Essay on Science and Religion

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Humans do not engage the world in a neutral way. Instead, we see world through the reality that our culture creates. Without culture, humanity would have to continuously reinvent the wheel, perhaps even literally. It casts a web of reality over us that is inescapable. We are constantly in the grip of our culture. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to find societies with cultures which differ greatly from ours who come to very different conclusions about what reality is. When we are confronted with these differences in world views, we are often quick and confident to assert that our way of life is superior to others. This is behavior isn’t unique to tribes indigenous to foreign lands who believe in so-called “primitive” religions. It…show more content…
Every part of it depends upon the existence of witchcraft, just as their absolute belief in witchcraft depends upon the rest of their cultural framework. There is a system of self-reinforcement, which causes the belief to go unquestioned, even when the effects are inconsistent with an objective reality. Evans-Pritchard explains, “Azande do not perceive the contradiction as we perceive it because they have no theoretical interest in the subject, and those situations in which they express their beliefs in witchcraft do not force the problem upon them.”(Evans-Pritchard, 25) Even if one is able to point out the inconsistent effects of witchcraft, the Azande will not believe it, but in fact will find a way to incorporate inconsistencies into his worldview, Evans-Pritchard tells us. However, he also points out that, “they did not attempt to account for the existence of phenomena, or even the action of phenomena, by mystical causation alone”(Evans-Pritchard, 67) and that “They reason excellently within the idiom of their beliefs”(Evans-Pritchard,XX), and thus are not mentally inferior or irrational. They merely engage the world through a different idiom than the Westerner. However, if the Azande are blinded by their beliefs in witchcraft, we cannot be sure that we are free from the same sort of cultural blinders. Just as the Azande are at the mercy of witches, oracles, and sorcerers,

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