Science and religion: both are idolatry

An idea I had when I was 20, even if I didn’t use the word “idolatry”.

Science does not capture laws of nature, but just impressions – “idols” – thereof. They are often inaccurate and need to be refined. But we can do a pretty good job anyway at describing and predicting natural phenomena. Science might be an approximation to the truth, but it works.

In the same way, religion works, even though it is also idolatry.

“Despite the bad press it has in the Bible, there is nothing wrong with idolatry per se: it only becomes objectionable or naive if the image of God, which has been constructed with such loving care, is confused with the ineffable reality to which it refers.” (Karen Armstrong, “A History of God”)

Armstrong also makes the interesting point that religions condemn idolatry out of a sense of buried anxiety caused by denial of their own idolatrous origins. Science of course is in no such denial.

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This entry was posted in myth and metaphor, philosophy, science. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Science and religion: both are idolatry

  1. susanne430 says:

    “Armstrong also makes the interesting point that religions condemn idolatry out of a sense of buried anxiety caused by denial of their own idolatrous origins.”

    That IS interesting. What are some of these idolatrous origins for instance? *genuinely curious* 😀

    The header on your blog is sooooooooooooo lovely!

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