International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Relational and Contextual Reasoning: A Way Toward Overcoming Cognitive Conflict Specifically Between Religion and Science

Relational and  Contextual Reasoning: A Way Toward Overcoming Cognitive Conflict Specifically Between Religion and  Science

Helmut  K. Reich
Prof. Rutherford University, Switzerland



Worldwide, there  exists much strife and even violence, which results not infrequently from differing, even confrontational views of the world and beyond. It is suggested that Relational and   Contextual   Reasoning   (RCR)  can   overcome   certain cognitive conflicts, specifically those caused by applying inappropriately classical binary logic (only “black”  or “white” exists; it has to be the one or the other). After an introduction, the  present  meaning of cognitive conflict is  defined, epistemology as understood here is determined, and RCR with its trivalent  both-and-logic (“black”  is more pertinent  in one context, “white” in another) is explicated. An empirical study of religious  vs. scientific worldviews is presented.  It shows that knowledgeable respondents capable and willing to apply confirmed RCR were less likely to experience cognitive conflict than  respondents  incapable  or  unwilling  to  do  so.  After a presentation  of the 8-step RCR heuristic,  it  is applied  to (i) science  vs. religion  /theology, and  more  briefly to  (ii)  well- being:  economic, communicational and  cultural  globalisation local autonomy, (iii) “monolithic” nation-state  vs. human right  to  self-determination,  and  (iv) preserving  rigidly  one’s identity vs. meeting everybody’s expectations. In all cases RCR- ways are  indicated,  which are  likely to lessen the danger  of cognitive conflict.