The Dogma of Atheism

posted in: Dada's posts | 11

Theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser recently won this year’s Templeton Prize, which recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

A noble sentiment. And quite a tall order for a theoretical physicist, considering today’s arid materialist scientific environment. But he did it by emphasising the limits of science, the value of humility and the irrationality of non-belief (referring to the scientific dogma that because we have no objective proof of higher consciousness, or a higher power, then it does not exist, and therefore the essential nature of reality is material).

Gleiser suggests, quite rightly, that rather than atheism the rational conclusion under such circumstances is agnosticism; that atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method. It is a belief no different to any other unsubstantiated belief. It is an assumption, not a fact.

So what has lead otherwise seemingly intelligent scientists to make such a leap of non-faith? To depart so drastically from the essentially spiritual perspective of the scientific luminaries such as Einstein, Planck and Jeans to whom they are so indebted for the science they now profess to practice?

I believe that it’s the reaction to religious dogmas in our comparatively enlightened age of reason. Which is understandable, considering the irrationality of religious dogmas. The problem, though, is that the sheer emotional force of that reaction, which is deeply rooted in the trauma of religious wars, oppression, exploitation, deception, sex crimes and other crimes against humanity, creates a blind spot to rational thought (in relation to this one issue at least) which leapfrogs over reason and creates a dogma all of its own. This is not science. It is reactionism in the name of science. It is the (perhaps subconscious) misuse of science to vent reaction to one’s cultural and religious upbringing. Atheism is just as dogmatic as any religion. In fact, one could argue that it is a dogmatic religion in itself.

Ironically the key to the modern-day dogmas of atheism and materialism is that the mind of the atheist/materialist is still rooted in religion. The overwhelmingly materialistic and atheistic scientific community of today who like to think of themselves as intellectually enlightened are ultimately unable to think outside the box of the religion they were raised and conditioned with and that has imprisoned their minds. They almost invariably couch their atheism in religious (typically Christian) terms and so are really ultimately referring to the deficiencies of religion and not true spirituality.

Spirituality is not religion. It has nothing to do with religion. It does not involve the imposition of any preconceived beliefs. It has no unnecessary or superfluous rituals. And it has no dogmas. It is quite simply the search for the essence of existence. Science can also be a part of that search. Indeed the two, science and spirituality, go together. They are inherently complimentary: the inner search for oneself and the outer search for the universe. Science approaches the truth objectively and spirituality approaches it subjectively. They will eventually converge on the same reality. But for that to happen the practitioner of each discipline — science and spirituality — will have to leave the religious dross of their cultural conditioning at the door.

I believe that we are fast approaching a day when the wisdom of the past will be combined with the knowledge of the present to facilitate our search for the essence of existence. And that this will happen within ourselves as well as through the scientific method. To find the truth we must compliment the search for it in multi-billion-dollar particle accelerators with the search for it within our free selves.

 

11 Responses

  1. Atma Dasan

    All Pervading PRESENCE of Uninterrupted Pure Consciousness is subatomic substratum . Vital energy radiance from PRESENCE is Mind / Sakthi which is what is behind sprouting, growing & withering cycle .

  2. Steve

    There are more plans for bigger bIllion dollar particle accelerators really !! Surely there are plenty of other things on earth these scientists can devote their skill and time to such as climate change and the destruction of the natural environment to name just two.

  3. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada Gunamuktananda,

    A reply I made to an atheist on Quora:

    “You should not call God crap. That’s disrespectful of the goal of many people, which is to become one with Infinite Consciousness.

    You have an “I” feeling. You feel that you exist. But you don’t know anyone else’s “I” feeling. It is possible, through love and compassion, to get a sense of their “I” feeling, but you will never fully know what it means for them to exist. You cannot feel it. It is not your “I” feeling.

    Do other people exist? How can you ever know what it is like for other people, animals, plants, inanimate objects to exist when you don’t have their “I” feeling? You are entirely separate and alone. But this situation is intolerable. Hence one tries to connect with others. The best way to do that is through love and compassion.

    What is this love and compassion? What is this connecting force that begins to allow the one, who is separate and alone, to know the “I” feelings of others? This is God.

    So your goal might be to be loving and compassionate. This would be your goal. This goal would be God. You can call this goal something else, if you wish. Nonetheless, it is the goal, or may be, the pinnacle of one’s existence.”

  4. gunamuktananda

    Namaskar and thanks for your insight. Keep fighting the good fight!

  5. V Richards

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have tried to make this statement before but you have put it into much more eloquent and succinct words than I ever could have. Growing up amongst both atheist academics and religious practitioners I find that everyone is searching for the same thing, the truth, but they use different words and then fight over who is right. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and making the word a more peaceful place.

  6. Robin

    Dada, thanks for this piece. It’s interesting that so much ‘research’ is propelled by ego, ideology and the under lying foundation of wilful ignorance regarding a Supreme Being. Whilst many will argue the toss on his existence, time is on the side of those who love and worship him.

    “Only a fool saith in his heart, there is no God”.

  7. Stephen

    I have seen your ted talk and am in search of a consciousness and a understanding of my existence with regards to my life, im sixty, and my education of religion. I have been a Catholic, an atheist and a Sufi,briefly, all in different times . I have also experienced in this a constant battle between what I was being taught and what I was experiencing in my life. That is on a intellectual but also spiritual struggle.Perhaps meditation will allow me to find an answer to the struggle between my mind and my spirit. Perhaps that is what I have found here.I will take a look around here and sit and meditate awhile upon what is here. I wonder.

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