Religion necessary evil
Posted: 04 July 2007 12:50 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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All the religions in the world are equally important and equally dangerous. Religion should only be the way to developed Spirituality or Enlightment. Unfortunately most people never get there and then become Religious Beings instead of Spiritual Beings. The idea that one single religion will developed the spirituality of humanity is as good as the earth is flat. Most religions have spiritual leaders or role models which are as good as any idea of God that we may have. Agnostics and atheism is also a way to develop a spiritual being. The problem begins when the religious way become the spiritual goal; in the process of understanding our own nature and defining something may be bad/good for me, then I turn and make it bad/good for the rest of the world and the intolerant fundamentalist religious being is born, now I am the goal and I am the Enlightment. (Being there done that, and getting out of there takes a quantum leap in life) How can we limit the role of religion as an educational pathway only that prevents the formation of Religious Beings or they maybe just a by product of our spiritual development?

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Posted: 19 July 2007 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“mammooth”]
How can we limit the role of religion as an educational pathway only that prevents the formation of Religious Beings or they maybe just a by product of our spiritual development?

What I hear you saying is that organized religion is an imperfect vehicle, but a necessary one.
I’m not sure how much I’m imposing my own perspective on what you’re saying, so let me ask a few questions before giving my own answer to your question quoted above.
Are you thinking of religion as necessarily including ritual? Are you thinking of it as being handed down over generations? Does it need written texts? Does it involve money and property?
How about ‘spiritual being’ - what do you have in mind with that? Is it purely personal? Is it based on experience? Does it involve belief about life and death? Is it discovered through practice or divine revelation?

My personal answer to your question is that yes, we can limit the role of the organization to a teaching vehicle that does not give people an extra ego identity. The way to do that is to teach about the dangers of religion, within the religion, and teach the difference between spiritual development and spiritual identity. If the organization is kept very simple there is less opportunity for people to be corrupted by it. My concept of ‘spiritual development’ is that the person becomes more conscious of not being a person.

Looking forward to hearing more of your ideas on this, and maybe something of your background and experience. I also liked what you said about taking a ‘quantum leap’ out of religion. Like to say more?

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Posted: 20 July 2007 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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One aspect of this is that falling into dogma and, in your terms, becoming a “religious” person is a natural human characteristic.  It takes a good deal of maturity to go beyond this and many people never do.  I’ve come across a three way division of people phrased in different ways in different parts of the world, but basically boiling down to: there are three sorts of people: (1) those who need dogma; (2) those who require proof, demonstration, and debate; (3) those who understand.  No judgments are attached to these categories, they are only descriptive, but there is also the old saying “When in Rome…,” or, “speak to everybody in the language of their own country.”

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Posted: 20 July 2007 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”]“When in Rome…,” or, “speak to everybody in the language of their own country.”

This is the most difficult part when it comes to atheists conversing with believers.  The two “languages” seem, in the more extreme cases, to be mutually exclusive, often without even enough commonality to begin a meaningful dialogue.

How does an atheist respond to a believer when she says, “I don’t have to prove God. I know. You prove God doesn’t exist!”

How does a believer respond to an atheist when he says, “We are simply and wholly a function of neurons firing back and forth. There is no soul.” (or some such)?

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Posted: 20 July 2007 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“HappyHeathen”][quote author=“burt”]“When in Rome…,” or, “speak to everybody in the language of their own country.”

This is the most difficult part when it comes to atheists conversing with believers.  The two “languages” seem, in the more extreme cases, to be mutually exclusive, often without even enough commonality to begin a meaningful dialogue.

How does an atheist respond to a believer when she says, “I don’t have to prove God. I know. You prove God doesn’t exist!”

How does a believer respond to an atheist when he says, “We are simply and wholly a function of neurons firing back and forth. There is no soul.” (or some such)?

The language IS difficult.  We have different experiences, and some are just difficult to describe.  You have to get on the merry-go-round someplace, however, so you just say “I respectfully disagree, and here’s why.”  Then the language dance begins. If nothing else, at the end of the dance, you’ll know how the other person feels and smells.

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Posted: 20 July 2007 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“HappyHeathen”][quote author=“burt”]“When in Rome…,” or, “speak to everybody in the language of their own country.”

This is the most difficult part when it comes to atheists conversing with believers.  The two “languages” seem, in the more extreme cases, to be mutually exclusive, often without even enough commonality to begin a meaningful dialogue.

How does an atheist respond to a believer when she says, “I don’t have to prove God. I know. You prove God doesn’t exist!”

How does a believer respond to an atheist when he says, “We are simply and wholly a function of neurons firing back and forth. There is no soul.” (or some such)?

The point it seems to me is to abstract from both points of view, adopting a skeptical attitude (skepticism is not disbelief or even doubt, it is suspension of judgment).  Then you can say to the believer, I neither accept nor deny your beliefs but have questions since others such as atheists have very different beliefs and would like to know how you respond to their claims.  That eliminates any “You have to prove God doesn’t exist” sort of response and opens the possibility of dialogue.  The real thing is to “speak from the heart,” recognizing the essential humanity of the other person.  If they cannot respond in kind, they are probably not worth talking to other than as subjects of study in fixated belief.

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Posted: 20 July 2007 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Thank you for the input,  the ideas in this forum are mostly intellectual debates for an elite of educated individuals that are eons of time ahead of what the bulk of the world in their spiritual, professional, social and intellectual development.
Thinking that we can get rid of religion in the world is almost as good of idea that we can get rid of music or art or other emotional experiences such as soccer, football, basketball, etc…
Thinking that we can classify the 6 billions of human beings in this world in 3 categories is very convenient but very unlikely, human variability is so wide that in order to educate spirituality in this little beast we need many different avenues
Religion as evolved in our world from the need to educate morality goodness in the population. The Goal of religion Education is to develop Morality/Spirituality in this so wide of an expression of human beings.  The ultimate Goal is to create a what I define as Spiritual Being, and that includes all the religions, they have exactly the same goal, which is by the way the same goal of atheism despite is not a religion.
Most people cannot handle the atheist way because they need the book and a set of rules commanded by a superior being.
You all agree with me that creating a Spiritual Being (Spiritual Leader) is more the exception that the rule and most of us stay just in the process of Spiritual Development finding the way.
Religion is a necessary evil that is here to stay, and has already demonstrated imposing a threat to society when some of those beliefs are taken as a Dogmas for a particular religious groups and carry on missions in the name of specific Deity.
Globalization is reality that we are living today and all humans regardless of their religious beliefs are sharing this planet, thinking that one single religion will educate this variability of human beings is as good as thinking the earth is flat. We need all avenues to educate the masses which by the way the learn more from emotions than from reason.
But I think what we need to do as a community is to regulate religion education and limit their teaching of any avenue that may lead to endanger other religious groups or any other group. And that includes all the religions no exceptions.
We can not make religions or Faith disappear but we can limit and regulate the teaching in a way that is mandatory to exclude any statements that may endanger other human beings. We have a society have to learn to survive and that means to coexist and tolerate our differences.
Is not about if God is or is not is about how can we coexist with different beliefs
Pat I was raised Catholic, Opus Dei, now I don’t believe in a Personal God

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“Life is the COEXISTENCE of opposites values”
Love is Forgiveness
Peace is Tolerance
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Posted: 21 July 2007 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]

My personal answer to your question is that yes, we can limit the role of the organization to a teaching vehicle that does not give people an extra ego identity. The way to do that is to teach about the dangers of religion, within the religion, and teach the difference between spiritual development and spiritual identity. If the organization is kept very simple there is less opportunity for people to be corrupted by it. My concept of ‘spiritual development’ is that the person becomes more conscious of not being a person.

Looking forward to hearing more of your ideas on this, and maybe something of your background and experience. I also liked what you said about taking a ‘quantum leap’ out of religion. Like to say more?

I agree to some extent that spiritual development is becoming aware of not being a person and at the same time respect what we are and our environment. Spiritual development is a process in which we begin the moment we are born and like any other aspects of our life (art, music, science math’s) for some are just natural, logic and very simple, for most of us is life long process in which we absorbed what is socially acceptable and line up in a group of specific religion most of the time not by choice but by socially correct emotions.

Most people do not study religion for its face value but for what religion says is correct. Starting with dogmas of Faith, you can not question or think out of the box. We accept that learn a few reference weapons and go on living defending our faith when is necessary, but most of the time is not because we live in a social environment which is essentially Xtian.

For me took over 50 years when accidentally filling air traveling time I bought a book by Jack Huberman “Famous Quotes from atheist” and reading the list of such smart people questioning the existence of God, that I have to open my mind and read again and again with an open mind, and I am stuck with the God of Spinoza. Not ready yet to give up completely the concept of God.

I was in a state of what homunculus refer today of cognitive dissonance, is not easy to overcome this situation when all the values that you may have live by all the sudden may not be true.  This situation is very well represented in by Victor Hugo in “Les Miserables” when ex-convict Jean Valjean saves his prosecutor life the real-life criminal/policeman François Eugène Vidocq and he could not overcome his cognitive dissonance and commit suicide. That is what I refer I takes a Quantum Leap to grow out our cognitive dissonance.

Base on personal grow and with my limited knowledge in psychiatry psychology, I don’t see how the bulk of the people grow and live their life which is usually base on emotions than on reason, without offering an alternative equally emotional. How can we modify different religions education that people can learn that this is not a sport in which one of the team is going to win,  we treat our religion almost with the same emotions that we treat our soccer (sports) teams.

For those in which Spirituality is second nature and you can say God is NOT for most of the people in this world by cultural or social reasons we are still growing and may need the imaginary ruler, but at least for me can’t not be a personal one, but for some people they still need the book and a personal God that they know so well. Most important is that we all understand we are evolving in our thinking and spirituality is learning to coexist.

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“Life is the COEXISTENCE of opposites values”
Love is Forgiveness
Peace is Tolerance
“In the beginning Man created God according to his own image and understanding. Over the years as Men understanding of morality, violence and tolerance evolves, so evolves our understanding of a Loving God”.

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