Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jews and Muslims and the weirdness of history

History is a fascinating social science. Just about every civilization and culture that has had contact with another have also experienced inter-cultural friction. Among the bristlier subjects along this vein are the struggles between Jews and Muslims and the emotions these subjects evoke in so many.

Considering the fundamental similarities between the religions (monotheistic belief in God and a common spiritual ancestory) it is remarkable how there are types from either of these faiths (or any faith) who focus purely on the differences between their religious traditions and those of others. Many people in today's world appear enthralled to the idea that the world's religions are necessarily in conflict with each other.

In reading I have come across a few tidbits in history that I thought I might share as they might have the ability to show people the big picture: that there were times in the past when the two communities cooperated together - and hopefully this will help inspire some people to believe that it is still possible for the two communities to cooperate.

Science and physics studying consicousness and God

Physics attempts to explain the universe around us. The universe is broken down into explainable equations and relationships based on a few basic principles that attempt to explain the nature of the universe. In standard physics, explaining the universe has typically been limited to explaining matter (and the fundamental forces that govern their interactions). Very few attempts have been made that try to incorporate other known natural phenomena of the universe - like consciousness - into a mathematical or physical model of the universe. I have never heard a convincing explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness that is based purely on our understanding of matter and the fundamental forces that govern matter's interaction.