RE: [OPE] The "Islamic threat" in Holland: mosques save the Dutch taxpayer 150 million euro

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun Mar 22 2009 - 15:42:52 EDT

Because it concerns a domain of human experience in which direct scientific proofs are often not possible, human spirituality obviously attracts many quacks, frauds, and fakers exploiting human gullibility. But there are also more serious analysts such as the Swiss theologian Hans Küng, who are able to illuminate the spiritual problems of humanity in more depth, with real erudition and profundity. In this field, the question is not really "whose point of view is ultimately correct" so much as "who can provide genuine clarifying insight into the spiritual concerns and meanings of the people".


What is a spiritual concern?
The very term is just a misapplied hangover from the Aristotelean Galenic theory of brain function: that the brain was a pneumatic device transmitting compressed air from the ventricles to the muscles via the nerves. hence the christian term for the soul pneumena or spiritus, refers just to air or breath, reflecting the observation that when we breath out out last breath we die. Spirit or air is thus seen as the life force.
But this idea was basically an early scientific theory of brain and muscle function, backed up by Galens anatomical experiments.
It was then taught as orthodoxy in catholic universities during the middle ages.
Now of course we know that the nervous system works by electrochemical rather than pneumatic/spiritual means. Taking that into account what is 'spiritual' supposed to mean?
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Received on Sun Mar 22 15:47:49 2009

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