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  • Author: Peter Skalník x
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Religion and Science: What Can Anthropology Offer?

Abstract

This short tribute to Ján Podolák comments on the space between two extremes: pure science and blind belief. If religion is not susceptible to scientific proof because it is a belief in an invisible world inhabited by spirits who influence human existence on earth then science in its strictest sense is the opposite of religion because it is not based on any beliefs but solely on provable facts. However, the anthropology of science should be based on the pluralism of knowledge and the seeking of truth in different cultural settings around the world. Everything human, also science, is a social and cultural phenomenon. This means that rationality is not a preserve of the Western mind only and that without falling into the trap of postmodernist excessive relativism, we should admit that rationality is not only universal but also not hierarchized evolutionistically or qualitatively by giving preference to its Western brand. Science thus ceases to be the only realm of rational knowledge. Religion in its turn is a kind of non-scientific knowledge.

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