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how do we keep the good things religions provide?
Posted: 01 September 2013 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
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things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.  we need idea’s from younger people because religions as they are practiced today are like a bad virus that attacks the young.  we have to stop honoring faith without evidence.

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Posted: 01 September 2013 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sorry but I’ve worked hard to embody those things in my life.  I may not have always been successful, but certainly, religion had no part in contributing to them.  From my reading from most of the religions, they provide as much or more of the opposite of these qualities.  I feel that as we phase out religion we will improve our civilization and move toward those characteristics.

Occam

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Posted: 01 September 2013 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam. - 01 September 2013 12:34 PM

Sorry but I’ve worked hard to embody those things in my life.  I may not have always been successful, but certainly, religion had no part in contributing to them.  From my reading from most of the religions, they provide as much or more of the opposite of these qualities.  I feel that as we phase out religion we will improve our civilization and move toward those characteristics.

Occam

That’s right, Occam. Religion has no lock on any of those things, though theists, especially, often say or imply it does. . Too many people have bought the hype and think they need religion to have access. Nothing could be further from the truth. And religion—certainly theistic religion—WILL be phased out eventually, but, alas, not in our lifetimes.

Lois

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Posted: 02 September 2013 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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grand pa ray - 01 September 2013 08:21 AM

things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.  we need idea’s from younger people because religions as they are practiced today are like a bad virus that attacks the young.  we have to stop honoring faith without evidence.

Good morning… just waking up here.

Although I’ve “phased out” religion in my own life, don’t think very well of its superstitious and brainwashing elements when taken literally, religion is still very much culture I think, and able to provide certain “comforts” just as Santa Claus does. Maybe this sounds a bit ridiculous putting it this way.

A chapel on a hill is a nice spot to visit when hiking, or an old cathedral, or a temple. But of course that’s just the buildings. Nevertheless, they can be inspiring.

I think “preserving the ‘good’ elements in religion” can be done when its adherents will notice that religion is merely the provision for something not yet understood when they were formed. The outward might remain, and the humanistic core, minus the superstition. Bonhoeffer was working in that direction.

Just my fifty cents.

Michelle

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Posted: 02 September 2013 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Michelle D. - 02 September 2013 07:10 AM
grand pa ray - 01 September 2013 08:21 AM

things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.  we need idea’s from younger people because religions as they are practiced today are like a bad virus that attacks the young.  we have to stop honoring faith without evidence.

Good morning… just waking up here.

Although I’ve “phased out” religion in my own life, don’t think very well of its superstitious and brainwashing elements when taken literally, religion is still very much culture I think, and able to provide certain “comforts” just as Santa Claus does. Maybe this sounds a bit ridiculous putting it this way.

A chapel on a hill is a nice spot to visit when hiking, or an old cathedral, or a temple. But of course that’s just the buildings. Nevertheless, they can be inspiring.

I think “preserving the ‘good’ elements in religion” can be done when its adherents will notice that religion is merely the provision for something not yet understood when they were formed. The outward might remain, and the humanistic core, minus the superstition. Bonhoeffer was working in that direction.

Just my fifty cents.

Michelle

Glad to have your input, Michelle.  Religion may provide comfort, but so does heroin, cocaine, morphine and alcohol, especially alcohol, which is freely available.

I like visiting churches, chapels, cathedrals and temples, too, and have probably visited more of them than many religious persons. They are historical artifacts and should be preserved for their history. Members can preserve the religious services held within them. When I visit a religious building with architecture worth preserving I contribute to the building or preservation fund. It’s not religion I’m seeking to preserve, however, but the architecture and artifacts.  My husband, on the other hand, who was raised in England and in the Church of England, though now an atheist, would agree with you and Bonhoffer’s ideas about preserving the “good” elements of religion.  I’m on the fence about whether there are any good elements to preserve other than the buildings, artifacts and general history.

Lois

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Posted: 02 September 2013 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Oh, great. I presume we’re all in favor of the values grand pa mentions in his opening post. So instead of discussing ways to promote those through humanism, let’s argue about whether doing so puts us within religion or takes us outside of it. Peachy!

While we’re at it, let’s also take up the old argument about how many angels can dance on a pinhead. The argument we’re having - over and over - makes about as much sense as that one did.

Grand pa, your question deserves far better treatment than it has received here so far. It’s a broad question, so I’m not surprised you didn’t get much of an answer. My short answer is that we have to pay attention to every human concern, and find ways to get our ideas and practices out there.

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Posted: 02 September 2013 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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grand pa ray - 01 September 2013 08:21 AM

things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.  we need idea’s from younger people because religions as they are practiced today are like a bad virus that attacks the young.  we have to stop honoring faith without evidence.

This is what many of us non-believers miss.  Religion is a method of social organization that brings many different people together.  It passes down through the generations as useful tradition.  The emphasis of many of my non-believing friends is mostly on the often
nonsensical theology rather than the social action that religion often promotes.  IMO, it is high time we judged the religious by their actions not their theology.  I am not saying it is all good, like any other human invention, religion can be used for good and bad ends. i.e. the US civil rights movement and the Ku Klux Klan.

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Posted: 02 September 2013 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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....things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.

I just do it. I don’t need a cleric looking over my shoulder or whispering into my ear for motivation.

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Posted: 02 September 2013 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 02 September 2013 06:43 PM

....things like hope, love, beauty, joy, freedom, moral teamwork, support for justice, these are good for all of is.

I just do it. I don’t need a cleric looking over my shoulder or whispering into my ear for motivation.

Neither do I but the psychological and social-psychological literature clearly demonstrates that these things are best and most enduringly achieved in community.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 02 September 2013 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Neither do I but the psychological and social-psychological literature clearly demonstrates that these things are best and most enduringly achieved in community.

True PlaClair but you can achieve the same goals as a member of a civic organization or club without the theistic trappings. We are after all evolved to embrace group behavior and to seek a role within it either as a leader or a follower. Reminds me of what a comedian (Lewis Grizzard) once wrote: “Life is like a sled dog team, if you ain’t the head dog, the scenery never changes”.

 

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Posted: 02 September 2013 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 02 September 2013 07:23 PM

Neither do I but the psychological and social-psychological literature clearly demonstrates that these things are best and most enduringly achieved in community.

True PlaClair but you can achieve the same goals as a member of a civic organization or club without the theistic trappings. We are after all evolved to embrace group behavior and to seek a role within it either as a leader or a follower. Reminds me of what a comedian (Lewis Grizzard) once wrote: “Life is like a sled dog team, if you ain’t the head dog, the scenery never changes”.

Cap’t Jack

What is a theistic trapping?

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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thanks everyone for responding.  this is my first attempt at using a computer to discuss serious problems so thanks again.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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grand pa ray - 03 September 2013 05:01 AM

thanks everyone for responding.  this is my first attempt at using a computer to discuss serious problems so thanks again.

Welcome grand pa ray,

I have always maintained that religions are “effective” because they have a “common teaching book” on which to base their behavior. The Bible. Refer to a pertinent story and everyone has the same text, so it can be understood or explained by all present.

Usually, when there is a secular convention, people come with briefcases of books for reference, which creates an immediate discussion of the differences in the books, rather than a concentrated effort to absorb the secular wisdom of a uniform presentation.

I advocated for a Book of Secular Sins and Virtues, compiled from the great writings of secular thinkers, compiled in a similar manner as the Bible with separate chapters of specific philosophers and their most valuable contributions to social intercourse.

This secular Bible could also have chapters on different social concerns and explanations what we have learned from history and recent scientific data. Such a volume would be large but with a smart Indexing system, one should be able to find any subject of concern with ease.

Such a compilation would be as big as the bible most likely, but it could be used in school curricula under social studies. A major work to be sure, but if it would sell even half the copies as the bible, the expense (or grant) could esily be recouped, while providing the general population with an “alternative” moral guide, outside of the religious trappings.

Universities would be happy to have such a compendium as a guide for introducing the students to the truly great thinkers of history and hopefully replace the bible in its entirety, while keeping the best secular truths which are even recognized in the bible.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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2 parts to this. One, story telling is fine, just admit it is a story. I don’t care if you say you are going into the “sacred space of story telling”, as long as you come out of it and don’t force it on anybody else.

Two, studies are being done to show that the value of any regular social group is equal to church. Luke Galen, from the Reasonable Doubts podcast does studies on this subject and has some lectures on YouTube.

Nietzsche’s fears of what would happen after we killed God were completely unfounded.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Neither do I but the psychological and social-psychological literature clearly demonstrates that these things are best and most enduringly achieved in community.

Point well taken, but I still don’t need a religion for that.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 03 September 2013 04:28 PM

Neither do I but the psychological and social-psychological literature clearly demonstrates that these things are best and most enduringly achieved in community.

Point well taken, but I still don’t need a religion for that.

Any belief can be indoctrinated by 2000 years of repetition. When you walk in a motel room, the first thing you see is that little bible to remind you are there by the grace of god.

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