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Answer for question 4278.

What is your opinion of religion? Is the world a better or worse place because of it?
One philosopher defined religion as philosophy plus "a certain amount of superstructure which consists of superstitions, dogmas, rituals, and institutions." Since i don't care much for superstitions, dogmas, nor institutions, i suppose i must prefer philosophy to religion. I do care about spirituality but think that a spiritual life is possible with or without religion.

Religion, at its best, has been too little and too late. As the Tao Te Ching suggests, people become religious after they have lost contact with the divine. The great teachers: Mahavira, Lao Tse, the Buddha, Jesus, have tried to restore that connection but their followers have complicated their simple message and corrupted it. So we are worse off because religion corrupts itself.

At its worst, religion has too often assisted the advocates of violent conflict and human abuse by sanctifying the power grabs and land grabs that have constituted world political and economic history. One and one-half stars.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2015 11:35 am (UTC)
How do you feel about the institution of language(s)?
Mar. 13th, 2015 01:08 pm (UTC)
It was my intent to add another paragraph to this entry. My edit feature did not work. Those sentences would have been. "Given the way we are and the way the world is, we are probably better off with religion than without it. The softness of our edges, our acceptance of grace, our urges toward peace and love are probably stronger because of it."

Language, must, of course, have all the features of An institution. and English, at least, seems remarkably flexible. "King's English" reminds us that power plays a role in establishing the elements and use of language, as dud the struggle in the sixties and seventies over "Black English." Does language allow me to describe my world as well as people with influence can describe theirs? I don't know. So my feelings are mixed.

But that is a great question!
Mar. 13th, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC)
*beams at you*
Mar. 14th, 2015 12:42 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on the matter that the followers have complicated their simple message and corrupted it. I like Buddhism because it has a logic, not only you have to do it cause you have to believe me...
Mar. 14th, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC)
The four noble truths and the eight-fold path is the essence of Buddhism and also the essence of positive human behavior. What more could i possibly want to know or do?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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