Science versus Religion in Cat’s Cradle

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“The idea that philosophy and science can be combined to give us the best possible knowledge about the world and how to act within it is an old one, encapsulated by the classic concept of scientia, a Latin word that means knowledge” (Pigliucci 6). In the book Cat’s Cradle the main topic of debate is clearly science versus religion. In many ways, these two topics are very different, but in others, they are quite similar. Both science and religion have a common goal, to find truth in the world. The main character of Cat’s Cradle is a man named John. At the beginning of the book, John is a Christian who is doing research on Felix Hoenikker, the maker of the atomic bomb. His attempt to learn about the science behind the bomb leads him to a religion called Bokononism. In this book, Bokononism is not like other religions. It is more of a mindset that attempts to explain the world and why unexplainable things happen. John’s gradual transition from Christianity, a religion that focuses on getting into heaven, to Bokononism, a mindset that strives to explain the world and gain knowledge about it, is a perfect example of how religion or science by itself does not supply knowledge. Scientists and religions experts try to explain the world through different ways. Scientists try to explain life with true facts, and religious people believe that a supernatural force who assigns purpose to everyones lives. Even though they are different, both groups try to explain the world and give purpose to their lives. Religion is an important topic that is discussed frequently throughout Cat’s Cradle. The whole point of Vonnegut writing this book is to compare science with religion. In this book, there is a religion called Bokononism, which is a relig... ... middle of paper ... ...on are used by all people to try to explain the world. Some people believe that science explains life with true facts, and some people believe in a supernatural god who created the world and all life in it. Either way, people use these ideas to explain why they are here on this earth and what their purpose is. Works Cited Marvin, Thomas F. Kurt Vonnegut: A Critical Companion: Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002. questiaschool.com. Web. 21. 2014. Pigliucci, Massimo. Answers for Aristotle. New York: Basic Books, 2012. Print. Shmoop Editorial Team. Cat’s Cradle Theme of Religion. Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc. 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. New York: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2010. Print. Wharton, David M. Dubious Truths: An Examination of Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. strangehorizons.com. 24 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2014

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