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Topic: Re: How science shaped modern 'rejection of religion'
Replies: 1   Last Post: Mar 27, 2014 10:41 AM

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kirby urner

Posts: 1,658
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: How science shaped modern 'rejection of religion'
Posted: Mar 27, 2014 10:41 AM
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On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM, GS Chandy <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Joe Niederberger (JN) posted Mar 26, 2014 11:33 PM (
> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9420213):

> >
> > >Yakking more about a TOE and "natural laws":
> >
> > (JN) Really? I thought I was addressing the fact that
> > many people feel something is missing from the world
> > described by science. Or was that just a lead in to
> > what you said next?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Joe N
> >

> There is (IMHO) plenty missing from the "world described by science".
> And, in my opinion, there will always be plenty missing - because every
> 'answer' raises more questions to which we would need to seek answers.
> But that is just the nature of scientific inquiry - and we should
> celebrate it. (As I understand it, this implies that there can never be a
> 'real TOE').
> There is (IMHO) plenty more missing from the "world described by religion"
> than that from "world described by science".
> The 'answers' provided by religion are generally (IMHO) far less
> satisfying than the 'scientific answers': by and large, the 'religious
> answers' seem to say:

I think there's this rush to decide that a religious praxis has to do with
"explaining" or "giving answers".

Yes we do see religions behaving that way, but we also have people just
wanting to improve their outlook on life.

They (as in "these peoples") know it's "subjective" but it's still
important to them, and so instead of one-on-one psychotherapy, which can be
expensive and/or time-consuming, they shop around for congenial religious
communities and see if the practices associated therewith and/or the
friendships forged (if any) might alleviate some affliction (e.g. call it
loneliness and play Eleanor Rigby if lacking context or atmosphere).

In some people, it's all about what's in their heads, "knowing" in a
particular way. That's what I cited Karen Armstrong for noticing in
'Battle for God' and other books of hers (I've also heard her speak in a

For others, it's more gymnastic, about observance of ritual. If your life
doesn't have a certain ease and flow about it, something's out, and
religious practices are all about resyncing to some invisible beat. When
you're in the groove and life is mellow, that's your hippie nirvana and why
should I be so prideful as to diss that as a worthy outcome. I'm not
casting myself as "the judge".

I would argue that people use music, dancing, participate in recreational
sports for many of the same reasons people participate in religions, yet in
our fragmented blow-apart terminology, these "night club" or "bar circuit"
activities are somehow "secular practices" scattered on some "secular heap"
as "non-religious objects" (type NotReligion).

There's this arbitrary white or grey line between culturally sacred and
profane spaces that you would never "get" if it weren't inculcated since
birth, as it's uber-abstruse. I suppose part of city living is to always
be blurring that line, serving alcohol in church -- oh wait, they already
do that. Something else scandalous.

I don't know who came up with this lame form of English that draws the line
where it is, but it twernt me and I refuse to speak that dialect or lingo
if I can help falling into the ruts everybody else does.

In any case, my point is it's important not to fall for all that bad
anthropology that shows "natives trying to explain their world through gods
and drug-induced dreams" as if "to explain" in the sense of opening a
machine and explaining the workings, were at all what the natives were up
to. Not that they couldn't offer explanations, which we might dismiss as
"mnemonic systems" or "ontologies" (dismiss or perhaps respect, it gets
down to the individual).

Don't let them saddle religion with the objectives of science only to then
jeer because religion does such a poor job. That's like sneering at a
racing car because it does so poorly as a shopping mall procurement device
-- no place to put the purchases, attracts too much attention. So they
should redesign shopping malls? Or perhaps it was your vehicle that was
inappropriate. Just saying.


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