I wrote this to ellaberate a little on my views on spirituallity. When I say God, I am using it in refference to all religions. Religion is a way for a specific group of people, to communicate the idea that is their God. I believe the idea is universal, in terms that it is intrinsic to a geographic location. Because we have sentience, we tend to think that it came from a higher source and in not knowing where conscience came from, our ancestors mmade names for it.
In the 13th century a Budhist monestary was attacked by a war hungry band of the early muslim faith. They tortured the abbot for days on end and did so with no reaction. When they asked him why did not beg for mercy, his answer was this: "This is nowhere near a severe as the hell I'm going to, but mine is only temporary, a short stop on the road to the next world".
One must understand, that the religions of antiquity were born of ignorance. If I told you that God made lighting, you'd show me proof otherwise and I'd be cast off as insane. Look at it this way... People that are hungry, sick and poor are more likely to accept religion, than those who are not. People that are educated, strong and have a high self esteem, need not follow anyone. A spiritual path should be a lone venture. Sri Baba Lanka, I believe, said " the bible is but an interesting read, when I've learned all I can from it I'll move on"
Most people born before 1960, know of a man named Alan Watts. He had a way of summing up philosophy, that not many could follow, he was speaking to the intellectual few that could grasp the idea. It was his opinion that man should seek spirituallity, long after he had lived and learned. He was a priest before a guru, so to speak. Children should be taught how to live before they are taught to fear death. The fear of what lies ahead was responsible for the birth of religion. A book by Alan Watts entitled "the wisdom of insecurity" addresses such statements.
Socrates said "If one from a nation that eats with forks knives, enters a nation where they eat with their hands, than the latter becomes a savage and vice a versa". Please excuse me if I paraphrase a little, it's been a long time since I've picked up any books on the great philosophers of the past.
Lastly, I am not trying to offend anyone, I am writing these posts because, I feel that people are hanging their entire existance on antiquated ideas, that have no function in modern society, other than to scare children into behaving as their parents would have them. Most of todays religions are revisions of other, earlier, religions. Budhism was born of Hinduism, just as Jewdaism begat Christianity. And if I say these things, I must also remind my readers that, most religious beliefs come from books, that have been edited down to suit the needs of political agendas.
You could write the most profound things and people will never read it because you don't use spellcheck.
Yeah, I have tendancy to type faster than I think...
For me, the core principles around most religions and philosophies apply today just as much as the did in ancient times.
How does love, compassion and humility (just to name a few of these core principles) get antiquated?
Maybe you are pointing to the way in which these core principles were delivered? Principles that were often shrouded in not only the cultural customs and language of ancient times but also the personal preferences and interpretation of the writer.
If this is what you are pointing to then yes perhaps they are antiquated in that sense.
However, there is danger in altering original ancient texts as much can be lost in translation. The scholars of today still cannot agree on some of the translations. The bible is just one of many examples. Tao te Ching another. The language used in the Tao te Ching is no longer used in China and most modern Chinese do not understand the language because it is so ancient. So in an effort to translate much is lost.
In saying that any text, ancient or otherwise is only ever meant to point to whatever. It is in our own experiences that will confirm whether or not what they were pointing to was true or not.
I tried to read it, I really did... but the English tutor is coming out in me and I wanted to correct just about every sentence. When I started correcting the spelling errors I lost interest in the paragraph itself. Do you think you could write it again only in a different format?
There's a lot of truth to what we say. I think all religions have commonality, but people get caught in a mindset of "i'm right, you're wrong". We need to strip away those aspects of religion and concentrate on the more spiritual approach of how amazing it is that we exist in the first place, and how wonderful the world around us is. We should learn to anchor ourselves and our questions on the universe itself, rather than characters we've created to simplify aspects of life we don't have answers for.
I'm doing my best to remain an outsider. I can't rationally believe in God, yet I can"t think of anything that best describes sentient reasoning. Maybe it's a part of being inquisitive. We question our existance, possibly because it's part of the evolutionary process. We cannot grow as a species unless we start out ignorant. It is widely known that there cannot be answers without questions.
Man has a natural compassion and empathy, a sense of loss when something precious has gone. The universe does not, or so it would appear to western mindsets. The idea that by purely natural evolutionary processes, the universe can create these wonderful sentient human beings, that marvel at the universe's beauty; fully concious and frighteningly aware of their own mortality seems at odds with a dispassionate universe. One day we die and our knowledge, emotion, will, and conscience is lost, just seems to be a sick joke played upon us by this universe which is also oblivious to our existence.
Therefore a cold emotionless universe makes no sense, if that is all there is. Because we observe the beauty of the universe and are beautifully made in mind and body, I am compelled to believe in a compassionate, empathetic creator God.
To think everything that is so perfect and beautiful is by accident is a tough pill to swallow.
Agreed. We can argue till the cows come home about creation v evolution, 6000 years v billions,, etc. For me, the beauty and perfection proves a creative God irrespective of the methods He might have used to bring it about.
I never viewed evolution as an accident.
The universe has checks and balances. In my mind, the universe it's self is alive. The planets, stars, quasars and black holes all serve one purpose or another. I'm not saying that the design was not set in motion by an intelligent designer, what I am trying to point out, is that I don't think organized religion was part of the plan. I think the old world was aware of love, honor and tollerance long before it was written about. I believe, that if there is a God, it would not suit this creator to introduce indoctrinations that blind us and ultimately separates us from the devine. Is it not said that everything is of God? If this is the case... Why are we separate?
Well that was Jesus' stance wasn't it? Throwing out the money changers from the temple, challanging the Sadducees and Pharisees. The actual word for religon stems from a word that means to bind back. I would have to agree and strongly support that religion is not something that God intended.
Everybody thinks that their religion, ideology or concept is the correct one and everything else is wrong.
If you do good, you'll find the good.
Philosophies can be subjected to different interpretations. There is always a lag between the ideal and the actual behavior - like knowledge, attitudes toward and the actual behavior. Perhaps man is born self centered - that accounts for greediness, corruption and all. Religion is not the culprit.
Religion will never die because there will always be things/phenomenon which people can't explain and they attribute this to a higher power. Most people utilize religion as a coping mechanism. It is also used for socialization purposes. There is conflict when a religion fails to adapt to changing times.
Religion can also be a tool, used to enlighten the masses or it can be used as a weapon by the foolish and greedy. I don't think the teachings themselves should be scrapped, I do think, however that the way it is delivered has become redundant, to a degree.
Religion is a crutch. It gives those who follow it a sense of purpose.
I agree. It is those that have personal philosophies, that better understand how to live. Religion only serves as social vacuum for people that refuse to live without a leader. The flock. If you will?
But who is to say who understands "how to better live"?
To most religious people I associate with, religion IS a personal philosophy.
As for religion serving "as a social vacuum for people that refuse to live without a leader." Have you re
you also state that religion is basically based on fear. that's a disputable concept and one which cannot at all apply to all people holding religion. There are some people who take this approach to religion, but certainly not ALL. There are many others to whom this could not apply. That is simply one facet of a very complex idea. I think that the reasons people believe in something is too psychologically complex to be grouped into one category
As for it having no function...how can someone who is not embracing the religion be a judge? If it has a function for the person embracing it, then it has a function. Regardless of whether or not others think it benefits the person or anyone else...
Goodness my computer went schitzo. That whole last part of the sentence got deleted. The second paragraph was meant to say, have you researched this or read psychological research about this? That's something I'm not as familiar with...
The fear of what lay ahead. People fear hell and seek heaven. According to the Jews, both exist hear on earth.
I understood what you were saying about the fear. sorry I wasn't clear. The part about people trying to fill a vacuum with this concept of God...I was wondering where you read that...that would be an individual person's theory. As for fear, as I stated above, it is part of only a select few's beliefs and motivations. It does not represent all, and therefore judgement can hardly be based upon a select few.
Let judgement come from the cloth. In the old days, the catholic church would send missionaries to other countries, in search of Godless heathens and follow up by sending inquisitors, to punish them for their hellish beliefs. "If only you accept Christ" they'd say "Your torment will end". Is this not the way of western religion? Let me cram this down your throat, so that you don't go to hell, when it is your own soul you're trying to save?
What does that have to do with what we are talking about? Alot of people have made bad decisions using their "religion" as a reason. Does that logically make the religion bad? No. Was what they did wrong? of course! that wasn't even a point in question in our dicussion.
You are taking my statement out of context. I was referring to your judgement of all religious people as believing in religion out of fear.
It is better to worship the idea, than to hang on words. Most religious scripture is dangerous. What I mean by this, is that the few fanatics out there can really change the meaning. The usual consensus, is that, if I sin I will go to hell. But, if we are aware of our shortcomings, we are better for it. Did Jesus not say "Judge not lest ye be judged"?
I do not judge others, I simply point out that their actions are socially unacceptable. The person is responsible for the act, but to judge the person as bad does no good. If one is to understand the things of which I speak, they should take a good long look inward, to seek God without the self, is like looking in murky water for a dark skinned fish.
I understand; and I agree with you, terrible actions that people in the name of religion are socially unacceptable. However, that cannot be seen as a reflection of everyone, and as a reflection of their religion necessarily. My point was this: religion is not necessarily based on fear, as you claimed it was. That was all I meant.
Religion did not exist until people began to fear death. Church ministers use this fear to draw followers, ad infinitum.
That is your opinion. That is not an established fact.
Who are we to know when the roots of religion first began? You are taking a very narrowminded approach and not looking at ALL of the circumstances and viewpoints. You see ministers as using this fear. In other words, you feel they are manipulative. All ministers. Have you even met a minister? Gotten to know them? Have you studied the origins of religion from ALL sides of the spectrum? The ones you agree with and the ones you don't?
Do you fear death? This the basis of religion, the fear of the unknown after life. If I could asure you that, if you follow certain steps, you don't have to worry, then I have succeeded in creating a functional religion... If you chose to follow my way.
I have to disagree. Only because not all religions teach that there is an afterlife. Plus, the young rarely contemplate their mortality. Religion is more than thoughts of death. It's meant to sate the curiosity on the question of the whole meaning of existence.
One problem with the religions such as Christianity and Islam is that they over reached in the past with claims of personal knowledge of the mind of a deity and now they've got egg on their face as science shows many of their claims are false.
Damn that Galileo and his dumb telescope.
Exactly. Every discovery we make in the secular arena should be heralded as an achievement; not a slap in the face of God. It is only a thump on the heads of those arrogant enough to believe they know everything.
The religious need to be willing to use their heads and trust their own judgment. Many do, but their voices are sometimes lost beneath the din of the vocal minority screaming that satan has pulled our heads out of the sand. That only their interpretation of the Bible can be used to define reality, no matter how far fetched their interpretations have become.
"I have to disagree. Only because not all religions teach that there is an afterlife. Plus, the young rarely contemplate their mortality. Religion is more than thoughts of death. It's meant to sate the curiosity on the question of the whole meaning of existence"
Very well said
Perhaps too the teachings were not pointing to an afterlife. In a lot of the teachings they seem to be pointing to an internal death of something. For instance, take what God said to Adam and Eve about the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They did not physically die but there was an internal death. Suddenly being naked made them shameful.
No. I do not. Fear about an afterlife had no part in my choice to believe what I believe. As psychologically complex as people are, it is impossible to say that everyone does the same things for the same reason.
It would be nice if we could all be sensitive to the individual spiritual journey of others, but everyone going their own way isn't the way of humanity within the physical realm. Congregating together, negotiating, agreeing to change behavior patterns was how we grew as a society. Even as hunter gatherers there was, to some degree, a group effort because there is safety in numbers.
Every human endeavor in the physical world has benefited from group efforts. As brilliant as Einstein was, it is those scientists who are 'standing on his shoulders' who are unveiling the mysteries of the physical world.
Attempting to unravel the spiritual is no different. No one is an island in their musings. We each look to those we consider enlightened. We learn the lessons we consider important and we change our behavior patterns accordingly. Trying to make the connection. The religious have simply chosen a different path.
I believe the problem is that once we've stumbled upon the path we consider to be correct and become secure in our perceived connection, whether it be through organized religion or individual thought, we imagine we've made a connection others haven't made. We want to share our 'knowledge' of God. We believe our words to be an extension of God, but the truth is we are doing nothing more than allowing our ego to rule our words and actions.
I think, therefore I AM is one mistake in judgment we make on our spiritual journey.
But also discussing individual beliefs. I think that it get's boring... If God had intended us all to be the same, there would be no free will...
If God had intended everyone to be the same would be proof to me there was no God. Although I do consider humanity to be, in some ways, a connected organism; that doesn't mean I think each part is a mirror image of another. It is the totality of the individual parts that make our species truly unique. Once we can celebrate our diversity without fear, it will be within our grasp to be one in spirit. That, to me, is the threshold we must cross before the spiritual becomes revealed.
Like a giant ant hill, our species has changed the world over. The inca were building pyramids at the same time as the egyptians. Religion didn't start in some backwards Sumarian desert. Within 300 years, almost the entire world had some form of religion. But were these religions not based on the philosophies of single men? 1st Corinthians: "For the light of God rests in all mens hearts". Jesus Told his Followers not to beat a faith healer, that just because he did not know their God, he was still doing God's work.
Once we celebrate our diversity without fear we will achieve true greatness.
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