If you click on this link, you'll be watching a 15 or so minute TED talk on how Science can inform morality. I for one said, "Duh." I thought that of course what we learn from science, if we are rational people, should inform our beliefs in some way or another. We are human beings, and we are made to attach meaning to facts. We extrapolate; we create meaning.
But there were some new ideas (really just semantics) for me to mull over. One idea is that because our instinct is to go toward what most preserves our lives (both physically and emotionally) we see those steps as "good" and steps away from that as "bad". In a Christian sense, we may say that if you believe in Jesus that is good and if you don't that is bad. This is because you would believe that it would preserve your life to believe it, and ruin it to disbelieve it.
This is that kind of "survival of the fittest" idea I think. If we think it is more beneficial to our lives to eat and drink and be merry (so-to-speak) then we do this. If we think it is more beneficial to our lives to exercise, eat vegan and live a life of moderation, then we do this. Somehow, we scientifically believe these sorts of things. Scientifically because it is in our brains to believe it. Our cultures inform us what is "good" and what is "bad". This makes an impact in every cell of our being, literally.
What does this mean to me? Where does my mind go?
I was thinking about Druidry and how there are so many different ways of celebrating it, and long ago I decided how I would do it.
There are some people who believe that they are actually doing magic. That they are changing the structure of what is to bend it to do what they want. I don't think this is true. I think that the "magic" is changing the way I think about it. It is purely psychological. It is like meditation. If I can get my mind to believe it is possible, I think it is possible. Does this mean I think they are wrong or bad? No. I just think it doesn't work for me to try and believe this way.
For my body, for my soul, I think it is GOOD that I know how to be positive and make things happen for myself out of confidence and will. That is the magic for me.
It does not explain the gift I have of interpreting oracles and visions...but again, for me, that is part of the MYSTERY of life. I KNOW that scientifically we haven't unraveled all that the brain is capable of, but that does not mean that when we (or if we) finally do, that it is any less MAGIC.
It seems as though I am off-topic, but I need a place to process these thoughts.
There are a million thoughts that I have about what Sam Harris said, but they are not all coherent. It is something that I feel I know as a baser idea, and that I've spiraled up to some higher meaning as time has gone on. These are just different words for what I've already settled in my mind.
Even as I write this I know how disjointed it sounds, but maybe this is where I am today...disjointed in word, but settled in spirit. My mind works so fast, I can barely keep up with it myself.
I am, right at this moment, watching an old Twilight Zone where a little old woman has been afraid of death, but when he comes (as a very young, very sexy Robert Redford), he says "you see, there is no shock, no tearing asunder. What you were afraid would come like an explosion has come as a whisper. what you thought was the ending, is the beginning." Then he takes her hand and leads her out into the sunshine. I sure do love it. Scientifically, I know nothing about any evidence there to support it. But I trust my instinct, and it tells me there is much more about life that we just haven't figured out yet, and I believe it, without so much as a Scientific Fact.
So, yes, Science 'informs' me, but it does not rule me.