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Does religion lead or follow?
Posted: 26 August 2013 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This is not as easy as a question as we often make it out to be, from either side. Moses led his people, David ruled over them and Jesus taught, but there is at least an element of myth to all of those. Martin Luther King was a leader, but if you study the civil rights movement, there was a generation that came before him, that learned by trial and error how to organize, and eventually sought out great speech makers and organizers like King.

It is always a partnership, and not always an easy one. Religion is good at getting people to accept cultural values, sometimes valuing one country’s culture over another. Political leaders can then make use of that unity. But I find it hard to believe that most leaders are that cynical or followers that stupid. Despots are ousted eventually. Leaders need to sincerely believe their patriotism and have faith in their founding myths, to lead effectively.

History makes this question difficult, because religion came first. In Europe, Rome collapsed, but the Church held on to the land, giving them tremendous power. And some argument can be made that they were benevolent at first. But if you wanted to do anything, go to university, be a doctor, a painter, you had to be a member of the Church and not complain about its abuses. This was made most obvious when Greek philosophy was rediscovered in the West in the 13th century and it was temporarily banned by the church by the “Condemnations of 1277”.

I haven’t studied the details of other regions, but at least in Europe, it seems throughout the Middle Ages the only patrons of art and learning were the Churches. So any advances made in those areas could only be made under their direction. Some progress can be seen, but it was slow due to arbitrary rules and the lack of a method that encouraged experimentation. As Protestantism challenged their authority and capitalism started creating a middle class, they finally could come out from under that restriction and science flourished.

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Posted: 26 August 2013 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Religion both leads and follows, it is a social tool used by many different persons for many different reasons, sometime to advance general human welfare; sometimes to advance the interests of a particular group or individual.  It necessarily borrows from existing social traditions or it would not be understood by the people who it is trying to influence.  I am currently reading Through the Eye of A Needle - Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity by Peter Brown which has many examples of how Xtianity changed and had disputes reflecting the changes and tensions in the general society of the time.  Even the flood story was borrowed from the Epic a Gilgamesh, and the Church of the Corner Bar has borrowed from this epic as well in that is where our main goddess Sudari, the celestial barmaid (don’t ever call her suds) was first found in human literature.  cool smile

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Posted: 27 August 2013 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

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Posted: 27 August 2013 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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These suggestions for examples of how religion leads were lifted from the “...subject to proof” thread. brmckay’s words in bold.

brmckay - 26 August 2013 11:59 AM

Stonehendge.

The pyramids and mummification techniques.

Healing and psychotropic properties of plants.

Bushmen healing trance.

The physics of music making.

A big one in my book and relevant to the entire conversation. Vedic mapping of human consciousness and the discovery of the singularity of absolute Self.

Your statement is absurd even after clarification.  I really can’t see what you are getting at.

Points for making an effort. It helps me understand what you’re thinking.

It is only recently that Stonehenge has been found to be part of a larger ritual site. We still don’t know why they built it. I was at a similar pre-historic site last year, Bru-Na-Boinne, the curator described the theory of the meaning of the stones then said, “if you can evoke a religious experience, then you can manifest a belief system.”  If you can do that, you can control people.

The pyramids and mummification techniques. Huh? Humans wouldn’t have figured out how to build things without religion? Creating a hierarchy where thousands labor and just a few get fancy tombs is good? Having priests that put efforts into preserving a King’s body instead of healing regular old sick people is good?

Healing and psychotropic properties of plants. Pretty sure someone figured out the properties first, then someone else decided to say only they could control the magic power.

Bushmen healing trance. Is that real?

The physics of music making. Unless of course you’re Amish, then music is bad. When did religious leaders analyze sound waves? What religion invented music? You know churches have burned rock and roll albums, right?

A big one in my book and relevant to the entire conversation. Vedic mapping of human consciousness and the discovery of the singularity of absolute Self.
If that is your big one, I don’t think you realize how irrelevant you are. Can you show any connection here? Somehow a modern scientist learned from the Vedas or used their knowledge to further neuroscience or something?

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Posted: 27 August 2013 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lausten - 27 August 2013 09:09 AM

These suggestions for examples of how religion leads were lifted from the “...subject to proof” thread. brmckay’s words in bold.

brmckay - 26 August 2013 11:59 AM

Stonehendge.

The pyramids and mummification techniques.

Healing and psychotropic properties of plants.

Bushmen healing trance.

The physics of music making.

A big one in my book and relevant to the entire conversation. Vedic mapping of human consciousness and the discovery of the singularity of absolute Self.
J Your statement is absurd even after clarification.  I really can’t see what you are getting at.

Points for making an effort. It helps me understand what you’re thinking.

It is only recently that Stonehenge has been found to be part of a larger ritual site. We still don’t know why they built it. I was at a similar pre-historic site last year, Bru-Na-Boinne, the curator described the theory of the meaning of the stones then said, “if you can evoke a religious experience, then you can manifest a belief system.”  If you can do that, you can control people.

The pyramids and mummification techniques. Huh? Humans wouldn’t have figured out how to build things without religion? Creating a hierarchy where thousands labor and just a few get fancy tombs is good? Having priests that put efforts into preserving a King’s body instead of healing regular old sick people is good?

Healing and psychotropic properties of plants. Pretty sure someone figured out the properties first, then someone else decided to say only they could control the magic power.

Bushmen healing trance. Is that real?

The physics of music making. Unless of course you’re Amish, then music is bad. When did religious leaders analyze sound waves? What religion invented music? You know churches have burned rock and roll albums, right?

A big one in my book and relevant to the entire conversation. Vedic mapping of human consciousness and the discovery of the singularity of absolute Self.
If that is your big one, I don’t think you realize how irrelevant you are. Can you show any connection here? Somehow a modern scientist learned from the Vedas or used their knowledge to further neuroscience or something?

Not just “modern” scientists, either.  Didn’t you know that Vedic mapping of human consciousness is how Copernicus figured out that the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth?

Lois

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Posted: 27 August 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

I basically agree with this.. I would add “political” as an attachment to your “anti-social ends”.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

>individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.

well, no doubt about that statement.

>However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

society’s fault?
they don’t know about the poor nor the light.
maybe we should tell them OUT LOUD.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 07:21 AM
garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

>individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.

well, no doubt about that statement.

>However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

society’s fault?
they don’t know about the poor nor the light.
maybe we should tell them OUT LOUD.

Ever been to a black church?  or received help from Catholic Charities when you lost your job and unemployment ran out?

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Posted: 28 August 2013 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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garythehuman - 28 August 2013 05:18 PM
virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 07:21 AM
garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

>individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.

well, no doubt about that statement.

>However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

society’s fault?
they don’t know about the poor nor the light.
maybe we should tell them OUT LOUD.

Ever been to a black church?  or received help from Catholic Charities when you lost your job and unemployment ran out?

i’ve always have had a job. worked for GM as a UAW skilled tradesmen. retired at 50 1/2 yrs.
although i’ve given more then half my money weekly to women who were receiving aid from the gov’t.
i’ve also been the only white guy at a high school basketball game. 6,000+ people were there.
yes i went to the bathroom by myself.
my 2 buddies that took me to the game told me i’m the weirdest white guy they ever knew.
(went to schools where whites were the smallest group. blacks, mexicans then whites.)

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Posted: 29 August 2013 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 06:22 PM
garythehuman - 28 August 2013 05:18 PM
virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 07:21 AM
garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

>individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.

well, no doubt about that statement.

>However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

society’s fault?
they don’t know about the poor nor the light.
maybe we should tell them OUT LOUD.

Ever been to a black church?  or received help from Catholic Charities when you lost your job and unemployment ran out?

i’ve always have had a job. worked for GM as a UAW skilled tradesmen. retired at 50 1/2 yrs.
although i’ve given more then half my money weekly to women who were receiving aid from the gov’t.
i’ve also been the only white guy at a high school basketball game. 6,000+ people were there.
yes i went to the bathroom by myself.
my 2 buddies that took me to the game told me i’m the weirdest white guy they ever knew.
(went to schools where whites were the smallest group. blacks, mexicans then whites.)

I was working in a railroad foundry that closed at the same time most of the steel industry and its many supporting plants closed in Buffalo back in the early eighties.  Catholic charities helped many of us, which we all appreciate.

A basketball game is not a church.  To make myself clear - No black Churches -No Civil Rights movement.  These churches provided the underlying social structure of the movement.  Rev. King; Rev Abernathy; Rev Franklin etc.

As I point out in my signature, religion is human creation used by many for many purposes.  I am non-religious not anti-religious.

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Posted: 31 August 2013 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Also helps to know that sometimes the relationship between society and religion is not always clear cut.
Taking this interesting notice on scientific advancement for example

http://nccuir.lib.nccu.edu.tw/retrieve/79609/51501102.pdf  pages 66-67

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Posted: 01 September 2013 12:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 06:22 PM
garythehuman - 28 August 2013 05:18 PM
virginwarrior - 28 August 2013 07:21 AM
garythehuman - 27 August 2013 10:25 AM
virginwarrior - 27 August 2013 08:22 AM

today most religions are like the u.n.
finger pointing then talk talk talk

Most religions are like this for most of the time.  The problem is when certain individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.  i.e.  flying planes into buildings - attacking the money changers in the temple, controlling the lives of other humans that they do not even know, etc.  However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

>individual humans use religion and religious excuses to anti-social ends.

well, no doubt about that statement.

>However they are a useful social tool at times such as when they acknowledge that the poor exist and it is not usually the poor fault, but society’s.

society’s fault?
they don’t know about the poor nor the light.
maybe we should tell them OUT LOUD.

Ever been to a black church?  or received help from Catholic Charities when you lost your job and unemployment ran out?

i’ve always have had a job. worked for GM as a UAW skilled tradesmen. retired at 50 1/2 yrs.
although i’ve given more then half my money weekly to women who were receiving aid from the gov’t.
i’ve also been the only white guy at a high school basketball game. 6,000+ people were there.
yes i went to the bathroom by myself.
my 2 buddies that took me to the game told me i’m the weirdest white guy they ever knew.
(went to schools where whites were the smallest group. blacks, mexicans then whites.)


You wrote:
“I’ve given more then half my money weekly to women who were receiving aid from the gov’t”

I can only wonder what you were getting in return.

Lois

[ Edited: 02 September 2013 11:08 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 01 September 2013 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Who are we to argue with your buddies?  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 02 September 2013 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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religion does not lead or follow, it betrays the trust of the young and manipulates the followers forever.

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Posted: 02 September 2013 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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grand pa ray - 02 September 2013 06:37 AM

religion does not lead or follow, it betrays the trust of the young and manipulates the followers forever.

Although I agree with that, in fact it doesn’t preclude religion from leading and following. Religion does lead and follow as do all things humans engage in. That is a large part of the problem with religion and pseudoscience, as well. As long as there are humans there will be those who lead and those who follow. The value of their message does not matter. Some people will lead and many will follow, no matter that the message is invalid and harmful. It’s apparently human nature.

Lois

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