This came up on another post.
A lot of people give all sorts of complex answers to the question. What is the difference between scientific, rational truth and philosophy, and the religious ? Including especially for the scientific, all sorts of things like falsifiable hypotheses, and the experimental method etc.
But I think the real bottom line difference, is very simple. That one believes that truth is a given, an absolute and a granted privilege. (For the chosen few of course.) And the other believes that you only get closer to truth, by work, care, effort and sometimes hard choices.
I see science as the pursuit of knowledge of our physical world by using the scientific method.
BUt there is more than our physical world in our lives, so theology, philosophy etc attempt to fill this area. But being non-physical (outside of science), the scientific method fails ie can't sense to observe or replicate or measure. So instead of knowledge supported by facts or science, we have belief supported by faith which is sold as a "truth".
"Known belief" or theological/ philosophical "truths" is an oxymoron. If it was known, it would no longer be a "belief" and instead enter the realms of science.
I think what you’re talking about is the difference between science and superstition. And my answer is... superstition is natural and science is artificial. And yes, one is free and the other requires lots of work, and is therefore more valuable. Religion, on the other hand, the one I’m more familiar with anyway, is just early (primitive) science, and early philosophy, and early medicine, and early psychology, and early ethics, and early law, etc. that never fell out of practice because, most people haven’t escaped their natural superstitious instincts. And because, in some ways, science still hasn’t learned how to provide some of the comforts that religion provides for people. And apparently isn’t interested.
"Truth" can be subjective opinion. I prefer using "fact" over "truth" when discussing issues that can be proven by empirical evidence. However, even "facts" can be disproven because an aspect was "understood" without enough information, i.e. people used to believe that the earth was the center of the universe. We still say the suns rises and sets when, in fact, it does neither.
Scientific is merely a framework meant to explain a phenomena. To apply "true" to it would be dangerous since it can be overturned based on new evidence. However, in seeking truth, it seeks the objective truth, statements and frameworks that apply regardless of who and where the statement is made (though how and when can change the statement and framework)
I don't know what "rational truth" is but it sounds like math could fit this category. Here "true" does apply since as long as a set of axioms are accepted, one can bootstrap truth from it which stands the test of time.
Philosophy is not strictly about truth. I view philosophy as a process that can lead to truth. But things like The Trolley Problem or Philosophy of Science are not themselves true but tools to higher understanding.
Religion embodies what is personally true, the subjective truth. It is not rational true insofar as given a set of axioms one cannot bootstrap a singular course of truth like math. It is not the scientific truth as it is not objective nor amenable to experimentation. It is closer to philophical truth as it is not as much the truth but a means to search for truth
I agree that falsifiability is an essential element to the scientific process, and it is not at all in religion, though more thoughtful religionists might try hard to reinterpret their religious tenets if scientific discoveries make their existing versions seem silly(for example, the Biblical creation story being said to represent a metaphorical six days of creation rather than literally).
But importantly, the whole concept of "truth" in science versus either secular philosophy or religion differs. Science concerns itself with seeking to improve our understanding of objective factual reality. That is its truth, and as such, it is always open to revision, because reality seems to have ever deeper layers of knowledge possible.
In contrast, philosophy, whether secular, religious, or new age woo-loving(my made up term for unaffiliated spiritually magical thinking), expects more from "truth." These approaches are concerned with articulating values to live by, which is of necessity at the very least somewhat subjective. That is about what is to be considered importsnt and why, not just about what is.
The remaining distinction I would make is between religious vs secular philosophies, which hinges on acceptance of the notion of "revealed" truth, in the case of religion, vs reasoned discovery, in the case of secular philosophy. (This touches on the scientific need for falsifiability, but in the case of philosophy doesn't quite match that level that science emphasizes.) The latter accepts the prospect of revision. The former pretends that their "Truth," with a capital "T," is eternal, perfect, and unchanging. ...which, of course, makes religion juvenile, as well as nonsensical.
I want to do these:
Rational truth is the result of conclusions made through the use of the scientific method. Science and "rational truth" are tied together. Philosophy is a set of unproven theories or thesis. Religion, besides being the "opiate of the people" is 1. A way to explain what science and rational though has yet to explain. Over time, things that religion used to explain are now explained by science, but some choose to believe the religion over the science (as we are well aware). and 2. Religion is a method by which the powerful control the masses. Moses is an example of this. He persuaded his followers to do so with the use of "the word of gawd" chiseled in stone, no less.
Falsifiability is important. Otherwise I get to do things like saying Aphrodite is responsible for erectile dysfunction and you should give her offerings through me until she is pleased to stop doing this. Let’s say ten guys do and 3 guys it appears to work. Those 3 tell ten guys, repeat. We now have a chain of guys taking my bullshit claim but insisting their truth is real because they experienced it. For that fourth generation guy who insists he knows people it worked for, can he demonstrate Aphrodite exists, did act, and in what manner?
That is the problem with religious methods. Every time look for the assertion they can not demonstrate, thus making their claims mere assertions.
Philosophy helps you ask better questions, but is susceptible to garbage in garbage out even if properly structured. Which is where religious philosophy fails, they still sneak that assertion in as true.
Scientific methods use provisional certainty and follow increasingly better evidence when able to.