Welcome to the Club:

The Reconciliation of Science and Religion is Psychology

by John Manimas Medeiros, March 2012

A friend of mine has occasionally introduced me to new friends by saying "John is a philosopher." I take this as a compliment, and it is true that I philosophize. I take my own exploratory thinking and the philosophical thinking of others seriously. I engage in analytical thought that we usually call "philosophizing" and self-examination. But this pattern of thinking is not always just "philosophy." When one is examining human nature and human behavior, and in particular when one is examining human thought patterns and human beliefs, one is involved in the field of study known as "psychology" -- the study of the human mind.

In the process of reviewing my own work and placing it in a context of the works of others in the field of science-and-religion, I recently came to the conclusion that the most appropriate formulation of my viewpoint is that it be named or designated as "The Information Gospel." At about the same time, I recently concluded that it is neither intellectually clear nor helpful to designate our study of "the reconciliation of science and religion" as belonging to the category of human knowledge that we call "philosophy." It is at least not justified to argue that the reconciliation of science and religion belongs in a restricted sense only to the field of philosophy. My method is that the study of religious beliefs and the conflict that we perceive between religious beliefs and scientific thinking belongs to the field of psychology. A college or university that wants to include a course of study in the reconciliation of science and religion should place this subject matter and its teacher in the Department of Psychology.

Because a scientific examination of religious ideas and religious thinking continuously compared to scientific ideas and scientific thinking is inescapably a study of how people categorize knowledge, one is really studying the workings of the human mind. When we are attacking the problem we call "the reconciliation of science and religion" and any set of issues that we reasonably include in this field we are focused on how people think. And, it is reasonable to place this field of study, more or less an orphan in academic circles and academic institutions, in the house of psychology. That is the way I see it, and that is certainly a rational way for me to see it, because I have applied the tools of psychological examination to this problem from the start, and all of my life. I have persistently treated the subject matter of the reconciliation of science and religion as a psychological problem or psychological issue. More focused still, I have treated this field as belonging to the field of educational psychology, as an extremely interesting and very important field of study in terms of how people place selected beliefs -- or "knowledge" -- in the category of "religion" or in the category of "knowledge" or "science." Therefore, I still accept being identified as a philosopher, but as a student of human nature and of the human brain, I am a psychologist. My friend, if you are interested in the relationship between science and religion, and how people categorize knowledge, as well as how one categorizes one's own thoughts, then you also are a psychologist. Welcome to the club.

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