Science and religion

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Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173116 wrote:
Thanks for your input. I find it interesting that you distinguish between spiritual and sensual perceptions. In what ways could you or would you further define these terms? For yourself or more generally?

I think highly of a fusion of the spiritual and sensual, but this is not common, in my opinion. Smile


Just to throw some unscrupulous ideas on the table where such a fusion may possibly occur - psychedelic drugs experiences, near death experiences, meditative trance experiences and the state of bliss.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:17 pm
@Jackofalltrades phil,
Jackofalltrades;173476 wrote:
Just to throw some unscrupulous ideas on the table where such a fusion may possibly occur - psychedelic drugs experiences, near death experiences, meditative trance experiences and the state of bliss.


All of these are great. I think they all give humans an occasional glimpse at how intense their emotions and sensations can be. We don't lack for answers. Our problem is perhaps just our shriveled hearts, that have no love what for is before us all the time. Instead, we "worship" concepts, obsess over concepts, and have little or no respect for feeling, sensation--love and beauty. Of course drugs can also bring one face to face with mortality. Shrooms intensify the experience of one's mortality sometimes, and one is forced to evolve a philosophy that can gel with this being-towards-death.

There's a great video posted on my profile by a friend. A stroke victim who is also a neurologist describes quite an experience. Smile
 
reasoning logic
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:40 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173480 wrote:
All of these are great. I think they all give humans an occasional glimpse at how intense their emotions and sensations can be. We don't lack for answers. Our problem is perhaps just our shriveled hearts, that have no love what for is before us all the time. Instead, we "worship" concepts, obsess over concepts, and have little or no respect for feeling, sensation--love and beauty. Of course drugs can also bring one face to face with mortality. Shrooms intensify the experience of one's mortality sometimes, and one is forced to evolve a philosophy that can gel with this being-towards-death.

There's a great video posted on my profile by a friend. A stroke victim who is also a neurologist describes quite an experience. Smile


I do seem to agree with most of what you have written, Especially about the mushrooms. If those young people would stay out of my cow field I do believe that it would help to stop them from being as delusional.

[Concepts] The big problem that we all seem to have is confirmation bias, the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms with our preconceptions.:detective:
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:52 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic;173493 wrote:
I do seem to agree with most of what you have written, Especially about the mushrooms. If those young people would stay out of my cow field I do believe that it would help to stop them from being as delusional.

[Concepts] The big problem that we all seem to have is confirmation bias, the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms with our preconceptions.:detective:


Well, yes. We do have a bias. And this bias is an itch for coherence. But if the itch is strong enough, a person can itch themselves into a situation that no longer itches. Hegel's dialectical progression is all about this itch.

By the way, I've only done shrooms twice. I'm sorry about those kids in your cow patch. Drugs are largely wasted on more shallow purposes, and indeed many a burnout is evidence of the dangers involved w/ them. But Robert Graves argues that drugs were intimately connected with the creation of Greek myth. Sometimes a little help from our friends isn't a bad thing. Last time I did shrooms, I was faced w/ intense death terror. I let go, accepted it, was flooded with an indescribable love. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't have the concepts ready to transform terror into deep deep bliss. It was more beautiful than sex. And there was zero reliance on the supernatural. My love was for the here and now, and the people with me that night. Humans are capable of far more joy than is realized. This is why it frustrates me to see religion reduced to mere belief. Belief is just a yes or no to an idea in one's head. We can't experience anything beyond us. It's obvious really. Unless we change, we are only playing with thoughts. And if no feeling is involved, who cares? What does anything mean in the absence of feeling? Nothing.:detective:

By the way, I can feel love w/o the drugs, but the drugs did take it to a new level. Is that cheating? Well, I'm just you honest reporter on the seen/felt. Note that journalistic hat & anchorman's microphone. :flowers:
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 03:01 pm
@jack phil,
Jacques Maritain wrote:
The irony that the notion that man should restrict himself to empirical facts was originally derived from a theological understanding of man's limited ability to grasp God's nature.


But what has that to do with my post?

Remember that I did not say that science and theism didn't have a connection. What I did say was that, that science was popularized in a Christian society, is not a good reason to believe science has a connection with Christianity. Much like, that cotton candy was popularized in a Christian society, is not a good reason to believe cotton candy has a connection with Christianity. A good majority of the world was, and still is, considered Christian. And this is one good reason why we need more information than that the thing was popularized in a Christian society, to know if the thing has a connection with Christianity.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 03:02 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173415 wrote:
Allow me to cite one historian of Science, David Lindberg:
The irony that the notion that man should restrict himself to empirical facts was originally derived from a theological understanding of man's limited ability to grasp God's nature.
I suppose one can thank monotheism or monism for the notion that there is a single unifying priniciple behind reality as opposed to polytheism or zorastaranism. Hence the scientific search for the TOE.

Somewhere along the way the notion that the unifying principle was some kind of rational purposeful intelligence (logos) got dropped in favor of blind indifference and creation through accident. Somewhere along the way mind and subjective experience got dropped out. So now we perceive ourselves as tiny little and largely insignificant sparkles of life and consciousness in a universe which is mostly composed of dead inert mindless senseless matter.
I think far too much of reality (experience) gets left out in this objective, rational, scientific view of the world. It is a book without an author, a story without a teller.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 03:03 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172749 wrote:
I know. Hence why it's foolish to try to claim science as the highest much less the only legitimate source of truth. Science is no substitute for philosophy or religion.


But this is just the ever present assumption in these debates that religion is a legitimate source of truth (whatever that means). Science is fallible --> religion must have the answers, is how the argument always seems to go.

Statisticians are fallible as observers, so they rely on statistics to make a judgment. These statistics are fallible, but we don't turn back to the judgment of the statistician do we?? That's the REASON who went for statistics in the first place!

Philosophy is the statisticians judgment about his statistics in this example. I don't know why you lump it in with religion.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 04:30 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173508 wrote:
But this is just the ever present assumption in these debates that religion is a legitimate source of truth (whatever that means). Science is fallible --> religion must have the answers, is how the argument always seems to go.

You do make a good point. Science is fallible and knows itself as such. I rate philosophy higher than science on certain issues that science isn't suited for, which essentially boil down to dialectical issues, or the coherence of our fundamental ideas concerning human experience.

I don't believe in any God outside of human experience. We can name human experience in various ways. "God" is not a 4 letter word. But it is still a word. I personally think that science and religion are not or at least should not be enemies. Science doesn't answer to questions of value. And religion does not generally offer testable descriptions of experience. There are emotional religious experiences, but these can only be tested first person, and they can't be quantified. Metaphors and narratives described such experience better than equations. Just opinions. Smile
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 04:43 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173552 wrote:
You do make a good point. Science is fallible and knows itself as such. I rate philosophy higher than science on certain issues that science isn't suited for, which essentially boil down to dialectical issues, or the coherence of our fundamental ideas concerning human experience.

I don't believe in any God outside of human experience. We can name human experience in various ways. "God" is not a 4 letter word. But it is still a word. I personally think that science and religion are not or at least should not be enemies. Science doesn't answer to questions of value. And religion does not generally offer testable descriptions of experience. There are emotional religious experiences, but these can only be tested first person, and they can't be quantified. Metaphors and narratives described such experience better than equations. Just opinions. Smile


But metaphors and narratives can be described. They can be described as meaningless, for example. Or false. Science and religion are opposed to each other because religion offers narratives that say that stem cell research is wrong, for example. Science offers a different narrative. Philosophy uses the scientific narrative to criticize the religious narrative.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 05:44 pm
@jack phil,
prothero;173506 wrote:
Somewhere along the way the notion that the unifying principle was some kind of rational purposeful intelligence (logos) got dropped in favor of blind indifference and creation through accident.


This is connected to the quote from David Lindberg provided by Jacques Maritain, previously.

As noted, certain aspects of Aristotleanism were condemned in 1270 and 1277 first by the Bishop of Paris and then by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Why was this? According to Gillespie (The Theological Origins of Modernity, Ch 1) these condemnations heralded the beginning of the 'nominalist revolution'.

The reasons given by Gillespie included, first, the association of Aristotleanism with Islam. At this time in history, the commentaries of the Islamic scholars Avicenna and Averroes were held in high esteem. It was their milieu that had preserved the teachings of Aristotle during the European Dark Ages. The Church was therefore suspicions of Aristotleanism because of its association with Islam, especially following the failure of the Crusades.

Second, as noted by Lindberg, theology returned to an emphasis on the omnipotence of God, which was the central thesis of William of Ockham (seen by Gillespie as the originator of nominalism).
Quote:
There is thus no immutable order of nature or reason that man can understand and no knowledge of God except through revelation. Ockham thus rejected the scholastic synthesis of reason and revelation and in this way undermined the metaphysical/theological foundation of the medieval world.
(my bolds)

Another factor was the spirituality of the Franciscans (of whose order Ockham was a member) whose theology 'destroyed the order of the world that scholasticism had imagined to mediate between God and man and replaced it with a chaos of radically individual beings. However, it united each of these beings directly to God. From the Franciscan point of view, life in [such a] radically individualized world seemed chaotic only to those who did not see the unity of creation in God' (p27)

So, Prothero, maybe this is what happened to your 'rational, purposeful intelligence'. Such thinking was declared impudent paganism by the nominalists who insisted that God needed in no way to conform to man's sense of what is rational. 'What is good is good not in itself, but simply because God wills it. Thus while today God may save the saints and damn the sinners, tomorrow he may do the reverse' (Gillespie, p23). While faith in the inscrutable, all-powerful God remained, we earthlings simple confined ourselves to the observation of physical realities through natural philosophy, up to the point where God became 'a ghost in his own machine' and his existence was deemed superfluous. Ta-da. Welcome to modernity.

Jebediah;173508 wrote:
But this is just the ever present assumption in these debates that religion is a legitimate source of truth (whatever that means). Science is fallible --> religion must have the answers, is how the argument always seems to go.


'You shall know the Truth', said Jesus, 'and the truth shall set you free' (John 8:32). I don't think that this refers to propositional, hypothetical or scientific truth, such as Quito being the capital of Equador, or the specific density of iron being greater than that of water, or the sum of 2 + 2 being 4. To what truth, then, does it refer? I like to think of it as capital T Truth: inner freedom, a condition of being free from conflict and sorrow, unencumbered by possessions or opinions, being in the world but not of it. This is the kind of truth that religion is concerned with, the subject of the Sermon on the Mount, and many other treasures of world spirituality.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:17 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173415 wrote:
Allow me to cite one historian of Science, David Lindberg:

The irony that the notion that man should restrict himself to empirical facts was originally derived from a theological understanding of man's limited ability to grasp God's nature.


Well this makes a rather extensive assumption that god's nature can not be known. But by what criteria was this determined? Sound like to me it is just more guess work as an attempt to try and hide rationalizing.

Please show me how it was determine that god's nature is too extensive to know.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:27 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173552 wrote:
I don't believe in any God outside of human experience.


I am frequently entertained by your verbal improvisations but this one sets off all kinds of alarm bells for me. I don't want to derail the thread at this point by considerations of such idiosyncrasies, but perhaps the opportunity might arise elsewhere to give it the treatment it deserves....
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:31 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;173603 wrote:
I am frequently entertained by your verbal improvisations but this one sets off all kinds of alarm bells for me. I don't want to derail the thread at this point by considerations of such idiosyncrasies, but perhaps the opportunity might arise elsewhere to give it the treatment it deserves....


I really want to have that conversation! Please invite me if it comes to be.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:56 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;173579 wrote:
'You shall know the Truth', said Jesus, 'and the truth shall set you free' (John 8:32). I don't think that this refers to propositional, hypothetical or scientific truth, such as Quito being the capital of Equador, or the specific density of iron being greater than that of water, or the sum of 2 + 2 being 4. To what truth, then, does it refer? I like to think of it as capital T Truth: inner freedom, a condition of being free from conflict and sorrow, unencumbered by possessions or opinions, being in the world but not of it. This is the kind of truth that religion is concerned with, the subject of the Sermon on the Mount, and many other treasures of world spirituality.


Well, if you let me come by your house I can unencumber you of some of your possessions. I don't find mine cumbersome, so I probably wouldn't find yours cumbersome either. I could throw them away if I did.

I don't find opinions to be cumbersome either, what do you mean by "unencumbered" here?

I know what it means to be in the world, but "of the world"?

Inner freedom, being free from conflict and sorrow, these are common subjects. I caught part of a sitcom the other day that dealt with being free from conflict. I suppose that simply by taking in a large number of claims about these kind of truths one might arrive at better answers. But the investigation of them remains firmly with science and philosophy. There is religious philosophy--but it tends be a product not a process. It has no more claim to truth than the sitcom (in the strict sense. I'm not going to "captain crunch" you Very Happy. The number of people who believe something and how serious it is considered to be are worth taking into account when surveying the field).

I guess that's the difference to me. Science and philosophy produce things, find things. But if I take the result of that, for example a book like "consciousness explained" by Daniel Dennett, I am simply absorbing information. I can, possibly, use it to achieve understanding--I have to work at accomadating it with other information. If I didn't do that, and simply read it over and over for the next 2000 years, that would be like religion. Of course, even religions (as you were saying earlier with that Janki (?) guy) break free from that and have something of the philosophical and scientific spirit. They reinterpret the texts like the supreme court reinterprets the constitution. But all in all it doesn't look good for the religious method of finding truth. It is constrained and dogmatic.

The idea that science's fallibility is proof of religion's worth is one of the great myths of our time. Eagerly and uncritically promoted by traditionalists.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:33 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173615 wrote:
I suppose that simply by taking in a large number of claims about these kind of truths one might arrive at better answers. But the investigation of them remains firmly with science and philosophy.


Indeed. There is a view that all the religious philosophies are finally concerned with liberation, that 'the kingdom of heaven', and that the various other terms such as moksha, nirvana, enlightenment, salvation, deliverance, are all ciphers for the same state of being. This is the 'perennialist' view, as described in Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy. It has also been of interest to scientists - for example William James' Varieties of Religious Experience addressed this kind of idea (although his approach has regrettably been abandoned in favour of Darwinian rationalism).

Understanding these types of claims also forms a large part of the discipline of comparative religion. There is a large literature on the subject, with contributions from many outstanding writers and theorists, such as Mercea Eliade, several of whose works are fundamental for understanding the subject matter (e.g. The Sacred and the Profane; The Myth of the Eternal Return). Cultural anthropologists like Levi-Strauss, Durkheim and Max Weber also have some important things to say about it.

One book that should definitely be considered is R. M. Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness, subtitled A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind, which argues that the human species is evolving towards a state of consciousness which is as far above our current state as we now are above that of animals. In his view, the various higher religions (and a good deal of philosophy) originates with individuals who have attained this state, including Jesus Christ and the Buddha (and Spinoza, Walt Whitman, Mohamed, and others.)

I believe this represents an attempt to understand religious consciousness in its own terms - in other words, without reducing it to 'primitive science' which is how most atheists characterise it. But it is a scientific argument, in that it attempts to describe the phenomena behind religious consciousness generally, not in terms of revelation or belief.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:13 pm
@jack phil,
A human life confined to pure objectivity and pure reason is really not a life to be admired or emulated. We are both emotive (subjective and passionate) and rational (objective) creatures and any metaphysical world view which does not take both into account is inadequate, not applicable and is inherently incomplete.

Religion is perhaps closer to art than to science. In my view art and religion speak directly to the subjective truth of human experience. For this type of experience langauge and rational conceptions do not seem well suited or adequate. I do not think one can objectively, rationally and scientifically get at the experience of listening to great music, looking at great art or mystical union with the one. Non the less this type of experience is part of the human condition, human experience and in many instances more determinative of human history, human lives and human events than science and reason.

Subjective ideals, visions and goals are the driving motivation in most human behavior. Reason and science are a means to an ends. The ends is usually some form of subjective truth driven by emotion and passion. Technology and science are no substitute for aesthetic and ethical goals.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:45 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173480 wrote:
All of these are great. I think they all give humans an occasional glimpse at how intense their emotions and sensations can be. We don't lack for answers. Our problem is perhaps just our shriveled hearts, that have no love what for is before us all the time. Instead, we "worship" concepts, obsess over concepts, and have little or no respect for feeling, sensation--love and beauty. Of course drugs can also bring one face to face with mortality. Shrooms intensify the experience of one's mortality sometimes, and one is forced to evolve a philosophy that can gel with this being-towards-death.

There's a great video posted on my profile by a friend. A stroke victim who is also a neurologist describes quite an experience. Smile


I am quite naive, and realise how under educated i am. When you wrote 'shrooms' i took my dictionary to check up. It was not there. I thought, 'are you talking about mushrooms?', and if so 'why are fungal organisms being bought into a discussion on science and religion'. ha ha...... I am so dumb! Its some kind of a drug, isn't it? My apologies to bring drugs into this discussion.

Anyway, lets come back to the relevent issues. On sensory and spiritual experiences, i say, you will find the differences while being in a meditative state, or in a near death experience both of which i have personal experience of.

Spirituality has different connotations to different people. It is not just some neurological or bio-chemical activity. Thats what drugs do. It is gross experience. The activity of consciousness has to be experienced to be realised. This is only possible, imho, by being in meditation. This kind of experience (within the mind) is not a religious experience.

Religion is all external aspects of human life. At the core of all religious experience's lies an ubiquitous sense of awe and wonderment. This need not be intellectual, although this sense can also be reasoned out.

The problems lies in intellectualism and reasonings. We tend to forget that religion and science, both are attempts by humans to know the truth. One uses faith and spirituality, the other uses materials and reasons. One uses tradition and reverence, other relies more on senses and data.

One deals with moral codes, and regulate human behaviour, while the other is concerned only with the natural laws.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:48 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173557 wrote:
But metaphors and narratives can be described. They can be described as meaningless, for example. Or false. Science and religion are opposed to each other because religion offers narratives that say that stem cell research is wrong, for example. Science offers a different narrative. Philosophy uses the scientific narrative to criticize the religious narrative.


Well, I can philosophically do without religious narratives, but if one can enjoy them strictly as poetry, they do indeed have meaning, at least for me. I do indeed understand the frustration with religion that invades the pragmatic territory of science. Of course religion can be justified as "subjectively" pragmatic if it helps a person find their way in life. And it must be admitted that questions of value are primary. Still, I personally don't think abstract religion is satisfying. True or truer religion would seem to be a matter of the heart, and not just the mind.

Personally, I think a person can enjoy both, but perhaps only if they allow each their proper sphere, and this seems difficult if religion insists on itself as history or cosmology. Still, science is a method with blindspots. It depends, I think, on consensus and the senses. Internal experience is difficult or impossible to quantity or share sometimes. Of course if a person interprets these claims in a way that re-describes the social reality, certain other humans are naturally going to demand proof/persuasion, and not just assertions. That said, there is much that science can not tell us, and sophisticate speculations by those civilized enough to express their opinions without imposing on the freedom of others seems perfectly respectable. For me it's a case by case basis. Personally, my view would currently be considered radically skeptical in regards to concepts. Religions tend to offer abstractions that please us subjectively, and science tends to offer us more objectively useful abstractions. In either case, it's easy for humans to take these abstractions as the whole story although sensation and emotion are every bit as real.Smile

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 12:57 AM ----------

Jackofalltrades;173701 wrote:

Spirituality has different connotations to different people. It is not just some neurological or bio-chemical activity. Thats what drugs do. It is gross experience. The activity of consciousness has to be experienced to be realised. This is only possible, imho, by being in meditation. This kind of experience (within the mind) is not a religious experience.

Religion is all external aspects of human life. At the core of all religious experience's lies an ubiquitous sense of awe and wonderment. This need not be intellectual, although this sense can also be reasoned out.

The problems lies in intellectualism and reasonings. We tend to forget that religion and science, both are attempts by humans to know the truth. One uses faith and spirituality, the other uses materials and reasons. One uses tradition and reverence, other relies more on senses and data.

One deals with moral codes, and regulate human behaviour, while the other is concerned only with the natural laws.


I agree w/ everything you say, except that I don't consider your bias against drugs 100% justified. Personally, I think a person should be able to get there w/o drugs, but we all like coffee. Or most of us.

Yes, it's over-intellectualized. The great thing about philosophy, which is intellectual, is that is questions this very intellectualism. And Wittgenstein did a great job of showing the danger of mistaking propositions for life. That's my interpretation. No, it's not bio-chemical as experienced, and "bio-chemical" is an abstraction, an intellectualization. But this abstraction is useful to natural science and physiology, so I don't object to it. In my mind, the important thing is to remember that life is experience first-person, and that emotion and sensation are irreducible. No concept of any kind changes that. Period. Concept or Form is just another intelligible layer of experience that is laid against sensation and emotion like a measure.

If meditation has worked for you, I am glad to hear. The fact that you speak against religion being over-intellectual is something I relate to. Still, one should remember that different drugs have different effects on different people. The world is wide. Lives have radically different shapes. I don't like junkies or addicts, and I have known some. This doesn't negate the value that drugs have had for humanity. A trip to the dentist should make us all grateful. Why should there not be a biochemical element to the effects of meditation? Ken Wilbur hooked a machine up to his brain while meditating, to show how he could change the waves. I have learned something from his books, but hardly idolize the man. Still, he sought to fuse East and West, philosophy science and religion. He didn't need a bad guy. He took what he thought was best in all of these, and did his thing. I wish you well. Smile

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 12:59 AM ----------

prothero;173699 wrote:
A human life confined to pure objectivity and pure reason is really not a life to be admired or emulated. We are both emotive (subjective and passionate) and rational (objective) creatures and any metaphysical world view which does not take both into account is inadequate, not applicable and is inherently incomplete.

I absolutely agree. We don't have to sacrifice one to the other. A life without passion is a sad and empty life, in my opinion. Value does not fit into propositions. As far as friends go, I would choose those with "wisdom of the heart" over those with objective know-how, but I would let the know-how guys design the automobiles and airplanes. Smile

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 01:02 AM ----------

jeeprs;173672 wrote:
Indeed. There is a view that all the religious philosophies are finally concerned with liberation, that 'the kingdom of heaven', and that the various other terms such as moksha, nirvana, enlightenment, salvation, deliverance, are all ciphers for the same state of being. This is the 'perennialist' view, as described in Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy. It has also been of interest to scientists - for example William James' Varieties of Religious Experience addressed this kind of idea (although his approach has regrettably been abandoned in favour of Darwinian rationalism).

I like this view, because it includes potentially all humans, and is not ethnocentric, and does not depend on exclusion. If no one has watched that video posted by Attano on my profile, I highly recommend it. This stroke victim is a scientist. She describes an intense experience in terms of right and left brain hemispheres.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 12:23 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173702 wrote:
I like this view, because it includes potentially all humans, and is not ethnocentric, and does not depend on exclusion. If no one has watched that video posted by Attano on my profile, I highly recommend it. This stroke victim is a scientist. She describes an intense experience in terms of right and left brain hemispheres.


Well, yeah! I saw that Jill Bolte Taylorvideo the on the TED website last year. Fantastic. And I hope the understanding that religion, in the broader sense of 'religion and spirituality', is something much larger and much more real than Protestant fundamentalism (or any other type) , is starting to get through.

As for the 'perenialist' view, I think it is the only one worth having. Certainly it might be, in fact usually is, necessary to remain true to the path or the faith that is really yours. But at least in this kind of model, there is the possibility of a genuine plurality of views rather than materialism (all religion is delusion) or Christian triumphalism (Christianity is the only truth.)

Some will find it hard to accept, but there actually is a 'sacred science', scientia sacra, which has been known and practiced for millenia. Jill Bolte Taylor gets that, although via rather an unorthodox initiation.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 12:34 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;173717 wrote:
Well, yeah! I saw that Jill Bolte Taylorvideo the on the TED website last year. Fantastic. And I hope the understanding that religion, in the broader sense of 'religion and spirituality', is something much larger and much more real than Protestant fundamentalism (or any other type) , is starting to get through.

Fundamentalism may be the worst enemy real religion ever had. My guess is that a founder has some intense experience that he describes metaphorically, or perhaps interprets according to the cosmology of his time. Followers latch onto the metaphors or the cosmology and neglect the experience, which presumably would require a change of heart. Instead, they use misunderstood metaphors as a way to be self-righteous, accuse others of "sin." If there's one thing I love about Blake (or 100) it's that he symbolically associates all accusation with the Devil, who of course he does not believe in in any supernatural sense. True religion is a love of other human beings and the world share. Accusation and righteousness are the exact opposite of Blakean "religion" which is really just philosophy done by a painter who recognizes how numinous religious symbols are. And he was right there when Newton's genius was misunderstood as an explanation rather than a description. He also lived in a corrupt society where sexual repression required women to live as prostitutes and children to work night and day in factories or as chimney sweeps. Excuse this Blakean interlude. Smile

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 01:38 AM ----------

jeeprs;173717 wrote:

As for the 'perenialist' view, I think it is the only one worth having. Certainly it might be, in fact usually is, necessary to remain true to the path or the faith that is really yours. But at least in this kind of model, there is the possibility of a genuine plurality of views rather than materialism (all religion is delusion) or Christian triumphalism (Christianity is the only truth.)

Some will find it hard to accept, but there actually is a 'sacred science', scientia sacra, which has been known and practiced for millenia. Jill Bolte Taylor gets that, although via rather an unorthodox initiation.


Yes, the sacred science is obscured by all the hypocrisy and misunderstanding. This is why Jung was so great in my eyes. He went at it like a post-Kantian science, and specialized in patients whose problems were a lack of meaning or the problem evil rather than sexual neurosis. As you surely know, he thought that deities were spontaneously created by the psyche, and that man was a deeply symbolic animal. Jung, Blake, and other, have managed to have their cake and eat it too. I think that the sacred science is likely to be embraced only by becoming more explicitly metaphorical. Of course I think that many of those who have experienced something do so sensually and emotionally, and simply do not require cosmological answers. And this in itself supports that they have had profound experiences. Smile
 
 

 
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