I see an underlining perspective that appears in many threads here that object to the existence of God. That being that, some people are myopically focused on this existence, life, reality, and immensely value the intelligence of human beings, human knowledge so much so that they refuse to allow themselves to gain perspective on their epistemological approach. A lot of so-called atheists and positivists enjoy and cherish the sense of certainty and security they get from the scientific method. It is almost as though they are scared to lose that certainity and security a positivistic and this world rule approach, focus and concentration gives them.
Some people are under the understanding that the spiritual realities that people speak of are chaotic and unstable and that with spirituality anything goes. I wonder if people would be so kind as to share their understanding regarding the organization of the spiritual realities. Specifically, my question is: Do you think the Holy Spirit is scientific and organized or do you think spirituality is chaotic? Are there methods, systems and spiritual laws in spirituality much as there are in the physical world?
I think God can be called rational, inasmuch as rationality is more perfect than irrationality and God is entirely perfect.
However, this does not necessarily translate into Christian spirituality being reducible to a set of logical methods, systems and laws. God is not only rational but simple and personal. While reason plays an important role in our understanding truth and while highly structured prayers and such can be very helpful in our spiritual lives, there is no rational method we can simply follow in order to gain the Beatific Vision. All we can do is to be docile before the mysterious power and love of God and allow Him to bring us to Himself.
The mysteriousness and soverign power of God don’t mean the Holy Spirit is chaotic and unstable, or even that we should be so in our own lives. It means we need to be humble and acknowledge the limits of our finite reason and power and allow God lead us.
Most people have absolutely zero training in philosophy. So much so that if you look up “Philosophy of Science” and then click the Wikipedia link, you’ll be taken to a page that discusses the ethics of using science, instead of a discussion on the philosophical basis of science. Those two things are radically different.
Properly speaking, “science” is short hand for “Natural Philosophy”. Have you ever wondered why some museums that have dinosaur bones and rocks in them are called “The Museum of Natural History?” That is because in the days when learned men were taught philosophy, they knew that natural philosophy was a subset of Philosophy, that “scientists” were properly called “natural philosophers”; thus the collections they created were stored in museums of “natural history”. Natural, as opposed to the transcendent concept of Philosophy, which is of course transcended by the concepts of Theology/Religion.
In sticking solely to science, a person robs themselves of anything outside the sphere of science. And sadly, a person who denies the philosophical destroys “science”, because all philosophies are based on axioms. Axiom is just another word for “Article of Faith.”
Science has a philosophy. It is based on such axioms as “Physical laws are the same every where in the universe.” This, obviously, can’t be proven, therefore it must be an axiom, and thus, an article of faith (“Faith: belief not based in evidence; an assumption.”).
To use “science” to discuss morality, ethics, law, love or justice is to use the entirely wrong tool. It is a lot like trying to lift yourself off the floor by the laces in your shoes.
So to try to talk about the Holy Spirit as “scientific” is just wrong. I’m not sure what you mean by “organized”, but let’s talk about one of the attributes of God for a moment: omnipresence.
For argument’s sake, consider taking the assertion of omnipresence as literally true; that means that God created the universe out of himself; that the essence of the universe is God. If the physical universe is just an aspect, a part of God, then science returns to its proper place as a subset of Theology (interestingly enough, there have been recent scientific papers that posit that the universe is simply a kind of hologram . . . kind of a picture in God’s head, if you will).
In summary: science is simply a discipline that deliberately restricts itself to studying a subset of God. It is like studying the paint job of a car, while refusing by design to even acknowledge that the car exists, let alone discussing the meaning and implications of the concept of “automobile”.
But if you consider the universe “organized”, then I’d have to say that yeah, God is organized.
well i happen to think its a good question or observation which is really what a question is.
spirituality would seem chaotic relative to the neccesary participation of man who is not entirely
lets say the operations of the spirit in the idea of spirituality is like a constant snowfall…each individual represented by a front lawn…due to seasons or climate in the specific individual front lawn the accumulation of nice white snow comes and goes, becomes deeper in faith or hope through peace and all of it…relative to all the different stages experienced. the stages then are somewhat comprehended and its impossible in that comprehension to remain un-effected by the neighboring lawns, because interaction is a staple through charity in the whole idea.
so the chaos is our chaos and the snow just keeps falling…thinking man makes god too complicated…trying to reach up and touch the clouds and winds up halucinating himself to crazy land on thin air
… with god and all his creations and all possibilities , the infinite perfection mathematically , scientifically and anything else possible that is systematic , logical , orderly , sane , natural , simple , reasonaBLE , SOUND , SENSIBLE , COMMON SENSE AND BEYOND INFINITELY MORE THAN MAN CAN EVER KNOW IS SO ABSOLUTELY INFINITELY PERFECT THAT THOUGH ALL IS NOT GOD ALL IS EITHER GOD OR IN GOD IT RELATES TO GOD IN ALL AND MANY WAYS IT CAN ALL BE SUMMED UP AS ONE THING " LOVE " , sorry about caps lock going on , a real pain , but when properly understand all is one in " love " , and god = love , the big prob comes with this fallen world , it is a temporary loss of reality , and is full of evils , imperfection nd chaos , but it is a delusion and not really real , so although it seems a mess it is not even really happening , it is like we’re living in a nightmare – seems real but isn’t , even though we really exp it i know , god will restore us to reality soon i hope , and then all will be that most singularly infinite perfection " love " once again …
Thank you for your contribution to this thread. I see that you are Catholic as I am and so I understand what you are saying. What I want to do in this thread is translate, if you will, these spiritual languages so that they may be understood by determinists, positivists etc… who I understand consider, faith, spirituality and mysticism to be chaotic, uncertain and again; that anything goes and so not a valid method of coming to know if God exists etc… They seem to think that what we call spiritual truths could very well be a figment of our imagination. If we say you need to as you put it: " …be humble and acknowledge the limits of our finite reason and power and allow God lead us" the Twilight Zone music immediately comes on for them. youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU&NR=1 Ultimately, that is what they would need to do but I think they first they to acknowledge and recognize. So, we need to go where they are at, it is just as unpleasant and frustrating for them as it is for us non-scientists when people talk over our heads. I say, we try to communicate.
It is quite a quest this endeavor, I just thought we give it a shot.
As for me, I was just thinking that some people that hooray science are not even aware where science is at now and the limits the fields, especial that of physics, is beginning to recognize and encounter. It is as though God has allowed us to explore and experience his creation and in doing so encounter him a bit and it is in looking back that some physicist recognize the presence of God. Yes, when they find themselves in the threshold of the unknown and viewing an infinite expanse (or so some think it is an expanse) that is inexplicable to the human mind. How could these atoms behave like that, how could this expanse be infinite; they ask; we humans are suppose to be able to explain and discover everything in the universe; how can can this be? It is inexplicable, it does not compute, we do not have the capacity to explain it all, the probabilities are infinite. If we take the Hubble Constant the farthest clusters of galaxies should be sixty billion trillion light years away or 60,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, miles according to Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Astronomer, Vatican Observatory. Is it an infinite expanse in front of them or is it that the universe itself is expanding? Expanding in what? I think some physicists are back to sucking their thumbs right now. It is not that the exploration has not been fruitful, we have learned a lot but I think the journey has demonstrated intelligence involved but the intelligence of whom?
Well, I am rambling now, all I want to say is that well, is like if some non-human came upon human beings and they wanted to study these creatures but they make them lifeless first and study their corpse. Wouldn’t it be better to study humans alive? In a similar way, the sciences study the material world without acknowledging the creator. :shrug:
Gotta go now…please excuse the sloppiness of my writing.
P.s. In other words, science has it’s limits and people are idealizing it. What is the name of that logic positivist who held that everything could be explained with logic and freaked out when he realized it was not possible?
It seems to me that many of these scientific atheists have a sort of spiritual and even intellectual agoraphobia (like Isaac Asimov, who was also literally agoraphobic). They like things neat and tidy and thoroughly understandable, because they are made uncomfortable by higher, more mysterious truths. It’s like Chesterton’s circles. A small circle is just as infinite as a large circle, but it’s not as large. A narrow idea of reality can seem to explain the world just as well as a broad one, but it’s a smaller, less living universe. I’m not sure Christianity can or should be made as narrow and dead as materialist atheism.
I’m not saying this is what you are trying to do, but I do think that a conversion of heart may be needed before there can be an intellectual conversion.