Religion v. Myth

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by stellaluna, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    134
    Lovely construction/deconstruction going on here! Setting them up, knocking them down. The incoming tide eating at the ever-renewed sand-sculptures.

    What is life?
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    Oh, absolutely ...
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    Well the particular beliefs of the US never cease to amaze me, I'll admit that, but these are your believers, not your 'nones' that the Pew report deals with.

    I tend to think Cino is closer to it, people are 'nones' because they never had, or fall away from, faith, and in the latter case it's not an intellectual decision, but they come up with the same old-same old arguments/excuses when pushed to provide a reason.

    I would suggest that the continual revelations of clerical abuse and the cover-ups is a factor, however.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    Well, two things there.

    The first is who could take offence at them? And this is my critique about modern 'believe what you will' boutique religions generally, they're anodyne and lay out their table for the broadest consumer appeal.

    Compassion, 'sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others' is not itself a religious motivator, it's quite humanist, in that sense. Compassion as defined within a religious context takes on a nuanced meaning, an ontological relation to being, hence compassion in Christianity differs from compassion in Buddhism, for example.

    The Parable of the Good Samaritan is an interesting one.

    In our ego-oriented culture, we identify with the Samaritan, he's the good guy, and we tell ourselves we are/would like to be like him. (Ignoring the fact that the First World is 'mugging' the Third World to maintain its lifestyle, so even this self-view is something of a self-delusion).

    The moral reading of the parable is, be the good guy, do the right thing ... and that's basic humanity 101.

    The spiritual reading of the parable is a whole other ballgame. In that version, we are the man who was beaten and robbed and left for dead at the roadside (Luke 10:30). The Samaritan is Christ (or Buddha) who is moved by the sight and saves the fallen victim ... this version, the 'adult' or 'mystical' meaning, has largely fallen out of favour.
     
    RJM Corbet and Cino like this.
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    Did a bit of looking round...

    There seem to be two reasons one can identify as to why people leave the Catholic Church.

    The first, according to Pew, is that there is no general consensus why — the general reason seems to be a rather nebulous: "they simply stopped believing the church’s overall teachings, gradually drifted away from Catholicism or said their spiritual needs weren’t being met." which I find far more understandable than rejection of particular doctrines.

    There is a feeling, I believe probably a lot stronger than bishops will care to admit, that the Church should review its attitude towards birth control, towards the divorced and the cohabiting, towards sexual orientation other than heterosexuality, I think all these are evident ... but the single biggest influencer is the continual revelations of clerical abuses, and the church's attempts to silence, cover up and dissemble ...

    While we're on 'religion v myth', here's a couple of Catholic myths that need debunking:

    The opinion that Catholics think of God as an old man with a white beard who sits on a throne in the clouds ...
    For the simple of heart, it's an entirely adequate image, and no better nor worse than any other, but for there is also the understanding that symbols are deployed to convey abstract, metaphysical truths which the imagination can find harder to grasp.

    The opinion that Christianity is about being good ...
    No. Christianity is about participation and deification.
     
    A Cup Of Tea likes this.
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    Yup
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    I was wondering about this ... where do these beliefs come from?

    According to one source, Christian denominations that accept evolution theory include:
    Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Episcopal Church, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, United Church of Christ. I would assume that the American Anglican denominations are in accord too.

    The denominations who apparently deny evolution are home-grown. I cannot answer for them, nor should their beliefs form any part of an argument for or against religion as such. It's a local phenomena, and I suggest one born out of a nationalist idealism, rather than any metaphysical, philosophical or religious conviction.

    Perhaps someone will (has?) researched why the US is such fertile soil for such banana theories?
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    There is a vast difference between what is known in the hierarchy and priesthood and what is preached from the pulpit, taught in Sunday school and understood by the parishioners.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    Same as in everything else, really.

    There's two things at play here — firstly, people of faith aren't theologians and aren't interested in theological debates or intellectual arguments — just look at political debate and it's clear people argue from the heart or the gut rather than the head.

    Secondly, people cannot simply absolve themselves from responsibility by not bothering to further their faith. Some do, in prayer and practice rather than theology, and that's more likely to produce saints than the latter path.

    Often outsiders criticise believers for their lack of intellectual rigour, but then that critique can be made of anyone. You and I have clashed over what I see as fundamentally illogical and theologically unsound about Unity or Spong, but you still stand by them.

    I am also in the David Bentley-Hart camp when it comes to the appeal of 'boutique religions' which, like the 70s 'headshops', offer the disaffected a much to attract the ego and the eye ...

    My own Catholic education was, in anything, well below par. I went to a state school until I was 11, then a Catholic secondary school where the education was bloomin' useless. Can't remember anything. Dad was not a theologian, nor was mum. All my education follows in the wake of my own studies in philosophy and comparative religion, and then a distance-learning degree.

    In defence of the parish priest, they too often have enough on their plate looking after the pastoral needs of the parish, and I know from my own experience that to get any kind of interest behind theology or further studies is look pushing peas uphill ... there just ain't the interest. My mum's parish priest used to pass his sermon notes to her to give to me (we never met) ... it was all there, references in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, etc., etc.

    His parishioners didn't like him much. 'All head and no heart', someone once told him.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,665
    Likes Received:
    917
    In addition to the above ...

    If we look at the current political situation, of which I think we (you and I, Wil,) agree that our current domestic situations are pretty bloody awful, then we look at a Trump Rally, or a pro-Brexit Rally, and we can see that people are in sway to a myth that to you and I, from our respective positions, has as much substance as the Emperor's New Clothes ...

    I remember being in the Church with a geriatric old monk ... we were getting ready for Mass. I was reading. We approached the altar, and he pointed to the new mikes that had just been installed at the lecterns. "Apparently, we are to ensure the little red light is on," he said. "Lord knows why, but we all need our myths to live by, don't we?"
     
  11. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    59
    So, in your opinion...Is there any such thing as "an Absolute"?
     
  12. Cino

    Cino Big Love

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    134
    Change, for example. Always happens.
     
  13. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    59
    Yes of course.

    The creation is composed of "Opposites"

    Ying and yang is the changing flux;
    Ying and yang is the absolute state.

    Which is superior: the state of changing flux, or the status quo of opposites rising & falling, or the absolute objective observer?

    Yes, of course none can exist in isolation ---all three exist in-separably and simultaneously.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,266
    Likes Received:
    249
    I think yin and yang are born from the absolute state.

    The absolute manifests as yin and yang.

    In the quaballah, the 'absolute' kether manifests as the 'opposites' chockma and binah: wisdom and understanding. From the union of the first two elementary opposites, the rest of creation emerges, in increasing complexity?

    In Genesis, Adam and Eve first emerge as perfect spiritual opposites, but the spiritual descends into the natural world. Through the 'knowledge of good and evil', Adam and Eve receive 'coats of skin'.

    There is a higher state beyond the primal opposites?

    Somehow our spiritual progress is to return to(ward) that forever unreachable 'oneness'? Of course we do not know why.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    Bhaktajan II likes this.

Share This Page