David SimsEssays

Revealed Religion, Science, and Truth

by David Sims

SCIENCE STUDIES the accessible part of the physical world. It examines predictions and proposed truths by experiment, which try to falsify the prediction or the proposition. Science doesn’t seek truth directly, but by the process of elimination, such that, as time goes by, the shape of theory (a scientific idea of what truth is) gets knocked into an ever-closer approximation to truth.

Religion began as an effort to control men. In order to do that, the creators of religion decided how to explain life, the universe, and everything — and they mostly got it all wrong. The laity didn’t know that the theology of the priesthood was a bunch of made-up fantasy, however, and so they gave their trust to men who told them what to think, how to behave, and promised them rewards if they were obedient. Rewards that they could collect only after they died.

Some members of this or that tribe smelled a rat in that bargain, and these were the atheists who have appeared through the ages. To protect their business model, the priesthood persecuted the atheists.

There is social utility in religion. That social utility isn’t that there is any truth in it, though. Rather, it comes from the idea that some members of Homo sapiens aren’t really human in the full sense. They’re limited to linear thinking and can’t comprehend the significance of the exponential function, such that they can appreciate when an apparently small problem presents a grave danger, or when a small investment can pay off big over time. They don’t see the wisdom of moral circumspection, how it makes living better for all, with dividends for each. For these people, a little help is required, and a fear of hell fire might be salutary. Religion, targeted at them, and they, encouraged to believe, may serve to keep them out of trouble and might prevent them from causing an inordinate amount of mischief.

But that’s about it. I see no utility in religion whatsoever in regard to seeking truth. Because useful truths are a subset of all truths, and because humans are interested in what is of use to them, any valid method for seeking truth will discover useful truths over time, and the powers of men will be increased thereby. Conversely, if a purported method for seeking truth does not regularly discover useful truths that can increase the powers of men, then it is reasonable to think that the method is invalid.

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Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
18 September, 2020 11:08 pm

The beauty of the physical sciences is
that they are immune to the poisons of
Puritanism and Victorian platitudes. One
can deny the realities of science. However,
one cannot ignore the consequences of
that denial. A rather dim-witted fellow standing
on a railroad track is at liberty to deny the
reality of the oncoming high-speed passenger
locomotive. However, that denial will end at
the instant the two make impact.

19 September, 2020 10:22 am

I have thought along these lines for a long time. My way of putting it is that “Religion is the best means of mind control yet devised by man.” Notice the history of close association between political leaders and religious leaders. Often they were one and the same.

Unfortunately, science is being corrupted to serve as a replacement for religion.

Reply to  guest
9 October, 2020 6:23 am

Science is being corrupted with secularised religion…Liberalism.

29 September, 2020 3:24 am

Great article. Priestcraft and the making of kings. The current queen was anointed with oil just as Solomon was – by Anglican clergy. So nothing has changed. But look closer she wears the order of the Garter outfit and she carries a compass and set square. Yes the builders are always there. Now look closely at the pagan religions — they all believed in a father god and a son that reigns on earth; kings. Usually it is a trinity of father mother and son… All religions came from fear of death and the immortal soul of suffering or rewards. Notice Judaism changed all this in one. Adam formed from the dust of the earth and God breathed life into him. Adam becomes a living soul. The soul that sins,… Read more »

9 October, 2020 6:22 am

Start with a literal description…’Re-ligare- to re-tie…re-tie to what? it’s not even a spiritual idea…for us religion would be simply to be what alien racists call us, racist.