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Areas of Difference Between Scientific and Religious Approaches

This article describes the areas of difference between scientific and religious approaches. 

Characteristics of Science

The distinguishing characteristics of scientific knowledge vis a vis religious views are as follows: 

1. Empirical data

The term ‘science’ refers to systematic knowledge dealing with empirical data. Scientific knowledge develops through observation and measurement. People thinking and working on scientific lines do not draw principles and conclusions on basis of priori thinking. That is, they conclude after going through a systematic process of practical tests and observation. 

2. Open knowledge

Unlike religious knowledge, scientific knowledge is always open to challenge. In other words, falsification is the norm in science according to which any finding or theory can be proved wrong at any time by anybody through a systematic study. 

4. Cumulative knowledge

Another important characteristic of scientific knowledge is its cumulative nature. It means all knowledge evolves and develops on the already existing findings. Findings of one research open new avenues of research in the same or related fields. 

5. Objectivity

Scientific knowledge is objective in nature. It has little or no space for subjectivity. That is, there is no space for personal feelings, desires, and other qualitative qualities of a person. 

Distinguishing characteristics Religion 

Characteristics that make religion different from science are as follows: 

1. Belief in supernatural powers

Unlike science, religious thought revolves around the beliefs in supernatural beings and powers. That is, it concerns itself with God the existence of which is not subject to empirical verification. You cannot measure God and present any tangible proof in favor of your judgment. 

2. Closed knowledge

Religion is closed knowledge as it is not open to challenge. Those challenging religious beliefs and practices are often declared heretic and face severe consequences. For religious people,  the knowledge they get from their religion is sacred and absolute.

Moreover, they consider their religious teachings as the best and universal in nature without being subject to change. According to religious people, it’s God who has laid down the religious knowledge which is hence unchanging. 

3. Subjectivity

Subjectivity is one of the characteristics that contribute to the difference between scientific and religious approaches. Religious views are very subjective in nature. It is rather a personal matter that varies from person to person. It has a deep link with emotions, sentiments, and feelings. The objective approach has no place or little place in religion. 


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