The deliberations at the conference hosted by the Templeton Foundation (God and science, October 10) hardly throws any new light on the debate on reconcilability of science and religion. The main difference between science and religion is that while the former seeks to explain things in terms of a ‘purposeless, knowable and understandable simplicity’, the latter tries to understand phenomena in terms of a ‘purposeful, incomprehensible and irreducible complexity’. Science has the resilience of living with unanswered questions, uncertainty and its inherent limitations; in religion, there is no place of uncertainty, and god is the final limit and answer to all the questions. Science is an unended quest, but in religion, faith comes first and understanding later. St Anselm, one of the greatest theologians in pre-renaissance Europe, observed: “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, I believe in order that I may understand.” In science, exactly the opposite happens. The more we understand this Universe and life through the its methods, the more we believe in its efficacy and power. It’s a hum-an enterprise, seeking to expl-ain our place in the cosmos by using ideas drawn from within the Universe. Religion seeks the ultimate truth beyond this Universe. In our scientific quest for the truth, we are entirely on our own; in religion, truth also seeks us. It’s not understandable why the Templeton Foundation is so keen to explore the so-called interface between science and religion. It’s unlikely to achieve something worthwhile.
With reference to Food for mind (October 10), most of our psychiatric problems can be solved with non-medical aids. This is something that we forget most of the times and bring in unnecessary problems. Medicalising mental problems rarely cures the disorders, but creates more complicated neurological diseases.
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