I am coming to think that the leading intellectual challenge of our time, and perhaps the foremost barrier to any further human progress, is the insidious notion of dualism in the study of reality. We all take for granted the idea that there is a scientific way of approaching reality, and also a religious point of view, and each occupies a separate sphere. Modern science has devolved into the belief-system of materialism, while Christianity is a belief-system based in the culture of first-century Jews; but these flaws at the core of each approach to the study of reality are ignored by their impassioned advocates. Indeed, both sets of belief-systems have adherents so deeply invested in them that some who now are reading these words are framing indignant rebuttals (bring it on!).
So, even today, we still find ourselves debating which view of reality should be dominant, whether reality arose in some material fashion or whether God must have created it all. There are few who realize that the prevalence of dualism in our study of reality means that neither Christianity nor materialist science is adequate to the task on its own. Ergo, both of them must be wrong.
Once you begin to look for them, you find examples of this dualism everywhere. To choose just one from the handful that my internet grazing produces daily, Christians suggest that the prevalence of religions in history must mean that we are hard-wired to believe, so scientists then feel forced to prove that religions have not been so prevalent after all. And for good measure, they study the brain to try to find the specific defect that causes religious notions to arise. Unlike science, Christianity doesn’t look for support for its position in logic or in facts, but rather it defends itself by enforcing its dogmas and by “othering” non-believers. The fierce political divisions now rending the United States don’t come from the dualist error alone, but dualism is making them more intractable. If there are two competing approaches to understanding reality, then of course adherents to each of them will portray the others as beyond the pale.
Afterlife researchers can demonstrate now that both Christian and materialist orthodoxies are wrong. There is no anthropomorphic God. And everything that we think of as “matter” is actually not solid after all, but instead it is a form of energy. We should have seen the end of the dualist fallacy long ago, but our problem is that by now nearly everyone is so emotionally invested in one point of view or in the other that it is assumed that if you are not in my camp you have to be on the other side. If I am a Christian, I will try to convert you to save you from eternal damnation; and if I am a science groupie, I will assume that your skepticism about my science must mean that you hold an entire panoply of Christian beliefs that I can smugly attack.
Dualism is a divisive blind alley. What all of us must start to do if we are ever to find a way forward is to abandon both Christian and scientific dogmas as the discredited false beliefs that they are. What we must begin to do now is to study reality open-mindedly, without dogmas or beliefs in the way.
It is only lately that I have come to see that the hobby that propels my life is going to be the solution to the dualism problem. Thanks to impending developments in the burgeoning field of afterlife studies, both Christianity and materialist science will fairly soon be going down.
Christianity’s impending fall saddens me. I was a devout Christian for most of my life, and even today I love the religion! It has taken me awhile to accept the fact that Christianity does not follow Jesus, and that its modern-day adherents have carried their religion to a fatal extreme. Here is what is about to happen:
My weekly podcast is called Seek Reality. I am coming to suspect that it won’t be long before all of humankind will be doing just that! Perhaps then I will have to begin to call my podcast something else….
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37667416@N04/4074906486″>106299</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/78845880@N06/15530193057″>5 ноября 2014, Литургия апостола Иакова / 5 November 2014, Divine Liturgy of St. James</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>