Welcome to the Theology News Blog - an attempt to provide a 'one-stop shop' for all news stories, podcasts and TV programming related to religion, philosophy and the theory of knowledge (TOK). It grew out of a similar site created for GCSE and A-Level/IB students in students but is now being offered as an open-to-all resource. It will hopefully be of use to any and all with an interest in these subjects. For notification of all updates either follow us by email or on Twitter (@theologynews) by clicking on the links in the right-hand column. For my own theological writing, please follow the link in the right-hand column to my other blog.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Spiritual practice is a lot closer to art than science

Unlike the White Queen, who found it easy to believe six impossible things before breakfast, a lot of people have difficulties with those of us who follow a spiritual practice, and yet who advocate science (my PhD is in history and philosophy of science, and I'm a practising pagan).
It would obviously be disingenuous to claim there's no tension between the two. I have issues with anyone who tries to claim that science is unworkable – creationists who deny evidence for past history, yet are happy to benefit from the products of the methodology that they otherwise deny. Nor am I able to provide scientific evidence for the existence of God (any of them), otherwise I wouldn't be writing this now. I have a lot of sympathy for atheists. I think that the basis for their arguments is – from a scientific point of view – pretty sound.
However, for me, spiritual practice is a lot closer to art than science. It's outside the realm of a set of testable hypotheses (current attempts to link magic to quantum theory, for example, just don't work). Some religious practitioners make absolutist claims for their beliefs: I've no interest in doing this, nor do I have any interest in converting people, which is doubtless a relief to anyone who has feared finding me on their doorstep asking if they'd like to know more about Odin. Read more...

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