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Old 02-03-2018, 11:41 AM
pdw pdw started this thread
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Just as great advances in human rights, the arts and technology have been divinely inspired in the past, I believe many of the great advancements of the future: saving the environment, space exploration, etc. will be inspired by God. Religion has not "fulfilled its purpose" in the world.

Back on topic, I think the best way for churches to reach young people is to raise awareness and dispel myths about organized religion that have been ingrained into society's minds by the media. Many of the largest churches are very open and accepting places, not the intolerant institutions so many have been made to believe are the norm.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Just as great advances in human rights, the arts and technology have been divinely inspired in the past, I believe many of the great advancements of the future: saving the environment, space exploration, etc. will be inspired by God. Religion has not "fulfilled its purpose" in the world.

Back on topic, I think the best way for churches to reach young people is to raise awareness and dispel myths about organized religion that have been ingrained into society's minds by the media. Many of the largest churches are very open and accepting places, not the intolerant institutions so many have been made to believe are the norm.
Neither of us have a crystal ball, but I expect religion to have less and less input into anything as the decades go by.

However, I take your point that churches could take the option of cutting away the stuff that is losing them ground and concentrating on what they provide that secularism (so it is looking to be) can't. Or not so effectively.

That would be ok with irreligion because in fact irreligious theists and humanist 'churches' are on the same side as atheism. A not dogmatic and non mythological church or two could very well be one that a secular humanist society could work with.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
Yes. Even without doing a crash course in critical thinking. simple everyday reasoning can show a false analogy where it pops up.
It's what I long ago pointed out as proceeding with all the confidence of ignorance.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Just as great advances in human rights, the arts and technology have been divinely inspired in the past,
Which is to say, not at all. Human advances were made by humans. That they did it often in the guise of religion or with religious patronage, speaks to the ubiquity of religion in society, but does not establish that religion was the only or even the best way to accomplish that.

As a technologist I particularly have to question the notion that religion has advanced either science itself or applied science. When has religion ever innovated, ever corrected errors in science? How COULD it, except in the same way that a stopped clock is right twice a day? Religious faith does not require evidence, it just asserts things.
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Originally Posted by pdw View Post
... I believe many of the great advancements of the future: saving the environment, space exploration, etc. will be inspired by God. Religion has not "fulfilled its purpose" in the world.
Science doesn't attempt to answer ethical or moral questions, that is the province of philosophy -- or far less efficiently, of religion. But religion sometimes produces people who are OPPOSED to saving the environment, sometimes produces people who are passionate about saving it. This speaks to the incoherence of theology. Is god in control of nature, and is it blasphemous to suggest that puny man can effect the climate -- therefore we needn't worry about intruding even inadvertently on god's territory? That is, after all, the position of most fundamentalists, who are happy to provide theological justification for extreme right-wing politics on that topic. Are we to believe them, or the position you likely subscribe to, that we are supposed to be good stewards of god's creation?

Which one of you speaks for Christianity? According to you, predictably, it's your faction that speaks for Christianity, and the notion that fundamentalism even has a voice or an identity as "Christian" is due, not to their historical roots or their adherence to the same core doctrines as you do -- but to a media conspiracy. I think you should OWN fundamentalism as a problem in your own ranks and speak out forcefully against it, rather than chasing conspiracy theories.

Science can provide us the tools to save the environment for example, but not the rationale to devote resources to make and use those tools. That is up to society. It is difficult enough to debate such questions from the perspective of secular philosophy and ethics, without having to deal with all the additional religious cruft.
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Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Back on topic, I think the best way for churches to reach young people is to raise awareness and dispel myths about organized religion that have been ingrained into society's minds by the media. Many of the largest churches are very open and accepting places, not the intolerant institutions so many have been made to believe are the norm.
I will grant you that some liberal churches are very open and accepting and tolerant. I submit to you that they got that way by working HARD to get that way. And part of the strenuousness of the effort comes from the need to overcome the inherently tribal, patriarchal, and authoritarian mindset of the Bible. In fairness, part of it also just comes from human nature, but here again I would rather not waste time reinterpreting / spiritualizing the plainly stated teachings of the Bible, or deploying some cherry-picking system of interpretation based on some highly subjective concept like "agape love". There is enough to debate without THAT in the mix.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:32 PM
pdw pdw started this thread
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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It's not a conspiracy theory. The dominant image of Christianity in modern media (not talking about the news I'm talking about movies, music, television) is the right-wingers because they're the most obnoxious and make the most noise. It's the same reason mainstream Muslims are harassed in the West because our population is too stupid to educate themselves on the way the majority of people follow the religion and choose to believe anti-immigrant alt-right hoaxes that demonize these people. Look up any article, video, discussion about refugees in Sweden and see how quickly educated, informed people are torn apart by these idiots who believe in these lies. I hate to say it but much of the atheist community shows the same kind of ignorance. They allow a minority of Christians (Evangelical/charismatic protestants) represent the entire religion the same way right wingers let radical Islamists represent all Muslims.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:49 PM
 
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I consider myself Agnostic. I don't reject the existence of a God or of a "spiritual realm" outright, but unless I experience some kind of "Road to Damascus" moment how can I practice or incorporate any religious beliefs or traditions in my daily life?

On the other hand I do not doubt the faith that people experience. For many it is real. Maybe *I* just haven't been "called" the way others have, but unless that happens.....what do you want me to do? I simply do not have the kind of "child-like faith" required. Perhaps I'm too skeptical.

Religion has many positives, and by and large the intact families of today are also the most religious. There is a strong correlation here. Many of the children raised in these families are often the best contributors to society. Sure you could cherry pick bad apples here and there, but the correlation here is strong too. Heck, the Mormons may very well be the last bastion of civilization in America.
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I will grant you that some liberal churches are very open and accepting and tolerant. I submit to you that they got that way by working HARD to get that way. And part of the strenuousness of the effort comes from the need to overcome the inherently tribal, patriarchal, and authoritarian mindset of the Bible. In fairness, part of it also just comes from human nature, but here again, I would rather not waste time reinterpreting/spiritualizing the plainly stated teachings of the Bible, or deploying some cherry-picking system of interpretation based on some highly subjective concept like "agape love". There is enough to debate without THAT in the mix.
That highly subjective concept of agape love is what was unambiguously demonstrated by Jesus enduring the horrendous scourging and crucifixion while loving even His torturers and murderers because they knew not what they did. It is the very core of Christ's Gospel of love and reconciliation with human ignorance and superstition. We are such perverse people that we assign outrageous attributes to God and then blame Him for not doing or being what we decided He must do or be. Sad.
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
Neither of us have a crystal ball, but I expect religion to have less and less input into anything as the decades go by. ...
No crystal ball but Pew Research is the next best thing eh! And speaking of "proceeding with all the confidence of ignorance"...
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Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
It's what I long ago pointed out as proceeding with all the confidence of ignorance.
"This dearth of newborns among the unaffiliated helps explain why religious “nones” (including people who identity as atheist or agnostic, as well as those who have no particular religion) are projected to decline as a share of the world’s population in the coming decades.


Again with feeling: "The unaffiliated are projected to decline as a share of the world’s total population. By 2055 to 2060, just 9% of all babies will be born to religiously unaffiliated women. "

Pew Research study 2017
The Changing Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:23 PM
pdw pdw started this thread
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
No crystal ball but Pew Research is the next best thing eh! And speaking of "proceeding with all the confidence of ignorance"...

"This dearth of newborns among the unaffiliated helps explain why religious “nones” (including people who identity as atheist or agnostic, as well as those who have no particular religion) are projected to decline as a share of the world’s population in the coming decades.


Again with feeling: "The unaffiliated are projected to decline as a share of the world’s total population. By 2055 to 2060, just 9% of all babies will be born to religiously unaffiliated women. "

Pew Research study 2017
The Changing Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center
I disagree with this. The dominant attitude in society in Western countries seems to be atheism and even among families with religious backgrounds it is very common for young people to be influenced by their peers and become irreligious. See the articles I shared in the OP, atheism and agnosticism is now the norm for young people in the West.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
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Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Just as great advances in human rights, the arts and technology have been divinely inspired in the past, I believe many of the great advancements of the future: saving the environment, space exploration, etc. will be inspired by God. Religion has not "fulfilled its purpose" in the world.
Western civilization was plunged into a medieval dark age for damn near a thousand years thanks to the stranglehold the Church had on literally everything. Even kings answered to the Pope. For centuries, the people of Europe were subjected to religious tyranny -- and centuries more of open warfare as Catholics and Protestants slaughtered each other indiscriminately.

Even in the Middle East, the light that was once Islam was snuffed out as fundamentalism took hold and, as the lead imam of the time (whose name escapes me) once said, the manipulation of numbers (math) is the work of the devil. They are *still* in a quasi-medieval dark age -- right now they are in the same period of indiscriminate slaughter as Christians were 500 years ago. Only with them, it's Shi'ite vs. Sunni rather than Catholic vs. Protestant.

Oh, I agree that certain religious institutions, namely various monastic sects, managed to preserve certain knowledge, and civilization is beholden to them for doing so. But that hardly makes up for the knowledge that was destroyed by Christians -- from the library at Alexandria to the complete destruction of all written knowledge held by the Aztecs.

"God" -- and the worship of such an egotistical being -- have not "divinely inspired" anyone to do a bloody thing. As mordant said, humans did it -- and they did it through their own imaginations. God didn't reach down and say, "invent an airplane."

It's just another example of giving God credit where none is due.

Last edited by Shirina; 02-04-2018 at 08:43 PM.. Reason: I wrote my original post 700 years ago, and the Church burned it, so I had to start over.
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