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« The Liberal Mind on Choices and Fortune | Main | Madness of the Green and Tort Kinds »

15 March 2013

Comments

Joe Koyote

Like twinkies and viagra, organized religion is just another product to be packaged and sold in a consumer economy. Big time religion seems to attract hucksters and con men eager to turn people’s personal weaknesses and fear of death into huge personal empires ala Jimmy Swaggart, or Jim Bakker, only to be caught in deceit and fraud. How many of these “men of God” have used their positions of trust to lure young girls and boys into their webs of sin? I wouldn’t be so quick to designate the Pope as the defacto leader of the Christian world given the Catholic church’s penchant for sweeping pedophiles and their actions under the rug. As with most things in today’s world, the promise of big money and/or power seems to attract predators of all forms and organized religion is no exception. It seems that the larger and more glitzy (the glass cathedral) the edifice the greater the fraud. When it comes to religious beliefs, I wonder if people just don’t toss personal responsibility aside and let those who “claim” to know about God do their thinking for them without question.

George Rebane

For whatever reason (select for survival?), Man is built to create a structured environment that has causality as a prime linking attribute in that structure. This seems to have served him well. Moreover, Man also has benefited from being a ‘teleological critter’ in the sense of going beyond the what and the how to the why. Adopting the ‘it’s turtles all the way down’ paradigm, science doesn’t do well with the why part of the universe. Nevertheless, there is a growing cohort of the world’s scientists who now can see ahead enough to worry about running out of turtles. One of the three or four greatest 20th century physicists (also of black hole fame), John Wheeler (1911-2008) of Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study assigned himself the penultimate question, “Why existence?” (The Institute was the academic home of Einstein, Neumann, Morgenstern, Gödel, …, and continues to host the world’s remaining who’s who of scientists since its founding in 1930.)

Michael Anderson

"Why existence?"

Why, to play baseball in the springtime of course. I'm surprised anyone has to ask.

themiketymcd

Joe, I think you and I have bonded, finally. Great comment.

Posted by: Joe Koyote | 16 March 2013 at 09:59 AM

I am the exception to the rule (per usual) because I came about my faith in Jesus via logic/reason. I suggest focusing on Jesus and not 'organized' (as in crime) religion.

Fuzz

Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ but I don't like your Christians.....they're so unlike your Christ."  

I agree with JoeK. Christianity has a very sad history and no Christian should run from that. In the middle ages, the political/religious power complex in the Roman church even reached the point of dual titles, such as the Prince Archbishops in Salzburg.  Throw in the selling of indulgences and other profit making schemes, as well as the Inquisition, and you're far away from Christ.  Martin Luther was "protesting" this situation with his 95 theses, hence, we now have "Protestants".    Bring this up to modern times, with fornicating mega-preachers, child molestation in the Catholic Church, the "politicization" of organized religion, and a generalized perception of hypocrisy in the church by young people, and you have a big problem.  Many years ago, without any suspicion on my part, I was taught, at close range, by a Catholic pedophile.  (Father Gary Timmons, Newman Club, Humboldt State University..... he molested a dozen boys, spent 12 years in prison, and the church has paid out over 1.3 million, perhaps way more.)  Despite incidents such as these, it should always be understood:   you never judge a philosophy or a religion by abuse of it's true precepts!  Do the actions or teachings of this person or organization reflect the teachings of Christ?  After my wife and I started seeing a cliquish political bent forming in our church, we decided to move to another church and were very surprised to see that other parishioners had independently come to the same conclusion.  When my parents moved to Nevada county, they visited a new prospective church, and the sermon included a diatribe against Hillary Clinton!  Even worse, the congregation was eating it up.  "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's."  Leave secular political choice to the individual and their conscience.  There are Christians in this nation but this is not a "Christian nation."  The Founding Fathers, in the Dec of Ind,  used the word "Creator", not "God of the Hebrews".  It was a generalized reference to include all citizens.  Yes, many of them were Christians, but rights and freedoms were to be granted to all citizens, regardless of faith or lack thereof.  
  To sum up, my wife and I ended up leaving our church in search of a more pure example of Christian teaching that engaged our intellect as well.  We ended up becoming students of Ravi Zacharias, who I think is one of the brightest lights in Christian apologetics today.  His forte is witnessing to the educated skeptic.  He speaks on many college campuses and has had audiences ranging from top Russian generals to the leader of Hamas.  Here is an example of him answering a college student in a way you might not hear in your average church.  It also shows why engaging the intellect is more important than ever for our youth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpmu42g6mDs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(Atheism, Feminism, and the Bible)

Bill Tozer

I believe that we are born with a belief in a Supreme Being. It is innate in our nature as humans. Like being born with a conscious. Oh, many go to great lengths to deny it, to lock it away deep in their depths to never see the light of day. But now and then it surfaces when one looks a a sunset or spring flower or the vast stars on a still clear night.

Why else did folks build Tiki statues in far away places or carve wood statues or build monuments throughout the entire history of mankind. It is a common thread covering all races, nations, empires, and tribes and eras and ages. Its part of us.

Sure, some have had misfortune and blame "God" and say a Supreme Being is all hogwash, yet they remain angry at "God" who they say does not exist. Some take up other gods like Steven Hawkins who worships science as the end all of all things. Others worship knowledge, some "the work ethic", or nature. We are all worshipers in a sense. Most of us get distracted in life and conveniently avoid this innate belief in "God".

Many find organized religion wanting and are turned off by the actions of Christians. Some use that as a excuse for wholesale condemnation of religion or "Creator" to neatly avoid the topic. Engage in a open conversation with one of those types and they will immediately bring up the Crusades, lol.

Their is much more than a grain of thruth in the old expression "All drowning men pray to God." Why would they do that??

Ben Emery

Hopefully the shift is taking place with Pope Francis. His humility and dedication to the poor is inspiring.


Pope Francis continued his gleeful abandonment of tradition by washing the feet of a young Muslim woman prisoner in an unprecedented twist on the Holy Thursday tradition.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/9960168/Pope-washes-feet-of-young-Muslim-woman-prisoner-in-unprecedented-twist-on-Maundy-Thursday.html

George Rebane

BenE 919am - Now if we could only find a mullah who would deign to tell a Christian woman the time of day.

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