Harmony of Science and Religion

TAB v42 n01 Accompanying: An 'advance at the level of culture'Bahá’ís reject the notion that there is an inherent conflict between science and religion. Instead they believe science and religion are two systems of knowledge. Each operating within its own sphere, they are fundamentally in harmony, mutually reinforcing, and are both necessary to advance civilization.

The Faith teaches that religion without science soon degenerates into superstition and fanaticism, while science without religion becomes merely the instrument of crude materialism – and unchecked material progress will never lead to true prosperity.

Science and religion both describe reality, and reality is one. It is not possible for something to be scientifically false and religiously true. Contradictions are attributed to human fallibility. Science trains our minds to discover hidden realities.  Religion helps us uncover the meaning and proper uses of scientific discovery.

Bahá’ís believe that only in the revelation of God can humanity find a system of values that puts such developments into perspective. Religion offers answers to those questions of morals, human purpose, and our relationship to God that science cannot approach.  At the same time, Bahá’ís believe, any religion that ignores modern scientific truths runs the risk of descending into fanaticism. It is only by recognizing the harmonious and complementary nature of science and religion, then, that human society can move safely forward.

Through these two knowledge bases of science and religion, humanity’s experience has been organized, its environment interpreted, its latent powers explored, and its moral and intellectual life disciplined. Together, they have acted as the real progenitors of civilization.

“[Reason] giveth man the power to discern the truth in all things, leadeth him to that which is right, and helpeth him to discover the secrets of creation.”

— Baha'u'llah