The first two questions face anyone who cares to distinguish the real from the unreal and the true from the false. The third question faces anyone who makes any decisions at all, and even not deciding is itself a decision.
Probing the Boundaries of Faith and Reason Dr. Modern science initiated a deep spiritual crisis that led to an unfortunate split between faith and reason—a split yet to be reconciled.
Buddhism was seen as an "alternative altar," a bridge that could reunite the estranged worlds of matter and spirit. Thus, to a large extent Buddhism's flowering in the West during the last century came about to satisfy post-Darwinian needs to have religious beliefs grounded in new scientific truth.
As science still constitutes something of a "religion" in the West, the near-absolute arbiter of truth, considerable cachet still attends the linking of Buddhism to science. Such comparison and assimilation is inevitable and in some ways, healthy.
At the same time, we need to examine more closely to what extent the scientific paradigm actually conveys the meaning of Dharma. Perhaps the resonance between Buddhism and Western science is not as significant as we think. Ironically, adapting new and unfamiliar Buddhist conceptions to more ingrained Western thought-ways, like science, renders Buddhism more popular and less exotic; it also threatens to dilute its impact and distort its content.
Historians since the end of World War II, have suggested that the encounter between East and West represents the most significant event of the modern era. What changes this will bring, I do not know. But I am convinced they will be profound and of the greatest importance.
However much people today realize it, the encounter of Oriental and Occidental religious and philosophical traditions, of Buddhist and Christian and Hindu and Islamic perspectives, must be regarded as one of the most extraordinary meetings of our age.
Arnold Toynbee once wrote that of all the historical changes in the West, the Science is meaningless without religion essay important—and the one whose effects have been least understood—is the meeting of Buddhism in the Occident.
And when and if our era is considered in light of larger societal patterns and movements, there can be no doubt that the meeting of East and West, the mingling of the most ancient traditions in the modern world, will form a much larger part of history than we today with our political-economic emphases, may think.
These are not isolated opinions. Many writers, scholars, intellectuals, scientists, and theologians have proclaimed the importance of the meeting of East and West. Occidental interest in the Orient predates the modern era. There is evidence of significant contact between East and West well before the Christian era.
Even in the New World, curiosity and interchange existed right from the beginning, as early as the s. By the mid-twentieth century this growing fascination with Asian thought led Arnold Toynbee to envision a new world civilization emerging from a convergence of East and West.
He anticipated that the spiritual philosophies of Asia would touch profoundly on the three basic dimensions of human existence: Our relationships with each other social ; with ourselves psychological ; and, with the physical world natural. What is the shape and significance of this encounter?
What does Buddhism contribute to the deeper currents of Western thought; and more specifically, to our struggle to reconcile faith with reason, religion with science? Science was already the ascendant intellectual sovereign when Buddhism made its first serious entry on the American scene in the latter decades of the 19th century.
A World's Parliament of Religions, held in conjunction with the Colombian Exposition in Chicago, brought to America for the first time a large number of Asian representatives of the Buddhist faith. These missionaries actively and impressively participated in an open forum with Western theologians, scientists, ministers, scholars, educators, and reformers.
This unprecedented ecumenical event in the American heartland came at a most opportune time. America was ready and eager for a new source of inspiration, ex orient lux, the 'light of Asia. Modern scientific discoveries had so undermined a literal interpretation of sacred scripture, that for many educated and thoughtful people, it was no longer certain that God was in his heaven and that all was right with the world.
These rapid changes and transformations in almost every aspect of traditional faith, had such irreversible corrosive effects on religious orthodoxy, that they were dubbed, "acids of modernity.
People like my grandparents, brought up with rock-solid belief in the infallible word of God, found their faith shaken to its very foundations. It was as if overnight they suddenly awoke to a new world governed not by theological authority but by scientists. New disclosures from the respected disciplines of geology, biology, and astronomy challenged and shattered Biblical accounts of the origins of the natural world and our place and purpose in it.
The Earth, held to be the physical and metaphysical center of the Universe, was reduced to a tiny speck revolving around a sun.
Then Darwin all but eliminated the divide between animal and man, and with it the "special creation" status enjoyed by humans. Darwin, moreover, diminished God. The impersonal forces of natural selection kept things going; no divine power was necessary.
Nor, from what any competent scientist could demonstrate with any factual certainty, was any Divinity even evident—either at the elusive "creation," or in the empirical present.
Karl Marx people portrayed people as economic animals grouped into competing classes driven by material self-interest. Finally, Freud himself characterized religious faith as an evasion of truth, a comforting illusion sustained by impulses and desires beyond the reach of the rational intellect.
And certainly the childhood version of a personal, all-powerful God that created the world and ruled over it with justice and omniscience was for many a comforting vision lost forever.
One of the lingering side effects of this loss has been the unfortunate disjunction of matter and spirit that afflicts the modern age. It can assume many forms:Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.
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Abstract Western interest in Eastern religions, especially Buddhism, historically coincided with the rise of modern science and the corresponding perceived decline of religious orthodoxy in the West.
Put simply: Modern science initiated a deep spiritual crisis that led to an unfortunate split between faith and reason—a split yet to be reconciled.
The core foundation of Hindu belief is that Vedas contain source of all knowledge – physical or metaphysical. However in last odd years, this belief has come under scrutiny due to the advances that modern science claims to make. Modern pop culture declares that atheism is a "scientific" worldview.
But most of the key contributors to modern science were theists and often Christian. Science is meaningless without religion essay papers By | October 3, | 0. Negative effects of mass media essays on the great maplestory pianus proquest dissertations?
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