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Arguments of Science vs Religion

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Religion
Wordcount: 1273 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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A Never Ending war: Science versus Religion

Matthews argues that the Religion-Science opposition is a result of Science’s rational emphasis on empirical evidence for a belief, whereas religion founds belief on faith. Feherabend argues that scientific theses are often founded upon faith, and religious belief are reasonable. Who provides the better argument?


(1)  Introduction

In Freya Mathews, “A Contemporary Metaphysical Controversy”, she presents the claim that science and religion are not at ease with one another due to science requiring empirical evidence whilst religion adheres to faith.  On the other hand, Feyerabend argues that the inquiry of religion is perfectly reasonable and rational, while science is founded on belief. In what follows, I will argue that Feyerabend does not defend his theory of realism adequately, and if we were to accept his argument, it is not sufficient due to conflicting definitions . I will also suggest why Mathews argument poses as an adequate argument.

(2)   Explication

The first claim Feyerabend presents, is the idea that the scientific innovation cannot be accepted even if we do claim to have evidence. According to him, scientific material and experiences must have a personal interaction with whoever and whatever it comes in contact with to essentially appear objectively as well as give one the belief in science. Similarly, he notes that the belief in science is not by sight or experience solely because, regardless of what entity we talk about, they may not want to be found. A claim he makes to reinforce this idea is that matter can be captured, however what we can God cannot. In the case of Mathews, she extrapolates that “It is through reason that we make our beliefs accountable to others.”(Mathews 233). When we have reason and proof behind our statements and claims, we are inclined to believe. In contrast to Feyerabend, proof of scientific innovation involves observations and repeated trials regardless of interaction with the individual. Religion on the other hand about the controversy between science and religion is the idea that science must only “be observed under strictly experimental or repeatable conditions can be included in its purview.” (Mathews 232). This evidence that we choose to observe, is essentially a form of belief regarding science. Feyerabend however makes the inquiry of religion having reason and rationality behind it, because of the fact that we cannot disprove the existence of any God, does not mean our belief in this entity is not rational. It is simply overthrown by the individuals ideologies and views. (Feherabend 398)

(3)   Main argument

 As mentioned before, Mathews claims directly oppose those of Feyerabend. Mathews stressed that “Science is a rational form of inquiry, but its method is strictly empiricist.”(Mathews 232) This is a driving force towards the tension and wedge between science and religion. The idea that evidence and proof gives rise to belief makes sense to an individual because what we view with our own sight, often times we are more inclined to believe. It is also worth noting that the words belief, faith and truth are all different. This is consistent with the those that have faith in religion. If evidence provides one to believe in something this means, evidence provides truth, thus when there is truth to what is being said, belief follows. If one fails to obtain visuals, we are then forced to simply trust, but not always believe on this idea of religion. Because we hold truth towards something, does not mean we have full belief, and once again this drives an individual towards faith. This is how belief in terms of religion is present when an individual finds faith. In this case, truth is not necessary because we may find truth only after we have faith in religion. Having faith means trusting in a bigger picture, bigger outlook while believing is most often times seeing. If we go back to the argument of science being completely empiricist, this concept of trust can once again be applied. Often times while observing experiences and finding evidence, there is no preconceived notion of trust. Belief is only present when observations are true. Together these two premises are intended to emphasize the contrast between religion and science, which furthers the tension between these 2 topics of interest.

(4)   Response to Objections

An argument that poses as an objection to the claim that science is solely founded on belief through empiricism, is the idea that faith does not belong only to the topic of religion. Some say that most atheists have faith that there is no God, similarly agnostics can have faith that God’s existence is not yet proven. I believe however that it is possible to say that not all non-believers in religion hold the same definition of faith. To some faith goes beyond simply mental acceptance. To commit to faith is different than to commit to belief. In the case of non-believers, they truly believe to know for a fact that God does not exist, while having faith is having a sense of unknowing. Unknowing leads to faith however knowing leads to belief. Another objection that is postulated is the claim of Feyerabend. He pressed that “ To say that the Homerics gods not exist because they cannot be found by experiment “ (Feyerabend 398) which asks in question is religion beliefs rationale seeing as though there is a lack of physical evidence, or is religion truly rational? In this case, rationality needs to be mutually agreed upon. If we say decide that a practice from one religion is quite reasonable and rational yet another religion and their practices are not rational, we cannot concisely deduce that religion is in a sense reasonable.can we say something is reasonable is we do not continue to question, because having rationality and reason can only be reached by seeking questions and uncertainty. Some may say this is not the case regarding religion. It is simply deities or scriptures to be followed, with little uncertainty within the individual and very little questioning. This is where we argue that religion cannot be reasonable if we are not willing to find more or go beyond the borders that have been laid out for us by scriptures.

(5)   Conclusion

 Whether or not you agree with this argument, the significant differences between both Mathews and Feyerabend can be noted. Despite the claims that science is reasonable, the intention of this paper is to explore how terms, such as truth, faith and belief are conflicting when we concern it with the topic of religion and science. However, if we were to take a different approach to the argument, the responses to objections could be closely looked at, if we decide that Feyerabend poses a stronger argument.


  • Feyerabend, Paul. “Realism and the Historicity of Knowledge.” The Journal of Philosophy 86, no. 8 (08 1989): 393. doi:10.2307/2026649.
  • Mathews, Freya. “A Contemporary Metaphysical Controversy.” Sophia 49, no. 2 (05, 2010): 231-36. doi:10.1007/s11841-010-0178-4.


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