Thursday, January 17, 2013

Science, religion, or spirituality?

Science and religion is one sentence? There, I said it. Ah, that feels good. For awhile now, I've been punting by referring to something called T-issues as the means to subsume all things related to the controversy under a future topic (TBD, in other words). Some see those two as not being sufficient; bringing in spirituality can change the tone of the argument.


Today, at last (or, finally), I ran into a site that looks appealing from several senses. We'll ignore some of that discussion, for now, but I can talk about how I got to the site. The WSJ had a review of Neil Shubin's book. WSJ actually referred to Blake's little poem. That Neil presents such a grand sweep that is comprehensible is remarkable. Many who have tried this approach have done so to further some argument. Neil seems to be mainly trying to describe how things unfolded, over the eons, through his understanding. One can always, while reading these things, wonder about the author's underlying belief system (yes, a universal trait, even if it is vehemently denied; science can be as much of a religion as any other such system) and its influence.

So, I went to search (isn't that the modern way?) about Neil and to collect things to read about him or by him. One thing that I notices was that he was going to be talking at a Jewish Community Center. Okay. So, I went to look for statements about his beliefs by others or himself. That led me to this site.

From a quick browse, it looks to have a marvelous mixture of topics. So, then, I decided to make it, for now (let's refer to to the subject as S/R), the center of focus for dealing with T-issues (and t-issues) in the contexts related to truth engineering. For instance, S/R can serve as one of the start-off points for browsing on any of the multitude of subjects related to the topic. If the S/R frameworks (such as this one) have not addressed something, then the search (discussion) can go elsewhere. If that occurs, though, one might wonder why the topic has not come up.


Shubin's large view brings up some interesting points about maintaining cohesion under such a task. Surely, throughout the exposition, one would expect to find inconsistencies. Except, that broad views do peanut-butter over things, so that any contradictions would be smoothed. But, then, how to smooth would not be resolved. Yes, in retrospect, we could agree on the harmony within the message; yet, it would be easy to argue, yes, but let's look at it this way.

One cannot find such understanding going the other way. That is, who understands quantum physics? If you say that you do, please be aware of it mathematical basis. von Neumann, himself, said that we cannot get understanding. Rather, we get used to something. Which, by the way, seems like inuring one's mind rather than getting a grasp of the situation.

That little bit there, large/small - sensible/nonsensical - et al, brings up the major topic: to believe or not to believe (albeit, science requires all sorts of beliefs).

So, either/or is the situation'l choice. At some point, perhaps, we'll have an effective way to deal with the subject. Methinks that the computational, our little genie gone awry, will force the issue.


02/09/2013 -- This year, we'll get more into t-issues. Plenty of people are looking at science/religion topics. Too, Dawkins was quoted as saying that the existence of God ought to be subject to a scientific test. This can be arranged, given the right framework. Perhaps, I'm too old to see it, but its day will come. And, with its advent, we would not have an explanation, necessarily. The benefit? Progress of a nature not seen due to the dampening related to not allowing the broader views. Mind you, science getting into religion may help root out all of those accumulated bits of dross which are so problematic (too many to name here, but I would attempt such an enumeration if there were interest).

02/09/2013 -- Since front pages change quite a bit with feeds, here are two posts to start with: What Believers and Atheists can teach each other (a rabbi talks to a science writer), Is Atheism increasing at the expense of Theism? (love the comment from Cornell: I can’t see God, as he doesn’t personally wave hello to me when I ask him to, therefore he must not exist).

01/22/2013 --  Put two comments relating to blind or delusional. Both ignored. Ought to have referenced by dreams of Hitch (in one, he was scrunched in a public place (as if not wanting to recognize the new reality tht flowed around him), as I walked by him, he grabbed my notebook (as in EOJ material), and started to browse it; later, he and my college roommate visited me at my desk talking about a new school that they were involved in -- perhaps Hitch saw the peripatetic need, at the same time, Hitch sized me up, and I showed him the writing on the wall which is there for all to see, after they left, my whole work area went through some type of transformation, I had met several people there after they went to the wider expanse). 

Modified: 02/09/2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This just submitted at the site referenced in the post.


Theist? A-Theist?

Can the former show evidence in a hard sense? Can the latter actually show some reasonable support for their increasingly vocal position?

Ever look at the blind/delusional axis? There are probably more ways to look at this. But, that axis is a good one, since one staunch a-theist likes to assert (as if he's some epitome) to another that the person is delusional. In that sense, is he showing his blindness (if only, being unaware of the need for manners)?

On the other hand, those who are too literal about Scripture might be called blind to the nuances that the loving Creator put there to enhance the need for the understanding trek. Who says that their understanding (or that of their robed superior) is correct?

When we get to truth, reality is making things more and more complicated for us, not easier. Those chasing the computational dream are compounding several problems.

The first step would be to get science to allow that there is something different about humans. Let's look for it, but in other than a reductionist's mode (after all, mathematics has problems at its core, too). Another step would be to accept all reasonable assertions.

The flying piece of pasta doesn't fit the bill. Know why? Following reason to the limit would be expansionary, not toward silly slime, either way one looked. How do we know this? The power in the atom, essentially, as demonstrated in mid-1900s, is sufficient.