virus: Science and Religion

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 13:43:50 -0400

>From: David Leeper <>
>Date: Mon, 26 Nov 1956 00:50:14 +0000

>> Forget about absolute truth.

>True.;-) Truth is relative. Some guy named Einstein demonstrated
>this in a book called "Relativity". Should be on the reading list if
>it's not already.

What Einstein demonstrated was that the physical universe is a little more
complicated than people had previously thought. He is revered not because
he demonstrated that life was an incomprehensible mystery like
transubstantiation...but, conversely, because he was able to create a
conceptaul framework explaining formerly mysterious results. Einstein is a
genius of de-mystification, integration, prediction, understanding, and
manipulation. He was a scientist, a reductionist, and a pragmatist.

>>Science DIFFERS from religion and mysticism in that it is a proven
>>functional and predictive process for manipulating ones environment.
>Religion and mysticism differ from science in that they deal with
>qualitative and subjective experience and expression. These too, by
>the way, are powerful tools for manipulating ones environment.

Science can be qualitative as well as quantitative...we aren't all
physicists. In fact, that very dichotomy of observation is usually taught
to people in a science class. I, myself, am a pretty qualitative
person...chemisrtry is a science and art of appropriate generalization.

>> Modern life is circumscribed by our technical achievements.

>Modern life is also circumscribed by our passion, insainity, cruelity,
>and bad sit-coms.

Ah, but how are they communicated? expressed? No argument from me but
"the medium is the message" is still a more or less true statement.

>>I can only report that I have been unable to move dimes by mental >power,

>Try advertising. Use sex in your commercials.

This made me laugh. Very good. You get my point though?

>>I have been unable to teleport to distant lands,

>Try the internet.

As above. VR isn't a reality yet. Still, I agree that technical advances
have made seemingly impossible feats common. But when we can travel the
seas we dream of the Moon. Travel to the Moon and we dream of the planets
and the stars. Travel the galaxy and is there any doubt we will want to
see the other side of the universe...maybe just to see if their Slurpees
have better consistency? There is always a frontier...and you can either
dream about the next step, or get down in the trenches and create it...I
try to do a little of both, keeps me (in)sane/happy.

>From what I can tell of you by reading your posting, your failures at
>this are because you're too literal. An artist can use shades of blue
>to represent happiness, freedom, mystery, pain, loneliness, and so on.
>To use the tools you've mentioned you must use them with the eye of an
>artist, not a thinker. When you've done this you will learn to ask
>the right questions. From then on, predicting the future is easy.

On one level, sure, "act as if ye had faith, look a little harder into the
mystery" blah blah blah. On another, bullshit, you recognize my meaning.
I'm not a robot, but I'm not a grasshopper, either.


------------------Reed Konsler