Barbour The Relationship Between Science And Religion Summary

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In “Ways of Relating Science and Religion”, Barbour discusses the different ways in which science and religion are compared and connected to one another. Science and religion are often seen as two ideas that conflict with each other. Barbour supports the belief that science and religion can coexist in our world (3). Each of the author’s points describes a way in which religion and science can be related. Barbour’s four main ideas describing the relationship between science and religion are Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration (3).
Conflict is the idea that science and religion both constantly try to discredit or “challenge” the other’s key concepts and beliefs. One side of the “conflict” claims the scientific method is the only way to learn valid information, and physical material is the only matter that exists. These ideas are a part of scientific materialism (Barbour 4). The other side of the conflict is
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Thus, the conflict between the two should not occur because they “occupy separate territories (Barbour 4).” This idea leads into Barbour’s second point: independence. Another way to view science and religion is as two completely separate entities (Barbour 10). With this view conflicts would be avoided because “Each must tend to its own business and not meddle in the affairs of the other (Barbour 10). There are two different ways of separating the two: science and religion have different methods, and each have different “functions” in society (Barbour 12-13). While the author states that science and religion have different functions in society, both continue to interpret and discuss the ways in which the universe works, and how it was created. Barbour sees that religion and science are viewed as two entities that are conflicting with each other, but one of his solutions is to view them as independent

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