This is a commentary on Doulos' post on a thought on psychology.
(View post here)
I agree with Doulos that nothing in the world is complete without the notions of an experience of a religious nature. The critique that Green posed on psychology, is one that may be applied to all other fields of sciences, including the origins of it all - philosophy. The Greeks had started philosophy based notions of logic and eventually the use of sciences. In those times, it was still more of a logical debate. When compared to the more empirical and factual assumptions of science, there's always another hidden factor within it, which science often takes for granted - human nature.
Firstly, perception is the foremost outer shell that influences our thoughts on any issue. The human mind is incapable of processing information without this filter system, which is unquestionably unique for each individual. Perception would include the processing of information not only from sight, but also from the other senses: smell, hearing and touch. Of course, if you are capable of vision, it would obviously be the main source of perceptual data. This can be shown by findings that the orbitofrontal cortex been involved within tasks that perception plays an important role (i.e. reward and punishment, fight or flight, etc.). Basically, you can't live without perception. It would be as if you are brain dead.
So, where does perception lie within my point?
Firstly, many of science's influences have conveniently provided rules for human perception. Perception is controlled by the underlying cognitive processes. Cognition can be described as rules that people have made up, usually from experience, to determine how their behavior and attitude. Perception lies within the boundaries of attitudes that people use to inspect information. When you view an item, you are putting it into context. Which context? Your own - and that's the point.
People picture items on their own context. Though, it is highly likely that many people will share a common depiction of context. A good example would be within social groups like, the Harley Davidson bikers, a fishing village, etc. Any social group that you interact with will have it's own context of any said items. It can be dramatically different or it could be almost exactly the same.
The two items highlighted by Green and Doulos are: Religion and Science.
Let's apply perception towards the subject of religion. Don't get me wrong. I am a Christian, but i believe some of the things that i say may seem offensive towards the Christian faith in general, but bare with my opinions as i unravel my own perception (views) on this topic of Religion and psychology.
Firstly, psychology as a social science, deals intimately with emotions, behavior and cognition. These three aspects of the human being are defined, mapped out, and hopefully properly projected to achieve therapeutic outcomes. As Green had identified, the nature of psychology is a narcisists point of view - everything is compared to the happiness of oneself. I believe in that statement - but not all the time. It's perhaps a culture thing. In general, there are two types of people: singular and social. Singular individuals are more independent, working as individuals, having individual goals in mind (mainly) and protecting, serving oneself. Social people, are of the opposite nature. Their nature is more focused towards the group of which they belong. Of course, everyone is a mixture of these two types, but one person is more than often lying towards on part of the scale. This brings in the debate of pure altruism. Does such a thing actually exist in reality? Perhaps. But the main idea of altruism is for the greater good of everyone. I believe in psychology, you will come across people that are bound more towards others. Their are compelled to aid others that need help, but unfortunately many of them are unable to properly help themselves.
Indeed, the person will probably seek council, whether in a therapist or a friend, to help himself/herself. But why does psychology exist? Is it only used to help yourself? If that were the case, therapists and counselors would only be helping themselves by pursuing the profession. But the fact is that psychological passion goes both ways. It helps to unravel the mysteries of yourself, and by doing so, you are being trained to help others unravel their own pathways. Thus, i would think that if you are judging psychology by human nature, you are merely judging the human being who is using it. Psychology, is a social science, a creation of man through logic and observation, it has no humane properties. The passion of psychology, is held by those are within/passionate/pursuing the field. Without people, there would only be psychology, but no passion.
Now comes to a more controversial part of this post. A religious attachment towards psychology. Psychology, does not offer all the answers to anything. In my opinion, the notion that "science will eventually unravel all mysteries" is something rather farfetched. Yes, science has unraveled many mysteries of the universe where religion could not provide proper explanation. But this of one thing that science always fails to explain, but is held exalted within the context of religion: faith. Science is a pursuit of human curiousity. Humans will never be contented with the knowledge in hand. There will always be someone who will ask "why". If you look into all the formulas, scientific equations and models that have come out of any scientific field, there is only an image but rarely a liable explanation. A liable explanation means one that can be made sense through the utter senses of human nature. Basing everything on logic, makes you lose that human touch. Using mathematical equations to prove hypothetical theories is a matter of using logic based on a set of rules. More and more, the ground rules for science are being changed and replaced. One may not see this happening in primary or secondary education, but when you are put on the cutting edge of any field, more and more models are out to remedy the wrongs of past models - eventually replacing them as a better substitute. Sometimes, even laws are scrutinized due to new evidence that disprove past assumptions on it.
Back to religion, the faithful part of life. Religion, i believe is that part of life that brings an overpowering sense of hope, perseverance and other qualities imprinted into human nature. If you think of it, faith is one that brings upon us all of these qualities - unfortunately even the bad ones. Without faith, we would be like machines, abiding by laws and intuition that comes from merely applying logic in a different manner. Adding a debate to decide which one is a better judgement of a matter, is a totally different manner of discussion - which would require a human touch. Take a robot, and try to teach it how to feel. So far, there is no robot capable of achieving the uniqueness that human beings show even by the age of a few months. You may program them to react in a way to different sorts of stimuli, but it's still a binary reaction - a logic gate to be precise. If this event occurs, the robot operates in this fashion. If not, then the robot does not operate at all, unless programmed to do so.
The faith that humans have attained through religion, in my point of view, is shared by those that do not abide by the orthodox religions that we see today. Although, there are a number of them that are considered to be rivals of accepted moral/social/cultural standards, it is still within the capacity of a human being to change the preconceived notions of life. This can bring an enormous variety of change into the equation. But it's all shared within one common factor: faith. What you believe, or what you choose to believe, is the pinnacle of your faith. If you cease to believe in it or are losing the confidence in it, you are losing faith or have lost it totally. I have come to a point where I see that I don't have the authority to command anyone else to believe in the ways that I do. I can only persuade, and if my persuasion is of enough impact, then that person might have aligned his or her point of view according to my own. That faith, is shared among all people, not just people with religions, but all people - because we all believe in something.
What i think psychology is doing, is merely preparing us to be more able to help people not lose faith in life. Finding your own path, meaning in life is a very important part of the journey. Some start it earlier than others, and some start it later. Whichever the case, people will seek it at one point of life. Suddenly they realize that life seems so empty. As one that is pursuing psychology as a work of life, I am determined to reach out with this message and goal in mind. And because of my God given faith, i shall not lose my determination and i shall persevere through with it.
I'll be satisfied with what I've done
when my time finally comes
when I have spent all my years
when I am to go to another place.
That is what I am here to give
because God gives me one more day to live
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