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The coming evangelical collapse

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posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:55 PM
reply to post by MikeboydUS

I thoroughly disagree. I have known quite a few people (and read the work of many more) who are deeply and profoundly moral and ethical and who have no need of any organized religion to tell them how to live.

We all understand what simple human decency has been proclaimed often enough as the golden rule... do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

You can find decency, morality, charity, mercy, compassion, empathy in any person regardless of religion or lack thereof.

You can be a true Christian without any organized religious affiliation... the same is true of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism...

... all that is needed to live a profoundly spiritual life is an open heart.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by grover]

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:02 PM
Religion was the base of law, without religion there would have been no laws to begin with. These same laws are what drives moral values.

Back in the ancient world they would say something to the effect.

Do this and the god of "?" will provide this. If you don't do this then the god "of" will do this to you.

The 10 commandments are a good example but not the only example and not the oldest example.

Thou shalt not kill....... Well murder is against the law today, and most find murder immoral. So most hold this as a personal value, whether you are religious or not.

So you say you would be fine and live your life based on your own moral values. But, at the end of the day those values were brought to you by religion like it or not.

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:08 PM
reply to post by TruthParadox

I have went over the deaths before on ATS a number of times.

Between Mao and Stalin they were responsible for extinguishing lives numbering in the equivalent ot 1/3 of the human population on earth around the Crusades. There were around 300 million people on earth 1000 years ago. Mao and Stalin's regimes together exterminated close to 100 million lives.

How can religious extremists be the greatest threat? We had a Cold War in the 20th century that brought our species to brink of extinction in the form of nulcear holocaust multiple times. On one side was capitalist military industrialists and the other revolutionary communists. Neither were religious extremists.

You may ascribe some existential personal meaning and value to your individual life, but in a society with no set values that meaning and your life can be taken away by someone else's meaning and values.

Religion presents set idealistic values. That religion can take many forms, but what is most important is the concept of idealistic values. The values become absolute and transcendent. They cannot be killed. They do not die with the individual. It creates a coherent social order.

In the absence of this there are two other routes: barbarism or ubermensch. Barbarism being where the strongest struggle to resist and impose values. The Ubermensch being one who sets new values not grounded in platonic idealism, but grounded in a new paradigm thus creating a new social order.

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:13 PM
reply to post by grover

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Its not so much as organized religion but just the belief in universal ideals.

Spirituality is a manifestation of those universal ideals.

The lack of those spiritual universal ideals is what I have a problem with.

[edit on 22/3/09 by MikeboydUS]

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:26 PM

Originally posted by grover

The article goes on to enunciate 7 points that according to the author will lead to said collapse:

They forgot number 8,

8) Evangelicals have pitted themselves against the very same science that has the potential to save your Mom, Dad, son or daughter. The science that brings you TV, cell phones, and video games. Its hard to win a war against something that helps people so much. It would have been a better strategy to insist that God was the miracle of scientific discovery, and its benefits were a sign of his favor.

Originally posted by grover
If that happens we could see the emergence of a non-sectarian... non-dogmatic form of Christianity that more resembles the more private practices such as Buddhism...

... which from my perspective would be a good thing... indeed I think this is the path you will see all of the major religions including Islam over the next century.

I think you are right, I think that portion of the article is just normal run of the mill "we are being persecuted" religious rubbish. All religions tend to play the "persecuted" card when their numbers shrink a little. That way the shrinkage looks like something being done deliberately to them, it helps rev up the zeal of the remaining members.

The article makes it sound like it is something that is going to happen. When in fact it is already underway. More people are moving to non-denominational services, or abandoning organized religion altogether. Which I also think is a very good thing. Better for you to read the Bible on your own than have someone else tell you what it says. (or any religious work) You get more out of it if you study it yourself. The non-sectarian thing is more consistent with the teachings of Jesus anyway.

Jesus was opposed to organized religion if I remember correctly.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:53 PM

Originally posted by grover

.... the focus of protestant Christianity as opposed to dogmatic purity... i.e. a Christianity without the organized religion.

If Protestantism became anymore "disorganized", it would fail to be Christianity. We would instead witness individuals delving into "Secular Faith", wherein they begin to lack the Strength and Sense of Community associated with Unity. Unity is necessary in order for a Religion to Flourish, now so more than ever.

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:56 PM

Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Jesus was opposed to organized religion if I remember correctly.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]

You fail to realize that the "Organization" factor is the only way in which Jesus' teachings were able to even spread, and take root, in the first place.

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 09:11 PM
reply to post by TheAgentNineteen

You fail to realize that what is being spread is not really the unadulterated teachings of Jesus.

Just slapping a Jesus sticker on something doesnt mean it contains 100% pure unprocessed Jesus. Having spent an awful lot of time perusing both the New Testament and the Gospel of Thomas and Mary, it is hard to reconcile what has been spread and is currently called Christianity with Jesus and his teachings.

What ended up being spread is largely the theories of Paul. Who never met or knew him.

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:10 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 12:40 AM
reply to post by grover

I just have this to say about religion as a whole. If it helps you to deal with everyday life and it makes you happy then good for you and keep the faith. If you think that someone else is in need of God and needs to have religion pushed down their throat in order to "save" them then you can shove off. From what I can gather religion was set out as a way to give others guidelines for better life as a whole, not to be used as a tool to gain favor or control. In my opinion most religions are nothing but cults. They feed off the weakness of others in order to gain numbers and cash to spew "their" view of what God or Jesus wants us to do. For those of you who believe I want you to ask yourself one question. If you pray in the privacy of your own home and live your life the best you can while also being a good all around person to others around you. Is it a true necessity to have to prove your faith to others when the only one you need to convince of God's presence is yourself? Why does it matter what others think and why is it their business? It's your faith not theirs. I am not a religious person and claim no ties to any church because I believe that I make my own destiny. I feel that most things can be solved by taking time to think them through and that most so called miracles are in fact just dumb luck or coincidence that happen. Every human on the planet has the most powerful tool at their disposal and that is their brain. Now if that wonderful piece organic computer hardware ever is used to it's full potential it will be non to soon. It is up to all of us to make something of ourselves not be pushed or told we will never do so because you do not believe in God or that you do not go to church to pray.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 12:53 AM
I think that article posted is only applicable to developed nations... especially in the west which is __?__ percent of the world's total population? But I sure would like to know what the writer has to say about the rest of the world. For as long as science has yet to prove or disprove the existence of a christian god, and as long as there is hardship and despair in the world, this religion will never be obsolete. Try to visit a developing christian country... the "third world" bastions of christianity. You will have to see first hand how influential religion is to the people who live there, and how much it affects their lives. I think two generations won't even scratch the surface. It's like saying the whole world will become a utopia in two generation's time. Perhaps as the human race advances further, and whether we like it or not, the time will come when all of our questions will be answered - including why there is no God, or why there is one. So I'll have to say NO, it's just not gonna happen that way unless aliens from another planet suddenly approaches us and says, "There is no God because we're the ones who created you"... and that's if we're gonna blindly believe them... lol.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:27 AM
So what is with all the ridicule and hate?
Is it permissible to ridicule someone on ats if they believe in ufo's?
Is it permissible on ats to ridicule someone if they believe in ghosts?
Is it permissible on ats to ridicule someone if they believe in govt involvement in 9/11?
Is it permissible on ats to ridicule someone if they believe in atlantis?

Why has it become permissible to hate and ridicule someone if they believe in ANY form of god?
Why has it become trendy on ats to hate and ridicule somone on ats if they are a christian?
Does "deny ignorance" imply no tolerance for what I don't believe in now?

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:48 AM
only religions I have any respect for is the masons and Buddhists... you dont see them starting wars... The Masons had the knights templars yes, but their cause was noble and just.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:51 AM
Yay one down. (Soon I hope.)

Several others to go.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:56 AM
one of the main problems with the chiristian churches. ( and i do mean plural, as for the different sects..) is they worship church docturine not god, they wont do the research to find the truth they just follow carpet baggin charlitians who tell them what they want to hear and in the process get manipulated into pushing hate and malcontent. then when someone disagrees with what they are pushing they pull out the old witchhunt tactics.. now i realize some dont but then u have the evangelicals and the mormans, witnesses and fundies. i find a lot of hypocracy with these groups

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:57 AM
reply to post by PowerSlave

Religion was the base of law, without religion there would have been no laws to begin with.

Yes but humanity has progressed beyond that. People no longer need religion to parent them. We have non-perfect yet reasonably stable justice systems around the world. There are plenty of believers who break every moral rule and plenty of non-believers who are the most compassionate, upstanding people. It all boils down to the person, religion is barely a factor, good do good, the bad do bad. More people I've know have not done "bad things" because they feared the law, not God. With the law and a common decency built into a society religious fear becomes pretty useless, except for those who use devils and demons as excuses for their actions.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 02:16 AM
Christianity took a wrong turn when it began to reject the mystical in favor of the fundamental.

For most of the middle ages, Christianity was mystical in orientation. The object was inner prayer and contemplation. The tales of the bible were understood on a mythic level. Mythic understanding is different than scientific understanding. For example, Shakespeare's "King Lear" is not factually true. There never was a "king Lear" who ruled England. But that does not make Shakespeare's work a "lie" or "worthless." Rather, it is read on a mythico-poetic level, and it contains lessons that are timeless and speak to something deep inside us. Religion used to cultivate and be rooted in a similar type of understanding. People weren't so hung up on whether or not the earth "really was" created in 7 days. Instead they looked to Christ as a model of how to live, a kind of spiritual/mythic template to understand suffering and morality.

Gradually, this way of understanding (such as can be noted in Thomas a Kampis's "The Imitation of Christ," books like "The Cloud of Unknowing," and countless other mystico-mythic tomes) faded. What took its place was a literal, dogmatic, reading that rejected the metaphoric and insisted in the most dull-brained, flattened form of biblical literalism. Once Christianity began to go down this road, its fate was sealed because when a mythic, poetic, and mystical understanding is rejected in favor of a literarlist/fundamentalist reading, Christianity just simply can't compete against science.

The way forward to return to a mystical, mythic, inner-directed reading of Christianity. I can't remember who said "Religion isn't "science-minus." It's "poetry-plus,"" but this is exactly the attitude we should be cultivating. A Christianity that lets go of a slavish, dull-witted insistence on the "literal" truth of the Bible and instead looks to scripture for more mythico-poetic lessons. This takes trust and imagination, as well as the ability to listen down deep into yourself and to seek the inner essence of truth. Will Christianity re-learn this way of comprehension? IF it doesn't, it is doomed to dwindle into irrelevancy -- and rightfully so.

[edit on 3/23/09 by silent thunder]

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 02:30 AM
reply to post by shooterbrody


That is so true.

Originally posted by ki11ma11
only religions I have any respect for is the masons and Buddhists... you dont see them starting wars... The Masons had the knights templars yes, but their cause was noble and just.

Humans will fight no matter what happens. Its also true that we as a people will attempt to create reasons for our fighting. If you went off to fight a war with someone I assume that you would feel much better about it if you thought you had God on your side or something else just so you could say that he/she told you to do it.

[edit on 23/3/2009 by funky monk]

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 02:40 AM

Originally posted by ki11ma11
only religions I have any respect for is the masons and Buddhists... you dont see them starting wars... The Masons had the knights templars yes, but their cause was noble and just.

I am a Buddhist, but I must point out that there have been a number of Buddhist-related wars throughtout Asian history, and Buddhism has certainly contributed its fair share to human misery. The doctrine of Karma was used countless times to justify all sorts of oppression ("Stop complaining and get back to work, slave. It's your karma that you are a slave and I'm a maharaja; keep your mouth shut and keep hauling bricks for my new palace and maybe your good behavior will be rewarded with a better life in your next incarnation.")

Japan has had its share of warrior monks, such as the so-called sohei:

"Zen and the art of archery" sounds nice on paper...until you remember all those arrows were being fired at human flesh. And let's not forget Zen's role in brainwashing soldiers through "emptiness" into the perfect killing machines in WWII:

Plenty of more examples of Buddhist violence in East Asian history here for those who are interested:

As noted I'm a Buddhist myself, but I can't abide it when people whitewash history. Like all religions, Buddhism has its dark side.

[edit on 3/23/09 by silent thunder]

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 02:49 AM

Originally posted by MikeboydUS
Just wanted to remind people that so called "Rational" Secular thought in the form of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China and World War 2 killed more people than any religion, plague, or natural disaster in history.

Agreed, but those men were not driven by their disbelief. They had other reasons for committing those atrocities.

On the other hand, we see throughout history that wars have actually been fought over opposing beliefs in deities. Entire civilizations had their culture destroyed because the invaders found their beliefs to be Satanic and in need of conversion.

Of course, I find all of histories atrocities equally abhorrent. But let us not pretend that Stalin and Mao were driven by their lack of belief in a deity.

The truth is that without religion, life is meaningless and without values.

Without value life descends into nihilism, libertine sadism, and genocide.

I agree to an extent. Also I'm pretty sure Nietzsche said this (right?)

Anyway, the problem with religion is that it hinders scientific progress over unsupported beliefs about what we can and cannot do with our knowledge. It also oppresses certain minorities whom their holy book condemns(IE homosexuals and women in the Middle East) and it dictates what people can and cannot do with their bodies (abortion, pre-marital sex, birth control).

I do not see why we cannot simply trade philosophy for religion. At least it's rooted in logic & reason instead of faith.

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