Hey everybody,

          Sorry if this has already been discussed. I looked around but didn't see anything really like this. Anyway, I was having a discussion about religion with my cousin recently, about wether or not religion was anti-scientific. He is an atheist as I am, but he claimed that religion (or spirituality) in and of itself was not anti-scientific. I said that it was, because anytime you use the supernatural to explain the natural you are moving outside of scientific method. No matter how abstract the theory (i.e. many worlds, or string theory) these ideas come about from scientific method and saying "well god made it that way" moves outside of that.

          At any rate the debate eventually became more about religion as a way to explain the 'why' questions rather than they 'what' or 'how' questions. I'm sure you've all had this conversation before, so my question is this; Why do people need to use religion as a crutch? I'm am perfectly willing to accept that my life has no meaning except for what I give it. Why are people so afraid to admit as much? Obviously no one here can speak for all religious people, but growing up in an atheist family I never experienced any fear or anxiety about the fact that my life had no universal meaning. Is the idea of justifying ones own existence a cause to create religion, or a symptom of it? Any insight would be awesome!

Thanks!

Tags: existence, religion, science

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As far as whether or not religion is inherently anti-scientific or not, there is a difference between whether or not something can be addressed by science and whether or ot something is anti-scientific.

For example, the idea of a deistic god that initiated the creation of the universe (or multiverse) and has never interfered or affected our universe since that point is untestable by science. Hiwever, it is not necessarily anti-scientific, as that belief is perfectly capable of coexisting with a completely scientific worldview of our universe.

However, most religions deal in revelation and that *is* anti-science. In science, knowledge comes from observation, experimentation, and applying the scientific method to disprove/support stated hypotheses. Revealed knowledge not only does not require evidence, it is often considered superior to evidence-based knowledge by its adherents.

And I think that the "the universe must have a purpose and therefore so do I" is used to offset many religions' assumption of human worthlessness, at least in the Abrahamic faiths.

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