Would the Concept of God Stay in the Event of Science Conquering Death?

With the developments of science and technology, it is no longer that easy for discerning observers to accept the concept of God as traditionally explained.

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God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, c. 1510–1517 [Source: Wikimedia]

During the last several centuries, slowly and steadily, several spectacular achievements have been seen in the fields of science and technology. Such advancements and discoveries have somewhat disproved or caused doubt in several traditional beliefs, ideas, and postulates.

Several religions that evolved over the past centuries have been essentially centered on the concept of God, with various versions being stated as to whatever God may be and wherever God may be. The belief of people in such religious doctrines has been overwhelming to date and has stood the test of time.

The concept of God has virtually remained unquestioned, though some murmurs have been heard from time to time doubting the existence of God. One reason why the concept of God has found emotional acceptance amongst people worldwide is due to a lack of clarification on what else could be the possibility for the creation of the world, humans, creatures, plants, and so on, if there were not a creator (God). As per the rationale guiding the human mind, this logic of the existence of God appears to be appropriate at least until now, in the absence of any better explanation.

With the developments of science and technology, it is no longer that easy for discerning observers to accept the concept of God as traditionally explained. This is because scientific discoveries and developments have created conditions where what is traditionally believed to be the act of God has now been proven that it can be done by humans themselves due to the development of technology.

For example, artificial rain is now possible to be created, causing doubt on the concept of Rain God and Sun God traditionally believed all over the world.

It is no longer a situation of God’s will about humans or animals being born in the world. Scientific research and development have created a scenario where birth can take place at a time desirable by humans and can be prevented by humans if so desired. Further, artificial insemination and test tube babies are being created. In essence, this means that science has conquered the birth event as such. This development has created doubts as to whether prayer to God is necessary for giving birth to a child or not giving birth to a child.

Traditionally, it is believed that the good or bad acts of humans would lead them to hell or heaven after the death event. However, scientific developments have now progressed to such an extent that the behavior of humans can be tailored as per the requirement. Science can create a calm human who does good acts or a ferocious human who does bad acts.

With the development of science, the technique of cloning has enabled scientists to make exact genetic copies of living things. Genes, cells, tissues, and even whole animals can all be cloned.

Additionally, medical science has progressed to such an extent that the lifespan of humans and animals has increased over the years and perhaps “even the death event is being postponed” with several techniques such as the use of ventilators and so on. Even dead bodies can now be preserved for any length of time.

In such conditions, one may even be tempted to think that one day in the future, science and technology efforts would conquer the death event also, just as it has already conquered the birth event.

In the future, in the event of scientific efforts successfully conquering the death event and enabling humans and animals to live eternally, then serious doubts will arise in the minds of discerning observers about the validity of the concept of God (Creator).

Of course, it is now extremely difficult to imagine such a situation of science conquering the death event. Nevertheless, it has to be noted that several centuries back, it was difficult for people to imagine a situation where a football match being played in Doha would be seen in Colombo at the same time through television.

There are still many unexplained matters by science and technology. As yet, science cannot explain who or what could have created the sun, moon, stars, earth, and so on if there were not a creator. Science cannot explain away such questions until now.

While science uses the existing matter such as atoms, enzymes, etc. to achieve spectacular advancements like controlling the birth event and so on, the question remains as to where do the atoms and enzymes come from or happen.

In this scenario, it is most likely that whatever be the developments in the science and technology field, people would continue to repose faith in God, even though the faith in several suggestions in religions such as fate, hell, heaven, and what is said in Hindu scripture such as Jeevatma and Paramatma may get somewhat diluted.

Probably, one can be daring enough to say that in tune with the advancements in science and technology, religious concepts on God also need to be reformed or fine-tuned in the coming years.


N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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