Ageless wisdom. some thoughts on a values-based education forum
Community networks in an open forum involve discussions that foster learning on how to live in a knowledge society. Community networks involve people not technology. People are not struggling to transform themselves to fit a knowledge society. They are already creatures of that society, helping us to understand how people actually think and behave. Expressing opinions in a public forum influences public policy dialogue away from talking about markets and consumers and toward talking about responsible citizenship.
The only credential that should be needed to enter any conversation about the nature of the world is one's humanity. Who's to say who is a crackpot? None of us is qualified to make that judgement. None of us is capable of pronouncing the last word on anything but the furnishings of our own minds, and even that is debatable. This is why we best serve the cause of truth by expanding and defending the domain in which thought is free to roam..." Edwin Dobb. Without earth there is no heaven. The Harpers Magazine, Feb 1995, 41.
The core idea behind the process by which insights from knowledge are incorporated or assimilated into a person's personal worldview is the recognition that our lives are dominated by the need to make choices, and these choices are guided by a "mental map" through which we perceive the external world. We all operate within a map or framework of concepts that make sense of the world to us, which we use to formulate our goals, hopes, dreams, and ways to overcome obstacles in our lives. Insights about the universe, uncovered through science, can have much to say about the map we make to give meaning and significance to our lives. But often we live in a very disconnected state: We have abstract and evolving knowledge of the scientific universe on the one hand, and the immediate need for a guide to our individual choices on the other hand. How do we bring these together, so that we can guide our immediate choices from a perspective that is informed by and connected to the big picture, making full use of insights uncovered by the process of science? Science is one defining feature of knowledge. We use knowledge to gain the insights about the world that helps us to see how we fit in. http://www.scienceintegration.org/science
And, how open is a public forum? A public forum needs to involve people from all walks of life, including intergenerational perspectives and a variety of religious and philosophical beliefs so as to assimilate and integrate scientific knowledge, pointing out connections and suggesting possible implications, with the aim to help people draw their own conclusions about how best to use the information in their lives. Ageless wisdom, taken in its broadest sense, is any teaching that has proven its effectiveness over time and which furthers the cause of human evolution, emphasizing values and ethics as an indispensable requirement as we evolve. Spiritual attitude is not restricted to religion or philosophy, but embodies vision and encompasses all activities that urge us onward towards a higher goal. Spirituality is an evolutionary impulse, an orientation for what lies beyond the point of our current achievement. Religious education and theology provide a framework on which to build one's spiritual context for making choices and actions that are significant, so that what we do truly matters in some way. Spiritual energies, thus directed, can contribute to the forces for making those choices. The time has come when we, humanity, can make informed choices about how to approach spirituality and seek truth.
Science-Religion: "Let us dialogue, not oppose" - Pontifical Academy
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has called for a new humanism in which science, ethics and faith work in dialogue and not in opposition. The institution, the oldest of its kind in the world, made the proposal public today in a statement issued through the Vatican Press Office. The appeal states:
Today, more than ever before, what is required is a new humanism which takes into account all aspects of human culture, and where human, social and natural sciences can work together as partners.
The document summarizing the conclusions of the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, held in November 2002, looked at the contributions made by scientific activity and education to the culture of humankind.
18 June 2003