Is religion the ultimate form of science?
SCIENCE IS A RELIGION.
There is absolutely no relation between "religion" and science.
The goal of religion is to develop the soul. When you understand that the soul is a bioelectrical field, then what you are doing is the ultimate in physics. I consider the spiritual scriptures to be manuals on how to operate, manipulate, and enhance the bioelectrical field of the soul. We currently have 7000 years of scientific documentation available to us.
An electrical field can be manipulated by changing frequencies. There is archeological evidence that man was aware of this 45,000 years ago. There are many caves where the acoustics have been humanly changed to create specific effects, which change the brain's waves. Scientists are discovering that the burial mounds in Ireland are acoustic masterpieces. Stonehenge is also an acoustic masterpiece. Scientists are finding that the megaliths at Stonehenge can be played like a xylophone that can be heard for miles. The Gospel of John states that God is the word. What is a word? It is vibration.
So, how do you describe an energy vibration? It is invisible to the eye, even under magnification. There was no sophisticated mathematics available to the ancient cultures. The only way to describe something that cannot be seen is to use metaphor. What makes religion different is that the electrical field is hooked up to the visual cortex, which is like a movie projector. So when the frequencies are changed, our minds create pictures to make sense of what is happening. Here is where religion gets its cultural flavors. Our minds can only relate to what we have previously learned, seen, or experienced. The brain is hooked up to the chemistry of the physical body and the psychological issues of the mind. So, if you do not take care of the body by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep, your brain will struggle to function properly. If you carry around issues, your mind will be deluded.
Every spiritual practice, from every religion, is designed to alter the electrical field that swaddles us. The instructions are in metaphorical code. The problem is that these symbols and descriptive short stories have become dogma. We tend to get wrapped up in the story and either don't know it is speaking about energy. Or, forget that the story is symbolic of how the spiritual energies function and change.
Science knows that all electrical fields contain a positive and a negative energy. All ancient religions honored this fact. They described these two energies as: Sun and Moon; King and Queen; Fire and Water; Adam and Eve. The modern religion that has retained this intertwined system of duality is Taoism. They have named these two energies yin and yang. Neither energy is considered good or bad in and of itself. Both energies are always present. Each manifestation has different levels of each energy that combine to create the whole.
This leads to the fact there are two paths to spiritual wholeness. The west understands path of sacrifice. Joseph Campbell named this path The Hero's Journey. This path raises the divine feminine energy (fire). It kills the ego as it moves up through the spiritual system until it connects the circuit above the head. The other path is the birth of the divine masculine within. The most famous story is the Christian Nativity. In Jungian terms, it is the emergence of the animus within the female psyche. This path brings down the divine masculine energy (water) so that it pools in the abdomenal area until it falls to the ground and closes the electrical circuit.
These paths change the way the brain functions and thus change the way you view the world. When done right, it can give the ability to heal others with a touch or from long distance, it can allow you to see into someone's past, it can allow you to peer into the future. When done wrong, it can cause insanity, megalomania, and/or create a psychopath.
Is religion the ultimate form of science?
No, of course not.
Science is all about making discoveries. It is a process that involves examining available data, coming up with hypotheses to explain that data, and then refining or rejecting those hypothesis as more data becomes available. At no time, however, is any hypothesis ever absolutely confirmed to be true; at most, it gains enough support to be considered a valid scientific "theory", but there is always a chance that the theory will need to be modified in the future.
Religion, on the other hand, is all about being told what is true. Insofar as it attempts to gain a veneer of scientific respectability, religion involves starting with the revealed "truth" as an unquestionable assumption and then, as data becomes available, interpreting or rejecting any data that does not support the unquestionable assumption. At no time, however, can the underlying assumption ever be shown to be false; it will always be considered to be true regardless of any data to the contrary.
Let me express the biggest problem I have with the modern (fundamentalist) treatment older religions. It groups all philosophical studies into the same category:
- They make scientific claims
- They make deontological ethical demands
- They make metaphysical statements about ontology and epistemology
- They try to deal with Value Theory
Rarely, they also treat
- Rational inquiry (math)
Now, that may at first seem like an important thing to do, to speak to all of these categories at once, in a holy book, but it misses the point when those holy books, viewed as absolute and "applicable to modern life" miss the point that:
- The claims were made before epistemology helped us learn and establish empiricism and positivism as ways to differentiate between scientific claims and metaphysical analogies that are not intended to be taken literally. However, if understood that they are figurative, they make a decent proto-epistemological history.
- The ethical demands, are mostly good, but don't describe nuance, and are made before asserting the many problems with both deontology and utilitarianism. However, taken as a historical account of societal evolution of ethics, they make for a great study.
- Although ontology and epistemology have not grown as fast as other subjects have, they have demonstrated the issues with many of the statements about the conflicting attributes assigned to some beings (i.e. omniscience + vindictiveness don't go together very well).
- The treatment of value theory before, equated many categorical meanings for words like "good" and "truth" which we would necessarily separate in modern discussion.
- It should be obvious that math/analytical logic has also grown considerably since the time that the books were written, and would make the mathematics outdated, despite being a historical collection of proto-mathematics.
- Religion has a cultural element, due to the traditions and rites that go with the area. This separates it from anything as objective as science.
At best, modern liberal religions have dealt well with integrating these new finds, and has no issue understanding religion as an offshoot of philosophy, from which it can and should take heed. At worst, modern fundamentalism equates science and religion in a way that even the ancient people would have balked at.
Any modern take that we should stop asking questions because either "God did it, and we shouldn't question it" or that "what cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating" (Newton's Razor) is akin to saying that we shouldn't try something, because it's hard.
Only 100 years ago, the ideas that these books were "literally applicable to modern times" would have been laughed at. Fundamentalism formed out of fear that "everyone will be an atheist" if we don't stop progressing with philosophy (including science).
So, here I am now, giving the opposite claim, that integrating all of these philosophical approaches into one system, and calling it "religion" is pointless, since the correct word to use there would have been philosophy, and it has evolved to a much greater level than that which was discussed millennia ago. Modern philosophy, nor science, are necessarily atheist, nor theist, but are probably currently more agnostic than anything.
So, I can't even claim that the use of the word "religion" even has any meaning anymore, and at best, it seems that religion is just the collection of philosophical principles that any one person takes as their own assumptions toward reasoning, and as such, each person is more likely adhering to their own religion, making possibly 7 billion or more religions out there.
Which one is the ultimate form of science?
Is religion the ultimate form of science?
No, absolutely not.
Religion is the first attempt at science, the first attempt at trying to answer the mysteries of life and the universe in general.
But like all prototypes, it's a ramshackle, fragile first try, designed before many tools we take for granted now simply did not exist.
Religion is like choosing the Wright Flyer over a hyper-modern jet, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic.
Like the Wright Flyer, we do not need religion any more, it's no longer the most effective way of performing the function it was designed for, it should be consigned to a museum, not informing policy in the modern era, or putting anyone's life at risk.
Religion was past its use by date back in the time of Epicurus, it's like using a stone axe to cause nuclear fission, but it has a powerful hold on the human imagination and appeals to the fact that nobody really wants to die, so we imagine that we're going to live forever in paradise. The reality is, every moment spent enslaved by religion, is a wasted one.
(1) Short answer:
- It's the ultimate diametrical opposite of Science.
(2) Science is defined by the following.
- Scientific method
- Paradigm of Science
- Scientific consensus
- More on the Philosophy of science: Sam Qwato's answer to Regarding the scientific method, who was right, Thomas Kuhn or Karl Popper?
(3) Religion does not conform to the above playbook.