Is it 2009 again? Salon has run yet another 2009ish article ranting about HitchensHarrisDawkins and their misunderstanding of the science-religion debate. Oy.
Sana Saeed, the author, lets us know that she spent her childhood loving science and also loving religion. Then she lets us know she was the same way as a teenager.
It never once occurred to me during those years, and later, that there could be any sort of a conflict between my faith and science; to me both were part of the same things: This universe and my existence within it.
And yet, here we are today being told that the two are irreconcilable; that religion begets an anti-science crusade and science pushes anti-religion valor. When did this become the only conversation on religion and science that we’re allowed to have?
When? Hm, let me think about that.
It never became the only conversation on religion and science that we’re allowed to have. The opposite conversation is all over the place, along with lots of conversations somewhere between the two.
Next she explains that Christianity is not the only religion. Got it. Then she explains why there is no conflict between religion and science.
The absence of a centralized religious clergy and authority in Sunni Islam allows for individual and scholarly theological negotiation – meaning that there is not, necessarily, a “right” answer embedded in Divine Truth to social and political questions. Some of the most influential and fundamental Islamic legal texts are filled with arguments and counter-arguments which all come from the same source (divine revelation), just different approaches to it.
In other words: There’s plenty of wiggle room and then some. On anything that is not established as theological Truth (e.g. God’s existence, the finality of Prophethood, pillars and articles of faith), there is ample room for examination, debate and disagreement, because it does not undercut the fabric of faith itself.
Ummmmmm…that’s a very large exclusion. There is is ample room for examination, debate and disagreement on everything except God’s existence, the finality of Prophethood, pillars and articles of faith…which is a fuck of a lot of except.
That except is, not least, a giant bias built in to every kind of examination, debate and disagreement, as well as inquiry and investigation and all the rest of it. If you have to defend the assertion that something you call “God” exists before you can even get started, how free can your inquiry really be?