I respectfully disagree with you when you say “religion is the only part of this world that refuses to evolve and adapt to the continuously changing world.” For one thing, I can think of many examples of both natural entities that resist adaptation (Taxodium distichum and Riziphora mangle are both extremely sensitive to thermal and pH conditions in the aquatic and marine environment, and tend to die rather than adjust when met with changing conditions), and corporate ones (how many successful industries have essentially disappeared with the introduction of simple, new technologies), but more importantly, I think you are kind of grossly overgeneralizing here. First by regarding religion generally…however your constituent example seems to be American Christian communities (proceeding out of the Baptist and Puritan traditions) and conservative Catholicism.
Apologies for jumping in on an old topic, but having just made a comment on Puritanism in my own introduction, I’d like to add that the two main offshoots of the old New England Puritans, the UCC (through the Congregationalists) and UUs (through the Unitarians) are among the most liberals of denominations with Christian roots. In fact there’s some irony, as the old-school Baptists were the ones campaigning for the First Amendment and disestablishment of religion—and the established Puritans (in New England) and Anglicans (in Virginia) are the ones who were against! These days, the American (ex-Northern) Baptists are moderate but alas, it’s their southern cousins that make more of a splash.
Among the religious right, apart from the southern Baptists, I’d say most of the others trace their roots back to Pentecostalism and the Great Revivals. I’d recommend reading Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry for a peek at the world at the less-intellectual, populist-conservative wing of Christianity. It’s scarily still as valid today as it was decades ago when it was written.
Regarding the Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope changing his stance— they eventually did so on Galileo too, though it was not a full apology. What bugs me about Catholicism—esp. since the First Vatican Council decreed the Pope infallible on doctrinaire issues, is that it’s like a super tanker that takes so long to change course, and apart from the Second Vatican Council, a lot of the publicly known structural changes (like infallibility) seems to make it less, not more, responsive. They tied their hands behind their back recently by declaring that, based on their reading of the scriptures, while they don’t preclude women from ever becoming priests, they can never become bishops…
As an Episcopalian, with a female Presiding Bishop, and a lay member of an Episcopal religious order whose Guardian is a female priest, I do sometimes wonder if the Catholic clerical leadership lives in the same world as the rest of us…
religion is the result of evolution it doesnt need to evolve it gives meaning to some peoples lives and encourages us to question everything and if we question everything we will evolve
Unfortunately, a lot of religious leaders and denominations do the exact opposite—they do not encourage their followers to question everything, but instead encourages complete acceptance of what the priest/imam/preacher says and rejection of anything contradictory. The only “evolution” that matters is “spiritual growth”, but defined narrowly to mean living in ever-closer union with the dictated precepts.
Thankfully it’s not all like that. It is, sadly, the case that mainstream denominations are in decline—in Europe it’s not that big a deal (apart from unsubstantiated worries by right-wingers about conversions to Islam), but in US the decline seems to be at the expense of the evangelical right and fundamentalists. I personally think that we need a moderate revival of traditional practices such as monasticism, but adapted to the present time—rather than the awkward attempt some mainline churches make to try and attract the youth crowd, with guitars and bands and such.
one thing we know is that man is afraid of what it does not understand, we fear what we cant comprehend so the fearful in society tell us to blindly believe in religion it is to give order to the chaos, a true religion would encourage us to question everything it is how we will grow it would teach us to accept difference and accept that we cant always find the ansers to our questions and give us hope for a better future, it would teach us to unite under one belief we are all different an that is why we are special and is what will help us grow
people say they want to know the meaning of everything in existence, and why we are here but they all seem to look in the wrong places, they fail to start in the most obvious places, so they will never have an answer that satisfies them
What you describe sort of as human nature, leekjc, I believe is the result of early childhood training. For example, as a scientist I don’t fear the unknown or what I can’t comprehend, but rather I find those things fun and challenging. You mention a “true religion” but I don’t want to saddle science with being called a religion, even a true religion.
I certainly don’t even consider knowing the meaning of everything in existence. First, there is no meaning without a sentient being to define it - the universe just IS. And I recognize that my and even the most brilliant human mind is far too limited to comprehend “everything of existence”.
Similarly, “why we are here” isn’t a reasonable question. That postulates an intelligence, and there’s no evidence of that. “How” may be a better question, and we can only speculate, albeit more and more closely, as we learn more and more about the production of life.
a scientific answer is defined as the most probable one using the information around us and coming to conclusions, the universe and everything within it has an effect on evrything, i just find it far to convenient that everything is the way it is, and how one things end could be anothers beginning and how the universe continues on and grows with no limit to the possibilities, if there were a higher intelligence it would more than than likely create something to go on forever, take a look at human evolution i have no doubt that given enough time we will advance to the point where we will be creating our own universes, we try to create an artificial inteligence, if we can create inteligence cant a higher inteligence create us? and i agree we shall never know everything but that will not stop us from trying we will eventually find the answer we are looking for but this will only raise more questions, but will be the reason for our limitless potential
i just find it far to convenient that everything is the way it is,
Convenience or what you or I would like is certainly a completely unscientific and irrational basis for what is. Most of the the universe is “inconvenient” but we get used to it, live within the constraints, and even begin to think it’s “convenient”.
if there were a higher intelligence it would more than than likely create something to go on forever
In the extremely unlikely event of a higher intelligence, I wouldn’t have the hubris to second guess what it would be likely to create. Why do theists always assume this extreme intelligence for their god then tell us the reasoning and motivations of this god?
if we can create inteligence cant a higher inteligence create us?
First, a completely invalid analogy. Second, this presupposes the existence of such a being with this higher intelligence, which I reject so the question cannot be answered.
The whole problem of this “Something cannot come from nothing arguement” is that on some level, it presupposes that something had to come out of nothing, and that would be the supposed creator him/herself.
If everything had to be created, then what created the Creator?
Begotten not made doesn’t help you out here. (Begotten by what and what created the Creator which created the Creator?) It just goes on to the point of absolute absurdity.
It’s all turtles, all the way down Yes, and I regard the traditional ontological argument as deeply unsatisfying sophistry. “Oh, we’ll just define something that is Uncreated, and attribute to that something all kinds of perfections we can think of — nevermind that it contradicts with what we know about human existence — and because we can imagine such a being, it by necessity exists!”. If a Prime Cause does indeed exist, and is actually a conscious being — two major ifs there — s/he/it must be quite bemused at the attributes we’ve conjured up. Again assuming that s/he/it possesses a sense of humor, which is another anthropomorphism.
do you believe that there is one universal truth that can describe how everything is connected something that everything thing in existence has in common? ?
Yes, I do believe there is at least one common denominator for every event past, present and future. Potential.
I have posted on this several times before, so I’ll just refer you to some of my posts on that concept, if you are interested.