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Is religion as we know it doomed to future extinction?
February 3, 2008
5:14 pm
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"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and
avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a
religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful
unity. Buddhism answers this description." (Einstein, Los Angeles Times, 1954)

February 4, 2008
11:50 am
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StronginHim77
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I have a personal relationship with God. Wouldn't want to give that up for a "cosmic" experience. I like the PERSONAL connection.

- Ma Strong

February 4, 2008
1:15 pm
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I think as people vary..so do their beliefs..I hope it always stays this way...everyone has the right to believe and worship, at least for now, as they wish..as it should always be...

February 4, 2008
3:24 pm
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I agree with you, Survivor. I personally relate more with the Einstein quote than with the Judeo-Christian religions, but that doesn't mean one is "right" and one is "wrong." Spirituality is very personal.

February 4, 2008
4:34 pm
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Children have a very personal connection with Santa Clause. I uphold the right of adults and children alike to believe in and have a very personal relationship with Santa.

However, I do not uphold the right of legislators to bring principles and ethics expounded by Santa Claus into deciding to make certain types of scientific research illegal just because of their irrational beliefs.

To oppose such religiously underpinned tyranny, that is my right.

February 4, 2008
4:46 pm
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MsGuided
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Tez!
That was pretty darn poignant.I like that!
Sorry, but most religeons are brainwashing, and the word of MAN construed as GOD.
A moral guide posed as spiritual.
Whatever works for YOU, but imposing on others is when I draw the line myself...and MOST religeons impose the will of the patriachal agenda..most became popular through supression, coersion, assimilation of other religeous belief then demonizing the source, brutality, war, and lies.

That isn't the way to harness others toward a beleif system that truly empowers them.
Fear mongering with a nice protective patriarchal pat on the head?

February 4, 2008
7:26 pm
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MsGuided,

I really like your writing style. You've summed up my feelings about organised religion perfectly! "A moral guide posed as spiritual."

I don't think that all people who choose to be members of an organised religion are brainwashed, or like kids believing in Santa. Many are. Not all.

What I do find absurd: Hillary and Obama speaking at church services...Giuliani, who is not a Jew, putting on a yarmulke to show his support for the state of Israel...and the whole idea of a "Christian right" as a voting bloc.

It seems that no one can run for office without engaging in some sort of action designed to endear themselves to some organized religion.

Last I heard, church and state were SEPARATE. If abortion, stem-cell research, etc. goes against your religion, then fine -- don't support it. You get a vote just like I do. But when a group of people pile into a church bus and head to Washington to protest these things on the basis that "their religion says it is wrong," they're behaving no differently than the Taliban in my opinion.

Freedom is exactly that -- freedom. For ALL to believe as they choose. Religion has no place in the government of this country!

February 4, 2008
8:30 pm
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Codi202
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But look at the history of this country. (you are talking about the USA, correct?)

Even the supreme court ruled that it "is a Christian Nation". I believe that ruling was in 1818, but the last two digets might be a bit off.

February 4, 2008
10:52 pm
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Isis
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I like the Cosmic Spiritual thing.

I've never had a relationship with "god".

At one time I tried really hard, but it just never happened for me.

Einstein 1954- who would have thought...

February 5, 2008
12:19 am
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Religion will definitely be out. Its easy to come to that conclusion. With every generation, religion has been on the decline. People care less and less about religion. Religion is imaginary. People care more and more about the tangible stuff i.e. this world. Thats really all there is to life.

As for buddhism being the best or ultimate religion, tez you already know I dont agree with it. This link, you might have seen before cause I gave it, explains some criticism:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religio.....icism.html

I know.. we wont debate it, you're tired of it and I repeat my arguments. I see it like this: If you cant get a normal teenager to get interested in Buddhism and converting to it (or whatever the correct terminology is), it cant be successful in getting a following.

Something is successful and popular when its benefits are tangible and easily seen, like a gift card, money, food, sex, electronics, cars, in short, "stuff" etc.

People like something if its not too much work for their head. They like simple stuff you know. Maybe you can think in complicated terms, but normal teenagers and people cant and dont want to, you know. Thats one of the point in the criticism link too i.e. Buddhism appeals to only certain types of people.

Here's the thing Tez: I've talked to many people who enjoy their lives, are in a relationship, working for their money, having sex and enjoying the heck out of life. To them, to ask them to follow Buddhism, would be to get their response as "Why? I'm so comfortable and happy where I am. Why should and would I move my behind from where I am sitting right now?".

And you know, if those people are comfortable and loving life without a religion or buddhism, then, thats not really the thing that counts in life.

The ultimate goal of everyone is to be happy and loving life.

Sadly, (in my opinion) people are happy only from birth, almost i.e., people like me in misery for most of their lives, have remained a wimp, unable to live life to the fullest and will probably remain one for the rest of their (relatively very short) lives. That just means that people dont change. Happy people are just lucky to have been brought up in a positive environment when they learnt not to fear anything or anyone and be themselves and live life. You either live life, or you dont.

I'm still not able to solve the mystery of thewall though, who managed to survive a hellish life and is happy now. Mmm.

Anyway.. religion will die. Its made fun of so much and criticized by the unbelievers and there are no answers to all that. That makes religion go out of fashion, which means again, the next generation is more and more likely to stay away from it. They just wanna have fun in life. Anything that is embarrasing or is questionable and raises an eyebrow, people say "nah" and stay away from it.

Religion's hold has weakened in the past and continues to do so, so yea, it will go extinct save for a small group who will cling on. Like in any thing, there's a small group of people who are on the wrong side.

As for Eienstien praising buddhism, you know what - if he thought Buddhism was the way to go, he would have become a buddhist, but that didnt happen. I've mentioned this before: I think his comment was only because the other wonderful gems are the abrahamic religions. Compared to those, buddhism is pretty good.

But in the end again, if you cant get a normal teenager or even a 20 year old to get interested in Buddhism and immediately see some tangible benefits, its extremely unlikely they would want to follow it.

To you the benefits will be clear, but you according to the article are a small portion of people to whom buddhism appeals to and maybe works for them.

February 6, 2008
4:46 pm
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"Buddhism is more than a religion. It is a science of the mind." - the Dalai Lama.

I am not a Buddhist. However I strongly admire their scientific approach to shedding all the sense organ induced filters that so distort our perceptions of ultimate reality, as opposed to clinging to relative reality, Randi's distorted perceptions included in that relativity.

Einstein was not a Buddhist either. I strongly suspect that his admirations of Buddhism were for the same reasons as I do. The Dalai lama mentioned by implication these reasons above. Perphaps Einstein's reasons for not being a Buddhist were/are similar to mine also. But I don't know that for sure and probably never will.

I'm not a physicist either though I admire their beliefs and their work.

The scientific approach to beliefs don't seem to me to have been adopted by any other religion of which I am aware besides Buddhism. However, despite the Buddha's best admonitions, humans, being humans, will always look for the 'security blanket' of an authority figure such as the Buddha in order to avoid searching out and experiencing for themselves their own minds. Laziness afflicts Buddhists no less than other religions. That is why, I suspect, Buddhism has necessarily become a religion by default. After all there is neither a God nor his Son or nor his Holy Shadow at the helm of Buddhism. In fact, surprise, surprise, in the strictest sense neither is there even the Shakyamuni Buddha, Siddartha Gautama at the helm of Buddhism.

"Mind is the Buddha. There is no other Buddha. There are no other Buddhas. There are no other minds. Mind is pure, bright and empty: without having any form or appearance at all. Using the mind to think conceptually is missing the essence and grasping the form. The eternal Buddha is nothing to do with attachment to form." - Huang-Po

February 6, 2008
4:50 pm
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I think that most religions give people a feeling of comfort that something else awaits them when they die...and that someone else cares when no one else is around...but I can believe in fairies too and that a place awaits for me too, if i want to lie to myself..I rather not lie and depend on fairy tales, I just do not believe in them, they were created to keep people in line and to keep society in order, all religions do that...they all lie.

February 6, 2008
9:26 pm
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You may as well ask "will a transgendered Mormon ever become the Prince of Persia?"

Who the heck knows?

People are mostly creatures of passion, and the religious impulse seems to be built into our DNA. I don't see people as a whole developing into a more rational, scientific, evidence-based bunch. So to the extent that religion is an irrational, emotional thing, the extinction of religion does not seem likely to me.

Not anytime soon, anyway.

Individual "religions" may come and go, mind you.

To make matters worse...

It is a scientific truism that it is impossible, even in principle, to disprove the existence of God.

For that reason, we also can not rule out the possibility that someday science or math or some other means of revelation might demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that "God exists."

February 6, 2008
9:33 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I think that things will just polarized. the believers will become more faithful, more fervent. the athiests will become more so. there will be no more milktoasty beleivers, no more half hearted believers. no more agnostics.

February 7, 2008
2:46 am
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Tiger Trainer
"I think that things will just polarized."

In the short term, I think that you are right.

I was thinking in terms of say 1000 years, if humans survive on this planet.

Take the case of Galileo. He was by far in the minority when it came to decrying some of the religious beliefs of his time that we now know were blatantly and demonstrably wrong. Nowadays only the odd person like G_g believes that the earth is flat.

For instance, given enough I can foresee science making all of the beliefs in the bible, barring the odd one or two completely, as redundant as the flat earth belief. In time I can see belief in the God of the present day religions as laughable as the primitive witch doctor's chanting over a demon possessed person. Even now, I suspect that only the most fundamentalist Christians that demons really possessed the guy and were driven out into piggy pigs by JC. That JC might have relieved the symptoms of schizophrenia by the power of belief that he was cured in the mind of the mentally ill guy, is far more plausible a Christian belief today.

Superstitions will eventually be exposed for what they are. HIV will no longer be seen as some God punishing homosexuals for performing 'unnatural acts'!

Some God's imagined interference in worldly affairs of men and women will diminish as science, powered by rational thought, advances.

February 7, 2008
3:21 am
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Duuumdeedumdeedumdeedum...

February 7, 2008
8:15 pm
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Worried_Dad.

Can't handle it?

February 8, 2008
4:40 pm
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Codi202
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Actually Tez, I heard that it is evolution theory that is the "fairy tale for adults"of the future." Since sience doesn't really support it after 150 years of digging and theorizing and calling the theories "fact".

That quote comes from a scientist, as I recall...one that is still alive today, too.

February 8, 2008
4:40 pm
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Codi202
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However, we are talking about religion and I do think that the "as we know it" part means that it is doomed, for shure.

February 13, 2008
9:17 pm
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Codi202

"As we know it", implies for me our present fantasies of the existence of some personal, separate, independent, Deity who created the world and watches over it with human like thoughts and feelings; that is, the Deity stories of the scriptural revelations are doomed to extinction.

These fantasies, in my opinion, are doomed to pass into the domain of all good and bad fairy stories of the past. They will most probably be considered as being quaint and interesting but little more.

February 14, 2008
4:48 pm
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Codi

Science doesnt support evolution after 150 years of digging?

Ok what now? lol. Please. Come on now. You probably hate Discovery channel dont ya.

So whats the evidence for your statement?

Its just amazing the lengths people will go to reject what science says. Science says EVOLUTION, every day. Every DAY you hear news about something that confirms the process of evolution.:

http://news.google.com/news?hl.....038;tab=in

(Google news about Evolution)

You guys like to call it Evil-lution I guess. You think its an evil disgusting idea. Really now, accept science. Reject the unproven.

February 14, 2008
4:54 pm
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here, just one link from google.

-- February 13, 2008

-- "Junk" RNA May Have Played Role in Vertebrate Evolution

-- "Genetic material once dismissed as mere "junk" may in fact be responsible to the evolution of simple invertebrates into more complex organisms sporting backbones, according to a new study."

-- http://www.sciam.com/article.c.....ave-played (Scientific American)

Wake up, Evolution is REAL. Yea its a nightmare to you, but sorry friends, its what it is. Science proves it, every DAY.

Yet we have people denying this daily evidence. Unbelievable, lol.

February 15, 2008
4:46 am
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"This is an interview with Amit Goswami [1], Ph.D. Dr. Goswami earned his Ph.D. from Calcutta University in theoretical nuclear physics in 1964 and was a professor of physics at the University of Oregon between 1968 and 2003. Dr. Goswami was a senior scholar in residence at the Institute of Noetic Sciences during 1998-2000. He now teaches at the Institute for Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon.

His textbook on Quantum Mechanics is well regarded and widely used. He is the author of ten books, including The Self-Aware Universe, Quantum Creativity, Physics of the Soul, and The Visionary Window, and The Quantum Doctor. Dr. Goswami is a pioneer of a new multidisciplinary paradigm of science based on the primacy of consciousness, known as Science within consciousness. His research has been published in scientific journals in three different fields, physics, biology, and psychology. His next book, (working title God is Not Dead) is scheduled for publication this spring.

WTB — God Is Not Dead is an interesting title. When is the expected publication date?

GOSWAMI — In May is when we are expecting it but, you know, that is only a projected date.

WTB — Right, of course. Well, where should we begin? Basically do I read you right in saying that God is basically the author of downward causation?

GOSWAMI — Yes. God is the author of downward causation and, indeed, this is an objective God. So such a God can be introduced in science as an organizing principle. The objections against it, basically dualism is the major one. But using quantum non-locality, that argument can easily be resolved; and then mind and other subtle bodies, which is a major aspect of all spiritual definitions, those entities also can be introduced as quantum possibilities of consciousness once consciousness is regarded as the ground of all being. So, this is really a theosophical breakthrough. All theosophical problems that have bugged western philosophy since Descartes and people like Kant and so forth were all puzzled by them. They are all solvable like quantum physics has demonstrated. Of course my work started with Stanford University but there is a progression of it and this book, God Is Not Dead, is the culmination of that.

WTB — So what exactly do you mean by downward causation? Is that a good place to start?

GOSWAMI — Yes, the usual materialist model is of material causation upward from elementary particles to atoms to molecules to cells of the brain - and the brain is very dense. That is where consciousness, mind and all our experiences are caused. That is the materialist model. It is the upward causation model. In contrast, quantum physics says, but upward causation does not give us concrete objects. It gives us only possibilities. So then the quantum model is a natural way of thinking. Natural paradox is the way of thinking that consciousness is the ground of being in which matter exists as quantum possibilities. And downward causation consists of choice from these possibilities - the actual event of conscious experience."

It is evident that, Dr. Goswami's concept of a God is very different from that God of the bible. In fact his use of the word God seems to me to be inappropriate when used in this context.

Is Dr. Goswami, a renowned physicist, at the cutting edge of the trend that will one day absorb religion into the domain of science?

Or will science one day simply make religion redundant?

February 15, 2008
8:43 pm
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The problem with science is that it's constrained within physical realms. Our five senses specifically.

You can reject the unproven all ya want guest. But it's still there.

Just like color is to the blind person, who may reject its existence due to an inablity to percieve it.

free

February 16, 2008
12:42 pm
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"Or will science one day simply make religion redundant?"

Religion as we know it? Maybe. Religion entirely? I doubt it.

Not unless we all become pre-programmed clones. Otherwise there will always be different personality types. There will be those who make decisions based on critical thinking and those who make decisions on wishful thinking.

Hopefully, through continued scientific discovery, mankind will become better educated and have less need for the fantastic. (That's my wishful thinking for future mankind!!)

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