“When someone tells you there is no truth, they are telling you not to believe them. So don’t!” This is just one of Chris Oldfield’s points, from Kings College London. Is there any truth at all in religion comparable with truth in science? In this post, we can consider and rethink the connection between spiritually and the sciences. The line between the two is not so easily drawn, except by those who reject the hard sciences or truth in the spiritual without taking them seriously. The hard spiritual dogmatist and the antagonistic skeptic positions are both to be weary of!
In his essay The Ethics of Belief – Clifford Williams wrote this:
“If a man, holding a belief which was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arises about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot be easily asked without disturbing it — the life of that man is one long sin against mankind…” ( page 4, paragraph 3)
There is some truth to this. But what counts as evidence? What about beauty? Is it only sensory experience we should consider? What about theoretical ideas like justice, truth, love and goodness? What about your motivations and memories? Religious experiences are experiences unlike others. You dont need to be taking mushrooms or Hallucinogens dugs to experience God. Consider this would only be true if there actually is a God.
Can a believer know that? Chris gives the example of your mother’s name. If you don’t have solid evidence, right now, of her name, does that mean you are not reasonable to believe you know her name? Of course not.
There is a world of difference between what I know personally in an innate way and what I can show objectively with third party evidence. How does this apply to the spiritual?
I’ll let you consider that as you watch or listen to his wonderful lecture! Chris gave this memorable lecture on Science and Religion at my alma mater Hull University.
Chris blogs at http://wetlenses.blogspot.com/
The website for the lecture is http://upload.sms.csx.cam.ac.uk/media/2217212