Re: Science and Religion

D.Brodale (6500dnrd@UCSBUXA.UCSB.EDU)
Sat, 7 Oct 1995 16:51:36 -0700

On Fri, 6 Oct 1995, Rotholz wrote:

> D. Read comments:
> "The distinguishing characteristic of science is...its insistence on
> public scrutiny and verification of its claims by empirical obervations
> that must be publically replicable."
> It seems to me that religion comes very close to fulfilling these
> criteria. Most religious activities are open to public scrutiny and find
> a verification of sorts through the replication of religious experience
> among those "outsiders" who come to an experiential religious knowledge,
> thereby "verifying" the given religious belief(s) on a personal level.

Stark and Bainbridge (_The Future of Religion_) would not agree. Magic
competes with science by making specific claims that are open to
empirical verification. They claim that organized religion will seek to
get out of the magic business, and offer more generalized compensators
such as belief in th afterlife (raher than a cure for warts) knowing full
well that when you make claims that people can verify, odds are that some
people will walk away unconvinced.

Their view is strongly anchored in Durkheim, who said that their could be
no church of magicians.

don brodale

We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds...
- David Hume, 1711-76