June 16, 2011

"I Accept Science AND Believe In Supernatural Beings And Powers" - Is This Possible And Is It Too Late For A Secular Global Morality And Civilization To Emerge?

If there was no Adam and Eve then there was no evil.  If there was no evil then why do we need a savior?
Evangelicals Question the Existence of Adam and Eve:  "Christians can no longer afford to ignore the evidence from the human genome and fossils just to maintain a literal view of Genesis."

Can You Believe In God And Evolution? Time Magazine, August 7, 2005
When Science and Religion Mix Just Fine by Nolla Willis Aronowitz, Good Culture, September 23, 2011
Islam, Charles Darwin and the Denial of Science by Steve Jones, The Telegraph, December 3, 2011 

Is Accepting Evolution "Optional" For Christians? by Karl Giberson, Ph.D., Huffington Post, HUFFPOST RELIGION, June 3, 2011

The difference between these Christians and other believers, and secularists is the former are willing to go a crucial step further and accept a supernatural being and His powers whereas the latter refuse to do so.  Consider this rhetorical though common dialog in today's world:

Believers ask secularists, "Why not go this extra step and 'complete' your truth?"  To which secularists answer, "To do so would require two standards for truth - one for the observable, measurable, testable, and another for all else."

The believer responds, "But there is clearly a preponderance of complexity and awesomeness in Life and the Universe that warrant different standards 'outside' those we use for tangible matter."

"And what might those standards be?" ask the secularists.  Scientific Christians, for example, often respond:  "It just makes sense to do so;" "It just feels right and good;" "Why limit yourself to observable, measurable, testable matter and their processes for the greatest of all questions?;" or "There is just too much science has not explained to limit oneself in these matters."

The secular response is usually:  "Science does not seek to explain everything, ultimately, finally, at once.  God and belief are within its purview but science's ultimate aim is not to prove or disprove the existence of God, or what appears to be the fallacy of a belief in the supernatural beings and powers.  Its aim is to gradually increase and improve scientifically-derived knowledge, not achieve an immediate, complete knowledge and therein have an absolute truth."

Regrettably, this dialog thereafter and too often degenerates into a patronizing approach on the part of the believer:  "I feel sorry for you (secularist) for limiting yourself in this way;" or a smirking "You are just being stubborn, egotistical and arrogant;" or the unreasonable "Okay, you prove God does not exist."

Consequently, having not received an objective, reasonable standard for unquestionably accepting the existence of supernatural beings and powers, the secularist departs to think and study, or question what he provisionally knows, or to serve his fellow Human, or to simply enjoy one of the limited number of sunsets he will see in his lifetime.

The believer is left with scientific facts for matter and its processes, and canonical texts and feelings (aka qualia) for believing all else, and he accepts this truth.

The believer and secularist thereafter only come into contact, and usually conflict, when it comes to the bases for governing and the truths used in educating youth.  The default position in this "meeting" being ideological guerrilla warfare regarding governance and a give the kids both and let them decide when they grow up approachg to education.

This default position leaves Humankind in a glacially moving stalemate as it moves toward a global morality and civilization.  This, while the planet continues to warm up, wars keep being waged, and human dignity continues to be subverted to capitalism, socialism, nationalism, and religion - the bigger picture and the future of the biosphere put off for the sake of narrow, short-term, selfish, parochial interests.

I'm not convinced Humankind has sufficient time for this default position to evolve.  I accept that many Christian and other believing minds are "open," and there is evidence that many of these people are gradually becoming more, if not totally, secular.  However, currently, two-thirds of Humankind really, fervently believe in supernatural beings and powers - Secularism, Theism, and the Emergence of a Global Morality and Civilization - and that is a lot of people slowing the emergence of a secular global morality and civilization.

Regrettably, for many believers, not all, but especially the billions of the Earth's people living in abject poverty, there is more "credibility" and therefore comfort in religion than in what they know of secularism.  Poverty and little/no education leave them little choice.

The road to a global morality and civilization has two narrow, difficult lanes - one that lowers poverty through job creation; the other provides free education in the natural sciences and cross-cultural studies to all, including the wealthy.  On this footing all members of Humankind will have choices and the best opportunity to come together and build a global civilization based on universally acceptable moral standards.  Regrettably, we are currently moving very slowly toward this New Humanity on the too narrow roads of nationalism, socialism, laissez faire capitalism, and religion.

The current widespread belief in supernatural beings and powers is a major impediment which is slowing the emergence of the next stage of global cultural evolution - Cultural Evolution, Phase II - Establishing a Unified Worldview.  No-one knows if we have sufficient time for this next emergence at our current pace, or not.  I remain hopeful.

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