If God Exists, Worship Is Unnecessary. If There Is No God, Worship Is Pointless.

In deference to my friend, associate, and ally, I have changed the title of the post which may have been unintentionally insensitive or callous.

Inasmuch as my focus was/is the specific behavior associated with the belief in the existence of god, I have altered the title of the post to more accurately reflect that focus.

The discussion continues...

Views: 721

Comment by Ben Sen on August 31, 2016 at 10:07am

What you say here makes no sense to me.

Try:  "If people don't believe in God, they believe in something else that gives them hope."  Belief is a human instinct that comes with consciousness. The newest religion is science and ideology. The "worship" is practicing that science or ideology.  People believe it in with all the passion of the Crusaders with little more insight than they had. Before that, the deities of ancient Greece and India became the basis for reason, (Apollo) friendship (Hermes) and Joy (Dionysius) etc.  

Worship gives people a reason to live and comes in many forms.  Doctors, lawyers, and psychologists are our new priests.  It's time to expand the definition.  You have to include Joseph Campbell's contribution if you're going to have an informed conversation.  

Comment by Ron Powell on August 31, 2016 at 10:17am
The connection between the Crusades and the slave trade lies in the notion that people of dark complexion were inherently inferior to people who had pale or white complexions. And that said people were inherently superior to people with dark complexions.

This superior/infererior dichotomy or paradigm was first articulated by Western Europeans during the Crusades.
Comment by Myriad on August 31, 2016 at 10:35am

re Ben Sen's comment - seems to be that's extending the definition of religion beyond its boundaries and making a metaphor of it. Religion is (however amorphous) a specific mind-thing, namely faith in unprovable deities. We lay people may take science on faith, but if we research or even participate ourselves, we can experience its provability.

Comment by Ben Sen on August 31, 2016 at 11:03am

Let me ask you this Ron:

When the people of the ancient world were abandoning the faith that sustained them for thousands of years for the "new" faith of Christianity, you think they were conscious the new "faith" was only that--something that had no basis in reality other than they believed it, or did they more simply see the possibilities the new faith brought them i.e. redemption, eternal life, and a better world.  And before than, when they shifted from animism, you think it was any different?

I suggest the same thing is happening today.  The old paradigm has been internalized, the world is in fact a better place due to it, but it is not enough.  When we look outside of ourselves we see the same suffering and danger we always see.  Consciousness is like the universe itself.  It keeps expanding in order to encompass the new data that is all around us, but it is motivated by the same human instinct: the need to believe.  When we lose all faith whatsoever, we lose our ego and will to live.  That is when the discussion ends.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 31, 2016 at 11:59am

A lot of religion now has a lot to do with the afterlife. That's a big differentiating factor between religion and the science that presumably replaced a piece of it. 

Comment by Ron Powell on August 31, 2016 at 4:24pm
@SBA; The sanctioning of slavery by the Church also gave Western European Whites a sense of entitlement re their relationships with black people that lingers to this very day.
Comment by Ben Sen on August 31, 2016 at 5:04pm


U could say I'm looking at religion "metaphorically" but "symbolically" is more precise.  The "problem" in my view is literal interpretation, which is by far the majority view particularly in the West.  It's hard to even find someone who can recognize "religion" without it.

The progression of "religion" was universal throughout all cultures. Campbell proved it with his research.   It went from "animist" (the belief that everything is spirit and still practiced in "Native" cultures) and was matriarchal, to polytheism which could be either matriarchal or patriarchal, to monotheism in the West, which was patriarchal and has continued to be such--with variations in certain cultures such as the Slavs, who tend to be more matriarchal.

The longest any religion has dominated humanity in fact is animism, which they think thrived for over 25,000 years. This is religious history 101, but not if you're a literalist.  They usually date "religion" from the time their scriptures were written.


Comment by Myriad on August 31, 2016 at 5:25pm

I said (I thought) that you were looking at science and applying the term "religion" to it, which would be metaphorically.

And, haha, animism is having something of a revival in Europe and America, as in neo-Paganism (of which I'm a participant).  And indeed mainstream religions tend not to recognize our thing as religion.

Comment by Zanelle on August 31, 2016 at 6:07pm

Thanks for your perspective, Ben!

Comment by Ron Powell on September 3, 2016 at 8:28am
On Religion

And an old priest said, "Speak to us of Religion."
And he said:
Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for God and this for myself;
This for my soul, and this other for my body?"
All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

---From "The Prophet", Kahlil Gibran


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