Alright, I've been thinking about this for awhile...how to approach the subject.
Before I do, let me throw a few things at you, so you know where I'm coming from:
- I'm essentially an atheist, but you knew that right?. I don't like being associated with atheists because saying you're an atheist creates all sorts of connotations, the most obvious being "You're stupid for believing in god". Mainstream atheism (or at least the perception of it) is that it's confrontational and evangelical.
- Science and reason is a starting point, and a means. It is not the endpoint, or an end in itself. So I tend not to get hung up on it, or get in arguments with people over science vs. religion. PARTICULARLY if the spiritual/atheistic person isn't intelligent enough to understand the argument. Fundamentalism, either scientific or religious, is a problem. The left has the same problem, identifying anyone on the right as stupid, uncaring, and wrong-headed. THIS is why Bush won a second term....
Confirmation bias and systems-thinking orientation. I have 'rational/scientific' friends. I have conspiratorial friends. I have political, postmodern, and spiritual friends. All these friends look at the world though a set of lenses (their system of understanding), however I don't really have any friends who are able to employ more than one of these systems.
Funny thing is, all these people are convinced that they're right, and that their way of understanding the world is the one true way.
Problem is, the world is full of people, with all these different knowledge systems. And those systems guide their behavior. If you want to understand why someone does something, you need to understand their motivation, and how they look at the world. Unfortunately, not many people are doing this. And for those who CAN do this, seldom have they weighed the pros and cons of the other knowledge system. They’ve only looked at it from their own knowledge system, to find the holes to attack, so they can feel confident and secure in their belief that their own knowledge system is the best knowledge system.