universal evolution and the real and living creator god [yes thats right!]

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by _Z_, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    You know, you can bale the hay before it's dry, but green hay can burn down the barn. I wish religion and science would leave each other alone. Science always misses the point when it comes to spirituality. It cuts the alfalfa too close and stacks it too high. And religion, scientifically, is stuck in the middle ages. Gotta compartmentalize.

    Chris
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Move over, I found it first!
     
  3. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I wish they would get along too, but like daddy used to say: "wish in one hand and $h!t in the other, and see which fills up fastest."

    As long as political power exists, there will be people who will use whatever means available to extend their brand of it over others. It will probably take a paradigm shift in how we intrinsically view the world before any type of consensus can be achieved.

    Then again, do we really want to all see and believe the same thing? It would get awfully boring in short order. ;) :cool: If peace has a downside, it is boredom.

    *YAWN*
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I suspect the cultural nuances in the source material may actually point to something we are reflexively (is that a word?) loathe to consider; we are not alone in the universe.

    I know the sci-fi buffs have a field day with it all, but they tend to present this as though we earth bound humans are the top of the pyramid...what if we are at the bottom? What if this whole experience we know as life in a human form on this planet is some exercise or experiment from some source race who planted us here so long ago we have forgotten, and our religions are merely poetic signposts to remind those who care to seek?

    If "G-d" is not this subtle energy that connects all life (or perhaps even if G-d is), then perhaps the whole G-d concept thing is tied directly to our long forgotten desire to return to where our "Adamic" parents came from.

    ooo-weee-ooo

    yes, I'll have that tin-foil hat now please... :p :cool:
     
  5. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    the whole humans being at the bottom of the food chain kind of thing makes me wonder. A book I read once commented on a lot of things like that... I wont bore you with the details but.... if you look at humans in general, compared to the other creatures on this planet. we seem to be the alien ones. I mean, we are weak, we need infinite amount of stuff to keep us alive,even the most primitive peoples who have very little still rely on stuff. and by stuff I mean, shelter, weapons/tools etc. yes, I KNOW im not as educated as a lot of you but., at least the animals evolved...we just changed everything else around us. we arenot suitted to any climate. im trying to make a point but i dont think im succeeding very well.i know what i mean even if you guys dont. (ill just return to my corner of the lounge)
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    You do make a thoughtful and relevant point Grey. In terms of the evolutionary development of ever more sophisticated tools and the reliance on them for our survival, and by this I include agriculture and husbandry, most of us would find it very difficult to survive if they were all removed. Can you imagine Paris Hilton surviving long if plonked deep in the Congo? Or Elton John in the frozen wastes of the Siberian tundra? Only the most hardy, resilient and determined individuals would stand any chance of surviving without the trappings of modern civilisation.

    A dachshund can breed with a wolf, a tiger with a lion, they are all clearly identifiable as individual species. So interbreedability is not always a true criteria to define speciation. I still agree that contemporary man is not enough diverged from his recent ancestry to qualify as a new species. But I do think that time is close.

    Tao
     
  7. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Hi Greymare,
    It's a valid point. My daughter and her family have recently returned from six months of traveling world wide and this is also her observation. The products of the western world are mainly superfluous compared to the richness of the people living their lives according and at one with their own cultural design. And more so, most of the world would place no further value on this than to see it as money making tourist industry.

    - c -
     
  8. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Juan,
    You know I've often wondered if humanity is more afraid of peace than war.

    - c -
     
  9. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    another question.... why didnt humans that live in cold climates develop fur like all the other animals did. yes, I have seen a few hairy backed men,but thats not what I mean. theanimals evolved thick down and fur to protect from the extremes, weve been around long enough, surely it wasnt a case of ....nah, Ill just kill that animal and wear his fur instead. ugh.
     
  10. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Path,
    I know your game! You are just being a typical woman!! Trying to talk me into submission!! :p
    Labels are just a means of identification and we cannot avoid them if we wish to communicate effectively. Simplification works well for large groups but rarely applies to individuals or even small groups. If you were to take all the Christian groups in the US and label them individually they have as many Gods as the Hindu's. So its not possible for me to recognise every denominations individual variances in a brief post, and crucially they do have a collective persona as observed from the outside. The US and Islamic nations can be fairly labelled as having governments that openly make appeals to a God given righteousness. And this is what I firmly set my sights on.





    I recognise the difference between your ideas of the spiritual and those of the average by rote Christian of the Bible Belt. The trouble is I think that the "sheep" of such flocks hold a lot more power and influence than you give them credit. They elected George W Bush..... twice. Its true this is in great part the fault of the apathy of the electorate that did not bother voting, those that as you suggest have another God, consumerism. But according to all polls I have seen around 75% of Americans claim affiliation to a religion and the swing is away from traditional moderate beliefs to more extreme, hardline interpretations of Christian doctrine. This is extremely worrying. For whilst you, and I, can separate out doctrine from what it means to be a spiritual person very many do not. Many of the sects of Christianity in the US use aggressive techniques of recruitment including black sheeping of family members that refuse the call. It is hammered from the pulpits that if they are not with us they are satans children and against us. Peer pressure in some communities is enormous. And this trend is growing. As L Ron Hubbard is famously quoted saying, the best way to get rich is to start a religion. There is a pandemic sweeping America of small Baptist and Evangelical ministries that are founded by people who hear Hubbard's words only too keenly. And the likes of Bush is only too happy to sell them political favours for the votes they can command. The meaning of the doctrine is irrelevant. Its is purpose in use, how it is commanded to serve the purpose of the charlatans that is the real issue I wish to highlight. To do so I have to generalise, paint with a broad brush. It is not, however, all inclusive.





    The Bolsheviks did away with religion for precisely the reasons I stated. Because it was a tool, a servant of the ruling elites. It is interesting to note that now Orthodoxy is allowed and receiving government patronage in Russia its high priests encouraged its flock to go out and vote for Putin.



    I would argue that such people would have found the same things had these books not existed. Perhaps even quicker and with less struggle and confusion.





    I think to be honest that recently I have tended to have more sympathy with Dawkins and, on reflection aided by your question, have to admit that I have been sort of emulating his style of argument. I do see much of what he says as empirically valid, and he is the 'underdog' in the big debate and I have a tendency to back the underdog. But I by no means accept him as an authority beyond question. Infact all of his books are so over inflated that they are almost unreadable. All could be condensed down to a page or two each.
    My own motto to myself is, " do not be afraid to be wrong". i try to listen and adapt my overview as new information becomes available. Nothing in this whole wide multiverse is static, why should I make an exception for my views!!

    Again I appreciate your sentiments here but what you really describe is a romanticism that takes place on the very fringes of wider society. Those people who adopt such beliefs are those least likely to evangelise, vote or get involved in more mainstream debates let alone actions. And where they do they would most often be found in environmental movements rather than outright political ones. So they are so unrepresentative that they hardly figure.

    I agree entirely. My hope is that technology will re-instate the idea of community identity on a global level. One of the main stumbling blocks to this is the dogmatic nature of imposed religious mainstreams. Attack this and you also tackle the political mechanics that control the whole edifice. If people are made aware of how they are being religiously duped it is a tiny step to see how they are being politically manipulated. By talking to people round the world we come to realise we are all the same, with the same needs and desires and that it is not us that create the divisions, but our leaders who milk us and kill us with divide and conquer ideologies.

    unfortunately science is bound to the funders. I agree with what you say. But again believe tackling the issue of dogma is the key to releasing everything else from the yoke of servitude.

    Again I agree. I think a key to doing so is to persuade people that they will not find God in a book or preaching from a pulpit. And that if only they talk to each other across geographical and cultural boundaries they would realise they are all brothers and sisters.



    Communism, of the Stalinist or Maoist type were religions. No crucifix with Jesus nailed to it but endless statue alters of their divine leaders.




    Just because patriarchal stereotyping takes place before religious indoctrination of an obvious type takes place does not mean that they are not the same thing. Religion has defined and maintains these stereotypes.

    **Cacophony of claxons, sirens and bells rings** Presenter with designer suit and brilliant white sparkly toothy smile stapled to his face walks forward and hands Path of One the prize for using the word "reify" in a debate. :p



    Maybe not a single one as of yet. Maybe we should start one!! I am a paid up and active member of WDM (world development movement) and Amnesty International. I support the dissemination of truth by subscription to New Internationalist magazine. But as yet no there is no group that is doing all I would like to see being done. But it is a huge remit.

    Tao
     
  11. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Ditto.
     
  12. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Peace Tao, :)

    Apart from the God thing I often find inspiration in your words.........
    more than anything because they are your own, they are you.

    - c -
     
  13. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I'll go with that. :D

    s.
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Basically, yeah, what Path said.

    s.
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Thank you Ciel! And just because I have some what may seem inflexible base lines it does not mean I do not value the input from many people here, yourself included, (and some may even be those I appear to most noticeably clash with).

    Tao
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    The royalties aren't exactly flooding in like I thought they would.:p

    s.
     
  17. Bruno's logic

    Bruno's logic Agnostic/Panthiest

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    Quote:


    Originally Posted by path_of_one [​IMG]
    To be honest, I don’t see much hope for humankind unless we arrive at a philosophy that is widespread and once again built on here/now and connectedness.


    Here is a a copy of a webpage from;

    On Truth and Reality: Philosophy Physics Metaphysics of Space, Wave Structure Matter. Famous Science Art Quotes

    I think you will all find it interesting.
    Bruno


    [​IMG]"When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. ... Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. ...​
    The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life. ... We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. ...
    Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!" (Albert Einstein)


    Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.
    This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein realised, that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe - the discrete and separate body an illusion. This simply confirms the intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics.
    Given the current censorship in physics / philosophy of science journals (based on the standard model of particle physics / big bang cosmology) the internet is the best hope for getting new knowledge known to the world. But that depends on you, the people who care about science and society, realise the importance of truth and reality.
    It is easy to help - just click on the social network sites (below) or grab a nice image / quote you like and add it to your favourite blog, wiki or forum. We are listed as the Top Philosophy Website on the Internet (500,000 page views / week) and have a wonderful collection of knowledge from the greatest minds in human history, so people will appreciate your contributions. Thanks! Geoff Haselhurst - Karene Howie - Email
    </H3>



    Metaphysics: Reality & Cosmology must be Founded on One Thing Infinitely & Eternally Existing

    While this may surprise some people, both ancient Indian and Greek Philosophy & Metaphysics realised that matter interacts with ALL other matter in the Observable Universe, thus there is clearly a connection between the Structure of Matter and the Structure of the Observable Universe.
    The roman stoic philosopher king, Marcus Aurelius explains this beautifully, though many philosophers and mystics have realised this interconnection of matter in Space (this dynamic unity of reality is the founding principle of ancient Greek & Indian Philosophy).
    Frequently consider the connection of all things in the Universe. ... Reflect upon the multitude of bodily and mental events taking place in the same brief time, simultaneously in every one of us and so you will not be surprised that many more events, or rather all things that come to pass, exist simultaneously in the one and entire unity, which we call the Universe. ... We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a Citizen of the Universe'. (Marcus Aurelius, 170AD)
    All things come out of the one, and the one out of all things. (Heraclitus, 500BC)
    All phenomena, link together in a mutually conditioning network. (Buddha, 500BC)
    Though One, Brahman is the cause of the many. (Rig Veda, 1200BC)
    When the Ten Thousand things are viewed in their Oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been. (Sen T'sen)
    Likewise, Western Philosophy and Physics has come to the same conclusion, as Leibniz, Bradley and Smolin write;
    [​IMG] (Leibniz, Monadology, 1670) Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general. (Leibniz, )
    [​IMG] (Bradley, 1846-1924) We may agree, perhaps, to understand by Metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole.

    [​IMG](Lee Smolin, 1997) It can no longer be maintained that the properties of any one thing in the universe are independent of the existence or non-existence of everything else. It is, at last, no longer sensible to speak of a universe with only one thing in it.

    This is of course fundamentally important to our understanding of what Matter is, what the Universe is, and what Space is. It is the purpose of this article to explain the solution to the problem of understanding this interconnection between our matter existing in our finite spherical observable Universe (many finite temporal things) and Space (the one infinite eternal thing).
    Currently, Cosmology is obscured by an incorrect belief in the ‘Big Bang’ - that the universe is expanding, and thus had a beginning at some time in the past. As we shall explain, this is not correct, for the simple reason that the observed ‘Hubble’ redshift with distance is NOT caused by a Doppler shift due to receding Motion / expanding Universe, but rather, is caused by diminishing Wave Motion interactions with distance.
    (This is explained in detail below, but quickly summarised, as reality must be founded on One thing existing (Space), there can be no expansion or creation of Space, Space simply exists, Infinite and Eternal. In fact the Wave Structure of Matter explains that Time is Caused by wave Motion, thus only Matter in Space, as the Spherical Wave Motion of Space, experiences Time. Space is Eternal (does not experience Time) thus it cannot be ‘created’.)
    Again, both ancient Indian and Greek Philosophy correctly realised that something is never created from nothing ‘ex nihilo’, thus something has eternally existed;
    Without beginning or end (through eternity) this world has continued to exist as such. There is nothing here to be questioned. In no place or time was this world ever observed otherwise by anybody in the past, nor will it be, in the future. (Madhva, 1250AD)
    Alternatively, suppose we were to accept the mythical genesis of the world from night or the natural philosophers' claim that 'all things were originally together.' We are still left with the same impossible consequence. How is everything to be set in motion, unless there is actually to be some cause of movement? Matter is not going to set itself in motion - its movement depends on a motive cause. (Aristotle, 340BC)
    Unfortunately, the 'Big Bang' theory for the creation of our Universe is now well established, and many careers are founded on this concept. Thus it is natural that the emerging school of ‘dissident’ scientists who disagree with this theory will cause conflicts within the academic world that, sadly, often have little to do with determining the truth. While I do not wish to become embroiled in this debate, nonetheless, as philosophers of science we are bound to follow the truth, as Tolstoy wrote;
    Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it. (Leo Tolstoy)
    And from this most simple foundation of One thing, Space, existing as a Wave Medium it becomes obvious that the belief in a ‘Big Bang’ is founded upon a basic error, and that once the truth is realised then we find that all the problems and paradoxes of modern Cosmology are solved simply and sensibly. (See Solutions to the problems of the 'Big Bang' theory of Cosmology.)
     
  18. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Yeah, what's up with that? No checks have arrived in the mail yet! :rolleyes:
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Bruno, what a fascinating post and interesting website you linked to. I will reserve further judgement until such times as I have looked beyond the first page but I am getting a good vibe ;). I love how it talks to people with or without spiritual leanings. And I already agree that Big Bang theory is flawed and does not match the facts of what even an uneducated armchair cosmologist like me can plainly see. Interesting stuff. All I need now is to somehow bend time to get 100 hours in a day to keep up with all I want to read.

    Tao
     
  20. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Sorry. :eek: I cannot escape my X chromosomes. LOL (Or is it other chromosomes? My whole family is chatty. My grandfather could climb on a soapbox and deliver a rant that would make any woman run for the hills.) :D

    I think we must be very careful about how much we perceive a collective persona because of our biases, versus what is actually there. I may be more cautious than most in this regard, because in my field you are slammed if you generalize too much. There is always the awareness that any culture is not really a "thing." It is a heuristic tool to describe a bunch of relationships and trends/patterns. On close investigation, things always fall apart, yet we still need some way to lump stuff for certain analytical purposes. So I understand where you are coming from, but I disagree that the collective persona is as clear or strong as you propose. Even take another long-standing, mainstream Protestant denomination like the Anglican/Episcopal church and compare to Southern Baptist and you'll find really different stuff. And remember, doctrine is not the same as church culture. So while you have the "official" line (ideal culture), that is not the real culture. I find that the real cultures of Christian denominations and churches tend to be far, far, more different from the ideal cultures. While there are many similarities in doctrine, ritual, etc. there are mostly differences in terms of cultural practice (ethics, trends in individual belief, etc.).

    As for the US and Islamic nations appealing to God, I too feel this is deeply problematic. I am a firm believer in separation of church and state. Unfortunately, it is not like it's anything new or particularly tied to monotheistic religions either. It is tied to state-based government. There's a whole history of other cultures that had similar conflations of political and religious power with radically different conceptualizations of God(s) and whatnot.

    This is only because much of the rest of America is apathetic and politically lazy. They only elected George Bush by a very narrow margin (if you buy that it was a legitimate election), and they are only a subset of the Republican constituancy. With a two-party system, the Republican party is able to, by default of any other possibility, unite the religious sheep with the economic sheep. There's just a whole lot more going on here than religion.

    Actually, those polls do virtually nothing in terms of actual meaning socially and culturally. Many Americans claim affiliation by virtue of being baptized when they were an infant (and haven't set foot in a church since), or going at Easter and Christmas, or because "my whole family is X." Even the Christians (mostly the fundamentalist ones) lament the loss of American religiosity. Most people, from what I've seen, are barely impacted by religion in this country. Their lives revolve around consumerism and nationalism.

    And the swing is in two opposite poles, not one. There is a big swing toward people just plain leaving religion and becoming "spiritual but not religious" and there is an opposite swing in people becoming more fundamentalist. This is to be expected. The relative freedom of people who break from doctrine into their own spiritual practice is threatening to people who are insecure in their faith, who then cling more tenanciously to it and make it even more extreme in an effort to strengthen it. Which in turn makes even more moderate people uncomfortable in that religion, so more people leave. There is also an underlying current of why people convert to the more fundamentalist sects. An observation I've made (though I haven't researched) is that many of the most fundamentalist people were most out of self-control before conversion. Your folks with untreated mental illnesses, alcoholism, anger management problems, and so forth tend to obtain a kind of psychological assistance by a rigidly structured community. I saw this in my own grandfather, who had severe anger management issues and problems stemming from being a Vietnam vet. Becoming Mormon made him a better person socially. It gave him the structure and support he needed to overcome a lot of his problems. Later in his life, as he became more secure, he could let the Mormonism go and become more open while still retaining some of the lessons he'd been more or less forced to learn through the structure of the church. I mean no offense to fundamentalist churches, but this is what I have noticed in many cases.

    I suspect that if we had better social, health, and economic support in our country, we would not have so many fundamentalists. If we had more of a sense of community and security, these drives would not demand some people meet them in intolerant denominations. Remember, people need safety to be open to learning and rational thinking. So long as our society peddles fear and insecurity, it will have fundamentalism and intolerance. We first must be rid of real insecurity, we must address people's real fears-- these are mostly to do with physical safety, meeting social support needs, health care and disease, and, perhaps the biggest issue- economic stability. People feel so out of control of their own lives in the US (and indeed, their lives are run both through work and consumerism by corporations) that it is not surprising that they wish to feel that these huge forces will be battled for them by God. The alternative is overwhelming to them- that WE must fix these problems.

    I agree, though I don't think the struggle or confusion is necessarily bad. Struggle and confusion can lead to growth. And even if we did not have these books, it wouldn't matter. The problem isn't the books, it is what prompted people to use them as they do. We can continue to externalize the problem (it is the books, it is religion, it is the elites, it is politics, etc.) but the reality is that these things are a reflection of an internal problem. Society and culture are aggregated patterns and trends of individuals, and while they socially condition us, they are never unmalleable. We must not lose sight of what the driver is-- individual human beings.

    LOL. Atheism is not the underdog in anthropology. My position is far more the underdog. And my position is the underdog in greater US society too. I mean, I'm basically just a hippie that was born too late saying "peace, love." I'm against consumerism and the materialism that makes our economy tick. I'm against the nationalism that makes our politics tick. I'm against the separatist doctrine that makes much of our religion tick. And yet I am, at my core, spirit. I deeply, deeply experience God and being a part of It. Which makes my own colleagial group of mostly atheistic humanists uncomfortable with me too. LOL I'm not alone in my position, but I'm part of a very, very small group. I can only hope that group grows. I can say one thing... we'd find a whole lot of peace, joy, and love if it did. I'm by no means perfect, but I am loving. No offense to atheism, but while I have felt many atheists I know to be loving, the position of atheism is cold and not loving at all. Unless it is a Buddhist flavor of atheism (or something similar). But I fail to find the love in Dawkins, and so I find his stuff useless. In fact, his books have only heightened the fear and anxiety of fundamentalists and driven them further into their irrationality. I am pragmatic about change in human consciousness and society. I've learned that loving people works. Unity works. People feel safe when they feel loved, and the safety opens up their mind. I've seen it work time and again. I have not yet seen Dawkins' way of approaching the issue help anything. So far as I can tell, he has a good career and he's sold a lot of books by playing into the same system of fear and separatism, but just at the other end of the spectrum from the fundamentalists.

    I agree!

    I choose to be more hopeful. I've seen people become more open- people I meet on the street, at airports, my students, my co-workers- because I am committed to loving them and to bringing back a sense of wonder at life and the earth. I may be unrepresentative and hardly figure, but I did not make any impact whatsoever when I simply was depressed, anxious, and angry over the state of the US and the world. Now, I recognize the injustices of the system and try to fix them. Even if that is only getting to one person a year, it's more than the alternative. And it gives me hope.

    I simply could not survive when I did not hope in this way. I must hope that the small but rapidly growing population of people who are striving toward awareness, sustainability, unity and love is the vanguard of a much greater movement. It does no harm to have this hope, for it is not a space of complacency but of joyful action.

    I would put forth that technology is only tools. It cannot reinstate anything, just as a knife cannot prepare dinner on its own. We must use technology for the vision of global identity. Without changing the consciousness with which we use tools, we are stuck.

    It happens just as well (if not better), in reverse. Better still, there are ways to cut to the chase and simply awaken people to unity directly. The rest follows automatically as they become self-reflective. I've found that by emotionally connecting people with others and the earth, they automatically begin to question religion and politics and their own role in it. It's a gentle approach that generally is able to get around the defensiveness you run up against if you just attack religion or politics.

    YES!!! (And also by just seeing, really seeing, others.)

    I whole-heartedly agree. But you see, you needn't get rid of God, ritual, and the rest to show people that God isn't found there. You only have to reveal to people the difference in themselves, that they internally feel, between connection and religion. The rest follows on its own. People then, even if they remain in a religious tradition, are open to others, having recognized the difference. And again, for most people, when they experience a sincerely loving person up close and personal, they begin to see that the differences in belief are meaningless in the light of this love.

    Only if you expand your definition of religion to one that is generally outside the acceptable definitions. Here, it is perhaps more apt to say that religions and something like Stalinist Communism are both philosophies, and have associated cultures. My point was that your original argument tied up religion, spirituality and God and said these were the problems- people needed to ditch a belief in God to overcome divisiveness. I am pointing out that God has nothing to do with the matter. It is the attachment of individual identity to philosophy that is the problem.

    Some of them yes, and some no. Religion does not cause consumerism, for example. The identity as a consumer is one of the first things kids learn, and one of the most imprisoning.

    Why, thank you, thank you. [Does little bow.] Now, who to thank. I thank my ninth-grade English teacher who made us memorize countless SAT words... :D

    The thought has crossed my mind, to be honest. I am starting a non-profit this year, but it's more immediately practical- an institute for focusing on solving social and environmental problems with grassroots, local solutions. But I do have grand hopes for what might come out of those local solutions once enough momentum is reached...

    How about the Dept. of Peace campaign? That seems like it might be a good one?
     

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