Sunday, December 06, 2009

Only Two Religions

There are really only two major divisions of Religion in the world:
One acknowledges and reveres some kind of God or "higher power" or
"great Spirit", a supernatural Force that transcends humanity and
has certain "intentions"or a Will for how humans ought to live
(some religions of this type affirm multiple gods, but the
concept is still the same: HE is -- or THEY are -- far, far above us
and should be worshiped and feared and obeyed)...

The second disavows any kind of "god" in favor of a MAN-centered
view, focused mainly on "spirituality" or "inner peace" or "balance",
or even one's "path" in life, not because some "god" wants it that way
but because walking one's "path" is (they believe) the way to achieve
true and deep "fulfillment" in this life...

Today's neo-Atheists, Reductionists, Materialists, and Naturalists
DO have -- contrary to what they try to insist -- a "religion",
if "religion" is defined as any organized system of beliefs which is
followed assiduously, and which functions as the framework for one's
entire World View... This type tends to elevate Science or "human
potential" to god-like status, and they revere these pursuits every bit
as much as Theists revere their Deities...

We can believe whatever we choose, of course, from "the Great Pumpkin"
to Jehovah and every supernatural -- or natural -- icon in between.
But for those who THINK, and who therefore are more interested in TRUTH
above all other motivations, when it comes to World Views, the picture
changes quite a bit:

A MAN-centered World View cannot be viewed as "equal to" a Theistic
World View; that is a confusion of Premise and Conclusion. The proper
comparison of a "non-god" religion to a "God(s)-centered" religion would be,
"I believe the more RATIONAL position is that there is in fact NO god,
THEREFORE, all that remains, for this life (which ends at death) is to find
my 'higher purpose', my 'path' while I live." The comparison is between
Theism and Atheism, not between Theism and MAN-centered "spirituality"
or even "Science"...

So, to me, the most important question of Life is not about "fulfillment"
or "destiny" or finding one's "path"; the most important question is a
two-fold inquiry: (a) Is there a God (or gods), and (if yes),
(b) what is His (Their) Will for me? If the answer to (a) is "NO"
(on purely Rational grounds), then it would seem to me that we are free
to believe whatever we choose, and the subject of TRUTH becomes irrelevant.
But if the answer to (a) is "YES", then (b) becomes the most important
pursuit of our lives.

I for one simply don't have any interest in discussions on World Views or
"religion" that don't begin from this base, because I want the TRUTH
above all else. Arguments along any other lines seem to me to be just
a chasing after the wind, an abyss of Subjectivity, and not very interesting...

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