The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Even more discombobulated than usual

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Most people have a stream of consciousness. Most people also have a mild, meandering creek that's lovely to look at and ride down. Me? I have a Class VI rapids stream of consciousness. Y'all know that, or should by now.
So with that in mind, I warn you now: Today's rambling may be more disjointed than usual. It's a topic I've been rassling for a good long while now. I do not expect to achieve a resolution in my mind, but I have to get this out.

I start with this news item from the HuffPo. You need to scroll down toward the end of the article to get to the good part. I am HUGELY looking forward to this experiment being repeated. If it is repeated and found valid, this it's going to amount to a bitchslap across the face of a lot of people. At the same time, it is NOT going to be 100 percent validation for a bunch of other people. If it can't be repeated, it'll be listed as yet another anomaly.
Ooooooo!

What we have here is a case of science possibly validating something that religion has long stated.

Oooooo.

So here's my conundrum.

I do not claim to be a scientist nor do I claim to understand everything science does.

Neither do I claim to be an expert of religion nor do I understand everything that God does.

So.

SCIENCE

I have read that accepted scientific fact at one time stated the earth was flat. We now have evidence the earth is round.
The science of A'Tuin.

I point this (and many other now-overturned scientific "facts") to certain people. The most coherent reply I get is that "What we state as fact is what fits the available evidence and our understanding of that evidence."

Meanwhile I mentally burn out another transmission."Yeah, but you (science) were wrong! Not just once but a BUNCH of times! So why should I trust everything you say now?"

"Because we're right," is the answer I get. I truncate here for space reasons. But semantically, that's exactly the answer provided.

And so a tautology is launched that would give Ouroboros a choking fit.


Of course the same exact thing can be said of religion. Further some of the scientific "facts" which were wrong were based on religious teachings.

F'dang. More tautology.

Occasionally I get an "I don't know" as an answer. When faced with that as an honest answer, the debate is over.

RELIGION
The chief question for religion is "why." Why anything and everything. Actually, the same can be said for science.
God at work?
Periodically someone who claims to have a skull-to-cosmic-consciousness connection to the great creator will write down (so to speak) what that creator dictates. Over the course of human existence, plenty of people have stepped up as a spokesman for the one true god. Most - correction - all are ridiculed. Ridicule is the resort of those who run out of intellectual ammunition. Both sides are equally guilty of that kind of fight.

Religion has often been proven wrong. The dogmatic move forward, ignoring or rationalizing away the mistakes of the past. And yet, science has proven as factual many things which religion has stated. Prior to the science proving it, it was pooh-poohed as bushwa.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

When asked for proof, the essence of the reply of the religious is "God said."

Calling Ouroboros. Paging Mr. Ouroboros...

Rarely, less often than in scientific circles, someone will stand up and say "Well, I just don't know." Argument over.

MAKING SENSE

In this debate which has raged ever since the first shaman clobbered the first person to question him, I find myself increasingly retreating into the statement Socrates made popular - All I know is that I know nothing.

Science, at least the hard sciences, as I understand it is an attempt to make sense of the physical world.

Religion, at least as I understand it, is an attempt to make sense of the human condition.

Move the most infinitesimal distance away from either of those positions and the two overlap. The overlap is where the arguments reside.

For those interesting in walking out to the far end of science, you can read of how our universe is one of many, perhaps unlimited, how our "laws" of physics don't apply in those other places, how our "laws"  and "facts" were created at the instance the universe was created and at least one noted big thinker who says gravity does not exist. Really. Boiled down to the essence, these advanced theories are the same thing as religion. To wit: Something happened. We don't know what, why or how. We're trying to figure that out.

The same stuff exists on the religious side with various levels or realms of existence, what happens there and so forth.

As Rebel says, "my head parts hurt."

ONE MORE THING

Science has not proven the existence of God one way or another. As my scientific friends tell me, lack of proof is not proof. In other words, saying "It does not exist" is not a valid scientific statement. Saying "We do not know if it exists" is a valid statement.

On the religious side, mankind is attempting to bring a human-order and understanding to a cosmic consciousness. Understanding that metaphors are always inexact, I tell you that trying to reduce God to a human understanding is is like trying to teach calculus to Hairball, my daughter's cat.

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