Croft Press / David / Religion

The Call for a New Religion
Compatible with Science

David Wallace Croft

2006 May 25 Thu

The Call

In my studies, I have noted that a number of the philosopher-scientists of the 20th century looked forward to the day when there would be a new religion compatible with science. The following is a selection of quotations expressing this hope.

In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. [...] After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated they will surely recognize with joy that true religion has been enobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge. [...] The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.

Albert Einstein, 1941, "Science and Religion", Ideas and Opinions

Science, as a system of discovering, organizing, and applying mutual knowledge, is already unified and universal in principle, though its efficiency as an organ of the human species could still be much increased. It remains for man to unify and universalize his religion. How that religion will take form -- what rituals or celebrations it might practise, whether it will equip itself with any sort of professional body or priesthood, what buildings it will erect, what symbols it will adopt -- that is something which no one can prophesy. Certainly it is not a field on which the natural scientist should venture. What the scientist can do is to draw attention to the relevant facts revealed by scientific discovery, and to their implications and those of the scientific method. He can aid in the building up of a fuller and more accurate picture of reality in general and of human destiny in particular, secure in the knowledge that in so doing he is contributing to humanity's advance, and helping to make possible the emergence of a more universal and more adequate religion.

Julian Huxley, 1953, "Evolutionary Humanism", New Bottles for New Wine

A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.

Carl Sagan, 1994, "A Universe Not Made for Us", Pale Blue Dot



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Copyright 2006 David Wallace Croft.
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