There is an ongoing debate in scientific circles about whether science is a religion. To me it is clearly so, but to many just as clearly not.
The question, of course comes down to what one means by “a religion.”
To me a religion is more defined by the role it plays in the “believer’s” life than anything else. Well, perhaps in his/her “thinking” more than “life.”
If the assumptions of the subject are taken as unquestionable truths, in my view, it’s a religion. At least it is for most people. So I see science as a religion whose basic assumptions are about the supremacy of logic as the ultimate arbiter of all questions.
By this measure, though, we have many religions. Take economic systems,for example. The obvious devotion so many in the west have for the practice of capitalism would suggest that it carries the baggage of ” religion.”
And I think it does.
The important question, though, is whether the religion continues to serve the best interest of its people. The answer is not one of black and white, for some aspects may do so, while others do not.
Current trends in the world suggest we should be examining both science and capitalism on this point. Humanity is a cancer on the earth, consuming it whole. And the dual religions of science and capitalism aren’t serving us well in this regard.
Without science, we’d have never succeeded so well as to present any danger of having fatal effects on the ecosystem of the entire earth. But we do, now.
Without capitalism, we’d not be rushing toward the most disastrous outcome possible nearly as quickly as we are, nor accelerating at such a pace. But we are, and reversing the course isn’t possible within the capitalistic system.
The traditionally recognized religions are hardly less culpable. In particular, how can a cancer ever go int remission without coming to a realization that it is no more important than every other piece of tissue in the body? Yet I am unaware of a traditional religion that doesn’t, at least by implication and practice, assume exactly the opposite.