Welcome to Age-of-the-Sage where we present many of "the most awesome Spiritual Insights Quotations
known to man" for our visitors' consideration!!!
We also attempt to steer our visitors' consideration towards a recognition that the very existence, within many celebrated
quotations and quotes, of readily identifiable Profound Spiritual Truths
has considerable implications for the so-called Faith vs Reason
Debate or controversy.
This page has been structured to prominently feature many truly profound, and indeed, truly impact-FULL Spiritual and
Poetical Insights Quotations and some closely
associated coverage of the faith vs reason debate (whilst attempting to challenge the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins and others).
[Those chiefly interested in our selections of truly profound Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations can, however,
proceed directly to the dedicated section of this page].
Whether we realise it or not most people, even though they might consider themselves to be quite un-spiritual and rather un-poetic,
have a capacity which allows for a recognition of Profund Truths
which have been "somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations.
The existence and power of Profound Truths, that have been identified by saints and sages and which have been "captured" within
certain key quotations and quotes, has implications for the Faith vs Reason Debate!!!
It may even be the case that spiritual and poetic wisdom can help
us to realise truths that are otherwise largely beyond our reach:-
|...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.
Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge
of the mind,
because they drink at streams which we
have not yet made accessible to science.
We have found it entirely possible to research into the Profund Truths that have been
"captured and somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations!!!
Some words of background context introduction to the important wisdoms we are attempting to identify
as "Central Spiritual Insights" are probably
Many commentators, (including Aldous Huxley), have claimed to have discerned a "Perennial Philosophy" of
central agreement about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World across the ages!!!
More than twenty-five centuries have passed since that which has been called the Perennial Philosophy was first committed to writing;
and in the course of those centuries it has found expression, now partial, now complete, now in this form, now in that, again and again...
In his own celebrated study into the central agreements about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World,
(first published as The Perennial Philosophy in 1945), Aldous Huxley accepted the proposition, deriving from Leibniz, a notably eminent scholar who was an early investigator
Common Ground shared by The World Religions, that Religions concern themselves
...the Perennial Philosophy has spoken almost all the languages of Asia and Europe and has made use of the terminology and traditions of every one of the higher religions. But under all this confusion of tongues and myths, of local histories and particularist doctrines, there remains a Highest Common Factor, which is the Perennial Philosophy in what may be called its chemically pure state...
[Taken from an introduction, written in 1944 by Aldous Huxley, to an English language translation of
a principal holy book of the Hindu faith].
"with the one, divine Reality"
"the nature of this one Reality is such that
it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves
loving, pure in heart,
and poor in spirit."
The results of our own studies into The Perennial Philosophy were such as to lead us to also accept that "the one, divine Reality"
is better discerned by those
spiritually endowed with Charity, Purity of Heart and Humility. However, we came to believe Meekness to be another spiritual endowment which
may well tend to contribute towards heightened powers of discernment.
This suggestion that Meekness is of immense spiritual
value may not surprise.
More unexpectedly, perhaps, the outcomes of our comprehensive researches into the mysteries of Deep Spiritual Truth were also such
as to suggest that it is appropriate
to fully associate A Disdain for Materialism
(compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration),
and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment), with the centralities of The Perennial Philosophy.
Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a selection of "Central Spiritual Insights"
gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources
~ are set out below.
Whilst both these selections are intended to be impact-full they are also somewhat brief and introductory ~ deeper
considerations of the range of "Central Spiritual Insights" are available elsewhere on this site.
Please be prepared for some "soul-force" that might be held to reside within many of these quotations!!!
A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources
- A Disdain for Materialism
Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their
There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding
and purified in their affection, always breathe after things
eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to
be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these
perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to
love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and
night to aspire after heaven.
Thomas a Kempis
- A Distrust of Intellect
- This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles
walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the
life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
- A Yearning for Divine Edification
- It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have
entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared
for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his
Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things
...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.
- Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that
loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
- Purity of Heart
- Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my
presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things
without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and
harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a
crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the
- Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even
Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
And whomsoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that
shall humble himself shall be exalted.
- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear,
slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh
not the righteousness of God.
"Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources
- A Disdain for Materialism
- Chuang Tzu put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and
arranging his girdle and tying on his shoes,
(i.e. to keep them from falling off),
went to see the prince of Wei.
"How miserable you look, Sir!" Cried the prince. "It is poverty,
not misery", replied Chuang Tzu. "A man who has TAO cannot be
miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not
Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)
- A Distrust of Intellect
- Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere
opinion, bewilderment intuition.
Rumi - (Islam)
- A Yearning for Divine Edification
- The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and letters of
recommendation. His mind is beclouded with trivialities. Yet he would penetrate the
mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to participation in the ONE. The result is
that he is confounded by time and space; and that trammelled by objective existences,
that he fails apprehension of that age before anything was.
But the perfect man, - he carries his mind back to the period before the beginning.
Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away like flowing water, he is
merged in the clear depths of the infinite.
Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)
He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who
worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any
creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.
Bhagavad Gita 11:55 ~ (Hinduism)
And my soul is absorbed
In the Love of My Lord.
Bow humbly to the saint
That is a pious act.
Bow to the ground before him
That is devotion, indeed.
The faithless know not,
The joy of the love of the Lord;
From Sohila-Arti ~ a bed-time prayer
This section of which is attributed to Guru Ram Das - (Sikhism)
- Purity of Heart
- The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as
darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
Solomon - (Judaism)
- Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first
condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.
Ansari of Herat - (Islam)
- Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good;
let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth!
Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked
for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.
Dhammapada - (Buddhism)
The Great Poets have won many profoundly instructive insights.
following quotations could be said to
"somehow encapsulate" the same Truths just presented from Christian sources, and from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources.
- A Disdain for Materialism
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.
- A Distrust of Intellect
- The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!
- A Yearning for Divine Edification
- God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;
- That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.
- Purity of Heart
- A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
- The best of men
That e'er wore earth about him, was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breathed.
- Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
Sh'hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one in suff'ring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-medled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.
At this point we hope that we have fulfilled our earlier undertaking to prominently feature
many truly profound, and indeed, truly impact-FULL Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations.
Our page-content will now turn to an
associated coverage of the faith vs reason debate (whilst attempting to more explicitly challenge
the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins and others).
Prominent "New Atheists", also known as The Four Horsemen.
| Richard Dawkins
Neil Davies - caricatureclub.co.uk
| Daniel Dennett
| Christopher Hitchens
|| Sam Harris
This evidence as to agreement between The Great Religions as to what is Core Spiritual Truth gives
rise to an irresistible opportunity to decisively challenge Richard Dawkins, and the other "New
Atheists", who have been so active in contemptuously dismissing religious faith.
A decisive, THEISTIC, challenge is possible:-
Since Darwin's time the Faith vs. Reason debate or Controversy, which his theorising massively contributed to bringing to
prominence, has seen " Faith " losing ground to " Reason ".
We cannot deny that over the last one hundred and fifty or so years an intellectually persuasive Theory of Evolution has
become vastly influential, that Friedrich Nietzsche has agonised over the Death of God, that we have become persuaded that the earthly
land masses upon which we live actually move across the surface of our planet due to currents present within the Earth's fluid internal layers of molten rock, that eminent scientists
such as Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss are persuaded that the Existence of the Universe could have arisen from the operation
of purely natural forces and Richard Dawkins has been making efforts to persuade us all that God is a Delusion.
Agnosticism and Atheism have increasingly gained hold on human minds: particularly so in the
Spirituality vs Secularism
Faith vs Reason debate links
There has been a widespread acceptance of the "New Atheism" proposed by such "clever and rational", (but
very possibly "spiritually un-enlightened"), persons as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.
can give some consideration to how insistent and uncompromising the New Atheists have been by reminding
ourselves of the titles of the books produced by the chief proponents of the "New Atheism".
Over the last decade the leading figures in the New Atheism movement have been responsible for the authorship of books with
such titles as:-
It cannot be denied that the "New Atheism" has been quite culturally influential!!!
- "The God Delusion" (2006)
(As of January 2010 the English-language version alone had sold more than two million copies with translations also being available in thirty other languages).
- "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" (2006)
- "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" (2007)
(The book was published on May 1, 2007, and within a week had reached No. 2 on the Amazon.com bestsellers list.
It then went on to reach No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in its third week).
- "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" (2005)
Nevertheless, a decisive Spiritual-Theistic challenge
to the current "New Atheism" is indeed possible!
The evidence presented above of Common Ground in the core spiritual teachings of several World Faiths tells
us something about the Gods, (or Spirits), that they each revere being, at least, quite similar and ~ at most ~ Identical.
It also puts this quotation from Richard Dawkins into a different perspective:-
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
Richard Dawkins ~ The God Delusion
From this perspective it is even possible to turn the sort of wordy assertions Dawkins himself likes to deploy against him:-
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarian of the United States Congress 1975 - 1987
(and sometimes misattributed to Stephen Hawking).
Our selections of spiritual insights quotations may hold a particular relevance in relation to the the Faith vs Reason Debate or controversy!!!
In the Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley explicitly asserts that:-
"Knowledge is a function of being."
In other words, if you are not suited to knowing something, you can not know it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, (who has been described by one of his biographers as having become "the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States"),
included this passage in his Essay "The Over-Soul":-
..."The soul's advances are not made by
gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be
represented by metamorphosis, — from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly. The growths of genius are of a certain
total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the
pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each
pulsation, classes, populations, of men. With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite,
and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air"...
Huxley concludes his Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy with these words:-
"If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because
they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge."
The Theosophical Society in America website hosts a more detailed treatment of the KNOWLEDGE AS A FUNCTION OF BEING aspect
to the Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy here
The Great Faiths tend to prefer "Inspiration" over "Thought":-
Enlightenment is not 'Intellectual'
A University Professor went to see Nan-in, a Zen Master, to find out more about Zen.
As their meeting continued Nan-in was pouring Tea and continued to pour even though the cup was overflowing.
The Professor cried. "Enough! No more will go in!"
Nan-in replied "Like this cup you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy
paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
The Book of Proverbs
- The Parable of the Sower is, perhaps, the most "Enlightenment" related teaching of Jesus!!!
And he began to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered
unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and
sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was beside the sea on the
And he taught them many things by parables, and he said unto
them in his doctrine,
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side,
and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and
immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no
root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked
it, and it yielded no fruit.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang
up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and
some an hundred.
And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him
By way of fuller explanation Jesus said:-
The sower soweth the word (i.e. of God).
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but
when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away
the word that was sown in their hearts.
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground;
who, when they have heard the word immediately receive it with
And have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time:
afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's
sake, immediately they are offended.
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches,
and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it
And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear
the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold,
some sixty, and some an hundred.
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a
bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested;
neither was anything secret, but that it should come
Jesus' teaching ~ as set out in St Mark's gospel Chapter 4
This "Parable of the Sower" could be said to suggest that Enlightenment does not appear to be Intellectual but may
principally arise from keeping to spiritual teachings!!!
The Great Poets join with The Great Faiths in tending to show an awareness of the importance of non-rational appreciation of spiritual truths:-
Distrust of the Intellect
Most people like to think that they hold a coherent view of the World and of Humanity's place in it.
- Errors like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
- Into the eye and prospect of his soul.
- Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books
- Would he had been less full of borrowed knowledge! Then he would have accepted inspired knowledge from his father. When, with
inspiration at hand, you seek book-learning, your heart, as if inspired, loads you with reproach. Traditional knowledge,
when inspiration is available, is like making ablutions in sand when water is near. Make yourself ignorant, be submissive,
and then you will obtain release from your ignorance.
In this regard it cannot be denied that
here seems to be a divergency between deep-seated wellsprings of spiritual-poetic inspiration and feeling, and the more conceptual reasonings of the intellect, that continues to be
difficult to reconcile.
Spiritual Authorities would have us believe in "Faith-Related" Truths ~ scientists would have us believe
in other Truths which they hold to be "Scientifically Valid".
Could it be that Human Beings are capable of d-e-e-p spirituality notwithstanding the "Rational" theories offered by Science?
Who can doubt that "Wisdom" and "Enlightenment" are essentially aligned with "Inspiration in association with Reason" rather than being
aligned with "Reason" alone?
Despite the fact that World Faith Teachings, (and Great Poets), can be shown to value "Inspiration" over "Thought" Atheists often seem to
"Intellectually Convinced" of the reasonableness of their own positions!!!
Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris were announced, in the summer of 2011, as keynote speakers at a Global Atheist
Convention - "A Celebration of Reason" - to be held
in Australia early in 2012.
[Christopher Hitchens, (health permitting), was also prominently included in the projected panel of speakers at this event because of his high
profile as a
critic of religion and of what he eloquently sought to portray as its negative influences on society.
It has happened. however,
that the ill-health he was known to have been suffering from actually claimed his life in december, 2011].
We at Age-of-the-Sage would like to sympathise with
Christopher Hitchens' family and friends in their personal loss.
According to http://richarddawkins.net/pages/mission ~ as of April, 2012 :-
The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.
In fairness to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris it must be recognised that much of their initial
aversion to religion seems to stem from what they saw as appalling instances of human strife being directly related to
religious adherence and its associated mindsets.
This viewpoint can explain these New Atheists' self-adopted "Four Horsemen" nom-de-campaign: this being a
contraction of Hitchens' original "Four Horsemen of the counter-Apocalypse" suggestion. (The biblical "apocalyptically destructive" Four Horsemen being War, Famine, Pestilence and Plague).
Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris
saw the potential for ruinously destructive human strife arising from religious adherence and its associated mindsets as being so
alarming as to demand their strenuous efforts to combat the error, as they saw it, of religious belief.
Their subsequent endeavors to combat faith featured such things as pointing to examples of hypocrisy perpetrated by some individuals
who profess to be religious and by
critiquing those religious teachings that, from secular viewpoints, demand an un-necessary Humility and, (given what appear to be,
from secular and scientific viewpoints,
obvious scientific advances
displacing any possible rational acceptance of "Creationism"),
critiquing a preference for Faith over Reason!!!
There is an US based Center For Inquiry with a mission statement reading as follows:-
The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.
Alongside its other activities the Center for Inquiry does much toward co-operating with the US Council for Secular Humanism (described on
the Center for Inquiry web site as "North America’s largest organization for ethical, nonreligious people").
(http://www.centerforinquiry.net/about ~ as of April, 2012)
Just below this mission statement on this "about" page we read:-
To oppose and supplant the mythological narratives of the past, and the dogmas of the present, the world needs an institution
devoted to promoting science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. The Center for Inquiry is that institution.
Meanwhiles the "Enlightenment is not Intellectual" specific and "Distrust of the Intellect" specific quotations displayed earlier featured contributions by some
undoubted, (and perhaps ~ in cases ~ largely undoubtable), authorities including A Zen Master, Solomon
the Wise (often mooted as the principal author of the Book of Proverbs), Jesus' Parable of the Sower, John Dryden, William Shakespeare, William Cowper and Rumi (the most famous mystical
poet in the Islamic World).
Religions have comforted and guided most of Mankind for many thousands of years.
Although the "Westernised" world is currently going through a particularly agnostic and atheistic phase we like to think that our
Spiritual Insights Quotations related contribution to the Faith vs. Reason Debate or Controversy will help to remind people of the
profundities possible to faith.
The findings of our investigations into the Timeless Wisdoms that have been handed down as World Faith Teachings help to richly demonstrate that, alongside the Creationism which is most directly challenged by Science, there are
also teachings about Spirituality which can definitely be shown to retain an unimpaired relevance to peoples lives.
We consider that
many of the Wisdoms presented here are so inherently persuasive as to offer some potent
challenges to the "best-selling - Human Reason reliant - New Atheism" of such persons as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.
The navigation links on the right of this page lead to other pages which delve deeply into such Wisdoms.
It is sometimes said of people immersed in Spirituality that:-
He / She is so other-worldly minded as to be of no earthly use.
We would hope that some of our pages rescue the age-of-the-sage.org site from this particular form of condemnation:-
Spirituality as an aspect to Human Nature?
Is "Human Being" more truly Metaphysical than Physical?
Explore Human Nature with the aid of profound insights from such historically notable authorities asSeveral World ReligionsPlato and Socrates
ShakespearePythagorasand Modern Psychological Science!!! on:-
Also of major interest!!!
"A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world."
"In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum
proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every
province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain,
and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of
the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every
object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man
is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and
fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him,
and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish
foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg
presuppose air. He cannot live without a world."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are
human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned
with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able
to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint
of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)
It could be suggested that the mutual inability of Faith and Reason to appreciate each other is an example of
the infamous "Two Cultures" split that ultimately diminishes, and hampers the effectiveness of, both
"The Humanities" and "The Sciences".
More than half a century ago the prominent novelist and speaker C.P. Snow, described a chasm between literary intellectuals and scientists, a gulf that impoverished
both sides and impeded efforts to relieve suffering around the world. Science was not understood or respected by then dominant
literary culture, to the detriment of all, he said.
At some point scientists had ceased to be considered intellectuals, Snow noted, and though any educated person was required to
know Shakespeare, almost
none were similarly expected to be familiar with the second law of thermodynamics.
We live in a Physical World which can be meaningfully investigated, and transformed, by physicists, mathematicians, chemists,
biologists and engineers but we also
live in a Human World which is perhaps open to being "broadly appreciated" by theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers
Einstein said something about Science and Religion where ignorance of each others powers left one lame and the other blind. If
there was "ballpark" agreement about how the Human World "ought" to operate, (thanks mainly to the Humanities), then the Sciences
could be brought to bear to effectively seek to attain those aims.
An acceptance that there are Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), that
science and religion each have "a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority" and these two domains do not overlap,
is a view advocated by Stephen Jay Gould.
According to Gould's NOMA principle "the magisterium of science covers the
empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends
over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value".
Gould saw the NOMA principle as offering "a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to . . . the
supposed conflict between science and religion."
Gould argued that if indeed the polling data was correct—and that 80 to 90% of Americans believe in a supreme being, and such a
belief is misunderstood to be at odds with evolution—then "we have to keep stressing that religion is a different matter,
and science is not in any sense opposed to it," otherwise "we're not going to get very far."
He did not, however, consider this proposed diplomatic approach to the resolution to "the
supposed conflict between science and religion" to be paramount, writing in 1997: "NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectual
grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance."
The lives we lead are "Human" lives, simultaneously Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic.
It is to be hoped
that physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists, engineers, theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers, metaphysicians
and other specialisms can somehow pool their talents to allow Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic Human Civilisation
every chance of future progress.
"We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of
human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If
we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human
values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different
approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the
betterment of humanity."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama(In a comment on a faith vs. reason debate or controversy related book
authored by the scientist Leonard Mlodinow and prominent spiritual writer Deepak Chopra).
The Faith vs Reason Debate