On science and religion and technology

Imagine a world without religion.

This was the question that my girlfriend, Danna, asked me out of nowhere, during one of our afternoon café visits last week. Would a world that religion never existed – without beliefs of the supernatural or of the metaphysical or of the supreme being – be much more better off than our world today? Would technology advance infinitely (or at least a hundredfold) if our religious beliefs had not too much strayed us from the “truth” of science?

I am not saying of course that there is no truth in any religion or that nothing in the world’s scientific knowledge is false, but rather the fact that the outstanding technology we have today was indeed a fruit of whatever scientific understanding we had of the world.

From here, it is can be easy to see that a world without any scientific inhibition, such as religion, or at least the beliefs of the supernatural or maybe even morality, would beget the most advanced technology. I mean, if religion was somehow removed from this point in time, we would have a world culture devout to (hopefully) only science, and it is easy to imagine the massive change this will bring to our world technologically.

What if religion never existed?

Imagine a world that has just spawned man. And he, or they, saw their first tree. They see this lonely tree change through the seasons (not that they have any experience of what seasons are yet). And all of a sudden they also notice sprouts near it that grow up like their offspring. “These trees are alive”, they might say. “They have a soul just like us, and they could probably see and hear and talk and taste and feel just like us.” And why not? The rocks around them have not moved nor noticeably changed, while these trees change color and height and grow bald and bear children and pass away like themselves. In fact, in scientific terms we can say that this can be their hypothesis. Continue reading