Saturday, December 09, 2006

Chopra & Dawkins

I was just wondering why Richard Dawkins cared so much about what other people chose to believe. Then I read this comment.
"One thing about the materialistic perspective is that it
reduces everything to zero. No value." Pandu on November 15, 2006 at
If that nonsensical statement truly represented the spiritual perspective, I'd probably be a Dawkins follower, too.
"Since Dawkins does not dismiss delusion as a property that someone can have, he is not dismissing things like love etc." daenku32 on November 15, 2006 at 04:10pm
Are you saying that love is a delusion???
"Why rob Dawkins of his point, which is that science has given humanity much, in terms of progress and enlightenment....
Why belittle science?" JTJames on November 15, 2006 at 04:12pm
I don't think that's Dawkins' point. Dawkins is the one who is intent on belittling anything that he perceives (erroneously, I think) to be a threat to science. Dr. Chopra is himself a scientist, and I did not read any belittling in his essay. His only point was the same as Hamlet's: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
"For you to definitively state that all subjective experiences exist, and therefore God does, is a frankly a little crazy." RogerHanna on November 15, 2006 at 04:16pm
Chopra didn't say that. He implied that science can neither measure nor explain subjective experience. Therefore, science cannot yet explain everything. I extrapolate furter: to deny the existence of something simply because science cannot yet measure it is... unscientific?

There is an element of poetry to religion. Why is it so hard for some people to accept the notion of "God" as a metaphor for the unexplained or unexplainable?

Maybe the real argument is over whether or not everything is explainable. Perhaps people who go to God are seeking refuge from the unexplainable, whereas people who deny God believe that everything can be explained. By science.

Personally, I'm comfortable with the unexplainable.

stephendedalus 82 asks (on 12/9), "why is it that the atheists are the only ones arguing for fixed truth on here!?"
Thanks, Steve. I think you've hit on the important underlying issue for
me. It's not really -- for me -- about God/No God. It's all about
"fixed truth".

How can there be? Everything we learn expands our "truth". Flat earth
used to be true. Is there a fixed, finite "truth" out there waiting to
be discovered? Maybe, but that's still an assumption that cannot be
proved from our limited point of view -- as the concept of "height"
cannot be proved in a 2-dimensional world.

Your comment suggests to me that the religious fundamentalists and the atheist fundamentalists share a common belief in the idea of fixed
truth. I think fundamentalist Christians want a God precisely because
he represents a fixed truth. Many of us on this thread - not religious
fundamentalists - have argued that atheism is its own belief system.
You seem unable to see that. But I suggest that the belief that all
truth is provable -- much less fixed or knowable from our perspective
-- is only a belief and not a fact.

I'll say it again: the depth of my love for my family for my family
cannot be measured or proved -- even by my willingness to die for them
-- but it is nonetheless true. It is not a scientific truth, but that
does not make it any less real. That's all we're saying.

If you atheists don't want to believe it's real, who cares? Your loss.
By: xenofile on December 09, 2006 at 06:52pm