Do you think religious authority should censor scientific theories that are supported by scientific method and imagination?Do you think religious authority should censor scientific theories that...

Do you think religious authority should censor scientific theories that are supported by scientific method and imagination?

Do you think religious authority should censor scientific theories that are supported by scientific method and imagination?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I was taught by a rather open-minded and well-educated pastor who believed that scientific theory and religious beliefs could go hand-in-hand. The seven days (or stages) of creation were not to be literally taken as 24 hour periods; thus, each "day" could have encompassed millions of years. He believed that humans evolved from a stage to stage and warned his students that many of the stories in the Bible had been verbally passed down for generations, creating the possibility of less than factual information. If more conservative theologians heeded this advice, churches wouldn't be forcing an either-or attitude upon their parishioners. I see no problem with religious leaders censoring proven scientific theory: It only magnifies their own ignorance and close-mindedness.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think that anyone but scientists should be allowed to decide which scientific theories are going to be taught and which are not.  I say this because only scientists have the knowledge and training to decide which theories have been sufficiently proven.

Religion and science should in my opinion be separate things.  Religion is in the business of asserting things that people are supposed to take on faith.  Science, meanwhile, is the opposite.  Scientific theories must be questioned and proven according to the scientific method, not according to any religious or ideological test.

Therefore, my opinion is that religious groups should never have the authority to decide what is or is not taught (except in their own private schools).

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to agree with post #2 - unfortunately I believe that religious groups in some cases have had a real negative impact because of the choices they have made about censoring scientific theories. A case in point would be the massive debate in Christianity about creationism versus the theory of evolution. Surely we must respect the rights of religious groups to teach their understanding of such scientific issues, but only as long as they equally teach other theories that are accepted world-wide by the scientific community.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that religious groups or institutions should censor scientific theories or even philosophical ideas. In fact, it strengthens the logic of adherents of various religions if they study all theories and compare scientific evidence with their beliefs. I grew up going to church, and we always learned both (or the multi) sides of issues and theories. By presenting all sides in a controversy or of a theory, religious leaders do not force false dilemma or other illogical thinking upon their congregations/members.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A curriculum in publicly funded schools is not decided by minority rule, that is, no religion in the United States has a majority of the population, and even if it did, why should we allow it to decide what is taught to those who do not believe in that particular faith?  How can we allow anyone, religious or not, to decide what is taught on the basis of faith and imagination.  How can we allow anyone from a religious standpoint to determine what is actual fact, and therefore suitable for the classroom? 

crmhaske eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely not.  Censorship has never yielded positive results, and in the age of the Internet, full-fledged censorship isn't even possible anyways.  Every individual owns the right to decide for themselves what they do and do not believe.  Censorship manipulates people to believe what you want them to.  That is a very unstable system.  Given enough time, that system will erupt.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Censorship speaks of fear, and it seems to me there is nothing particular to fear by learning more and exploring new things.  I agree with several posts above which suggest that examining new findings in the light of Scripture makes believers stronger, for theirs is no longer a blind faith but an affirmed faith. 

martinjmurphy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, religious authority should not be able to censor scientific theories, especially in the United States.  This country is not a theocracy, but a democracy.  Religious leaders are free to refute any scientific theory they disagree with, but should not have the authority to censor this information.

picturesque | Student

There are many religions in the world which want to control other branches of knowledge and they want to have full control over everything. So it differs according to the religion. But Islam gives freedom of expression to everyone. And i think religious authorities should not censor any scientific findings whether they are against their teachings or the reverse.

prajnana | Student

If freedom of action is OK, religious authorities are free to censor scientific theories. But if you ask if that is a right action in the spirit of scientific thinking, answer is 'no'. The history of pre-modern science, tells us incidents where science had to give way to orthodox religious authority which discarded theories of Galileo, and blindly embraced a geocentric view of universe. The mandate of science is to explore using reason, open thinking, observation, and new ideas. Sure, many challenges would come in way, such as given by ethical issues. Thinkers like Russell and William James in their works extensively deals with issues of tension that arise between science and religion. Perhaps a sense of objectivity is there is religion. Science also some point or the other brings in references that has overtones of subjectivity. However, it is for science to deal with a reality that is objective, and religion to discuss issues that relate to personal belief. For religion to shroud theories of science, will be an impossible task, as proved for eg. in history, by the Copernican revolution.