Why do religions exist?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by juice, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Well I don't know anyone like that. It's a minority and not representative of most 'religious' people, imo.
     
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  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    To me the universe is infinitely wise and holy, not some mindless dirty great machine. We have become profane and arrogant in the reach of our own wisdom and lost all sense of reverence and humility. Imo
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Nor do I. I have known, however, but even that is irrelevant to the discussion.
     
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  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks for that, and I am sincerely sorry to have come across like that. I see what happened and want to do better than that.

    I want to say I was being very candid in my response. I enjoy a good ritual. I love the creative output of the religious. I try to make sense of and come to terms with my mortality. I do not belittle anyone for being into these things I am so much into, myself.

    Also, I experienced a very brief direct experiential glimpse of the knowledge of "no god", and I get a sense how this is in some weird way equivalent with glimpsing knowledge of God. I am not a die-hard materialist new atheist.

    Off to work on how to not offend fellow humans. It is an issue I am confronted with again and again, and recognize as needing my attention.
     
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  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Well I live in the US, with our religious freedom and intentional separation of church and state actually put in place to stop such occurrences., we have a significant percentage of people.who would love to dictate what we believe.
     
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  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Stars are holy. Plants are holy. Space is holy. Earth is holy. Water is holy. Air is holy. Light is holy. Darkness is holy. It's all immaculate. I don't care about a few religious radicals. I don't believe they should really be the problem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  7. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I pretty much share this belief, but I'm curious - what do you consider "unholy"?
    Or how do you define "unholy" - or do you even believe in "unholy"?
     
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  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Let me think about that one. Yes, I do believe in the profane.
     
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I did too, quite a lot, on mushrooms and acid. Scary. But to me it became: don't try it out there on your own, mate ... you need 'me' ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  10. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    For what it's worth, I take no offense at what you say here. I think it's very true. People do like these things and indeed want to feel safe and secure. The problem is, such statements tend to deny the Divine nature of religious practice, reducing God to a mere man made construct and that's just not going to sit well with some people.

    I started a similar thread a few years ago that ruffled a few feathers in which I posed the question, "Were it not for Death, do you think Religion and Faith would even Exist?" https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/17549/

    I think that man's own mortality is indeed what led him to seek answers and religion was his way of paying homage and passing on what he had learned. I don't believe however that religion was invented simply to satisfy that query.
     
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  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes.

    Incidentally, not reducing God to a man-made construct is how I hold the commandment against idolatry: not to create for myself a (mental image of) God or to worship my or anybody else's opinions about God. But this is my very personal understanding, and I respect that other people will differ in how they approach this very personal thing, just as I appreciate their respect for my views.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  12. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Ah, I did not use any psychedelics, and it was not a scary experience. Very complete, not lacking or needing anything. Glad you found the "me" that completes it for you!
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    3 synagogues in the Baltimore area got pamphlets sprinkled with some chemical putting some 70.children and couple dozen adults at risk, luckily only a few hospitalized. Pamphlets promoting Jesus, asking if you died today would you go to heaven.

    Not everyone can avoid the "few radicals". These guys are sick, this is today's news, the nationalists, and racists in the US feel their activities sanctioned by lack of leadership action.
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cino —
    Doesn't really answer the question, rather it's an observation after the fact.

    I mean, I could answer "Because humans are inquiring and intuitive. Because they ask the 'Big Questions'. Because they have the capacity for wonder. Because they want to know and understand."
     
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  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes. So how would a more predictive "how did religion come about" theory look like? How could it be tested?
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Well there's a number of contesting theories, and none of them can be tested, so it's rather problematic ...
     
  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Then we are stuck with the descriptive approach taken by Religious Studies departments all over the world, I guess.
     
  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    There is the possibility that:

    ... Truths were revealed by 'transcendent beings' and some of what they said and did was written down -- often long after, by word-of-mouth, etc.

    Often the words themselves became the object of veneration, in order to make sure they would not be changed and the meaning they concealed altered and diluted by future generations, to suit their own contemporary belief systems.

    The shell of the nut. Monks have kept chanting the same prayers unchanged, and transcribing scripture with the utmost fidelity possible to them for centuries upon centuries.

    That is so individuals like us could access those scriptures, as unadulterated as reasonably possible. From there, it's up to ourselves to meditate and make our own choices.

    So of course there are going to be ancient mores and brutalities mixed up with the transcendent truth contained in scripture, because they are so ancient and because the monks have so carefully worked to pass them on without changing them over thousands of years.

    Nowadays science is demonstrating that scripture may not be a reliable source of material scientific fact. There are people who argue about it. The word of scripture, etc.

    Of course since the invention of the printing press, and now with the internet, monks and religion hardly seem relevant or necessary to us. But still the scriptures remain intact. It's difficult to try to change the words of scripture and get away with doing so.

    But to me the value of scripture is to explain spiritual laws. These laws might often sound illogical to a materialist person.

    There are monks to maintain the rituals and traditions. That's what they do. They are the keepers of the flame and without them there would be no honestly transmitted scripture. Imo ...

    From this thread:

    https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/18934/#post-324088

    EDIT: ie: perhaps religions exist because 'God' exists? Because the transcendent and the sacred and the holy really does exist? Regardless of Religious Studies departments?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    @Cino I do apologise if my responses seem abrasive. I am probably being over sensitive
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  20. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    No problem.

    There are several ways to answer the question. The academic, religious studies approach will only follow readily observable leads, because that is the mode they operate in. Here, human interaction can be explired as the origin of religion.

    The religious/spiritual/personally involved will, to various degrees, admit subjective experience, such as revelation or mystical experience. Here, the interaction of humans with the divine can be explored as the origin of religion.

    I like both approaches. They complement each other.

    Just because I am godless dors not mean I begrudge or otherwise disapprove of my fellow human being's god(s).

    Just because I am mystically inclined I do not disapprove of scientific rigor.
     
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