Science and Spirituality

s_lone
#1
Are science and spirituality compatible?

If by the term ''spiritual'' one means:

Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.

What form of spirituality can the scientist have?

Can the notion of Spirit be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?
 
Cliffy
#2
What is spirit? It can be scientifically defined as conscious energy. Quantum Physics has closed the gap between spirituality and science. For a more in depth look at the subject, see the movie "What the Bleep do we Know?"

YouTube - What the bleep do we know? Down the rabbit hole. part 1
 
s_lone
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

What is spirit? It can be scientifically defined as conscious energy. Quantum Physics has closed the gap between spirituality and science. For a more in depth look at the subject, see the movie "What the Bleep do we Know?"

I saw the movie a couple years ago and while it has the merit to raise important questions and engage the public into reflection, I think it is also misleading in its tendency to reach conclusions that are NOT backed up by the bulk of the scientific community.

That being said, I am more than open to radical ideas about consciousness and the nature of reality, but it's important to keep a clear distinction between unverifiable speculation and science.
Last edited by s_lone; Jan 12th, 2009 at 04:54 PM..
 
L Gilbert
#4
I think spirituality and science can be compatible presuming the def. of spirituality is the guidance of the human character to do good.
Science and beliefs that imaginary beings are real aren't compatible.
 
s_lone
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

I think spirituality and science can be compatible presuming the def. of spirituality is the guidance of the human character to do good.

Hard to disagree with that. I tend to think pure science is beyond good and evil, but as soon as science finds concrete applications in our human lives, ethics are absolutely necessary. And one's ethical views tend to be intimately tied to one's spiritual views.

Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Science and beliefs that imaginary beings are real aren't compatible.

If you define spirituality by ''belief in things that aren't real'' than of course, it isn't compatible with science. But clearly that is an arbitrary definition of spirituality.

From what I understand, spirituality in its simplest and purest form is concern and interest for what relates to consciousness or Spirit. Science itself is an investigation of the so-called material world by the human spirit.

Because science rises out of spirit, science can't really deny the existence of spirit. So in that sense, I believe science and spirituality are not only compatible but inseparable.
 
L Gilbert
#6
I wasn't defining spirituality as being the beliefs that imaginary beings are real. I just made the comment that science and the faiths are incompatible. Most people link spirituality and faith. I was clarifying.
 
darkbeaver
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone View Post

Are science and spirituality compatible?

If by the term ''spiritual'' one means:

Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.

What form of spirituality can the scientist have?

Can the notion of Spirit be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?

IMO they're not seperable, the one depends on the other directly, like leap frogging.
 
hermanntrude
#8
absolutely. "Spirit" could simply be something science has not yet explained. Many scientists are deeply spiritual people
 
s_lone
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

I wasn't defining spirituality as being the beliefs that imaginary beings are real. I just made the comment that science and the faiths are incompatible. Most people link spirituality and faith. I was clarifying.

It's true that most people link spirituality and faith and it is equally true that faith doesn't have much to do with science.

Being in the mood for nitpicking, one could argue that there is a certain amount of faith in science. Faith that the laws of the universe are fixed and knowable.

But that being said, I pretty much agree that faith and science are not compatible.
 
Zan
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone View Post


Can the notion of Spirit be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?


s_lone - what a great question!

Religion (which I'm sure you'll agree, is a much different concept than spirit) has personified the word and in fact, the very concept of spirit, imbuing it with all kinds of humanistic qualities (and flaws) and even in some cases, an actual physical description.

I believe that spirit is so much more than that... it's something intrinsic to each of us - and most certainly not external to us. I believe it is the force of life within each of us and whether it is nurtured, denied or ignored, it exists not as a separate entity from humanity but as the force which drives us individually and binds us collectively - with not only ourselves as a species, but our planet and everything on it, within it and of it... and even beyond that, with all that exists everywhere, known and unknown.

That said, the question for me then becomes


How can the notion of Spirit NOT be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?

or, if you prefer,

How can the notion of science NOT be coherently included in a spiritual view of the world?

No matter how you look at it, both sides of the coin are still the same coin.
 
s_lone
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan View Post

s_lone - what a great question!

Religion (which I'm sure you'll agree, is a much different concept than spirit) has personified the word and in fact, the very concept of spirit, imbuing it with all kinds of humanistic qualities (and flaws) and even in some cases, an actual physical description.

I believe that spirit is so much more than that... it's something intrinsic to each of us - and most certainly not external to us. I believe it is the force of life within each of us and whether it is nurtured, denied or ignored, it exists not as a separate entity from humanity but as the force which drives us individually and binds us collectively - with not only ourselves as a species, but our planet and everything on it, within it and of it... and even beyond that, with all that exists everywhere, known and unknown.

That said, the question for me then becomes


How can the notion of Spirit NOT be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?

or, if you prefer,

How can the notion of science NOT be coherently included in a spiritual view of the world?

No matter how you look at it, both sides of the coin are still the same coin.

I am in total agreement with your view Zan, and thanks for your enthusiastic input!

The two last questions you ask (with the NOTs) are very important and fundamental.

Here is where I think the debate can become very tricky... Is matter a sub-manifestation of Spirit? Or is spirit a sub-manifestation of the material world? Is this a false dilemma? Are matter and spirit 2 sides of the same coin?
 
Zan
#12
S-Lone, are you asking me which came first - the chicken or the egg? lollll I wouldn't dream of hazarding a guess!

Are you familiar with the writings of Neal Donald Walsch? He's taken a kick at addressing this subject matter... well, to be honest, it seems to me that what he's done is found a way to encapsulate all the best guesses from all the longest standing religions/belief systems into one generalized answer to some of these age old questions. It made for interesting reading for a lazy seeker of truth like me though.

If you decide to pick up any of his umpteen books, I can't recommend any beyond the first three. After that he seemed to get caught up in a trap he himself identified... and went from being a 'messenger' to a 'guru'.

For gawds' sake, beware all gurus!
 
Tyr
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan View Post

s_lone - what a great question!

Religion (which I'm sure you'll agree, is a much different concept than spirit) has personified the word and in fact, the very concept of spirit, imbuing it with all kinds of humanistic qualities (and flaws) and even in some cases, an actual physical description.

I believe that spirit is so much more than that... it's something intrinsic to each of us - and most certainly not external to us. I believe it is the force of life within each of us and whether it is nurtured, denied or ignored, it exists not as a separate entity from humanity but as the force which drives us individually and binds us collectively - with not only ourselves as a species, but our planet and everything on it, within it and of it... and even beyond that, with all that exists everywhere, known and unknown.

That said, the question for me then becomes

How can the notion of Spirit NOT be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?

or, if you prefer,

How can the notion of science NOT be coherently included in a spiritual view of the world?

No matter how you look at it, both sides of the coin are still the same coin.

Religion (which I'm sure you'll agree, is a much different concept than spirit) has personified the word and in fact, the very concept of spirit, imbuing it with all kinds of humanistic qualities (and flaws) and even in some cases, an actual physical description.


That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I struggled with the concept of "spirituality" and "God" for decades (born and raised Catholic)

Until I was able to seperate Spirituality from Religion and realize that God is a "term" that's been absconded by religion and means many different things to many different people, I'd shut the whole concept out of my life.

I agree with someone else's post that spirituality can be something that Science hasn't explained.......yet
 
MHz
#14
A scientist will always say 'damn' when death comes calling and then book on them is closed and forgotten in time..
A Christian might also say 'danm' at some point, always followed by 'Thanks' at some point after that and then more pages are added to their book..

That would seem to be like trying to mix oil and water, doesn't work all that well till you introduce a small amount of soap. (you start witnessing things attributed to God with you own eyes)
 
Tyr
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

A scientist will always say 'damn' when death comes calling and then book on them is closed and forgotten in time..
A Christian might also say 'danm' at some point, always followed by 'Thanks' at some point after that and then more pages are added to their book..

That would seem to be like trying to mix oil and water, doesn't work all that well till you introduce a small amount of soap. (you start witnessing things attributed to God with you own eyes)

Good for you. I had mentioned that "God" was a term absconded by the fringe as some sort omnipotent being.

The majority of the world doesn't see it that way. God is part of the spiritual experience (individual) vs religion which is a man made phenomenon based on superstition and fear
 
Cliffy
#16
That would seem to be like trying to mix oil and water, doesn't work all that well till you introduce a small amount of soap.

So, religion is soap.Interesting concept. I wonder if that could be scientifically proved? Or is that why my mom kept threatening to wash my mouth out with soap?

Spirituality is the individual search for truth and meaning in one's life. Religion is a social club. Zan said beware all gurus. I would ad beware all "holy" books. As JC himself said, "The kingdom of god is within." It ain't out there and it certainly can not be found in any books.
 
MHz
#17
No, witnessing some Godly events is the soap (as per some miraculous event already in Scripture ). Sight should take priority over a 'science' book.

Perhaps she should have after saying it once, then there would have been no need for any further threats.

Maybe it should say beware all 'Zans'. The words are there to describe a literal place. You are mistaking the 'knowledge we can acquire' to the reality that goes with it. The book that we read is outside our body. We have two parts, physical (earthly dust) and spiritual link to God (His breath of life that all living souls enjoy).
Some parts of the Bible actually teach that.
1Co:4:20: For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
 
Cliffy
#18
But if your head is buried in a book you will miss the real miracles that are going on all around you every day.

1Co:4:20: For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Ah, Corinthians, Paul the politician and builder of religions, mentally masturbating about his own ego. The great revelation on the road to Damascus was that if he stopped persecuting christians and convinced them that he had a revelation from god, he could become their leader. And since he discovered that for every christian he persecuted ten more would pop up, he would become the leader of a major movement and could influence them (read: change them to suit his own political agenda). Paul is the one who screwed up christianity by turning the story of Jesus into a religion instead of a spiritual movement based on his teachings. He was a major twit.
 
MHz
#19
I would think you should be thanking him, if not for him (and other similar influences) you would have been swept up into the same group this thread started with. Paul didn't become their leader, every letter he wrote was commissioned by a higher authority. There are enough verses to stop people from becoming a sheeple, it does take a bit of effort on their part though.

Now be quiet.
 
Cliffy
#20
Now be quiet.

MHz,I prefer the company of Pagans. They know how to boogy. Bible thumpers are a stodgy ol' lot.
 
Zan
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Maybe it should say beware all 'Zans'.

I'm not sure if I should be shocked, amused, offended or flattered!



Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post


Now be quiet.

tsk tsk! careful, you've just taken a giant leap into the most common and tedious abyss of ridonculous relgiosity since Gaia was queen of the heap ... stating their piece then attempting to stifle all free thought or speech to the contrary.

Indeed Cliffy - beware all that seeks to stifle the need or desire for any truth that might be acquired through experience or critical thought or self determination.
 
Dexter Sinister
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone View Post

Are science and spirituality compatible?

Yes.
Quote:

Can the notion of Spirit be coherently included in a scientific view of the world?

I'd have said yes if you hadn't capitalized spirit. If by "Spirit" you mean some non-corporeal part of your personality that exists separately from your brain and can potentially at least survive the death of your body, I'd say no. But if the term is as Cliffy defined it, "the individual search for truth and meaning in one's life," and to truth and meaning I'd probably add a few more things, like fulfillment and joy, I'd say yes.

Spirituality to me is about one's emotional response to the world, and I've always found that the more I can know and understand about it, the stronger and more positive that response is. For me, what science has discovered about reality is so much richer and more varied and surprising and interesting than anything any religious tradition ever invented, I find it very difficult to understand why anyone would opt for such a pale--and often demonstrably false--imitation of reality. The great J.B.S. Haldane once remarked that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose. The best science is deeply informed by spirituality, the need to know, to understand, the mysterious intuitive leaps that lead to new knowledge, and taking delight in finding out surprising and interesting new things. A scientist who lacks awareness of spirituality will never be anything more than a technician fiddling at the fringes. Science is first and foremost a human enterprise, one of our more successful ones, and suffers from all the usual weaknesses of all human enterprises--ego, dogma, tradition, bureaucracy, etc.--but at its best it's fabulously exciting and awe-inspiring and humbling. And because of its uniquely evidence-based, self-correcting nature, the best is what survives and endures.

I looked up at the sky from my back yard when I came home this evening, and there was Orion. I could see the vague fuzzy patch below the three stars that form Orion's belt, and I remembered seeing spectacular Hubble images of that area. New stars are being born there as we watch. Some day there may be life there, looking at us, if we're still around then. And suddenly, all the irritations and vexations of my day evaporated--and today was a uniquely irritating day for me--in the face of the grand scale of the universe and the fabulous sights to be found in it. That's my version of poetry.
 
Cliffy
#23
Indeed Cliffy - beware all that seeks to stifle the need or desire for any truth that might be acquired through experience or critical thought or self determination.

Zan,Not to worry. I have been dealing with these types for over forty years and they have never had an effect on me yet. MHz is a rare breed though. Kinda part JW and part Rottweiler.
 
MHz
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan View Post

I'm not sure if I should be shocked, amused, offended or flattered!

All, but since this is not a punishment they aren't all at once all of the time.

Quote:

tsk tsk! careful, you've just taken a giant leap into the most common and tedious abyss of ridonculous relgiosity since Gaia was queen of the heap ... stating their piece then attempting to stifle all free thought or speech to the contrary.

Indeed Cliffy - beware all that seeks to stifle the need or desire for any truth that might be acquired through experience or critical thought or self determination.

Actually I can end any conversation I am involved in at any time I wish (unless I am also a hostage). Cliffy is certainly free to carry on with any one else he wishes to, as are you.
 
Cliffy
#25
Here is another take on the subject, "Science Meets Spirituality".

YouTube - When Science meets Spirituality Part1
 
s_lone
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister View Post

Yes. I'd have said yes if you hadn't capitalized spirit. If by "Spirit" you mean some non-corporeal part of your personality that exists separately from your brain and can potentially at least survive the death of your body, I'd say no. But if the term is as Cliffy defined it, "the individual search for truth and meaning in one's life," and to truth and meaning I'd probably add a few more things, like fulfillment and joy, I'd say yes.

It's clear by your heartfelt testimony that science and spirituality are compatible. But of course, the term ''spirit'' is pretty vague and can be used in so many contexts. And the fact that I capitalized the word can easily be misleading.

By Spirit, I didn't quite mean the ''non-corporeal part of my personality that exists separately from my brain and can potentially survive its death.'' By Spirit, I'm talking about something that is universal rather than individual.

Very simply put, the idea of Platonic Forms is close to what I am talking about. (It's been expressed in many other ways throughout the history of philosophy)... This idea that the manifest world is just the surface of things, that there is an underlying structure that you can't really touch, smell or see but only assess with your mind.

The manifest world is a manifestation of what? Of Spirit. Here's an image to support the idea... The manifest world is like the surface of the ocean with its waves crashing on the beach of human consciousness. But what is there under the waves? Spirit. And in the end, the waves are not separate from Spirit, they are its exterior manifestation. The manifest world IS part of Spirit.

In my view, science is constantly dealing with what is going on beneath the waves. What is more intangible than the equations that underlie gravity? You can't touch these equations, you can't taste them, you can't SEE them... Of course, you can see an equation written on a piece of paper, but you need to understand the equation with your mind in order for it to have meaning. The written equation is just a symbol of the pure mental concept, that can only be ''seen'' with reason, not with the senses. To a child, the equation is just gibberish because it can't mentally grasp the concept.

So science is constantly going under the surface of manifest reality to understand what is really going on, and the further it goes, the more intangible things become, the more it needs to deal with abstract concepts and equations.

Of course, there is nothing intangible with a piano falling on your head (that is a pretty manifest version of gravity...) And there is nothing intangible about an atomic bomb! But again, the atomic explosion is the manifestation of principles that can only be assessed with the mind.
And it is in that sense that I speak of a universal Spirit. This Spirit is like the paper on which the story of the universe is written.

Or here's a perhaps better analogy:

The manifest world is like the actual letters that you are reading right now. You see them with your eyes (your senses). But Spirit (the ''non-manifest'') is like the syntax that makes these letters intelligible. Spirit is what makes it all coherent.

All that being said, I could understand why you wouldn't want to use the term ''Spirit'' for what I am talking about because of the numerous ways you can anthropomorphize the word. What would you suggest?
 
s_lone
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Here is another take on the subject, "Science Meets Spirituality".

YouTube - When Science meets Spirituality Part1

Thanks for posting this Cliffy. I've watched it after posting my previous post and realize I was trying to explain exactly what this man is explaining better than me.

I have a feeling Dexter Sinister will have something to say about this...
 
Scott Free
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

For a more in depth look at the subject, see the movie "What the Bleep do we Know?"

I watched this movie and found it made some outrageous distortions of fact, many of the so called "experts" are expounding on topics out of their field, or in the case of Davis Albert edited to say something he never meant, and IMO the movie is thus guilty of outright deceptions like you would expect from any spiritualist charlatan.
 
Dexter Sinister
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone View Post

I have a feeling Dexter Sinister will have something to say about this...

How clever you are...

The good Dr. Hagelin, three-time Natural Law Party candidate for President of the U.S., professor at the Maharishi University, proposer of a Vedic shield to end terrorism and war, has gone off the deep end. There`s no justification in physics for most of what he says about its connection to consciousness, and he says some things that flatly aren`t true. Superstring theory is indeed an elegant bit of mathematics, as he says, but it has no grounding in anything we know about the physical universe and so far it`s made no testable predictions that would distinguish it from the Standard Model of quantum theory. It is not the Unified Field Theory, physics has not discovered the unity he speaks of, that`s just mystic nonsense of the same sort that the movie What the Bleep Do We Know is full of. As it turns out, we know quite a lot, but you won`t find anything useful about it in that movie. It`s an elaborate tissue of fabrications and distortions, and deliberately misrepresents the results of a long interview with physicist and philosopher David Albert so that he appears to agree with the film`s central thesis, that consciousness and quantum theory are linked, when in fact he does not.

The universe is quite wonderful and mysterious as it is, there`s no need to make up crap about it.
 
darkbeaver
#30
Everything grows in crap though. Even answers start as crap.
 

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