What a wonderful program! I'm glad to see that Dr. Krauss was allowed to actually share his views about religion. So often in the media, any criticism of religious viewpoints about existence and meaning are stifled by the host or another guest as being intolerant or blasphemous.
The host seemed genuinely perplexed by the idea that science can have anything meaningful to say about existential questions.
Dr. Krauss made a good point when he said that "The knowledge that the meaning we have is the meaning we make should inspire us to do better. Every single thing that religion provides, rationality, empiricism, and science can provide. And not only that — they can provide it better.”
The late philosopher Paul Kurtz explained this viewpoint further in his 'Affirmations of Humanism' () when he wrote that secular humanists "are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems."
I agree with what Penn Jillette once said on NPR’s Morning Edition when he explained that not believing God means that "all the suffering in the world isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future. Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.”
I and many other human beings, including Dr. Kruass, if I'm not mistaken, embrace secular humanism as Paul Kurtz defined it, not only because much of that philosophy agrees with many wise ideas about living a good and fulfilling life but also because many of these ideas are informed by science.
An eloquent professor at Virgina Tech, when responding to an attack on atheists in the aftermath of the 2007 shooting, said “We atheists do not believe in gods, or angels, or demons, or souls that endure, or a meeting place after all is said and done where more can be said and done and the point of it all revealed. We don’t believe in the possibility of redemption after our lives, but the necessity of compassion in our lives. We believe in people, in their joys and pains, in their good ideas and their wit and wisdom. We believe in human rights and dignity, and we know what it is for those to be trampled on by brutes and vandals. We may believe that the universe is pitilessly indifferent but we know that friends and strangers alike most certainly are not. We despise atrocity, not because a god tells us that it is wrong, but because if not massacre then nothing could be wrong.”
It was also implied by the host that science has nothing to say about spirituality but as Kruass stated, "Spirituality isn't having the answers before you ask the questions. . . Real spirituality comes from asking the questions and opening your mind to what the answers might be."
One does not have to believe in an afterlife to find meaning in life or death.
Another meaningfull quote about spirituality and science comes from Michael Scott Earl's 'The Spiritual Atheist.' ()
"Spirituality is that dimension of the human experience arising from ones relationship with reality. Scientific exploration enhances our relationship with reality by simply introducing us to more of it. The vastness and beauty of our universe is just one of the more spectacular examples."
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