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View Diary: Rush Limbaugh Backlash Evolves & Grows (77 comments)

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  •  There's some disagreement on that (4+ / 0-)

    I say this a little toungue in cheek since we don't know and don't have any evidence about the origins of religion whatsoever.  However you might find this interesting food for thought:

    Some have suggested that religions actually emanate from our tribal nature by way of a group selection mechanism in which groups with a tight knit narrative of superiority, coupled with supernatural powers, does better in the context of incessant warring over limited resources, chimpanzee troops style.

    But of course, that baser instinct has since been coopted by those with a mind to elevate that highest aspect of ourselves....

    Still, I think your basic point that whatever the origin, we would be VERY well served by being aware that the enobling aspects of religion and the the more infamous nature of religion are two distinct aspects and we shouldn't let our revulsion at the latter blind us to the presence of the former.

    Frankly, if we banished religion, some other mechanism for the latter would arise anyway.  I would offer the various xenophobic and hatefilled movements, such as nazism, to demonstrate that one does not need religion to have the bad aspects we complain of.  And as Cedwyn points out, one doesn't necessarily need religion to be ennobled.

    In fact, if you'll indulge me, Buddha told a story about buddhist practice that it is designed to foster an enlightened state, but it is the goal that matters, not the practice.  In that sense religion is like a raft used to cross a river.  Once you cross the river, you do not carry the raft with you.  So it is with practice that if it has served its purpose, abandon it.

    •  exactly (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dksbook, Nica24, elwior, Eyesbright, Smoh
      Frankly, if we banished religion, some other mechanism for the latter would arise anyway.
      religion is a proxy for and tool of power.  full stop.  like you said, chimpanzees warring over limited resources.

      i'd much prefer honest warmongering to the duplicity of religion.

      If you're gonna die, die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:25:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Religion = social club for many. (6+ / 0-)

      Local churches function as big community centers for the whole family in many areas. And people who join can have an instant sense of purpose and belonging, totally aside from any spiritual benefits or damage that may accrue from that church. And they acquire a network that benefits them in many aspects of life.

      Many successful ministers I have known are more like social organizers and directors, ensuring that there is a choir/group/round of activities for each age and stage of their flock. Actual spiritual belief or understanding seems, in my estimation, rather low down on the list of prime requirements. In fact, a low-key spiritual approach can often keep a church steadier, IMHO.

      OTOH, I joined a buddhist group which put spirituality first and it always struggled to remain in existence and to have adequate funding. Singles were reminded that retreats were for serious work,  NOT a place to look for mates, for example.

      What people could really use are wonderful taxpayer funded community centers with arts, sports, classes, groups for every age! That is what people need, and often the only place to get even a pale semblance is sadly, at church.

      Nothing against good churches, just saying that that is how these mega-churches get an in. And then keep people by encouraging negativity and hatred.

      Just MHO.

      Life is a school, love is the lesson.

      by means are the ends on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's unfortunate, and hopefully not typical (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        srkp23, elwior, means are the ends

        Community is one of the three jewels of buddhism (sangha), and I'm sorry to hear that yours fell apart.  I am fortunate that my own community has family days, coffee hours, mixers, some community service, and yes, "singles sangha" evenings.  I even went on a couple of dates from those back in the day.

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