Saturday, May 23, 2009

Non-Debate Between Godless Humanists and Religious Kooks

From an Episcopal Priest in Kansas-

This week, National Public Radio has been doing a series of stories about “the Science of Spirituality.” The stories focus on the ways that our brains work in regard to such things as spiritual visions, near-death experiences and the impact of prayer on health and well-being. Emphasis is put on the fact that our brains are electro-chemical organs that are the very basis of human experience. But the stories have been intentional about not dismissing the real possibility of God. Instead, the journalists present the idea that perhaps the electro-chemical processes are what make it possible for us to comprehend and connect to something more than ourselves.

As an Episcopal priest, I find such stories interesting because they address issues that I deal with directly within my vocation. They also appeal to me because as an Episcopalian, I come from the Anglican branch of Christianity that buried Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton front and center within the confines of one of our most sacred shrines, Westminster Abbey. I appreciate such an approach because my religious belief is based upon the notion of balancing Scripture, Tradition and Reason, especially when it may force me from my own comfort zones and into a deeper encounter with God.

But recently I have come to appreciate such an approach to science and religion because of the mostly non-fruitful and downright derogatory ways that a few scientists and religious apologists have carried on in the public forum. Unfortunately, where science and religion are concerned, real dialogue is usually bypassed in favor of posted agendas.

All too often scientific method is used to justify an academic skepticism that degrades into a belittlement of all things having to do with faith and spirituality. While in the other camp, religion is often used in both silly and tragic ways to justify forms of ignorance about, and prejudice towards, the reality of the human condition and the cosmos as a whole.

More here-

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