The New Age Movement, Science and Values.

The New Age movement and the MOQ on first glance are well suited for one another. As Wikipedia says:

‘The movement aims to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. It holds to “a holistic worldview,” emphasizing that the Mind, Body, and Spirit are interrelated.’

However the problem begins with the addition of the term ‘spirit’. It’s a slippery word which can lead to folks getting burned at the stake because of their bad ‘spirits’. Once ‘spirit’ is brought into the conversation you can say goodbye to the empirically verifiable strength of science and hello to pseudoscience and anyone bringing in whatever pseudo-scientific thing they see fit.

The term value on the other hand cannot be co-opted in such a way. Anything can be valuable but using the MOQ we can break value up into a hierarchy of values, each level of which are part of experience and can be empirically verified.

There is an advantage to the New Age movement however and that’s in its ability to create a space where science, and specifically quantum mechanics, can be discussed in an easily accessible way way that won’t shy away from any apparent logical inconsistencies.

In a popular New Age movie called ‘What the bleep do we know?’ there is a great explanation (above) of the famous double slit experiment. The explanation ends with the statement “The observer collapsed the wave function simply by observing!” and from a value free objective scientist perspective that would be the correct way of putting it. However a better way to put it is that the “values of the observer dictated what was observed” because , unlike a scientist may assume, values are more fundamental than physical matter.

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