Science, Religion & Spirituality

Outline: Science, Religion and Spirituality – From the Simple to the Sublime

Science is broadly used here in the context of knowledge arrived at experimentally or theoretically or by empirical means. Repeatability of experiments is a cardinal virtue of the scientific process. Coupled with one’s ability for analysis, logical and well-reasoned, science has assumed a pride of place in the way we do things. We revel in statements like ‘scientific’ and conversely reject statements that do not pass muster with science.

Religion, on the other hand, is based on belief – one’s faith in a creator or God of the universe and the power of the omnipotence and omnipresence of that God – whoever that might be for each individual.

Spirituality can be broadly thought of as things related to or pertaining to the spirit or one’s soul.

There are persons who are comfortable only in one of the above or two of the above or on all of the above topics. We also know of persons who reject everything that does not have a scientific basis with immediate conclusions that neither religion nor spirituality rises to the level at which science ought to be held. In particular, since religion is based on belief, science does not consider religion as scientific at all. Similarly, since ‘soul’ itself is a concept or idea that one is not able to touch or feel, many scientists have difficulty of accepting anything related to ‘spirituality’. On the other hand, religious leaders or practitioners of spirituality feel that science is also not all that scientific, many scientific pronouncements based on empirical validity have later been known to be false (scientists, in response, might say that the ‘state of the art’ has now been extended when such situations arise). They also claim that spirituality is based on scientific principles, that religion will come to one’s rescue when science is unable to explain statements related to life in general or to matters pertaining to when life begins etc.

This lecture looks at science, religion and spirituality in greater detail and depth and concludes that one will benefit by taking a comprehensive look on all these topics for one’s personal and professional growth.