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Do science and philosophy offer more relief from grief than religion does?

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Image result for grief public domain vector art That’s the claim by Paul Thagard at Psychology Today:

In a recent New York Times column, Stephen T. Asma claims that religion can help people to deal with grief much better than science can. His case for religion over science has four flaws. It depends on a view of how emotion works in the brain that has been rendered obsolete by advances in neuroscience. It underestimates how much science can help to understand the nature of grief and to point to ways of overcoming it. It overestimates the consoling power of religion. Finally, it neglects how science can collaborate with philosophy to suggest ways of dealing with grief.

Science does not directly address normative questions concerning right, wrong, and the meaning of life, but philosophy can deal with these questions in ways that are well informed by scientific findings. More.

Presumably, the hospital counsellor in this clip, noted in an earlier story, was striving to follow his advice:

Sometimes it becomes clear to people that there is either no meaning in life or the meaning lies beyond this life.

See also: Richard Dawkins is annoyed by Muslim prayer chants; seeks secular chaplains. Come to think of it, we hadn’t heard much from or about Dawkins lately; well, he has certainly fixed that. Francis adds, “Richard gives praise to the Lord (stop laughing, Denyse).” Okay, not laughing. He notes that Dawkins also wants more secular chaplains.

5 Replies to “Do science and philosophy offer more relief from grief than religion does?

  1. 1
    Nonlin.org says:

    Cheap philosophy from someone that doesn’t understand science… or religion… or philosophy.

    I am still waiting for someone to offer valid counterarguments to this:
    http://nonlin.org/philosophy-religion-and-science/
    Science = Observation + Assumptions, Facts Selection, Extrapolations, Interpretations…
    Assumptions, Facts Selection, Extrapolations, Interpretations… = Sum of Axiomatic Beliefs
    Sum of Axiomatic Beliefs = Religion …therefore,
    Science = Observation + Religion

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    The man in the video who is dying of cancer and wondering whether he is forgiven or not after killing a man has, as far as our best science is concerned, more than ample reason to be concerned whether his soul is going to wind up in hell or not.

    First off, atheists have no compelling evidence for all the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth.

    In fact there is fairly strong evidence that can be mustered against their claims for parallel universes and/or multiverses,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    And whereas atheists have no compelling evidence for all the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Moreover, in regards to whether he is forgiven or not, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead provides of very credible reconciliation between the heavenly dimension of Special Relativity/Quantum Mechanics (i.e, quantum electrodynamics) and the hellish dimension of General Relativity, (i.e. blackholes),

    Gödel, Infinity, and Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Jw5Y686jY

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

    Moreover, although atheists deny the reality of free will, the fact of the matter is that free will is built into our best scientific theory of the universe, i.e. Quantum Mechanics. As Anton Zeilinger states at the 7:00 minute mark of the following video, “we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement.,,, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    – Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:57 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/4C5pq7W5yRM?t=500

    Moreover, quantum mechanics, specifically advances in quantum biology, now also offers fairly compelling evidence that we each have eternal souls:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    Thus, since “We are not just passive observers” and we really do have free will, and since, as far as our best science can tell us, there really is a heavenly and a hellish dimension and since Jesus Christ bridged the ‘infinite gap’ between that heavenly and hellish dimension, and since we really do have eternal souls that are capable of living beyond the death of out material bodies, then that places a premium on our free will choice as to whether or not to accept the forgiveness that Jesus Christ has freely offered to us so that we may inherit eternal life in heaven:

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Luke 23:40-43
    But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
    Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    Of supplemental note, besides eternity, our present lives on this earth are also shown to benefit greatly from our present belief in God.

    And there is certainly plenty of evidence to back up that claim:

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    Verse:

    John 6:37-38
    Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.…

  3. 3
    Mark from CO says:

    Seems Mr. Thagard is making several assumptions that have not yet been ‘proven’ by science, particularly given the many studies over the years that support the claim that religion does provide a better base to deal with grief and strife.

    Perhaps Mr. Thagard overstates the advances in neuroscience in understanding how the brain works. We indeed know a whole lot more about the brain, but we still have no idea how it really works. Perhaps he overestimates how much science can help to understand the nature of grief and to point to ways of overcoming it. Perhaps he underestimates the consoling power of religion (as mentioned, there have been many, many studies supporting the premise that religion can console). Finally, perhaps he neglects how science can collaborate with religion to better deal with grief.

    Mark from CO

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    For people who are accustomed to religious community and religious thinking, religious therapy works better. For people who are accustomed to secular peer groups and secular thinking, secular therapy works better.

    Grief isn’t the right time to retrain a person into an entirely separate worldview. The sufferer will just say “WHAT THE F ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? GET OUT OF HERE.”

  5. 5
    ScuzzaMan says:

    It is not religion but FAITH (of which hope in the future is a key element) that provides solace when the now is not good.

    Since both science and religion are based on the hope of a better future, the thinking man should expect both to provide a degree of solace to the suffering.

    And the relative degree of solace provided is very likely more a consequence of the quality of the faith than the quality of the philosophy in which it rests.

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