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SARAS -- Society for the Alignment of Religion and Science -- Scientifically aligned religious philosophy for modernity. Science understands that symmetry is the underlying theme that pervades the structure and behavior of physical reality. Religious philosophy for modern times must fundamentally account for this observed reality.


The meaning of sacredness to scientists

julio gonzalez


No scientists that I know deny the phenomenon of the emergence of beauty and awe in the process of understanding and discovery. Is this the same as the experience of sacredness? It depends on what you mean by sacredness (and spirituality). Science and spiritually apparently have different farthest aims. Science aims at ultimate understanding of physical reality and in acquiring that knowledge the scientific journeyman experiences "sacredness" in apprehending the beauty and awe of physical reality's inner workings. But the (pure) scientist does seek or require knowledge of any highest aim of nature itself. Nature's activity can be comprehended and modeled but the reason for nature's changing state, as it might relate to an overarching supernatural or existential need, is not a goal. In this sense the scientist's quest is not to approach "sacredness".

Spirituality is an attitude that reflects one's deepest connection with a belief that nature's activity, life and consciousness, and existence itself have a highest purpose that transcends the awe and beauty of physical reality's construction. A "spiritual" attitude is (most probably) regarded as one that holds that the reason physical reality and its phenomenon exist is associated with an ultimate purpose rather than because it is more stable than nothingness (for whatever reason). An ultimate purpose implies the existence of an ultimate "something" -- called God.

The resistance to words such as reverence and spirituality in the scientific community arises because as they are commonly understood to imply the existence of God, which is outside the scope of scientific endeavor. Spirituality is not constrained by observation the way science is and therefore it strays from what science knows to be the truth. If spirituality and science are to converge, spirituality (e.g., religion) must be consistent with science--although it must extend beyond it. A scientist's 
worldview is "scientifically spiritual" when it regards physical reality's design as a compass to discover the nature of something that lies beyond the physical realm. In this context a (true) "spiritual scientist" searches for the existence of an ultimate purpose (which certainly may be associated with a supra-natural consciousness whose "thoughts" are nature's mathematical architecture).