The Science of Religion . . .

Mandala“Who, me? Religious? No thanks! I’m pretty spiritual but religion really turns me off.”

Ever heard someone say something like that? Ever said it yourself?

So what is it with this spiritual/religious divide? What makes what used to go together fall so far apart? Is it related to the idea that living-together seems to have more appeal than marriage?

“Who, us? Get married? No thanks! We’re pretty compatible but marriage really turns us off.”

What’s wrong with commitment? And, what does science have to do with any of this?

“Who me? Be scientific? No thanks! I’m pretty rational but exposing my ideas to the possibility of being disproven really turns me off.”

Just because some people get away with having their ideas accepted even when they aren’t true doesn’t make science invalid.

Just because some people get along famously living-together doesn’t invalidate marriage.

Just because engaging in spiritual activities makes a person more loving doesn’t make religion reprehensible.

It’s what people have made of marriage that makes many shy from it.

It’s what people have done to the use of the mind that has fostered less than rigorous thinking.

It’s what folks do in the name of religion that sends people running…

Marriage is an institution that makes a relationship more than being pretty compatible.

Science is an institution that makes thought more than pretty rational.

Religion is an institution that makes spirituality more than being a nice person…

There is also a science to marriage—a method of perfecting the living-together.

A science of religion?

I’ll leave you with a statement from the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Spiritual Quote:

“Consider the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man. Examine thine own self, and behold how thy motion and stillness, thy will and purpose, thy sight and hearing, thy sense of smell and power of speech, and whatever else is related to, or transcendeth, thy physical senses or spiritual perceptions, all proceed from, and owe their existence to, this same faculty. So closely are they related unto it, that if in less than the twinkling of an eye its relationship to the human body be severed, each and every one of these senses will cease immediately to exercise its function, and will be deprived of the power to manifest the evidences of its activity. It is indubitably clear and evident that each of these afore-mentioned instruments has depended, and will ever continue to depend, for its proper functioning on this rational faculty, which should be regarded as a sign of the revelation of Him Who is the sovereign Lord of all. Through its manifestation all these names and attributes have been revealed, and by the suspension of its action they are all destroyed and perish.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 163

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Would A Scientist Lie To You ?

dishonest_scientistsScience has attained a position in modern culture that approaches what was formerly reserved for religion. Many people would thank God for that turn of events but most of the scientists, good “priests” of the new “religion”, would caution the God-thanker against unscientific thinking.

If that little scenario seems a bit convoluted, the actual situation in science-at-large is much more distorted.

Before launching into a case-in-point, I want to float an analogical situation to ease our approach to some extremely tangled territory:

You’re just cruisin’ along, doin’ your thing in life, when a rival you didn’t even know you had starts to spread a rumor that you’re a sex abuser. The first you hear of it is during a conversation at the next table in the café. It’s about whether the police should use entrapment to find sex abusers and it’s definitely loud enough to make you listen.

Certain details of some recent case start surfacing and you begin to realize that these people are talking about a man who’s currently being investigated for his activities who sounds like it might be you—too many little details, no name, but enough circumstantial evidence to deduce that these people are discussing You!

This kind of rumor-mongering doesn’t happen just in cafés; it’s present in business, political, and religious communities, too. The point I want to make is how hard it can be, once a rumor has circulated enough to gain currency, to disprove it, no matter how many facts you have at your disposal. Shades of Lenin and the Big Lie…

Back to the scientists.

A recent news buzz was created by an extremely expensive collection of scientific equipment—the Large Hadron Collider. This particle-smashing machine was built by tax-payer money but the people who’s pockets were emptied haven’t been given the whole truth…

An entertaining yet scientifically weak article in The New York Times, Gauging a Collider’s Odds of Creating a Black Hole, discusses some apparently alarming aspects of the risks scientists create with their expensive experiments. The problem with the article and most of mainstream science is that the science being done isn’t as rigorously honest as one might imagine it should be.

What some folks would call a fringe-group (a group that has successfully predicted what many recent spacecraft have recorded, things that have the mainstreamers running back to their drawing-boards) recently posted an article by Jeremy Dunning-Davies, senior lecturer in physics at the University of Hull and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dr. Dunning-Davies discusses the alarm produced by the switching on of the Hadron Collider, then proceeds to give an acute analysis of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (not  horribly technical) and says something very interesting for a scientist:

“Science should be studied with a totally open mind and any advances should be examined in a like manner. Surely the aim of any scientific investigation is to seek the truth? Probably mankind will always be found wanting intellectually and any solution to a problem will be no more than an approximation to the real truth, but efforts must continue in all areas to find that elusive complete answer….Where several theories exist, that fact must be openly acknowledged with no thought for protecting vested interests of any sort.”

Dr. Dunning-Davies is not well appreciated by his fellow scientists. He’s encroaching on their “priesthood”, he’s asking for the complete truth and that just might lead to the mainstream scientists not having the monetary support they want.

Point?

If a large group of scientists are not letting the whole truth reach the public, or using the tactics of the malicious rumor-mongerer to keep competing theories from the funding-dollar, we the Public deserve to know.

Figuring out how to put down the rumor-like science and let the whole truth shine is a bit harder than just knowing about it. Just like the fellow having misinformation being spread about his sexual abuse, beating down a popular lie is a huge task…

Spiritual Quote:

“…the injunction to investigate truth—that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

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Path Toward Peace – Step Two

Eliminating Racism

Eliminating Racism


Do you practice racism?

From AsianWeek: “I’m Not, Like, Racist”

From IndependentOnline: Rhodes sorry for past racist actions

From TribalFootball: Scotland and Ireland slammed by anti-racism agency

Here’s a definition of racism:

belief in racial superiority: the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior.

It might be good to define prejudice, too:
opinion formed beforehand: a preformed opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes.

I feel we all  have to be rigorous in self-examination concerning tendencies toward racism.

It’s an ingrained behavior, driven deep by ages of irrational action.

Ever been faced by any of these situations?

* Your child wants to marry someone of different color.

* You are asked to work closely with a person of different color.

* Your partner was formerly involved with someone of different color.

* You find yourself in a situation that demands you live for an extended time with people of different color.

If you haven’t had to face those situations, I urge you, with an open heart, to imagine you are experiencing them. *** How do you honestly feel?

One factor that clouds this whole issue is the behavior of people who identify with their skin color—acting in ways that make them feel exclusive.

It’s going to take a phenomenal commitment to rid our planet of this illness. It will take “genuine love, extreme patience, true humility, consummate tact, sound initiative, mature wisdom, and deliberate, persistent, and prayerful effort.”

Also, recent thinking has made the idea of separate human races a distinctly non-scientific viewpoint. I’ll offer one opinion for your examination.

Spiritual Quote:

“Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils, is a major barrier to peace. Its practice perpetrates too outrageous a violation of the dignity of human beings to be countenanced under any pretext. Racism retards the unfoldment of the boundless potentialities of its victims, corrupts its perpetrators, and blights human progress. Recognition of the oneness of mankind, implemented by appropriate legal measures, must be universally upheld if this problem is to be overcome.”
The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace

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