[FoRK] "Peace and Love"

Paul Jimenez <pj at place.org> on Wed Dec 19 18:42:34 PST 2007

On Wednesday, Dec 19, 2007, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" writes:
>Hi Jeff,
>On Dec 19, 2007, at 1:49 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> Perhaps if some of these folks spent less time with their heads  
>> buried in their favorite religious texts, and / or with eyes screwed  
>> tightly closed in prayer, and / or trying desperately to figure out  
>> how to make sure that their neighbors' kids are legally compelled to  
>> be indoctrinated in the One True Faith (tm), and more time observing  
>> the world around them --
>Actually, I agree with you.  I think our religious leaders spend far  
>too much time on judging others and justifying themselves then  
>actually, y'know, caring for other human beings.  Hell, I probably do  

So much for their professed stance of "Judge not lest ye be judged".
As far as I'm concerned, any meme which includes proselytization as part
deserves to die.

>> - they'd realize just how bizarre this need from something beyond  
>> nature can seem.
>Hmm, maybe. Then again, maybe if you spent less time feeding your  
>bitterness by dwelling exclusively on the wrongs done in the name of  
>religion (though there are many), you might realize that  religion can  
>-- at least sometimes -- inspire people to great works of beauty,  
>humanity, service, and even scientific inquiry...
>Which wouldn't end this debate, but just might make it  a wee bit more  
>civil and productive.

Indeed, religion has inspired many works of great beauty - though IMHO
those works could as easily have been inspired by love or beauty of
anything the artist was passionate about. (Though I think a good art
historian will tell you that a lot of them were really 'showpiece'
works, intended to show off an artists skills in a public setting so
he'd get more private comissions and make some money).

And yes, there's the problem of separating religion and the formal
church from the church-as-social-gathering-place, because while I
really really dislike the former, the latter has very little to do
with the former other than coexisting in the same physical space. And
I think that one problem that atheism and skepticism as a movement
faces is that people involved in a church see a threat to their social
gathering place, when most of the dislike is really directed toward
their doctrine.  Which is why I was very very happy to see 'Athiest
Sunday School' mentioned; I think it will open a lot of minds to show
that the social bits an orgnized religion offers can be had without
the mind-numbing effects of having to submit to church authority.

As always, just my pair of pennies...


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