Why is Religion more Popular than Science?

Why is Religion more Popular than Science?

The mind domination of empathy inclines people towards religion.

All of us have different beliefs and we must respect everyone’s opinion, irrespective of the fact that we agree to it or not, to ensure a peaceful life. Having said that, referring to the phrase ‘Science and Religion are compatible with each other’ can result in an unpleasant reaction in certain gatherings. Quite a lot of scientists doesn’t believe in any religion but some of them react quite violently when such a thing is mentioned in front of them. The statement of P.Z. Myers, the evolutionary biologist and a blogger, at a gathering of atheists in 2010 clearly reflects that kind of mentality. One of the guests suggested that it is possible for a non-religious person to be spiritual and he didn’t seem to have liked that one little bit as he said,

Whenever we start talking about spirituality, I just want to puke.

On the other hand, there are billions of people, including scientists, who believe that religion is an important part of our lives which helps us to maintain balance in personal and social life. According to their views, religion is the outcome of the entire evolutionary history of humanity. They argue that you can disagree with this specific theory but the cultural and psychological importance of religion cannot be neglected in any circumstances. It is a part and parcel of our lives which has been with us throughout the course of our journey as a species. We seek help from it in all phases of life and it has a significant impact on the personality of an individual. As far as these people are concerned, it is simply impossible for science to wipe it away from the surface of this planet. Jeffrey Kluger, a representative of the ‘Time Magazine’ described their views in the following words:

Our brains and bodies contain an awful lot of spiritual wiring.

Anyone with rational thinking and a substantial amount of knowledge can acknowledge that religious concepts are quite useful for some needs that are not answered by the latest technology of our time. Similarly, science is making some extraordinary revelations like studying sub-atomic particles and exploring the underlying structure of the Earth. Religion is generally silent about these findings yet masses of the general public prefer it over science. According to a study which was published last year in July, the minds of religious people are dominated by emotion over analytic thinking.

The researchers at the Case Western Reserve University in Ohio interviewed 900 people (a mix of both religious and non-religious) to determine the personality traits that lead to such an unshakable belief. They found that those religious people who remain certain on their religious beliefs despite an evidence against it are emotionally attached to them. The fact that their beliefs have an association with their morals is a strong reason for this bond. They also observed that people on both sides that had higher levels of critical reasoning were less dogged about their beliefs. Anthony Jack, a Co-author of the study who works as an Associate Professor of Philosophy described their findings by saying,

Emotional resonance helps religious people to feel more certain – the more moral correctness they see in something, the more it affirms their thinking. In contrast, moral concerns make non-religious people feel less certain.”

Earlier than this publication, the same team of researchers proposed that there are two different networks of the brain. One of them deals with analytic thinking while the other one is responsible for empathy. They stressed that the study published in the ‘Journal of Religion and Health’ adds more weight to their original claims. They claimed that the minds of atheists are controlled by the analytic network while empathy rules over the minds of the religious people. The fact that they questioned atheists as well as people from 24 religions including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism added a great deal of authenticity to their results. Jack tried to explain both extremes as he said,

Terrorists, within their bubble, believe it’s a highly moral thing they’re doing. They believe they are righting wrongs and protecting something sacred. Atheists may lack the insight to see anything positive about religion. They can only see that it contradicts their scientific, analytical thinking.”

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