Carl Sagan didn't see any conflict between spirituality and science. Neither do I. They get along very nicely, so long as we remember that "spirit" has nothing to do with God, divinity, or the supernatural.
It's just a word that points to how we look upon reality, rather than focusing on the what of existence. As in, for example, "With what sort of spirit are you going to view the situation?"
Over on my other blog, HinesSight, I put up a post yesterday -- A secular Easter thought: "spiritual" isn't supernatural or religious. Give it a read.
The post is based on some writings by Tim Urban. Be sure to take a look at his "How Religion Got in the Way." His cartoon summary of how religion went one way, and science another, is both entertaining and right-on. And I liked his Carl Sagan quotation.
Here's an Urban quote that I included in my post.
Ever since the human species began opening its eyes into consciousness, it has been an aggressively curious child, hungry to figure it all out. What was this world it was living in, and what did it all mean?
The first part of that question—What was this world?—became the job of science. The second part—What does it all mean?—is the job of spirituality.
Science is what we know, and spirituality is how we coexist philosophically, psychologically and emotionally with that knowledge. Science gives us the information; spirituality helps us wrap our heads around it.
The two lead us as a tag team, each taking care of their critical halves of the “figuring it all out” puzzle—when science tells us something shocking, like “The Earth is revolving around the sun and not vice versa!” we turn, wide-eyed, to spirituality and ask, “How does that change things? How does that transform the way we should think about ourselves, about the world, and about life?”
Under this definition, spirituality is a secular concept, and the idea that spirituality and science are diametrically opposed to each other is incorrect—they’re two halves of the same quest.
Sam Harris agrees with you Brian. He too wants to use "spiritual", even though he rejects all things supernatural.
But considering how many believers in supernatural nuttiness identify themselves as "spiritual", I would steer clear of the word. You can argue that its meaning is secular, but the believers who identify with it would vehemently disagree, so why take the word away from them?
It's like "gay". It used to mean carefree and light-hearted, but now it means homosexual, so what're ya gonna do? Some words you just have to concede to those whose use for them is more urgent than yours.
Posted by: x | April 06, 2015 at 10:26 PM