Title 5 – KQ 8:Is the quality of knowledge produced directly proportional to the duration of historical development in the area of Religious systems?
Many of the world’s great religions base their beliefs upon ancient written sacred texts by the authors presumably inspired by God to write free of error. Over time Religious groups have used various methods to rectify their religious knowledge. The particular texts are ignored ; are reinterpreted -Passages previously interpreted literally are now interpreted figuratively; re regarded as having been valid at the era and/or the society in which they were written, but are not meaningful for guidance for people today; are considered to be ambiguous in their original language and are retranslated into English with a different meaning .
Inspite of the long duration of the discipline and there always has existed an inherent conflict between Sciences and Religious belief hinging on absence of evidence and testing. The same argument of “ the lack of Empirical Evidence” figures very strongly in Atheists versus Believers debate that there has not been any reliable , testable evidence to support the hypothesis that God exists and it is therefore NOT rational to believe that there is a God. Because , if God exists and interacts with us , then God’s interactions must be measurable and detectable in some way but no such interactions have been observed or measured till date. The Atheists further argue that Faith , being personal , private and unmeasurable , is a great excuse to evade the need to bring in evidence in Religion.
Meanwhile religious liberals have tended to rapidly accept scientific findings and incorporate them quickly into their theological beliefs and systems of morality. This has led to resolution of some of the major conflicts over the past few centuries freeing humanity from fetters of dogma, myths , fear and superstitions . Some of these settled conflicts are about origin of earth and species, interest on money, lightning, anesthetics, inoculations and birth control.
It can be said that over long duration of time , there is substantial increase in tolerance and there is a concerted effort to know , understand and accommodate the other side. Surveys and Pew Forum studies have shown Atheists/agnostics, Jews ,evangelical Protestants and Mormons who have the highest levels of religious knowledge of their own religions also stand out for high levels of knowledge and fare better on questions about world religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism.