Bernardo Kastrup: Rationalist Spirituality

An Exploration of the Meaning of Life and Existence Informed by Logic and Science

Iff Books, 2011

KastrupWhy does the universe exist and what are you supposed to do in it? This question has been addressed by religions since time immemorial, but popular answers often fail to account for obvious aspects of reality. Indeed, if God knows everything, why do we need to learn through pain and suffering? If God is omnipotent, why are we needed to do good? If the universe is fundamentally good, why are wars, crime, and injustice all around us? In modern society, orthodox science takes the rational high-ground and tackles these contradictions by denying the very need for, and the existence of, meaning. Indeed, many of us implicitly accept the notion that rationality somehow contradicts spirituality. That is a modern human tragedy, not only for its insidiousness, but for the fact that it is simply not true. In this book, the author constructs a coherent and logical argument for the meaning of existence, informed by science itself. A framework is laid out wherein all aspects of human existence have a logical, coherent reason and role, including the ones often perceived as negative. The powerful logic of this framework inescapably leads to insightful and inspiring guidelines for living a purposeful and meaningful life.

Contents:

1  The hypothesis of meaning

2  A search for ultimate purpose

3  A process of universal enrichment

4  The unrealized potential of consciousness

5  The brain as a consciousness transceiver

6  Science does not claim to explain it all

7  The role of intelligence

8  The beginnings of a theory of purpose

9  Recapping our journey thus far

10  A return to boundless consciousness

11  God

12  A natural tendency towards insight

13  A universal memory of qualia

14  Interpretation and guidelines for purposeful living

15  Related concepts

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About the Author:

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in computer engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world’s foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the “Casimir Effect” of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Bernardo has authored many scientific papers and philosophy books. His three most recent books are: More Than Allegory, Brief Peeks Beyond and Why Materialism Is Baloney. He has also been an entrepreneur and founder of a successful high-tech start-up. Next to a managerial position in the high-tech industry, Bernardo maintains a philosophy blog, a video interview series, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. He has lived and worked in four different countries across continents, currently residing in the Netherlands.

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