Synthesis of Science and Spirituality for Peace and Harmony 2018
Welcome to the inaugural ASEAN Essay Competition on the Synthesis of Science and Spirituality. This essay competition is held in conjunction with the conference on the Synthesis for Science and Spirituality conference to be held in Singapore on October 6, 2018.
Please read all of the Essay Competition guidelines and submission details before submitting your entries.
Essay entries incompatible with the guidelines and submission requirements will not be considered. Participation to the competition implies acceptance of the above terms and conditions.
If you have any technical or logistical questions about the competition (if, for example, the links to the listed articles don’t work), you may contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your essay can be about any one of the two topics listed below. There is a short discussion that should help you prepare your essay as you address the topic. You do not have to use the same title, and your essay should cover the main concepts of the topic.
Points to Consider
Science and religion/spirituality remains the two most dominant forces of humanity in the search for the ultimate meaning of life and the universe. Are these two forces reconcilable? If yes, what are the possible grounds for their synthesis? Could the recent developments in science and technology about human nature and the cosmos enable us to explore religious/spiritual wisdom in new ways? In turbulent and exciting times like ours, what role could science and spirituality dialogue play in restoring world peace? Moreover, what implications would this dialogue have on our future scientific researches and endeavours for peace and harmony?
Moreover, in the last few decades, there has been a rapid advancement in the study of genetics and molecular biology, which has provided us additional insights into the questions of life and evolution. Scientists have unravelled many mysteries behind various life processes, structures and functions of biomolecules. However, the answer to the question – “what is life?” still seems far away.
So far, we are unable to generate life from biomolecules and cannot fully explain life and its origin. Further, this conception negates completely the inner and spiritual dimension of life, contrary to experience. How can we define life without taking into account of our feelings, which occupy most part of our life? We cannot neglect the whole world of aesthetics – beauty, music, sculpture, poetry, literature, theatre, dance, etc., which play a major role in our life. Thus it seems that in the study of life and its origin, a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating many fields such as, biology, physics, theology and others, is quite important and necessary. In this regard Karl Popper, one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century, also remarked, “The undreamt-of breakthrough of molecular biology has made the problem of the origin of life a greater riddle than it was before: we have acquired new and deeper problems.”
A sincere attempt to have a clear understanding of life either scientifically, philosophically and religiously/spiritually is of foundational importance and it will have important impact our worldview, and hence on the actions and practical steps we take to achieve peace and harmony in our lives and in the world in which we live. In other words, science and spirituality should be important partners in this most profound area of human quest.
Your essay should consider these points and, if you agree, explain why it may lead to peace and harmony. You may consider other factors as well and cite an example to illustrate your point. Or you might propose ways in which you think they synthesis of science and spirituality may be done and/or how peace and harmony can be achieved.