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Science as a Belief System


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To what extent are science and religion considered to be a variety belief system?
A belief system is a framework of ideas that are shared by an individual, community or group. These ideas define our personal sense of "reality" and universe of meaning. It is believed that over two billion of the world’s population significantly rely on a religious belief system to help them understand the world, however belief systems are not only confined to this sphere. Political ideologies such as communism for example, have provided a ‘blueprint’ for how people should act in many countries such as the former USSR, China and Cuba. Moreover, science can also be considered a belief system because the practise of science has a clear set of guiding principles that should inform all experiments and many people today turn to science when seeking to understand their reality.
Thus, at first glance the belief systems of science and religion appear to be polar opposites, indeed, many scientists such as Richard Dawkins vehemently claim that science is a vastly superior form of thinking. Dawkins contends science to be objective, rational, and factual - forever striving to improve our knowledge. For Dawkins and many others, a massive strength of this particular belief system is that it is open. Karl Popper’s thesis of falsification posits that science should never be accepted as 100% fact, instead theories should be constantly challenged and if these theories are disproved, they should then be replaced with one that is more convincing.
Thomas Kuhn refers to theories that are accepted within the scientific community as paradigms and he argued that in order for the paradigm to shift it would require a paradigm revolution. This approach undermines Dawkins’ and Poppers’ argument that science is a completely open belief system. This is because Kuhn argues that the paradigms are very hard to

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