Friday, March 25, 2016

No god, where do we go?

copied from Daily Metta site

Gandhi had a radical notion about religion and humanity. It goes like this: If humanity is not yet perfect, and humanity created religion, then religion is not perfect yet, either. At the same time, both can evolve toward higher and higher states of perfection, that is, to be of benefit to a wider and wider whole. This was, for Gandhi, a major opportunity, if not a duty: do not throw away a religion because of its imperfections; work them out. A religion should withstand criticism. A religion, after all, is the expression of a human desire for a vision of unity, and that vision is as yet far from complete. Gandhi is hinting that there is an intimate relationship between our view of religion and of ourselves; both are evolving.

This fellow does not publish comments; therefore I will not link to this.

Everything evolves, and especially our thinking. The next obvious evolution of religion is one where there is no god. What will it look like?

It would need to use primarily reason, with the reason stated. Nothing about this is obvious. We need to learn to live in a society where we have the basics but as people we need guidance on ways of thinking to remove stress from our lives, and are not subservient. It will teach virtues, and living virtues. It must almost first be a teaching system, or a philosophical argument as to which virtues are most important in our lives. We need to generally accept and follow laws, but also stand up to unjust laws, and just stupid unenforceable, useless laws.

It must be truthful. Saying something is about safety, when it is a money grab, is not truthful. Speed limits are about safety generally, but photo radar, as a method of enforcement is a money garb.  

We humans have two sides, one passion based, one reason based. Which one governs and which should govern? I say reason should give guidance to all actions, and the passions provide the motivation, the impulse to action, and the social components. People with very high reason seem to have very low compassion; if these become self centered and narcissistic, we have a psychopath, which is also undesirable. Now the interesting thing about this is these are all trainable attributes of personalities. Some happen naturally in modern wild humans, By wild humans I mean those who have not reviewed their personality and made considered corrections. But what is the ideal human?

That is what religions try to develop, but do a poor job at communicating this. Buddhist are about compassion, peace, truth, loving kindness, and the path within all but mainly among the monks. The path are particular virtues and behaviors. There is some guidance as to what to believe, but no understanding of evolution or heredity. Confucianism thinks respect for authority, respect for duty, respect for tradition, for the elders, for the youth is more important. The Stoics were about rational thought and living a virtues life, mainly prudence or wisdom, fortitude or duty, moderation and self control or temperance, justice, frugality. The Christians about acceptance of fate, and steadfast faith, love thy neighbor, and obedience to the religion. Islam is about obedience, following the leaders, faith, charity, and servitude to the master. Prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage are tests to see who the faithful are and as training tools to obedience.

But what do I know?        

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