Archive for Spirituality
Richard Dawkins: ‘Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist’ – video interview | Science | guardian.co.uk
Dawkins said: “you and I are too intelligent to believe in religion, but common people need it…you don’t need religion to be moral”
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claims that given today’s knowledge of science, even Jesus would have questioned the existence of God if he were living today.
This article is beyond interesting. Its like an addition to Max Weber’s “Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”. The best part is where Dr Clayton in an interview explains the value added in Mormon ideals on the “afterlife” in economic terms per MPB (marginal personal benefit). In the economics of religion, I think Mormonism is geared for a huge win in volumes and appeal. In the past 18 months, I’ve seen some of their intellectual R&D in transhumanist culture, and they are far more attractive than their Abrahamic peers. Trust me you want to read this article. I just happened to see it on a new stand.
Lately, in talks I’ve been asked if I was…or called an…Atheist. I am not. I do however, empathize with some of their causes… like ridding society of the ambiguities of spirituality’s spawns. So what does this mean? You either are or your aren’t. You are with us or them….right???
Integrationalism is not about atheism or spirituality specifically, although this new book elaborates heavily on the ethical dangers that the economics (decision making) of spirituality ultimately provides. This is not a classical argument, it is specific to the lack of incentives that spirituality provides for human-kind to “come together” or to “connect”, as the spiritual subscribers overwhelmingly told me was its objective.
One could be compelled to ask: “Which religion do you subscribe to” or “Do you believe in God” or “If you aren’t an atheist, what do you believe in?”. These are a few that I’ve heard, and I think the last question is the most relevant, so I’ll answer it. I don’t believe in anything. Similarly to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, I recognize (has nothing to do with beliefs) that we live in a realm (world, universe, multiverse, call it what you want) of physical laws that are unbreakable. When apply that to the concept of a non-physical present or Spirit or God, one could easily question what the relevance of those would be. The answer is, nil.
This alone would leave me in the Atheist category. But wait there more…Understanding the full potential of human-kind’s ability to create technological extensions (as I like to say) of themselves brings a new potential for the God or Spirit concept into account. Nick Bostrom‘s Simulation Argument and the broader Simulation Hypothesis identify human-kind’s ability to create simulations as also having the potential to become as robust and what we recognize as being reality. We’ve potentially seen these early simulations in SecondLife and even the Sims, There are many thinkers (I recently heard Lincoln Cannon of the Mormon Church) making this argument.
Considering the aforementioned, I do not think (far different from beliefs) that the spiritual constraints that once applied to a more primitive understanding of human-kind’s interaction with one-another apply at all. If something yields a nil value, what is the advantage of exploring it? Atheists are formally considered to think that there is no God figure. Agnostics are formally considered to think that we cannot know of a God figure. In this short essay I’ve mentioned the term Human-Kind several times. I’d consider myself one of those. A kind-of-human, acknowledging that I (we) do existing in time & space, purely looking to implement
What is so natural for humans: Technologies that advance our being.
I’m always amazed by the ambiguities of what “spirituality” is to people from an empirical standpoint and from a theoretical standpoint. Janet’s sentiments are noble.
While at the International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society I heard a variety of presentations and papers on spirituality, some had to do specifically with representation of a non-physical being’s presence in affecting the life experience of physical beings. A paper and presentation by Dr. David Brisben titled Recognizing God’s active presence in a secular age: recovering a theology of common grace for Christian spirituality. Others heavily referenced spirituality while managing to avoid referencing a non-physical being or interaction through their entire elaboration, like those of Louis Silverstein titled Body as temple/sex as prayer: a spiritual practice. The rhetoric behind spirituality is synonymous with just about any type of human experience. I’m starting to think that the term itself compensates for our inability to elaborate well on what is actually going on physical
Having stated that, I think that it is necessary to explore what incentives people have to be compassionate. While there are some clear (and getting clearer as we invested out scientific abilities in exploring) physiological synergies in human interaction [ This is the study by the Heartmath Inst. http://store.heartmath.org/store/e-books/energetic-heart ], there are some strong philosophical disconnects between the people of the world that require more than education to mend. To be truly pervasive in spreading the compassion in a world of economic incentives to do nearly anyone harm, it will take a series of experiences to build harmonies inside the species. I hope that Janet and everyone else will afford themselves the opportunity to pay-forward some compassion.
During the end of 2010 I thought it necessary to gauge the everyday person’s point of view on spirituality. We too often consume ourselves with elaborate philosophical arguments that may or may not actually represent the real times threats and potential of the subject. While it is typically considered as a irrelevant to the broader philosophical arguments on spirituality, I felt it necessary to ask everyone I could: Why? Because these are the people who carry out spiritual missions (relief, revolts, etc.)
Why is spirituality so valuable. I needed to know from everyone else, “what’s the point?”
It turns our that the point is, according to about 2400 people so far, “to connect us all“. I’ll call it “connectivity”.
Approximately 29% of people think that the point is to provide a “design for life”, and another 20% have “other” understandings.
Per my latest book, I’ll present a logical economic model which suggests that it is not. Further, I think it is necessary to understand that all of the acceptance and tolerance within human and technological ability with not create pervasive harmonies for our species and those that we govern.
This incentive model is a prelude to our second publication in 2011 Integrationalism: Exploring Spiritual Disincentives for Humanity. Individualism molds all spiritual thought, and in-turn, adversely effects the ethical regard that men/women can have for peers. This text suggests that humans have no incentive to interact harmoniously under a spiritual and moreover an individualistic regard. We are pursuing solutions in the dark.