In my view both science and religion are sibling (of a father Philosophy?) and religion is an elder brother but his younger brother (Science) is also following the steps and trying like to be a big brother and the religious aspect of science is known as ‘Scientism’. Scientism is used by many atheist to prove that there is no God and always ask if you can prove it.
Rationally it is not possible to compare science with religion; you cannot compare religion scientifically or science religiously. It looks exactly the same case of comparing apples with oranges. Both are of different domains and they have their own applications. I am not intend to compare both scientifically or religiously I am more interested in comparing their influence on human life and specifically the dark side of both science and religion. I fully agree on beneficial part of religion (few) and science (many). However, we don’t need to do quantitative analysis, we need qualitative. I am concern on which is more dangerous and that’s what I want to argue on.
The most important factor that needs to be assume seriously while comparing these two is an age, we must not forget that modern science is a just a baby (Not more than 200 years) and religion is thousands years old. The baby looks more naughty and dangerous.
One of the worst cons of religion today is violence and many argue that if we can ignore the religion we can also avoid the violence but I don’t agree on this argument. If religion is a cause of violence then why the animals are so violent? We may argue that they kill only for their own food but then you also need to extend this logic which leads to the survival.
Even if we assume that religion causes violence we need to think why it has changed its dimensions during last few hundred years? Why it has become global now? Why it is so instantaneous? Why it is more powerful than it was ever before? Why violence is getting more cruel and dangerous day by day?
There can be many reason like social, geographical, economic, strategies, greed and of course religion but I consider all of these just as ‘thoughts’ and these formless thoughts are getting form with the help of a science.
Of course thoughts are dangerous too but it has limited scope, they get global/wider only after getting power from science. Can we imagine killing of hundreds of people in few minutes without any help from science? No religion (even collectively) is capable of destroying entire humanity at once but science can do this in few minutes.
The other dangerous trait of religion which science is getting very close is ‘follow-blindly’. In religion we don’t even bother to evaluate it on logical scale, it is always assumed and never inquired.
I know people with Scientism would not like my next statement but I must put, yes, science is also followed blindly like religion. The latest example is discovery of Higgs boson. How many of us and from media inquired about the facts? Let us even forget about us but, did the investors of accelerator know all the facts? There are many doubts about this in scientific community but it was assumed as an established fact. I agree that eventually it would be scientific fact and I never doubt the methods science follows e.g. peer reviews. However, do you think that all that which is being published in Journals especially in medicine are true? Like we are cheated in name of heaven and life after death, we are also cheated by Statistics and data. The objective remains same individual/personal benefit. We have fake gurus, scriptures and books same way we have fake doctors, fake medicines and fake treatments. We also have fake iPhones!
No true scientist will accept the fact unless it is provided scientifically but again scientists are not of concern here, the concerned community is common people as it happens with religion, everyone does not follow it blindly but majority does, same way it is also dangerous trend in science.
We must recall that science is still a baby and religion was also quite similar when it was baby or young, it was not followed blindly it was only followed based on what wise men used to tell but then we started getting lots of people with knowledge and less wisdom and now perhaps we don’t see any wise man. When Doctors prescribes a medicine to us, are we always sure that what we are getting is good for health and he or she is prescribing correct medicine? We can be little confident (as we may have trust) but what will happen when there are lots of doctors and high competition?
The most dangerous downside of religion today are commercialization and representation by incompetent persons. Many people are looted and cheated by so called Gurus and many of them are involved in sex scandals and rape. Do you think Science is aloof to this? Don’t we get news that patient was raped by a Doctor? In case of representations (bad boys) science is not losing against religion. Who are those doctors playing with humans and doing organ trafficking? Who are those who are involved in developing nuclear and biological weapons?
Commercialization is something on which science got matured in very short period of time and perhaps the purpose of science (today) is only profits, It is still trying to understand the nature and solve the mystery but even all these are being done under the umbrella of commercialization, there are very few research being done without any commercial value.
On few quick comparisons if you believe that science is consistent and all facts can be proved with experiments then perhaps you studied only Newtonian science, upgrade yourself. If you believe that scientists don’t tell stories like priest, you still need to read more especially on medical science and astronomy. Please ask them about universe, big bang, black holes and you would get very interesting stories.
Lastly if you believe that there is very good harmony in scientific community and everyone is just doing their own job then please talk to hard-core scientists and you would get a good answer. Ernest Rutherford once told “All science is either physics or stamp collecting”.
I am really not trying to score on either or disqualify any and all the arguments are merely toward scientism and I think it is not about religion or science it is more about the Human (and perhaps nature) which has tendency to disturb any organized structure, thought or phenomenon and what religion is suffering today science is bound to suffer.