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Karl Popper on Religion
#1
I find Popper an interesting thinker.


Quote:Karl Popper on Religion, Science and Toleration

http://catallaxyfiles.com/2015/07/14/karl-popper-on-religion-science-and-toleration/
… "It is necessary to make it quite clear that I am speaking here about religion in a very general way. Although I always have Christianity in mind, I want to speak in sufficiently general terms to include all other religions and especially religions like Buddhism, Islam or Judaism. Everybody agrees that these are religions. I shall…extend the term even further.
He suggested that a person can be considered religious if he or she has some faith that provides a basis for practical living, in the manner of people who appeal to an orthodox religious faith to guide their moral principles, their actions and their proposals for social improvement. He insisted that science has no answers in the search for these principles, though of course science and technology become all-important once we have decided on our aims.
By invoking the idea that we are all motivated by some kind of faith (which he chose to call our religion) he hoped to get over the dispute between the militant atheists (who he regarded as proponents of the religion of atheism) and people of orthodox religious beliefs. He wanted to get past the issue “Have you a religion or not” to address the question “What are the principles of your religion?” – “Is it a good religion or a bad religion?”
He was in favour of “good” religions, including the faiths of secular humanists, which promote the core values of the great religions – honesty, compassion, service, peace and especially the non-coercive unity of mankind. Against these good religions he identified the evil religions of totalitarianism (communism and fascism), and the persecution of heretics. He pointed out that even as science can be misused, so can religions, including Christianity.”…
… "He then moved on to the differences between liberals and socialists. The socialists assert that the state should provide much more than the minimum. Popper, like the liberals, saw this as an ever-present danger that the state will grow, and corrupt and inefficient bureaucracies with it. He had a foot in each camp, not a comfortable position and one that made him owned and disowned by both sides (mostly disowned). His aim was to find some way to reconcile the differences between the two camps.
He thought this could be done by addressing simultaneously the evils that each side identified, that is, by addressing the downsides of too much liberalism (unlimited economic freedom and no public welfare) and on the other side too much state power (loss of freedom in the servile state, bureaucratic or worse). He thought that this resolution was blocked by the degree of attachment on each side to their pet loves and hates – on one side the love of economic freedom, on the other side the utopian vision of socialism.”…
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#2
Recent book by Mary Eberstadt.

Quote:Mary Eberstadt: ”people of faith are experiencing growing, widespread discrimination because of their beliefs”    http://www.c-span.org/video/?411395-1/book-discussion-dangerous-believe …
[url=https://t.co/kzThXJcjQc][/url]
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#3
Joseph Bottum tries to show that most mainline Protestant churches now have a veneer of Christianity, without Christ and without God.

Quote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volo...f-america/
… "The collapse of this religious-moral consensus has been most pronounced among American elites, who have turned largely indifferent to formal religious belief. And in some leftist elite circles it has turned to outright hostility toward religion”…
… “it seems that often their religious dogma is reverse-engineered–they start from wanting to make sure that they hold the correct cutting-edge political and social views, then they retrofit a thin veil of religious belief over those social and political opinions.”…
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#4
I have become a heretic in the current thought that prevails in the USA.


Quote:http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/28124

Worship the State - or Else

… " We are, in effect, facing a demand that citizens worship false gods—or pay a high price.
One of the people most concerned about this is former Congressman Frank Wolf, now the senior distinguished fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. Wolf recently gave a speech at Harvard University outlining the loss of religious liberty in America.”…
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
Reply
#5
(07-10-2016, 08:31 AM)radind Wrote: Joseph Bottum tries to show that most mainline Protestant churches now have a veneer of Christianity, without Christ and without God.

Quote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volo...f-america/
… "The collapse of this religious-moral consensus has been most pronounced among American elites, who have turned largely indifferent to formal religious belief. And in some leftist elite circles it has turned to outright hostility toward religion”…
… “it seems that often their religious dogma is reverse-engineered–they start from wanting to make sure that they hold the correct cutting-edge political and social views, then they retrofit a thin veil of religious belief over those social and political opinions.”…

The Religious Right in contrast offers God and Jesus -- but God as an enforcer of the will of economic elites and Jesus as Pie in the Sky When You Die. Such is consistent with an eternal 3T except without the mass hedonism. Most people are to live miserably by material standards, heavily in debt and thus in thrall to plutocrats and their bureaucratic enforcers. The Religious Right offers traditional values on economics (if without the overt racism -- minorities are mostly to be oppressed because they are poor... but most white people are also to be so oppressed because of their poverty).  The Religious Right is compatible with a high birth rate, all the better for churning out cannon fodder in the wars for profit and copious cheap labor for the economic equivalents of the 'dark satanic mills' of the early-capitalist era that Karl Marx used as his strawman for the vile capitalist order that he saw as doomed as well as despicable. Other religions can't push the high birth rate. Catholic families used to have high birth rates to support a society partially parallel to the WASP world -- the ideal family large enough to provide a priest (likely the brightest male mind in the family, one ill-suited to mindless toil once characteristic of fresh immigrants and their families), a monk, two nuns (one of those the brightest female mind in the family, most likely dedicated to teaching in a Catholic school or nursing in a Catholic society), and a daughter who would be a caretaker for the decrepit elders. Most sons would become laborers and support it all. That was Polish-American life (where I live the Catholics were largely Polish-American) eighty years ago, and it is no longer like that.

Such a middle class as exists exists largely as technicians and enforcers -- the school teacher, the cop, the engineer, the accountant, the tax collector, the salesman -- who is to be underpaid and heavily in debt. A little privilege is to make some modern form of debt bondage tolerable. The middle class is smart enough to recognize the mindlessness of the Religious Right as a sham, the privilege being a white-collar job that allows one to use one's mind instead of one's muscle. Its education must be practical, and not for its own sake, as such education must be financed with heavy debt.

Mainline Protestantism has gone from attempt to perfect morality to letting people do what they can within the economic milieu. Consumerism (which includes entertainment, mostly mindless), and not religious faith, has become the equivalent of Marx' opiate of the masses. Its members pay little attention to theology, but theology has become largely a practical exercise for clergy.  The Religious Right offers a simple theology of command and control characteristic of a chain restaurant.

The economic elites may promote the Religious Right for the masses, fully understanding that the material deprivations that it demands are not for the economic elites who demonstrate hedonism at its most lavish as the reward for being the economic elite. They also recognize that the mindlessness of the Religious Right is incompatible with technological competence and even the creativity necessary for churning out advertising (most creative people who earn a living from their creative talent work in advertising) and entertainment. If fear of Hell can control the semi-literate, under-educated masses, fear of poverty can control the middle class.

The biggest break in the Old Morality is the recent acceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream. The economic elites may have found homosexuality incompatible with a high birth rate that fosters low wages, resource depletion, high rents, and copious troops (for wars for profit and control of foreign markets) -- but nobody can explain why it exists and why it is otherwise 'harmful'. Gays and lesbians fit their desires for marriage and children to the parallel in the 'straight' world, and they won mainstream acceptance when they proved as hostile to the exploitative perverts as the rest of us. But even the acceptance of homosexuality comes in a time that is otherwise increasingly repressive on sexuality, especially involving minors.

...Our economic order is both vile and despicable. We have the means for a post-scarcity society, but we have a dominant ideology in most of America best described as hierarchical, repressive, and exploitative, an acceptance of the Marxist stereotype of early capitalism. That reactionary ethos supports growth, but growth that relies heavily upon population growth which creates greater hardships for most people -- higher rents, more fuel use in commutes, and lower real pay. Elites can profiteer from the economic competition that they compel upon non-elites, perhaps even returning to the economic realities of the early capitalism that Marx saw largely for its depravity.

...If God is plutocracy, then what is Jesus? The reward. Cheap grace for the nastiness that one does in the dehumanizing competition that is American life. Pie in the Sky as the ultimate purpose of a deprived and precarious existence.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#6
(07-20-2016, 07:48 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-10-2016, 08:31 AM)radind Wrote: Joseph Bottum tries to show that most mainline Protestant churches now have a veneer of Christianity, without Christ and without God.

Quote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volo...f-america/
… "The collapse of this religious-moral consensus has been most pronounced among American elites, who have turned largely indifferent to formal religious belief. And in some leftist elite circles it has turned to outright hostility toward religion”…
… “it seems that often their religious dogma is reverse-engineered–they start from wanting to make sure that they hold the correct cutting-edge political and social views, then they retrofit a thin veil of religious belief over those social and political opinions.”…

The Religious Right in contrast offers God and Jesus -- but God as an enforcer of the will of economic elites and Jesus as Pie in the Sky When You Die. Such is consistent with an eternal 3T except without the mass hedonism. Most people are to live miserably by material standards, heavily in debt and thus in thrall to plutocrats and their bureaucratic enforcers. The Religious Right offers traditional values on economics (if without the overt racism -- minorities are mostly to be oppressed because they are poor... but most white people are also to be so oppressed because of their poverty).  The Religious Right is compatible with a high birth rate, all the better for churning out cannon fodder in the wars for profit and copious cheap labor for the economic equivalents of the 'dark satanic mills' of the early-capitalist era that Karl Marx used as his strawman for the vile capitalist order that he saw as doomed as well as despicable. Other religions can't push the high birth rate. Catholic families used to have high birth rates to support a society partially parallel to the WASP world -- the ideal family large enough to provide a priest (likely the brightest male mind in the family, one ill-suited to mindless toil once characteristic of fresh immigrants and their families), a monk, two nuns (one of those the brightest female mind in the family, most likely dedicated to teaching in a Catholic school or nursing in a Catholic society), and a daughter who would be a caretaker for the decrepit elders. Most sons would become laborers and support it all. That was Polish-American life (where I live the Catholics were largely Polish-American) eighty years ago, and it is no longer like that.

Such a middle class as exists exists largely as technicians and enforcers -- the school teacher, the cop, the engineer, the accountant, the tax collector, the salesman -- who is to be underpaid and heavily in debt. A little privilege is to make some modern form of debt bondage tolerable. The middle class is smart enough to recognize the mindlessness of the Religious Right as a sham, the privilege being a white-collar job that allows one to use one's mind instead of one's muscle. Its education must be practical, and not for its own sake, as such education must be financed with heavy debt.

Mainline Protestantism has gone from attempt to perfect morality to letting people do what they can within the economic milieu. Consumerism (which includes entertainment, mostly mindless), and not religious faith, has become the equivalent of Marx' opiate of the masses. Its members pay little attention to theology, but theology has become largely a practical exercise for clergy.  The Religious Right offers a simple theology of command and control characteristic of a chain restaurant.

The economic elites may promote the Religious Right for the masses, fully understanding that the material deprivations that it demands are not for the economic elites who demonstrate hedonism at its most lavish as the reward for being the economic elite. They also recognize that the mindlessness of the Religious Right is incompatible with technological competence and even the creativity necessary for churning out advertising (most creative people who earn a living from their creative talent work in advertising) and entertainment. If fear of Hell can control the semi-literate, under-educated masses, fear of poverty can control the middle class.

The biggest break in the Old Morality is the recent acceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream. The economic elites may have found homosexuality incompatible with a high birth rate that fosters low wages, resource depletion, high rents, and copious troops (for wars for profit and control of foreign markets) -- but nobody can explain why it exists and why it is otherwise 'harmful'. Gays and lesbians fit their desires for marriage and children to the parallel in the 'straight' world, and they won mainstream acceptance when they proved as hostile to the exploitative perverts as the rest of us. But even the acceptance of homosexuality comes in a time that is otherwise increasingly repressive on sexuality, especially involving minors.  

...Our economic order is both vile and despicable. We have the means for a post-scarcity society, but we have a dominant ideology in most of America best described as hierarchical, repressive, and exploitative, an acceptance of the Marxist stereotype of early capitalism. That reactionary ethos supports growth, but growth that relies heavily upon population growth which creates greater hardships for most people -- higher rents, more fuel use in commutes, and lower real pay. Elites can profiteer from the economic competition that they compel upon non-elites, perhaps even returning to the economic realities of the early capitalism that Marx saw largely for its depravity.

...If God is plutocracy, then what is Jesus? The reward. Cheap grace for the nastiness that one does in the dehumanizing competition that is American life. Pie in the Sky as the ultimate purpose of a deprived and precarious existence.
With the collapse of Protestant Christianity and the rise of the religion of Secular Humanism , there is a new dynamic in the USA. We have churches without Christ( the cheap grace as defined by Bonhoeffer). The Secular Humanists are already the majority, but this change does not seem to have sunk in yet. This will take some time( may take another 10 years). In the meantime, Christians continue to be blamed even though they are not the dominant faith in the USA. 
At some point, the Secular Humanists will need a new scapegoat  after it is clear that Secular Humanists are in control( not the minority Christians).
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
Reply
#7
(07-20-2016, 10:05 PM)radind Wrote:
(07-20-2016, 07:48 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-10-2016, 08:31 AM)radind Wrote: Joseph Bottum tries to show that most mainline Protestant churches now have a veneer of Christianity, without Christ and without God.

Quote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volo...f-america/
… "The collapse of this religious-moral consensus has been most pronounced among American elites, who have turned largely indifferent to formal religious belief. And in some leftist elite circles it has turned to outright hostility toward religion”…
… “it seems that often their religious dogma is reverse-engineered–they start from wanting to make sure that they hold the correct cutting-edge political and social views, then they retrofit a thin veil of religious belief over those social and political opinions.”…

The Religious Right in contrast offers God and Jesus -- but God as an enforcer of the will of economic elites and Jesus as Pie in the Sky When You Die. Such is consistent with an eternal 3T except without the mass hedonism. Most people are to live miserably by material standards, heavily in debt and thus in thrall to plutocrats and their bureaucratic enforcers. The Religious Right offers traditional values on economics (if without the overt racism -- minorities are mostly to be oppressed because they are poor... but most white people are also to be so oppressed because of their poverty).  The Religious Right is compatible with a high birth rate, all the better for churning out cannon fodder in the wars for profit and copious cheap labor for the economic equivalents of the 'dark satanic mills' of the early-capitalist era that Karl Marx used as his strawman for the vile capitalist order that he saw as doomed as well as despicable. Other religions can't push the high birth rate. Catholic families used to have high birth rates to support a society partially parallel to the WASP world -- the ideal family large enough to provide a priest (likely the brightest male mind in the family, one ill-suited to mindless toil once characteristic of fresh immigrants and their families), a monk, two nuns (one of those the brightest female mind in the family, most likely dedicated to teaching in a Catholic school or nursing in a Catholic society), and a daughter who would be a caretaker for the decrepit elders. Most sons would become laborers and support it all. That was Polish-American life (where I live the Catholics were largely Polish-American) eighty years ago, and it is no longer like that.

Such a middle class as exists exists largely as technicians and enforcers -- the school teacher, the cop, the engineer, the accountant, the tax collector, the salesman -- who is to be underpaid and heavily in debt. A little privilege is to make some modern form of debt bondage tolerable. The middle class is smart enough to recognize the mindlessness of the Religious Right as a sham, the privilege being a white-collar job that allows one to use one's mind instead of one's muscle. Its education must be practical, and not for its own sake, as such education must be financed with heavy debt.

Mainline Protestantism has gone from attempt to perfect morality to letting people do what they can within the economic milieu. Consumerism (which includes entertainment, mostly mindless), and not religious faith, has become the equivalent of Marx' opiate of the masses. Its members pay little attention to theology, but theology has become largely a practical exercise for clergy.  The Religious Right offers a simple theology of command and control characteristic of a chain restaurant.

The economic elites may promote the Religious Right for the masses, fully understanding that the material deprivations that it demands are not for the economic elites who demonstrate hedonism at its most lavish as the reward for being the economic elite. They also recognize that the mindlessness of the Religious Right is incompatible with technological competence and even the creativity necessary for churning out advertising (most creative people who earn a living from their creative talent work in advertising) and entertainment. If fear of Hell can control the semi-literate, under-educated masses, fear of poverty can control the middle class.

The biggest break in the Old Morality is the recent acceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream. The economic elites may have found homosexuality incompatible with a high birth rate that fosters low wages, resource depletion, high rents, and copious troops (for wars for profit and control of foreign markets) -- but nobody can explain why it exists and why it is otherwise 'harmful'. Gays and lesbians fit their desires for marriage and children to the parallel in the 'straight' world, and they won mainstream acceptance when they proved as hostile to the exploitative perverts as the rest of us. But even the acceptance of homosexuality comes in a time that is otherwise increasingly repressive on sexuality, especially involving minors.  

...Our economic order is both vile and despicable. We have the means for a post-scarcity society, but we have a dominant ideology in most of America best described as hierarchical, repressive, and exploitative, an acceptance of the Marxist stereotype of early capitalism. That reactionary ethos supports growth, but growth that relies heavily upon population growth which creates greater hardships for most people -- higher rents, more fuel use in commutes, and lower real pay. Elites can profiteer from the economic competition that they compel upon non-elites, perhaps even returning to the economic realities of the early capitalism that Marx saw largely for its depravity.

...If God is plutocracy, then what is Jesus? The reward. Cheap grace for the nastiness that one does in the dehumanizing competition that is American life. Pie in the Sky as the ultimate purpose of a deprived and precarious existence.
With the collapse of Protestant Christianity and the rise of the religion of Secular Humanism , there is a new dynamic in the USA. We have churches without Christ( the cheap grace as defined by Bonhoeffer). The Secular Humanists are already the majority, but this change does not seem to have sunk in yet. This will take some time( may take another 10 years). In the meantime, Christians continue to be blamed even though they are not the dominant faith in the USA. 
At some point, the Secular Humanists will need a new scapegoat  after it is clear that Secular Humanists are in control( not the minority Christians).

Secular humanism has been around since at least the time of Darwin, but gained new followers in the 1920s and 30s. The Scopes Trial and the Humanist Manifesto were turning points that helped its rise. "Secular humanists" could also be defined as believers in "scientism," the idea that modern empirical/rational science as we know it today can provide all knowledge, except perhaps in the realm of moral, ethical and/or aesthetic judgements.

Christians are still the vast majority in the USA, and the most conservative branches dominate the Republican Party, which seeks to impose its doctrines on America in a heavy-handed and non-democratic way. The religious right is sheer religious repression and dogma. Conservative Islamic fundamentalism has revived along with the religious right, its mirror image, and is even more repressive in the Middle East. Meanwhile, just the fact that radind can quote stats on how Protestant Churches feel about the election show they are far from "collapsed." But the evangelical churches have gained a larger following in recent decades, while Catholicism and Protestantism decline. These branches of Christianity are down but not out.

Secular humanism, scientism and agnostic/atheism in their various shades dominate the academic world and the intelligencia. Although most Americans are not secular-humanists, science and its interpretation by skeptics and humanists have shaped our world view now for 3 centuries, and is now the defacto worldview of educated people, as Sheldrake calls it. It is dogmatic, even while insisting that science must be open to the facts and therefore subject to change. But they still claim that their method is the best or the only way to gain knowledge about the world, and that nothing can be true if it's not scientifically and empirically verified. Positivism insists that statements that can't be verified are nonsense.

But secular humanists tend to insist on freedom of religion and separation of church and state, even including humanism and state, and as usual radind is wrong to suggest otherwise. Religious people disguise their desire to impose their views on us with claims that they uphold religious freedom, which amounts to the freedom of businessmen to refuse service to gays and for government to deny women's rights by force, as well as to impose their unscientific doctrines on our public schools and deny science as a valid source of information on subjects like climate change. The religious right upholds unquestioning belief above rational thought.

Even while the secular humanist kinds of worldview have gained new adherents among millennials, since at least the late sixties it has been strongly challenged by the new romantic and new age counter-culture and human potential movements. The "new paradigm" rejects BOTH dogmatic secular-humanist scientism, AND traditional dogmatic religions that insist that theirs is the only way and claim to have the literal truth according to its scriptures. The New Paradigm is the way forward toward a world view that is open, broad, expansive and open to mysticism, which is the truth at the heart of all religions, and which is found within our own souls and in all being(s), and in our experience of reality, and not ultimately in rules or books. New spiritual seekers have arisen who have added a Buddhist/oriental kind of awakening folk to our society.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#8
(07-20-2016, 11:47 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(07-20-2016, 10:05 PM)radind Wrote:
(07-20-2016, 07:48 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-10-2016, 08:31 AM)radind Wrote: Joseph Bottum tries to show that most mainline Protestant churches now have a veneer of Christianity, without Christ and without God.

Quote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volo...f-america/
… "The collapse of this religious-moral consensus has been most pronounced among American elites, who have turned largely indifferent to formal religious belief. And in some leftist elite circles it has turned to outright hostility toward religion”…
… “it seems that often their religious dogma is reverse-engineered–they start from wanting to make sure that they hold the correct cutting-edge political and social views, then they retrofit a thin veil of religious belief over those social and political opinions.”…

The Religious Right in contrast offers God and Jesus -- but God as an enforcer of the will of economic elites and Jesus as Pie in the Sky When You Die. Such is consistent with an eternal 3T except without the mass hedonism. Most people are to live miserably by material standards, heavily in debt and thus in thrall to plutocrats and their bureaucratic enforcers. The Religious Right offers traditional values on economics (if without the overt racism -- minorities are mostly to be oppressed because they are poor... but most white people are also to be so oppressed because of their poverty).  The Religious Right is compatible with a high birth rate, all the better for churning out cannon fodder in the wars for profit and copious cheap labor for the economic equivalents of the 'dark satanic mills' of the early-capitalist era that Karl Marx used as his strawman for the vile capitalist order that he saw as doomed as well as despicable. Other religions can't push the high birth rate. Catholic families used to have high birth rates to support a society partially parallel to the WASP world -- the ideal family large enough to provide a priest (likely the brightest male mind in the family, one ill-suited to mindless toil once characteristic of fresh immigrants and their families), a monk, two nuns (one of those the brightest female mind in the family, most likely dedicated to teaching in a Catholic school or nursing in a Catholic society), and a daughter who would be a caretaker for the decrepit elders. Most sons would become laborers and support it all. That was Polish-American life (where I live the Catholics were largely Polish-American) eighty years ago, and it is no longer like that.

Such a middle class as exists exists largely as technicians and enforcers -- the school teacher, the cop, the engineer, the accountant, the tax collector, the salesman -- who is to be underpaid and heavily in debt. A little privilege is to make some modern form of debt bondage tolerable. The middle class is smart enough to recognize the mindlessness of the Religious Right as a sham, the privilege being a white-collar job that allows one to use one's mind instead of one's muscle. Its education must be practical, and not for its own sake, as such education must be financed with heavy debt.

Mainline Protestantism has gone from attempt to perfect morality to letting people do what they can within the economic milieu. Consumerism (which includes entertainment, mostly mindless), and not religious faith, has become the equivalent of Marx' opiate of the masses. Its members pay little attention to theology, but theology has become largely a practical exercise for clergy.  The Religious Right offers a simple theology of command and control characteristic of a chain restaurant.

The economic elites may promote the Religious Right for the masses, fully understanding that the material deprivations that it demands are not for the economic elites who demonstrate hedonism at its most lavish as the reward for being the economic elite. They also recognize that the mindlessness of the Religious Right is incompatible with technological competence and even the creativity necessary for churning out advertising (most creative people who earn a living from their creative talent work in advertising) and entertainment. If fear of Hell can control the semi-literate, under-educated masses, fear of poverty can control the middle class.

The biggest break in the Old Morality is the recent acceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream. The economic elites may have found homosexuality incompatible with a high birth rate that fosters low wages, resource depletion, high rents, and copious troops (for wars for profit and control of foreign markets) -- but nobody can explain why it exists and why it is otherwise 'harmful'. Gays and lesbians fit their desires for marriage and children to the parallel in the 'straight' world, and they won mainstream acceptance when they proved as hostile to the exploitative perverts as the rest of us. But even the acceptance of homosexuality comes in a time that is otherwise increasingly repressive on sexuality, especially involving minors.  

...Our economic order is both vile and despicable. We have the means for a post-scarcity society, but we have a dominant ideology in most of America best described as hierarchical, repressive, and exploitative, an acceptance of the Marxist stereotype of early capitalism. That reactionary ethos supports growth, but growth that relies heavily upon population growth which creates greater hardships for most people -- higher rents, more fuel use in commutes, and lower real pay. Elites can profiteer from the economic competition that they compel upon non-elites, perhaps even returning to the economic realities of the early capitalism that Marx saw largely for its depravity.

...If God is plutocracy, then what is Jesus? The reward. Cheap grace for the nastiness that one does in the dehumanizing competition that is American life. Pie in the Sky as the ultimate purpose of a deprived and precarious existence.
With the collapse of Protestant Christianity and the rise of the religion of Secular Humanism , there is a new dynamic in the USA. We have churches without Christ( the cheap grace as defined by Bonhoeffer). The Secular Humanists are already the majority, but this change does not seem to have sunk in yet. This will take some time( may take another 10 years). In the meantime, Christians continue to be blamed even though they are not the dominant faith in the USA. 
At some point, the Secular Humanists will need a new scapegoat  after it is clear that Secular Humanists are in control( not the minority Christians).

Secular humanism has been around since at least the time of Darwin, but gained new followers in the 1920s and 30s. The Scopes Trial and the Humanist Manifesto were turning points that helped its rise. "Secular humanists" could also be defined as believers in "scientism," the idea that modern empirical/rational science as we know it today can provide all knowledge, except perhaps in the realm of moral, ethical and/or aesthetic judgements.

Christians are still the vast majority in the USA, and the most conservative branches dominate the Republican Party, which seeks to impose its doctrines on America in a heavy-handed and non-democratic way. The religious right is sheer religious repression and dogma. Conservative Islamic fundamentalism has revived along with the religious right, its mirror image, and is even more repressive in the Middle East. Meanwhile, just the fact that radind can quote stats on how Protestant Churches feel about the election show they are far from "collapsed." But the evangelical churches have gained a larger following in recent decades, while Catholicism and Protestantism decline. These branches of Christianity are down but not out.

Secular humanism, scientism and agnostic/atheism in their various shades dominate the academic world and the intelligencia. Although most Americans are not secular-humanists, science and its interpretation by skeptics and humanists have shaped our world view now for 3 centuries, and is now the defacto worldview of educated people, as Sheldrake calls it. It is dogmatic, even while insisting that science must be open to the facts and therefore subject to change. But they still claim that their method is the best or the only way to gain knowledge about the world, and that nothing can be true if it's not scientifically and empirically verified. Positivism insists that statements that can't be verified are nonsense. But secular humanists tend to insist on freedom of religion and separation of church and state, even including humanism and state, and as usual radind is wrong to suggest otherwise. Religious people disguise their desire to impose their views on us with claims that they uphold religious freedom, which amounts to the freedom of businessmen to refuse service to gays and for government to deny women's rights by force, as well as to impose their unscientific doctrines on our public schools and deny science as a valid source of information on subjects like climate change. The religious right upholds unquestioning belief above rational thought.

Even while the secular humanist kinds of worldview have gained new adherents among millennials, since at least the late sixties it has been strongly challenged by the new romantic and new age counter-culture and human potential movements. The "new paradigm" rejects BOTH dogmatic secular-humanist scientism, AND traditional dogmatic religions that insist that theirs is the only way and claim to have the literal truth according to its scriptures. The New Paradigm is the way forward toward a world view that is open, broad, expansive and open to mysticism, which is the truth at the heart of all religions, and which is found within our own souls and in all being(s), and in our experience of reality, and not ultimately in rules or books. New spiritual seekers have arisen who have added a Buddhist/oriental kind of awakening folk to our society.
 The 'Christians' in the majority are like the Christians in 1930's Germany that Bonhoeffer described as having " Cheap Grace"( no real faith). In my view the majority do not have a Biblical worldview.
There is little left of traditional Protestant Christianity in the US( see Joseph Bottum ) and the dominant voice is now from the faith of Secular Humanism.  The 'religious right' has little clout and is now just a convenient scapegoat. 
The Secular Humanists largely ignore the fact that they now operate as a  faith or a religion.
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#9
(07-21-2016, 06:48 AM)radind Wrote:  The 'Christians' in the majority are like the Christians in 1930's Germany that Bonhoeffer described as having " Cheap Grace"( no real faith). In my view the majority do not have a Biblical worldview.

There is no such thing.

Quote:There is little left of traditional Protestant Christianity in the US( see Joseph Bottum ) and the dominant voice is now from the faith of Secular Humanism.  The 'religious right' has little clout and is now just a convenient scapegoat. 

Except that they elected a president not too long ago, and have the House by the throat, and thus our nation shackled.

And every politician has to end their speech with "God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America!"

And, they just got a candidate for vice-president nominated!

Quote:The Secular Humanists largely ignore the fact that they now operate as a faith or a religion.

I guess it would help if they had a pope or something to pin their faith and trust on. How about, Neil deGrasse Tyson! The planetarium is their cathedral, and PBS their pulpit.

Hey, don't the secularists claim that Jesus was black?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#10
(07-21-2016, 12:45 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(07-21-2016, 06:48 AM)radind Wrote:  The 'Christians' in the majority are like the Christians in 1930's Germany that Bonhoeffer described as having " Cheap Grace"( no real faith). In my view the majority do not have a Biblical worldview.

There is no such thing.

Quote:There is little left of traditional Protestant Christianity in the US( see Joseph Bottum ) and the dominant voice is now from the faith of Secular Humanism.  The 'religious right' has little clout and is now just a convenient scapegoat. 

Except that they elected a president not too long ago, and have the House by the throat, and thus our nation shackled.

And every politician has to end their speech with "God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America!"

And, they just got a candidate for vice-president nominated!

Quote:The Secular Humanists largely ignore the fact that they now operate as a faith or a religion.

I guess it would help if they had a pope or something to pin their faith and trust on. How about, Neil deGrasse Tyson! The planetarium is their cathedral, and PBS their pulpit.

Hey, don't the secularists claim that Jesus was black?
I am opposed to all large religious organizations. Too much bureaucracy and too many problems. 
Keep it local and keep it simple. (Also keep PBS.)
Just study the Bible.

I expect Clinton to win in Nov , followed by a series of Democrats for several decades.  Religion has fundamentally changed in the US.
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#11
Yes, and Hillary represents true Biblical ideals; Trump does not.

You won't find the truth in the Bible, unless you first (or also) find it within yourself.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#12
(07-21-2016, 01:49 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Yes, and Hillary represents true Biblical ideals; Trump does not.

You won't find the truth in the Bible, unless you first (or also) find it within yourself.

Neither Trump nor Clinton represent Biblical ideals. I think that Clinton is a Secular Humanist who advocates the killing of unborn babies.  I think that Trump is areligious with no concern for any religion.
Secular Humanists have no  real use for the Bible.
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
Reply
#13
Traditional religion in US is waning.


Quote:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uucollectiv...new-again/

Religious Humanism: What Was Old is New Again
… "Now, humanism has a whole new world to dwell in. A world in which religions are interesting antiques and we humans can finally get around to exploring ways to make life better . . . here and now.”…
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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#14
An alternative description of the state of religion.

Quote:http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/book...-heretics/

Are We a Nation of Heretics?

… "Douthat provides an alternative proposition that the spiritual forces undermining traditional orthodoxy are rooted in half-truths that have steadily hijacked Christianity’s core beliefs. The contemporary distortion of Christian orthodoxy is not necessarily the product of the efforts of radical atheists or bitter agnostics; rather, the seduction of the Western soul has been accelerated by often well-meaning Christians struggling to find existential purpose in all the wrong places.”…
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
Reply
#15
"Orthodoxy" is almost always wrong, and it's amusing that Douthat takes for granted that there is actual virtue in it. No, orthodoxy is just what you were warned about above. It is assumed to be true just because it was taken as true in the past. It is deference to authority, just because it is authority.

"American patricians, and particularly those situated in the Northeast, did not reject orthodoxy, they “dismissed” it “as something unworthy of an educated person’s intellect and interest.” While religion and spirituality were acceptable, “All Serious People understood that the only reason to pay attention to traditional Christianity was to subject it to a withering critique.” Orthodoxy gradually slipped into irrelevance. As Douthat observes, “among the tastemakers and power brokers and intellectual agenda setters of late-twentieth-century America, orthodox Christianity was completely déclassée.” "

If Christian orthodoxy cannot withstand scrutiny, is deserves to wither and die.

"as Douthat points out, transcendence is exactly what people want."

Yes, and that can only be satisfied by mysticism, NOT orthodox belief.

"Similarly destructive is our culture’s spiritual turn inward as the path to salvation. “The God within,” as Douthat calls it, is essentially “do it yourself religion.” Citing Elizabeth Gilbert’s abysmal book Eat, Pray, Love, in which the author tries to find inner harmony by abandoning her family and running off with a new man in the name of the “divinity within,” Douthat shows that much of contemporary “spirituality” is an apology for the proposition that “all religious traditions offer equally valid paths to the divine; all religious teachings are just ‘transporting metaphors’ designed to bridge the gulf between the finite and the infinite; [and that] most religious institutions claim a monopoly on divinity that they don’t really enjoy.” For Americans “awash in spiritual choices,” the cherry-picking, make-yourself-feel-good spirituality of the inner self contains substantial sway. However, in the search for existential meaning, turning inward is counterproductive."

Nope. It's where it's at. A religion that you don't "do yourself," is phoney and non-existent.

"From Gilbert to Oprah, the feel-good theology of “inner fulfillment” rests on the assumption that “the beatitude is constantly available,” that is, “Heaven is on earth, ‘God is right here, right now.’” It is the language of theology applied to pop psychology. It is a pick-and-choose faith based in nothing but individual preferences, whims, and desires."

God IS here now; beatitude IS constantly available. This is just the truth, whether one "desires" it or "prefers" it or not. In many cases this truth is found by managing or transcending "desires and whims."

"It deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the redemption of the American idea, and more broadly, a reinvigoration of the Western cause."

Re-invigoration of the Western Cause may be accepted by those who wallow in traditional values without self-examination. But Jesus was not the only fount of it; so was Socrates, who said "an unexamined life is not worth living." It is Douthat who is phony as a $2 bill, because he knocks what Socrates (and Jesus) recommends. The Western cause is justly passe and dying. We may be interested in our nation's success and welfare, but that can only be gained by doing the right things. And that means that first, we recognize that we are citizens of the world. And of GOD. And to deny that God is everywhere, and in every person and living thing, as Douthat does, is to deny that the real God exists, by trying to put God in a box. That's like saying that the infinite is finite, or that eternity will come to an end.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#16
(07-21-2016, 02:30 PM)radind Wrote:
(07-21-2016, 01:49 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Yes, and Hillary represents true Biblical ideals; Trump does not.

You won't find the truth in the Bible, unless you first (or also) find it within yourself.

Neither Trump nor Clinton represent Biblical ideals. I think that Clinton is a Secular Humanist who advocates the killing of unborn babies.  I think that Trump is areligious with no concern for any religion.
Secular Humanists have no  real use for the Bible.

We can choose and select which beliefs and behaviors by Clinton or Trump to label as in accord with Biblical ideals, or not. There's plenty to focus on either way.

Many secular humanists have great interest in the Bible. By making blanket statements like that, it seems to me you are not following Jesus' advice. Take the moat out of your own eye.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#17
(07-20-2016, 06:36 AM)radind Wrote: I have become a heretic in the current thought that prevails in the USA.


Quote:http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/28124

Worship the State - or Else

… " We are, in effect, facing a demand that citizens worship false gods—or pay a high price.
One of the people most concerned about this is former Congressman Frank Wolf, now the senior distinguished fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. Wolf recently gave a speech at Harvard University outlining the loss of religious liberty in America.”…

This article linked to here is a perfect example of how the religious right-wing twists "religious freedom" into its opposite, and claims to stand for "religious freedom" by promoting repression and prejudice.

We must be liberated from this "religious liberty." Just as we must reclaim freedom from the "free market." Conservatives in the USA today know no bounds in their use of 1984 double-speak, distortion, deception and outright lies.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#18
(07-21-2016, 02:30 PM)radind Wrote:
(07-21-2016, 01:49 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Yes, and Hillary represents true Biblical ideals; Trump does not.

You won't find the truth in the Bible, unless you first (or also) find it within yourself.

Neither Trump nor Clinton represent Biblical ideals. I think that Clinton is a Secular Humanist who advocates the killing of unborn babies.  I think that Trump is areligious with no concern for any religion.
Secular Humanists have no  real use for the Bible.

Nobody really likes abortion. People simply tolerate it as a necessity not to be ruled out.

Secular Humanists may reject the more bloodthirsty commands of the Bible -- but in general, Secular Humanists have ethical standards that by coincidence and necessity largely fit those of the Bible. Murder, theft, rape, perjury, and fraudulent oaths are inconsistent with both Christianity and Secular Humanism.

The Bible says nothing against slavery, narcotics, child sexual abuse, or drunk driving -- which is not a good reason for tolerating those. Morality exists because it has survival value; it is a burden against the human desire for untrammeled greed, indulgence, and even sadism. The moral choice isn't the easy one, but it is almost always the right choice.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#19
(07-24-2016, 02:05 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: "Orthodoxy" is almost always wrong, and it's amusing that Douthat takes for granted that there is actual virtue in it. No, orthodoxy is just what you were warned about above. It is assumed to be true just because it was taken as true in the past. It is deference to authority, just because it is authority.

"American patricians, and particularly those situated in the Northeast, did not reject orthodoxy, they “dismissed” it “as something unworthy of an educated person’s intellect and interest.” While religion and spirituality were acceptable, “All Serious People understood that the only reason to pay attention to traditional Christianity was to subject it to a withering critique.” Orthodoxy gradually slipped into irrelevance. As Douthat observes, “among the tastemakers and power brokers and intellectual agenda setters of late-twentieth-century America, orthodox Christianity was completely déclassée.” "

If Christian orthodoxy cannot withstand scrutiny, is deserves to wither and die.

"as Douthat points out, transcendence is exactly what people want."

Yes, and that can only be satisfied by mysticism, NOT orthodox belief.

"Similarly destructive is our culture’s spiritual turn inward as the path to salvation. “The God within,” as Douthat calls it, is essentially “do it yourself religion.” Citing Elizabeth Gilbert’s abysmal book Eat, Pray, Love, in which the author tries to find inner harmony by abandoning her family and running off with a new man in the name of the “divinity within,” Douthat shows that much of contemporary “spirituality” is an apology for the proposition that “all religious traditions offer equally valid paths to the divine; all religious teachings are just ‘transporting metaphors’ designed to bridge the gulf between the finite and the infinite; [and that] most religious institutions claim a monopoly on divinity that they don’t really enjoy.” For Americans “awash in spiritual choices,” the cherry-picking, make-yourself-feel-good spirituality of the inner self contains substantial sway. However, in the search for existential meaning, turning inward is counterproductive."

Nope. It's where it's at. A religion that you don't "do yourself," is phoney and non-existent.

"From Gilbert to Oprah, the feel-good theology of “inner fulfillment” rests on the assumption that “the beatitude is constantly available,” that is, “Heaven is on earth, ‘God is right here, right now.’” It is the language of theology applied to pop psychology. It is a pick-and-choose faith based in nothing but individual preferences, whims, and desires."

God IS here now; beatitude IS constantly available. This is just the truth, whether one "desires" it or "prefers" it or not. In many cases this truth is found by managing or transcending "desires and whims."

"It deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the redemption of the American idea, and more broadly, a reinvigoration of the Western cause."

Re-invigoration of the Western Cause may be accepted by those who wallow in traditional values without self-examination. But Jesus was not the only fount of it; so was Socrates, who said "an unexamined life is not worth living." It is Douthat who is phony as a $2 bill, because he knocks what Socrates (and Jesus) recommends. The Western cause is justly passe and dying. We may be interested in our nation's success and welfare, but that can only be gained by doing the right things. And that means that first, we recognize that we are citizens of the world. And of GOD. And to deny that God is everywhere, and in every person and living thing, as Douthat does, is to deny that the real God exists, by trying to put God in a box. That's like saying that the infinite is finite, or that eternity will come to an end.

Orthodoxy is what you get when the followers of some great person focus solely on the person's words "as truth" rather than the truth behind the words. And this isn't just with religion. Aristotle was the Western intellectual tradition's first great rational empiricist, but his followers then turned Aristotle's own theories into dogma and forgot about his method. Most Marxists have turned Marxism into a secular religion with the "revolution" as a secular apocalypse.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#20
Interesting ( very long) message. In my opinion, this is a precursor to what will occur in the USA.

Quote:https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/1231...ign=buffer


The Decline of European Christianity After the Reformation
 … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8 (ESV)
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