Contact: Faith Versus Science Essay examples

Submitted By TonePort
Words: 1093
Pages: 5

Science is the principle of logic; it is solidified facts. There is no room for faith or spirituality. Religion formulates answers without proof to find deeper meanings to life’s questions. It is the unification of people, rather than proven truth. These two communities have both obtained massive followings, and have practically divided the world’s population into two separate belief systems. The film Contact addresses this rivalry by exploring the power of faith, and what humankind will do to protect their beliefs. Contact offers no clear answer to which side is just, but leaves that for the viewer’s discretion. Would it ever be possible for both scientific and religious communities to benefit from each other’s presence? After viewing the film Contact, it is logical to believe that it is impossible to sustain a productive relationship between the scientific and religious communities of modern times. First, both religion and science have faith in their own beliefs, but refuse to show understanding in each other’s ideologies. Furthermore, science is so tightly focused on the expansion of knowledge and religion is so dedicated to acceptance in what we know, that is impractical for either side to assist each other. Finally, religion can be fanatic, and occasionally directly opposes the goals of science, which prefers a more level and unbiased look at the universe. Religion and science refuse to show understanding each other’s faiths. Firstly, towards the end of the movie, the World Council refuses to take Ellie’s story as truth. For example, the council asks, “…you expect us to take this on faith?” Ironically, this statement comes from a representative of religion. Considering religion is strictly based upon the acceptance of faith, this statement is hypocritical and emphasizes the struggle between the two communities. Furthermore, Ellie appears to have an almost spiritual faith in the alien designs, but also denies the faith of those who are religious, and refuses to listen to various fanatics. For example, she often states not to change the designs of the alien machine, but when she was challenged by religious fanatics opposing her, she refused to give them any benefit of the doubt, and only kept her faith in the science she knew. Although Ellie is overwhelmingly humanistic, she has the ability to share faith in beings she has no knowledge of, but lacks faith in those who are religious, which highlights the underlining prejudice between the two groups. Finally, Palmer and Ellie’s relationship showcases the tension between the lack of faith that each community has for each other. For instance, Palmer’s book reads, “The one thing people are hungry for, meaning, is the one thing science hasn't been able to give them.” This statement suggests that mankind can never rely in science for a meaning to life, opposing what little faith can be held in science. Religion is the belief of acceptance in what we know, which science opposes with the expansion of knowledge. Firstly, this film shows the lengths that mankind is willing to go to protect their inner beliefs. For example, the suicidal attack on the first machine was committed for in order to protect “Christian beliefs” and “so mankind would not be tainted” as the terrorist stated in his suicide video. This was a direct attack against the principles of science and the expansion of knowledge; an exemplar of the hatred, that divides belief and proof, can do. Hereafter, the success that the IMC team had with the production of the first machine was heavily protested, and their ethics were questioned. For instances, at the banquet Ellie attended, protesters stood on the side, accusing her of being a disgrace, and judging her as a human. Rather than basking in the lorry that mankind had achieved up to this point, religion directly opposed the newfound knowledge of alien production with the ideology that it was not in God’s will to make it to this point. Lastly, religious figures such