EXERCISE Science and Religion

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Lstorm, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Science and religion are sometimes seen as opposites of each others, two concepts which always face the other, ready to maul it at any second. However, being religious and being a scientist are not mutually exclusive, in fact, some scientists have taken up religion because of their discoveries. Still, the question of faith versus logical reason always lurks in the background of societies and this is no different in fictional worlds. Whether the two are seen as the two sides of the same coin, completely neutral entities or two forces which may never comprehend each other, the relationship between science and religion is very important to a fictional world.

    Your exercise is to sum up, in at least three paragraphs the relationship between science and religion in your world. You can use some of the questions below as guidelines if you wish, but you can also write completely independently.

    In this world, is science older than religion or vica versa?

    What event marked the appearance of religion or science?

    Is religion 'real'? Do the gods of various pantheons exist or not?

    Is pursuing science an accepted profession? What about becoming a priest?

    Exactly what are the principles of the religion? Do some of them go against science?

    How compatible are science and religion? Do they contradict each other? Or do they complement each other, with one explaining something that is not explained by the other?

    How would a normal religious person react to a person of science?

    How would a normal person of science react to a religious person?

    Does this world have a scientific or religious inquisition?

    Are clashes between religion and science common? If so, how are they resolved, that is, if they can be resolved at all?

    Are there people who are trying to mediate the conflict between these two forces, if said conflict even exists?

    Will religion and science be able to coexist in this world at all or will one of them fade into obscurity?
     
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  2. As a matter of fact... in a space opera science fiction story I've recently written, science and religion are actually closely intertwined. :D While humans did come from Earth, so much had happened, in their recent era, both science and religion are as old as one-another, due to a few events:

    There was a cataclysm, and only a handful of texts remained from the new stone age for mankind, and in the interpretation of those texts, they found the foundations to the laws of physics, and in turn treated them as if they were laws and commandments, based on the translations they had on it. It's a belief that claims that the four fundamental forces of the universe were the ones that were born from the big bang, as if they were some sort of immaterial titans of Greek mythology that in turn spawned the gods, and the objective of the religion is an interpretation of the big crunch, in which people wait for the day the entirety of the universe will join into one whole again, in a mixture of either judgment day of Christianity or the nirvana of Buddhism.

    It's... well, real, but it obviously had misinterpretations, and when a paper was published in which it actually revealed that humans had a way to create vessels to go faster than light, it lit forward a reformation in religion after both the main institutions regarded it as "heresy", and corporations and nations wanted a way to expand, which radically changed and adapted the belief. One can be a scientist, or a priest, and no one would bat an eyelash, though obviously the two come in conflict from time to time. There's a saying in this universe, in regards to FTL travel which violates Einstein's discoveries: "Even the gods can be mistaken."

    Humans do come in conflict from time to time, but ultimately, I wrote it in the belief that the human being will always adore higher beings, and inevitably seek safety in things bigger than itself. When humanity realizes it is alone in a vast universe, I came to wonder if humans would seek safety and understanding through the very laws that make their reality.

    If one thinks about it, the way our universe is formed gives us a lot to think and philosophize about. Practically big things faith is forged in.
     
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  3. I shall use this to explore a tribe of werewolves I made up >D))

    In this world, is science older than religion or vica versa?

    Science existed first. The werewolves are a late evolution of the wolves you and I see in areas like Yellowstone and Yosemite.

    What event marked the appearance of religion or science?
    The first real appearance of Religion was held by the hand of Consiousness. At first, the werewolves were only aware of their feelings and didn't have the sophisticated means to communicate as they do today. But as intelligence stretched wider and wider, language appeared, and soon Religion appeared along with it.

    Is religion 'real'? Do the gods of various pantheons exist or not?
    Nobody is quite sure. The gods never show their faces to the Packs except in the forms of animals that look no different than day to day creatures.
    Is pursuing science an accepted profession? What about becoming a priest?
    Persuing Science - Generally, it's a confusing thing. Nobody is sure how science works, since they're as technologically advanced as a Native American tribe.
    Priest - This isn't even a question. All the werewolves are spiritual, but there is one in particular that is as close to "priest" as you can get.
    Exactly what are the principles of the religion? Do some of them go against science?
    -Never betray your Pack.
    -Do not question the Mother Spirits.
    -Always listen to the Alpha. If he wishes something, make it so.
    -If a spirit is angered with any wolf, they must be banished or killed without question.

    Only one of these contradicts, and that is "Never question the Mother Spirits." Any werewolf is free to study life and figure things out, but overstepping certain boundaries can get you killed.

    How compatible are science and religion? Do they contradict each other? Or do they complement each other, with one explaining something that is not explained by the other?
    They are, for the most part, exactly the same, only fraying in the tiniest areas, too insignificant to fight over. They complement eachother. The religion helps the wolves stay together and survive with their relatively newfound intelligence; Science gives reason to why they work.

    How would a normal religious person react to a person of science?
    Usually they can't tell the difference. When the discussion comes up, it's a friendly ramble between the two subjects that often ends up with one or both weres adding a new point of discovery for either one, the other, or both.

    How would a normal person of science react to a religious person?
    See above.

    Does this world have a scientific or religious inquisition?
    It's more Religious.

    Are clashes between religion and science common? If so, how are they resolved, that is, if they can be resolved at all?
    They aren't common, but they do crop up, especially between Packs. They are resolved one of two ways: Simply argue and wait it out, or have a ritualistic fight and see who comes out on top.

    Are there people who are trying to mediate the conflict between these two forces, if said conflict even exists?
    Shaman-Like wolves blurr the contrast between the two. There is no english word for them, but the closest would be Healer. They have one feature that no other creature can pull off: A perfect split between Male and Female, a hemaphrodite of perfect stature. With their ability to impregnate a normal female, and carry pups from a normal male, they confuse the difference between the two when the subject arises.

    Will religion and science be able to coexist in this world at all or will one of them fade into obscurity?
    The werewolves are so early in their development, nobody can be positive. A few werewolves say that one day some great discovery will split the two in half; Others say that they will continue to be one and the same.
     
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  4. To me, religion in the real world is confusing. But in games or roleplays, healer are usually situated with religions. This thread made me question of religion of a made up character I created for a roleplay.


    In this world, is science older than religion or vica versa?
    Religion is definitely older.

    What event marked the appearance of religion or science?
    Now that is a question. I really have no idea for this. Have to give this some thought and edit this later.


    Is religion 'real'? Do the gods of various pantheons exist or not?
    In the roleplay I'm thinking, the gods are not the creator of the world. They are simply creatures more powerful than the creatures inhabiting the world. The races of the fantasy world worship them, in beliefs that the so called gods would bless them. The religion is ancient and was passed on through passing words from mouth to mouth of the ancestors. Through the progress of time of centuries pass, some words were lost in communication and some false words were added in communication. Do the gods exist? The creatures they think as gods does exist and alive. The people recognized their gods only from pictures and statues carved from stone with the use of men's hands and tools.

    Is pursuing science an accepted profession? What about becoming a priest?
    Exactly what are the principles of the religion? Do some of them go against science?

    Pursuing science is an accepted profession. Same goes for becoming a priest. In my roleplay, the principles of the religion is similar to blind faith in something unexplained. Since some of the principles that they believe are unexplained by science, they don't all go against science.

    How compatible are science and religion? Do they contradict each other? Or do they complement each other, with one explaining something that is not explained by the other?

    In this matter, I am not sure. Maybe it is not so compatible since some false information added to the religion does contradict science.

    How would a normal religious person react to a person of science?

    The normal religious person would react normally and treat the person of science as they would anyone else.

    How would a normal person of science react to a religious person?

    Unless discussing the topic of science and religious, they two would probably work well with each other. When talking about religion, the person of science would probably require scientific answers from the religious person.

    Does this world have a scientific or religious inquisition?

    Its scarce but there are. The religion existed for a long time. It is the religion of their ancestors and is nurtured into their predecessors.

    Are clashes between religion and science common? If so, how are they resolved, that is, if they can be resolved at all?

    It is common. Up to date, it has not been resolved. It may not be able to be resolved at all since the force of blind faith is strong.

    Are there people who are trying to mediate the conflict between these two forces, if said conflict even exists?

    Sometimes conflict does exist. At these times, the people who only cares for peace and order such as the kings and queens mediate them.

    Will religion and science be able to coexist in this world at all or will one of them fade into obscurity?

    It is all unwritten but in my own opinion, religion might fade into obscurity.
     
    #4 Shade_XY, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  5. For the world of Xeria: (Fantasy/Sci-Fi World)

    The gist of the religion:
    In the beginning, there was the primordial diety known as Theos, an all-powerful monolithic being as high above gods as gods are above insects. It created the planet, the 7 lesser gods, and the sentient races. It tasked the lesser gods with maintaining the world.
    However, a time would come when the gods would forget their mission. Apollyon, god of night, actively rebelled against Theos. He wanted to create a world where people worshipped themselves rather than another diety. He tried to teach the other gods to hate Theos as well, but only succeeded half-way. He convinced 5 of them to stop following Theos, but they didn't join his rebellion, and simply demanded that men worshipped them.
    The only unfallen lesser deity is Metatron (god of day), who's set out to build an empire of men to make war against Apollyon.

    Zionists are the specific religious sect which only worships Theos, and not the other deities.

    In this world, is science older than religion or vica versa?
    Religion is older, though Zionism is about the same age.

    What event marked the appearance of religion or science?
    The Prophets of Zion set up a temple to the diety Theos and his archangel Metatron, and claimed that they knew some of the ways of the old world. The primary thing they reintroduced was Scientific reasoning, which they declared holy. They also reinvented old world technologies like firearms.

    Is religion 'real'? Do the gods of various pantheons exist or not?
    Without spoiling anything, yes. However, the average person doesn't actually know that the gods exist and just has to accept it on faith.

    Is pursuing science an accepted profession? What about becoming a priest?
    In Zion, Scientist, Judge, and Priest are basically all the same job.

    Exactly what are the principles of the religion? Do some of them go against science?
    The moral aspect of the religion values "trying to be the best you can be". Their virtues are love for all that is godly, self-betterment, and rational self-interest. They've never run into a major conflict with science and religion.

    How compatible are science and religion? Do they contradict each other? Or do they complement each other, with one explaining something that is not explained by the other?

    The Church of Zion considers

    How would a normal religious person react to a person of science?

    Zionists love science, so they'd at least respect a scientist.

    How would a normal person of science react to a religious person?

    It depends on the scientific person. Even though science is a virtue of Zionism, Zionism is not a virtue of science.

    Does this world have a scientific or religious inquisition?

    Yes, but not by Zionists. (It's usually directed at Zionism)

    Are clashes between religion and science common? If so, how are they resolved, that is, if they can be resolved at all?

    Not really. Zionism's greatest opponent (Apollyonism) tends to be much more superstitious and cult-like than Zionism is.

    Are there people who are trying to mediate the conflict between these two forces, if said conflict even exists?


    Not really.

    Will religion and science be able to coexist in this world at all or will one of them fade into obscurity?
    Yes.
     
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