Title 6 – KQ 7 To what extent are the Religious knowledge systems robust ?
The inherent disagreements between Sciences and Religious belief hinging on absence of evidence and testing has existed and persisted. Similarly , the argument of “ the lack of Empirical Evidence” figures very strongly in Atheists versus Believers disagreement dependent on the condition that God’s interactions must be measurable and detectable in some way. 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.
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 ; reinterpreted -Passages previously interpreted literally are now interpreted figuratively; 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; considered to be ambiguous in their original language and are retranslated into English with a different meaning For example to translate the Hebrew word for “slave” into the English word “servant” which can refer either to an employee or a slave.
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 disagreements over the past few centuries freeing humanity from fetters of dogma, myths , fear and superstitions . Some of these settled disagreements are about origin of earth and species, interest on money, lightning, anesthetics, inoculations and birth control.
Over time , there has developed a substantial increase in tolerance , 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.