Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

When one compares the cohesive developments of scientific understanding with the diversity of religious belief in the world you will find lots of variations and many different thoughts of which some will be contradicting.

We do agree with Theo Philo, who writes:

“I must admit with Baggini, the scientific understanding seems to have more continuity globally than does religious understanding.  Although certainly there are disagreements and different schools of thought in science, there is nothing like the full blown comprehensive, fundamental, and irreconcilable contradictions that exist between different religious traditions in the world.”

“In fact, people from radically different religious traditions often find themselves working side by side in the field of science taking for granted the same scientifically established truths on which they base their further inquiries.  It seems reasonable to suppose that such cohesion in the discipline of science is largely owing to the chief method of inquiry: induction.” {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

In the previous article you could find that we do have the things that can be seen and scientifically proven, but that we do also have things which can not be seen and which can not be scientifically recorded or testified. We can witness many things we can not understand, and in the past lots of things where contributed to either natural phenomena or gods, being which should have been responsible, because many people do not want to believe that anything can happen without man intervening or without a god causing it to happen.

Today there are still lots of people who do not want to know about God, but as soon as something serious happens in their life (a death, a serious accident, an earthquake or flood) they accuse God of doing that to humankind, though God has nothing to do with it. therefore many do question:

  “What is the best explanation for the observable phenomenon of the world and the universe?”

People are mostly connected with their inner soul (their own being), their psyche, their rational and irrational thinking. They would love to make sense of one’s own personal experiences of the world rather than global or universal phenomenon in general (which would need to include the personal and social experiences of people in general—including those of other religious commitments). {Theo Philo}

The subtle nuances of Hick’s pluralist hypothesis avoid claims that all religions are different paths to the same truth and accepts as a starting point the contradictory claims of the world’s major religious traditions, views that Baggini rightly excludes as untenable. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Faith should not always be the believe in a god or in the God or be the major element of believing God’s revelation without needing any human arguments to establish it. It is easy to believe in the things we can see, hear and feel. Having faith in the things one has good evidence of is not exactly ‘faith’ but more a believe that it is so.  Faith goes a step further than just believing those things we can be aware of or which can be proven scientifically. It is also more than having the experience of something but it is associated with that inner feeling for those things which not always can be explained. It is also more than the expectation that something would happen because our reasoning just says so and it happened so often before, like the sun ‘going under’ knowing that it does not go deep under the earth or expecting the sun rise, knowing it will not come out of the underworld to lighten the upper-world.

According to Theo Philo:

It seems right to reserve the word “faith” in the common vernacular to refer to belief in God, miracles, transcendent realities and deities in the absence of the “ordinary support of evidence or argument” and therefore either go beyond reason or [at least seem to go] against it (33).  The field of apologetics in the Christian worldview that seeks defend Christian faith need not be taken to presuppose that one must have good evidence and argument before one accepts faith, but can be seen rather as more of a defense mechanism against attacks of skeptics who claim that Christian faith is irrational, as Baggini understands it (93).

Faith is the belief in things not seen yet and having hope in that what the person beliefs would be or become a reality and part of its or their own life. Faith also does not have to be build on everything which can be made clear or would have to sound sensible.

Faith is not the same as believing.  Believing in nothing is also faith, because the person has the faith he is right and the other is wrong. As such atheist also believe in things, like the world is round or did commence with the Big Bang or with something else. They also might think or believe this or that may happen when they die or with the world in the future.

All people have to make choices in their life of what they want to believe and what they want to follow as something where they can believe in or have faith in. In Scriptures we are told that we do have to make choices to take care of our life. In the Book of books is warned that we should make the right choices to find the right path, because there are many directions human being can go to.

Faith is much more than religion, believe in the seen and unseen. It is a state of mind which demands action. In the previous chapter we spoke about the Soul which was presented by the ancient philosophers and storytellers as the Psyche or Eros, which had everything to do with love, which makes us heads turn round. That ‘love‘ is an action which demands an other action. So also faith requires action. It is more than just a state of mind, a state of heart, an intent, or emotion. Biblical Faith is so much more than the worldly faith which can do not much. We do believe the words of the Holy Scriptures which tell us that the Biblical Faith can move mountains.

Faith can be found on earth, though Jesus asks his followers if it would be possible to find it when he returns (Luke 18:8). After Jesus had rested his soul and was resurrected by his Father, the apostles their soul found peace when the Comforter had given them the power to speak about their faith in Christ. Today there are still many, but not so much, who still keep the same faith as Jesus and his followers. They feel they are ‘one’, ‘united in Christ’ having one master, one faith, one hope, one and the same direction on the path of Truth and aiming to enter together the small gate to the Kingdom of God.

” (1)  I call upon you therefore, I the prisoner of the Master, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,  (2)  with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  (3)  being eager to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace –  (4)  one body and one Spirit, as you also were called in one expectation of your calling,  (5)  one Master, one belief, one immersion,  (6)  one Elohim and Father of all,1 who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Footnote: 1Mk. 12:32,34, 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, Mk. 12:29-34.  (7)  But to each one of us favour was given according to the measure of the gift of Messiah.” (Ephesians 4:1-7 The Scriptures 1998+)

Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto the Creator of heaven and earth. Those who want to believe in God do have to take the right steps and must believe that God is the Most High, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after him. (Hebrews 11:6) Those who have faith in Christ would love to have the love Jesus had for all those around him. And there where many people with different beliefs which came to see the Nazarene. The rabbi created a pluralistic community of tolerance where unconditional love was practised and still should be practised by those who call themselves Christian. Jesus world is one where the virtue of good deeds outweighs the virtue of formal creeds and where nobody imposes doctrines on others.

Religious authority may by many placed in a denomination. But the church or community Jesus had in mind is not build on an other than God and on the person Jesus, who should be the cornerstone. In case it is constructed on a book, it should be the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures. Faith and religiosity do not lie in an other person, or institution, but in ourselves. For all people in the community believe should continuously be growing and that should make the religious wisdom ever changing. God His Revelation is continuous and we all have to grown in His Wisdom. All are created in the image of God, believers but also atheists. All have the inner feelings or that what some would call “instinct”.

Faith in God and His son brings people of the same faith together to dwell with each other in peace like brethren and sisters and helping each other to seek knowledge in God’s Gift of Knowledge and Guidance, which can be found in the Bible. In Christ we are liberated of the chains of the world and should also be willing to give all others that freedom, to serve humankind in fellowship — “to the end that all souls (= all beings) shall grow into harmony with the Divine” — Thus do we covenant with each other, and with God.

Most Non-trinitarians or Unitarians do have similar views on our relationship with others in the world, Jesus, the son of God and his Father, the Only One God. They are ware that scientists have good reason to point at the natural causes of disasters. A great deal of the suffering and injustice in the world is owing to human agency, and it is up to human agency to set it right.

According to us those who do not believe in God should still have a purpose in life, and to make the best of it they also should have certain faith in something or somewhat.

Theo Philo quotes in Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

a purpose or meaning given to a creature by its creator just isn’t necessarily the kind of purpose or meaning that we are looking for in life when we wonder what the point of living is for us.  If the only point in living is to serve somebody else’s purposes then we cease to be valuable beings in our own right and we merely become tools for others, like paper knives or cloned workers.  This is why a belief in a creator God does not automatically provide life with a meaning.

We do believe the Divine Creator has implanted in every human being the capacity to think and to make choices. Created in the image of the Creator each person has some elements of God implanted in his or her genes. This makes that each individual can use his or her brains to find the truth. For God each individual is himself or herself responsible for the choices he or she is going to make on the path of life.

God does not want to see or is interested in people being content with being a slave to someone else’s purpose and adopt that existentially for himself or herself so that it becomes not just a purpose for somebody else, but for him or her also.

Baggini compares this to a cast system where a certain class of people genuinely thinks it’s their purpose to work for the aristocracy and the upper class.  This certainly puts a dark spin on the otherwise glowing boast of theists who claim to have a “higher” purpose. {Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

It is wrong to think

the religious has to take something on complete blind trust

The Creator wants people to consider what they do. He would love to see people who make the right choice because they thought about it and have reasons to make such or such a choice. We do agree that there are many religious people who actually don’t have any clue what the meaning or purpose of life is, but that they simply trust God has one for them.

Baggini writes in his book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

“there is still the troubling doubt that a meaning that is given to us by others isn’t necessarily the kind of meaning which makes life meaningful for us. … So God or no God, if life is to be really meaningful it must be so in a way which speaks to our own projects, needs, or desires and not just the purposes of whatever or whoever created us”

Such a personal speaking in our inner self, our inner soul, is what going to form us and shall make us into the being that we shall be at the end of the ‘ride’, the ‘end of life’, when all the books of our being shall be closed and we shall find ourselves facing death in peace or in angst.

When people start the race of life, they at first have not enough background to think reasonably and to put their words and way of thinking in good order. When they get older they should come aware of what is good and and what is bad, even when they do not believe in a god or in the God. As we become older and get more knowledge we can open our mind to the “Beginning of everything” it is the Divine Creator, so that He can call us. When He calls us it it up to us to decide if we want to listen to His Words deep in us and want to find His Words in the Book of Guidance He has given the world. Once called the ball in in our camp and we do have to make the goals.

On our way we can encounter all sorts of people and can read all sorts of book, which can give us more knowledge or can get us to think so that we can build up our knowledge to come to more wisdom. With all the information we can get we can come into a state where we do not need to have scientific proof for certain things. We shall have enough knowledge to know which works (books, documents, documentaries, films) we shall be able to trust. But we shall have also enough knowledge to get to know which words we do have to follow and to believe. The seen and unseen shall than not be so important, because the mind shall be constructed to find the necessary building-stones to continue to build in faith.

When we allow knowledge and intelligence create the background for our life and are prepared to change things, we can let faith conquer. when we reached that stadium faith shall be able to give life. Than faith does the impossible. Though we should be aware that faith has to be practised and that it is dead when there are no works to proof the faith.

“(17)  Now this I say, Torah, that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise.  (18)  For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Aḇraham through a promise.  (19)  Why, then, the Torah? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through messengers in the hand of a mediator.  (20)  The Mediator, however, is not of one, but Elohim is one.  (21)  Is the Torah then against the promises of Elohim? Let it not be! For if a law had been given that was able to make alive, truly righteousness would have been by Torah.  (22)  But the Scripture has shut up all mankind under sin, that the promise by belief in יהושע {Jeshua} Messiah might be given to those who believe.  (23)  But before belief came, we were being guarded under Torah, having been shut up for the belief being about to be revealed.  (24)  Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.  (25)  And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.  (26)  For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah {Jeshua}.  (27)  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.” (Galatians 3:17-27 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead.  (18)  But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.  (19)  You believe that Elohim is one. You do well. The demons also believe – and shudder!  (20)  But do you wish to know, O foolish man, that the belief without the works is dead?  (21)  Was not Aḇraham our father declared right by works when he offered Yitsḥaq his son on the altar?  (22)  Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works the belief was perfected?  (23)  And the Scripture was filled which says, “Aḇraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.”  (24)  You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone.  (25)  In the same way, was not Raḥaḇ ? the whore also declared right by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?  (26)  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also the belief is dead without the works.” (James 2:17-26 The Scriptures 1998+)

People of faith may look at the people of science and may listen to the men of philosophy, but they also should give priority to the Words of the Most High and trust in His guidance, trying to find out about the seen and unseen, and not just taking everything for granted, always should he be prepared to question things and to do his research.

Every day we should try to get more knowledge and consider that the Spirit fathoms all things, even the inmost depths of God’s being. For what man is there who knows what a man is, except the man’s own spirit within him? We should keep looking for answers and new things. From the beginning of creation god has given man the right to name things and to create things for himself. We should not stop trying to answer the many questions that come unto us. We also may look at the world religions where they may or may not worship a godhead. (It is wrong to think religion requires a belief in God. There has never been a universal legal definition of religion in English law, given the variety of world religions, changes in society, and the different legal contexts in which the issues arise. The court decided: Religion should not be confined to faiths involving a supreme deity, since to do so would exclude Buddhism, Jainism, and others)  The Christian religion or faith in God and in His son is all about not just A god but about the True God, though many of us may not know exactly what or Who He/She/It is. (see previous posting.) So, also, no one comprehends what God is, except the Spirit of God.  When we choose to follow Christ Jesus we took a stand and we should know that it is not the Spirit of the World that we have received, but the Spirit that comes from God, that we may realize the blessings given to us by Him.

We should speak about these gifts, not in language taught by human philosophy, but in language taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things in spiritual words.  The merely intellectual man, when he is vain, shall probably reject the teaching of the Spirit of God; for to him it is mere folly; he cannot grasp it, because it is to be understood only by spiritual insight. But the man with spiritual insight is able to understand everything, although he himself might be understood by no one.  For ‘who has so comprehended the mind of the Most High Supreme Being as to be able to instruct him?’

Real Christians, however, have the very mind of Christ.

“(4)  And my word and my preaching were not with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  (5)  in order that your belief should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of Elohim.  (6)  Yet we speak wisdom among those who are perfect, and not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age that are being brought to naught.  (7)  But we speak the wisdom of Elohim, which was hidden in a secret, and which Elohim ordained before the ages for our esteem,  (8)  which no one of the rulers of this age knew, for if they had known, they would not have impaled the Master of esteem.  (9)  But as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man what Elohim has prepared for those who love Him.”1 Footnote: 1Isa. 64:4.  (10)  But Elohim has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all matters, even the depths of Elohim.  (11)  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? So also, the thoughts of Elohim no one has known, except the Spirit of Elohim.  (12)  And we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from Elohim, in order to know what Elohim has favourably given us,  (13)  which we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Set-apart Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual matters with spiritual matters.  (14)  But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns indeed all matters, but he himself is discerned by no one.  (16)  For “Who has known the mind of יהוה {Jehovah}? Who shall instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Messiah.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-16 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding article: Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  2. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  3. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  4. Experiencing God
  5. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  7. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  8. Faith
  9. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  10. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  11. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  12. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  13. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  14. Choices
  15. Always a choice
  16. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  17. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  18. To be chained by love for another one
  19. No man is free who is not master of himself
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  22. Choose you this day whom ye will serve
  23. It is a free will choice
  24. For those who make other choices
  25. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  26. Answering a fool according to his folly
  27. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  28. What’s church for, anyway?
  29. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  30. The one who has not had a taste of love
  31. Casual Christians
  32. Christianity is a love affair
  33. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  34. What Jesus did: First things first
  35. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  36. The Greatest of These is Love
  37. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  38. The task given to us to love each other
  39. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  40. God demonstrates his own love
  41. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  42. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  43. Unconditional love
  44. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  45. No fear in love
  46. When we love we do not need laws
  47. Love envieth not
  48. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  49. Love is like playing the piano
  50. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  51. If we love one another, God lives in us
  52. Spread love everywhere you go
  53. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  54. Blessed are those who freely give
  55. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  56. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  57. Work with joy and pray with love
  58. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  59. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  60. Growth in character
  61. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  62. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  63. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  64. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  65. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  66. Parts of the body of Christ
  67. Breathing and growing with no heir
  68. God loving people justified
  69. United people under Christ
  70. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Additional reading:

  1. Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  2. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  3. Against Religion? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  4. Concluding Remarks :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  5. The Unitarian Universalist Church: A Personal Encounter
  6. What Evidence is There That God Exists?
  7. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  8. Direct Faith & Belief
  9. Understanding faith for our salvation
  10. We Have the Best Home
  11. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  12. Researching outside of the Bible – is it safe
  13. “Exercise Faith” / “Believe” and the New World Translation
  14. Why Watchtower has no place criticizing other Christian faiths as unscientific

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  • Why The Big Bang? (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com)
    The difference in The Big Bang and Creationism and why The Big Bang has credibility and Creationism has none.
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    Believing in something does not make it true. No amount of belief makes something true.
  • Come on, atheists: we must show some faith in ourselves | Zoe Williams (theguardian.com)
    This week a 23-year-old Afghan man became the first person to be granted asylum in this country on the basis of his atheism – which, his lawyers argued, would have made life impossible in his country of birth, where religion permeates every aspect of life.
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    Australia accepts the principle of atheism as a belief to be protected, while the United States doesn’t. It’s one of those things nations can cherry-pick from the fruit bowl of international law without feeling that their “civilised” status is compromised. It may be the only belief of that kind right there in the 1951 refugee convention, but with no back-up institution vulgar enough to insist upon it. That is part of our problem, us atheists: we don’t organise.
  • The Irrationality of Relying on Science Alone: God and Science Are Not At War (stopsines.wordpress.com)
    I want to be clear up front that science is not the means to “discovering” God. Science is an immanent discipline. It studies this dimension of our existence. I have always been curious then as to why we’ve tried to use it to justify our belief or lack of belief in a transcendent being. While we hold that science only tests the physical reality, we do not hold that God is bound by the dimensions of this physical reality. By nature, he is beyond time and space. This is what it means to be God. What potter is confined to the size and shape of his clay pot? God is beyond or outside of our dimensions. This is what I mean by transcendent. This is why I say that science will never arrive at God. It is an immanent discipline, testing only what is confined by time and space, and therefore cannot discover transcendent truths.
  • Philosophy v science: Julian Baggini talks to Lawrence Krauss (3quarksdaily.com)
    Julian Baggini No one who has understood even a fraction of what science has told us about the universe can fail to be in awe of both the cosmos and of science. When physics is compared with the humanities and social sciences, it is easy for the scientists to feel smug and the rest of us to feel somewhat envious. Philosophers in particular can suffer from lab-coat envy. If only our achievements were so clear and indisputable! How wonderful it would be to be free from the duty of constantly justifying the value of your discipline.Philosophy-science-009However – and I’m sure you could see a “but” coming – I do wonder whether science hasn’t suffered from a little mission creep of late. Not content with having achieved so much, some scientists want to take over the domain of other disciplines.
  • Atheists Should Accept the Grim Truth Wherever They Find It (str.typepad.com)
    Atheists should point out that life without God can be meaningful, moral and happy. But that’s “can” not “is” or even “should usually be.” And that means it can just as easily be meaningless, nihilistic and miserable.Atheists have to live with the knowledge that there is no salvation, no redemption, no second chances. Lives can go terribly wrong in ways that can never be put right…. Not much bright about that fact.

    Stressing the jolly side of atheism not only glosses over its harsher truths, it also disguises its unique selling point. The reason to be an atheist is not that it makes us feel better or gives us a more rewarding life. The reason to be an atheist is simply that there is no God and we would prefer to live in full recognition of that, accepting the consequences, even if it makes us less happy.

  • A Bad Reason for Thinking that Atheism is not a Religion (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion.  But atheism is not a mere lack of belief in something.  If atheism is just the lack of god-belief, then tables and chairs are atheists.  For they lack god-belief. Am I being uncharitable?  Suppose someone defines atheism more carefully as lack of god-belief in beings capable of having  beliefs.  That is still unacceptable.  Consider a child who lacks both god-belief and god-disbelief.  If lacking god-belief makes him an atheist, then lacking god-disbelief makes him a theist.  So he is both, which is absurd.Obviously,  atheism is is not a mere lack of belief, but a definite belief, namely, the belief that the world is godless.  Atheism is a claim about the way things are: there is no such thing as the God of Judaism, or the God of Christianity, or the God of Islam, or the gods of the Greek pantheon, or . . . etc.  The atheist has a definite belief about the ontological inventory: it does not include God or gods or any reasonable facsimile thereof such as the Plotinian One, etc.  Note also that if you deny that any god exists, then you are denying that the universe is created by God: you are saying something quite positive about the ontological status of the universe, namely, that it does not depend for its existence on a being transcendent of it.  And if it does not so depend, then that implies that it exists on its own as a brute fact or that it necessarily exists or that it causes itself to exist.  Without getting into all the details here, the point is that if you deny that God exists, this is not just a denial  of the existence of a certain being, but implies a positive claim about the ontological status of the universe.  What’s more, if  there is no creator God, then the apparent order of the universe, its apparent designedness, is merely apparent.  This is a positive thesis about the nature of the physical universe.Atheism, then, is not a mere lack of god-belief.  For it implies definite positive beliefs about reality as a whole and  about the nature and mode of existence of the physical universe.
  • Are Liberals Too “Special” to Go to Church? (religiondispatches.org)
    New research from psychologists from the New York University suggests that the desire to feel unique can undermine consensus, cohesion, and mobilization—at least in political contexts.
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    Stern, et al found that “liberals underestimated their similarity to other liberals, whereas moderates and conservatives overestimated their similarity to other moderates and conservatives.”Further, the researchers found that liberals “possess a greater dispositional desire to be unique,” which, they suggest, “likely undermines their ability to capitalize on the consensus that actually exists within their ranks and hinders successful group mobilization.” The “desire to conform” among moderates and, to a greater extent, conservatives, likewise, “allows them to perceive consensus that does not actually exist and, in turn, rally their base.”Liberals, that is, emphasize in their beliefs, actions, and self-understanding uniqueness, creativity, and non-conformity even in the face of sameness. Moderates and conservatives, by contrast, focus on similarity and commonality even when little may in fact exist.
  • Atheism Was the First to Show Me Compassion (jessedooley.wordpress.com)
    what is the issue with the idea of God that pushes most atheists to reject religion and to see it as the supreme evil?
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    When the tribal deity is the supreme king, and that deity is interpreted from a fundamentalist, all-or-nothing approach, then nothing can penetrate or alter that worldview, regardless of the reasonableness of the argument.
  • Julian Baggini – Can you be too intelligent? (prn.fm)
    Our brains are incredible things, for sure, but without the motivations, desires and preferences generated by our animal natures, they would have nothing to do. At this time of the year, for example, we celebrate good food, good drink, good friends, and family – good or otherwise. From a purely rational point of view, none of these things would have any value, because reason alone distinguishes only true and false, not good and bad, better or worse.
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Ian Barbour connecting science and religion

After World War II the deadly possibilities of the Atomic Age raised questions that science couldn’t answer. the world had seen two horrible wars where lives of people were destroyed as if they where of no value. Man had chosen to play god with several experiments, trying to get a proper human Germanic race, destroying those which were seen as the unjust or as the haters of Jesus. Men had become playing for God, wanting to create there own justified world and taking the right to judge in their own hands.

Ian Barbour

Ian Barbour in his office in the chapel at Carleton College in 1999, when he won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In the 1950s, when Barbour began to promote discourse between the two fields, scientists had little tolerance for religion, and theologians had little interest in science. His was a lonely voice for rapprochement. (Jean Pieri, St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Born in Beijing, China the second of three sons of an American Episcopalian mother and a Scottish Presbyterian father, Ian Barbour spent his childhood in China, the United States, and England.  After completing his doctorate in physics he enrolled in Yale University‘s Divinity School and forged a career devoted to bridging the chasm between science and religion. Even before completing his divinity degree in 1956, he was appointed to teach in both the religion and physics departments of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., in 1955. With his degrees in Theology and Physics, Ian Barbour explored the theological implications of science and methodological issues in both fields. In the 1970’s, he co-founded of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program at Carleton, which later became the Environment and Technology Studies program. He retired in 1986 as the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society, but continued to put his ideas on paper. He wrote or edited sixteen books. From 1989 to 1991, he gave the Gifford lectures from 1989 – 1991 at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and in 1999, he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

In the citation nominating Barbour for the 1999 Templeton Prize, John B. Cobb wrote

“No contemporary has made a more original, deep and lasting contribution toward the needed integration of scientific and religious knowledge and values than Ian Barbour. With respect to the breadth of topics and fields brought into this integration, Barbour has no equal”

Barbour pledged $1 million of the prize money to the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, an educational organization affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.

Barbour claimed the basic structure of religion to be similar to that of science in some ways but also differing on some crucial points. Both being part of the same spectrum display ‘subjective’ as well as ‘objective’ features. The subjective include the theory on data, the resistance of comprehensive theories to falsification, and the absence of rules for choice among paradigms. Objective features include the presence of common data, evidence for or against a theory, and criteria which are not paradigm-dependent. The presence of subjective and objective features in both science and religion makes his thinking valuable and original. Barbour’s arguments have been developed in significant and diverse ways by a variety of scholars, including Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Sallie McFague and Robert John Russell. His subjective / objective approach is prominent in the evolving paradigm of Religious Naturalism.

Critical realism could be seen as an alternative to the competing interpretations of scientific theories: classical or naive realism, instrumentalism, and idealism.

A critical realist perspective sees scientific theories yielding partial, revisable, abstract, but referential knowledge of the world that can be expressed through metaphors and models.

Director of the association’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, Jennifer Wiseman said:

“Scientists particularly have appreciated the humble and insightful ways he has considered how we imagine and model the unknowns in each realm.”

His book Myths, Models, and Paradigms (1974), which compared concepts and methods of inquiry in science and religion was nominated for a National Book Award.
Religion in an Age of Science (1990) and Ethics in an Age of Technology (1993), a two-volume set based on a series of lectures he presented in Scotland, received the 1993 book award from the American Academy of Religion.
He later published an updated and revised version of Religion in an Age of Science as Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (1997). In When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? (2000), translated into 14 languages, Barbour reviewed possible responses to the conflict between science and religion, ultimately concluding that the two are not mutually exclusive. In the book he looks at ‘Religion And Science’, The Beginning: ‘Why Did the Big Bang Occur?’, Quantum Physics: ‘A Challenge to Our Assumptions About Reality?’ and Darwin And Genesis: ‘Is Evolution God′s Way of Creating?’.

Barbour’s wife of 64 years, Deane Kern, died in 2011. Barbour suffered a stroke on December 20, 2013 at his home in Northfield, Minnesota, and remained in a coma at Abbott Northwestern Hospital until his death four days later. He is survived by his brother Hugh (Sirkka) of Sleepy Hollow, New York; four children, John (Meg Ojala) of Dundas, Blair of Oak Park, Illinois, David of Richfield, and Heather (Tom Eberhart) of Arlington, Virginia; three grandchildren, Graham Ojala-Barbour (Yinfei Wu) of Minneapolis, Alexandra Barbour Albers of San Francisco, and Reed Ojala-Barbour of Big Bend, Texas; and his great grandson, Edgar Deane Ojala-Barbour.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 18th, at 3 p.m., at Carleton’s Skinner Memorial Chapel with a reception following in Great Hall. Remembrances of Ian may be left in the comments below. The family’s obituary is available on the Bierman Funeral Home’s website.

Ian was a member of the First United Church of Christ in Northfield, where he was a steady worshiper and active member of his congregation. Ian left a wide and deep intellectual legacy, and he also led a life of great kindness and generosity. He was a humble man of deep faith, finding awe and wonder in the natural world, and great love and joy in his family and friends.

Ernest Simmons (Concordia College) wrote:

As a mentor and friend in the theology and science dialog, Ian opened a world of creative interaction for me and his groundbreaking book Issues in Science and Religion contributed to me becoming a theologian and committed to the dialog. He demonstrated that one could be a scientist and with intellectual and scientific integrity affirm the existence of God. My faith was sustained because of his reflection. No words can fully express the gentle kindness with which he approached others whether they be friends or detractors and modeled a way of intellectual and scholarly debate that was constructive to the field. Also, no words can fully express what he has meant to all of us in science and theology as a founder of the field. Blessed be the memory of Ian Barbour. We are all better persons for having been touched by such a gentle giant of an intellect housed in such a kind and caring human presence. Pax Aeterna my friend.

Takashi James Kodera ’69, Professor of Religion, Wellesley College; Rector, part-time, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Hudson, MA, wrote:

May I share with all those who have known Ian Barbour my heart felt gratitude for his pioneering teaching and scholarship. Trained first as a physicist, and later in the academic study of religion, with an abiding commitment to the Quaker tradition, he spearheaded the field of “Science and Religion.”

When I took my first Religion course at Carleton as a “foreign student,” in today’s PC phrase “international student,” it was a course, team taught by Ian Barbour and Bardwell Smith. Due, in large measure, to my woeful language preparation, I did not follow the class proceedings very well. As a “courtesy grade,” as the put it, I received one of the lowest but passing grade.

What I remember of him is the rare combination of personal gentleness and intellectual acumen.

His beloved wife, Deanne, preceded him.

May their souls rest in eternal peace.

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Please Browse Inside Religion and Science by Ian G. Barbour

Find more articles on the relationship of Science and Religion

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Additional reading:

  1. Ian Barbour dies at 90; academic who bridged science-religion divide
  2. Ian Graeme Barbour  (October 5, 1923 – December 24, 2013)
  3. Notices of the passing of members of the Carleton community: Ian Barbour
  4. Ian Graeme Barbour (October 5, 1923 – December 24, 2013), American scholar on the relationship between science and religion.
  5. Ian Barbour, in full Ian Graeme Barbour

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Science and Religion are portrayed to be in ha...

Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Ian Barbour: An Appreciative Note Now That He Has Died (ithinkibelieve.wordpress.com)
    The eminent, perhaps the original, scholar of science and religion leaves a huge legacy behind, one which many of us are very thankful for. Anyone who takes science-and-religion seriously is familiar with his classic 1966 book, Issues in Science and Religion. He had a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and did graduate work in theology at Yale. He was, by all accounts, also a very pleasant man.
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    He isn’t announcing how science and religion ought to or should relate, but rather attempts to understand how they do relate. And the fact is that they relate in several different ways. There’s nothing wrong, as such, to throw your lot in with one particular kind of relation – say, independence, like Stephen Jay Gould did with his NOMA model -, but you’ve stopped being a scientist when you do so, and have proceeded to sit down in the philosophical armchair. Which is quite all right, of course. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But it isn’t scientific.
  • Ian Barbour, academic who bridged science-religion divide, dies at 90 (mcclatchydc.com)
    He “gave birth almost single-handedly to the contemporary dialogue between science and religion,” said Robert John Russell, the founder-director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, a nonprofit teaching and research institute affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. “He made a convincing and lasting case that science and religion are more alike and analogous than unlike and conflictive.”
  • Science without Religion (thoughtuncommon.wordpress.com) > Science without Religion (mortusvox.wordpress.com)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
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    Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)  > Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
    Religion (or spirituality or relation to the Divine, as you prefer) is the realm of the unknown, the unseen, the ethereal and subjective. Science deals with the head, religion with the heart.
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    If we can open our minds to science and our hearts to religion, the conflict disappears and harmony results.+Mooney on the Psychology of Evolution Denial
    Our brains are a stunning product of evolution; and yet ironically, they may naturally pre-dispose us against its acceptance.
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    Religion, especially the extreme versions, is soon going to disappear as well. I don’t believe that those seven things are innate, hard-wired, ways of thinking. They are mostly learned behaviors. There’s no reason to suspect than we can’t teach our children different, and better, ways of thinking. There’s no evidence that I know of that convinces me that essentialism, teleological thinking, dualism, and inability to understand vast time scales are more “natural” than other ways of thinking.Well, if Mooney is wrong about the science that’s one thing. My experience teaching mathematics suggests to me that careful, logical thinking is not something that comes naturally to most people, and the sheer ubiquity of religion in the world suggests that there is some underlying psychological basis for it. So I’m not sure why Larry regards Mooney’s hypothesis as obviously false.
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    Texas A&M professor blends neuroscience, religion in new course

    The course objective is to show that science — especially neuroscience — and religion don’t have to contradict each other.

    “I admit, it’s complicated,” Klemm said. “And sometimes people don’t want to think about complicated things. It’s easier to gloss over ideas.”
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    the important issue to Klemm is how the brain decides what to believe. His syllabus states that an important objective “is to explore how past experiences, secular and religious, train the brain to respond to experiences in spiritual ways and determine the neurobiology of emotional and cognitive processes by which the brain comes to believe anything it accepts as valid.”
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    Einstein’s famous quote about science and religion: what did he mean?

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

    It’s often used to show both Einstein’s religiosity and his belief in the compatibility—indeed the mutual interdependence—of science and religion.  But the quote is rarely used in context, and since I’ve just read the essay in which it appears, I’ll show you that context. But first let me show you how, in that same essay, Einstein proposes what is essentially Steve Gould’s version of NOMA (Non-overlapping Magisteria):

    It would not be difficult to come to an agreement as to what we understand by science. Science is the century-old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thoroughgoing an association as possible. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization. . .
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    Science & Religion
    While Science speaks of facts and logic, religion rely on hope and faith. Science deals with material world that we know; religion is concerned with a divine order that we imagine. Science believes in things that can be proved; religion deals with spiritual ideas that cannot be proved. Science depends on reason; religion on intuition and inner conviction or faith. The scientist works in the laboratory of material world; religious teacher probes into the chambers of the inward mind. The goal of science is achievement; that of religion is realization.  The truths of science can be proved to all; the truths of religion have to be taken on trust. Thus, the two worlds are antithetical.

  • Science vs Religion (shawnong.wordpress.com)
    Using force to obtain one’s ambitions results in devastating consequences and instils intense resentment as seen from historical world events, such as World Wars and the Holocaust. Figures like the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis exemplify the use peaceful methods as opposed to using force, and have consequently attained immense public approval.Therefore, to create union is a forced process of blending everyone into the same mixture. It’s like how one pizza does not have every kind of topping but there are many pizzas with different toppings and that works with pizza-lovers.
    +Science is human’s natural mode of exploration while Religion answers a whole different set of questions.“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.” ― Galileo Galilei
  • Science & Religion (lacecurtain.wordpress.com)
    I saw that science and religion are forever locked together, back to back, facing opposite directions, each turning in their own direction opposite to each other, yet both together turning in the same direction, rolling along the path of truth.
  • Science and Religion (nasirghumman.wordpress.com)
    One of the epic and historic controversies, which involves certain disputes which changed the course of history over time to a great extent, which affected the definition of faith and which made us to reconsider our believes and faith, yes of course the dispute between Religion and Science. This historic dispute falls back into the 1600s to the time of Galileo Galilei, if we specifically talk about a dispute between Christianity and Science. But of course, in modern world, this dispute is not over yet, rather it has taken a different form.   From the beginning, when humans evolved enough to use the brain and made certain theories, the questions were also born with such evolution, the questions pointing towards their origin, how is this universe came into existence, how our Earth was born, why are we here and what is the purpose behind our existence. Man has been trying to get answers to each of these particular questions and some other questions too. For this purpose, Religion steps forward and tries to provide answers. Gradually, Science becomes powerful enough to compete Religion and provided mankind with more relevant answers along with the logic. But there is one Religion whose teachings are those of Quran’s, Islam. Islam tend to answer each and every question which mankind has asked of it’s origin. Quran, acting as a complete code of life, explains every aspect of life to mankind. This fact that, many Scientific laws and principles have been predicted long ago by Quran, has been admitted by many scientists all over the world. For instance, Quran says that the only reason mankind is created is that it worships it’s true Lord, Allah or God, one single God.
  • Science….Religion….Science?….Religion…. (freecitizenproject.wordpress.com)
    They are the two sides of the spectrum that tear the world in half by its groin.The job of empirical science is to observe and find absolutes, where as religion serves as a solution to the unanswerable.Although so different, they inevitably coincide, and I am utterly fascinated with them both.
  • An Interesting, Yet Scary, Debate (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    A couple years ago Bill Nye released a video on youtube entitled “Creationism is Inappropriate for Children.”  While this post was a bit extreme in my opinion, the science he presented was 100% accurate.  Of course, Ken Ham, who’s just as much, if not more militant, has to respond with his ignorant, ridiculous ideas.  Now, as if all of this garbage between these two guys wasn’t enough, Nye has agreed to debate Ham.  I’m interested to see this debate for many reasons.
  • Science & Religion: The Paramount Candour (umbrascriptor.wordpress.com)
    Scientific truths are cautious. Science believes that nothing is absolutely true. What is regarded as true today may be proved to be false the very next day by further experiments and observations. Thus, there was a time when the earth was supposed to be motionless and the sun was supposed to go round it but gradually science proved that this was wrong and showed that it is the earth which goes round the sun. Similarly, Newton’s law of gravitation held the day till Einstein came out with his superior theory of relativity. In this way, science advances towards truth as absolute. But whatever is written in religious books is regarded as absolutely true. Anyone who criticizes the teaching of religion is considered to be a heretic and is violently condemned. In the past, those who dared to question a religious truth were mercilessly persecuted and punished, and the example of Galileo readily comes to mind in this connection. Even more, who knows not about the Darwin’s theory of evolution. In short, science is progressive and dynamic while religion are static and orthodox and this shows that there is a great conflict between science and religion.
  • A Savvy Investor’s Spiritual Exploration (nytimes.com)
    Templeton, who died in 2008 at 95, practiced thrift and, once he entered the investment world, preached a doctrine of patience and of looking for opportunities in pessimistic times. Beginning with the Templeton Growth Fund, his investment businesses enjoyed impressive success, partly because of his early enthusiasm for foreign markets.

Templeton, who died in 2008
at 95, practiced thrift and, once he entered the investment world,
preached a doctrine of patience and of looking for opportunities in
pessimistic times. Beginning with the Templeton Growth Fund, his
investment businesses enjoyed impressive success, partly because of his
early enthusiasm for foreign markets.

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English: 1. Believers 2. Religion 3. Atheists ...

1. Believers 2. Religion 3. Atheists 4. Science (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

My Philosophy Bookshelf(bottom)

A Philosophy Bookshelf(bottom) (Photo credit: jddunn)

As a human being we are constantly confronted with many thoughts. Some tried to mould these thoughts in a shape which they could make understandable for others. Humans also tried to understand the ultimate foundations of spiritual intuitions, questioning if such spiritual intuitions could ultimately be grounded in the nature of fundamental reality, and not wholly be reflective of socio-cultural conventions or neuro-biological mechanisms.  Investigation of this open issue is important because of the implications, whichever way the answer turns out, for social and political policy, and personal and social health and welfare. Many of the questions posed by man should come to be answered to  succeed in the quest to understand and adhere to one’s spiritual intuitions. The main question al people carry in their heart is the reason of our existence. How many of us do not wonder if life has a positive purpose? Many also would like to see that the life, their are going through, would be fair and compassionate.  This is distinct from religiousness, which designates one’s adherence to the tenets of an institution regarded as having authority concerning how one should live and what is ultimately true.

Beyond the personal struggle for survival and security we can not repudiate that there lies a universal human quest to find answers to such perennial spiritual questions:  What is the meaning of life?  Does existence have a purpose?  How should we live?  What has real value?  Does anything matter?

Handbook of Religion and Health

Handbook of Religion and Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Therefore according to many “spirituality” is indeed typically defined in terms of a “personal quest for understanding answers to ultimate questions about life, about meaning, and about relationship to the sacred or transcendent” {Koenig HG, McCullough ME, Larson DB. Handbook of Religion and Health. New York  N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2001}. In the previous chapters we saw already that  spirituality in this sense is distinct from “religion”, which is typically defined as “an organized system of beliefs, practices, rituals, and symbols designed

(a) to facilitate closeness to the sacred or transcendent (God, higher power, or ultimate truth/reality) and

(b) to foster an understanding of one’s relationship and responsibility to others in living together in a community”. {Koenig HG, McCullough ME, Larson DB. Handbook of Religion and Health. New York  N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2001}

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several philosophers tried to explain the way things are, looking for concrete measurable answers (sometimes). They want to give the people around them explanation how everything could have come into existence and to which order could stay into existence. Often the philosophers love to think they could bring an objective picture of reality without telling us explicitly (although often they do implicitly) how we should be in relationship to that picture. All through the years thousands of philosophers gave their opinion of the way everything could be placed in order. Lots of them thought they could give an answer or convince people of the answer of the good and the bad of humankind.

For the philosophers ‘Philosophy‘ is in the thinking, searching mind. By going deep in ourself we even could come to an illumining mind. this going into the self could bring us further into the sacral. Both the philosopher and the spiritual minded do perhaps have the same goals, wanting to find the origin and reason and the height of life. Though the lover of the higher existence, the “what is behind life’ wants to reach a point of connection with that ‘Higher Point’, which can be the Void or a or the Supreme Being, a or The Spirit or Nature Phenomenal. The religious person may ad the dimension of conscious or unconscious response to the beckoning ‘Light‘ and responding to beliefs in the lofty experiences of predecessors and organisations, temples or churches, wanting to see the depth of life. In contrast the man of spirituality wants to go much further and does not want to be restricted by any sort of dogmatic teaching imposed on him by other humans. In his quest and meditation he wants to come to see the reality of life and the reality in life.

For the philosopher there is no reason at all to come into a relationship with somebody else when it is about the being of himself. Some may consider that the philosopher is only using everyday language, which is locally normed and cultural defined, to explain the things which can be clearly seen or which we clearly understand to be present in the universe. The philosophy as such is by some seen merely as an ideology supporting accepted wisdom of the moment, like economy, mathematics, physiology, archaeology, natural science and the rest of the humanities. The anthropologist may study all others in relationship with each other and the environment, leaving himself excluded.

The Spiritual person on the other hand wants to come into relationship with something more than the ‘I’ or ‘Self‘. As a person the spiritual minded person also would love to see a relationship with everything what is around him or her. For the spiritual minded person the spirituality is a description of a position that he or she as a human being should take in relationship to the way things are.

Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh 2009

Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh 2009 (Photo credit: Student Christian Movement)

Philosophy of Spirituality is concerned with understanding the ultimate foundations of spiritual intuitions.  Although the nature of this grounding is unresolved, there are some philosophical and empirical reasons for thinking that.

A lover of philosophy may talk about human’ existence, man’s  and God’s Vision, even without mentioning The Creator God. But the Divine God Creator has created human being in His image with a purpose, to live in the universe, to give animals and plants names and to take care of the whole earth as good as he can. The God loving person may find in this Divine Creator the reason for him being here and could find it necessary to take part in actions which would give a sign of his recognising the Lord of lords to be the Most High to be worshipped.  In such instance, recognising the Divine Power of the Creator, the lover of religion shall also talks about God’s Power. The person recognising God His Power to be the Most High, but also the extreme highest position a being can have, not out of selfishness or wanting to get in the place of the Supreme High Being, but wanting to come as close as possible near to that Supreme Highest Spirit, shall try is utmost best to come into the knowledge of That Being  and to transform himself into a better being than he is at that moment. The one believing in God, loving to become close to Him shall know that it will be necessary for him to get to know the Rules of This God and to apply those rules, guidelines, instructions or commandments. He shall also know how important it is for accepting that he shall have to give an opening to allow the Glory of God appearing in our character. The Spiritual person shall do his utmost best to get over all his material indispositions and get his spiritual being more in the forefront. We should know that the spiritual side of the human being should be more important than the material side of it. A lover of spirituality shall come to know that God is a God of Compassion, willing to accept the deficiencies of our human state. For the spiritually minded it might not be so important as for the lover of philosophy to see God’s Face. The spiritual minded person may also get himself involved in philosophy and also may become religious, trying to get to know the Beginner or Maker of all things and to come to face Him or It and to come to see straight in That God’s Eye.

English: Russian ancient book, «Spiritual Rule...

Russian ancient book, «Spiritual Rules», 1721 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious person may be more concerned in the involvement of his person in the honouring or worshipping whilst the lover of spirituality shall be more interested in the real relationship with that Supreme Being and be concentrating on his way to grow into God’s all compassionate Heart.

In this materialistic world a man of philosophy may be considered a dreamer, a man of religion of foolishness, being carried away by dreams while he wants to be an observer. Next to them there is the man of spirituality who is a divine lover, knowing that

A divine dreamer, a divine observer and a divine lover are good friends.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

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Please do find to read:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Meaning of life
  3. Live …
  4. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  5. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  6. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  7. Religion and spirituality
  8. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  9. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  10. Glory of God appearing in our character
  11. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  12. Created to live in relation with God
  13. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  14. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  15. From pain to purpose
  16. Chief means by which men are built up
  17. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  18. It is a free will choice
  19. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  20. What part of the Body am I?
  21. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  22. Growth in character
  23. Greatest single cause of atheism
  24. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  25. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  26. How we think shows through in how we act
  27. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. Followers with deepening
  30. Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom by Robert M. Woods
  31. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  32. Wisdom lies deep
  33. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)

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Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Philosophy is a Dead Language – RIP
  3. The Problem Is That (You Think) You Think Too Much
  4. Philosophers, those bloated parasites…
  5. Word of the Week: ‘Philosophy’
  6. Why Take Philosophy A Level?
  7. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  8. Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities
  9. What Wishes to Come to Being through You?
  10. Is There Still a Place for Religion?
  11. Who is religious?
  12. Spirituality is the world around us
  13. Consumerism vs Spirituality

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  • Where are the thinkers? (thehindu.com)
    Much of the freedom movement was explicitly inspired by a sense of pride in the achievements of ancient Indian philosophies and traditions. Influential public thinkers like Coomaraswamy argued the case of the unity of Indian philosophy and aesthetics. And few countries can boast of having an eminent philosopher as President — India had S. Radhakrishnan.
    However, at a concrete level, the status of philosophy as a serious academic discipline is nowhere near what might be suggested by its role in the freedom movement. In the years since Independence, it has disappeared from the public and cultural imagination and this has, in turn, led to it become something of a backwater even in academia. It no more captures the imagination of political figures, or new generations of students.

Illustration: Satwik Gade

  • The Forever All: A Philosophical and Spiritual Guide (thepeacefulpantheist.wordpress.com)
    ”In my viewthe-forever-all-cover-art-01-300dpi, the entire universe is the Supreme Being, an infinite, purposeful system of positive and negative forces which has always existed and always will, and each of us is that eternal being of light and darkness.
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    How I Became a Pantheist by Guyus Seralius
    Even now, when I search the term pantheism on the Internet, it seems to be a very untapped subject in comparison to atheism, deism, Buddhism, and so on.
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    The church gave them a sense of community and provided them with a social network. This of course predates all the online social networks now so available on the Internet. Sociologist have claimed for years, based on studies, that social networking is one of the main reasons most people do attend church or why they join a religion—it allows them to feel a sense of belonging.
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    Anyone of us can say “I am the universe or I am the All.” Philosophers and Spiritualists have been saying something along these lines for centuries. Hippies were definitely known for saying such things during the late 60s and early 70s, but most of us never gave it much attention or took it too seriously. It was usually just something a hippie often said to sound philosophically deep or spiritual. The truth is though, I don’t think most hippies even truly knew just how accurate they were.
  • Postmodernism, Wisdom & Rebuke (rethinkerblog.wordpress.com)
    Postmodernity has found its way into our architecture, our entertainment, our technologies and certainly our philosophies and religious systems. In a philosophical nutshell, postmodernism is the belief that there is no one universal belief: that your truth is your truth, and my truth is my truth. But more than that, it is skepticism toward Any system of belief. In his seminal work: The Postmodern Condition, French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, Lyotard describes postmodernism as an “incredulity towards metanarratives.” Individually, postmodernism affords us our own adoptable moral criteria, unchallenged by others. But holistically, it keeps us all in a state of mistrust.
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    How can you tell someone what he or she is doing is right or wrong if his or her personally adopted belief system may claim the exact opposite?
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    Historically as a culture, when we distanced ourselves from God and his dogmatic mandates, we distanced ourselves from wisdom. And when we brushed off God’s holistic intent of prosperity and protection, we invited in its postfall antithesis: disease, decay and destruction.
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    Becoming People of “True Faith”
    The secular world might concede a slight bit more, accepting that perhaps these people of faith did at some point in their lives experience something “spiritual” or, according to science, “unexplainable.” That unexplainable spiritual (or more likely psychological) phenomenon is then called “God.” Just as another’s unexplainable phenomena might be personally claimed as an encounter with Buddha, or the Great Other, or Nature or some other metaphysical expression.
    Unfortunately, much of the American Christian church has not only surrendered itself to this secularized label of “faith,” but it also has offered little objective evidence of anything to the contrary.

    But for those having experienced true eternal life conversion, the secularized faith label is not merely annulled; it is completely transformed, and, as I soon will show, to the betterment of society as a whole.
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    a true Christian’s faith no longer is relegated to merely the hope that God does in fact really exist and that the Christian’s belief system is a valid one. The evidence of that initial faith is crystallized with the first actual experience of His presence and His voice. Not a metaphysical force or an idea – but a real and tangible encounter with a true and very real God.

    A true person of faith no longer clings to the shallow hope that his or her God might exist while still never having experienced a modicum of His presence or nature. Like Columbus’ crewmates, proven faith transcends hope. For a true Christian, faith is transformed. It is not based on the reality of a now proven God, but in the assurance that the words this very real God has spoken – are possible in our lives.

  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    The Dialectically Related  Mutual Approach takes the position that words like religious, spiritual, humanistic, and secular need not necessarily be construded as either absolutely exclusive, tolerantly inclusive, or impossibly ambiguous. Instead, they are words that suggest different psychological temperaments and casts of mind, as well as fluxuating moods within a single individual across a period of time. Our relationship to these words may be more aesthetic and metaphorical than scientistic and metaphysical. By way of analogy we may resonate with and enjoy many different kinds of music…in historical era, compositional genre, emotional mood, and artistic style.
  • Bertrand Russell on the science v religion debate | Clare Carlisle (theguardian.com)
    Bertrand Russell did not consider himself an expert on ethics and religion, and it is true that his writing on these subjects lacks the originality and sophistication of his philosophical work on mathematics. His criticisms of religion are often similar – in essence if not in tone – to opinions voiced by contemporary atheists: he argued that religious beliefs cause wars and persecution, are moralistic and oppressive, and foster fear. However, it is precisely for this reason that it is worth looking again at Russell’s rejection of Christianity. Anyone concerned with defending religion against its typical modern detractors must recognise Russell as a worthy opponent, for he was an intelligent, principled and humane man of the world who undoubtedly led a meaningful life.
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    Is religion based on fear?
    The most powerful aspect of Bertrand Russell’s critique of religious belief is his claim that religion is based on fear, and that fear breeds cruelty. His philosophical arguments against the existence of God may not touch the lives of many ordinary people, but his more psychological point about fear has to be taken seriously by all of us. In his 1927 lecture “Why I am not a Christian” – delivered to the south London branch of the National Secular Society – Russell expressed his point with characteristic clarity: “Religion is based primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things.” No doubt he was preaching to the converted on this occasion.

    There are actually two elements to Russell’s diagnosis of religion here. The first is that religious belief is a symptom of fear: aware that our lives are precarious and vulnerable, we seek the protection of a powerful deity, to comfort ourselves with an illusion of safety. The second is that fear is a symptom of religion: in particular, doctrines of punishment in both this life and the next cause ignorant believers to live in fear unnecessarily. There is little doubt that this analysis has some truth on both points; perhaps it explains quite accurately the causes and effects of religious belief in a significant number of cases. But do such cases represent religion itself, or are they a distortion of it?

  • Spirituality (dustindemille.wordpress.com)
    I believe in Goodness, Peace, Love, Faith, Truth, Compassion, Honesty, Character, Integrity, Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.  I enjoy reading and writing about spiritual, religious, and philosophical subjects.
  • Patterns of manipulation and how to Spot Them (aquarianagethings.wordpress.com)
    The only answer is to get True Freedom. One of the most important is Spiritual Freedom and that includes freedom from religion.
    +
    the answer lies inside of you and that these is no need for religion per say because you are inextricably part of that Source already. I call it Source for lack of a better term.
    +
    Most want to keep you docile and looking for something outside that can never be reached or found. The Sages, Yogis and Wise men of the East have known this for a long time, but they have failed miserably at letting others know.
  • A Misconception of Spirituality (suskiwen.wordpress.com)
    The misconception of spirituality is that once we turn to it, we should be positive and then we will be healed. We have taken the wrong approach because struggles cannot be sublimed, they can only be confronted and experienced in spirit. Spirituality is not a means to an end (healed).
    When we surrender from the practical world and turn to seek the spirit for guidance, we are entering a commitment that requires our part to do the act of seeking. Each time we ask, we allow ourselves to be fully conscious and present in momentary experience so we are able to see what is true; and whether good or bad, the spirit will find itself there, and where it leads you is where you need to be. It is the “there” where spirit feels and spirit heals.
  • A Misconception of Spirituality (wilddose.wordpress.com)
    Spirituality is a commitment. It is the commitment of the body, the mind and the spirit to co-exist into one entity to deal with the experience assigned to you. It is not a destination, it is not an accident that at random, decides to splash the hues of life into your dullest hour, it is the commitment to a life of continuous practice to act as a vessel to patience, joy and balance in any situation or circumstance.
  • Why Science Doesn’t Trump Spirituality (speakablepath.wordpress.com)
    It is often thought that life can be understood either scientifically or spiritually. Strict adherents to science believe that, since the universe can be explained scientifically, there is no need for spirituality or mysticism. They think that scientifically proving and explaining the physical causes for phenomena eliminates the necessity for spirituality. What is the point of having faith in something non-physical when there is perfectly credible, physical proof? Surely in this advanced technological age humanity has outgrown the need for a higher power.

Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)

Things can be seen from different angles and told in different ways, though they should not have to contradict each other. Look for example at the witnesses of a car accident. They may bring a different story about the same account and both still telling what really happened.

Scriptures never did have the intention to give a scientific analyses of what happened in the world, but wanted to tell the story of the beginning and development of humankind in an easy to understand and to follow way. Details where there of no importance, and the Creator gave brains to the people which they can use to find out more, because it is all shown in the universe of the Creator, available to be seen by those who want to see.

The Creator did love His creation and did not want to annoy them with details of His creation. What would it contribute for them all? Those who are interested in more details He allowed to look for them and to find them. It is our own choice either to use our heads to think and reason with. for Him the heart is the most essential and He knows the heart of every living soul.

” And Jehovah said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance, nor to the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For man does not see what He sees. For man looks for the eyes, but Jehovah looks for the heart.” (1Sa 16:7 LITV)

” So says Jehovah, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from Jehovah.  (6)  For he shall be like a juniper in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall live in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited.  (7)  Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge.  (8)  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters. It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.  (9)  The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is incurable; who can know it?  (10)  I, Jehovah, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.  (11)  As a partridge broods and does not hatch, so is he who makes riches, and not by right; it will leave him in the middle of his days, and in his end he will be a fool.” (Jer 17:5-11 LITV)

The Word of God should speak to the hearts of man. Wisdom and strength it can give. Nowhere in the Scriptures is written we should not use our heads to find out more about the universe, the why and how. But everything we can get to learn we should use in our life to advance and to make it better. Religion and science can be complementary and by integrating  the two we as human beings shall be able to progress and to achieve a broader spectrum of understanding.

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  • Science & Religion: The Paramount Candour (umbrascriptor.wordpress.com)
    Arising from the renaissance epoch, one of the most significant dichotomies that make us stop to ponder is religion and science. Relying on the definitions of science and religion, the difference seems to be evident because these two concepts originate from different dimensions of human activities. Science is usually referred to as the study of processes, forces, and development of nature, which is based on the analysis of evidence.  Religion, on the other hand, is closely connected to faith. These are two extremes and we are left to moot whether they can peacefully coexist or not.
  • Science is not a religion. (twoculturescourse.wordpress.com)
    The bible is far too often taken far too literally. It is a moral guide. Yes, some religions have extremists sects that are aggressive and believe in killing others. What about the religions that don’t? Kids may grow up in a household with their parents, taught what they should believe, then they grow up and think for themselves. It is not necessarily right for some kids to be forced what to believe, but in the end, they will make their own decision.
    +
    Some people don’t believe in evolution, that’s fine. But with a minimal knowledge of what religion is truly about, people too often jump to the conclusion that every single person who is religious believes in the story of Adam and Eve. There is a direct correlation between ignorance in science and ignorance in religion, I think. The focus should be mending that rift, not spreading it further through ignorant words, actions, and even hatred. Dawkins, you really fueled the fire. Faith exists for a reason. Faith is believing in something beyond yourself, that you may not be able to physically prove.
  • Science and Religion…a Contradiction? (apocalypticbluesblog.wordpress.com)
    Another common error in these comparisons is to cling too closely to one’s own religious dogma, ignoring not only science but also the vast tradition of wisdom handed down throughout history and existing among all religions. This sort of religious provincialism (my sacred scriptures are sacred and true, while your sacred scriptures are mistaken and false) waters down not only their own arguments, but those of all who cling to arguments of this type. Similarly, scientists might point to the obviously mistaken cosmology of early Christianity (for example) while ignoring the accurate cosmological (and astronomical) observations of Vedanta, five thousand years before.
    +
    Insofar as religions focus on our actions in this world, they concentrate on what we should do in the world. Science focuses on how the world works, not on what we should do in it.
    +
    In religion, knowledge can be obtained by inspiration, while in science true knowledge can only be obtained by testing, observation, and repeatability of results.
    +
    Religion focuses on the questions ‘who’ and ‘what,’ while science focuses on the questions ‘how’ and ‘why.’
  • Why religion thrived where science failed. (secularnewsdaily.com)
    Science has always been exclusive. If you can’t understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community. Whereas, religion has always been inclusive. For the masters and the slaves, for the lords and the serfs, God has been ever present. Because religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.
  • Understanding Spiritual Evolution – Part 3 (aquariusparadigm.com)
    It’s important for humanity to become informed of the existence of the spiritual realms and of our impending collective evolution into them, because despite the timetable our ascension is on, I must reiterate that we all need to understand and be focused on it to bring it into manifestation.
  • Can science address the idea of an ultimate creator and religion? (nerissavictoria.wordpress.com)
    Some atheists say that ‘God’ is just a word for ‘what science hasn’t discovered yet’. With the constant development of technology and the multiple findings given by scientists, this statement is becoming more and more accurate. However this scientific knowledge does not provide us as everyday people with the key to civilisation. Religion seems to be the glue that holds communities and societies together and so the fact that religion itself can have such a positive impact on a large scale makes me question… Why can’t theistic believers and humanist optimist see God as the brains behind the scientific explanation of the creation of the universe?
  • Dichotomy or duality? (twoculturescourse.wordpress.com)
    One of the most interesting parts of the Science and Religion article was the illustration describing the relationship between the two. The comparison was made between the dual properties of light as both a particle and wave. Based on what knowledge I have about physics I was interested to see how far the comparison could be taken. Light has characteristics as a wave and a particle that overlap to some extent, but at the same time have contradicting attributes based on the position of observation.
  • Science Vs Religion (beccsbordom.wordpress.com)
    I believe that science has stronger evidence against religion but due to my upbringing I agree with the religious side of everything and anything. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfa88SeNohY#
  • One for Dawkins (twoculturescourse.wordpress.com)
    I have always been skeptical when people believe that a religion helped to heal someone and not the sciences.  Even when I was a little girl and my mom made me go to church and Sunday school every week, I never had much faith.  I wouldn’t say that I don’t believe in any religion, I’m more just not sure what kind of higher power I believe in.  Anyways, I have always thought of everything in very scientific and technical terms.
  • David Barash explores science, religion and meaning of life in ‘Buddhist Biology’ (washington.edu)
    David Barash, a University of Washington psychology professor, is an evolutionary biologist, unapologetic atheist, and self-described Jewbu. In his latest book, “Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science,” Barash examines the overlap between Buddhism and biology.
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    In the book, I relate Buddhist concepts to science. Anatman (“not-self”), for example, means that no one has an internal self that is distinct and separate from the rest of the world. Similarly in ecology, organisms and environments are inextricably inter-connected. Also, Anitya (“impermanence”) refers to the fact that all things are temporary and eventually return to the non-living world. Anitya has parallels with evolution, in that not only is every individual organism’s time on earth temporary but also organisms ebb and flow across time.
    +
    Both Buddhism and biology (and also existentialism) teach that there is no inherent meaning to life. We simply are, and that “we” or “I” or “you” or “he” or “she” is merely a temporary aggregation of matter and energy, destined (or doomed) to collapse back into the stuff of the world. Therefore, if we want to make our lives meaningful, we should not look to some outside deity, but rather to our own actions.

Just One Yogi

There appears to be a contradiction between the basic tenets of science and religion. Much arguing and division has resulted from the perception that the two are mutually opposed, or that one’s existence threatens the validity or purpose of the other. This conflict is most easily seen in views about the facts surrounding the Big Bang (or Creation, if you prefer) and evolution. I believe this apparent contradiction is easily resolved.

Consider this:

-What if science was right about the Big Bang, given their current understanding of it thus far?

-What if the religion was also right about Creation, and science merely described the process of how it was accomplished?

The same could be said about any function of God, of Life, and of nature and physics: science describes the operation of the world around us. Its realm is in that of the known, the seen, the empirical and objective…

View original post 113 more words

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (2)

Dismissal of the myth that science and Christianity have traditionally been at war, has led to over-correction by some writers who have gone too far in the opposite direction.[1] [2]

Two particularly influential writers claiming Christianity was uniquely influential on the birth of modern science, are Stanley Jaki[3], and Rodney Stark.[4] Building on the earlier work of Robert Merton,[5] who suggested that 17th century Protestant (particularly Puritan), values created an environment in which scientific inquiry was promoted sigfnificantly (known as the ‘Merton Thesis’), Jaki and Stark make the claim that the modern Western scientific tradition benefited specifically from contributions exclusive to Christianity.

The Merton Thesis is still a matter of academic debate,[6] but it is generally recognized by historians of science that Christianity made a significant positive contribution to the development of the Western scientific tradition.[7] [8] [9]

Nevertheless, it is also generally agreed that the development of modern science was not due to Christianity alone.[10] Christians who contributed to science benefited from earlier intellectual traditions inherited from the Greeks, as well as from scientific knowledge and experimentation carried out by Muslim and Jewish investigators,[11] and typically made mention of this in their own writings, citing their sources.

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[1] ‘It is, in fact, so easy a target that scholars reacting against it have constructed a revised view that has also been driven to excess.’, Brooke, ‘Science and Religion: Some historical perspectives’, p. 42 (1991).

[2] ‘Zeal for the triumph of either science or religion in the present could lure historians into Whiggish history. The works not only of Draper and White, but also of Hooykaas and Jaki fell into that category. Kenneth Thibodeau’s review in Isis of Jaki’s Science and Creation, for example, declared it “a lop-sided picture of the history of science” that “minimizes” the accomplishments of non-Christian cultures and “exaggerates” those of Christian ones (Thibodeau 1976, 112). In a review in Archives Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences, William Wallace found Hooykaas’s Religion and the Rise of Modern Sciences to be “case of special pleading.” In their historiographical introduction to the book they edited, God and Nature (1986), David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers judged that Hooykaas and Jaki had “sacrificed careful history for scarcely concealed apologetics” (Lindberg and Numbers 1986, 5). Likewise some historians found Moore’s nonviolent history unacceptable: He “sometimes seems to be writing like an apologist for some view of Christianity” (La Vergata 1985, 950), criticized Antonella La Vergata in his contribution to The Darwinian Heritage (1985).’, Wilson, ‘The Historiography of Science and Religion’, in Ferngren (ed.),  ‘Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction’, p. 21 (2002).

[3] Jaki, ‘The Road of Science and the Ways to God’ (1978).

[4] Stark, ‘For the Glory of God: how monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts, and the end of slavery’ (2003).

[5] Merton, ‘Science, Technology and Society in 17th-Century England’ (1938); unlike later writers, Merton did not believe that the Puritan ethic, or Christianity itself, was essential for the successful development of modern science.

[6] ‘Scholars still debate what Merton got right and what he got wrong, and in the intervening years they have drawn a far more detailed portrait of the varied nature of the religious impetus to study nature.’, Efron, ‘Myth 9: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science’, in Numbers (ed.), ‘Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion’, p. 10 (2010).

[7] ‘Although they disagree about nuances, today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved many early- modern intellectuals to study nature systematically.4 Historians have also found that notions borrowed from Christian belief found their ways into scientific discourse, with glorious results; the very notion that nature is lawful, some scholars argue, was borrowed from Christian theology.’, ibid., pp. 80-81.

[8] ‘Historians have also found that changing Christian approaches to interpreting the Bible affected the way nature was studied in crucial ways. For example, Reformation leaders disparaged allegorical readings of Scripture, counselling their congregations to read Holy Writ literally. This approach to the Bible led some scholars to change the way they studied nature, no longer seeking the allegorical meaning of plants and animals and instead seeking what they took to be a more straightforward description of the material world.’, ibid., p. 81.

[9] ‘Finally, historians have observed that Christian churches were for a crucial millennium leading patrons of natural philosophy and science, in that they supported theorizing, experimentation, observation, exploration, documentation, and publication.’, ibid., p. 81.

[10] ‘For all these reasons, one cannot recount the history of modern science without acknowledging the crucial importance of Christianity. But this does not mean that Christianity and Christianity alone produced modern science, any more than observing that the history of modern art cannot be retold without acknowledging Picasso means that Picasso created modern art. There is simply more to the story than that.’, ibid., p. 82.

[11] ‘These men and their contemporaries all knew what some today have forgotten, that Christian astronomers (and other students of nature) owe a great debt to their Greek forebears. This was not the only debt outstanding for Christian philosophers of nature. They had also benefited directly and indirectly from Muslim and, to a lesser degree, Jewish philosophers of nature who used Arabic to describe their investigations.’, ibid., p. 83.

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Find Part 1: The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

Introduction: Where is the edge

&: Living on the edge

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Picture of Father Stanley L. Jaki

Picture of Father Stanley L. Jaki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • No Faith in Science (richarddawkins.net)
    A common tactic of those who claim that science and religion are compatible is to argue that science, like religion, rests on faith: faith in the accuracy of what we observe, in the laws of nature, or in the value of reason. Daniel Sarewitz, director of a science policy center at Arizona State University and an occasional Slate contributor, wrote this about the Higgs boson in the pages of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals: “For those who cannot follow the mathematics, belief in the Higgs is an act of faith, not of rationality.”
  • Jerry Coyne’s Twisted History of Science and Religion (forbes.com)
    In his latest post on the topic, he promotes the false belief that there is a fundamental conflict between science and religion, and he even makes the wild (and admittedly unproven) claim “that had there been no Christianity, if after the fall of Rome atheism had pervaded the Western world, science would have developed earlier and be far more advanced than it is now.” (For some thoughts on that theory, see this post.)
  • Did Christianity (and other religions) promote the rise of science? (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    The claims are diverse, but all give religion—especially Christianity—credit for science.  Religion is said to either encourage thinking (read Aquinas), impel people to do science as a way of unravelling God’s plan, lead to the idea of scientific laws (viz. Davies and Plantinga, above), or “encourage” science in some nebulous ways (this “encouragement” often seems to mean only “did not impede science.”)

    Now these claims are bogus, but if you read various histories of science, you’ll see conflict on this issue.  I’ll put my own objections below, but you should also read Richard Carrier’s 2010 article, “Christianity was not responsible for modern science.” Pp. 396-419 in J. W. Loftus, ed. The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. Prometheus Books (that’s a book well worth reading, by the way.)

    Here are some of my responses to the “science came from Christianity” canard

  • A response to Bill Nye (religionron.wordpress.com)
    Nye forgets where a lot of things came from which was the study of natural law.  Science came from religion.  Many theories like the big bang theory come directly from religion, but religion was not used as the proof.  Most of sociology comes from a religious core.  Physics has theories that border on pantheism.  You wont here this from Nye because all religion is bad.We do agree on a few things though.  I do not think religion should be taught as science.  Likewise I don’t think science should ever be philosophy or religion.  Its one thing to put in a history book or even an astronomy book the origin of the big bang theory but we shouldn’t use it as a proof of the theory.
  • Science and Religion… (jesusavesisrael.wordpress.com)
    The fact of the matter is that science and faith complement each other, and there is no conflict between true science and true religion. Together they give the best foundation for wholesome faith and courage for daily living. When Galileo, the father of modern science, discovered that the earth revolved, instead of the sun moving around the earth, certain religious leaders were greatly disturbed, for they held another theory. But eventually they were reconciled.
  • Reason Illuminates Faith (in the Middle Ages) (thesoapboxguild.wordpress.com)
    What do the Middle Ages and scientific ideas have to do with each other? Quite a bit more than you might think. Unlike the thoughts brought to mind by words like the “Dark Ages,” the medieval period was not a totally backwards time of ignorance and superstition (though as in any era, both were present!), but one of intellectual formation that proved critically necessary for modern science to develop.
  • Both science and religion have a place under the sun (thehindu.com)
    When we discuss the relevance of science and religion, it will be misleading to look at it through the “either-or” prism. Among scientists, there are many who are religious and similarly among the religious, there are many who have a scientific frame of mind. Far from being founded on the fear of the unknown, true religion is founded on the faith in the grace of the unknowable.

    It is easy to define religion opportunistically and then decry it. If we associate terrorists with religion, as Prof. Natarajan has done, religion becomes nefarious. If we understand religion as an enquiry into the ultimate purpose of life and equate it with spirituality, the merits of religion will become manifest.
    +
    Prof. Natarajan has tried to understand why humans invented the concept of God and denounced it by quoting Albert Einstein. It has been a universal practice cutting across all religions to describe what we don’t understand (essentially what is called ‘mysterious’) as acts of God. Einstein was appreciative of this phenomenon and that is why he said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science” and “Science without Religion is lame; Religion without Science is blind”.

  • Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (thehaynesblog.com)
    Last night Joshua and I attended a lecture by the Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson entitled “Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.”  He holds a PhD in theoretical astrophysics, a PhD in systematic theology, and he is a Methodist Minister.  He is one who is well equipped to engaged the questions posed by some today: “What will Christianity do if or when we do make contact with alien life forms?”  Some have said that it will be the end of faith as we know it.  Some Christians have welcomed it as proof of an omnipotent God.  Additionally, there are a million questions in between.
  • No Faith in Science (secularnewsdaily.com)
    A common tactic of those who claim that science and religion are compatible is to argue that science, like religion, rests on faith: faith in the accuracy of what we observe, in the laws of nature, or in the value of reason. Daniel Sarewitz, director of a science policy center at Arizona State University and an occasional Slate contributor, wrote this about the Higgs boson in the pages of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals: “For those who cannot follow the mathematics, belief in the Higgs is an act of faith, not of rationality.”
  • No Faith in Science (slate.com)
    What about the public and other scientists’ respect for authority? Isn’t that a kind of faith? Not really. When Richard Dawkins talks or writes about evolution, or Lisa Randall about physics, scientists in other fields—and the public—have confidence that they’re right. But that, too, is based on the doubt and criticism inherent in science (but not religion): the understanding that their expertise has been continuously vetted by other biologists or physicists. In contrast, a priest’s claims about God are no more demonstrable than anyone else’s. We know no more now about the divine than we did 1,000 years ago.

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (1)

Although it is commonly believed that Christianity has traditionally been at war with science, the reality is very different.[1] [2] [3] [4] This view, known as the ‘Conflict Thesis’ or ‘Conflict Model’, originated in the 19th century as a result of anti-religious sentiment.

Two 19th century works in particular were responsible for creating and popularizing this view; John William Draper’s ‘History of the Conflict between Religion and Science’ (1874), and Andrew Dickson White’s ‘History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom’ (1896).

The conflict thesis dominated historical discussion during the 19th and 20th centuries, though it was increasingly modified from 1950 onward.[5] Works by Frank Turner (1974), and James More (1979), contributed significantly to its decline in influence,[6] and the conflict thesis has been comprehensively rejected by modern historians of science.[7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

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[1] ‘Despite a developing consensus among scholars that Christianity and science had not been at war, the notion of conflict refused to die.’, Lindberg & Numbers (eds.), ‘God and Nature: Historical essays on the encounter between Christianity and Science’, p. 6 (1986).

[2] ‘The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule.’, Ferngren (ed.), ‘Science and Religion: A historical introduction’, p. ix (2002).

[3]  ‘As a historical tool, the conflict thesis is so blunt that it is more damaging than serviceable. One only has to consider the “two books” of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – nature and Scripture – each of which had a role complementary to that of the other. They were not held to be at odds with each other because they dealt with different subjects. Again, for many scientific figures in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Christianity played a central role in fostering and even shaping their scientific endeavours: The instances of Kepler, Robert Boyle (1627-91), Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Rene Descartes (1596-1650) are the most conspicuous.’, Russell, ‘The Conflict of Science and Religion’, in Ferngren (ed.), ‘Science and Religion: A historical introduction’, p. 8 (2002).

[4] ‘Historians of science, however, rejected this stereotype long ago.’, Westman, ‘The Copernicans and the Churches’, Blackwell Essential Readings in History, p. 44 (2003).

[5] ‘Despite the growing number of scholarly modifications and rejections of the conflict model from the 1950’s, the Draper-White thesis proved to be tenacious, thought it is probably true that it had been more successfully dispelled for the seventeenth century than for the nineteenth. At any rate, in the 1970s leading historians of the nineteenth century still felt required to attack it. In the second volume of his Victorian Church (1970), Owen Chadwick viewed the conflict thesis as a misconception that many Victorians had about themselves.’, Wilson, ‘The Historiography of Science and Religion’, in Ferngren (ed.),  ‘Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction’, p. 21 (2002).

[6] ‘Whatever the reasons for the continued survival of the conflict thesis, two other books on the nineteenth century that were published in the 1970s hastened its final demise among historians of science. In 1974, Frank Turner carved out new conceptual territory in Between Science and Religion. He studied six later Victorians (including Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-inventor of the theory of evolution by natural selection) who rejected both Christianity and the agnostic “scientific naturalism” of the time. In their various ways, they used different methods, including the empiricism of science (but not the Bible), to support two traditionally religious ideas; the existence of a God and the reality of human immortality. Even more decisive was the penetrating critique “Historians and Historiography” that James Moore placed at the beginning of his Post-Darwinian Controversies (1979).’, ibid., p. 23.

[7] ‘The claim that the advance of science necessarily brings it into conflict with established religious beliefs was advanced most energetically in the late nineteenth century by those who believed that science was the vehicle by which a new, secular view of the human situation would be established.’, Bowler, ‘Reconciling Religion and Science: The Debate in Early Twentieth-Century Britain’, p., 10 (2010).

[8] ‘In the late Victorian period it was common to write about the “warfare between science and religion” and to presume that these two bodies of culture must always have been in conflict. However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science.’, Shapin, ‘The Scientific Revolution’, p. 195 (1996).

[9] ‘In its traditional forms, the thesis has been largely discredited.’, Brooke, ‘Science and Religion: Some historical perspectives’, p. 42 (1991).

[10] ‘The conflict thesis, at least in its simple form, is now widely perceived as a wholly inadequate intellectual framework within which to construct a sensitive and realistic historiography of Western science.’, Russell, ‘The Conflict of Science and Religion’, in Ferngren (ed.), ‘Science and Religion: A historical introduction’, p. 10 (2002).

[11] ‘However, it is salutary to note that serious historical scholarship has revealed the conflict thesis as, at best, an oversimplification and, at worst, a deception.’, ibid., p. 10.

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Find the Introduction: Where is the edge

&: Living on the Edge

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Issues in Science and Religion

Issues in Science and Religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Faith and Science (faithandspiritofsciencesummit2013.wordpress.com)
    The relationship between religion and science has been a subject of study since Classical antiquity, addressed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. Perspectives from different geographical regions, cultures and historical epochs are diverse, with some characterizing the relationship as one of conflict, others describing it as one of harmony, and others proposing little interaction. The extent to which science and religion may attempt to understand and describe similar phenomena is sometimes referred to as a part of the demarcation problem.Science and religion generally pursue knowledge of the universe using different methodologies. Science acknowledges reason, empiricism, and evidence, while religions include revelation, faith and sacredness.
  • Science Vs Religion (beccsbordom.wordpress.com)
    There is a huge discussion about whether religion is greater than science or if science if greater than religion. But I believe that science has stronger evidence against religion but due to my upbringing I agree with the religious side of everything and anything. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfa88SeNohY#
  • Open Parachute 2013-10-19 23:32:12 (openparachute.wordpress.com)
    Victor Stenger has a very useful series of books on the relationship between science and religion. He is a very clear writer, combining a knowledge of the philosophy and history of science with stories from his own research experience in particle physics. This is, I think, his second to last book – I have yet to put up my review of his latest – God and the Atom.
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    Of course it’s good the theologically inclined take an interest in important fields outside their own. Even comment on them. But the inevitable ideological bias in such writings produces  many anti-science ideas and ideologically motivated interpretations of history and philosophy. The apathy of scientists towards these issues means such ideas are not often challenged and sometimes squirm their way into academic writings on science method, philosophy and history.
  • Science and Religion… (jesusavesisrael.wordpress.com)
    The fact of the matter is that science and faith complement each other, and there is no conflict between true science and true religion. Together they give the best foundation for wholesome faith and courage for daily living. When Galileo, the father of modern science, discovered that the earth revolved, instead of the sun moving around the earth, certain religious leaders were greatly disturbed, for they held another theory. But eventually they were reconciled.
  • Science and Religion (tweeppoet.wordpress.com)
    Religion, science both have their place and both often over step their bounds.
  • Text to Text | Einstein and ‘Where Science and Religion Coexist’ (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
    In this Text to Text, we take on the question of the compatibility of science and religion, with an excerpt from a Times Opinion piece written by Albert Einstein in 1930; a 2013 report on a conference between scientists and Buddhist monks hosted by the Dalai Lama; and a video in which the theoretical physicist Richard Feynman talks about trying to find answers to life’s big questions while living with doubt.
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    From the study of history, one is inclined to regard religion and science as irreconcilable antagonists, and this for a reason that is very easily seen. For anyone who is pervaded with the sense of causal law in all that happens, who accepts in real earnest the assumption of causality, the idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible … A God who rewards and punishes is for him unthinkable, because man acts in accordance with an inner and outer necessity, and would, in the eyes of God, be as little responsible as an inanimate object is for movements which it makes.Science, in consequence, has been accused of undermining morals—but wrongly. The ethical behavior of man is better based on sympathy, education and social relationships, and requires no support from religion. Man’s plight would, indeed, be sad if he had to be kept in order through fear of punishment and hope of rewards after death.
  • No Faith in Science (slate.com)
    Daniel Sarewitz, director of a science policy center at Arizona State University and an occasional Slate contributor, wrote this about the Higgs boson in the pages of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals: “For those who cannot follow the mathematics, belief in the Higgs is an act of faith, not of rationality.”

    Such statements imply that science and religion are not that different because both seek the truth and use faith to find it. Indeed, science is often described as a kind of religion.

  • Science and Religion (new.exchristian.net)
    Now, if you think “reasonable faith” is an oxymoron, you get no extra points, that’s just way too obvious.Craig’s essay is one of the finest examples I have ever seen of how a very smart theist can support his delusion with clever use of his intelligence and education.
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    most of Craig’s arguments have been debunked over and over, by numerous authors. His problem, of course, is that religion cannot be relevant to science since it is dependent on alleged revelation from a god, or gods, to man, while science depends on the testing of evidence. We can use science to test an alleged revelation, but it makes no sense to use an alleged revelation to test a scientific hypothesis, and the reason for this is that too many supposed revelations have already failed scientific testing. Thus, revelation often fails (if it exists at all), but science, though imperfect, continually homes in on the truth of how the world really works.
  • The idea of Religion and Science (beccsbordom.wordpress.com)
    There are something that Religion can not answer but Science can! So if they cant answer it why believe in the side that has no answer or evidence?
  • Star Trek, Science and Religion (optimalhumanmodulation.com)
    Personally, when it comes to the paradigms of science, reason, religion and spirituality, I try to hold two views in my mind simultaneously.First, there is what I recognize as true on a functional level and use to operate within this thing we call “reality.” And second, there’s being respectful of other people’s beliefs and thoughts even if they differ from my own. For, although I believe that what I hold to be true is based on the best logic and empirical data available, I am far from perfect, and if I go through life thinking I know more than everyone else, I will not learn and will unquestionably suffer needlessly.