The Absurdity of Both Religious and Scientific Worldviews
Many existential philosophers stress the importance of a balance between a scientific and a religious worldview. In society, science is seen as providing objective truth, found through experimentation and reason, whereas religion is seen as providing a subjective truth that is based entirely on faith. As science has come to the forefront of society, religion has lost the power that it once had. Religion is often portrayed, today, as being an inconsistent form of knowledge, and a detriment to the modern world. This critique of religion stems from the fact that many religions rely almost entirely on faith for the justification of their worldview. In Albert Camus’ book, The Myth of Sisyphus, he explains that the absurdity of life stems from a disconnect between what human beings want from the universe, and what the universe gives back. Camus furthers this idea by stating that humans often commit philosophical suicide, by ignoring this disconnect, and believing that the universe is giving them what they want from it: answers. Religion is often cited as being the only form of philosophical suicide, creating a reality of rationality and order, but is religion the only form of thought that seeks to do this? In this sense, what would Camus, and other existential philosophers think of modern scientific figures such as Richard Dawkins? Dawkins, along with other atheistic scientific figures, claims that religion and faith have no place in modern society, and that all things in the universe can be understood through science. Knowledge should not be based solely on faith, but, conversely, should knowledge be based solely on scientific evidence either? Knowing all of the answers to life and the universe is not going to change the way things work, just like knowing the meaning of life does not mean that one will be automatically become happy. The meaning of existence is ambiguous at best, relative and always changing, so a certain amount of absurdity has to be accepted in life if one is to live authentically.
Our hike started on a bright and crisp spring morning. We set out the door, coffees in hand, and poles strapped to our packs, expecting snow at the top based on the recent reports. My dad and I got in the car and pushed on to the highway; blinded by the rising sun.