Although we are not actually suggesting that God is an old white man with a long white beard, we do recognize God as the origin of everything good, including science. Science is making a comeback in popularity through prime time lately with Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson, a sequel to the original by Carl Sagan that aired in 1980.
The history of science and religion, which the documentary-type miniseries points out, has been a rocky one at best. Early scientists were persecuted and even imprisoned for trying to spread their findings. Many scientists, in turn, denied the existence of a supreme being or creator. Even today, a science versus religion debate never seems to be going anywhere. It’s easy to look at the two sides and think it impossible to reconcile, but an integration of faith and fact is exactly what Father Moon, founder of the Unification faith, envisioned. He himself was a person who valued science, who was interested in the world and how it worked. He explains:
“Humanity, through religion, has followed the path of searching for internal truth, and through science, has followed the path of seeking external truth. Religion and science, each in their own spheres, have been the methods of searching for truth in order to conquer ignorance and attain knowledge.”
Two Sides of the Same Coin
The divide that exists in society today is not nearly as wide as it seems, and while the two have gone on separate paths, they actually seek to accomplish the same thing. Science deals with the external world of phenomena, and religion deals with the internal world of cause. In other words, science asks, “How?” or “What?” and religion asks, “Why?” We need both the external and the internal, and we need to have them work in harmony in order to get anywhere.
“Eventually, the way of religion and the way of science should be integrated and their problems resolved in one united undertaking,” says Father Moon. “The two aspects of truth, internal and external, should develop in full consonance. Only then, completely liberated from ignorance, will we enjoy eternal happiness.”
Imagine a world where people of faith and conscience use the tools of science to solve the world’s problems and to create peace? What if, instead of focusing on differences, we looked at what would be possible if we were able to work together?
Let us put aside the old dispute, which is often driven by egotism and personal opinion, and no longer be affected by the conflicting elements but rather focus on the bigger picture of one combined understanding. Let us put aside personal stance and instead practice objectivity, looking at every matter plainly and humbly, as any good scientist would do.
God is a Scientist
Being religious does not mean you have to dismiss science. Scientific and evolutionary evidence do not conflict with a belief in a God.
Through science, humanity has discovered the great laws of the Universe, but why do these laws exist in the first place? Our God is the ultimate scientist, crafting all of the laws of nature. In fact, the more Father Moon learned about nature and science, the deeper his understanding of God grew. In examining the creation, Father Moon describes atoms with positive and negative charges as a reflection of a God with a dual nature, masculine and feminine.
In the very first episode of Cosmos, Tyson relates the story of Giordano Bruno, a monk who tried to proclaim that the universe was limitless. His vision was met with scorn by his peers, yet even after being imprisoned and branded a heretic, he continued to preach, and was famously quoted in saying, “Your God is too small!”
Yes, God is limitless, so why not the Universe? If the Universe is infinite, yet guided by a set of principles, then why not God? What if, the more we learn about our Universe, the bigger, the grander our God becomes? The relationship between science and religion is something our world wants to reconcile. If these two most influential avenues of thought could unite, we could solve the problems of the world both internal and external, and strive together towards a world of peace.
When we realize that science and religion are both tools that can be used to better ourselves, humanity and the universe, we can understand that the divide between the two is merely a matter of perception. God is love, but he is also logic and reason. Our God is limitless and grand, but also personal and intimate.
Where do you stand on this topic? Sound off in the comments below, and share with us your ideas on how to create harmony between these two formidable disciplines!