, a very well written reply. I see you have in you, some, maybe a lot of distaste of, maybe hate, for religion, likely mainstream JC teachings.
I have a strong conviction that irrational belief restricts and demeans the potential that human beings have for love, progress and contentment. Restricts and demeans at all levels from the individual, through family to global.
Supernatural belief is, by definition, irrational (attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature). Religion is a sector of supernatural belief. 10% of humanity does not have access to potable water, humanity is adversely affecting the sustainability of the planet's ecosystem, people are being emotionally and physically damaged because they don't conform to unrealistic stereotypes and religion is used, god(s) are invoked, "sacred" texts are quoted to justify inaction or worse.
And yes - a lot of religious people are good people - but there is no evidence to suggest that they are good because of their belief. Left to themselves good people do good things and bad people do bad things; but religion is one of the ways in which bad people get good people to do bad things.
You are not alone in feeling these thoughts. I had them....too. Until, I did not.
Every religion was predated by some other theism, some other philosophy.
Ah, Hammurabi, preceded Socrates by some ~1300 years. Hammurabi's were the oldest 'recorded' laws. These were enforced, as Codes of behavior.
What YOU would prefer or desire becomes that shoulda, woulda, coulda.
Yes, it would be preferable to have a better, more realistic set of 'moral rules of behavior'. To have a better philosophy for mankind to aspire, to follow.....to.
Here comes the 'but'!
Good luck in bringing about a new and improved religion or Code of Living.
The present religions are solidly entrenched. It would be 'easier' to build off of those, to reform JC teachings, rather than to create a new one from scratch.
1 - Present religions are in decline - more so in the wealthier parts of the world where secular education is more readily available. The RCC is dependant upon Africa for its future - It has largely lost Europe and is waning in S America. In the UK (where we have a state religion) surveys consistently show "no religious allegiance" as the self-definition of over 50% - and that's held back by the older members of society. The Church of England claims only 1 in 16 as adherents. Islam has its noisy few - but most Muslims I know are little more than cultural Muslims (and most Jews seem to be non-observant) being more interested in having a decent home, a couple of well educated kids, nice car etc. than being controlled by archaic ignorance.
2 - How do you reform something that is based upon unevidenced and rationally unsupportable belief? The story of the Gospels, of the Koran, and many later offshoots is the attempts by Jesus of Nazareth to reform Judaism, of Mohammed trying to "correct" the Abrahamic concepts, of the Puritans, the Wesleys, Smith, Baker-Eddy etc. etc. all building (whatever their motivation) on existing flawed belief and producing yet another excuse for division, fear and discrimination. Islam is fractured into often violent competing intolerance, Buddhism has multiple flavours etc. etc..
When we don't know how to handle a problem the best course of action, IMO, is not to throw our hands up and blame an undetectable divinity, a mythic ancestor and/or our own imaginary inherited wickedness. Start with what we know. And seek what we don't know in ways that exclude human tendencies to see false causes and effects, treat coincidence as intent, hang on to sunk costs, worship at the altar of confirmation bias etc. etc. - all fallibilities that have served us well enough in the past but should be retired now they are counter-productive.
The interim period is always the worrisome time period. Going from established religions to no religions, then to a New Era one.
Why get out of the hole only to leap into another?
Wishful thinking, methinks.
Oh ye of little faith.
And you may be right - but we seem to be getting there slowly - I doubt it will ever be total - the sharks are moving from god(s) to "wellbeing" and "self-improvement" - but the possibility of failure does not mandate the tolerance of despair does it?
FYI, I am not a member of any religion.
I do believe in a Creator, or (One, God Head). 'All that is', fits under THIS umbrella.
I know, I know....what about Leprechauns?
Do they exist? I fear to say otherwise!!
And there you summarise the most powerful argument for the supernatural - you can't prove my belief to be false.
Pitifully underwhelming - but yet so comforting and seemingly protective if one has been conditioned to accept one's incompetence and unworthiness - and I'm back to the diminution of humanity that I started at aren't I?
- transmitted by a friend.