In ZAMM, Pirsig splits the world into two viewpoints: "classical" (logical, structured, analytic) and "romantic" (intuitive, free-flowing, perceptual). This is precisely what I was describing as the "scientific" and "artistic" approaches. So far so
But Pirsig spends the rest of the book dumping on this classification. He points out that the urge to classify viewpoints is itself a product of the classical approach. True romantics don't even think in terms of sciences and arts; all that they see is whether stuff resonates with them, whether it turns them on or off.
This also maps directly onto my post. It's noticeable that many people who are religious for "artistic" reasons like to describe their beliefs as scientific (e.g. scientology, Christian science, scientific creationism). This can be seen as a side-effect of their romantic viewpoint - they like the connotations of the word "science", so they attach it to their beliefs. Questions of whether this label is appropriate are as irrelevant as they are ugly.
I'm trying to say what I mean here without coming across as snide, which is quite difficult given that I'm about as analytical as it gets. I honestly don't mean to denigrate this behaviour - it's only from my viewpoint that it seems inappropriate. One could argue that the reverse behaviour - describing scientific concepts as beautiful - is just as inappropriate, and I'm guilty of that all the time.
Still, it's surprisingly hard for me to breach Pirsig's divide and see the world in terms of art not science. It's also mind-expanding, tolerance-inducing, and all that good stuff.
I'm aware that some people are bothered by my description of religion as an art rather than a science. If you're one of them, I'm more than happy to discuss whether religion succeeds or fails as a science - drop me a line in the comments section.
I'm still working in a different country from my primary source of intarweb, so it may be a few days before I respond.
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