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Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion." Most people when they think of Religion think about three things, ethics, community, beliefs.  This is how we get mistaken ideas like atheist churches.  To put a damper on some of stupid things I have seen in the practice of religion, we should first ask what religion is actually about, and why it is important. First, and foremost, we have to accept the fact that human beings are not the only species on this planet, or in the universe.  We need to understand the relationship between ourselves, and everything else.  Religion that fails to do this is a failure.  We also need to focus on our relationship with ourselves, and our own internal drives.  So much religious practice has lost the focus on this, expecting people to do the impossible, and making them feel guilty when they fail to do it.

   Lets begin with this focus on Ethics.  The catholic church issues moral guidelines on things like birth control, sex lives, helping the poor, giving to the church etc.  Wicca has the reede, and it harm none, do what ye will. This strong focus on ethics, and how we treat others and the way we structure our relationships seems like it belongs in religion.  Not that it doesn’t belong to religion, but you can not make a belief system out of a set of ethical guidelines.  Why should you follow them? Because some authority figure says you should do that to be a good person?  Why do you care if they think you are good person or not?  Is there really some god in the sky who is going to judge you if you do not do what some authority figure says you should do? Maybe you should just focus on making money and not care about the poor.

   The Second issue with religion is the focus on community.  Sure, people want some place to belong, a group to hang out with that shares our ethical and moral beliefs.  It only makes sense, right?  Well, when we start structuring a church around such guidelines we end up with a lot of hypocrites.  People say one thing, and do another in order to belong to the group.  Sometimes this causes so much cogitative dissonance, for example a person having gay sex while going to catholic mass, that they decided the community is not worth it, even though they might practice other tenants like helping the poor.   But then, leaving the community, they find they might miss working on areas where they agree, so every person has to decide, is it worth the cognitive dissonance, or is it not.  Is the community helping me be my authentic self, or is it just stifling me in the name of belonging.

   The third issue I want to touch upon is beliefs.  In the catholic church we recite the niece creed.  It states what we believe about god.  Faith is emphasized.  You should believe something because some authority figure says that it is correct.  In Wicca you are supposed to believe in the goddess and god.  You aren't supposed to throw it all out and become an atheist who only believes in science.  The problem with beliefs is, when experience directly contradicts the beliefs, its easy to stick with them anyway, either because you think you might be a bad person if you don’t (ethics) or because believing certain things regardless of the evidence allows you to belong to a certain community.

   Part of the reason that faith and following authority figures is so emphasized is because not doing so, having the direct experience, could just label you as crazy or a heretic and get you thrown out of the community.  It because easier to ignore the inconsistency if you have experiences so you can still belong.  The other reason being because direct experience is sometimes discouraged in the first place.  The number of priests and nuns who have never had visions of saints or preformed miracles is staggering.  It is enough to make anyone consider atheism as a legitimate choice. 

May 22, 2019, 02:50:44 am
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Re: LHP organizations becoming defunct Before you complain about an organization becoming defunct, you have to understand the purpose of the organization.  If the purpose is to create a cult of personality, than that is exactly what will happen, and it will become someone's fan club.  Organizations need to define their mission before they are started, and then all members, not just the leader need to put forth personal effort to make that happen, whatever that is, else it will not work.
May 22, 2019, 03:14:48 am
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Re: Moral Nihilism One of the biggest problems with the right hand path is that they consider this idea of "god" telling "humans" what kind of moral laws they should obey.
"God" is not "human.  Human ethics and morals are for humans and human communities, we shouldn't accept the idea that some super natural entity should tell us what we must consider right and wrong.
It starts with this whole idea of Moses, and "god said." blah blah blah.
This whole idea that some supernatural source says "you are wrong." or "this is what your moral code should be" comes off as a way of hiding the truth and also of holding onto laws that are no longer functional and serve to cause serious problems in a given environment rather than doing the actual hard work of creating a workable moral code.
I'm not a moral nihilist.  I see them as a framework, as protection especially when I work with certain supernatural entities.  I don't delude myself into thinking they actually care about such things, but rather I think of them as a constraint, as a way of working to avoid getting into a bad contract.

August 23, 2019, 04:22:18 am
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Re: Moral Nihilism


Stage 6: Universal-Ethical-Principal Orientation
In stage 6, moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Generally, the chosen principles are abstract rather than concrete and focus on ideas such as equality, dignity, or respect. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. People choose the ethical principles they want to follow, and if they violate those principles, they feel guilty. In this way, the individual acts because it is morally right to do so (and not because he or she wants to avoid punishment), it is in their best interest, it is expected, it is legal, or it is previously agreed upon. Although Kohlberg insisted that stage six exists, he found it difficult to identify individuals who consistently operated at that level.

Source:
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/teachereducationx92x1/chapter/kohlbergs-stages-of-moral-development/

We, as a society are having to rethink a lot of our principles and practices.  As Christianity falls apart, looking to some god to provide absolute moral guidance becomes untenable. I was supposed to write a book about 21st century ethics, but I kind of slacked off on it because it is a lot of work. 
We can't use old mid twentieth century arguments about the nature of god as a prelude to atheism,

Rather than a list of rules or laws, we need to understand that those rules and laws come from meta-rules or meta-laws, and that also explains why so much varies from age to age and also with different climates and technologies.

Someone might think "summoning demons = evil" but that just seems like a medieval idea that we must re-examine in light of 21st century truths.

October 22, 2019, 08:40:52 pm
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Re: Some education I remember being young and being desperate to join some organization.  I strongly desired to basically replace church and be a part of some other spiritual organization.  Now, when I look back I see it as pure folly.  I thought that somehow learning the spiritual and being close to the gods was somehow contained in the wisdom of some group.  I thought that joining a group had the answers on how to become more spiritual and give purpose and meaning to my life.  I also thought we needed to meet up in person because I didn't think spiritual stuff could be transmitted remotely very well especially to beginners.

I'm impressed with how far I am come and that was not as a result of joining some group or order (well, okay, I did join a message forum, but then I stayed off it for a week while I put into practice what I had learned.) I know some people join various groups for years and get nowhere.

Also, I have heard some complaints about the Temple of Set, namely that they have a lot of philosophy but no real practical magick.  So if you are looking for practical things to put into practice, they really don't have much that could be of use to you.  But then again, I can't really vouch for it given that I have never been a member. 

Finally, I was to emphasize that this probably does not apply to everyone.  I work with Belial who has taken a personal interest in me, and I'm well aware that, like cats only like certain people, demons are picky about that too.  Belial does not work well with everyone.

October 15, 2020, 03:47:54 pm
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Re: Suddenly, I like the lock down! In person religious gatherings have taken a big hit from the pandemic in general, and the Catholic Church has had ongoing issues for years prior to this with no signs of abating.  Sure, people still feel the power of the egregore, but I just want to feel good, yah know. 
October 15, 2020, 03:52:52 pm
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Re: Update I wouldn't mind doing some work to bring in new members who wish to discuss philosophy of the the left hand path. 
October 15, 2020, 04:02:05 pm
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