[FoRK] Re: Anything to be learned from religion?

Regina Schuman rschuman
Thu Aug 11 14:50:09 PDT 2005


I thought religion sprang from self-awareness and our yearning to
understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.  I think the "why"
question sueprcedes the "how" question and is best investigated by
psychology and neuroscience.  

Ya know how there's a genetic link between tameness and color in dogs? 
Might there is a genetic component to our - humankind's - godsearch?

>>> elias at cse.ucsc.edu 8/11/2005 11:29:20 AM >>>
Corinna wrote:

>If you want to make science compete with religion
>
The competition is over, science won. What are we currently witnessing?

Simply grudge matches to humor the sorest of losers. Fortunately for 
science, there is this thing called 'reality', which pretty much
ensures 
repeat performances of those which occurred over the last several 
hundreds of years.

>science needs to [...] provide answers with meaning
>
Science will provide answers, of that much we can be certain. Also 
certain is that the meaning is solely our own - bring as much as you 
want to the table, there cannot be enough.

>promote a sense of unity with the world
>
I'm not sure you can find a clearer sense of this than *understanding*

how the world works. . . The experience you related with your child is

beautiful; at her age there is no reason to be apart from the world,
for 
it is most natural for us to simply be in and of it.

>people tend to think of science as cold, uncaring, and empty.
>  
>
Blame the teachers and the modern school think. Seriously. 
Traditionally, science has always been about engaging in the world in 
order to better understand it and ourselves. There is nothing more
warm, 
caring or full of meaning to be found.

As a side note, all religions arose out of a basic desire to understand

and put meaning to the world, or more specifically, the cosmos. A 
cultures cosmology, recapitulated in oral traditions and refined over 
countless generations, becomes its' religion. Probably the most
terrible 
thing to ever happen to religion was writing because it terminated this

coevolutionary dance of human culture and created religous artifacts 
(the books). Subsequently, worship of the artifacts effectively
eclipsed 
worship of the experience (being in and of the world) and now the 
experience of the devine is largely mediated through religious 
institutions. Seems like we got a pretty raw deal with that one. . .

Anyway, antiquated belief systems are just that - they should be shed 
like old skin.


Regards,
Elias
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