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Religion AND Science/ Relgion OR Science

User Thread
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Religion AND Science/ Relgion OR Science
The more triumphalist in the scientific community insist that science and religion are eternally at odds.... well maybe not eternally at odds, because it is another of their dogmas that science has disproved religion, and that the rise of the former therefore spells the end for the latter. For all Stehen Jay Gould's insistence that they are Non Overlapping Magisteria, and for all the impassioned correctives of Charles Taylor and Alister McGrath, it has become almost de riguer in intellectual circles to peddle a tired materialism that goes back to Comte and Feuerbach, the upshot of which is that once the scales fall from man's eyes, all talk of the spirit, the numinous, the divine, will become obselete, and men and women together will live by the light of reason.

I want to question this view. It might seem that I have offered a "persuasive definition", but I hope to show, even in this way of putting it, why this is an attractive position. Apologists of religion frequently aver that man cannot be nothing but the sum-total of the physical bits that make him up; that if we were, we would be unable to explain the irreducibly human aspects of our lives - love for example. But the materialist will not be unduly stretched by this objection. For although it may seem that love cannot be a property of the physical world, being, we assume, qualitatively different from it, a materialist will insist that love is in fact a by-product of material processes, that it is just an ordinately complex nexus of phyiscal bits. Mind (for example) is not something over and above extended matter, seperate from, because incommensurate with, the material world we inhabit: on the contrary, the two realms are different in degree and not kind, and it only appears to be otherwise because the mind is so utterly and incomprehensibly complex.

So materialism is, or so it would seem, coherent. But it does make a concession to theism: namely, in stressing the the world as a PROCESS. Whereas the traditional atomism of Leucippas and Democritus makes reality resolvable into its constituent parts, modern materialism makes the parts delegate power to the whole, the overarching totality or concatenation upon which all things defer, and to which logic ministers. And this, I think, opens the door to pantheism: a far more reputable and widespread variant of theism than it is often appreciated to be.

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 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that allimar is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

This is the best addition to this thread that I can think of. I'll stand by it as my opinion on the matter.

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"The more you learn, the less you know."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Is your point that pantheism bridges the gap between science and religion in an acceptable way? Or that this is probably the most efficient way to view both God and the universe, as a pantheist subscribes to the idea that the laws of the universe and nature are God?

I doubt that pantheism can effect a rapprochement, or a "bridge", between science and religion. But I do think that they have more in common than is often recognised. The greatest of all pantheists, Baruch De Spinoza, was reviled in his age for what seemed to his contemporaries to be nothing more than atheism attenuated. And with the rise of the so-called "atheist theologians" like Robinson and Tillich, who deny the traditonal conception of God as presiding over and above the universe, patheism is ever more, if surrepitiously, prominent - in the pews as well as the chaplaincy. But it is rarely recognised, as much as anything because theologians are rather too subtle for their own good. In fact, I defy any thinking person to deny that they feel some reputable quantam of sympathy for pantheism.

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 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Having said all that, it shouldn't be forgotten that to many believers, the God of Spinoza is a bit unsatisfying. If God is identical with, and nothing more than, the totality of things in the universe, what place is there for His human qualities, His omnipotence, His transcendence? What becomes of the idea that the world's essence is love? Does God's light penetrate the shadows of the universe? How does one pray for the "eternal silence of the infinite spaces"?

This is, at least, how many believers argue. To me, it is a weak argument. To insist that the world is meaningful at its deepest level only if it is animated by the self-same personal, indubitably HUMAN principles that govern our own personal lives seems to me to be amongst the most wretchedly parochial, as well as willfully anthropomorphic, trains of thought which man has ever conceived. It is a failure of the imagination to squeal our provinical cry whenever the world sheds its homely tinsel, to ring the alarm if it but intimates that it is anything less - or more - than our commodious playground. The world is a wonderful place; and one of its more ambiguous additions, in the last hundred thousand years or so, is the human species.

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 31yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"To insist that the world is meaningful at its deepest level only if it is animated by the self-same personal, indubitably HUMAN principles that govern our own personal lives seems to me to be amongst the most wretchedly parochial, as well as willfully anthropomorphic, trains of thought which man has ever conceived."

I understand this to be the struggle of ethics. Ethics it seems is the true spiritual science.

It is most definitely a science, and most definitely a religion, whether it have a god or not.

Would you agree?

I ask myself, what is spirituality?

I can identify when something feels spiritual, but I can't explain why it is that way. I feel that ethics are spiritual, but don't know why.

Could you give me a more simple explanation of pantheism? I tried to understand what you were saying, but I admit the vocabulary was a bit difficult. I don't really want it to be simple, as in, only a couple of words, I just can't bring myself to do the research, and am asking a favor.

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 33yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that mutnuaq is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
In the end no matter what happens in science religion just has to say god made it. Case closed. For them if that's their belief. We can't see the whole picture ourselves yet to "know" anything on the subject anyways. If you sit there and think of how your body is made up of a trillion cells made up of trillions of atoms held together by electricity every one of which a slave to your will and as you type are pounding against trillions of more atoms held together in the perfect shapes of keys in your keyboard while your on a blue sphere hurling around a burning ball of gas 1,300,000 times bigger than the sphere we live on while we are spinning 900 miles an hour you realize that you're not even capable of truly observing reality to begin with. There are also 10 to the 24th power stars out there all doing the same thing and who knows how many of those have produced life in all shapes and sizes. Also there is anti matter dark matter black holes time warps...oh yea and the fact that time is considered a dimension is pretty cool too. In order to KNOW if there is a creator or not we have to KNOW everything else there is in the entire universe. THEN put it all together and how it works like a jigsaw puzzle. When you realize just how far we are from that it only makes sense to hold off on any statements of of certainty either way because that's just being arrogant and a borderline asshole. Either way. You can always say it is my belief. But you cannot say I KNOW.

Atheists typically see the world as they like it to be. Rarely do they think of the horrible fact that they have to kill an animal burn it's flesh then chew that meat off of it's bones. They just think of it as "food". I'd also like to point out in science we also know this atom has this job or this cell has this job or this animal has this job or purpose. Yet we cannot find our purpose? Why is it that everything else seems to have one but we don't?

We are all made up of star dust. Isn't that a scientific fact? In the bible god said he made man from dust. Time is relative also therefor the context used in the bible is meaningless to us and our perception. Until we reach an intellect close to that of a "God" and a perception close to that of a god then we shouldn't be so quick to say we "know" anything. Because while we can do alot we don't fully grasp how or why it works. Just think of how many random negative side affects pop up from new scientific techniques? The reason for that is that we know a certain serious of actions/reactions causes something but we rarely fully understand how and why.

Not that I believe in god, I just don't disbelieve either. Also i believe it's folly to argue using quotes and rationale from obvious frauds in all the religions there are. Like the God created man in his image, If this were the case then god would be a bipedal entity who needed eyes to see and a mouth to eat and speak. That's not a god but an organism like ourselves.

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Religion AND Science/ Relgion OR Science
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