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Prayer
Posted: 30 December 2009 12:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Even individual music has benefits.  Many years ago when I was in a high stress management job, I’d come home completely stressed and it would take three martinis to numb me enough.  I happened to see a notice of a beginning guitar class at a local highschool extention.  I went, got a recommendation, bought a guitar and went through both semesters of classes.  I found that when I came home, rather than the martinis, I’d just pick up the guitar and play by myself for an hour or so and was completely relaxed and happy.  It didn’t matter that I was incompetent, it was personally extremely enjoyable (even if my wife and daughter suffered silently smile ).

Occam

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Posted: 30 December 2009 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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fotobits - 29 December 2009 09:27 PM

I don’t play an instrument, but I love music and have been attending music festivals for almost three decades. I have many memories of transcendent moments around campfires while musicians were jamming. Maybe we could replace religious indoctrination with music lessons.

`
What a scathingly brilliant idea :)

I’m a musician/music teacher, so I’m naturally biased…..but I think any collective activity that has the ability to help us connect and transcend our political/cultural differences is infinitely worthwhile :)

`

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 30 December 2009 01:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Occam - 30 December 2009 12:59 AM

Even individual music has benefits.  Many years ago when I was in a high stress management job, I’d come home completely stressed and it would take three martinis to numb me enough.  I happened to see a notice of a beginning guitar class at a local highschool extention.  I went, got a recommendation, bought a guitar and went through both semesters of classes.  I found that when I came home, rather than the martinis, I’d just pick up the guitar and play by myself for an hour or so and was completely relaxed and happy.  It didn’t matter that I was incompetent, it was personally extremely enjoyable (even if my wife and daughter suffered silently :) )

`
I think every single adult student I’ve ever had has expressed precisely what you just did Occam :)

Honestly, I think music (and its effects on the human brain and general ‘spirit’) is the closest thing to ‘magic’ that I believe in :)

`

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 30 December 2009 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Axegrrl - 30 December 2009 01:11 AM

Honestly, I think music (and its effects on the human brain and general ‘spirit’) is the closest thing to ‘magic’ that I believe in smile

I agree. I have my spiritual moments when looking through telescopes, but nothing can move me like great music played well.

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Posted: 01 January 2010 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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I would agree that there’s a lot going on with religion, and god is just the most important of those things. Not everything about religion is bad. All the social stuff, the getting together, letting children play in a safe environment is all good. Allowing the expression of grief as you mentioned is also a good thing. However, I believe all that can be done in a secular setting. The god stuff is not necessary to achieve the good things that come from religion, and I think as secular humanism grows it will become more organized and social for all those people that need social outlets. A good poet could probably take the prayer you quoted and turn it into a very moving and secular poem that would achieve the same objective as the prayer.

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Posted: 02 January 2010 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Hey Group.

Sorry I haven’t been following this thread I stopped when Occam posted THE FIREFIGHTERS COVENANT as he gave me what I needed for the moment.


Martinus:

to take advantage of Humanism’s new-found popularity in 2020 to recast its teachings outside the necessity for the supernatural. In essence Christ is then seen as the founding Humanist who instructed or updated our species on the new urban living rules. As Mohammed and Buddha et al. can also be viewed

.

Excellent, IMO it is very possible that religion, or at least some religous sects may evolve like this.

Skeptic:

On prayer. I see no problem whatsoever with prayer. Religion does not have the monopoly on prayer. As human beings we face so many daily challenges and obstacles and emotional barriers. We face loss of friends, family. We face death. We need to express those feelings and we need to cling to hope of a better day. Praying for comfort, for hope and change is one of the most human things we can do. We don’t pray to a God. We pray as an expression of humanity and hope

I agree whole heartedly, we do not have to pray to a “higher being” perhaps we should use the term communing with the human society and/or contemplating within ourselves,  depending on what we are actually doing with ther “prayer.

Jim Clay:

I would agree that there’s a lot going on with religion and god is just the most important of those things

I agree with the first part, and disagree with the second.  From my experience it is the way religions enable people to come together that is the key and the particular god they “worship” serves as the organizing symbol or myth,  I think that is natural for humans to “personify,” for lack of a better term, the symbol that holds them together.

I think one of the strongest weapons we humanists have is the study of the history of religion.  If we can help broader society realize that religion itself has evolved as an infulential part of the evolution of society itself we can help people realize that there is no one true religion and that religion is no more (nor less) than a tool, an
importnat tool, but still just a tool used in the creation and development of human socities.  And as such should be regarded with an careful eye.

Hopefully, your website can contribute to this.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 02 January 2010 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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jimclay - 01 January 2010 10:48 AM

I would agree that there’s a lot going on with religion, and god is just the most important of those things. Not everything about religion is bad. All the social stuff, the getting together, letting children play in a safe environment is all good. Allowing the expression of grief as you mentioned is also a good thing. However, I believe all that can be done in a secular setting. The god stuff is not necessary to achieve the good things that come from religion, and I think as secular humanism grows it will become more organized and social for all those people that need social outlets. A good poet could probably take the prayer you quoted and turn it into a very moving and secular poem that would achieve the same objective as the prayer.

I drafted an article today that considers the common plight of the Jesuits and the Humanists, both of whom are displaced by atheism. The point of it was the idea that Humanism has the inclusive metaphysics born of reason, the Jesuits the methods and experience to repopulate the orphaned churches our elders have left us.

I’d feel so much better helping to put it all together once more, before my watch ends. My generation has left our youth a dog’s breakfast in these matters to date.

Those two venerable institutions could make each other great again, merging each other’s best assets, if all concerned would only let them and participated with some tolerance and a new vision for religious Humanism. Passion and compassion work well together.

If my grandkids were being taught Darwin and Debussy in Sunday school, I’d be privileged to be upstairs out-hollering the choir, sharing Pete Seeger’s and Joan Baez’ legacies to name a few, per the above re: a possible Humanist “hymnary”.

[ Edited: 02 January 2010 09:40 PM by Martinus ]
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