#Buddhism and #Science: #Materialism is an Act of Faith, too, auto-da-fe’….

img_1773Every self-proclaimed atheist takes it as an article of faith (!) that the material world is the real world, and that any competing claims from the realms of religion and/or any other spurious metaphysics must be misguided at best, silly superstition most likely, at worst maybe even one of many conspiracy theory scenarios that inhabit the minds of the disenfranchised and disenchanted…

Yet materialism is indeed an article of faith. The only question is to what degree. The fact that it goes largely unquestioned in the modern world, with or without the atheistic conclusion, does not make it fact, and if questioned, its typical devotee will most likely defer to common sense, as if it’s so obvious that no explanation is required. These manifestations say as much about us modern humans, of course, as it does about the validity of the assumption…

Of course, common sense doesn’t get you far in modern physics, and that’s about all I can say, since making a fool of oneself by spouting unsubstantiated nonsense about modern physics is a fool’s paradise, and the sunny beaches are already full of those clowns. Suffice it to say that it’s not easily explained, so let’s just call the materialistic world the ‘world of appearances’ and leave it at that…

Archaic humans were far less attached to that materialistic assumption, of course, in direct proportion to their distance from the present era and the predominance of modern science. So our evolution as human beings very much parallels our increasing attachment to the materialistic paradigm and the consumeristic culture that operates in tandem with it. And if that progression seems so ridiculously obvious to us now, it was nothing of the sort at the time…

I think all the major prophets—Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad—saw this trend happening, and saw it as their job, perhaps their main job, to help us remember what it was we were quickly leaving behind, curated compiled encapsulated and standardized for distribution as high learning, not as religion per se, but an entire belief system that included philosophy, history and natural science, their respective versions of such…

But it doesn’t seem like such high learning now, just superstition, belief systems crystallized into hard-and-fast religions, silly and superfluous, and hardly capable of adapting to modern life in the modern world. I’d like to change all that. The major problem, of course, is that with regard to the natural sciences, they are mightily outgunned. Solution: give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Leave Science to the scientists. That includes Creation Myths. Religion should have other tasks…

(There is scarcely a theory of Science that is necessary for everyday life, so the ancient belief systems needn’t concern themselves with it. They have plenty to do caring for the history they carry embedded, and the core values which they hold as sacred. To that and from that may be discarded the ancient animosities and upgraded the ancient survival strategies…)

Questions of morality are questions about happiness and suffering”—Sam Harris

This statement, of course, is not true at all, and speaks badly for any atheist who wants to be taken seriously, and even us non-theists, though that is not the same thing, not at all. Morality is all about right and wrong, pure and simple, happiness and suffering only indirectly affected, if at all, and certainly not happiness and suffering of the material wealth or poverty sort…

I dismiss much of the rantings and ravings of Atheist apologists, BUT: Sam Harris did have one interesting thing to say in his book “Letter to a Christian Nation,” i.e. that Christ suffering for our sins was a latter-day manifestation of the previous habit of sacrificial offerings to diverse gods. BUT: JC did it willingly. And so do we…

The main purpose of religion, of course, is to provide a system of belief and promote the doing of good things in the world, and the best ways to accomplish that are adapted to the land of its creation and the direction of its absorption. And they have all been successful, with only some misguided naysayers assuming that we’d be better off without the lot of ’em…

If that were true, we wouldn’t have them. The atheists and anarchists assume that we’d be better off without any governments or religions, but that is pure fantasy, and a faulty reading of history. The species has been inoculated with religion, like it or not, and has progressed handily and headily from it. Only now is that inoculation beginning to wear off, as we forget the lessons of the past and don’t even bother with getting to know our neighbors…

Bottom line: there is no way to know which is more real, the apparent objects in the world, or our consciousness of them. Which came first:  the egg or the consciousness of it? Good question. And in reality, there is no way to prove either position. That is why it is an article of faith, as generally assumed on the consciousness-based ‘spiritual’ side, though generally not accepted as such for the materialist side…

So maybe the best I can do is to mention some other common-sense items now in the trash-bin of formerly-accepted ‘truth’: 1) gender solidity, i.e. men are men and women are women, with specific assigned roles, and never shall the two reverse, or mix, or achieve fluidity; 2) the planets, including Earth, are solid unchanging entities, in fixed circular orbits; and 3) Subject-verb-object is the ‘normal’ word order. Is that enough, or should I go on?

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