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Religion is related to what we value as a collective. If we drop the religion that got us here, I'm afraid that we have a long way to fall. How can we tell what we should value other than from the accumilated learning of the past?
I think it's a mistake to think that religion has ever reflected our values or our direction. It has, at best, followed very very slowly. I'd argue it only had relevance when we were desperately ignorant of the world in which we exist. It is increasingly at odds with everything we're learning about the world, and its credibility among the incredulous drops with every new verified scientific discovery. I don't think religion offers society anything of real value.
The Bible is showing its age and perhaps some passages could be retired. But I don't think the message is at odds with Science. Science tells us where we are, but doesn't provide any guidance as to how we should grow. Picture a tree, science can tell us where the tree is, but religion is the sun that guides its growth.
I don't agree that the Bible offers anything of value. I think it's just one of millions of other philosophical/moral/ethical treatises, and it's extraordinarily inconsistent and self-contradictory as well. I'd suggest that many of the others are written by more thoughtful, insightful, and coherent people. Also, I think that society leads human morals which in turn are eventually (but very reluctantly) adopted by religions. They're the laggard, not the leader.
The Bible is really really old, copied from stories even older. The refinement of time those stories went through is much more insightful than one mind, and tell us more about what proporous societies valued as they grew to what we have today. If you need something extremely reliable, like a society, would you pick the newest tech, or the laggard tech?
I'm afraid I have zero admiration or sentimental attachment to the Bible. I consider it to be largely noise, its internal contradictions plus the calculated edits (removing many/most of its narratives) by past despots for their own benefits rendering it entirely untrustworthy. I think it's not worth reading except as an anachronistic curiosity. It's *definitely* nothing to base a society on.
The only way to get direction from the Bible is to read it selectively and subjectively. You bring your existing values, also known as guidance by the Holy Ghost, and you interpret.

Matching parts form the essence and the concrete message of the Bible. Contradicting parts are symbolic or part of a specific story for historical illustration rather than direct philosophical guidance.
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We can see that from the 3000 denominations that disagree on everything. Some of them do very nice things, provide community and a sense of belonging, and improve society. Some of them ruin society and harm people.

They all think the reason they do it is because they're good Christians and have "Christian values".
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My definition for religion is more general than the traditional ones. Humans need to have meaning/values and will organise around them. It's not whether religion is good or bad, but a choice of which one (or "ones" - provided they are compatible).
I tend to think that religion is organised for the purpose of controlling large numbers of people. Really insightful, dedicated thinkers tend to eschew religions, although historically, they were forced by religious theocracies & general religious prejudice to claim affiliation to the prevalent religion of the day where ever they were. I personally have no inherent respect for religion, nor do I think it particularly useful or necessary for 'social direction' or cultural coherence.
to clarify - I think religion is used by small numbers of people to control large numbers. In some cases, their exploitation of the masses is unintentional, but I think generally, those who "control" a religion (e.g. L Ron Hubbard) are doing it for their own power/gain.
Yes, I hate the control that had as well. It's a defilement of what is supposed to be good and true. It happens, no matter what religion. Socialism, Capitalism. A good question is how do we engineer a religion that is good and incorruptible?
A good question is how do we engineer a religion that is good and incorruptible?
There's a book for that. I haven't read it.
This entry was edited (1 year ago)
Religion is also a very personal thing, and teaching it at school has a high risk of causing discrimination and triggering issues with peer pressure that are probably not helpful for one's faith.

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