Questions and Answers
To solve a problem or answer a question there are three criteria that are required to be present to provide a valid solution. Science, Reason and Spirituality (HUMANISM).
Three criteria are required for answering questions or solving problems. All three are needed to provide a satisfactory, valid and useful conclusion. The first is, science. Science and the scientific method give us the facts. Facts that can’t be supported by science are merely hypotheses or suppositions and as such render the conclusions inconclusive or unsupportable at best. The first step in answering the question or solving the problem is to firmly establish the facts. Once we have the facts, we use the second necessary function, reason. Reason uses logical thought, calculation and supportable deductions to sort through the facts and organize them into a provable conclusion.
Sometimes we manage to bypass all of that process and arrive at our conclusion via an intuitive leap. This process often provides a correct and viable conclusion without us either knowing all the facts or resolving them through the reasoning process. Sometimes, we just instinctively “know” the answer. What has actually occurred in this process is that our subconscious mind has gathered the facts we know and used our reasoning abilities to produce the result at the speed of a computer. Which is why we often say, “the first guess is usually the right one”. At this point we often start to hunt around for new facts or maybe excuses to alter the intuitive conclusion to find one that perhaps is more compatible with our beliefs or wishes.
Of course, uncovering new facts previously unknown to us, or thinking along different lines may frequently produce a more accurate and viable conclusion. Acting intuitively may not work out if things have changed since our last experience with the question or problem. Regardless of the process we still have to validate our conclusion using the essential facts and reason methodology, otherwise our conclusion is not supportable.
The third aspect of our process is “spiritual”. This is where we subject our valid and proven conclusion to the test of, “while our conclusion is valid, is it usable when exposed to our ethical and moral beliefs?”. Spiritualism is very similar to Humanism, in that the concept embodies our personal ideas and beliefs about how we should live our lives. To quote the American Humanist Association, “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good”. For example, if we had asked ourselves the question, “how do we deal with the problem of overpopulation?”, our scientific and reasoning conclusion might easily arrive at, “let’s just kill off the surplus, say everyone over the age of 60”. Both the science and reason would support this conclusion, but for most of us, the solution is incompatible with our beliefs in morality, ethics or common humanity. Consequently that conclusion is invalid because it doesn’t satisfy all three criteria.
While the first two criteria, science and reason, are only challengeable on the basis of accuracy, i.e. is the science provable and is the reasoning valid, the third is wide open to interpretation and individual feelings. Religion, philosophy, experience, training, education and emotion all play a part in forming a person’s spiritual beliefs. So, once a useable solution has been achieved, it is the spiritual, or humanist, aspect that determines if and how the solution may be implemented.