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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Religion as a Facet of Carnal Knowledge

In a way, science might be described as paranoid thinking applied to Nature: we are looking for natural conspiracies, for connections among apparently disparate data. Our objective is to abstract patterns from Nature (right-hemisphere thinking), but many proposed patterns do not in fact correspond to the data. Thus all proposed patterns must be subjected to the sieve of critical analysis (left-hemisphere thinking). The search for patterns without critical analysis, and rigid skepticism without a search for patterns are the antipodes of incomplete science. The effective pursuit
of knowledge requires both functions.

(Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence
By Carl Sagan)

After a period of mental illness my faith in God and His Son (the Bridge) were greatly enhanced – decisively so. In my view this was the result of brain processes and structure (and consequent perception) undergoing permanent alteration.

Both religion and science can fuel great intensity of observation. Both endeavors when fruitful find patterns of truth exploding through insight -- in a sense, truth ultimately finds us, we do not find it. And such insight and illumination when they come are far from merely intellectual, but also highly emotional.  In science and religion there is a charge of eternity – of reliable long term natural processes identified and fundamental cognitive meaning perceived.

For the time being we must attest that faith involves the complexity of human perception expressed within and through the symbolic world. Thus, faith is often a good paranoia that observes even fatal phenomenon are at base redemptive and can lead to new life and renewal. In this way we say that trials are instrumental in making us more useful.  Thus, what nonbelievers often eschew as beneath them, believers embrace as ennobling.


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