Edited by Marco Ferrini
It is time for science and religion to reconcile and complement each other; this is possible only by realizing the difference in fields of application and results of each discipline.
Prof. V.V. Raman defined science as the collective endeavour to understand the universe in a consistent and coherent way, based on reason, rationality and empirical evidence.
By exploring the concept of multiverse, prof. Mann indicated thelogy and science as having different approches to address the question of what is reality; theology’s approach is teleology, a goal-oriented search for the scope of the universe, which the theologies of all traditions share; while science’s approach is ecbatology, that is the search for a necssity and/or chance for the universe as it is to emerge.
The exploration of biophilic selection effects, that is life-friendly conditions, reveals that the universe seems fine-tuned for life; two possible explanations for this arise: the existence of a super-intelligent Agent, that is God, or the succession of similar attempts which sooner or later will lead to conditions conducive for live, that is a multiverse. On the other hand the concept of transcendence in Vedic literature, is beyond space and time, as it is not a physical reality and is knowable only beyond the domain of facts and logic, specifically the domain of science.
It seems therefore important to remember that scientific knowledge is basically what the human brain can make of the universe; as prof. Raman wrote, scientific objectivity is but collective subjectivity, while the universe is structured on different levels of information, ranging from a first order composed of physical and biological laws, to a superior order producing experience and reflection. The concept of consciousness, as explored by Dr. Sushant Sharma, comes to play a very important role in our understainding of reality.
Alternative models of reality, as in Penrose’s quantum gravity model or in Vedanta and Yoga psychology, state that consciousness is not a result of any mechanistic process, rather it is a symptom of the conscious living force that dwells in the body. Even the brain is treated as non-intelligent, rather it is but a computing instrument, a device that the consciousness uses to express itself.
The concepts presented by the speakers in this session, seem to address the question of what is life, and I would like to propose the exploration of such concepts also with the aid of basic views present in Vedic literature, such as the structure of reality on multiple levels (adhibautika, adhidaivika, adhiatmika) and consciousness as a fundamental attribute of the atman, the conscious, immortal living being and as the very foundation of any representation of reality.
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