Simon, I think you would like this book. I did mention it in the previous Sunday School. I am almost finished it.
The Enlightenment principle that we can apply reason and sympathy to enhance human flourishing may seem obvious, trite and old-fashioned. I wrote this book because I have come to realize that it is not. More than ever, the ideals of reason, science, humanism and progress need a wholehearted defense…………………(He then goes on to talk about our advances)………..We ignore the achievements of the Enlightenment at our peril.
The ideals of the Enlightenment are products of human reason but they always struggle with other strands of human nature: loyalty to tribe, magical thinking………
Basically the book is his “attempt to restate the ideals of the Enlightenment in the language and concepts of the 21st century”.
I think he does a good job at doing so. (I have taken a few of his courses online over the years).
I’m also sympathetic to the view that religion goes right along with science, and they don’t have to be contradictory. If the origin of one is “logical and rational”, and the origin of the other is somewhat “magical” – that’s kind of OK, because after that, they both can follow the same path.
Mindfulness meditation came to us from the East. Recently, the Church was behind the Black civil rights movement. Before that, it was behind the anti-slavery movement.
It’s true that religion deals with the supernatural, and it also deals with the spiritual. These don’t have to be the same thing. Spirituality can be defined as the art of living well – of thriving ethically. Self-care is a spiritual practice.
Thanks for the Sunday School Reg!!! As always, very Enlightning.
Head of security, at the building I work at in Manhattan, recently passed away. He was a pastor at a Protestant church and an avid believer. He heard me talking about evolution with an acquaintance of mine and piped in that “all you ever want to know about science and the universe is in the Bible”. I know Reg, what an opportunity to set this yokel straight. Alas most of my communications skills have the word “fuck you” interspersed with “asshole” and “dumbass” when my patience is spent. I just walked away.
About four months ago he was diagnosed with cancer. He decided that if it was gods will for him to die then he would do nothing to stop it. He decided to try curing himself holistically. About a month and a half ago he decided that holistic medicine was not doing shit for his cancer and he decided to try chemo. Doctors pretty much told him what everyone else knew. In the words of the Colonel, from the movie First Blood, “It’s over Johnny!”. Doc pretty much told him to cancel Christmas. He died last week.
He was so adamant that god was going to ride in and rescue him. He refused chemo. His faith was gone by a month and a half ago cause he decided, a little late, to undergo chemo. Guess he even realized living is a whole lot better then dying.
@strega – there are definitely at least two different kinds of spirituality. One involves “spirits” and the supernatural, which I’m not talking about here. The other is “the practice of self-transformation” (according to one definition). So self-care comes under this definition. Think Bruce Lee (for example).