In theory, science does not have a worldview, a set of beliefs, because it is supposed to be based on evidence only. In practice, it is fair to say that the core beliefs of science today are:
The universe and everything in it, ourselves included, is physical, and only. Science may talk about a universe that consists only of “energy”, but they leave little doubt that they believe this energy to be physical
For science, there can be nothing beyond this physical universe
The universe has no intrinsic meaning or purpose
Science has become so powerful and influential that all metaphysical, religious and philosophical claims that contradict it tend to be rejected. This worldview persists despite profound discoveries in physics and biology that suggest that the universe is anything but a machine, that “chance” may lie only in the eye of the beholder, and that the universe is rich in intrinsic meaning. Yet if, as science continues to insist, the universe began suddenly for no reason (the “Big Bang”) and life on this planet emerged by chance, then the world that science wants us to believe in must itself be totally meaningless.
This set of beliefs has become the dominant paradigm of our time. This is causing all kinds of problems. For example, it has pushed spiritual and esoteric knowledge into a box labeled “Interesting, but strange. Can probably ignore.” And it has led to the widespread belief that the universe and all its contents, human beings included, are basically physical in nature, that the universe is little more than a sophisticated machine and that we, too, can best be understood as machines. However, what we believe strongly determines what we value. If our core beliefs are that the universe is little more than a highly complex machine, that it consists entirely of physicality, and that we, too, are little more than complex machines, then our values will reflect these beliefs. They will be mechanistic/material values, which means that we will tend to give high priority to material things and technology. It can be no accident that shopping and new technologies are now the world’s main activities, and that financial pundits and technical experts are the new high priests. And it can be no accident that most discussions about the future are, in effect, discussions about the future of technology.
If, as many scientists insist, we and the universe are merely physical mechanisms, that the universe began suddenly for no reason, and that life emerged by chance, then the whole show must be meaningless. The fact that this statement, being part of the universe, must also be meaningless is little consolation! A life without meaning is a bleak life indeed. That is probably why, in today’s world, there is nothing like a good crisis or tragedy to give people a sense of meaning. In this context, it is interesting to reflect on the growing status of the emergency services and security industry over the last 20 years. Crises, emergencies, and our current obsession with security are the modern substitutes for deeper meaning and purpose.
And yes to this little piece from a section called “Our Inner Senses.”
If, however, we had the use of our inner senses, we would see that there are very different things to be serious about, very different sources of meaning and purpose, which have nothing to do with problems. I believe that we would then cease to be a problem-creating race, and become a life-enhancing race.