Truth, although multifaceted, is one. How, then, can one truth contradict another? For example, how can religious truth contradict scientific truth? It cannot! Does religion not investigate the same reality as science?
Bahá’ís believe that religious truth is relative, not absolute; that Divine Revelation is continuous and progressive, not channelled through a single Prophet for all time; and that the Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, is scientific in its method, not haphazard or disorganized.
Scientific truth is also relative, not absolute. Unlike pure religion, which is a revealed truth, science is a discovered truth. The discoverers are human beings, with finite minds to the last. Although endowed with the power to discern truth, no one has an absolute gauge of any truth.
It is natural to accept something as the truth when it is deemed to be far more probable than improbable. But it is important to recognize the uncertainty and relativity of that knowledge, which leaves it open to possible revision at any time.
In that light, refer to the topic “The Unity of Religion and Science” to develop a greater understanding of the Bahá’í principle that science and religion must be in agreement. Further, the three essays by William S. Hatcher (1935-2005) in The Science of Religion explore a number of themes, described in the introduction to the publication as follows:
- the flexibility and universality of scientific method, and its applicability to religion and religious phenomena
- the misconceptions about the relationship between science and religion deriving primarily from the various historical contexts in which this relationship has evolved
- the distortions in the conception of scientific method wrought by the historically accidental marriage of scientific practice to a dogmatic materialistic philosophy
- the view of religion as an objective, periodic phenomenon with objective content
At the end of The Science of Religion, there is a summary by Shoghi Effendi, great-grandson of Bahá’u’lláh, that includes these words: “The Bahá’í Faith…upholds the principle of an unfettered search after truth, condemns all forms of superstition and prejudice, teaches that the fundamental purpose of religion is to promote concord and harmony, that it must go hand-in-hand with science, and that it constitutes the sole and ultimate basis of a peaceful, an ordered and progressive society.” To grasp the significance of applying the unity religion and science to the betterment of mankind in this Day, read the Bahá’í International Community statement “Religious Values and the Measurement of Poverty and Prosperity,” particularly the section entitled “Religion, Science and Capacity-Building” and its footnotes.
For collaborative study of these and other subjects, please call the Bahá’ís of Comox (250.702.3041).