The certainty of truth

Many people believe in old myths that contradict other beliefs and scientific evidence, and this causes division. Religious dogmas and myths were created before people had the benefit of modern science. Science attempts to objectively discover how life works, and religion attempts to subjectively find a way to live in harmony with life, so they both have pieces to the same puzzle. The organization’s main project, Truth Contest, aims to combine the objective and the subjective to find and define the underlying truth in everything, thereby uniting science and religion toward a common goal. For the first time, people will know right from wrong for certain. This will present a certain morality which will serve as the foundation for a united world.

Quoted from a correspondent who wanted a link from my site. Well – despite me not really liking the website – I guess they got their link now.

Seriously, I think there’s a big misconception here. Science is all about accepting uncertainty, and open questions and seeking for the few things that ARE certain. Most people can’t live like that, which is why even scientists turn into atheists sometimes. They feel there is no proof for a Divine Something, so they choose to just believe there is No Divine Something (usually called God). But the real scientist just realizes that the existence or non-existence of God cannot be proven, so it’s not science’s problem.

The students who wrote the above press release for their site missed one thing: certainty is not something we can have in this life. We can want it, look for it, etc. However ultimate certainty is a mirage. No certainty we find can be ultimate, except perhaps this one: that all is uncertainty.

Well, perhaps I’m overdoing it. There is the certainties science brings. The law of gravity for instance. But plains and birds still fly. No simplistic way of looking at the world can solve all questions. Can I prove that? No. Of course not. It would be a disproving of my statement, were I able to prove it.

However, centuries of science knocking down every truth people thought they had certainly adds to my conviction. And a few years ago rising stock markets seemed a given. Now we know it wasn’t. Ethics – they’re obviously human constructs, culturally dependent. Sure – in a globalising world, cultures may grow together a bit more. But what’s honesty to one person, is indiscretion to another. One person things human rights are the primary value, another that poverty and economic development are more important. Should we focus most on green energy, or on social welfare. Is safety more important, or the freedom to carry guns? There are few ethical questions that people universally agree about. I even had one correspondent tell me the Dalai Lama was ethically wrong in being peaceful about how to approach China.

That’s it for now – I’m not feeling too well and am still more busy than I thought I’d be. So I’m not promising to keep this up. Hope you all enjoyed.

7 thoughts on “The certainty of truth”

  1. Hi, Katinka. Yes, I did enjoy it and clicked through my email to take a moment to let you know — and to say hi. …It’s been awhile. 🙂

  2. There are all sorts of ways to look at this difference of “subjective” and “objective”–none of them seem complete or satisfying.

    We have to give credit to science because it does embrace uncertainty–with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle, and quantum mechanics. There is very interesting research into consciousness–I write about some of it in my most recent post. I think science, with some paradigm shifts, can embrace awakening; and vice versa, but that of course is just a thought.

    I don’t know about religion, but science and awakening can probably embrace, because ultimately, both are about seeing through assumptions.

  3. Hi Katinka!

    Sorry you’re not feeling well.

    I’d just like to comment on one thing. It’s about this stereotype that scientists are not religious or are athiests. I used to do a lot of molecular biology. I studied how genes were regulated during embryonic development. I wasn’t – am still not – very “religious” in a classical sense. I don’t go to church, I don’t pray, etc. But one day, near the end of doing my Ph.D., I was thinking about how an embryo develops. The huge number of genes that need to be regulated (30,000 or 40,000 was the number, I think). The huge number of cells that this happens in. The huge number of reactions that have to take place. And that was in only one individual. By “individual” I mean a human or a mouse or a sea urchin or a bacteria … anything living, really.

    It occurred to me that something so complex cannot possibly be understood by a human mind. We might be able to understand the general process, but could never understand how it all works in intimate detail. So, thinking like that and looking around you every day to see how many times this process works – basically faultlessly – it was as close to a “spiritual” experience as you can get. Virtually religious, but not relying on an old man with a long white beard floating in the clouds to organise.

    So, in that regard, I guess I became “religious.” Rather than trying to understand how A + B = C; I just “believed” that it did. The proof was around me everywhere I looked, even though I couldn’t prove how it all happened.

    And rather than trying to get a grasp on how everything worked, I was happy to just try and show how one teeny tiny bit of it worked.

    My feeling is that a lot of scientists are like this. Biology or Physics or Math, whatever. You accept that the entirety may be so immense that a human mind will never totally understand it. On the other hand, you can use your intellect to try and understand a little bit of it. Your “belief” is in the wonder at how complex it all is and it still works; your “proof” is in understanding one little piece in it.

    Hope you get better soon. Sorry I haven’t contributed much. I love to read what you publish. Take care and be happy! :)))

  4. Dear Katinka,

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I hope you recover soon and that your present illness doesn’t interfere with your travel plans. Eat, Pray, Love opened this week in U.S. theaters. Think of the flick that can result from YOUR travels to the East!

    My favorite quote re science and spirituality is found in the TS literature. It is “Science is Our friend.” Remember, at the end of the 19th Century, scientists thought they had basically done it all and that there were only a few loose ends to be wrapped up to provide ultimate explanations of everything.

    Scientists still scoffed at the idea that the universe had a definite beginning. Their explanation was simply that it had always been here. Any other view was, well, unscientific! Enter the Big Bang, which confirms the truths of Vedanta (the Universe emerged from a point, or “bindu”) and the Bible (In the Beginning, God created Heaven and Earth.)

    Not to mention that AB and CWL wrote that atoms, which were long thought in scientific circles to be the ultimate building blocks of matter, were divisible. What a stupid, ignorant, fanciful, unrealistic fraud those two were perpetrating on the public to hawk their weird mystical doctrines! Good thing science saved the world from charlatans like that!!

    Oh, there ARE subatomic particles??!! WOW, better rethink this! Do THOSE people know something that the scientists don’t know??? Or, now that the scientists know it, is there other stuff that THEY know and the scientists don’t? Like stuff about consciousness and other planes of reality, and supraphysical Laws affecting events???

    We sure do have a long way to go.

    All the best,


  5. I enjoyed it 🙂
    I’ll certainly visit again and see more posts in the future if you get to do them, hope you will get better.

    with love Jessica

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