Kirby Urner posted Mar 27, 2014 8:11 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9420632): > <Quote of GSC's post snipped> > > I think there's this rush to decide that a religious > praxis has to do with > "explaining" or "giving answers". > One could have no objections whatsoever to a 'religious praxis' providing comfort to those who desire it. The only objection to religion/ religious praxis could be when such praxis attempts to assume power over what people wish to think, pronouncing the free expression of ideas to be 'blasphemous' and etc. This has often happened in the past. I would object if the 'a-religious' were to behave this way. > > Yes we do see religions behaving that way, but we > also have people just > wanting to improve their outlook on life. > As suggested in my earlier response, the 'scientific praxis' does NOT have all the answers and is likely never to have that. Nor does the 'religious praxis'. We humans are only a small part of nature and - should we recognise that - many things would go right. Things begin to go wrong when we start believing ourselves to be the "MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!" - whether such belief stems from the 'scientific praxis' or the 'religious praxis'. > > They (as in "these peoples") know it's "subjective" > but it's still > important to them, and so instead of one-on-one > psychotherapy, which can be > expensive and/or time-consuming, they shop around for > congenial religious > communities and see if the practices associated > therewith and/or the > friendships forged (if any) might alleviate some > affliction (e.g. call it > loneliness and play Eleanor Rigby if lacking context > or atmosphere). > I don't know about Eleanor Rigby - but all of the above is fine (IMHO), just so long as there is no attempt to force people's thinking into 'religion' (Christian, Hindu, whatever) or 'a-religion' (atheism; agnosticism, whatever). Let the child learn all that he/ she wishes to, and then make up his/ her own mind. > > In some people, it's all about what's in their heads, > "knowing" in a > particular way. That's what I cited Karen Armstrong > for noticing in > 'Battle for God' and other books of hers (I've also > heard her speak in a > church). > > For others, it's more gymnastic, about observance of > ritual. If your life > doesn't have a certain ease and flow about it, > something's out, and > religious practices are all about resyncing to some > invisible beat. When > you're in the groove and life is mellow, that's your > hippie nirvana and why > should I be so prideful as to diss that as a worthy > outcome. I'm not > casting myself as "the judge". > You are not casting yourself as "the judge", for sure - but the Holy Catholic Church did force Galileo to 'recant'. > > I would argue that people use music, dancing, > participate in recreational > sports for many of the same reasons people > participate in religions, yet in > our fragmented blow-apart terminology, these "night > club" or "bar circuit" > activities are somehow "secular practices" scattered > on some "secular heap" > as "non-religious objects" (type NotReligion). > > There's this arbitrary white or grey line between > culturally sacred and > profane spaces that you would never "get" if it > weren't inculcated since > birth, as it's uber-abstruse. I suppose part of city > living is to always > be blurring that line, serving alcohol in church -- > oh wait, they already > do that. Something else scandalous. > The only line I'd draw is that all individuals be aided to make up their own minds, with the minimum degree of social pressure on them to conform one way or another. > > I don't know who came up with this lame form of > English that draws the line > where it is, but it twernt me and I refuse to speak > that dialect or lingo > if I can help falling into the ruts everybody else > does. > > In any case, my point is it's important not to fall > for all that bad > anthropology that shows "natives trying to explain > their world through gods > and drug-induced dreams" as if "to explain" in the > sense of opening a > machine and explaining the workings, were at all what > the natives were up > to. Not that they couldn't offer explanations, which > we might dismiss as > "mnemonic systems" or "ontologies" (dismiss or > perhaps respect, it gets > down to the individual). > > Don't let them saddle religion with the objectives of > science only to then > jeer because religion does such a poor job. That's > like sneering at a > racing car because it does so poorly as a shopping > mall procurement device > -- no place to put the purchases, attracts too much > attention. > Well, we haven't done all that well in the 'secular world' either. I guess what we need to learn is that we humans "ARE NOT THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!" If we can learn that lesson, I believe we'd solve a great many problems of ours. > >So they > should redesign shopping malls? Or perhaps it was > your vehicle that was > inappropriate. Just saying. > > Kirby > Yes, we do have a very long way to go. Jesus is supposed to have said: "Do thou unto others as thou wouldst have others do unto you". Now THAT'S a lesson worth learning!