Very eloquently put. Religion is outdated, but the spiritual, call it the divine, that, that touches the soul is very much alive. I may be able to describe it, but can’t prove it or show it to you, just like I can try to describe the taste of cheese in over a million words with equations to elaborate on how the molecules create taste, but you will never know what it’s like to tasted it.
Now, the “Soul” is just a word, it’s meaning should evolve with our knowledge, after all Democritus is remembered for his formulation “an atomic theory of the universe, founded in philosophical and theological reasoning rather than evidence and experimentation”, and coined the word “Atom” which means indivisible. Now we know that the atom can actually be divided, but it has become scientific word.
Categorizing which is unfortunately the only way our limited brain can cope with so much information has its setbacks, one of which, it induces a black or white approach to things and issues, when actually most are shades of grey. While the visible electromagnetic waves reflect a smooth gradient, we perceive the wave lengths as distinct colors. Fascinating I think. It tells us a lot about how we think.
An extreme skeptic can take Descartes hypothesis that the only thing indisputable is that one can think, since everything else can be an illusion or a dream, fooling the senses, while on the other side orthodox religion is based on strict interpretation of scripture, the faults which I’m sure I don’t need to highlight.
Even the golden standard set for science by Karl Popper “that it has to be falsifiable” is being eroded by such hypothesis as String Theory and the Anthropic Principle, which dare I say have their own challenges. The discipline of Psychology and the practice of Psychiatry which has helped a lot of people, has been considered by most scientist as on the fringe if not beyond, together with philosophers, who were the original scientists.
I would propose there are more similarities than divisions, and you’ll find that believing in something you can feel but not prove, if good, can be healthy, unless we think we know everything. I find it extraordinary that both theists and scientists have a common prime tenant meaning exactly the same thing, but they choose to use different words. The scientist is always “Skeptic” while “Doubt” is highly regarded by most theologians.