Of Science and Spirituality

When I was a child I asked my mother why a book I found had so many jokes about the weatherman making bad predictions. She explained to me that before satellites, weather forecasts were far less accurate. Without the use of technology weather prediction as we know it would be impossible. It is funny to think that what has become one of the most useful sciences in our world today, weather forecasting, was once considered a waste of time, a joke.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.-Arthur C. Clark

I come from a family of scientists and I do love science myself. But I find the notion that there is no space in the scientific community for spirituality utterly ridiculous and a bit frightening. If a person denies the importance of spirituality in today’s world then “From where,” I must ask them, “do you derive your morals and ethical beliefs? If you throw away spirituality then how do you know that deceit, thievery, rape or murder are wrong? Is this not the basis of the now popular line, “It’s only wrong if you get caught.””

As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.- Arthur C. Clarke

Humanitarianism,” one friend of mine said. I smile and nod.

Then let humanitarianism be your religion,” I suggest.

In not really being a religion, humanitarianism is the closest I think we have to a philosophy of true spirituality. Even if you do not believe in spirits, there are now studies that have found belief in a higher power and the practice of religion to be beneficial to the mental stability and well being of most people. Thus even the atheist humanitarian must allow for the right to be religious.

But I can not help thinking those studies might never have been done were it not for brave spiritual people who used science to prove what was long considered superstition.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.-Albert Einstein

What would science be without spirituality but meaningless pieces of a great puzzle? What would spirituality be without science but a beautiful cloud that floats out of reach?

The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.- Isaac Asimov

They are to me an awesome pairing of Yin and Yang. Science the bright and shining light and spirituality the dark mysterious yin. Look too long at the brightness of the sun and you may go blind as some scientists have gone blind to the necessity of ethics in human and animal studies.

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.- Albert Einstien

Spirituality is the mystery that requires faith in the unprovable. Yet even in darkness we can feel our way if we have the courage to move in the dark. Still, in holding to spirituality alone many evil acts are and have been committed in the name of religion. We must ever strive to make sense of the dark by remembering the truths learned in the light.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.-Galileo Galilei

Once a cousin tested me asking how I knew if something I had learned spiritually was true. I replied that before I act on something I believe to be spiritually true, I imagine what would I do if I only had logic to rely on for the decision. If I can not find more than one logical reason for doing that which my heart tells me is spiritually correct, I keep my mind open and question, question, question. Those instances are rare however. Most spiritual truths are based on logical reasoning if you look closely enough.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post. My life would be lacking if I did not have access to a vibrant spirituality of sorts. I only disagree with you saying that those who do not espouse a spiritual perspective are wholly incapable of making ethical choices. I have encountered many atheists in my life who possessed impeccable morals. Anyway, I love your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carolyne says:

      Oh dear, I just wrote a reply of 220 words to this and still want to say more. Thank you for this comment . I will be sure to blogg about this within the week. For now this is what I have so far.
      I too know many atheists who have the highest morals, that is why I mention the humanitarian, to show that atheism and humanitarianism are not incompatible, nor do I see atheism as not being spiritual. Buddhism is highly spiritual but does not require a belief in God. It requires the belief that all life is sacred. Is not the belief that all life is sacred a form of spirituality? What I really meant to say though is that morality comes from knowing doing wrong is still doing wrong even if you don’t get caught because even if you don’t believe God or other spirits are watching, your own spirit is there to see and know what you did. It is your own spirit or soul that is damaged when you do wrong and do not get caught. Still there may well be another explanation that eludes me. Is it honor? I honestly don’t know? I certainly do not mean to say that I think that atheists are not moral. Most have such a high sense of morals that they can not believe in God because they are unable to believe that any sentient being of such power could allow such terrible things to happen as do in fact happen. It is therefore their own high morals that makes them atheists.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe that a moral sensibility predicated on fear of merely being found out and punished by an omniscient being when you do something that the deity deems wrong is the worst kind to have. Instead of borne out of fear, morals should derive from a deep love and reverence for all of our fellow human beings. I think it comes down to the golden rule – whether you are religious or not. We should think so highly of others, that we only engage in actions that will make them and ourselves happy. To me, it is also intrinsically rewarding and a source of great joy to do whatever I can to plant the seeds of bliss everywhere I go.

        Liked by 1 person

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