Yes, I know, that title is going to annoy quite a few people. I also understand that there are quite a few differences between science, atheism and say Christianity. However, I do think there is are similarities that need pointing out.
Firstly, what do I mean by “religion”?
Religion to me is different to spirituality in that the believer looks to a hierarchy for guidance. Their relationship with their higher power is through a priest or other “real person” and what they believe is often taught to them. In my opinion religion alone is based on blind belief.
Conversely, spirituality is a direct connection between the believer and the higher power and faith is based on personal experience. Don’t get me wrong, a Christian can be spiritual and have a personal relationship with their God but there are others that believe what they are told without question.
“So how is science a religion?”
When you look to the general populous and their relationship with science its similarity to religion becomes very clear. They look to people in white coats and believe what they are told. There is no questioning, no debate, simply blind belief. You could say the scientists are “spiritual” they have a personal relationship with their tests and results, but the people outside of that can only believe what the scientist tells them.
The scientists themselves are able to replicate their experiments, they have their proof of their “higher power”, but for most people there are few experiments that we can do at home to prove what the scientists say. I can’t proved that there is electricity in my wires, I can’t see the electrons getting excited to that transfers the energy down the wire, all I can prove is that when I flick a switch the light comes on. This means my understanding of electricity is based on blind faith; I have been told there is electricity in the wires and that gets turned into light when it reaches the bulb. It’s only because I have been brought up to believe scientists that I don’t question it.
“But what about atheism, surely that can’t possibly be a religion?”
Are you sure? Can you prove that “God” does not exist? As far as I know there are no actual tests that have proven “his” non-existence. This means the belief that he does not exist, again, is blind. Where is the difference, both groups of people believe something that cannot be proven to be true.
Many atheists rely on science to hold up their beliefs in the lack of a higher power but we have to accept that we simply don’t know that this is true. We don’t know what we don’t know and we never will.
Scientists don’t know everything and never will.
If Louis Pasteur hadn’t been utterly convinced of his discovery of germs we would still be treating illness in completely the wrong way, and yet what he was saying was radically different to what was currently believed. His discovery changed great tracts of science in one sweep.
I realise we are much further on in our understanding of physics but there is still so much we don’t know. Is it not arrogance to consider any possibility as untrue simply because our current science can’t prove it at this moment in time?
I am not asking atheists or science followers to change their beliefs and “get god”; they have found a religion that makes sense to them and I respect that. Instead I would like them to accept that what many of them have is blind faith in something that a “wise person” taught them and allow those of us with spirituality to get on with our lives without judgement.