Michael Daniel Fenyman: The Relation of Science and Religion 11/27/2006 In ‘The Relation of Science and Religion’, Fenyman

says that the main conflict between science and religion is metaphysical in nature. Religion has three intrinsic aspects to it. The first aspect is that god exists and that he speaks to us. The second aspect is the moral aspect which dictates what is good and what is bad based on what god says to us. The third aspect is the inspiration that people receive when they participate in their religion. Science conflicts with the first aspect because a scientist does not believe in facts. A scientist has an attitude of uncertainty that brings him to question everything, including the existence of god. With this attitude a scientist can not believe that god exists because even the most positive response from the scientist will come out as something like, “I am very certain that there probably is a god”. A religious person will state absolutely that “god exists”. This conflict does not mean that the scientist is any less moral than the religious person. Ambiguous language is used on page 509 when Fenyman states, “’I am almost certain there is a God. The doubt is very small.’ That is quite different from saying, ‘I know that there is a God.’”. The word “quite” is ambiguous. The fact that the two statements are different is obvious. In this sentence the author begs the question, “How different are these two statements?” Instead of going into detail on this point Fenyman changes the subject in the next paragraph to the afterlife and details of Christ’s life.

Fenyman is ethnocentric. He makes references to Christ and Christianity interchangeably with the idea of religion. On page 514 - 515 he states, “Christian ethics – the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual.” These ethics are not unique in any way to Christianity. He makes it obvious that the only religion he is interested in discussing is Christianity. What about scientists who have rejected Allah or Rasta or any one of the millions of other gods? They certainly do exist. Do they have the same conflicts that he discusses here? I think that they deserve some consideration. Feynman also uses contractions such as, “don’t”. Contractions are jargon. Jargon degrades the quality of a paper. He made up an imaginary panel to speak to, which also degrades the quality of the paper. Feynman should have simply presented the facts and let them speak for themselves. Making up imaginary panels is just as bad as making up imaginary counter factum arguments. His statements regarding how scientists view truth are lacking. When I go to a science class we do not learn that it is very certain that electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom. We also do not learn that the heart probably pumps blood to the rest of the body. We learn that electrons most certainly do orbit the nucleus and we learn that blood most certainly does pump blood to the rest of the body. If we were taught that these things probably happen then we would have to be taught probability before we could ever learn any science. Probability isn’t taught until sophomore level in college yet we have science classes all throughout our school experience, starting in kindergarten. The part of the paper that I did like is that he observes that an atheist can be an ethical person. As an atheist I run into many people who do not understand this point.