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Science vs Religion - The False Dilemma

Updated on April 19, 2017

Science-Spirit: Branches Of The Same Tree

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“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” ~ Carl Sagan

The Consequences of Polarized Thinking

To speak bluntly, Anyone that concludes one belief system can explain all things in this reality, anyone that thinks their belief has no logical flaws, or dark spot gaps in its fabric of perception, then that person is wearing blinders.

They're bedazzled by a set mind, self-deluded and stubbornly, self-made ignorant. There is no more intractable, rigid people found than those who identify as material atheists and the fundamentally religious. I was hesitant to write this, especially because the people I am addressing are not a majority segment of the worlds' population. But this attitude, this false dichotomy dominates the conversational idea exchange for humanity, they're not the majority, but they are loud. I think it needs to be examined and exposed for being a fabrication of lower minds. This false dilemma, also known as black and white thinking, and 'all or nothing' thinking, keeps humanity on the merry go round of intellectual mediocrity. It hinders pondering more powerful questions that humanity could be asking of itself, and life, and keeps humans intellectually herded into manageable flocks.

Science Requires a Sense of Wonder

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Never Lose Sight Of Your Curiosity and Imagination

Author Neale Donald Walsch says: "Never stop doubting, never stop questioning, never ever assume you have all the answers. Having all the answers kills the question itself, renders it lifeless.....and you too. Keep looking, keep seeking. Never, ever find it all. Because when you find it all, you deny that there is more. And there is never not more."

The reality of this conscious life cannot be explained solely by science, or religion. Science too quickly dismisses the personal mystical experience, while religion frowns on inquiring questions and inherent human doubt. Just have 'faith', doesn't answer questions, and inflexible scientific 'findings' cannot grasp the whole of the experience of being alive.

So much of the mystical, the spiritual...the subtler energies of living, are not any thing that can be empirically, scientifically proven. Language is a poor tool to communicate the divine, the transcendent operates in the feelings. But language is all we have, language is slightly better at communicating feelings, but not much.
So, we use metaphor, analogy, and simile. We tell you something is there, but you have to be willing, or able, to see it for yourself. Personally, I try not to define it for you, because, it's a subjective entity.

There is more...there is always more.

What is Death?

Not Either or...It's This and That

Essentially, any thinking that is not religiously doctrinal or pure scientifically based, is described as pseudo religion or pseudo-science, then offhandedly dismissed or intentionally misunderstood. Only traditionally religious based thought, or 'accepted' science is allowed to be heard. I've studied religious thought for years, decades. That exploration of religious thinking left me with more questions than I had before I started.
When I address science here, I'm addressing the layperson that deems to speak for science. Those that have adopted science as their religion, and fasten themselves onto scientists, like fans do to rock stars. As can be seen with Neil deGrasse Tyson, a brilliant man mind you. degrasse Tyson is their prophet of choice. degrasse Tyson quotes rather eloquently regarding his resurrection of the Cosmos television series -
"Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos is…an offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it.”

When science becomes dogmatic in its denial of a deeper, unmeasurable, unpredictable and ethereal reality, then it has become dogmatic itself. However, there are signs lately showing that science is becoming less self-obsessed.
Science is starting to ponder the nature of consciousness, and the effect of non-tangible forces on universal material reality. Einstein termed it 'spooky action at a distance'.

Knowledge Erodes Religious Dogma

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Religious Belief is Declining

Katherine Bindley of Huffington Post writes: "The number of Americans who claim to have no religious affiliation is the highest it has ever been since data on the subject started being collected in the 1930s, new research has found.

Sociologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University analyzed results from the General Social Survey and found that the number of people who do not consider themselves part of an organized religion has jumped dramatically in recent years."

For the most part these people didn't become atheist, they left the constraints of religious dogma. Scientific discovery has played a role in this procedure for sure, but just as Capt. Picard said in the video above: ". . .what we are goes past any Euclidian or other practical measuring systems. . ."
Many have left the boundaries of religious thought, and know there is more to this life than science has been heretofore unwilling to acknowledge. These people say "I'm spiritual, but not religious.",..."I'm open to all possibilities...". These people have become seekers, they seek the direct experience of divinity. They dabble in the noetic sciences and eastern mystical traditions. They take what feeds their soul, live and let live.

Branches Of The Same Tree

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Do Not Worship The Finger That Points

Science points to something. Religion and Divinity points to something. Philosophy points to something. The Arts and Letters point to something. Spirituality and mysticism points to something. Follow each to where they're pointing; inside to the personal felt experience of living. Do not become enthralled with, and worship the finger that points.

Trust, Gratitude and Presence

One Love

Duane Townsend

© 2015 Duane Townsend

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    • Duane Townsend profile imageAUTHOR

      Duane Townsend 

      3 years ago from Detroit

      RonElFran....Yours is an astute observation. Thank you

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Part of the issue is that at the intersection between science and religion, many who say they speak for "science" very deliberately aim at asserting its preeminence over religion as a means of understanding reality. I think the Tyson quote is revealing: "Any time...what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine." Now, ask those who place themselves on the science side of the science/religion divide whether evolution is a theory that can be questioned, or an unassailable scientific fact. The assertions commonly made about that question over the last few decades show, IMO, that by Tyson's standard, most who claim to speak for science are no less dogmatically doctrinaire than those who openly speak from a faith perspective.

    • Duane Townsend profile imageAUTHOR

      Duane Townsend 

      3 years ago from Detroit

      JoAnne...thank you!

      I've been seeing the Pluto fly-by story on the periphery of my awareness, but I haven't taken the time to go read or watch it...yet.

      Your reminder inspires me to do just that.

    • profile image

      JoAnne Simson 

      3 years ago

      Beautifully worded. And nice photos. Thanks! Let's keep our eyes and minds open so we can experience the beauty and wonder of the universe.

      On another note, what do you think of the Pluto fly-by? A valentine at the outer limits of the solar system.

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