The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134693 Message #3073457
Posted By: Little Hawk
12-Jan-11 - 09:30 PM
Thread Name: BS: Young Earth Creationism
Subject: RE: BS: Young Earth Creationism
I don't accord traditional science and traditional religion the same status, Steve, nor do I place them on some imagined level of equality. I consider them to be radically different pursuits in almost every way...because, as I said before, they are devoted to quite different ends. Science is a technical discipline that observes and catalogs facts in the physical world...that is, the world of the 5 senses...sorts out those facts into categories and related groups...conducts laboratory experiments to verify theories and collect data, etc...
Religion isn't directed toward that. It's primarily directed toward looking within human consciousness, within oneself, and determining what one's life is about in a subjective sense rather than describing the outward phenomena.
Science is interested in the objective world...the outer, observable phenomena.
Religion is interested in the subjective world....morality, philosophy, meaning, purpose, desire, intention, consciousness, etc...the inner nature of man's existence. Stuff that CANNOT be put in a test tube, nevertheless we all experience it in the form of thought and emotion and consciousness. Those are real factors in our lives. Learning to discipline those areas in such a way as to become more in control of yourself and more positive in every way is the essential job of spiritual work.
Now, the aspects of religion you so strenuously object to, however, are not what I'm talking about above. What you object to, I think, is mostly the hierchical outer power structure of organized religion with its holy books, its rules, its priests, its myths and parables, its eclesiastical orders, etc. Those are the outward observable forms of organized religion, and they have been much abused and used to seek power and control.
I object to those things in religion too, provided they are used harmfully, but I don't consider them to be what religion is truly about. They are the superficial outer forms. They're bloody obvious, and everyone knows about them, and they have been greatly misused in many cases, while in other cases they have been used to do much good for people.
Your problem with religion is that you will look ONLY at its negative aspects, but not at the rest. You're like a person looking at Germany, a brilliant nation, and seeing only the Nazis, the concentration camps, Hitler, the SS, etc....but having no recognition at all of anything good that ever happened in Germany. That makes you a fanatic where religion is concerned.
If a religious fundamentalist looked at science and saw ONLY atom bombs, poison gas, biological warfare, and other horrible creations of science...but nothing good at all in science...then he'd be seeing science the way you see religion. Fanatically, from a totally negative bias.
That's not intelligent. It's a reflex of extreme fear and ignorance, and extreme prejudice.
You don't seem to be at all aware that the real purpose of all genuine spiritual search is NOT to obey religious rules, obey priests, or follow an outer power structure of any kind...it is to understand oneself and one's place in life more deeply and through that to become a better, kinder, more loving person...more patient...more thoughtful...more forgiving...less judgemental. One doesn't need a church to do that. One doesn't need a "God" to do it either. One might find some churches helpful, though, depending on how wisely they are being led and who is in them.
A sane and unprejudiced person is easily capable of seeing the good in both spirituality AND science, and integrating them both into his or her life in very positive ways. The one, in fact, complements the other very effectively, though they are quite different. They work together toward a common end, which is to improve life for all human beings and to be respectful of the Earth and of Mother Nature.
Have you ever read a book on Taoism? Buddhism? Hinduism? Sufiism? American Indian religion? Christian philosophy? Jewish philosophy? Muslim philosophy? If not, how much do you think you actually know about the purposes of spiritual study? Not much, I would think. But you do know that you don't like the churches and the organized religions very much! ;-) Well, one doesn't have to go to any churches to be spiritual, but as far as that goes, neither does one have to avoid them, because they are not simply dens of iniquity, evil, and horror. It depends a lot on who is in them, after all.
Like science or anything else, religion can be used to improve people's lives...or to worsen them. That is up to the people who use the tools provided, once those tools are in their hands (or in their minds).
As to how old the Earth is, I think it's probably billions of years old. But why do I think that? Well, I think it because I grew up in a time (and a family) in which traditional science was the primary recognized authority, that's why! So I heard from other people that the Earth was many millions of years old, and I believed them. And that's all there is to it. I'm about as good at repeating the stuff I've been told as the rest of you are! ;-D And a parrot can do that too...
But do I know for sure if the scientists are right in their estimates of the age of the Earth? No. I don't know for sure. I just assume that they're probably fairly close to being correct, but I don't know. Neither does anyone else here. You're all making broad assumptions based on the prevailing mood of your society and whoever you were hanging out with in your impressionable years.
Now...I'll tell you what happens when anyone has the temerity to stick his head up above the trenches here and say ANYTHING about his religious or spiritual beliefs, about God...about anything like that.
What happens is that the usual crew of soreheaded anti-religious cranks here rush out to jeer, ridicule, and cast stones at the heathen in their midst! ;-) Yes, the faithful of traditional science gather in a noisy mob to destroy the heretic who dared stick his nose above the parapet, as it were, and speak about something, anything that doesn't get instant approval from the faithful of your particular little in-group, which is people who have a huge chip on their shoulders regarding religion.
That's not laudable behaviour. It's just like a bunch of religious fanatics gathering to cast out the heathen in their midst. Same basic nasty attitude. Same basic assumption of superiority. Same basic damnation of those who don't subscribe to your own sanctioned party line and your own preferences.
How come I can easily see the good in both science AND religion? While some of you here insist on seeing only the bad....
Because I've taken a fair look at both of them, that's why, and I am dominated by neither one of them to the exclusion of the other.