Forum => General LHP Discussion => Other Religions => Topic started by: Xepera maSet on September 07, 2018, 01:34:49 am

Title: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
Post by: Xepera maSet on September 07, 2018, 01:34:49 am
"Atheism deserves better than the new atheists whose methodology consists of criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity. Religion has done harm; I acknowledge that. But the cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science."

- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

This is one of the greatest, most comprehensive and sound quotes I've seen in philosophy. This sums up so much I and others have tried to say in a simple, short paragraph. He is right. Sure religions has caused bad, it has caused good as well. Heck, the State Atheism of the USSR unfortunately stuck the atheists in a position most of us are too familiar with: people doing something terrible in the name of our philosophies. And likewise atheism has done good, I've seen it with my own eyes, we can show people who have benefitted from atheism.

It's also become impossible to discuss religion online without the behavior mentioned by the rabbi. "...criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity...". You see this absolutely everywhere, from here to Reddit, YouTube to Facebook, Kindle to Vastne and Noble. I've often argued in favor of the term "new atheism", and it's specifically because "Atheism deserves better than the new atheists ..."

Finally, I love the quote about science. Far too often do people hold positions they disagree with to different standards than their own. This is the best possible metaphor For why we need "good religion" rather than "none".

Thoughts?
Title: Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
Post by: Olive on September 07, 2018, 03:09:13 pm
I'm in agreement. The Atheist movement has yet to produce any real positive philosophy, much less any internal technology of spiritual significance. They hastily deconstructed the old ways and left nothing in their place - consequently leading many of their followers to a sort of half-formed Nihilism.

It's easy to kill the old man, and burn his books. It's much harder to match wits with him, and write your own. I'd advise young people in this vein to view their journey as "Atheism as a path to finding God,"; I'd advise them to keep radical openmindedness close to their hearts, just in case some of the many things presupposed in their position turn out to be unfounded or worse.
Title: Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
Post by: crossfire on September 07, 2018, 09:03:35 pm
There are plenty of non-theistic religions out there, although the word "religion" can become a stumbling block in this regard to many anti-religionists.  (I used the word anti-religionists to avoid the sweeping generalization the word atheists brings.)
Title: Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
Post by: morph8hprom on October 03, 2018, 04:00:52 pm
I recently met back up with an acquaintance from high school and apparently during high school I actually heavily influenced his decision to become atheist.  At the time I was hairline deep in whatever edgelord counter-culture type ideas I thought might offend at least a couple of people, so I was pretty outspoken about my disdain for Christianity specifically, but all religion at the core.  Eventually I made it past that stage in my growth and opened my mind to many new possibilities and interpretations.  This guy didn't.  He's definitely what I'd classify as a 'new atheist', and even though we can level on some discussion points, it usually degraded into him bragging about how he wrecked a theist in a 'debate' on a facebook group.  I've dealt with other people like this as well, and it can definitely be tedious trying to have any kind of actual discourse, to the point where there's no real reason to even attempt it.