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World & Current Events > Will 'old' religion stay or new one evolve?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments Spreading of atheism and agnostic approach within the last century or so broke the monopoly of religions on spiritual being of humanity. The reasons for disbelief may be various, one of them may be of a bit anachronistic nature of major religious text and postulates.
Yet, the 'consumer' need for spiritual guidance and certainty in the face of unknown may still exist.
Do you think more modern religions might evolve or 'old' ones adapt?


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin The only things people need to believe in is in themselves, along with tolerance, compassion and kindness. Those three qualities are the only 'gods' that we need to believe in. Too many religions exploited individual insecurity in order to gain dominance on people and give power/riches to their 'prophets' and leaders. Go in any mega-church in the deep South and see who is profiting the most from all the donations to the church (hint: it isn't the poorer people of the community).


message 3: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Speaking of "old" religion, I've recently been reading about the idea that religions in many parts of the world originate from ancient astrology and sun worship. This is a new idea for me, and I'd appreciate your taking the time to watch this and responding if you find it interesting. It makes sense to me but, at the same time, it's a lot to get my mind around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD9f0...


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9788 comments Scout, I think that video has a number of faults. The most obvious one is the crucifixion of whoever gave rise to Horus. Crucifixion was not invented for at least a millennium after there are clear records of Horus, and in the early times it was more of the Scottish cross. Similarly, I don't think you can see Crux from that part of the Northern hemisphere.

However, early religions certainly came from sun worship, or whether they were worshipping the sun or worshipping the God who had provided the sun is less clear. The ancients certainly spent a lot of effort cataloguing the heavens, but that was necessary so as to know when to plant, or when the Nile would flood. I think the religions probably sprang up because they were the easiest way to answer the difficult questions such as, where did we come from, why does the sun rise, etc etc? Easiest way to become authoritative was to say, God did it, now praise the Lord, and donate now!

AS ana aside, that says nothing about whether there is a God, but merely why gods were necessary to the ancients.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments New beliefs spring all the time, however most major religions are pretty old. Do religions have a place in the future and if so, can we expect major "modern" ones?


message 6: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 250 comments Nik, you are just full of reviving old threads today, aren't you? Exactly how many of them do you have? ;)

I think there are many instances where modern religions are evolving based on world views and religious leaders. Just look at what Pope Francis has done recently for the Catholic church.

I think if there are any 'new' religions that pop up they won't be drastically different from the 'One God' central belief that exists today, i.e. I would be surprised if a new religion evolved that espoused a belief in a pantheon of gods like the Greeks and Romans.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go pray to the God of Beer. After I leave my daily offering to the God of Chocolate.


message 7: by Nik (last edited Aug 14, 2020 10:48AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments G.R. wrote: "Nik, you are just full of reviving old threads today, aren't you? Exactly how many of them do you have? ;)..."

Thousands, no worries :)
Re: beer, gonna revive a little fresher one to accommodate:)


message 8: by Jim (last edited Aug 16, 2020 11:21AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments There are five formally recognized major religions in the world today: Christianity - Islam - Judaism - Buddhism - Hinduism. Each of them is absolutely certain that they know for sure, through prayer and divine revelation, that the other four got it wrong.

There are approximately 750 different formally recognized sects and denominations within Christianity. Each of them is absolutely certain that they know for sure, through prayer and divine revelation, that the others got it wrong.

Wanting something to be the truth does not make it true and believing something is reality does not make it real. Would it not be better to focus our efforts toward learning to accept and live in the world that exists instead of wasting time and resources seeking access to a non-existent alternative?

"It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble. It's what we know that ain't so."
Will Rogers (Humorist/Actor/Entertainer) 1879 - 1935


ThereWillBeBooks | 6 comments An angle to consider is that though the traditional organized religions institutions are waning in popularity, the religious impulse hasn't gone anywhere. People in modern society still seek solace and an explanation for their place in the world and want to be given a map or set of rules to guide them. This used to be the place of classical religion, and I would contend that these impulses have not disappeared but have migrated to other areas still (mistakenly) considered "secular", politics, the fetishization of entrepreneurship, Marvel movies or whatever else gives modern folks meaning.


message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Jim, what you said sounds good: Would it not be better to focus our efforts toward learning to accept and live in the world that exists instead of wasting time and resources seeking access to a non-existent alternative? I'd ask how you know that the alternative is non-existent.


message 11: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments If I recall correctly, the very early humans (hunter-gatherers) didn't have gods. Once we became agriculture-herders, that is when we developed gods and spirits of all types from playful to demonic. A way to explain things we couldn't understand when it became more complex than I shake the tree and the apple falls off? Eventually we grouped into larger populations and as a means to explain provide for punishment and reward to those we no longer knew on a one-to-one basis, we really got into gods and religion.

Human nature is to believe in some kind of purpose and reason for the unpredictability of the world, so hurricanes become an Act of God. We can't accept that there may no reason so we invent a deity with intent. As we continue to evolve culturally and societally, and presumably cognitively, perhaps religion will become part of humanity's history.


message 12: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan ThereWillBeBooks wrote: "An angle to consider is that though the traditional organized religions institutions are waning in popularity, the religious impulse hasn't gone anywhere. People in modern society still seek solace..."

Bingo!


message 13: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan My 2 cents...

90% of people (perhaps higher) have a religious impulse and need that impulse to be fulfilled to feel fulfilled in their lives.

Hence religion exists as a necessary feature of human culture, society, and personal experience.

For myself, I'm an atheist from the age of 7, but I'm certainly not militant about it.

I believe the experience of Fascist and Marxist/Communist societies over the last century attempting to replace established religion with a deified State/Supreme leader provides a salutary lesson of what happens when the religious impulse is misdirected for the political/financial gain of power elites.

As for religion itself, despite it's trappings of 'tradition,' it constantly evolves to meet the changing needs of the people who participate in it. Christianity today would be unrecognizable to a 15th century pope.

After all, we no longer burn witches at the stake...


message 14: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Graeme wrote: "My 2 cents...

90% of people (perhaps higher) have a religious impulse and need that impulse to be fulfilled to feel fulfilled in their lives.

Hence religion exists as a necessary feature of human..."


Maybe no burning although some church goers in Africa may disagree and the bombing of a the church in Sri Lanka recently. Then we have the suppression of the Muslim minorities in many countries most notably in China. We have inter Muslim conflict in Yemen - a lot of burning there. We have the anti-abortion bombing attempts in USA. It may not be witches it is just as intolerant, ignorant as the Spanish Inquisition.

It is another example of my rights / beliefs outweigh yours. One step away from concentration camps (Nazis, China), Soviet labour camps, the massacres in Bosnia, and any other atrocity you care to mention. That many of them are driven by religion just shows how perverse human beliefs can be.


message 15: by W (new)

W Lizzie wrote: "If I recall correctly, the very early humans (hunter-gatherers) didn't have gods. Once we became agriculture-herders, that is when we developed gods and spirits of all types from playful to demonic..."
Religion is primarily a response to the fear of death,it will always be there.


message 16: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments W wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "If I recall correctly, the very early humans (hunter-gatherers) didn't have gods. Once we became agriculture-herders, that is when we developed gods and spirits of all types from pla..."

Religion is more than that. It's a system of shared beliefs that generally force members of the society to comply. In early America some of the colonies had "State Religions". If you didn't follow those rules you were excommunicated from the town or community.

Fear of death may be the reason for many but there are just as many these days who don't believe there is an afterlife.


message 17: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments I have read a lot more science fiction lately where religion is definitely no longer part of the landscape. Sometimes future humanity look on religion as part of the dark ages of human history.


message 18: by ThereWillBeBooks (new)

ThereWillBeBooks | 6 comments If we go way back and look at the origins of religion and its central components, I would argue that religion is simply people telling the story of how they got where they are and why they do what they do. These stories can be mostly metaphorical and deal with woodland spirits and river gods, like with older tribal societies.

But, when civilization began to take shape and people started living in cities and political hierarchies began to form, what we know as religion became a useful concept for the people sitting atop these political hierarchies. They were stories explaining why people do what they do, but they were about how a "lord" ruled over his people. The stories concerning "why" always reflect the structure of the society in question.

I think this is why we see monotheism come about at the same time as world-spanning empires. A lone God on his throne to justify a god-like Emperor on his.

So, in an age where educated people no longer believe in a sky god, and if you accept the premise that the religious impulse hasn't gone anywhere... What are the stories we tell ourselves about why we are here and why we do what we do?


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments Scout wrote: "Jim, what you said sounds good: Would it not be better to focus our efforts toward learning to accept and live in the world that exists instead of wasting time and resources seeking access to a non..."

Scout,

73 years of life experiences, study, and investigation are what brought me to the conclusion that the world and life simply are what they are and there is no alternative, including the concept of an afterlife. I could be wrong, but I sincerely believe that I am right.

In 1967, as a 19-year-old U.S. Marine in Vietnam, my fellow rifle company members and I were subjected to the same exact brief speech from our First Sergeant prior to going out on each patrol.
1st./Sgt. McIntosh would say: "Everybody dies. So don't make a big deal of it when it comes your turn!". I have passed on that wise advice to each of my four adult children and four grandchildren.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments As to why, I hope it’s thanks to my parents having a rare moment of enjoying being together. Don’t think there is much more to it. As to what: a lot of a ‘need to’ basis with occasional events of acting out of free will


message 21: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I'm a practicing Christian. I thought I'd mention it to throw a different perspective in the ring.

Perhaps there will be 'new' religions developed in the future, who knows?

Certainly, Gen Z has quite a different perspective on things to those of us born a bit earlier. Here's a blog post I've recently found quite interesting. It's based on Australian research, so it might be different in different countries.

https://mikefrost.net/the-religious-l...


message 22: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments It’s interesting to hear the war wisdom of those who felt they were much closer to death than regular civilians.
A driver of mine (not that I’m any kind of big boss or anything, it just was the culture for any managerial position in 90-ies, beginning of 2000), who was in Soviet contingent in Afghanistan in 80-ies, told me that something his commander said when he was a green soldier helped him stay alive through the entire period in the war zone. His commander told him that motherland doesn’t care, the army doesn’t care if someone dies as a hero or at all, the only people who really care is your family, so try to stay alive and return home for them. Maybe not very heroic, but he mentioned it as helpful.


message 23: by Jim (last edited Aug 16, 2020 09:03AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments Nik wrote: "It’s interesting to hear the war wisdom of those who felt they were much closer to death than regular civilians.
A driver of mine (not that I’m any kind of big boss or anything, it just was the cul..."


Nik,

Your driver's commentary on his wartime experience resonates with all combat veterans.

Contrary to what many movies and books say about war, those who actually experience combat will tell you that, when the last shot is fired, the peace treaties are signed, and the war is officially declared over, there are no winners, there are no losers, there are only survivors.


message 24: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Lots said here about how religion has been bad for humanity. Not much said about how it provided moral guidelines that have fostered many good actions through the ages. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, surely beliefs such as treating others as you'd be treated have some merit. What does atheism as a belief system offer to match that?


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments I like the expression that decency preceded bible. According to bible 20+ generations lived before 10 commandments were delivered, obviously basing on natural ethics. A desire to be a good or ethical person doesn’t follow from an external prescription be it religion or laws. It comes from an inner belief in what’s right. Unfortunately, religion didn’t (doesn’t) stop multiple atrocities committed in its name. Moreover, it automatically divides into those with ‘morals’ (I.e believers) and those without - that should be ‘saved’, ‘converted’, ‘taught’, sometimes ‘eradicated’, whatever, but rarely respected or let alone.
Atheism as far as I understand is not a system of beliefs, but rather an absence of belief in god. Religion doesn’t make us good or bad people.


message 26: by Jim (last edited Aug 17, 2020 03:30PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments Scout wrote: "Lots said here about how religion has been bad for humanity. Not much said about how it provided moral guidelines that have fostered many good actions through the ages. Whether you believe in an af..."

I cannot speak for all Atheists, only myself.

Family members on my father's side (practicing Roman Catholics) and family members on my mother's side (practicing Methodists) were quite upset when I informed them that I was an Atheist to explain why I was getting married by a justice of the peace and not having a church wedding and did not intend to have any of the children I might father baptized in any religious faith.

Several of those family members and their children are now divorced. a few are drug addicts, two are drunkards (not alcoholics), and one is in prison for armed robbery.

My late wife and I had five children and remained happily married for 35 1/2 years until she died of cancer. All of my children (now ages 40 through 50) are self-sufficient, and gainfully employed. None use illegal drugs or drink alcohol to excess They have presented me with 4 grandchildren (ages 13 through 24) who, so far, exhibit the same lifestyle and values as their parents.

One does not need religion to teach one to be a good person and not everyone who believes in religion is a good person.

"Emotionally, I am an Atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
Isaac Asimov (Biochemist/Science Fiction Author) 1920 - 1992

" Religions are all alike; founded on fables and mythologies."
Thomas Jefferson (3rd. President of the United States) 1743 - 1826


message 27: by Lizzie (last edited Aug 17, 2020 09:05PM) (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments I know a lot of people who do the right thing, people who help others, people who follow the law. Morals are not based on religion. The difference between them and too many religions is that they do it without judgment, without a "sermon", without expectations of the recipients.

Being raised Pentecostal, having a sister who still follows that religion and another one who has converted to Catholicism, they are the ones who criticize every lifestyle that is different from theirs, who believe gay people are going to hell, who vote against equal rights for all and so on. The other sister and myself, it's everyone has the right to live the life that makes them happy, as long as they are not hurting someone else.

Throughout history religion has been used to control the population, to control the monarchs of countries, a cause for war and a means to collect assets and power.

Even when I was 12, I could not picture god, heaven, hell - it all sounded like a comic strip to me. The Bible was simply stories, somewhat based on historical events. I didn't think about being an athiest or agnostic; I just knew it wasn't real to me. Some day my atoms will return to the universe and become parts of whatever else, be it a tree, a frog, or a star.

I think for most people it is simply hard to accept that there isn't something more. The one thing my 2 sisters have never understood is that I actually wish I could believe in it because to believe there is a purpose and a reward with another future would feel good.

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”
― Isaac Asimov


message 28: by Jim (last edited Aug 18, 2020 09:41AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments The late George Carlin expressed his personal view of religion quite often. One must admit, the following quote is more than a bit sarcastic and crude, and would hurt some peoples' feelings, but Mr. Carlin often utilized sarcasm and crudeness to make a point and he believed that withholding the truth to protect a person's feelings did that person more harm than good in the long run.

"Religion has convinced people that there is an invisible man...living in the sky. He watches everything you do every minute of every day. The invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn't want you to do. If you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever to suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you and he needs money."
George Carlin (Comedian/Social Commentator/Actor) 1937 - 2008


message 29: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 250 comments Lizzie wrote: "everyone has the right to live the life that makes them happy, as long as they are not hurting someone else..."

Amen to that, Lizzie. That is something I fundamentally believe although some will argue as to what 'hurting' someone really means. Morality is a very individual set of rules that are constantly shifting as our knowledge, awareness, and experiences in life grow. I should also add, as societies evolve, too.

I also find it hard to accept a supreme being up there constantly watching over us forever. But that is not to say I doubt the existence of such a being. I liken the creation of the world to any artistic expression, such as a painting or sculpture or other work of art. Had Michelangelo stopped with his Pieta or representation of David, then we would never have had the Sistine Chapel or The Last Judgment. What if the God who created us moved on to create other worlds? Food for thought.

As for the rest of us, now we're in trouble when both Jim and Lizzie are quoting Asimov.


message 30: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments G.R. wrote: "What if the God who created us moved on to create other worlds? Food for thought.."

There are times I actually wondered if maybe we were some alien experiment, eventually abandoned on some dusty shelf or flushed down the drain. Then I read a science fiction book that specifically told that story - a high school experiment equivalent. It was quite amusing of a kid tripping with a glass or water causing the great flood type of things.


message 31: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Philip wrote: "Maybe no burning although some church goers in Africa may disagree and the bombing of a the church in Sri Lanka recently. Then we have the suppression of the Muslim minorities in many countries most notably in China...."

Within a community, a common religion provides a unifying framework of common belief, values, definition of life's purpose, a moral framework, a way of belonging, and typically an answer for mortality.

Between communities with different religions, the differences can be focused on and leveraged for political and financial gain through the mechanisms of violence, deception, and systemic oppression.

At other times, different religions can peacefully co-exist when their members recognize their common humanity, ignore their differences, and focus on mutual benefits.

In the end, both pathways are choices between how we respond to our [1] common humanity and our individual differences, and our [2] response (participate, ignore or reject) to the pathological use of difference for political and financial gain.


message 32: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) G.R. wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "everyone has the right to live the life that makes them happy, as long as they are not hurting someone else..."

Amen to that, Lizzie. That is something I fundamentally believe altho..."


On Earth's creation

Slartibartfast: Ever heard of a place, I think it's called Norway? That was one of mine, I got an an award for it.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


message 33: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments I agree with all who say that religion has been a source of strife and bad deeds in its name. If a belief in God and the tenets of religion don't show us how to define good or bad people, I'd ask what does. How does an atheist know what's "good" or "bad," since atheism isn't a belief system, just a denial of god. Do we have an innate sense of good and bad and, if so, where does that sense originate?


message 34: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments A person's cognitive capability, upbringing, and self-awareness determines their ability to recognize good versus evil, right from wrong, and humility versus arrogance.

A self-centered narcissist tends toward bad behavior while a curious humble person tends more toward good behavior. That said; two separate individuals with the exact same background and advantages may interpret their life experiences quite differently.

"If you provide a dog with food, water, shelter, and affection, it will think that you are a god. If you provide a cat with food, water, shelter, and affection, it comes to the conclusion that it is a god."
Christopher Hitchens (Author/Journalist) 1949 - 2011


message 35: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Mark | 3 comments My novels are preoccupied with the theme of religious conflict and why it exists when there are plenty of opportunities to find common ground.

The Aga Khan summarised my point very succinctly:

"I think that monotheistic religions, having a common reference to One God, should and must dialogue. The three religions which Abraham inspired have many more common facets than those which divide them. Religion must be the means by which to affirm the ethical significance of existence, regardless of one’s profession of faith."


message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments Agree: popes, rabbis and muftis should smoke peace pipes regularly


message 37: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Cool idea, Nik.

Jim, that's a cool story about the nature of cats and dogs. However, they don't have self awareness as humans do. Are you saying that people are born with the tendency to be self-centered or selfless?


message 38: by Graeme (last edited Aug 21, 2020 08:12PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Scout wrote: "Cool idea, Nik.

Jim, that's a cool story about the nature of cats and dogs. However, they don't have self awareness as humans do. Are you saying that people are born with the tendency to be self-c..."


I was at a friends place many years ago, and he had two german shepards. An older female and a younger male.

We were sitting in his lounge room chatting, with the male dog on the couch. The female walked into the room, sized up the situation in a second. She then looked around the floor and spotted a tennis ball. She picked the ball up.

At this point the male perked up his ears.

She sauntered over and waved the ball in front of his face.

He perked up, and grinned.

She flicked her head and threw the ball into the corner of the room.

He leaped off the couch to chase the ball.

She jumped into his spot, and made herself comfortable.

He came back with the ball, looking for a game.

She looked at him with a 'So, what? I'm not playing...' look on her face.

He laid down on the floor.

######

Dogs are self aware and are capable of making and executing plans.


message 39: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Great story, Graeme. Dogs are capable of getting what they want (my dog has me trained :-) But living their lives with the awareness that death is inevitable, as we do? I don't think so.


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments There is an obvious dichotomy between righteous way of life, which usually gets one nowhere in this life to be supposedly compensated by a paradise vacation in the afterlife, while much less righteous and particular dudes succeeding in this life :)


message 41: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Nik wrote: "There is an obvious dichotomy between righteous way of life, which usually gets one nowhere in this life to be supposedly compensated by a paradise vacation in the afterlife, while much less righte..."

I think that success depends upon how you measure it. For many, a life well lived is much more of an achievement than material or societal 'wealth.'


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments Leonie wrote: "....For many, a life well lived is much more of an achievement than material or societal 'wealth.'"

I hope. Happiness and life satisfaction surveys somewhat support that: https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-...


message 43: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Mark | 3 comments I agree and I think one positive impact of the pandemic is that people will become less materialistic and more focused on the simpler pleasures of life. As a writer, I have been very preoccupied by the way the mass population has been manipulated to believe in a particular view of religion. For example, Mohammad formulated Islam out of Christian and Jewish doctrine by adapting those ideas to make it more palatable for the Arab world.

I think it is interesting that it was the Archangel Gabriel who was reputed to hand the Holy Koran to Mohammad, the same angel that appeared to Mary to say she was pregnant with Jesus. It is amazing that anybody believes this stuff and the new religion is really encapsulated in basic values - such as "Love thy neighbour as thyself."


message 44: by Jim (last edited Aug 22, 2020 09:52AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments Scout wrote: "Cool idea, Nik.

Jim, that's a cool story about the nature of cats and dogs. However, they don't have self awareness as humans do. Are you saying that people are born with the tendency to be self-c..."


Scout,

1. The referenced quote by the late Christopher Hitchens is merely a tongue-in-cheek, humorous observation satirizing the popular perception that most people share regarding the common traits exhibited by the two species.

2. I personally have not studied or researched much about dogs and cats and, therefore, know next to nothing about their level of cognizance.

Humans are, no doubt, currently the most advanced and evolved life form on the planet Earth. Some are good, some are bad. I am not sure what makes them so.

If the belief that bad behavior will result in severe punishment by a powerful evil entity or an eternal reward of happiness and a pain-free existence from a benevolent god is all that deters some people from behaving worse than they might other wise behave, I have no objection.

I, my children, grandchildren, and sons-in-law require no such threat of eternal punishment or eternal reward to inspire us one way or the other. We behave as well as we do because we instinctively believe that we should treat others as we would prefer to be treated ourselves. We did not need a book, preacher, or supreme religious leader to tell us so, just common sense.


message 45: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1671 comments I want to agree with Jim, and mostly do. But, then my mind goes into the but ...

We also know of cultures where horrible things are done that we consider mutilation and to them it is not wrong. We all have read or heard of those experiments where people reduce to lower levels of behavior. Survival can quickly wipe away all the positives we associate with do unto others. The first I suspect does not fall under "morally wrong" and common sense wouldn't apply. The latter I suspect that there is still a part of their consciousness that knows it is wrong, but it is submerged by need. We would all steal to feed our families is necessary and most of us would not think of it as "wrong" despite "Thou shalt not steal."

I have to wonder about those children raised in what to us would be extreme circumstances such as cartels or the old mafia days where killing someone who betrayed you was the "right" thing to do. Some continued in that life, others got out. Common sense I am sure, but from a moral perspective or simply survival.

I think early religion gave us rules so that instead of singly on the frontier we were able to become communities who could cooperate and eventually that was replaced by laws.


message 46: by Jim (last edited Aug 22, 2020 03:21PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 80 comments Those who still choose to believe in a supreme being and follow a specific religion, please, by all means, follow your conscience.

With that I now end my personal participation within this discussion group with advice from far wiser men than myself.

"Don't tell me about your god with words. Show me about your god with your actions."
Steve Maracoli (Author/Radio Commentator) 1975 - Still Living

"Anyone who thinks sitting in a church can make you a Christian must also think sitting in a garage can make you a car."
Gary Edward 'Garrison' Keillor (Author/Radio Personality) 1942 - 2018


message 47: by J. (last edited Aug 22, 2020 04:54PM) (new)

J. Gowin | 3120 comments Lizzie wrote: "I have read a lot more science fiction lately where religion is definitely no longer part of the landscape. Sometimes future humanity look on religion as part of the dark ages of human history."

You might want to check out some of the books from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Whether it is using the Imperial Cult, the Cult of the Mechanicum, Chaos, the "Greater Good" of the Tau, or the Eldar literally creating gods as tools, 40k has a lot to say about religion.

Atheist future sci-fi has always struck me as limited and a little weird. Take Star Trek which portrays mankind united in a humanist utopia. The thing is that Homo sapiens has existed for about two hundred millennia, but in all of that time we have never been united as a species nor have have we rejected religion in mass.


message 48: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Scout wrote: "Great story, Graeme. Dogs are capable of getting what they want (my dog has me trained :-) But living their lives with the awareness that death is inevitable, as we do? I don't think so."


(Nods head). I have no idea if dogs are aware of death in the abstract. I would expect not aware - kinda living in blissful ignorance.


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13809 comments Jim wrote: "....With that I now end my personal participation within this discussion group with advice from far wiser men than myself...."

Thanks for all the excellent input!


message 50: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3120 comments Graeme wrote: "I have no idea if dogs are aware of death in the abstract. I would expect not aware - kinda living in blissful ignorance."

There is one animal that does seem to have a concept of death beyond the fear of an immediate threat. Elephants show a reverence for the bones of elephants which they do not show for the remains of other large mammals.

https://youtu.be/Ku_GUNzXoeQ

There was an episode of Nature from the nineties that caught a particularly spooky series of events among related elephants. Months after their matriarch was killed by poachers, a small herd of elephants ran into the matriarch's adult son. The elephants went through the normal greeting behaviors, then they did something uncanny. They took the matriarch's son to the bones of his mother, and they carried out their strange ritual. I don't know that what's going on in the mind of an elephant is anything like what goes on in your mind or mine. But from a lifetime in the outdoors I can say that it is orders of magnitude removed from what goes on in the mind of a deer or a boar.


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