In the Winter 2013 issue of Reform Judaism Magazine, I had the great fortune to be invited to write the cover story, entitled “Science + Religion = Better World.” Here is a short excerpt, and you can find the entire article here.
Extremist ideologies have for too long framed the conversation about the role of religion in society.
“We have a…sin problem,” proclaimed former pastor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in response to the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. “And since we’ve ordered God out of our schools and communities, the military and public conversations…we really shouldn’t act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.”
“Mock [religious people]. Ridicule them! In public!…With contempt!” exhorted evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins at the 2012 “Reason Rally” in Washington, DC.
If you’re like most Reform Jews, you don’t identify with either extreme. You might want to embrace both science and religion, but with an either/or scenario driving the public discussion, it becomes difficult to find a comfortable way that is both scientifically grounded and spiritually uplifting.
Is there such a way? The answer is yes. And this path can lead us to improving ourselves, our relationships with others, and our ability to bring about tikkun olam. In essence, science and religion, when properly conceived, can work harmoniously in pursuit of a better world.