Texas Faith 12: Why should science talk to religion?
Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
Scientists Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett and other prominent atheists have spoken out against other scientists participating in dialogue with religious leaders and believers. Their view is that religion has nothing to teach science, and at best would use the credibility and authority of science to legitimize, in some sense, beliefs Dawkins, et al., consider deeply harmful.
So, here's this week's question of the week for our panelists:
How would you make a case for mutual engagement between science and religion?
NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas
Religion without philosophy and logic is sentiment or fanaticism. Philosophy or science, without religion, is mental speculation and therefore cannot reveal metaphysical subjects. Modern science mainly deals with empiric evidence (Pratyakşa) and logic (Anumāna). However metaphysical subjects such as beauty, love, the soul, and God cannot be understood simply empiric and analytical exercises. It is necessary to also access knowledge that is from a metaphysical origin. This knowledge, coming from unadulterated scripture, should be seen in the light of logic and empiric evidence. Scripture should stand the test of logic and reason, otherwise such scripture can be understood to adulterated. For God is the most intelligent being, His words should be the most intelligent and free from philosophical discrepancies. Therefore the scientific method, specifically the involvement of reason, is essential for religion.
Modern science has failed to produce life and gives post-dated checks, stating that they shall create life from dead matter in the future. Intelligence persons should not put their faith in such empty prophecies. Because such subjects cannot be dealt with sufficiently by empiric study and logic, religion, specifically knowledge coming from a metaphysical origin, is essential for science.
Hare Krishna :)
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das
Sat, 08/22/2009 - 06:26 — Robotmule
I've read all these arguments on the panel and all of them are equally non-relevent when it comes to the bridging of Science and Religion. Understanding Metaphysical concepts relies obviously on direct perception. Therefore, one can never empirically prove them because they are experiences relating to the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of the Soul. The Soul particle is only perceptible to perfect intelligence - as stated in the Vedas. What hinders perfect intelligence? The element of False Ego. Thus, one needs to find a way (In this case Scientific) to remove this element. Only in recent history has Science been able to do this - with - Molecular Technology known modernistically and naively as "Psychedelics" . Yes, researchers such as Ralph Metzner, Richard Alpert (who is now known as Ram Dass - a hindu) and the massively ridiculized Timothy Leary, may be ignorantly scrutinized from both the Scientific and Religious communities.
But, how is it that through supposed "drugs", all of them turned to spiritualism? At least impersonal realization - Buddhism and in the case of Ram Dass, to Hinduism. The point is that this "MOLECULAR SCIENCE" resulted effectively in temporary impersonal realization and transcendance of Ego. I can vouch for this from personal experience and now, the only book I read is the Bhagavad-Gita. I have turned from a highly unsatisfied agnostic/atheist/fool to someone who actively promotes Krsna Consciousness. This came from direct perception of the Soul and Spiritual Reality and then acceptance of the Vedas through logical historical deduction and then realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Did I reach these conclusions through Insanity or Intelligence/Realization? I'm not a perfect person, so maybe it's insanity.
In any case, all I can say is that the traditional Religionists and Scientists are going to have to transcend their verbal concepts in order to find a mid-way. This mid-way will not be found by argument, but only through "DIRECT EXPERIENCE". I obviously don't need to convince Krsna Conscious people of anything, because Krsna is the conclusion of my own highly-skeptical religious search.
But, it is so obvious to me that the "Scientific Molecular Science of Psychedelics" holds the key to the bridging between Science and Religion. This is my humble suggestion.
Therefore, I dare Richard Dawkins to be administered pure "LSD" or "Psilocybin" by a trained professional guide in the correct environment. As soon as he directly experiences the transcendence of his ego, he will doubtlessly be susceptive to non-dual spiritual concepts. He is mentally intelligent, so he will at least understand the principles of Buddhism. If he is sincere enough, he might search further and discover the Vedas. But people are so afraid.....