In order to determine what role, if any, religion generally should play in knowledge about "how things are or came to be," it is essential first to know just what 'things' are at issue. For example, it seems to me that if the 'things' in question are truths about morality, then religion generally may well have a role to play; by contrast, it seems to me that if the 'things' in question are truths about the nature of the physical world, say, then it's not clear to me that religion has any role whatsoever to play in helping us to gain knowledge of such truths. (I write here not from any particular standpoint on the issue: indeed, even the great seventeenth-century French philosopher and theologian Nicolas Malebranche, who famously believed in the truth of occasionalism, the view that God is the only real cause in the universe, and, hence that all changes in the universe were effected by God's causal power, did not think that appeals to God were relevant in the context of giving scientific explanations. "One would make oneself ridiculous," Malebranche writes in his first, and to my mind, greatest and most philosophically significant work, The Search After Truth, "if one said, for example, that it is God who dries roads, or who freezes the ice in rivers. It must be said that air dries the earth, because....and that the air or the subtle matter freezes the river in winter, because in this time....In a word, the natural and particular cause of the effects in question must be given, if it is possible.")
Read another response by Sean Greenberg
In the effect to come to knowledge about reality that is the truth about "how things are or came to be," What role if any should religious authorities ( such as one's minister or priest) or religious writings (such as the Old Testament or the Koran) play in helping to determine the truth?