Facilitations of science and loss of peace of mind

In the past man has looked around him and could see many things he could not understand. Out of vanity man thought of himself to be superior to everything around him. In a way his inner feeling brought him ideas that there had to be a Superior Being that created everything. But for many this would place them in second place what they could not veil.

Man searched for a solution to be mightier than all the things around him. For this he created a system where he thought he could have everything in hand. The system he created was called religion and enabled him to transcend the self or to the level of that Supreme Being (God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah). By doing so he also thought he could bring to himself the utmost peace.

After some time certain peoples found different ways to build up their faith and to create ways of worshipping. Others did not like such systems and sought answers for those things they could not understand.

Mere religion lead man to regress even to acquire lower level of prosperity and made them searching for answers in different fields he came to call science.

Surya Nath Prasad, M. A. (Sociology), M. Ed. (Experimental Education), M. Phil. (Nonviolence and Peace Studies), and Ph. D. (Education), writes

Science has facilitated many things for human prosperity, but it has also helped to lose humanity’s peace of mind. Science alone cannot bring peace within the individual and in the world as a whole. It has led to unrest and war simultaneously with progress. Mere science creates doubts, fear and terror in man, which disturb peace. Science enables man to be free from the tyranny of the environment, but it fails to free him from the tyranny of his own nature.

Those people who wanted to get rid of all the religious elements more than once got confronted with difficulties around life and death and their own placing in this universe.

Portrait of William James and Josiah Royce

Portrait of William James and Josiah Royce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William James anticipated the modern debate on the relationship between science and religion, and provided good reasons to take religion seriously. James surveys responses from atheists (Voltaire), transcendentalists (Emerson), Stoics and Christians. To his finding the atheists’ attitude is the least appealing to his moral and aesthetic sense, and therefore atheism is not an option for mankind.

Not being a theologian, he saw the many religions, and studied the lives of individuals who exemplify the best and the worst in each, the most famous and infamous. He saw the many religions and concluded that it is the highest and lowest potentials that set things apart one from another, not the qualities that all have in common. For him the question we need to ask:

What is truly special about each religion?

James who is concerned not with theory but with experiential facts, and tries to steer clear of theology — which he terms “over-belief”– as much as possible, not realizing that his psychology and philosophy are also “over-beliefs”, i.e., theories and interpretations derived and distinct from facts, tries to find out what actually happened that made a person happy/healthy.

Nemo, the reviewer of books who looks at “The Varieties of Religious Experience” by William James writes

He relies on an a priori moral and aesthetic sense to determine what is good and useful in religious experiences, and doesn’t take into account their origins. An experience is valid as long as it produces a desirable psychological effect, even if its origin is an undigested bit of beef, or in James’ case, nitrous oxide. In the last analysis, he assigns the origin of religious experience to the activity of the subconscious, though he doesn’t exclude the possibility of the divine working through the subconscious.

James suggests a sort of Darwinian evolution of religion: the “fittest” religion survives while the others become extinct because they are ill-adapted to the moral senses of evolving human beings. He seems to believe in inevitable progress, though Darwinian evolution only asserts change not progress, and envisions a sort of Hegelian synthesis of happiness and sorrow into a higher joy as the ultimate goal of religion.

In two studies published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology Joseph Henrich examined the notion that, by helping enforce ethical and cultural norms, belief in a powerful, omniscient God helped human societies quickly grow. Complementing that premise in a second study published in Nature, Henrich showed that people who believe in God are more likely to treat others fairly.

Throughout the ages societies were build up around systems which had a cultural and religious base.

First man had the Divine Creator as sole God, but by time people looked for different gods and hoped to find better solutions for themselves by doing so. It made themselves more unsure and made them create weaker gods.

“If you look at the religion of very small-scale societies, like hunter-gatherers, there’s no intertwining between religion and ethics or morality,”

professor of Human Evolutionary Biology Joseph Henrich said.

“There are supernatural agents, but they tend to be weak, they can be tricked, and they don’t have any power over the afterlife. It’s only over time that gods become increasingly concerned with human affairs. Gods that have control over the afterlife don’t appear until relatively late in human history.”

For most people what happens when we die is a mystery they want to be solved. Most of all they want to continue to live after this life but in a better world. Because they know they cannot solve that problem on their own they created themselves gods or put their hope in different theories which seem plausible.

“We have evolved some basic cognitive abilities that allow us to represent and understand these supernatural beings,”

Henrich said.

“Cultural evolution can then shape the details of what those gods care about and how powerful they are.”

Those who want to use their brains, for what they were given, should put two and two together and examine scientific facts and the words given in the Book of books. connecting the links people who believe in the word of the divine Creator shall have less doubts and come to know where to look for and what to believe.


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Preceding article: Man his beginnings or emerging, continuation, evolution and anthropology


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