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"I think that for a religion to renew itself, it has to be, kind of, more in contact with the changing times," he says.The times that think that religion is poison? Those times?
Buddhism is a lot more ascetical than Richard Gere would lead you to believe.Including sexually. The ex monk has a wife and children.
"...atheist society."That implies an an embrace of atheism. I don't see that.I do, however, see a rejection of religion.perhaps an atheocratic? society. More concept than word...
The Great Buddha was a lot like St Francis of Assisi; he tried to reject the material in favor of the spiritual.
Re: "People are the same as they always have been and always will be."I'm not so sure about that. I bet we taste a lot different than our predecessors. Sometimes more minty, I imagine.
Goodness, one of the comments (I should have known better than to wade into NPR comments on the subject of religion) rather earnestly suggests that religion is good and all, but that they're all outdated and we need to develop a religion that reflects "modern realities." What an ignorant notion. The whole point of all religions--as most non-ignorant people know--is to address, acknowledge and teach universal truths. There's no such thing as "modern realities" and I entirely reject the implied notion that humans have progressed to some more evolved plane than the people who dreamed up those dusty old religions. Technology and lifestyles change, but people are the same as they always have been and always will be.
Sorry about that betamax; decided to edit my post the only way Blogger allows. I imagine the disciples* tasting like fish and hummus : ) *Catholic speaking, so can't speak for ancient Buddhists, etc.
Vegetarians are harder to barbecue properly: less marbling.
Re: "I imagine the disciples tasting like fish and hummus"Exactly!
@Jeri Johnson,I do, however, see a rejection of religion.How about learning a bit of history and seeing a fucking religious holocaust!Do you think the Soviet authorities politely asked the Kalmyks to give up their faith? No, they expropriated the property of the monasteries & temples, and persecuted those who tried to follow the old faith. They destroyed all the old Buddhist folkways and traditions as best they could.So, yeah, it's a little tough to go back to a place where all the religious infrastructure has been destroyed, there's no local source of funds to build temples or for clergy, and you have a population that has absolutely no idea what their religious tradition were because it was extirpated root and branch.Or, does your brand of atheocratic thinking support the murder of millions of believers to accomplish its ends? Because the Soviets sure did....
One day, in the not so distant future, Nate Silver will get something wrong and that will be the first sign that we are back.Mark my words.
Is there an atheistic/non-religious group in the world that isn't in the middle of demographic collapse?
I mean, as far as I can tell there really isn't any population growth amongst groups that don't have a sizable majority that believe in God/gods.
@YoungHegelian I am only attempting to distinguish between 'non religious' and 'anti religious'. Ask yourself if an atheist, one who does not believe, would go out of their way to persecute a religion before one who is anti religious ... atheocratic.And then there is the term "society". What does that mean in a soviet state?
I like how atheists blame religion for war. It is almost as if the biggest mass murderers in recent history, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin weren't all atheists who were very unsocial people and kinda warlike themselves.
I believe the term to describe people in the post Christian Western World is Neopagan. Pagans can be polytheists or atheist, religious or nonreligious. One characteristic Pagans all share is that they have no objective moral standard, in other words they have no moral core. What passes for morality among pagans is nothing but a reflection of the current popular culture.
Because Pagans have no objective moral standards, they have no defense against totalitarian leaders such as Hitler, Mao, Stalin etc. Because the leaders dictate the popular culture in which Pagans live, Pagans internalize their leaders whims as moral imperatives. The leaders become their Gods. In Pagan Rome, the common religious experience which tied the empire together was emperor worship. In Germany their god was Hitler, in Russia it was Marx and his disciple Lenin, in China Mao, among pagans in the US many view Obama as God like.
Hey, Guess what? I'm an atheist, and I despise the Soviet Union in many ways. Primarily, I despise the destruction of individual freedom, and the subservience of people to a new Faithfulness.I also believe, or think, that religions contain great value in them, as the vessels in which institutions have been created. Like family, law, etc., as examples of the institutions. I also think they have impeded progress due to attempting to hold on to power, such as during the reformation.But to take people who want, or do believe in a way and destroy their beliefs? Why, that sounds like modern day PCism.Screw that. If you don't have something provably better, and I do mean provably by some method that thinking people can agree with, go to hell. Or rather, take the whole country down with you, as leftists are wont to do.
@achillesI just don't think the term "atheist" fully describes Hitler, Mao, and Stalin. Unlike Dante above, they were not content to live with the religious. That makes them something other than simply 'atheist', perhaps 'activist atheist'. Actively forcing a lack of faith can only mean the persecution and ultimately the destruction of religion. A term is needed, though. Whether it is activist atheist, pagan, neopagan, or atheocrat (one could describe such a state as atheocratic the opposite being theocratic), 'atheist' simply does not cover the horror.
"they were not content to live with the religious."The religious, just by being religious, having faith in God, threatened their supremacy as leaders.
It isn't religion that has to change but the religious person certainly has to learn how to handle disrespect for what they most value. And if you go from a society that honors your religion and you as a priest to a society that is the opposite then you might not be ready. Religious people in this society have had years to adjust. They have books on the subject, examples, teachers, explanations. Standard boilerplate attacks from the irreligious (a word?) are hardly heard. This poor Buddhist monk just got thrown into it.
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