Compare Secular:Sacred

  • Similarities provide hope for bridging the chasm. Here are some similarities we hope to explore (as a list of titles, not supporting multilogue for simplicity):  (i) it is often not recognized, but much of the secular is also based on faith (see discussion) [21F/W’13]; (ii) the wisdom presented in some of the religious faiths is similar to statements from non-religious-based philosophies [108Sp’14]; (iii) the wisdom of old sacred texts sometimes is similar to the wisdom that can be derived from ultramodern studies of the secular such as those of complex systems studies [109Sp’14]; (iv) there is a role for orthodoxy in both secular science and the sacred (though not to the extent that the orthodoxy becomes dogma). (v) both have a role for faith altho’ science would deny it. [110Sp’14]
  • Differences may preclude ever bridging the chasm. Here are some differences we hope to explore (again only as a list of titles): (i) the sacred is mainly faith-based while the secular is evidence-based or experience-based [22F/W’13]; (ii) the secular, at least as far as science, encourages questions and challenging current dogma while the sacred enforces dogma accepting no challenges [23F/W’13]; (iii) authority is dominant in the sacred, while authority is often dominant in social systems parts of the secular yet ideally not operative at all in the secular sciences; [24F/W’13] (iv) the role of orthodoxy is different in secular science than the sacred. Consider this quote by Stephen Nadler from the NY Times (Opinion Page, May 25’14)…”I think a larger, and more pressing, question concerns the wisdom and efficacy of enforcing orthodoxy, or conformity in the matter of ideas (as opposed to conformity in the matter of behavior), in religious communities. Presumably, religion, in addition to being for many people a source of identity, community, comfort and moral guidance, is also a quest for understanding and truth: truth about ourselves and about the world. As John Stuart Mill and many other thinkers have argued, exercising any kind of censorship over ideas and restricting freedom of thought and speech only make it less likely that, in the end, the truth will be discovered. Why should this be any less a matter of importance in the domain of religious belief than in philosophy, science and other areas of human intellectual endeavor?”  [111Sp’14]
  • For the purpose of this website: we see orthodoxy as helpful in human endeavors to maintain integrity, unity, and stability within, whether it be in the Secular or the Sacred domains. For example, one could regard the stability of words as necessary for language to be possible. [112Sp’14] 
  • Differences (continued): (v) the secular excludes consideration of anything but the material world, while the sacred posits another world of spirit that not only does not follow rules and limitations of the secular world but in some religions even denigrates the value of the material world. (vi) Another key difference is that sacred knowledge tends to come from a prophet – who is close to god so knowledge is “revealed
  • ‘and final.” But in the secular, especially science, knowledge is discovered and improvable.  [113Sp’14];
  • (vii) We also hope to provide significant comparisons within the sacred and within the secular. We will call these “concordance studies.” For example, within a particular religious domain such as Abrahaminic christianity we will be reporting on concordance studies between the canonical gospels and another between the canonical and non-canonical gospels (Thomas; Mary; Judas; Phillip, etc.). [114Sp’14];

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *