of adherents that do this but are they practising their religion or magic? Certainly while Orthodox Judaism and Christianity believe God does miracles and sometimes uses a Prophet or a holy man, these are all one off events commanded or allowed by God. Unlike magic there is no formula you can use to repeat the miracle.

There is no reason why a belief in God prevents someone from being a good Scientist, or vice versa. Science isn’t about faith and belief. Holy writings (Scriptures) are not text books on History or Science, they exist to tell you how to relate to God and treat other people. Of course the Orthodox claim that their scripture is the inspired accurate word of God given to man and should be taken literally. But even for that viewpoint the context is important and people may differ on what the ‘literal’ meaning is really saying. Science too isn’t fixed in stone. It changes veiwpoint when there is a fresh interpretation that’s more convincing of the evidence (see Occam’s Razor) and when new evidence is found or errors uncovered in existing evidence.

Leave a Reply