Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Athiesm Remix

So atheism.

"Atheism."

There are alot of videos on the web about that.

"Yeah, I've watched a few. What about them?"

Does it every get tiring?

"Tiring, of what? Dismissing God?"

Well, you think after dismissing the traditional God and the dogma, you'd wonder, is there anything else?

"I guess."

But they don't.

"Really? I'd say they find the deeper questions in science."

Ah, yes, science! Wonderful term for such a diverse investigation of our physical universe. Of course, exploring the ins and outs of our cosmos will be unending and awe-inspiring. A look at the stars has always brought wonder. But I wonder, what has the establishment of science also brought us?

"Well, let's see. Besides its benefits?"

Yes, besides technology, health, long life, computers, internet - all of that.

"Besides the double edged sword bit, you know, pros and cons of science. What else is perhaps catching our eye too much? Are we getting lost in science somehow and missing something else?"

Who knows.

"Well, I'm asking you if this is what-"

-I mean, yes. Explore it a little more. You're getting warm.

"Okay- so we have science, science gives us a particular view of the world. Lets see... Analytical, intellectual, critical analysis. Bit by bit. Cautious yet open."

Ideally.

"Ideally. And this is just about how it approaches everything. Through a scrutinizingly careful study, repeated experiments and the resultant data."

True, true.

"What's wrong with that? It goes wrong, yes, but it's also a wonderful tool. It has helped us survive the ages."

Well, let's get back to square one. Religion and science. This is a fake dualism, I think, because they're not opposites at all. Science, in the history of our civilization, has for the most part tried to dispell theories of our universe that are not as carefully thought out and tested. In other words, they asked: 'Prove it.'

"So the arguments for atheists is, for the most part, that science dispells the myths of religion, and enables us to understand people and the universe in a deeper, more complex and meaningful way than fairy tales."

Yep. And that's right.

"Oh. So then what's your problem with all of this?"

It's only so right.

"Elaborate,"

Well, if we only viewed the world this way, it is saying more about ourselves and less about the rest of the world. There are a number of things that science, in this very cautious and narrow way, enable us to achieve, and certain things it is quite frankly slow to catch onto. For instance, that the spiritual experience can be deeper than fairy tales. Their cautious attitude slowly may turn to negligence of the wonder that was the mother of science to begin with. Instead, they reject it, assuming things that may not be accurate.

"Alright, I'm getting the picture here. Get back to atheism? Not all scientists are atheists."

Right. This is often the argument they use though. That science gives us all answers, inevitably. But this, even according to science, is a striking assumption- that this method, though often cautious, can answer every question in the universe - or that the universe can be understood through answers! These are of course our own subjective experiences - thought, questions, consciousness. These things may or may not necessarily help us understand anything objectively. Science itself, by definition, would call this notion absurd. It would instead answer: Who knows? We may find out if we continue. And that is a more healthy response.

"So what are they really relying on? It seems that the assumption is more of an ideal."

People love ideals. They can escape into the safety of certainty in them.

"Hmm, so it's really just finding another ideal to dwell within. Another castle to defend the insecurity of the unknown."

Something like that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Succinctly

Recently I've been playfully and painfully exploring our sense of self, what it is (or is not), and how it is reinventing itself, day to day, hour to hour, and even moment to moment. These investigations have led to compelling discoveries about our own nature, our sense of self, and directly impacting our societies past and present. These characteristics influence everything: from science to culture, to religion.

What is it? Our continual reinforcement of a self as an independent center, the daily constraint and overall control of ourselves and our environment, because we have been taught to be ashamed of our nakedness, our transparency that we are born with and die with. Science, religion, patriotism, ideals, all of these things are attempts to escape our own fear of this unknownable consistency which we are made to vanish in. The nameless and the wordless terrify us, yet deep down we are indeed boundless to ideas, thoughts and time. It is this we try to escape, but the escape is a facade. It is as futile as Alan Watts describes as a, "Snake biting its own tail."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Digging Into Paradox

I'd just like to share one thought about the traditional evolutionist/creationist debate. Are not both ends of the spectrum merely trying to create a narrative? A story for us? They are trying to write our past, as accurately as possible (For their own viewpoint, of course). Yet, is this digging into the past really going to help us solve the debate? Perhaps we should spend more time in the present moment, as it will reveal more to us than digging up bones ever could. Presence, patience, awareness, reflection on the now. Imagine what scientists would discover already dynamic and whole, in this moment? Perhaps that is for future-scientists to tango with. My point is, it's always, already now.

It's been a while,

And it may or may not be longer. I've been taking some down time at home to relax, play some games and socialize. I'll soon be back to blog again, as I've found some interesting things while surfing. In the meantime, though,

Farewell Arthur C. Clark (More on your parting words later).

Hello Eckhart Tolle, (Review of the internet class with Oprah to come).

Watching a few videos has made me reflect on the whole atheism thing, and I'd like to share a few thoughts. 

new cat! his name is sammy. I almost named him "Azeroth the Hungerer" because of his size, but alas. (Pics to come)

that's it for now, expect these blogs in no particular order....


Friday, March 7, 2008

Swimmies in the Deep End

I'd like to point out that this was greatly inspired by a friend of mine, for now we will call Owl. I was reading her blog and felt a spark of blogging inspiration. Thanks Owl!

A few blogs back I was inspired to critique and explore my major, sociology. I wrote a few questions that I thought were necessary, but forgotten in the classroom. I have one more:

Can our understanding deepen?

That is, can we understand ourselves, collectively and individually, at deeper and more inclusive levels?

The term is often called holistic. It's how one thing builds up on another, increasing depth, complexity and development in response to environment and change. There's a little bit of physical proof, sitting inside your skull right now. It's your reptilian brain stem. The very, very early state of the brain which handles our bare instincts. Wonderful thing. Causes problems sometimes, but necessary nonetheless. And it was necessary before we could develop the mammalian brain. It's not that the mammalian brain was predetermined, or pre-destined by some archaic, dogmatic faith or oppressive scientific law. Nope! It was, for the most part, spontaneous, intelligent reaction to adversity. So many variables go into evolution that I won't even try to explain them all, or even pretend I know half of them. What I'm getting at here, though, is that evolution exists. It naturally builds on previous states to emerge a new trait. The previous aspect is right there, doing what it always has. The reptilian brain is not "unequal" from the mammalian, for the two could not exist without each other.

So holistic things are inter-dependent as well. We have a world that is a wonderfully complex, hidden dynamic. Like an organism, there are parts, whole-parts making up other whole-parts. Is it any wonder, then, or even truly arguable, that our consciousness, our own mind does not reflect this harmonic universe? Is it any wonder that new stages of awareness, built on previous ones, can pop up in response to our own development and potential growth?

When a child is not raised in contact with other human beings, parts of his or her brain are actualy undeveloped. Because of this, you can make an argument that any such "evolved consciousness," is entirely dependent on your upbringing. That's only partially true. Yes, we are social beings. We need interaction to develop. But that interaction, that level of understanding that is imparted onto the next generation, has shifted and grown observably. You can witness the emergence of worldcentric thinking, pluralism and humanities as more dominant thought processes, as technology, globalization and worldviews emerge and interact.

So, what is more simplistic here? Can evolution, seen so colorfully enriched in our modern perspective, really be labeled "linear?" Or is it perhaps the view that, even in the deep end, we must wear swimmies that is truly the simple one? If people are diving in, there's no need to stop them. Just accept them as you accept the multiplicity of perspectives. Embrace depth with inclusiveness. That is the meaning of integral.

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