"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Spirit, the Me Millenium and Scientific Reductionism

Yesterday I wrote that spirituality rather than materialism is something that should infuse our lives at all times. But spirituality and the sense of spirit or soul is compromised by two modern phenomena.

First is our narcissistic obsession with personal growth and success measured in terms of material rather than spiritual wealth, and with little or no concern for the needs of society as a whole.

This is most obvious in the self-help, self- development and ‘How to Succeed’ genre of book that are so popular today, and that too often fuel what has been dubbed by many as the new egocentric ‘Me-Millennium.’

Secondly, those who would yearn for a more spiritual approach to our lives and the world’s problems also have to fight scientific reductionism. Whilst deeper scientific understanding is important, and we have made wonderful discoveries and advances in our knowledge, this does not mean that we have to lose sight of the transcendent or spiritual dimension of human life, with its own healing significance.

Friedrich Nietzsche famously warned of the dangers of losing our faith, our religion and our soul to rationalism, scientific thought and to Darwinism, when he predicted the total eclipse of all values by the 21st century. This loss, he predicted, would be the cause of the awful wars that we did indeed experience, and continue to do so.

The Dalai Lama also warns that "we are apt to overlook the limitations of science. In replacing religion as the final source of knowledge in popular estimation, science begins to look a bit like another religion itself. With this comes a similar danger on the part of some of its adherents to blind faith in its principles, and, correspondingly, to intolerance of alternate views."

Certain best selling authors spring to mind here!?

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