68 The Positive and Negative Aspects of Modern Science and the Future of Contemplative Inquiry in All Religions

11 Oct 2013

Before the guided meditation, Dr. Wallace comments on Malala, a 16 year old girl from Pakistan, who currently fights for the right of education for women amidst Taliban death threats against her.
After the meditation, we pick up where we left yesterday. In the last 150 years, the growth of knowledge coming from science is unprecedented. However, at the same time, the last 150 years have also lead to severe damage of the environment, destruction of an increasing number of species, and man’s inhumanity to mankind. So, there is a huge asymmetry in the growth of scientific knowledge.
Next, Alan goes into the view of William James, who points out the different roles of faith in respectively the realm of actuality and the realm of possibilities. Examples are given of this condition, like the “placebo effect” and achieving Shamatha.
Subsequently, Alan sketches the vision of William James, on how one could establish a science of mental phenomena. This asks for an open attitude and full empiricism (contrary to Occam’s razor).
A very important tool for establishing a meaningful science of mental phenomena is introspection.
In the same way, an open attitude using empiricism could also launch a science of religious experiences. This would ask for a first person experience approach.

Meditation starts at: 5:54 min.

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