Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Religous & Scientific Paradigms

Ok, Religious worldviews. There are countless Religions in the world today, there have been many in recorded history that have come and gone. But there are the obvious big guns: The three "Abrahamic" Religions, Judaism, Christianity & Islam, the "Dharmic" Religions, Hinduism, Buddism, other Eastern Religions Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism etc. There are also traditional "Shamanic" Religions (There are many anthropologists who object to the use of the word Shamanism to describe different tribal religious practices, more on that later), modern "Paganism", Wicca, "Mystery Cults", Gnosticism, a multitude of greek & roman cults, Freemasonary, Rosicrusians, the diverse grey area known as "New Age" (also known as New Thought), Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, a multitude of various organizations, channelers, teachers, gurus, mediums, and finally "Atheistic" groups and philosophy's, Naturalism, Secular Humanism, Existensialism. Within each major group are numerous sub-groups, ie within Christianity there are many demoninations, within Hinduism there are many sects.

Now, I'm going to grossly oversimplify here, in the west, the debate rages mostly within three particular groups, the rest pretty much stay out of it. Christianity (mostly the conservative Protestant denominations), New Age and Atheism/Naturalism. That's not to say that others don't have opinions, it's just that these three groups are by far the most vocal. More to the point, these three groups are generally the only ones that attempt to explain other groups into their own paradigm. Christianity has been the dominant Religous worldview in the west for around 1700 years, Naturalistic philosophies have been getting popular over the last 2-300, and New Age started around 100 years ago, really picking up in the last 30 odd years.

Scientific paradigms are now moving away from mechanistic concepts (the clockwork universe) into more holistic, systems based paradigms. Within the scientific fields today, Naturalistic ideas are dominant in most areas. Most Christians today generally doesn't challenge much of what Science has to offer, with the major exception of the origion of life and the universe, hence Evolution vs Creationism/Intelligent Design. New Age however has alot of thoeries regarding the Sciences which are currently viewed as "fringe", or pseudo-science by a large percentage of proffesionals.

At this point I think I should state that I am not by any means particularily knowledgable about Science from a technical viewpoint. My interest lies in the philosophical side of Science. Anyways, this will do for today, any thoughts anybody?


No comments: