Author Topic: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."  (Read 938 times)

Xepera maSet

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"The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« 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?

I have Come Into Being like Set
Prince of Darkness
Soul of the Heavenly Serpent
Separator who contends against Osiris for Eternity

Olive

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #1 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.
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

crossfire

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #2 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.)
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

morph8hprom

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #3 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.

pi_rameses

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 03:23:42 am »
It is my opinion that most religions, along with its associated intentions, start of as good. But it is quite possible that the instance of the religion goes through intervals where it is essentially positive and utterly perverted within a millennial or two. Some can have longer or shorter intervals then that. And it is not reversible, meaning that the pendulum can swing back to good after corruption.

Even among the atheists that are a household name, I detect religion even in the form of scientism, which is different from science itself. Sam Harris has garnered a following, which is a religion. He draws from his experience in vipassana meditation and philosophy, integrating it into a state of mind that he calls: waking up. This one I would say is one of the good religions. Without mistake, there is not a doubt that at any point in the future that this might change. As with that, nothing else is exempt.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 03:26:21 am by pi_rameses »
"Some say Kos, others Kosm.
As you did for the vacuous Rom,
grant us eyes.
Grant us eyes."

-Micolash, Host of the Nightmare

Omegaphallic

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2019, 10:47:02 pm »
 Many Atheists don't realize that religions don't to include deities. Look at fourth wave feminism and it's demands that everyone be "woke". Others from a different political background talk about being red pilled,  which is too similar in usage to being woke aka ideology enlightenment. I'm an MRA but I refuse to use my politics as filler for where spirituality is supposed to go,  then mock religious people.

 Then their are the Atheists who obsess on celebrities,  who they use to fill the spiritual hole, because it's easier to believe in mortal human gods then immortal or nearly immortal ones.

 

Jastiv

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 02:50:44 am »
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. 

Frater Sisyphus

Re: "The solution to bad religion is good religion, not no religion."
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 03:07:14 am »
The answer to bad religion is cultivating the ability of intelligence to be able to understand the meanings of religions, both in their symbolic and metaphysical truths beyond the superficial ideological foodstamp of mainstream eXoteric religion. I don't see a problem with any religion inasmuch as I see a problem with delusional idiots who can't even understand the very basic premise of the religions they claim to follow.
The fact remains that many religious people are a complete insult to their religion, whether it be Abrahamic or Dharmic, the world is in fact full of a lot of idiots.
And if you can't educate them, then at the least you can piss them off enough to re-evaluate their entire flawed worldviews.
"Whoever adheres to the ruler [of the state] will be tempted away from the right course, and the closer one gets to the ruler the further away one is from God" - Prophet Muhammad (a.s.)