Religious faith and interest in basic science

I’m not sure, because it’s hard not imagining myself as a theist of some sort. From a very young age I’ve always had this vague, Platonic notion of consilience, that all approaches to knowledge have to “converge” in some way towards some fundamental rational order, and that this “unity of knowledge” is the fundamental reason why we should try to seek knowledge at all. Thus, all sorts of knowledge (not just utilitarian ones) are equally important to approach this “unity of knowledge”. It is possible for some non-theistic scientists to have a similar idea (e.g. E.O. Wilson, who wrote a book on this), but I don’t know if I would believe in it as strongly. I would actually guess that this deep-seated belief in consilience is one of the primary reasons for why I’m religious.

I would guess that if I were an atheist or agnostic, I would attempt to derive value from serving and uplifting fellow humanity, not an abstract, lofty goal like getting to the basic consilience of knowledge. If there is no God watching then fellow humans are the closest alternative. I don’t know if this necessarily leads to a complete utility-approach to science. But I think I would be interested in some sort of ethical transhumanism.

What’s wrong with having a diversity of motivations for basic science. I don’t understand this drive for uniformity. Some Christian, Muslim, and Jewish scientists do it for religious reasons, some atheist scientists do it for pure curiosity, some others do it for other reasons.

While a certain form of religion (such as American fundamentalism, which arose in the early 20th century) drives anti-intellectualism, I would argue that another kind of religion tends to drive the impetus for basic research. In fact, the prioritization of utility over basic truth in modern technological and scientific culture is one that theists on this board have complained about before. As @Eddie said: