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Religion as a fable

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After reading a few threads here I've got to thinking about religion. Now first up I'm only looking for serious thought on this.

Ancient Greeks had gods, plenty of them. They died out and are thought of as laughable these days. If I seriously prayed to Zuus, I'd be thought of a lunatic.
Can anyone see a time when our current batch of religion has run it's course? The realist in me refuses to believe in God or Gods. To me, it's just an evalution we are going through, much like the "world is flat" routine and for now we are so scared to accept we are truly alone in this world (or other as yet unknown worlds) and there is no higher being. This is it and we must take responsiblities for one's own actions. I see religion as a good fable that much like Aesop's stories have a moral and shouldn't be taken too literally.
I know religion fills a void in many people's lives and can be good, but does religion in this day and age (or any time for that matter) do more harm than good?


The floor is now open
 
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Stan 101 said:
After reading a few threads here I've got to thinking about religion. Now first up I'm only looking for serious thought on this.

Ancient Greeks had gods, plenty of them. They died out and are thought of as laughable these days. If I seriously prayed to Zuus, I'd be thought of a lunatic.
Can anyone see a time when our current batch of religion has run it's course? The realist in me refuses to believe in God or Gods. To me, it's just an evalution we are going through, much like the "world is flat" routine and for now we are so scared to accept we are truly alone in this world (or other as yet unknown worlds) and there is no higher being. This is it and we must take responsiblities for one's own actions. I see religion as a good fable that much like Aesop's stories have a moral and shouldn't be taken too literally.
I know religion fills a void in many people's lives and can be good, but does religion in this day and age (or any time for that matter) do more harm than good?


The floor is now open

Hi Stan 101

Regardless of whether you believed in Zeus in 200BC or you are a current day Roman Catholic, religion plays a very similar role - it provides humans with something to believe in and guidance to live life by. Ideally it provides us with hope, compassion, peace and goodwill to mankind. However, it can also create fear, greed and destruction.

Religion itself is not the problem - it is the fervour and passion held by those within those religions that is the problem. The question is "will the world ever be at peace while you have one religion that refuses to tolerate the existence of other religions?"

Th gun lobby keep saying "Guns don't kill people - people kill people". You could substitute the word religions for gun.

To answer your question - "our current batch of religion" may very well run its course - however the only certainty will be that a new enbodiment of religion will spring up and take its place. Religion in 500 years time may well be unrecognisable to us - but it will exist in some form.

Duckman
 

kennas

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Good points guys.

The religion of the day is just what the culture of the day uses to explain the unexplainable and to seek hope and comfort from. As you have said it provides laws and guidance on the best way to live for that time. It effectively controls society.

In the Western world we have slowly moved away from this and now live in a secular culture (to some degree) although our laws are based on past religion and hitherto past cultures. The religions of the book, are only based on past culture, not 'revalation'. It's unfortunate that there are so many people living dogmatically on religious laws based on ancient cultures. They are no longer relevant.

Will we ever get rid of a belief in the supernatural? Not until science explains it all, or God Himself decends from the clouds and says 'g'day!'. Not likely.

Science and reason is our only hope. Now, if those bible bashers can let science get on with discovering the world we'll be getting somewhere. Wasn't long ago that Galileo was put in jail for looking through his telescope. Now the religious lobby is stopping us from finding cures from disease, or forcing people to contract HIV......yada yada yada....
 

Julia

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I don't have any problem with religion if it's confined to the personal faith and beliefs of any individual who might find it a source of comfort and inspiration, or possibly some sort of moral and ethical framework. But when religion is a "mass movement" as in most religions which effectively are cultures of themselves, then I have no respect for it whatsoever.

As others have said, it's simply dangerous. Zealots and fanatics are never capable of objective thinking and are driven purely by their belief that the world must adhere to their God.

Kennas, now I have this really cute picture in my mind of God wafting down from his heavens, landing maybe on the Harbour Bridge and saying "Gidday".
Thanks - it's a funny image.

Julia
 

Tim

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Not amoug strangers

"I am tempted to include nutrition along with politics and religion as a topic that should not be discussed in public or among strangers."
-Stu Mittleman
 
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All religions are false. (sorry if I've offended any religious)

However, I have accepted that many people need a big mother in the sky to look after them, and that many fear death, thus, believe they live forever in heaven etc.

I am not at all bothered that when I die, my body will simply rot in the ground, and that's all that will happen.

It frustrates me when religious lunatics like President George Bush do not allow stem-cell research on religious grounds. Unbelieveable!!!!!!!!
I'm also a bit worried about Treasurer Peter Costello who waves his arms around, sings and attends the Hillsong church. Is he going to support scientific research if he becomes the new PM of Australia??????
 
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Nice idea this post.
I agree Religion - but particularly "Fundamental" forms of any religion - even just Black&White thinking regarding religions/races/cultures - can be dangerous. And has probable been responsible for 90% of major warfare.

You folks might like to check out Pantheism - not really a religion - but the philosophy that Nature IS God. My mate Einstein was one - among many others. I like to think this might be the future of religion - but maybe i"m dreaming. Its a long long way off.
This idea is v. different to the more common notion of god as "a conscious anthropomorphic God " (ie super human knower of all things, judge and executioner) idea.

Dukey...
 

kennas

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Ducky, you might want to check out 'Deap Ecology' along similar lines, but personally, any dogmatic 'olgy' or 'ism' is bad news. Do what's best for you in your environment now. Not what's best for some far off prophet trying to save a sacred frog in Equador.
 
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Yep - Deep Ecology...

Noticed that at Uni a few years back. Very similar i think in general to Pantheism.
 
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Religion is man made and then there is spirituality.

To me to have a single connection with God is a guide for me day in day out, religion is basically principals over time being developed and trying to abide by them.

Im a Catholic but i disagree with many things they preach. Thats why to me the most important thing is my spirituality because no one can corrupt/disrupt it.

For me its essential, i mean there are times in your life when you say (how am i gonna get through this etc..) and there is no where else to turn but something beyond nature can provide.
 
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For me its essential, i mean there are times in your life when you say (how am i gonna get through this etc..) and there is no where else to turn but something beyond nature can provide.

Yeah - I hear you - religion does provide moral and emotional support and guidance for many people. Personal spirituality is most important.
But for me - Nature - the awesome and intricate beauty of Nature - provides that support. Just a look at a sunset. walk in hte forest, swim in the waves - is enough. No need for an independent "god" entity.
But of course my spiritual view of Nature - is pretty big!! I mean all of the universe and its history and future and all of the laws that govern it.
So maybe theres not that much difference in some respects.
 
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:)

Hi folks,

...... nobody could ever suggest that being a Christian was easy ... lol

There's no question that religious zealots of ALL persuasions
have taken part in some horrific wars, throughout history.

That aside, where are we without faith in something or someone???

Here's a quote by Worcester, McComb and Coriat, from their
book "Religion and Medicine", where they explore the age-old
debate, between religion and science.

quote:
" Faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of
things not seen. That is, faith makes the invisible world real
to us, convinces us that the things of the spirit are not
fancies, but ultimate relaities.

Let us rid our minds of a very prevalent idea. We have often
hear men say, "Faith belongs to religion:knowledge is the
mark of science:the weakness of religion is its uncertainty;
the strength of science is it firmn standing on the bedrock of
observation and experiment." Yet ..... the whole structure of
science rests upon a body of great faiths, of beliefs which
must be trusted, but cannot be proved."

"For example, there is one great belief ..... that nature is
intelligible, that in spite of all appreances to the contrary,
nature can be understood ..... Such a faith, which lies behind
all the great scientific advances and discoveries of the
modern world must be first accepted and relied on and in
proportion as it is accepted and relied on, it evinces its
genuineness. If (then), you still insist that scientific man
should prove to you the uniformity of nature or that there is a
causal connection between events, he will simply turn upon
you with the threat; "If you cannot accept this faith of mine,
it is becasue the spirit of science is not in you."

It is therefore no reproach to religion to say that it is based
on faith, for if this is a weakness, it is one that it shares with
science. But not science only. Our ordinary life is grounded
in faith."
end quote

So, while our faith may be a personal arrangement between
individuals and their God (whoever they perceive him to be),
our faith is also part of every relationship that we can think
of in our communities, both locally and globally.

A quick example would be the faith we put into our doctor,
to prescribe the correct medicine and dosage of same .....

..... or another example may be the faith we may seek the
guidance of a mentor or friend, when in some crisis.

Our faith in these relationships, is an extension of our trust
in those people.

Again, from Worcester, McComb and Coriat:

" Now faith is the same, whether we exercise it in our fellow
men or God. The difference doesnot lie in the quality of the
faith, but in the object to which the faith is directed.

Religious faith is simply thattrust scientists put in nature
and its sequences or the trust normally constituted men
put in their friends, only now it is extended to the sphere
of the unseen, where it becomes trust in God ..... "

-----

..... and there's nothing new under the Sun, as Worcester,
McComb and Coriat wrote the passages above, in 1908 ... :)

-----

For those who are not religious, your views are noted and
respected ..... but, ... :

As awesome as nature around us can be, how did it come
into existence and why are WE here.???

..... what if we DON'T just rot in the ground, after our death???

What if there really IS a day of judgement for our sins on earth???

What if, we DO actually meet with our maker???

..... all questions, that we have all pondered, whether we
consider ourselves religious or not !~!

happy days

yogi

:)
 
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Yogi, in all seriousness, if I ever did meet a "maker" I'd have some pretty stern words to say about his management skills. This maker would have a lot to answer for.



cheers,
 
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For the zealots, your faith is "Piety without Content "
They beleave in religion more then they beleave in what religion teaches !
( Sontag )

Bob.
 
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Bobby said:
For the zealots, your faith is "Piety without Content "
They beleave in religion more then they beleave in what religion teaches !
( Sontag )

Bob.

Too true Bob :(

I believe there is sumpin' but religion screws it up.
 
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Maybe a touch harsh Bob.

Many religious brothers and sisters are fine people who perform many good deeds. But I'm not sure that we need to believe in God (the director) to do that.

As for the "day of Judgement' ?? Yogi... I think the most important judgement we face - maybe the same one people see when in near death experiences - is our judgement of our self. That and the judgement of those closest to us. ie. What legacy do we leave behind?? Do you leave the world a better place - even in a small way?? or not??
 
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wayneL said:
Too true Bob :(

I believe there is sumpin' but religion screws it up.

Please Wayne, if you ever find what the " sumpin " is, let me know quick :D

Bob.
 
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Bobby said:
Please Wayne, if you ever find what the " sumpin " is, let me know quick :D

Bob.

I am hearing that Jeddiism is catching on.

May "The Force" be with you :D
 
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