Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jonathan Franzen, Art, Science, and Ghostly Consciousness

At the Science + Religion Today website I came a across a quote from Jonathan Franzen that relates to art, science, and religion.  Here is a portion of what he said:

“So I spend quite a bit of time trying to make sense of how I seem to have a soul, I have this ghostly consciousness, yet I know as a believer in science that this is just coming from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. I think if you take science seriously there are a lot of interesting questions to ask. I would be happy if more novelists, not just science fiction writers, paid attention to that.”

I share with Jonathan an interest in the mystery of “this ghostly consciousness” and how this arises given the material constituents from what we are constructed and which seem reducible to inexorable scientific laws. And yet I'm very religious.  At long last, I’ve come to the conclusion that the emergent character of reality holds clues to this mystery.

Aids to me in understanding this:

1. The Marriage of Sense and Soul by Ken Wilber.
2.  A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren
3.  The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex by Harold Morowitz.
4.  Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.) The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

In addition, various explorations into our postmodern age have been a help as well.

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