Religions without beleif in the supernatural

Gvon
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Religions without beleif in the supernatural

I just read the first chapter of The God Delusion, and I think I have a lot more in common with your cause then I previously thought.

My initial problem with the Dawkinists came when I first encountered their groups online. I read many of them saying that religion is inherently wrong, and everyone with a religion is stupid, gullible, or delusional. I took offense to this because I consider myself very religious, who finds wisdom in and inspiration in every religion I've ever encountered, who strives to follow the Tao, and puts all these teachings together in a Buddhist framework.

Although these types of groups said they were against all religion, none of their criticisms applied at all to me. This led me to presume great ignorance on their part: Either they are unaware of the teachings of Lao-tzu and Buddha, or they don't consider it really religion because it doesn't fit a narrow Judeo-Christian mold. What Lao-tzu and Buddha taught were guides to living a life of virtue while having a profound understand of the world. Just because it doesn't fit the Western religious views that came into existence centuries later doesn't make them any less religious.

So I came to an assumption that religious crack pots and Dawkinists are both wrong and for essentially the same reasons: they both insist they are right and everyone else is wrong, too egocentric to realize that even the wisest among men doesn't know everything. And they both use their misguided self-righteous beliefs to spread oppression and ignorance, ironically two things every religion and every intellectual agree are wrong.

Then I actually started to read Dawkins book. As it turns out Dawkins doesn't have really anything bad to say about religion in general. His opinion is that their is something seriously wrong with people believing in the supernatural. That's an opinion I totally agree with. Belief in the supernatural is a problem with many religions (not all of them: Buddha's and Lao-tzu's teachings avoid any mention of the supernatural). And the way Dawkins uses observation and reason to reach a profound understanding of the world: His behavior seems very Buddhist to me. Perhaps a lot of the atheists today are actually Buddhists, they just haven't taken the time to read about it to realize that it fits their beliefs all along, that Buddhism can offer them insight and wisdom without in anyway conflicting with what they already know is true.

So I'm not sure what I'm entirely getting at here. I agree with everything I've read by Dawkins so far. But I doubt you can effectively stop the belief in the supernatural by declaring war on religion, because first of all not all religions believe in the supernatural. Secondly, the part of religion that benefits humanity (community, charity, compassion, wisdom) are not inherently bound to a literal interpretation of the supernatural. So I think you could win a lot of support for your cause by not forcing people to give up their religion in morals and practice, but get them to admit that the supernatural part come from another time and should no longer be taken literally (which I suspect many people are already inclined to view their religion this way.) And thirdly, stopping religion isn't going to make people any smarter or less inclined to believe in the supernatural. Plenty of non-religious people still believe in alien abductions, astrology, and magic bullet conspiracy theories, not to mention what they see on TV and read in the newspapers. Getting rid of religion isn't going to make people smarter, or less inclined to believe whatever crap someone is willing to tell them.

Changing the whole social paradigm to make everyone a vehemently anti-religious isn't likely to ever work. And even if it could work, I don't think it's really going to help anyone, stop wars, ignorance, oppression, or make the world a better place. The people themselves won't be better, so they would just find some excuse to oppress one another. But if you got everyone to turn Taoist, I think that would have a much better chance of solving the world's problems (I've never heard of anyone successfully turning the Tao into a tool of oppression, but you never know)


todangst
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Gvon wrote:I just read the

Gvon wrote:
I just read the first chapter of The God Delusion, and I think I have a lot more in common with your cause then I previously thought.

My initial problem with the Dawkinists came when I first encountered their groups online. I read many of them saying that religion is inherently wrong, and everyone with a religion is stupid, gullible, or delusional. I took offense to this because I consider myself very religious, who finds wisdom in and inspiration in every religion I've ever encountered,

Then by definition you are not getting this wisdom that supposdly came from a god, but from fellow human beings, as no one 'god' found in monotheism would be responsible for the 'wisdom' found in what monotheistic religions themselves would call 'false religions'

So what you are actually doing is finding purported wisdom in the writing of people.

Quote:

Although these types of groups said they were against all religion, none of their criticisms applied at all to me. This led me to presume great ignorance on their part: Either they are unaware of the teachings of Lao-tzu and Buddha, or they don't consider it really religion because it doesn't fit a narrow Judeo-Christian mold.

Excuse me, but Dawkins is speaking out against monotheism and the dangers of supposing that one is getting some moral knowledge from an infallible god. Your post is confusing his criticisms of faith in "god" with attacks on buddhism, when this was never the case.

Quote:

What Lao-tzu and Buddha taught were guides to living a life of virtue while having a profound understand of the world. Just because it doesn't fit the Western religious views that came into existence centuries later doesn't make them any less religious.

Again, if there is something useful in buddhism, then use it. No one is castigating the possible utility of buddhism. What they are doing is criticizing the irrationality of monotheism, or any religion that endorses some form of supernaturalism.

Quote:
Secondly, the part of religion that benefits humanity (community, charity, compassion, wisdom) are not inherently bound to a literal interpretation of the supernatural.

They are not part of religion to begin with! Any humanistic element of religion predates religion, and the religion is not necessary for the further enhancement of the humanistic elements!

All that is 'good' in religion predates religion, and comes from some form of humanism.

You don't seem to realize what Dawkins is really about: criticizing the irrationalism of supernaturalism, the irrationalism of taking things on faith that you would otherwise laugh at, if they came from another religion that you weren't raised in.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


GuentherBacon
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Gvon wrote: I just read the

Gvon wrote:
I just read the first chapter of The God Delusion, and I think I have a lot more in common with your cause then I previously thought. My initial problem with the Dawkinists came when I first encountered their groups online. I read many of them saying that religion is inherently wrong, and everyone with a religion is stupid, gullible, or delusional. I took offense to this because I consider myself very religious, who finds wisdom in and inspiration in every religion I've ever encountered, who strives to follow the Tao, and puts all these teachings together in a Buddhist framework. Although these types of groups said they were against all religion, none of their criticisms applied at all to me. This led me to presume great ignorance on their part: Either they are unaware of the teachings of Lao-tzu and Buddha, or they don't consider it really religion because it doesn't fit a narrow Judeo-Christian mold. What Lao-tzu and Buddha taught were guides to living a life of virtue while having a profound understand of the world. Just because it doesn't fit the Western religious views that came into existence centuries later doesn't make them any less religious. So I came to an assumption that religious crack pots and Dawkinists are both wrong and for essentially the same reasons: they both insist they are right and everyone else is wrong, too egocentric to realize that even the wisest among men doesn't know everything. And they both use their misguided self-righteous beliefs to spread oppression and ignorance, ironically two things every religion and every intellectual agree are wrong. Then I actually started to read Dawkins book. As it turns out Dawkins doesn't have really anything bad to say about religion in general. His opinion is that their is something seriously wrong with people believing in the supernatural. That's an opinion I totally agree with. Belief in the supernatural is a problem with many religions (not all of them: Buddha's and Lao-tzu's teachings avoid any mention of the supernatural). And the way Dawkins uses observation and reason to reach a profound understanding of the world: His behavior seems very Buddhist to me. Perhaps a lot of the atheists today are actually Buddhists, they just haven't taken the time to read about it to realize that it fits their beliefs all along, that Buddhism can offer them insight and wisdom without in anyway conflicting with what they already know is true. So I'm not sure what I'm entirely getting at here. I agree with everything I've read by Dawkins so far. But I doubt you can effectively stop the belief in the supernatural by declaring war on religion, because first of all not all religions believe in the supernatural. Secondly, the part of religion that benefits humanity (community, charity, compassion, wisdom) are not inherently bound to a literal interpretation of the supernatural. So I think you could win a lot of support for your cause by not forcing people to give up their religion in morals and practice, but get them to admit that the supernatural part come from another time and should no longer be taken literally (which I suspect many people are already inclined to view their religion this way.) And thirdly, stopping religion isn't going to make people any smarter or less inclined to believe in the supernatural. Plenty of non-religious people still believe in alien abductions, astrology, and magic bullet conspiracy theories, not to mention what they see on TV and read in the newspapers. Getting rid of religion isn't going to make people smarter, or less inclined to believe whatever crap someone is willing to tell them. Changing the whole social paradigm to make everyone a vehemently anti-religious isn't likely to ever work. And even if it could work, I don't think it's really going to help anyone, stop wars, ignorance, oppression, or make the world a better place. The people themselves won't be better, so they would just find some excuse to oppress one another. But if you got everyone to turn Taoist, I think that would have a much better chance of solving the world's problems (I've never heard of anyone successfully turning the Tao into a tool of oppression, but you never know)

Your problem lies in being to literal with the word "religion", when Dawkins and others of the like will gladly admit that the specific problem is theism.

Even I am a LaVey Satanist and can still recognize that particular quality.

Say unto thine own heart, "I am mine own redeemer."
The Book Of Satan IV:3, The Satanic Bible