Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Science and Religion in a Nutshell

This is the simplest explanation of my view I can come up with:

All linguistic discourse is metaphor and symbols.  We open up our mouths and make sounds or make squiggles on paper or pixels on a screen.

Squiggles and noises and pixels are not chairs tables planets or anything "real" - they are squiggles and noises which are symbols and signs.

They are metaphors.

Scientific squiggles and noises tell us about metaphors which humanity has seen useful for manipulating the world around us.

Religious squiggles and noises tell us about metaphors  which humanity has seen useful for explaining what is important to us, what we should do, what to value, and what our place is in the world in which we all interact.

We each pick which sets of squiggles and metaphors from each category help us best to put together a world view which helps us make sense of all this world we each experience.

The idea that truth is a property of sentences and sentences are just ultimately interpretations of experience really strikes people the wrong way but I think the position is unassailable.

The only way of even discussing the problem is in language, which is subject to interpretation.  There is nothing you can say to argue that in the final analysis we are not ultimately talking about words and each others interpretation of them, because the only way to make the argument is by expressing your interpretation of words.  It is inescapable.  The scientist ends up talking about and interpreting words and so does the theologian

Once you see human experience as one whole with no way to communicate it but language, then the objective and subjective become two sides of the same coin and inseparable, and just as valuable in their respective spheres.  We cannot survive without both of them.

We all live in the subjective every minute of our lives, but if we do not acknowledge the limits of the objective we cannot survive.

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