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View Diary: But You Can't Make Them Drink: The Conservative Myth of Religion 2 (26 comments)

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  •  Converting religion into philosophy (1+ / 0-)
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    So Mr. George is making a philosophical critque of bad religion and that doesn't do anybody any harm.  A lot of religious people interpret their religion as a bad philosophy and wander into confusion.

    But really, religion is not philosophy and Christianity has its own resources within itself to advance the humanistic sensibilities suggested by Mr. George.  

    St. Paul writes:

    Now, dear brothers and sisters--you who are familiar
    with the law--don't you know that the law applies only while a person is living?

    Romans 7:1

    So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.

    Romans 7:3

    "But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit."

    Romans 7:6

    •  You are right that critiquing bad religion . . . (4+ / 0-)

      doesn't do any harm. As to the other issue, I think Mr. George has been clear that bona fide religions, religions that focus on a connection to God and through Him to all things, are not a problem at all.

      I think that the behavior of a person who tried to "live in the Spirit" would be pretty indistinguishable from one who tried to live according to "clear-sighted reason." After all, they would both be trying to do what is right just because it is right.

      •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

        People who are moral and have "good hearts" would be that way with or without religion. And as history overwhelmingly shows us, religion often adds to the depth and breadth of corruption and bad acting.

        The mistake we have made and continue to make is to give these philosophies a pass from challenge and scrutiny and harsh critique because we have allowed them a level of respect and protection they don't deserve.  "Oh we can't challenge that idea because it's a religious belief" needs to stop.

    •  I agree the Gospel Jesus is humanistic. (0+ / 0-)

      The verses you quote give testament to the "good news" of Jesus' message.  

      Yet St. James tells us that, "Faith without works is dead."  
      Trying to find unity in the conflicting doctrine is a conundrum. Yet aren't the most true things always that way?

      The point Mr. George is making is that motivation counts.  When you do the right thing because you have thought about it and are acting from personal convicition you are solid. You won't be coerced into doing bad things in the name of your the song sarcastically says...."Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end."

      it is dangerous to ignore reality in order to comfort yourself, for once you do, you make it easy for others to deceive you.

    •  Really? You are going to pull out Paul's (0+ / 0-)

      writings as examples of humanism?

      •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

        With the stipulation that the Letters to Timothy are not written by Paul I do say that Paul was a radical humanist.

        What do you have in mind when you think otherwise?

        •  Oh, just women for starters. (1+ / 0-)
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          Or how about Titus 1:10-12?  Guess who gets it in the neck there?

          Paul was a very troubled person who felt he was better than everyone else because a god talked just to him and because he shunned sex.

          If you read The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty, you also find that the Christ he was talking about and believed in was not the one that was concocted by the early Roman church.

          •  Letters to Timothy and Titus (0+ / 0-)

            are definitely misanthropic.

            They were also written after Paul died and are misattributed to Saint Paul.

            I don't know if that makes a difference to your reading of him.

            Certainly the whole foundation of Paul's life and approach is the audacious belief that he could have a relationship with Jesus Christ after Jesus' death.  Such an idea is, as Paul says, "a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Greeks."

            That is to say, it stands outside of moral law and rational philosophy.

            •  So there are letters from Paul (0+ / 0-)

              that are taught to Christians as letters from Paul that are not really letters from Paul?  If the church knew this when cobbling together what would and would not be in the New Testament, why didn't they make the correct attribution?  How many other letters from Paul aren't really letters from Paul?

          •  Titus 1:10 (0+ / 0-)

            And I looked up Titus 1:10-12 which only seems to insult the people of Crete.

            The people of Crete are cretins. Everyone knows that.

            •  "For there are many insubordinate men, (0+ / 0-)

              empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach."

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