Sample Literature Essays on Martin Luther King Jr.
One of the notable names on the list of American essayists in the post-Civil War era is Martin Luther King Jr. He was born in 1929 and died in 1968 after an assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. King was renowned for his determination and commitment to defend the poor and the underprivileged who suffered at the hands of a few wealthy individuals. He is also remembered for his stand on debates or concerns raised about the conflict between science and religion. In his essay titled “Science and Religion”, King refutes the claim madeby people that there is a conflict between science and religion. He argues that the conflict between the two, if any, is one of trespassing that ceases as soon as religion and science discover their legitimate spheres. Science, unlike religion, is all about facts, and man cannot depend on facts alone in life. This means that man must balance or have an idea about the two to live peacefully in society. King reiterates that science and religion are not in rivalry and that the perceived rivalry arises only when one of them makes attempts to be the oracle at the shrine of another (Martin Luther 1). The bottom line in this essay is that science and religion are not in conflict given that their methods are dissimilar and their immediate objectives are not the same, they are two hemispheres of human thought, and that one (science) responds to the human need for knowledge and power whereas the other (religion) responds to the human need for hope and certitude.
Science and religion are two concepts that have caused confusion and disagreements among people over the years with people refuting the validity of one at the expense of another. In the essay, “Science and Religion”, King denies the claim that the two are in conflict by stating that the methods employed by science and religion are dissimilar and that their immediate objectives are not the same. Arguably, people or things in conflict often have similar objectives and use methods that are similar in one way or the other. However, according to King, science uses observation, investigates, seeks causes, thinks in terms of history, and is a survey whereas religion relies more on contemplation, interprets, seeks ends rather than causes, thinks in terms of teleology, and is an outlook.
Clearly, scientific and religious worlds are different, which means that there is no ground for the assumption that there is a conflict between the two (Martin Luther 1). Rivalry thrives best when those involved are in the same world, have similar objectives or dreams, and focus on realizing these by outdoing one another. These two concepts focus not on outdoing each other but on making their explanations for the origin and destiny of human life understood (Plantinga 25). From these perspectives, science and religion have different approaches to life and have different objectives, and therefore, the argument that they are in conflict is invalid.
Further, King’s argument that science and religion are not in conflict can be supported by his statement that both are two hemispheres of human thought. By “two hemispheres” King implies that the two cannot exist as one, which is the unlike situation for people or things in conflict that strive to exist as one or achieve the same objectives. King believes that science and religion are two hemispheres of human though because they tend to be different though converging truths about human life. He reiterates that both perspectives spring from the same seeds that evolve around vital human needs. Scientific thoughts attribute the origin of human life to evolution and development whereas religious thoughts attribute human life to creation and nature (Ecklund and Jerry 277). From this angle, it is hard to find or see science dig into or criticise religion and vice versa, and therefore, it cannot be argued that the two are in an endless conflict.
Moreover, in support of the claim that science and religion are not in conflict, King points out that the former responds to the human need of knowledge and power whereas the latter responds to the human need for hope and certitude. In line with responding to the human need for knowledge and power, King outlines that science is outreaching for mastery unlike religion that is outreaching for perfection in its attempt to respond to hope and certitude. In this essay, King opposes scientists who on the basis of alleged scientific knowledge presumably issue pronouncements related to Godly matters specifically on the destiny and origin of human life and the place of man in the scheme. On the other hand, King opposes religionists who question or deliver ultimatums to scientists based on certain ideas intertwined in sacred texts.
The fact that most postulations of religion are invincible and that those of science are visible does not provide a uniform ground for pitting the two against each other (Gumbel and Charlie 6). It would be right to pit the two concepts against each other if they were on the same platform, that is, if the postulations of both were invincible.
Ecklund, Elaine Howard, and Jerry Z. Park. “Conflict Between Religion and Science among Academic Scientists?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48.2 (2009): 276-292.
Gumbel, Nicky, and Charlie Mackesy. Is There a Conflict Between Science and Christianity? London: Alpha International, 2013.
Martin Luther, King Jr. “Three Essays on Religion.” Three Essays on Religion: The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. (n.d.).Web. 20 Mar. 2017.
Plantinga, Alvin. Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.