Thursday, November 16, 2006

Beyond Reductionism: Reinventing the Sacred

This essay resonates strongly with me, and points out the aburdities of the false dichotomy which limits the discussion of "God" to theist versus atheist -- ignoring other more nuanced philosophies of the sacred. Highly recommended.

An exerpt:

I would like to begin a discussion about the first glimmerings of a new scientific world view — beyond reductionism to emergence and radical creativity in the biosphere and human world. This emerging view finds a natural scientific place for value and ethics, and places us as co-creators of the enormous web of emerging complexity that is the evolving biosphere and human economics and culture. In this scientific world view, we can ask: Is it more astonishing that a God created all that exists in six days, or that the natural processes of the creative universe have yielded galaxies, chemistry, life, agency, meaning, value, consciousness, culture without a Creator. In my mind and heart, the overwhelming answer is that the truth as best we know it, that all arose with no Creator agent, all on its wondrous own, is so awesome and stunning that it is God enough for me and I hope much of humankind.

Thus, beyond the new science that glimmers a new world view, we have a new view of God, not as transcendent, not as an agent, but as the very creativity of the universe itself. This God brings with it a sense of oneness, unity, with all of life, and our planet — it expands our consciousness and naturally seems to lead to an enhanced potential global ethic of wonder, awe, responsibility within the bounded limits of our capacity, for all of life and its home, the Earth, and beyond as we explore the Solar System.

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Blogger Istvan the Mad said...

This resonates deeply with me as well. Reminiscent of Taoism, except that Taoism doesn't really even approach the question of Deity. Where did you find the essay? I think I should read more of it.

6:58 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Hey Professor!

John certainly deserves a high five for that.
I was also intregued with Natalie Angier's skewer of the religious influence on scientists. I think Ive finally discovered who the real Betty Bowers is!

1:04 PM  

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