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A Humanist Position on Religion Versus Science

  • Date Submitted: 07/31/2011 11:42 AM
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Russell Alan Pershing

Mandalyn Gedes

English 121-375

March 4, 2010

A Humanist Position on Religion versus Science

      Humanism is a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science.   It is a philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance.   Humanists place their faith in science.   Science reduces human suffering.   With an estimated one in three Americans suffering chronic disease or disability, research to bring hope to suffering millions is a high priority.   Every family deserves access to the best medical treatments available.   Such treatments should be determined by the most promising science.

Around 200 B.C., about the same time the Old Testament was written, the Greek philosopher Eratosthenes conclusively proved the earth was round.   He did so by measuring the arc of the sun’s path between two cities.   Using trigonometry, he concluded the earth was spherical and had static dimensions.   By today’s measurements, those dimensions had an error of only 5 to 15%.

In the Old Testament, numerous references were made to a flat earth with four corners.   The Book of Job even suggests the earth rests on pillars.   Only in the Book of Isaiah does the Bible suggest the earth is circular in shape but still flat.   The Books of Genesis, Ecclesiastes, and Joshua even suggest the earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around it. The massive spread of Christianity insured this belief was held up to the early 1800s.   To believe otherwise often cost someone their life.

When Galileo proved the earth revolved around the sun in the early 1600s, he was accused of heresy, forced to recant and confined to his house for the rest of his life.   This charge held until 2008 when the Roman Catholic Church forgave the heretic and heralded him as a hero.   They recast him as a man of faith who helped the faithful “better understand and contemplate with gratitude the Lord’s works.”   It...

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