A few weeks ago I listened to a Catholic school Professor wax religious about jesus and god. The conversation informed me of little and led nowhere, bible interpretation with a play for art history and shock. Not so bad if offered as literature analysis, but so bad when offered as a way to live one’s life. It comes as no surprise that people will believe in anything. I’m not even sure why I went, actually, it was the pizza and beer.
What had me really thinking after the event was a conversation I had with someone who considered himself quite the philosophical sort. His biggest point regarded facts, truth, evidence, religion, science, and nearly all things as being equal: no one knows what is real so it all goes. I have a tremendous problem with this outlook. Not only does it guarantee selfishness, it prevents humans from discovering what works. Medicine, air travel, countless amounts of modern technology, and the like work because of diligent scientific study and application. Satellites in orbit keep time with us thanks to Einstein’s theories and teams of engineers/scientists. Should this be scrapped because we can never be certain that we aren’t just figments in the dreams of an alien creature living on the back of a turtle? These aren’t just harmless beliefs. Recent stories of parents performing prayers and exorcisms over their children, instead of seeking a Doctor, has led to murder. Churches repeatedly tell their congregation to avoid blood transfusions, life saving medicines, and other preventative measures. We know what it means to cause someone pain and suffering, we know what it means to help and assist someone, what we continually refuse is proper application.
His argument that religion and science are one in the same made no sense. He tried to justify the view but when asked to define religion and define science he couldn’t. It’s easy enough to claim them the same but the proof was never offered. Science has tons to work out, and therein lies the fun. The questions continue and the answers amaze. It has less to do with the answers and more with the questions of discovery.
The uphill struggle continues when mainstream voices like Deepak Chopra rally against reality, usurp quantum mechanics for fluff, and say empty things like:
..the mind may influence the flow of energy and information in living things, and beyond that to the universe as a whole.
I’m not sure what mind is being referenced, the human-mind is a blip in the history of the universe as are earthly living creatures in general. He needs to subject his studies to peer-review and see where it stands. Chopra’s junk often sounds nice but means nothing. We have the option of accepting products and statements that actually improve our lives and interactions with each other (products/statements that are open to challenge and change) or we can accept unfounded statements and costly (monetary as well as moral/ethical) practices that take us backwards and nowhere.