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When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary
dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin
Philosophy of Religion
A valid religion would be concerned more with purpose, values and
principles than with dogma and doctrines, because the various dogmas and
doctrines in formal religions often stand in violation of these crucial aspects
foundational to human well-being and happiness.
Adoption of the existing dogmas does nothing to address and relieve us of
the deplorable human condition. As has been said elsewhere more than a few times.
The dogma and doctrine concerning creation, the history of the earth and
the history of Mankind that is accepted by the various formal
religions is a wasteland replete with both myth and nonsense, and both
science and a true understanding of ancient myth have done their part to
disconfirm this dogma or destroy it intellectually. However, there is a vast
reservoir of clerical proponents with a vested interest in the old paradigm
along with the psyche of the gullible subordinates to keep these ideas
continuing for a long time. But they are slowly fading.
Scientism as dominant
Scientism has now actually ascended to become the world's dominant religion, and it has been
eroding the influence of the formal religions for over 200 years now in the
Western world. Here is what Bryan Appleyard has to say about the conflict
with other formal religions:
First, it is clear that there
is something about the human condition that demands a
dimension we call religious, whatever it might be. Particular
faiths have come and gone, but nothing has ever displaced the
religious presence itself from human life. It has always
accompanied men and their cultures.
Religions have usually
attempted to relate their spiritual systems to the material
experience of the world. In doing so they have depended on the
conviction that value and meaning can be found in the facts of the
world–precisely the conviction that science has so successfully
defied and apparently disproved. It is, therefore, idle to pretend,
as many do, that there is no contradiction between religion and
science...they are absolutely and irresolvably conflicting views.
Unless, that is, science is obliged to change its fundamental
Religion, like science
began with the inscrutable and majestic spectacle of the heavens.
This points again to the fact that they are destined to compete;
they are occupying the same territory. Bryan Appleyard, Understanding The Present,
Anchor Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY. 10036, 1992, p. 82.
Of course the "human condition" calls us to the "religious dimension",
because there is something undeniably wrong with it. Of course this
determines the nature and flavor of the religious dimension, which is
largely comprised of explanations and coping mechanisms, and is also so far
bereft of any conclusion to it. The elephant in the
living room is that our "material experience of the world" does NOT
relate well to the dimensions of a benevolent God or "heavenly father", so
the religious dogma/doctrine becomes a morass of tortured explanations and
gaping holes in what should be an elegant and coherent narrative and picture.
is acutely insightful when he says that religion and science are destined to
compete because they both began with the spectacle in the heavens. But
scientism is winning that competition WITHOUT leading us to anything more
meaningful than an advancing technology in a world of exploding population.
The roots of the word "religion" imply a RETURN to reason and meaning
(literally "bind together AGAIN with logic"). Yet
what we see is an ocean of incomprehensible extractions from ancient
"sacred" mythological scriptures, which is anything but a return to reason
and meaning. The confusion is so wide, so deep, so ancient that we and our
religious institutions have become inured to it, and there seems to be no
hope of corporately-shared clarity and unity short of a dramatic demonstration that
would cut through all the miasma of religious claims and counterclaims.
Given that there is a God, you would want to think that we are looking forward to a clarifying and
unifying demonstration? Or has it already taken place and been misunderstood