Are they mutually exclusive subjects?
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, both things come in to play.
Whether you’re a religious person or not, both things come in to play.
If you’re a staunch Atheist, I believe you do actually have religion anyway – your religion is that of Atheism.
But that’s a separate topic for a separate post.
The first thing that happens is science.
Science finds what is wrong with you.
Science equips us with the technology to prod you with machines and poke you with machines and scan you with machines.
Science breaks down the results of all your tests from those machines and finds answers.
Or more questions.
Then science solves them with more science.
Religion is where your mind goes.
I don’t mean that every single person discovers G-d.
Or that every single person has some kind of massive revelation about the meaning of life.
I mean that, when faced with a life and possible death situation, every single person contemplates what they’ve done with their life and what may be to come with death.
There is a permission for spiritual philosophy and a very possible chance to test your hypotheses soon.
It’s natural for your mind to wander to these places.
It’s accepted that these large notions are ones that you will be faced with.
Does this make these things mutually exclusive?
I don’t believe so.
I am lucky.
I grew up in a brand of Judaism that had Rabbis pose questions to us about G-d’s creation of the world that reconciled it with Evolution.
I grew up with a brand of Judaism that allowed room for interpretation of the bible, of “G-d” and of practices of faith.
I mean, I grew up with Science and Religion.
I grew up wanting to be a “Scientist of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence”.
And that is a fact.
And then equally, I have contemplated studying to be an actual Rabbi (not just a Rabbit).
That is also fact.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
I don’t know if I believe in G-d.
I call myself an Agnostic Jew.
But when faced with life-changing futures, I’ll pray.
Because praying, to me, is just introspective thinking.
Some people call it meditation.
Some people call it thinking.
Some people call it philosophising.
Some people call it praying.
It doesn’t matter what it’s called.
It’s what we all do.
When Science gives us bad news, we exclaim “Oh, G-d!” as we tear up and see a future of death.
When Science pumps us full of freezing cold, chemical medicines, we exclaim “Oh, G-d!” as we battle the horrible effects on our bodies.
When Science gives us the unexpectedly wonderful news of changing our fate, we exclaim “Oh, G-d!” as we cry with joy.
I’ve never exclaimed “Oh, Science!” at anything in the way that I’ve exclaimed “Oh, G-d!”, (though perhaps I should have – credit where credit is due and all that…) but I have always held scientists high in my esteem.
Maybe higher than some Rabbis…
So today, we exclaim “Oh, Science!” as the Rabbit family bounds in joy.
And we tell G-d – if we believe in Him – he’ll have to wait another day to greet us.