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The Changing Face of Secularism
Posted: 08 July 2008 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Wotansson - 07 July 2008 07:52 AM
Jack Shooter - 07 July 2008 01:58 AM
Wotansson - 04 July 2008 10:24 AM

Jack Shooter:
If people were better Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and so forth, the world would be a better place.

They have had their shot at it for thousands of years now and look at the mess religion has created. The basic religious premise is faulty and destructive. Religious dogma can not be allowed to replace the reasoning human mind which is the only hope for peace and salvation.

Wassail
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Actually, in the modern era, say 18th century onwards, the mess was created by secular thinking.  Today’s wars, which are inextricably linked to poverty in various places, are fueled by gross widespread consumer culture, which is an offset of secular thought (i.e. thought void of considerations of the divine).

This is complete nonsense and it is time for you to quit.  This has been pointed out to you by numerous posters and still you persist. You and the Muslim effort to blame the secular world and consumerism is becoming boring.

Wassail
Wot

Actually, its never been pointed out that secularism isn’t to blame.  Sure, attempts have been made to do so, namely by lindajean, but they have been largely unsucessful.  Sorry, but that’s the truth, again.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 08 July 2008 10:01 PM
Wotansson - 07 July 2008 07:52 AM
Jack Shooter - 07 July 2008 01:58 AM
Wotansson - 04 July 2008 10:24 AM

Jack Shooter:
If people were better Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and so forth, the world would be a better place.

They have had their shot at it for thousands of years now and look at the mess religion has created. The basic religious premise is faulty and destructive. Religious dogma can not be allowed to replace the reasoning human mind which is the only hope for peace and salvation.

Wassail
Wot

Actually, in the modern era, say 18th century onwards, the mess was created by secular thinking.  Today’s wars, which are inextricably linked to poverty in various places, are fueled by gross widespread consumer culture, which is an offset of secular thought (i.e. thought void of considerations of the divine).

This is complete nonsense and it is time for you to quit.  This has been pointed out to you by numerous posters and still you persist. You and the Muslim effort to blame the secular world and consumerism is becoming boring.

Wassail
Wot

Actually, its never been pointed out that secularism isn’t to blame.  Sure, attempts have been made to do so, namely by lindajean, but they have been largely unsucessful.  Sorry, but that’s the truth, again.


What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. Efforts by Islamists to fault everything, except Islam, for any number of ills, is thus easily dismissed.

Wassail
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Posted: 12 July 2008 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Wotansson - 11 July 2008 09:44 AM
Jack Shooter - 08 July 2008 10:01 PM
Wotansson - 07 July 2008 07:52 AM
Jack Shooter - 07 July 2008 01:58 AM
Wotansson - 04 July 2008 10:24 AM

Jack Shooter:
If people were better Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and so forth, the world would be a better place.

They have had their shot at it for thousands of years now and look at the mess religion has created. The basic religious premise is faulty and destructive. Religious dogma can not be allowed to replace the reasoning human mind which is the only hope for peace and salvation.

Wassail
Wot

Actually, in the modern era, say 18th century onwards, the mess was created by secular thinking.  Today’s wars, which are inextricably linked to poverty in various places, are fueled by gross widespread consumer culture, which is an offset of secular thought (i.e. thought void of considerations of the divine).

This is complete nonsense and it is time for you to quit.  This has been pointed out to you by numerous posters and still you persist. You and the Muslim effort to blame the secular world and consumerism is becoming boring.

Wassail
Wot

Actually, its never been pointed out that secularism isn’t to blame.  Sure, attempts have been made to do so, namely by lindajean, but they have been largely unsucessful.  Sorry, but that’s the truth, again.


What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. Efforts by Islamists to fault everything, except Islam, for any number of ills, is thus easily dismissed.

Wassail
Wot

If you can’t see the ills of secular thought, it’s because you can’t understand what has been said, that is, the evidence for this view in the video and/or the article I posted, or you are plainly stubborn.  As such, you, can be easily dismissed.

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Posted: 12 July 2008 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 12 July 2008 07:14 PM

If you can’t see the ills of secular thought, it’s because you can’t understand what has been said, that is, the evidence for this view in the video and/or the article I posted, or you are plainly stubborn.  As such, you, can be easily dismissed.

The ills of secular thought are well known, just as are the ills of religious thought.  Perhaps these are just manifestations of the ills of immature human thought in general manifesting differently in secular or religious contexts.  Perhaps the real cure is not belief or disbelief (and certainly not the imposition of any particular religious ideology on society) but discovery of how to produce mature human beings in other than haphazard ways.  All religions, after all, will have to integrate themselves into the modern secular world, respecting the advantages that provides, and the social structures that make a secular society in which all religions can coexist the only reasonable framework for a diverse world.

[ Edited: 13 July 2008 11:42 AM by burt]
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Posted: 12 July 2008 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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burt - 12 July 2008 08:05 PM
Jack Shooter - 12 July 2008 07:14 PM

If you can’t see the ills of secular thought, it’s because you can’t understand what has been said, that is, the evidence for this view in the video and/or the article I posted, or you are plainly stubborn.  As such, you, can be easily dismissed.

The ills of secular thought are well known, just as are the ills of religious thought.  Perhaps these are just manifestations of the ills of immature human thought in general manifesting differently in secular or religious contexts.  Perhaps the real cure is not belief or disbelief (and certainly the imposition of any particular religious ideology on society) but discovery of how to produce mature human beings in other than haphazard ways.  All religions, after all, will have to integrate themselves into the modern secular world, respecting the advantages that provides, and the social structures that make a secular society in which all religions can coexist the only reasonable framework for a diverse world.

The you two relio-morons go again stroking each other about the ills of secular thinking.
Burt - Just what are these well know ills produced by secular thought? Secular though is currently producing mature human beings - take some notice here. Secular societies are the flagship of religious tolerance - theocracy and religions themselves are not.

Wassail
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Posted: 13 July 2008 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Wotansson - 13 July 2008 12:31 AM
burt - 12 July 2008 08:05 PM
Jack Shooter - 12 July 2008 07:14 PM

If you can’t see the ills of secular thought, it’s because you can’t understand what has been said, that is, the evidence for this view in the video and/or the article I posted, or you are plainly stubborn.  As such, you, can be easily dismissed.

The ills of secular thought are well known, just as are the ills of religious thought.  Perhaps these are just manifestations of the ills of immature human thought in general manifesting differently in secular or religious contexts.  Perhaps the real cure is not belief or disbelief (and certainly not the imposition of any particular religious ideology on society) but discovery of how to produce mature human beings in other than haphazard ways.  All religions, after all, will have to integrate themselves into the modern secular world, respecting the advantages that provides, and the social structures that make a secular society in which all religions can coexist the only reasonable framework for a diverse world.

The you two relio-morons go again stroking each other about the ills of secular thinking.
Burt - Just what are these well know ills produced by secular thought? Secular though is currently producing mature human beings - take some notice here. Secular societies are the flagship of religious tolerance - theocracy and religions themselves are not.

Wassail
Wot

Just because secular society, and the legal, political, and philosophical foundations it is based on has produced the highest culture on the planet doesn’t mean that it is perfect.  We are not producing mature human beings in a consistent way.  This may be better than some of the more backward religious societies on the planet, where individuals are often kept in states of complete belief, but it is not perfect (just look at the rampant consumerism that Jack refers to, the many interest groups that are still trying to promote their own particular ideology as the only way to go, etc.)  The advantage we have in the West is that we are willing to discuss our problems and that is the first step towards attempting to find solutions that don’t involve imposing restrictions on private belief.  As I pointed out, the religions of the world are going to have to learn to live with that.  Those that don’t will go the way of Roman paganism, not because they are suppressed but because they will attract fewer and fewer followers.  But I still maintain that our production of mature individuals (and by that I mean not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but spiritually as well) is haphazard—we have not yet become completely civilized in that sense of having a system that can consistently take in immature egos and turning out enlightened individuals.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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Just because secular society, and the legal, political, and philosophical foundations it is based on has produced the highest culture on the planet doesn’t mean that it is perfect.

Excellent point - tell Jack

This may be better than some of the more backward religious societies on the planet, where individuals are often kept in states of complete belief, but it is not perfect (just look at the rampant consumerism that Jack refers to, the many interest groups that are still trying to promote their own particular ideology as the only way to go, etc.)

Secular societies are superior to any religious society or theocracy. You are trying to equate secular society with consumerism. This is a non sequitur. Religious societies and theocracies do not engage in rampant consumerism? Pure nonsense indeed. Take a look at Iran for an Islamic example of a Muslim theocracy with rampant consumerism. Religion will cure consumerism?

As I pointed out, the religions of the world are going to have to learn to live with that.


The problem with all religion is that it is not tolerant of anything except itself. The evangelistic nature of religion does not include learning to live with that.

But I still maintain that our production of mature individuals (and by that I mean not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but spiritually as well) is haphazard—we have not yet become completely civilized in that sense of having a system that can consistently take in immature egos and turning out enlightened individuals.

Freedom produces haphazard results by nature but religion is oppressive by nature. Show me what theocracy has produced civilized, mature and enlightened individuals from immature egos. There are none.


Wassail

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Posted: 14 July 2008 01:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 20 June 2008 01:01 AM

The Changing Face of Secularism
Imam Zaid Shakir

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

If we are to intelligently discuss issues related to secularism it is imperative that we first define the term. Secularism is the divorcing of religious belief, religious ritual, or a sense of community based on religious affiliation from the moral life of society. Secularism has manifested itself historically in both a subjective and an objective sense. Subjectively, or at the level of individual experience, secularism involves the disappearance of religious thought, feeling and imagery from the understanding of worldly things. At this level of experience, many people who may appear outwardly extremely religious, may in fact be thoroughly secularized as their thought processes, sentiments, and worldview are void of any truly religious referents.

At the objective level secularism involves the exclusion of religious offices, institutions, and ceremonies from public life. All modern states are thoroughly secularized. This reality also includes the states of the Muslim world as our countries are ruled by elites who have adopted the secular institutional and bureaucratic structure of the Western Kafir state. Even those states, which have undergone some degree of Islamic reform, have done little to alter those structures.

The roots of secularism have been variously identified as emanating from Hellenic rationalism, the civil and communal values of Greco-Roman life, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Calvinism, and most prominently the moral and empirical philosophies spawned by the Enlightenment. Regardless of which of these developments we view as being pivotal in the development of secularism, we must return to one salient fact: Secularism constitutes open rebellion against Allah.

We are informed that the rationale for the creation of the human being is to worship Allah, and that the Islamic polity and the principles, which underlie it, are instituted to facilitate that worship. Hence, Islam is fundamentally anti-secular. Allah informs us in the Qur’an:

I have only created the Jinn and Humans that they worship Me.

Al-Dhariyyat: 56

He also informs us that the rejection of that worship involves grave consequences. He says:

Whoever turns away from My Remembrance will have a wretched life and We shall resurrect him blind on the Day of Judgment.

Ta Ha: 124

Whoever rejects the Remembrance of his Lord, He [Allah] will lead him into a severe, unbearable punishment.

Al-Jinn: 17

Having thus defined secularism, we turn to the second theme introduced by the title of this lecture: secularism’s changing face. If we understand that secularism initially involved a struggle between its advocates and the European Church, we can see that it has indeed undergone significant changes. The first major change occurred during the latter 19th Century when the struggle between secularism and the church was replaced by a struggle between two competing versions of secularism: the Marxist/Socialist version and the liberal version. With the victory of the liberal version, a victory finalized by the falling of the “Iron Curtain” and the subsequent demise of the Soviet Union, a set of circumstances was created which led to the return of the debate between secularism and religion. Secularism was to indeed change faces, or more precisely to reveal a new manifestation of an old face.

In the new debate between secularism and religion, Islam emerged as the standard bearer of religion. The reason for this is that Islam is, as admitted by Ernest Gellner, Zbigniew Brezinski and other leading Western intellectuals, the last true, or normative religion. The current secularist assault against Islam is thus assuming the intensity that characterized the earlier attack on Christianity. It is our contention that the origin of this assault lies in the rebellion of Satan against Allah, and his subsequent declaration of war against the descendants of Adam. The Qur’an describes that declaration in the following words:

Because you have caused me to stray, I’m going to lie waiting to ambush them [humankind] along your Straight Path. I’m going to assault them from in front, from behind, from the right and from the left; and you won’t find most of them thankful [for you blessings].

Al-‘Araf: 16

It is interesting to note that the earliest Muslim commentators as producing all of the psychological and behavioral traits that characterize the contemporary secular individual have understood this assault of Satan. Ibn Kathir relates the following passage in his commentary on this verse:

‘Ali ibn Abi Talha relates from Ibn ‘Abbas (May be Pleased with them both) that Satan’s assault from in front means he will cause them to doubt about the Hereafter. From behind means he will make them excessive in their craving for the World. From the right means he will cause them confusion concerning their religion. From the left means he will make sin appealing to them. (This quote is from memory thus there may be slight changes from the original wording)

When it comes to secularism versus religion- why so many words ?  It’s simple : down through the years religion has been a cage; a and chain around the neck of mankind—-and secularism has set it free. 

You seem to think you are intelligent Shooter. It’s a puzzle to me how anyone can be intelligent and believe a pie-in - the - sky “God” something they have never seen or heard ,can lead a person around by the nose throughout his/her life. The truth is you didn’t decide to believe in Islam—you were hypnotized into believing it was the right thing to do from the time you were very, very young. Why would anyone choose Islam ? It’s backward and brutal and painful .It’s an ugly and accurate example of how screwy and corrupt a religion can be. It’s the kind of religion Sam Harris had in mind when he wrote his books about religious nonsense and and what a damaging burden it has been to humankind. You are a loser from the begining because Islam cannot come out on top in an arguement . Truth shall prevail and Islam is a pitiful lie. All religions are ,—but none as bad as Islam.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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Wotansson - 13 July 2008 08:48 PM

Just because secular society, and the legal, political, and philosophical foundations it is based on has produced the highest culture on the planet doesn’t mean that it is perfect.

Excellent point - tell Jack

I assume he will read it here.

Wotansson - 13 July 2008 08:48 PM

This may be better than some of the more backward religious societies on the planet, where individuals are often kept in states of complete belief, but it is not perfect (just look at the rampant consumerism that Jack refers to, the many interest groups that are still trying to promote their own particular ideology as the only way to go, etc.)

Secular societies are superior to any religious society or theocracy. You are trying to equate secular society with consumerism. This is a non sequitur. Religious societies and theocracies do not engage in rampant consumerism? Pure nonsense indeed. Take a look at Iran for an Islamic example of a Muslim theocracy with rampant consumerism. Religion will cure consumerism?

As I pointed out, the religions of the world are going to have to learn to live with that.


The problem with all religion is that it is not tolerant of anything except itself. The evangelistic nature of religion does not include learning to live with that.

Not all religion, only religion held by immature individuals who are immersed in Total Belief.  Unfortunately, today, that characterizes most of the Islamic world as well as fanatical branches of Christianity and Judism. One of the things religions will have to learn is tolerance.

Religion will not cure consumerism, but it has been brought to a high art in the West.  I’m not saying (as Jack does) that this is a result of secularism, rather it’s an (at least initially) unintended side effect of our technology, so something that we have to deal with. 

Wotansson - 13 July 2008 08:48 PM

But I still maintain that our production of mature individuals (and by that I mean not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but spiritually as well) is haphazard—we have not yet become completely civilized in that sense of having a system that can consistently take in immature egos and turning out enlightened individuals.

Freedom produces haphazard results by nature but religion is oppressive by nature. Show me what theocracy has produced civilized, mature and enlightened individuals from immature egos. There are none.


Wassail

Wot

The problem is that today we do not have a culturally established ideal of the perfected human being.  Cultures in the past have had such an ideal.  For the Stoics, it was the Sage; for Islam it is Mohammad; for Christians it is Jesus.  The problem is that these are all outdated given what we now know about human nature and psychology.  Perhaps outdated is the wrong word, but they need revision at the very least.  Without that Ideal, we can only produce individuals at a certain level of material and spiritual attainment.  Note that I am not saying we need religion!

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Posted: 15 July 2008 04:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Burt said:

Not all religion, only religion held by immature individuals who are immersed in Total Belief.  Unfortunately, today, that characterizes most of the Islamic world as well as fanatical branches of Christianity and Judism. One of the things religions will have to learn is tolerance.

Religion will not cure consumerism, but it has been brought to a high art in the West.  I’m not saying (as Jack does) that this is a result of secularism, rather it’s an (at least initially) unintended side effect of our technology, so something that we have to deal with.

All religion demands the Total Belief of which you speak. What Christian grouping does not represent that the Bible is the literal or inspired word of God and that adherence is not required? Where is the grounds for Non-Total Belief?
What Muslim group asserts that adherence to the Koran is not required? Never mind that the book is the result of a 20 year hallucination by a deranged and immoral madman.
Perhaps the Non-Total Belief results from the application of the reasoning human mind to the religious mythology.
Religion is intolerant by nature. If you look to religion for tolerance you are bound to be disappointed. Historical examples abound.
Certainly technology has produced a number of toys which has obsessed so many consumers but don’t underestimate the contribution of technology to the relief of human suffering. Examples also abound. What has any Belief accomplished in this arena? Religion only serves to justify and perpetuate human suffering.

The problem is that today we do not have a culturally established ideal of the perfected human being.  Cultures in the past have had such an ideal.  For the Stoics, it was the Sage; for Islam it is Mohammad; for Christians it is Jesus.  The problem is that these are all outdated given what we now know about human nature and psychology.  Perhaps outdated is the wrong word, but they need revision at the very least.  Without that Ideal, we can only produce individuals at a certain level of material and spiritual attainment.  Note that I am not saying we need religion!

Do you think that an ideal of the perfected human being is reasonable possibility or is it an evolutionary quest? If our knowledge of human nature and psychology has outdated or obsoleted religious belief, then it is reasonable to ask what the source of this new enlightenment is. Is it science, technology and the questioning human mind or is it rigid medieval religion? Why are you unsure about needing religion?


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Posted: 15 July 2008 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Wotansson - 15 July 2008 08:01 AM

Why are you unsure about needing religion?

Fucking well told.

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Posted: 16 July 2008 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Wotansson - 15 July 2008 08:01 AM

Burt said:

Not all religion, only religion held by immature individuals who are immersed in Total Belief.  Unfortunately, today, that characterizes most of the Islamic world as well as fanatical branches of Christianity and Judism. One of the things religions will have to learn is tolerance.

Religion will not cure consumerism, but it has been brought to a high art in the West.  I’m not saying (as Jack does) that this is a result of secularism, rather it’s an (at least initially) unintended side effect of our technology, so something that we have to deal with.

All religion demands the Total Belief of which you speak. What Christian grouping does not represent that the Bible is the literal or inspired word of God and that adherence is not required? Where is the grounds for Non-Total Belief?
What Muslim group asserts that adherence to the Koran is not required? Never mind that the book is the result of a 20 year hallucination by a deranged and immoral madman.
Perhaps the Non-Total Belief results from the application of the reasoning human mind to the religious mythology.
Religion is intolerant by nature. If you look to religion for tolerance you are bound to be disappointed. Historical examples abound.
Certainly technology has produced a number of toys which has obsessed so many consumers but don’t underestimate the contribution of technology to the relief of human suffering. Examples also abound. What has any Belief accomplished in this arena? Religion only serves to justify and perpetuate human suffering.

We all have some things that fall under Total Belief, the point is to be aware that is the case.  I believe with complete certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow, and that a liberal democratic government is the best form of government currently known for technically advanced nations, and that a secular society tolerant of religious differences is to be desired.  So the fact that a religion requires belief in its myths for its followers is no problem, so long as it doesn’t attempt to impose those beliefs on the rest of us.  While religions that gain complete political power may attempt that, a secular society makes sure that that doesn’t happen.  That is one of the things that religions will have to get use to if they want to function in the modern world.  You are prejudice against religion, and so are not in any real position to evaluate other than in the negative.  Jack is prejudice in favor of Islam, so also is in no real position to evaluate other than in favor of Islam.  I think you have an idealized image that a secular society would abolish religion, I don’t think that is the case, it would only deny it political power. 

Wotansson - 15 July 2008 08:01 AM

The problem is that today we do not have a culturally established ideal of the perfected human being.  Cultures in the past have had such an ideal.  For the Stoics, it was the Sage; for Islam it is Mohammad; for Christians it is Jesus.  The problem is that these are all outdated given what we now know about human nature and psychology.  Perhaps outdated is the wrong word, but they need revision at the very least.  Without that Ideal, we can only produce individuals at a certain level of material and spiritual attainment.  Note that I am not saying we need religion!

Do you think that an ideal of the perfected human being is reasonable possibility or is it an evolutionary quest? If our knowledge of human nature and psychology has outdated or obsoleted religious belief, then it is reasonable to ask what the source of this new enlightenment is. Is it science, technology and the questioning human mind or is it rigid medieval religion? Why are you unsure about needing religion?


Wassail
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I’m not unsure about some people “needing religion.”  Some people do.  The Ideal of a perfected human being is important, but has to be considered from the view of the potential development of the individual consciousness, not something based on scientism or economic materialism.  In other words, it has to be a “spiritual” ideal (although not a “religions” one).  The only ideals that have come out of modern philosophy are the “Superman” of Nieche (certainly misspelled), and the fumbling idiocy of Ayn Rand.  They both suffer, especially Rand, from restriction to a materialist and economic view.  The best place to look for a “new enlightenment” might be in the idea of a Taoist Sage, but the Eastern ideals aren’t really a good fit for Western urban society.  Another place to look for clues might be in some of the Western occult traditions, although these are pretty much degenerated versions of Roman philosophical and magical systems driven underground when Christianity took over, and strongly tainted by Christianity.  My own view on is that something will emerge out of our new understandings of human nature and its possibility, but this work is still in an early stage.

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Posted: 16 July 2008 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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So the fact that a religion requires belief in its myths for its followers is no problem, so long as it doesn’t attempt to impose those beliefs on the rest of us.  While religions that gain complete political power may attempt that, a secular society makes sure that that doesn’t happen.  That is one of the things that religions will have to get use to if they want to function in the modern world.  You are prejudice against religion, and so are not in any real position to evaluate other than in the negative.  Jack is prejudice in favor of Islam, so also is in no real position to evaluate other than in favor of Islam.  I think you have an idealized image that a secular society would abolish religion, I don’t think that is the case, it would only deny it political power.

I fear that you refuse to recognize the true evangelistic nature of religion and faith. Religions, in general, require the conversion of the non-believer/infidel to their particular persuasion, even unto death. If you need specific examples from their text books, I would be happy to provide them. So, not imposing their beliefs on the rest of us, is not an option in their eyes. You keep insisting that religion will need to “get used to it” but history, up till today shows that they will not and that you are mistaken. You misjudge me by saying that I am opposed to religion. I insist that all are free to believe as they wish, under the conditions that they do not insist on imposting it on me, and that it does me no harm. This is the tenet of secular society, pure and simple. If I have a bias against religion is is purely based on their failure to comply with my two, very reasonable, requirements. I have no ambition to abolish religion.

The Ideal of a perfected human being is important, but has to be considered from the view of the potential development of the individual consciousness, not something based on scientism or economic materialism.  In other words, it has to be a “spiritual” ideal (although not a “religions” one).  The only ideals that have come out of modern philosophy are the “Superman” of Nieche (certainly misspelled), and the fumbling idiocy of Ayn Rand.  They both suffer, especially Rand, from restriction to a materialist and economic view.  The best place to look for a “new enlightenment” might be in the idea of a Taoist Sage, but the Eastern ideals aren’t really a good fit for Western urban society.  Another place to look for clues might be in some of the Western occult traditions, although these are pretty much degenerated versions of Roman philosophical and magical systems driven underground when Christianity took over, and strongly tainted by Christianity.  My own view on is that something will emerge out of our new understandings of human nature and its possibility, but this work is still in an early stage.

If by scientism (?) you mean science, I would remind you that scientific inquiry has revealed all the truths concerning the world in which we live and religion has provided none. Religion has only served to hamper the truths revealed by science.
Concerning Nietzsche, he speaks of the “unter mensch” ( under person) and the “ueber mensch” (over person). The unter mensch is the raw human material - the unenlightened person. The ueber mensch is the enlightened person the lies within us all, which is the transcendental state of the enlightened person. How? By education and meditation. The Portable Nietzsche - Walter Kaufmann, is a good place to start.
You seem hung up on the emergence of some future guru who will show the way. The understandings are in no early stages and all the tools of enlightenment are at our disposal but time and effort are required. For a current day (living) guide try Deepak Chopra who is nothing less than excellent (IMO). Books by Deepak and videos on YouTube are available.
Do you want to see God? He is currently in your bathroom. Go there and gaze into the mirror. That is God looking back at you.

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Posted: 16 July 2008 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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I’ll just use my GPS to find my way out of Plato’s cave. I don’t need some enlightened guru to tell me what to do unless they can show me empiric evidence why they have better answers than science. As for consumerism, my neighbor who is a preacher drives a Lincoln and has a Toshiba flat screen TV. I guess god is ok with comfort and entertainment.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 16 July 2008 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Beam_Me_Up - 16 July 2008 09:13 PM

I’ll just use my GPS to find my way out of Plato’s cave. I don’t need some enlightened guru to tell me what to do unless they can show me empiric evidence why they have better answers than science. As for consumerism, my neighbor who is a preacher drives a Lincoln and has a Toshiba flat screen TV. I guess god is ok with comfort and entertainment.

GPS requires an antenna which is open to the sky so you might spend a long time in Plato’s Cave.

Wassail
Wot

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