selected quotes from The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist, Richard Feynman

It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history and as it is in a great majority of places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery and majesty of matter are fully appreciated, to then turn the objective eye back on man viewed as matter, to view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is very rare, and very exciting. It usually ends in laughter and a delight in the futility of trying to understand what this atom in the universe is, this thing-atoms with curiosity-that looks at itself and wonders why it wonders. Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.
It is this conflict associated with these metaphysical aspects that is doubly difficult because the facts conflict. Not only the facts, but the spirits conflict. Not only are there difficulties about whether the sun does or doesn’t rotate around the earth, but the spirit or attitude toward the facts is also different in religion from what it is in science. The uncertainty that is necessary in order to appreciate nature is not easily correlated with the feeling of certainty in faith, which is usually associated with deep religious belief. I do not believe that the scientist can have that same certainty of faith that deeply religious people have. Perhaps they can. I don’t know. I think that is difficult. But anyhow it seems that the metaphysical aspects of religious have nothing to do with the ethical values, that the moral values seem somehow to be outside of the scientific realm.
You may think that it might be possible to invent a metaphysical system for religion which will state things in such a way that science will never find itself in disagreement. But I do not think that it is possible to take an adventurous and ever expanding science that is going into an unknown, and to tell the answer to questions ahead of time and not expect that sooner or later, no matter what you do, you will find that some answers of this kind are wrong. So I do not think that it is possible to not get into a conflict if you require an absolute faith in metaphysical aspects, and at the same time I don’t understand how to maintain the real value of religion for inspiration if we have some doubt as to that. That’s a serious problem.
Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure-the adventure into the unknown, an unknown that must be recognized as unknown in order to be explored, the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered, the attitude that all is uncertain. To summarize it: humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics-the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual, the humility of the spirit. These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all. One needs one’s heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God? More, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church the place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, haven’t we drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? That I don’t know. But that, I think, is the best I can do on the relationship of science and religion, the religion which has been in the past and still is, therefore, a source of moral code as well as inspiration to follow that code.