Difference between pseudoscience, metaphysics, spiritual philosophy and science

Science is good, metaphysics is good, spiritual philosophy is great but pseudoscience is bad. This is my position.

If you ask scientists they would say “science is good, metaphysics is bad, and pseudoscience is very bad.” Scientists would not differentiate between metaphysics and spiritual philosophy.

Scientists who say metaphysics is bad do not know what metaphysics is. They don’t realize that the hypothesis formation stage of the scientific method is metaphysics by definition. In my post titled “Metaphysics is a misunderstood word” I tried to clarify the differences between metaphysics and spiritual philosophy. The key point of that article was that metaphysics is an analytical (intellectual) approach. Metaphysics is very similar in this respect to science; they are both analytical (intellectual) approaches. The spiritual philosophy, on the other hand, is a synthetic approach. Spiritual philosophers blend their intuitive understanding of spirituality with that of others. In spiritual philosophy intuition is more important than intellect but intellect and logic are not ignored.

In science, a particular theory is tested by experiments conducted by few independent groups. If the experimental results verify the theory then the theory is accepted by all scientists everywhere even though they did not conduct the experiments themselves. In spiritual philosophy the results have to be repeated and verified by every truth seeker.

In spiritual philosophy there is no revealed truth. A particular synthesis of spiritual philosophy serves only as a source of inspiration.

Science tries to answer mostly the “how” questions. Metaphysics is interested in the “why” questions. Spiritual philosophy tries to make sense of the spiritual experiences.

Scientists try their best to find a rational explanation without attributing the cause to God. This is fine as long as scientists maintain their agnostic stance. But, when they deny the existence of God then they are taking a metaphysical position.

Those so-called scientists, by declaring the non-existence of God in serious publications, are practicing pseudoscience. What is pseudoscience? When you pretend that you are making a scientific statement you are practicing pseudoscience. A statement denying the existence of God can neither be verified nor falsified. Such statements do not belong in science.

Spiritual philosophy has no problem with the methodology of science which is analysis. Spiritual philosophy leaves the discovery of natural laws to the scientists and accepts the scientific explanations but spiritual philosopher is not satisfied with the intellectual understanding. The spiritual practice is about experiencing the Reality and spiritual philosophy is about the methodology leading to that experience. The methodology of synthesis may lead to that experience. In the process of forming a synthesis, the spiritual philosopher discovers the concepts that are actually relevant in science. Scientists of this age may or may not recognize the relevance of these concepts but the future scientists will appreciate the concepts of spiritual philosophy. I am sure of that.

We all agree that pseudoscience is bad but it is not always easy to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. The key word is “pretension.” Pseudoscience pretends to be science. Metaphysics does not pretend to be science. Spiritual philosophy does not pretend either.

If you have a metaphysical proposal (hypothesis) and if you state that it is metaphysics then you are not practicing pseudoscience. You are not pretending that it is science. I have many metaphysical positions but I always clearly state that they are metaphysics.


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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