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 An agnostic religion.

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: An agnostic religion.   Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:03 pm

There are two things we can know for certain here, about religion: 1) science, which daily expands the sphere of things we no longer need myths and mysicisms to "explain", and 2) the history of religious ideas, which we can trace and understand to learn where these beliefs and belief-systems have come from, how they have changed.

Beyond this, who knows? I guess that is to say, who cares? Beyond the realms of philosophy, science, and history, what is all this speculation about gods and religion and origins really worth? Not much, just an idle fancy.

In that sense I would not mind seeing an agnostic religion - a religion that admits the truths of 1 and 2 above, acknowldges that modern ideas of God, after-existences, sin and death, evil, origins, whatever, are all just the evolutions of these ideas over time, changing and adapting as cultures grow, conquer each other, and perish. How many religious systems no longer exist that once did? How arbitrary is it that the major world religions of today are so predominant? How much of a minority were they not that long ago?

An agnostic religion would reject dogmatic beliefs and the teaching of myths as tuth. It would affirm science, philosophy, and the history of religious ideas as just that, a history of an ideational, conceptual evolution over time. Within this context it would then situate an ambivalence with respect to the "ultimate questions". An agonstic religion would just exist to bridge the gap between mystical delusion and the need for "faith", for hope, for a story and a lineage possessed of vision and a morale. This religion would not exist for scientists or philosophers, not for free-thinkers, but it would exist for people who are unable to divorce themselves of the "metaphysical lust" and of the need to cultivate for themselves a belief in the possibility of God, of divinity, of "goodness", of life after death, whatever they need. Their own particular needs as well as the socially-useful functions of religious belief could then be satisfied in the guise of an agnostic "open-mindedness", a faith that is both consciously affirmed and situated within or at least with respect to the realm of truth.


Of course I would not be a part of such a religion, no philosopher would. But I would not mind seeing such a religion exist and rise to prominence, to be a contender against all these delusional, dogmatic ideologies that do so much harm to mankind.

 

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PostSubject: Re: An agnostic religion.   Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:43 pm

Only one thing is required for a religion to take hold of someone - that its structures and/or narratives and/or representatives inspire awe. For what I'd call people of natural spirit, no institution is needed to cause this - a great individual is characterized foremost by awe for himself. This self includes of course the persons perceptions, experiences of the world, i.e. the world as it is to him/her - religions cause awe however not to exalt the spirit as an end, but as a means to group people into similar, compatible patterns.

Religion just for the sake of awe is rare, and also a bit superfluous, as what is inspired by temporary superstimulation does not remain in the subject as a greater depth - 'natural awe' is inspired only by life, by moments beyond ones control that reveal a greater, more distant horizon, that cause ones own very personal world to increase.

Organized religion does no such thing - the only real Christianity is witnessed as a disciple would witness 'miracles' - for example the healing of his own heart by a sudden mercy that comes like a lightningbolt - disrupting, shattering, answerable only with "tears", the emotion of new-found innocence in the presence of a new "virtue" as Spinoza calls strength, which means the capacity to relinquish the illnesses of weakness - fear and crooked divisiveness. Needless to say, it does not arise as a churchgoer participates in the rituals and learns to speak in terms of the given symbolic order.

Church and state are by definition the same - a church is a state, an excuse for a sovereign to subject people to regulations. Spirit stands separate from this, only the founders of a religion must of course possess spirit, must be in a 'state of grace' - so great an innocence that one can both at once experience the poetic sublime from which to make images and narrative derive, and the trust in oneself as being righteous, morally justified to impose ones will/imagination.

 

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PostSubject: Re: An agnostic religion.   Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:55 am

Quote :
Only one thing is required for a religion to take hold of someone - that its structures and/or narratives and/or representatives inspire awe. For what I'd call people of natural spirit, no institution is needed to cause this - a great individual is characterized foremost by awe for himself. This self includes of course the persons perceptions, experiences of the world, i.e. the world as it is to him/her - religions cause awe however not to exalt the spirit as an end, but as a means to group people into similar, compatible patterns.

I would not so much say awe as I would "need".  I think that when a religion takes hold of someone, it's because that person feels or "believes" they've found something which will be their answer to everything...something which will place them safely within a coccoon or serve their purpose. So they naturally gravitate/are attracted toward this port in the storm, so to speak. I find that religions do not inspire awe so much as they take it away. Believing without ever questioning some things or everything which religion teaches and tells us - dampens and even sometimes kills the mind and the spirit or at least the capacity to "think". Awe flows naturally from a sense of great mystery and wonder in the moment - what is veiled - from the experience of having unanswered questions and the insatiable desire to know but at the same time to realize and to reverence and to stand before that veiled mystery...not meaning god.  Religion tends or pretends to explain everything away - it takes the easy way out - it has to or where would their followers, their little children, be? How much awe can actually be felt within the herd or within beliefs which only presume answers to questions rather than to inspire one to seek further by thinking, questioning, doubting and exploring.  

Perhaps the use of the word "awe" works a little but maybe there is a better one that stands between awe and need. But I may be wrong.

 

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PostSubject: Re: An agnostic religion.   Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:13 am

Yes, I was thinking this today, too; these followers are so enthralled by the Jesus thing but in that very folksy, superstitious, devil-moralistic sense, they are involved really as the very body and head of the great junkie that holds the human organization upon its shoulders. If they could be made to revere the right folk-wisdoms, the right rituals, the right imaginary masters... Could they not turn their servitude toward God, e.g. the state, towards God the dark? The night? The allower? With the same amount of loving, since love is the thing these body cells are junkies for? Let us ride on the dark and shiny rolling carpet of our brothers, as replacing the bright and burning one we have now. The light we use to see does not come from the floor, and harshness is bad for our feet.
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