No doubt convergence in evolution need not discount a role for contingency. And no specific teleology can be read directly off the facts of evolution; those inclined to skepticism, agnosticism or nihilism will still construct their own interpretation in line with their own world-view. But for those inclined to Sri Aurobindo’s world-view, biological evolution seeming to converge in the direction of manifesting consciousness in the physical world is certainly an interesting data point.
Science and metaphysics may have generally incommensurable epistemic approaches, but it’s still natural for them to inform each other’s discussions. A scientist wonders what might be the point of it all, and a philosopher doesn’t want her theory of the world to be directly contradicted by scientific evidence. Any dialog is mediated by language and that imposes some constraints and conditions; the characterization of this as being “condemned to” and “trapped within” language is a particularly pessimistic interpretation expressed in that same (supposedly suspect) linguistic medium. Kepler
I'm a bit late to the conversation, but I think the East-West comparison is a little unequal. Growing up in a "Christian" country, we see people practicing Christianity at all levels. The vast majority don't get very far (or even want to get very far), perhaps because they're going along to get along. The Buddhists we encounter are mostly people who got where they are by swimming against society's tide. We don't see a representative cross-section of Buddhists at all levels as we might if we lived in a "Buddhist" society, where so many people worship the Buddha they meet on the road, and where meditation practice is an anomaly reserved for the few.
Imagine how different Christianity would look if the only Christians we met were mystics! Holy rollers, televangelists, much of the clergy and 99 percent of church-goers would be out of the picture. Once I got really serious about Christianity (which came about in part by seriously studying Buddhism), "original sin" to use your example, looks very different than what's taught in catechism. Post a comment. Posted by Frank to Integral Options Cafe at 1:30 PM
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