If science is wrong why do devotee go to a hospital when they fall sick and not to a temple?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJune 18, 2013

Answer Podcast

Edited By: Shyam p

Question: If science is wrong, why do devotees go to a hospital when they fall sick and not to a temple?

Answer: Firstly, we don’t say that the science is wrong in its totality. What is important is to recognize that science sometimes makes claims that are beyond its valid jurisdiction. And those claims are actually not scientific. Science in itself is a map, and a map does not reveal the territory completely. A map does not reveal all the different people and their personalities and their aspirations in its depiction on paper, through the map. Similarly, science does not reveal the totality in its reality.

It focuses on its material measurable parameters within the reality that we encounter around us.  So based on this limited map, when some scientists or more specifically, atheists, use science to extrapolate the claims that there is no God, no soul, then actually,they are making metaphysical claims which are notvalid based on science and that is what is being encountered.

Science, as far as a body of working knowledge is concerned, does work and it is possible that human beings who have been given intelligence ultimately by God- we are parts of God, our intelligence comes from God – by observing nature will come to certain conclusions and to the extent we use our intelligence well, to that extent our conclusions of material nature will also be correct.

Science, as a body of material knowledge, does work in many ways and where credit is due, credit should be given and credit is given. So sometimes, some devotees in their enthusiasm to help people develop faith in scriptures, may go overboard in their criticism of the science and it is not that the devotees are anti-science in anyway. The devotees are pro-God and when science becomes anti-God that is when devotees have issues with science.

The important point to recognize here is that the science has its jurisdiction, within its jurisdiction it does have its power and where credit is due, even devotees give credit to science. So right now we are using science, scientific technology for discussing the answer to this question. And why do we use it? Because ultimately, scientific knowledge is also coming from God. All knowledge comes from God and scientific knowledge also comes from God.

In fact, if we look at the history of science, we will see that many of the scientists will admit that their greatest insight came, not just by systematic slow rational analysis, but by sudden flashes of inspiration. And there are other scientistswho have also pointed out that such sudden flashes of inspiration and the depth of the insights that are revealed through these inspirations cannot come through logical step-by-step processing of the information in the brain.

Dr. Richard Thomson has written in his paper on inspiration, which is published in the book, Scientific Basis of Krishna Consciousness, how the linear step-by-step progression doesn’t lead to, cannot lead to such huge leaps of insight. So such causes of inspirations, we can say, come from God and many scientists have pointed this out. Gauss himself, when he came out with some of his theories of some of the laws of electricity, has said “the equations came to me not by my labor, but by the grace of God.”

Scientists have tapped into an understanding of the reality around us at a material, measurable level, and that is accepted. So when a devotee falls sick, the sickness is a bodily phenomenon. And when there is a bodily problem, bodily treatment is required. So in Vedic culture, there was Ayurveda that is also material knowledge. Today, we may have allopathy, naturopathy and various other kinds of treatments, which are based on modern insights.

The point is that the material knowledge is required for taking care of the material body. Wherever there is material expertise relevant for taking care of material body, devotees will go to that. So you have to be very clear in understanding that the devotees are not anti-science, they are pro-God and for service to God, they will accept whatever is useful and they will avoid whatever is not useful; whatever is harmful, they will reject.

So the body is useful and the health of the body is important, so whatever is helpful for maintaining the health of the body, devotees will accept. When science goes beyond its jurisdiction in its non-scientific claims about the non-existence of God or the soul, then that is where devotees will have issues with science.

Thank you.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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