Wisdom or Folly?

Subjecting of every facet of poetry, imagination, and spiritual experience to the microscope of rationality, empiricism, and scientific argumentation may not be the best application of scientific methodology..

No one can deny the enormous expansion of  knowledge and enhancement in perspectives, let alone the  plethora of creature comforts and ease of action and communication that Goddess Science has brought for humanity. These gratifications have been responding to our thirst and quest for knowledge about the physical world.

In the process of embracing the worldview erected by science, however, we have sometimes  diminished, if not let go, of other dimensions of being fully human. Ever since the rise of modern science sensitive poets and thoughtful philosophers have been warning us that reducing everything to order and pattern and empirical evidence could have unhealthy impacts on some important facets of our humanity.

But the appeal of pure reason and meticulous rationality that subtend modern science and the lure of  the fruits they bear through the medium of technology for lessening muscular efforts and providing  day to day enjoyments are so strong that people have difficulty taking the admonitions of poets and philosophers seriously.

Our  unquenchable hunger for energy has turned into an orgy of consumption and the rape of Nature. It is driving us to the brink, with little concern for the environmental assault we are engaged in. We are unable to heed the scientific warnings for the impending catastrophes.

Likewise, insightful peering into the nature of the phenomenal world has turned into a frenzy that attacks everything regarded as sacred, holy, and meaningful myth by past generations.

Beyond the experience of the past century which has seen increasing instances of psychological illnesses, broken marriages, and diseases arising from promiscuity, there are no solid proofs for a possible mental and spiritual chaos if the religions of the world are erased from humanity’s psyche. So, remembering only the atrocities committed in the name of God and religion, intellectual stalwarts of our times don’t seem to care what would human destiny be if or when our deepest longings and visions for something beyond are completely dismantled.

The big question is:   Is it wisdom or folly to call for a complete dismantling of all traditional religions, assuming that it is possible to achieve that?

July 21, 2011

Published by:

Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.

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