They can actually complement each other. To understand what Einstein meant when he said this, we must first understand his views on religion. When I was first given Einstein’s article “Religion and Science” in class, I felt like he was very anti-religious. Throughout the first few paragraphs of the article he talked about why people were led to religious thought and belief. According to him, it was fear and the desire for guidance, support, and love – emotions that were considered signs of “weakness” – that evoked religious notions.
It was just this that drove people to look into a higher being as a means of hope. These feelings are what initiated religious beliefs that told people what they can and can’t do to please God. Einstein’s belief that these “weak” feelings initiated religion, made him seem so opposed to the idea of looking into an unknown being as a sense of security. Later on in his article, Einstein also told us that religion is not necessary for a person’s ethical behavior. You don’t need a God to tell you right from wrong. After reading all of this, I came to the conclusion that Einstein did not believe in religion.
However, after further reading on Einstein I realized that I was very much wrong. Einstein did believe in a religion, but his religion was not the typical, traditional, organized religion like most people believe in. Einstein believed in a “cosmic religious feeling;” he believed in a higher being that controlled the universe, but not one who was interested in the personal affairs of humans. It was his line of work that had become his religion. He was so passionate and devoted to science that it had become his faith. His religious feeling was of “inklings” and “wondering. His religion was his thoughts, and it was through this that Einstein studied and came to scientific conclusions. Einstein’s religion was his questions, and science was his means of getting the answers. Einstein once said that you are not a true scientist if you don’t approach science with religious awe. Einstein believed that science and religion were nothing without each other. Since religion was Einstein’s “inklings” and “wondering,” religion was a sort of motivation for science. After all, what would science be without human questioning?
Science would be pointless without religion, and that is what Einstein meant when he said “Science without religion is lame. ” Science is just, as many people see it, a search for answers, and religion gives the questions. Some people choose to follow a religion without any logical thinking of their own; this is what Einstein meant by “Religion without science is blind. ” It doesn’t make sense to believe in something without any logical reasoning. You would have to do some further research and study to give yourself further knowledge and understanding of a certain belief.
Many people believe in a certain religion just because their parents believe in it, and that is the faith they grew up in to. They practice this religion because it’s what they were taught to do, not because it’s something they personally believe in. This is an example of a religious belief being “blind. ” The person hasn’t looked into the religion at all on their own to see if there is any truth in it. They believe it just because their family believes it. This is completely illogical. Without proven facts to back up a belief, the belief is simply blind.
A belief being blind, meaning that the belief has no evidence to back it up. There is no logical reason to believe in it. Science helps to create an open minded understanding of religion. Without science, religion would be useless and completely illogical. Although religion is not the same to me as it was to Einstein, I completely agree that religion and science are nothing without each other. Religion and science go hand in hand. My religion, Islam, doesn’t only tell me to believe, but it also provokes me to ask questions.
Unlike Einstein, my religion is not just a religion of questions, it gives answers as well. However, most of these answers can be scientifically backed up, and the others have not been scientifically disproven either. Religion, or more specifically, Islam, is not primarily scientific; however it does answer some of the same questions as science. I believe that religion is nothing without science because it doesn’t make sense to blindly believe in something without some fact to back it up. Religion is a strong elief, and science may elaborate on that belief. In fact, Islam encourages scientific research. Time and time again, it is mentioned in the Quran (holy book) to reflect, not to just blindly believe. A verse in the Quran states, “And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reflect” [13:3]. This verse encourages us to reflect over these “signs,” to do research and believe with reason.
It is only through research that religion is understood and appreciated even more. In Islam, it is believed that the Quran, the holy book was brought down over 1400 years ago, during the 7th century. That was a time when people didn’t know many of the scientific facts we know now. They weren’t advanced enough, and they didn’t have the correct technology. It was a time when people thought that the world was flat. The Quran, however, stated differently, it hinted at the roundness of the Earth. “He has created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth.
He wraps the night up in the day, and wraps the day up in the night” [39:5]. The Arabic word that translates to “to wrap” in this verse is “yukawwir,” which comes from the origin “kurah” meaning sphere. Also, in this verse, wrapping the night up in the day means that the night slowly and gradually turns to day, which could only happen if the Earth was round. Another example is the formation of rain. The three stages of rain formation are the “raw material” of rain rising up into the air with the wind, clouds forming from the water vapor, and finally raindrops falling.
In the Quran, it is stated, “It is Allah Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His servants He wills, they rejoice” [30:48]. The stages of rain formation weren’t discovered until after the weather radar was invented, but the same stages are discussed in the Quran. These are just two of many scientific signs in the Quran, but it shows that in Islam, absolute religious text and absolute scientific fact never contradict.
Many people believe that religion and science can’t coexist because they cancel each other out. It is either one or the other, but this just simply isn’t true. In Islam, there is no conflict between absolute scientific fact and absolute religious text; everyone would be able to see this if they really looked into both of these factors. Religion actually encourages people to expand their knowledge through scientific research and come to a deeper understanding of their religion.
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