Previous posts in this discussion:
PostWhy Hypocrisy in Organized Religion? (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 05/14/19 1:25 pm)
Commenting on my post of May 12th, JE questioned the notion that whatever a god was defined to be or stood for according to his/her followers, is the same as the followers' behavior and what they say it is.
Except for God the Universe which everyone can see exists, can be studied and measured by any observer, all other gods exist in whatever form (rules for behavior) only in the minds of their followers. The followers become the god. Whoever found a particular religion imagines whatever god they want to suit their purposes here on Earth. They create the god and the god then tells the followers what behavior is appropriate or not. The behavior of the followers is the true representation of the particular god. If the followers say or write in their sacred books that their god stands for peace but they engage in war, the peace god does not exist except as empty words. Thus we have always had and forever will have huge amounts of hypocrisy in every organized religion.
Without at least one follower, for all the hundreds of religions throughout history and before, the particular religion disappears. The Universe is the only thing (I call It God) which I believe will live forever in some form. If I am wrong about this and the Universe will end someday, I also merely imagined that It will live forever, and this notion will disappear without a believer.
JE comments: Here's a "tree falls in the forest" riddle: do "dead" religions cease to be religions? Why not? There are no more Cathars (I think), but no one doubts the religion's existence.
Thoughts on "Dead" Religions
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
05/16/19 4:07 AM)
JE commented on my post of May 14th: "Here's a 'tree falls in the forest' riddle: do 'dead' religions cease to be religions? Why not? There are no more Cathars (I think), but no one doubts the religion's existence."
I see a big difference. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, in reality a tree did fall and the air molecules vibrated violently, even though no one's ears were there to pick up the vibrations.
On the other hand, if the followers of the religion based on the Sun god all died out, so did the religion. What is left is people talking and writing about this ancient and anachronistic religion which existed once upon a time. We have conclusive evidence that the Sun is a common star, it has never been a god, so the Sun god was merely superstition. This religion exists on in the history books, just like unicorns, medusa, and centaurs.
JE comments: We should discuss further the topic of "dead" religions. Even the most obscure religion of antiquity probably has a practitioner or two. Religions are easier to bring back than dead languages. Also, nobody embraces a different language out of a sense of spiritual emptiness.
And yes--Catharism has been revived. Just ask them:
Thoughts on Revived Religions
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
06/02/19 2:40 AM)
My post of 16 May proposed that if the followers of the religion based on the Sun god all died out, all that is left is people talking and writing about this ancient and anachronistic religion which existed once upon a time. Such religion was based on a false belief, because there is conclusive evidence that the Sun is a common star, it is a false god, and merely superstition. With the truth, this religion now should exist only in the history books, like unicorns, medusa, and centaurs.
JE commented that Catharism has now been revived and that "even the most obscure religion of antiquity probably has a practitioner or two. Religions are easier to bring back than dead languages. Also, nobody embraces a different language out of sense of spiritual emptiness."
It is true that any belief can be revived and that just like a drug can even make followers feel different, and motivate good or evil behavior. Beliefs based on imaginary gods will lead to uncontrollable behavior. If the belief is true in reality, then it will become useful for humans to solve real problems like curing diseases, going to the planets, creating whole new industries, etc. That is the important difference between false religions and a God is the Universe religion. It is also true that real knowledge can be used for evil deeds by people following false gods.
JE comments: An interesting paradox: followers of institutional religions argue that they keep humanity from committing barbarous acts ("evil deeds"), yet critics argue exactly the opposite, citing all the suffering caused throughout history by zealous religionists. I see no way to reconcile these conflicting positions.
Religion, Non-Religion, and Morality
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
06/02/19 11:33 PM)
Commenting on my post of June 2nd, JE stated it is a paradox that "followers of institutional religions argue that they keep humanity from committing barbarous acts ('evil deeds'), yet critics argue exactly the opposite, citing all the suffering caused throughout history by zealous religionists. I see no way to reconcile these conflicting positions."
There is no paradox, just misinterpretation. Organized religions are designed to keep their followers within the stated laws of the group but apparently have great difficulty maintaining morals and ethical behavior among their followers. On the other hand, organized religions normally believe they are doing god's work, and thus are always right. The other religions are misguided at best and dead wrong at worst; their followers are all going to hell or oblivion. Thus, we have had numerous atrocities and wars in the name of god against the followers of alternative man-made religions.
The only way to reconcile all religions is to replace the ones based on man-made gods with one which is based on the universally observable God. Unfortunately, as I have recently learned, most humans prefer fantasy and superstition, not logic and reasoning. As stated earlier, I believe this is so because humans are relatively very imaginative compared to their lack of discipline and laziness acquiring new knowledge about the universe. In other words, voodoo is fun and science is boring. Should we be surprised our education system is going to the dogs?
JE comments: My point was a simple one: religions offer codes of morality. Let me cite one beyond the obvious candidates of "don't kill/don't steal": laws against usury. Would "God the Universe" have anything to say about exploitative levels of interest?
Religion and Usury
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
06/05/19 1:11 AM)
JE commented on my post of June 3rd: "Religions offer codes of morality. Let me cite one beyond the obvious candidates of 'don't kill/don't steal': laws against usury. Would Tor Guimaraes's concept of 'God the Universe' have anything to say about exploitative levels of interest?"
Any codes of behavior are useless if the supposedly followers don't behave accordingly. That is my number two reason why organized religions are useless: people don't do what they preach. Worse, because we all know that is true but ignore the reasons why, everyone else's religion becomes a focus of derision and sometimes even hatred.
Regarding rules against usury, it is a man-made issue created because we invented money and charge for the use of money over time, society should decide what is a fair interest. The Golden Rule of not doing to others... applies in general, otherwise God has nothing to do with it. The same goes for any unethical and immoral behavior, crimes, war, etc. They are all man-made and it is wrong to bring God into it. That is why knowingly humans developed whole books of law, ethics, rules, and regulations.
JE comments: I'm presently reading WAISer Muqtedar Khan's excellent new book, Islam and Good Governance (https://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=124273&objectTypeId=90023&topicId=175 ). Muqtedar's exploration of Ihsan (perfection in Muslim theology) delves deeply into the concept of hypocrisy. Rest assured that serious theologians of established/hegemonic religions don't overlook the urgency of combatting it (hypocrisy) in all its forms.
I urge Tor Guimaraes and Muqtedar Khan to reach each other's books. This could spark a very productive discussion.
- Religion and Usury (Tor Guimaraes, USA 06/05/19 1:11 AM)
- Religion, Non-Religion, and Morality (Tor Guimaraes, USA 06/02/19 11:33 PM)
- Thoughts on Revived Religions (Tor Guimaraes, USA 06/02/19 2:40 AM)