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Science As A Belief System Essay

730 words - 3 pages

To what extent are science and religion considered to be a variety belief system?
A belief system is a framework of ideas that are shared by an individual, community or group. These ideas define our personal sense of "reality" and universe of meaning. It is believed that over two billion of the world’s population significantly rely on a religious belief system to help them understand the world, however belief systems are not only confined to this sphere. Political ideologies such as communism for example, have provided a ‘blueprint’ for how people should act in many countries such as the former USSR, China and Cuba. Moreover, science can also be considered a belief system because the ...view middle of the document...

It is only when the evidence becomes overwhelming that the rapid change of paradigms would take place.
Michael Lynch’s research confirms this contention. He found that many scientists often ‘explained away’ anomalies rather than identifying these are factors which contradicts their research findings. Moreover, Polanyi argues that all belief systems (including science) reject fundamental challenges to their knowledge claims and so science is no different to this.
Yet, whilst there is evidence to suggest that science is not quite as open as Dawkins et al suggest, it is clear that many forms of religion can only be considered closed. For example, the recent fundamentalist movement of Isis is the perfect example of a religious movement that refuses to accept any version of reality except their own. Their understanding of Islam is a remarkably literal one and they sometimes kill people who challenge or do not conform to their rules. Moreover, established churches such as Catholicism are also less likely to change their values and rules. For example, condoning abortion and the contraceptive pill are just two examples of policies they seem completely resistant to.
However, this is not to say no...

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