Does Science Contradict Believe in God? Does Believe in God Contradict Science?
Does Science Contradict Believe in God?
Steven Pinker - YES
Humans have been worshipping gods for thousands of years. Our sense of God in the Western world has evolved from Abraham's jealous God Yahweh to the God of love of the New Testament. Science and faith have split modern societies just as some form of global civilization is emerging. One result is a retreat into religious fundamentalisms, often bitterly hostile. The schism between science and religion can be healed, but it will require a slow evolution from a supernatural, theistic God to a new sense of a fully natural God as our chosen symbol for the ceaseless creativity in the natural universe. This healing may also require a transformation of science to a new scientific worldview with a place for the ceaseless creativity in the universe that we can call God.
We must "reinvent the sacred," but it is dangerous: it implies that the sacred is invented. For billions of believers this is Godless heresy. Yet how many gods have we worshiped down the eons? It is we who have told our gods what is sacred, not they who have told us. This does not mean that what we deem sacred is not sacred. It means something wonderful: what we deem sacred is our own choice. At this stage in the evolution of humanity, are we ready to take responsibility for what we will claim as sacred, including all of life and the planet? If so, we must also avoid a dangerous moral hegemony and find ways to allow our sense of the sacred to evolve wisely as well. Reinventing the sacred is also likely to anger many who, like myself, do not believe in a supernatural God. For many of us, the very words "God" and "sacred" have become profoundly suspect. We think of Galileo forced to recant his heliocentric views by the Inquisition. We do not want to return to any form of religion that demands that we abandon the truth of the real world. We think of the millions killed in the name of God. We often ignore the solace, union with God, and the orientation for living that religion brings