We often believe in ideas because of the utility we derive from them, not because of their inherent truth. And yet we seldom apply this same standard in religion, even though many religious adherents report an abundance of benefit — ranging from social belonging to individual satisfaction, to healthier eating habits and mental wellbeing.

Many modern scientific theories, such as Einstein’s Theory of Gravity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, have provided us with numerous benefits. However, the principle of falsifiability teaches us that theories can never be proven correct, but only verified to be not incorrect thus far. After all, theories are all built on axioms — assumptions about nature that cannot be verified and are not rooted in empirical evidence. However, we selectively blind ourselves to this limitation and instead base our belief in these theories on their ability to explain our finite observations. The more observations (in number and diversity) that a theory can explain, the more confidence we have in it. …


Sharif Natheir

Muslim | 22yo Iraqi-Canadian | MSc. (C) in Experimental Surgery (surgical innovation), McGill | Data analyst, Harvard | Interested in data science (AI/ML)

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