Science-based spirtuality

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Magical Realist, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Is there a way to be scientific and spiritual at the same time? By "spiritual" I don't necessarily mean "religious". By "spiritual" I mean having an aesthetic and ethical vision of life based on values like reason and human creativity. This does not even entail belief in a God per se. Einstein for instance had an awe and wonder for the universe that did not require personification as some ghostly overlord. Others may find in quantum physics support for a buddhist or transcendentalist idealism. CAN science accomodate the spiritual needs of the human mind? Or is it doomed to offer us only a nihilistic and reductionistic fatalism?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I think most scientifically minded people have an awe and wonder for the universe that does not require "personalization as some ghostly overlord"...
     
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Why call it spirituality, then?
     
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I take spirituality defined in the largest sense possible as:

    "Spirituality is the concept of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality;[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the "deepest values and meanings by which people live."[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life. Spiritual experiences can include being connected to a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; joining with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world."-----http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality
     
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    You may want to choose your words a little more carefully, 'cuz you're currently very vague and open to interpretation. For example, what does any of that have to do with "an aesthetic and ethical vision of life based on values like reason and human creativity" and/or "awe and wonder for the universe that did not require personification as some ghostly overlord"?
     
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

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    So you're supposing that there is some kind of immaterial reality, which immediately means that you and I can't operate on the same wavelength, and I could never call myself a spiritualist even if I believed everything else you said.

    If that's not an accurate portrayal of your beliefs, then I suggest thinking up a new name for the concept. I mean, we all believe in transcendence and feel awe and wonderment, but I would never call that a spiritual realm or a spiritual nature. I think it's all very much a part of the human condition, and as such there's no need to differentiate between the part of you that does science and the part of you that reels when it sees a picture from the Hubble.
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I'm glad you admit to "believing in transcendence" cuz that's basically the gist of what I'm meaning here. What do you mean by that? I mean relating to reality as one whole that exists totally beyond me. Perhaps "spiritual" is too laden with connotations of spirits and spiritualism. But for the sake of all the others out there that can appreciate its non-religious and non-supernaturalist meaning, I won't be editing my OP any time soon.
     
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    The scientific does not necessarily contradict the spiritual. Most people understand that the spiritual is that which is emotionally supportive and intellectually inspirational. It is a holistic heuristic for the purely qualitative, which is necessary beyond science but not beyond some measure of scientific methodology.
     
  12. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I just mean things like how we feel when a song plays, or what our mind experiences when we meditate, or look at a deep-field image of space. They're not tangible things, necessarily, but they're not immaterial or supernatural, either. The things we maybe don't quite understand about ourselves.

    To call that "spirituality" is, in my mind, to connect it to some immaterial reality that exists beyond this material one, and that's not at all what I suspect is at the heart of such experiences. It's all chemistry in the brain, not us tapping into some other dimension or "level" of reality. Not to mention that it's such a wishy-washy term that has far too many connotations that are entirely unrelated to what we're talking about, including religious ones. I think you'd be better leaving it out.
     
  13. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Spirituality like religious behavior?

    How do we extract this attitude from the general population?
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I find myself getting swept up into awe over all sorts of aspects of this scientific universe--its immeasurable size, its meticulous order, its deep mystery, and its astounding beauties. I may be reacting to chemicals inside my brain, but I am also reacting to a concrete reality that actually has these attributes and exists apart from me. Einstein even went so far as to call it a religious feeling. I don't go that far because frankly I think religion is a bunch of hogwash. But one can still have the sense of humility and astonishment that religion endeavors to stimulate simply by observing this miraculous, dare I say, magical, reality we all live and breath in.




    "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of all true art and science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man."


    Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose spirituality includes religious behavior, but it isn't the same as it. I have spiritual experiences reading poetry, viewing art, listening to music, and communing with nature that would not fit into the conventional definition of religious or theistic experience. I'm simply living out a fundamental axiom of reason: that the whole is always superior to any of its parts. I am a part of that whole, a whole I can only catch in glimpses but nonetheless know exists far beyond anything I can think about it.
     
  16. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    I believe God/Science are very compatible.

    I believe that we are all part of the same thing. I have given larger explanations in the past but am tired and busy at the moment.

    Imagine the Universe at the beginning. Imagine some sort of Ether or nothingness somehow became self aware. It is a stretch of the imagination, but so is all other "before time" theories a bit of a stretch.

    Now this nothingness became able to adjust create or adjust energies. Could energy itself be a god conscious? Just a thought.

    So this Consciousness that is just sitting there for millions of years learns it can make slight changes in its environment. It begins to create the Universe with a plan that includes life. Eventually there are enough solar systems to begin and god divides himself into many people living various lives.

    Now god is happy because god can experience life from so many aspects, while before he was just sitting there. I think mankind are all parts of god experiencing lifetimes for god, and our souls will always maintain our identities, but will return to god.

    God knows every sparrow that falls in the forest for he is every sparrow that falls in the forest.

    God is the sum of all things plus a bit more.

    It is easy to be scientific if you think of god like Gamma rays, or some high vibration we cannot detect that permeates all. If you think of god as an old man with a cane, and prescribe to some religions you may have more difficulty as Catholics, etc often have very strict views.

    Law of Attraction is basically a new age religion. Try that.
    Witchcraft, Buddhism, Hindu, might also be considered valid religions for scientific thinking.

    There is much written on this type of thinking if you need expanded. Gnite!
     
  17. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Einstein is attempting to be poetic here, not literal. I disagree with his use of the the word, just as I disagree with his perception of religiosity. Religion is not awe and wonder, it is not mystery. It is the solution to the puzzle: it makes claims of absolute knowledge, and warns against skepticism. The very thing such awe engenders--curiosity--is stifled by religion, so I don't buy the notion that religion is that mystery. No, it's the wrong answer to that mystery.

    This is also one of the many reasons non-theism is superior to theism; a non-theist does not pretend to hold the answers, thus retaining the very mystery Einstein refers to. No religious person feels such awe or wonderment at oil burning for eight days or a bush set aflame. Those glamours don't compare to the ridiculousness of the double slit experiment. I think atheists and non-theists (if there's a difference) tend to expect that the amazement they feel at the wonders of the universe must be what religion is, but I disagree. That amazement may be what leads to religion, but it is not religion in and of itself.

    Anyway, I just think calling such experiences "spiritual" is clumsy.
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    This is another example of a concept in desperate need of new terminology. What use is it to refer to these things as "God?" All you're doing is confusing the matter (not that this is your idea, obviously) by adding divine implications. There's no need.
     
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    UFO's and aliens from other planets are an example of religion and science combined into a modern hybrid. These visitors from another planet, have never been proven to exist, yet there is a faith in science logic that infers these should exist. This takes faith since it lacks direct proof. These aliens are often projected as being higher than human, like superhuman gods. Some people have even claimed to have had contact with these aliens; burning bush to get instruction. These prophets are misunderstood.

    I believe that thousands of years of religious behavior, beginning at the formation of civilization, has become engrained in human behavior genetics. Based on natural selection, anyone who was part of their local religion would have selective advantage over the disbeliever. They would less likely to be killed by the majority. There was a concentration of genes, over thousands of years, with religious behavior disposition.

    Just because atheism wants it to go away, it is not easy to change long term genes in a short period time. The bottom line is it is easier to take a person out of religion, than religion out of the person. The UFO and aliens mythology is projected from within, when people try to become atheists on the surface, but have religious behavior genes. Because of the religion connection, it will parallel the schema of mythology, but make use of modern science to give it an acceptable flavor. They can't believe in God since atheism says, no, but they can believe in aliens since science says yes.
     
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Science actually pisses on the notion of extra-terrestrial visitation, so there goes that whole theory.

    It's not even science that makes any claims about ETs, because there are no ETs to study, and no direct evidence of their existence. Most intelligent people believe they probably do exist because it's just common sense. The bit about higher life forms is just a part of the woo-dom that is UFOlogy, but it has its logic: if there really are aliens visiting earth, it stands to reason that they are more technologically advanced than us, since they are capable of doing what we are not--traversing long distances quickly and often.

    But yeah, pseudoscience in the flimsy guise of legitimate science is often used as a propaganda tool by cranks and woos, both religious and non-religious. I mean, the biggest use of pseudoscience today actually comes from the fringe branches of Christianity, in the form of "Intelligent Design."
     
  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Magical Realist,

    Of course! Why even ask such a question?

    Please be more specific when using the term ''religious'' as it means different things to different people (unless you're referring to modern atheist understanding).
    The other things you mentioned are possible because we are ''spiritual'', essentially, not that we become ''spiritual'' having perceived them.

    It doesn't have to, but God (per definition) is the highest experience (regardless of belief)

    Einstein used his wonder at the universe, to explain the mystery which can never be explained but is somehow known, or understood.


    Why would anyone want to be spiritually accomodated by science?
    Maybe the realisation of something which science unravelled could trigger something in us, but the spiritual bliss (real religious experience) is the realisation which occurs with ourselves.
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What does that even mean? How are we spiritual?

    Unless you believe there is no God, in which case it cannot be the highest experience. But I'm sure that's what you meant.

    What do mean it's somehow known or understood?

    I don't know what "spiritual bliss" is, nor how it relates to "real religious experience," nor the distinction you're making between spirituality accommodated by science and spirituality that occurs within ourselves.

    It sounds again as if you're just talking out of your backside.
     
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "Religious" as in being an adherent to one of the some odd 730 religions existing on this planet? I suppose there are degrees of religiousity among these adherents, but these would still just be varying degrees of adhering to a given religious belief system.

    What does the word "spiritual" mean to you personally? From reading your posts I don't see you as much of an authority in this area.




    Hmm..and here I was thinking that was ketamine.
     

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