Re: Fwd: Putting past practices behind us
- From: "diamondsouled" <rowe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 15:53:07 CST
Last Thursday I had a nice reply all typed into my computer when there
was one of those lightening strikes where there is no gap between the
flash and the boom. The power dimmed the computer went off and my post
when into the ether. :-(
The internet went down, I checked the phones and they were down as
well. They didn't come back on line until today almost 5 days later! I
guess we don't count out here in the boonies on a long weekend.
So here it goes again.
In order for religion to harmonize and be in unity with science,
religous belief needs to keep up with scientific advancements. This
stands as true for Baha'i religious beliefs as it does for all
As I mentioned to Matt in another post I have heard Baha'is state that
science needs to advance to the point where it reflects Baha'i
teachings! This is akin to a Christian maintaining that science needs
to advance to a point where it proves that the earth is the centre of
the solar system and is only 6,000 years old! For Baha'is this
contention by a Christian would be seen as a proof of the need for the
harmony of science and religion but Baha'i are lothe to subject ther
own beliefs to the same scrutiny believing that Baha'i teachings and
beliefs are somehow not subject to the same principle of the unity of
science and religion.
Humanity has made huge strides in the hard sciences in the past 150
years, very importantly though humanity has made huge strides in the
social sciences as well. Where such findings conflict or contradict
Baha'i teachings Baha'is are all too quick to atribute that
contradiction to materialistic reductionism and thus justify ignoring
the findings of social sciences.
One such example is the field of psychology. Since William James wrote
his seminal work The Varities of Religious Experience humanity has come
a long ways in better understanding the phenomena of religious
experience. The challange for religionists is to see such scientific
advancement as the positive and progressive force that it is instead of
seeing such advancement as a threat because it overturns some of their
fondly held traditional religious beliefs.
The complete text of Willam James book can be found here:
It is well worth reading.
Since Willam James wrote this important book humanity has progressed
even further in understanding the psychology of religious experience.
To reject such scientific understanding is to hold onto what is no
better than superstition simply because such understanding does not
confirm our religious beliefs.
Clearly this contradicts what Abdu'l-Baha' states in the following:
If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards
of science they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the
antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is
superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true
religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith
and belief in it are impossible and there is no outcome but wavering
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 240)
The great challange for all Baha'is and thus for the entire Baha'i
faith is to apply this principle even in regards to Baha'i religious
teachings and beliefs.
My feeling Brendan is that if we allow our fondly held religious
beliefs to becloud our minds and we behave in a manner which is in
contradiction to the Universal Principle of the oneness of humanity
then it is those beliefs and behaviors which are suspect.
I trace the Baha'i faiths current stagnant growth, especially here in
the more highly educated West, to the contradiction between Baha'i
Universal Principles and Baha'i religious practices. Like I said to
Susan, if you take the pivot-axle out of a wheel the wheel comes to a
Love is the measure of ours hearts understanding as well as it's
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