As you write TFF: "There is a sense, however, in which this stuff (minus the mystical junk) could eventually be amenable to some scientific analysis - and that could very well be an outgrowth of economic theory."

Under the general heading of pneumatology--the study of the human spirit--it is, IMHO, already amenable to analysis.

PNEUMATOLOGY--a soft science. IMO, the use of it is of great value to understanding sociology and economics. Without faith (confidence) what is money worth? Who would invest in the markets, without faith?

MEASURING FAITH
For example, give me 100 people, or more, and, within a few minutes, I can--using what I call pneumatherapy technique--demonstrate who of the group will be among the 20% of the population who make good "trance subjects" and have the ability to demonstrate great faith, in good, evil, or just plain nonsense.

IMHO, faith, like hope and love, is a pneumatological tool, originating in the human spirit (pneuma). It has been used by autocratic tyrants like Hitler to destroy freedom, and by democratic statesmen like Washington to establish it.

Aldous Huxley, in his 1962 novel, Island, calls attention to the social significance of understanding the nature and function, for good or ill, of the normal human ability to go in and out of the trance state.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_(novel)

THE FOLLOWING IS VERY SIGNIFICANT
In a foreword written twenty years after the original publication of Brave New World, Huxley wrote:

Quote:
If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer the Savage a third alternative. Between the Utopian and primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity...In this community economics would be decentralist and Henry-Georgian, politics Kropotkinesque co-operative. Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not, (as at present and still more so in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them. Religion would be the conscious and intelligent pursuit of man's Final End, the unitive knowledge of immanent Tao or Logos, the transcendent Godhead or Brahman. And the prevailing philosophy of life would be a kind of Higher Utilitarianism, in which the Greatest Happiness principle would be secondary to the Final End principle–the first question to be asked and answered in every contingency of life being: "How will this thought or action contribute to, or interfere with, the achievement, by me and the greatest possible number of other individuals, of man's Final End?"


Edited by Revlgking (07/02/07 03:46 PM)
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org