Huey Lewis wrote "I need a new drug" but I think a new religion is in order. I'm not talking about a philosophy or a belief system...I'm talking religion. The ones we have now can't seem to get along. I have boiled several thousand years of religious evolution down to a few thoughts. I'm sure I piss off everyone but here goes anyway.
1. There was the Sun God thing as nomadic tribes settled down at the watering holes in the desert.
2. Being at the wrong end of the slave/master food chain thing, Moses, being an ambitious kinda guy, broke loose and rewrote "How the world began" making himself the Pat Roberts of his day, only with better leadership skills and his own policemen.
3. A bunch of centuries later, the Pharisees got conquered by the Romans, as did everyone else, and were busy being self centered middle managers concentrating way too much on the bottom line. The eye for an eye stuff was causing a lot of problems, and they were crucifying pretty much anybody who pissed them off or stole something.
4. Jesus discovered the basic tenets of Budhism and tried to get everybody to be nice...Got crucified.
5. Mohammed saw what Jesus had done and figured, "Good idea, bad execution" and wrote his own version moving himself to the top of the food chain as god's chosen. After all, if Moses could do it....
6. A couple of thousand years later, the "Play nice" stuff that Jesus had tried to impose on the Old Testament folks has melted away prety much all over the world, although there are lots of people who claim to be christians, pound their fists on the ten commandments, and ignore the fact that Jesus had nothing to do with that part of that bible.
7. There's too many people, with too little land, making too many babies, with too many guns, sitting on too little oil.
8. Who's gonna write the next part?
Very interesting perspective on the history of religion.ReplyDelete
Three options are in my mind for a #8:
1) There will be nothing new. The current religions on earth act to balance the world. The good aspects of religion (do not kill/steal/rape/etc.) are self explanatory. The infinite violence resulting from religions (jihads/crucifixions/war on terror/etc.) can be viewed as a type of population control for humanity, very crude and archaic, but self-inflicted population controls.
2)There will be new factors to the equation of religious balance. They will be somewhat 'trendy' religions, such as scientology and cult organizations. This will only complicate matters, but will take away from the corporate religions such as christianity/muslim/bhuddism/etc.
3)There will be a complete and total enlightenment of humanity, all organized religion will be abolished and become obsolete. And not another human being will ever have to suffer from disease or death as a result of religious regressiveness. Scientific thought will rule the land, and humanity will reach unprecedented levels of advancement.
Of course I was simply sticking to the religious courses that led to America's current involvement, but your suggestions as to alternate future realities are reasonable though #3 is a long shot to impossible...We can hope.ReplyDelete
There may already be a perfectly good religion out there we can hijack. It's possible that all it needs is a New Testament adding infectious proselytizing.
Maybe the question should not be "Is there an ideal religion?", but should be "Is religion ideal?".ReplyDelete
Interesting perspective on religion. I agree that many religions seem to be arbitrarily created by often self-important and self-deceived megalomaniacs (Islam in particular. What was THAT guy smoking?). However, I wonder do you personally believe in the existence of God?ReplyDelete
Well, you should usually go first on a question like that, but even so, I don't see what relevence it has to my premise that our current ascendant religions are killing us. It appears that you don't believe in at least one god, though. How about any of the others?ReplyDelete
No way! God is just an evolutionary tool developed by humanity's need to survive and coexist with one another. A "God Gene" has actually been legitimately recognized by scientists. The genetic God gene idea is like this (in a nutshell): People that believe and worship God produce more viable offspring in the civilized society we live in today. The offspring are more fit in the sense that they are not plagued by the disease of excessive intellect, in other words: Ignorance is bliss for these children. They do not see the world for what it really is, they always have God as support and never recognize the fact that we are "semi-sentient parasites" on a life supporting island in the infinite abyss of the universe. The people that don't believe in God *for the most part* don't instill the same values and morals based on fear in their children. This absence of fear usually precludes the full understanding of nature and our role as human beings in the web of life, as well as our minute role in the big scheme of things we call the universe. This type of thinking, the true recognition of reality, can be a real downer. Frankly it can make one easily depressed. The idea that "we are our own God" is not a very stable thing to inflict on the masses. The great majority of humanity could not handle this total understanding of true reality, that is, without a 'God'. Therefore, it is necessary for a somewhat fairy-tale explanation of everything to pacify them a.k.a. God/religion, so they don't regress to total anarchy.ReplyDelete
Bottom line, the belief in God is what keeps human societies intact. It has been proven that, over generations, people that believe in God are more 'fit' to survive in our highly civilized socities. The other "less fit" individuals are less likely to produce offspring altogether as a result of their full enlightenment of how alone and messed up we really are.
Religion is the opium of the masses.
Just as a sidebar, "YourNextPresident" will have to wait until 2024 to be elected, unless the age requirement for president is reduced from the present 35 years of age. Back to the need of a new religion; when I was a young man attending university, I had the privilege to take a course studying the worlds 10 great religions. It became apparent that all believed on one supreme being, in life after death, had 10 or 12 commandments, had a form of the golden rule, were spearheaded by a great leader, believed that they had the correct answers and were only different in 15% of their details like whether you were sprinkled or dunked or some other drivel! I submit that the 10 great religions are simply 10 facets of the same jewel. If that is true then the real question is, are they all right or are they all wrong. In other words does God by any of his names exist or not? Of course, no really knows and those who say they do, are doing so by faith alone. The war or wars that we currently watching from afar are not about religion but about political adjendas and power. The "holy" part of these wars are simply justificaiton that God,in one of his names, is on their side and therefore they are in the right and will win. Adding a new religion to the mix would simply make the situation more complex and make the opposing side more sanctimonious than they already are. And, according to the old testament the only reason we are fighting in the Middle East today is because the Jews didn't do their job about 3500 years ago! But, then that's another story!ReplyDelete
I'm curious...Did your study of religions include Shinto, Budhism, and Confucism?ReplyDelete
Nearly all religions are about control from a central authority. I think of it as a non geographically based political entity, concentrating more on controlling a group of followers much more than making them happy. Traditionally, some boogieman form of fear is the driver, though there are exceptions. The reward after death can be damned near anything because there's no possible way to prove or dispute the existance of Hell or forty virgins.
The locals may be fighting in the Middle East because of unfinished business but "We" are there becasue of oil.
All things pertaining to a 'God' require some form of faith. Not recognizing a 'God' or being a non-believer requires no faith at all. That is exactly what atheism/agnosticism is founded on: NO FAITH.ReplyDelete
One can say that there is a certain degree of faith in science by twisting and manipulating scientific thought to fit one's own personal agenda. But in reality, science can be considered the "anti-faith" and has no agenda whatsoever. I have had some fairly educated people make fundamentalist and 'Talibaptist' comments such as "Maybe science is the devil/anti-christ/etc." But faith is completely absent in science; it is actually against all protocol involved in scientific method and thought.
Therefore, to say one must have a certain degree of faith to not believe in a 'God' is completely inaccurate. It is the complete lack of faith in metaphysical/mystical/fairy tales/etc that results in the absence of a 'God' in these individuals' minds.
A simple example of the absurdity of the faith concept is when someone might think: "I have faith that if I flap my arms long enough, someday I will fly." The laws of physics (science) will tell you this is impossible under the circumstances we have on this planet. The individual could have all the faith in the world, but it just would not happen. Period.
Below is a link that tells about how science is explaining away the faith-based miracles that have supposedly happened as a result of 'God'. Check it out.
And for all the things that science has not been able to explain or in cases where scientists have proven themselves wrong (something religious advocates would never attempt to do), it is simply an ongoing scientific investigation, no faith involved. Science will admit when it can't solve something (proving your hypothesis wrong is the overall goal of scientific method), but science will never stop trying to solve the puzzle. Only religious regression can *slow* science down, but it will never stop it, come faith or highwater.ReplyDelete
I spent much, (too much), of my life messing with real science. It is absolutely true (a proven scientific fact) that nearly all those souls that do 'real' science have no time for religion - in fact they are hard-core athiests.ReplyDelete
However, there are a few who seem to coexist with a religion while doing first class science. An analogy might be those that have a wife and family in addition to a mistress and appear to do a good job with both.
My observation has been that those that can handle both science and religion are in fact 99% of the time the same ones with a family and a mistress.
It takes all kinds to make it all work - even in Science.
I believe it! In my young experience with science, I know many cases similar to what you are talking about. There are two types of people that I have encountered that fit your discription: the ones that love science, but acknowledge their potential persecution and ridicule if they rejct religion. So they tell everyone they accept it to avoid conflict (to keep their wife happy/encourage children to participate in religion). Then there are those that are good at science, but cannot think outside the box enough to really ask questions about the 'big picture'. The guys that are like this are typically mathematicians/engineers/chemists.ReplyDelete
So there are scientists that deny their own rejection of religion for the sake of peace, and those that don't know to even question it (methodical thinkers).
These people can all work in science harmoniously because, again, pure science has no agenda. It is merely the FACTS.