Well, a close friend and me have been arguing for some weeks now its seems, basically over Science & Technology/Atheist (hers) vs. Religion/Spirituality/Prophecy/Naturalist/Holistic kinda thing (me) and in the end the argument seems to boil down we 'should be in space exploring and how much things are so much easier now, than then' (hers) and me, arguing 'Mother Earth and all that we need is here'.
All and all it has got me thinking about how much Science & Technology has been or is integrated into my personal belief system and practice.
Personally speaking, I do attribute some of my beliefs to being close to or backed up with science, physics and or quantum physics. I also know that I would become a complete spaz without my internet or computer because it has indeed made the world smaller and it has great storage. Or my blender because grinding up herbs by hand, with bad hands, is not a bed of roses. Jeessh, writing anything by hand makes me cringe.
So now, I'm curious to what kind of impact does Science & Technology have on your belief's & practice's? What's the technology that you couldn't live without?
Well, I really appreciate electricity... running water... the family car... our piano... computers, internet, and video games... :P
I don't find it that hard to harmonize science and tech to my beliefs. Science is sometimes so close to proving my beliefs that it's hilarious (or totally depressing, depending on the angle you take it...), so no big deal. In a way, science and tech are as "natural" as a fire in the hearth, or beeswax candles - it's just a different level of "transforming" something that is found raw in nature.
As for my practices... Well, candles are man-made (at some point in history, that was hi-tech, eh), the bottles for the oils are man-made, the incense is man-made... Athame and cup are man made, so is my wand, my alter... I could go on. It's hard not to have *any* level of tech in your life.
I noticed, observing my very atheist and science-driven father, that for some, science is basically the equivalent of religion. Really. "If science says it is so, then surely it must be so" - never mind that in five years' time, they'll discover new data that will render current findings null and void. Some people take science exactly like others take the Bible: with no discernment whatsover, and at face value.
Personally, I do like technology as Elise has so wonderfully pointed out via her list of technological wonders, but isn't the delight of technology more of a generational thing versus an atheist/religious argument? I mean, this current generation of kids most likely has not seen a typewriter or an 8 track player because that technology is pointless and outdated to them. Kids are seeing their parents facebook about their lives on their status and to them this seems normal.
As far as the whole science v. religion thing, to me it's pointless because the argument that Christians hate science is idiotic. I don't get why people think that all Christians hate science when a pretty good amount of scientists that I know personally are Christian or come from a Christian background. Granted, there are extremist Christians that reject science, but again, they are the extreme end of the spectrum just like the tea party and Glenn Beck.
With regards to being Pagan and believing in science, I do. There is just too much solidity and research done by scientists of all beliefs or life philosophies to just look at it and go "nope, just gonna ignore that nonsense" and leave it at that. There are just too many things about Pagan beliefs that physics or science has backed up to an extent to disregard it completely. Also, like Elise I've seen science used as a religion by atheists to the point where they can't allow themselves to believe anything else, or to see the overlap between religion and science, and to me that's just as damaging as believing and rejecting all scientific principle while mindlessly following your deity of choice.
I'm a HUGE believer in the space program. And I also believe that we should protect our earth. I don't see the two as being mutually exclusive. Of course, I am a realist in most things to and I can see that while some of us may be protecting the Earth, most aren't. Therefore, let's be prepared.
Also, I don't limit our resources to the Earth. It's strange to me to consider that type of isolation ideology. I'm too curious to ignore all the possibilities out there. All the discoveries yet to be made. Furthermore, the universe is all connected, we are the universe. Everything that happens "out there" affects us. The more we understand about other planets, stars, solar systems, the more we understand about our own and *how* to protect it... Knowledge is power after all. ;)
I don't find them mutually exclusive but nothing in my religious belief that directly contradicts science. Science, just like spiritual pursuit is not "done." It doesn't have all the answers and maybe never will.
Just because a smart dude has yet to invent a device with which to measure some of my beliefs doesn't mean they aren't as real as gravity or magnetism. I appreciate the scientific method and those who have patience enough to practice it but like anything else it can be manipulated. Certain sciences are more factual to me than others. When a disease is invented after the creation of a medication to treat it, my confidence in modern medicine suffers. When studies that are the standard for the safety of a waste product found in our water are debunked and no others are taking place, it happens again.
As far as cosmology and astronomy are concerned, I don't think we have the option to limit our knowledge to this planet, even if it wasn't cool as hell. We are made of the same stuff here that is found out there.
Maybe some of the spiritual questions have answers out there and gods forbid something from there decides to visit us really fast making an entrance more grand than those of Beorc in chat, it might be a good idea to get a call first.
Finite resources on an ever growing planet won't end well.
In short, I don't believe you have to reject one in preference for the other.
I find that I like to keep the two things rather separate. They are both such beautiful discplines but the goals and aims of each are so different that I feel that they do not readily mix.
I meet a lot of pagans with pretty poor grasps of quantum mechanics trying to use it to justify their belief in magic and the Gods. I find listening to them rather difficult some days.
To be sure, you can approach magic in a very scientific way. Aleister Crowley springs to mind as an example of a scientific magician. And, scientific revelation has often moved people in a way similar to religion. But that is not to say that they are one and the same.
I would like to point out that much of what we consider "natural" and use in our magical practices are the results of science and technology. Though not always a professional discipline, science has always been a part of human existance, through trial and error, exploration and experimentation, and pure curiosity. Athames, incense, home spun clothes, even fire .. are all the result of science and technology... recyling is the result of science and technology... organic farming techniques are the result of experiementation and trial. Conservation is a science. Charcoal, candles, salt... science and technology... We tend to think of science and technology only in the here and now.. and that's just not the case. :)
Everyday of our lives we use science... we participate in it. We cannot seperate outselves from it. We are naturally curious. We naturally test the world around us.. and develop conclusions based on those tests.. we are all scientists...
I can't believe I forgot the motto!
Well, I guess we should clarify what we mean by science. I see that Crowley mentions scientific method and I think that is key. Scientific method aka OHEC (observation, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion) has applications everywhere. Religion and Magic is well served by a little scientific method.
This is not the same thing as Science to my mind. Science as a discipline is interested in the empirically testable, empirically verifiable and empirically repeatable. Until we have empirical evidence of something, Science declines to say anything about it. As far as I know, there is no way to empirically demonstrate the quality of a plantetary invocation, for example.
When I think if Science mixing with Relgion, I hear an attempt to establish the veracity of relgion, the empirical veractiy of it. I wonder why anyone would want to do that.
Oh Yes, I concur that the proof lies in the experience. However, those experiences rarely lead to any kind of empirical proof of anything.
In my experience, BTW (my path) has a very reliable method for contacting diety and indeed, when I use it I have an experience I can only describe using those terms. However, my experience, regardless of its import and impact on me, cannot be used as anything more than proof that I had an experience. I come away with nothing that I can use to prove the exsistence of the Gods, nor am I able to prove that they deign to talk to us at all.
I use the LBRP as a part of my training and I have also found it to be reliable. The same thing happens each time (as long as the conditions are right) But, all I have is my self-report that I felt something. Perhaps someone in the room may report they have seen something, etc. Sadly, all of these are rather poor methods for determining empirical fact. This is not to say that the things I and others have felt are not valid or important or even the result of tested methods. I would never want to give back the things I have felt in circle. It is just than I concede to the scientist in me that I cannot emprically demonstrate that I had anything more than experience. Hook me up and you may see that parts of my brain associated with visions and religious experience were hot. For the time being, that is all we could see. To say anything more would be to move beyond the purview of Science. Of course, that my all change in the future and that is one of the wonderful things about Science.
I wonder why people want empirical proof because I can't possibly see why it matters. If you value your experience why cloud it with the heavy chains of empirical fact. I think the mintue anyone tries to empirically prove Magic or the Gods exist is the moment they have lost the plot. This is just my personal opinion but, I think asking if Magic or the Gods are emprically "true" is to ask the wrong question.
By the way, I don't mean to sound as if I hate Science or scientific method. I majored in Philosophy of Science and epistemology and married a math major. My best friend works at Fermi Lab making equipment for tests in quantum mechanics. Science has been a large part of my life. I just don't bring it into Circle with me. But, that is just me.
Fr. Perserverabo said - "I can't put stock in a God(s), if anything I would rather prove that they are not there, and that magick is simply the core action of Will on all levels and not what most people tend to consider it."
That is the sort of question I like i.e. what is the nature of magick and Will? How do they work? etc. You must use a lot of scientific method to get a good handle on that. Fun stuff!
I think it says what my trad is on my personal page but, I have not updated it in a while. I have a Second in the Silver Crescent and Kingstone Traditions.