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Religion - Do we need it? - Dhamma Wheel

Religion - Do we need it?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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clw_uk
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Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:44 pm

Greetings

Do we need oranized religion anymore in the 21st century? Does it do any good and actually cause harm?

Some Good points here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_religion

and good film here http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?doc ... lous&hl=en


I say humans dont need it anymore and things would be better without it, what does everyone here think?




N.B. This isnt a continuation of the other thread that closed down, im discussing religion itself and not certain ones. Im also not including Buddhadhamma in this since i take it as philosophy and not religion


Metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mawkish1983
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:52 pm

My opinion: Religion ROCKS.

I also see Buddhism as a religion.

My question to you, what's your intention behind asking this? :)

Peace be upon you :) :anjali:

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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:56 pm

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:09 pm

As to whether Buddhism is a religion or not, you can define it however you like. When I fill in a form and it asks what religion I am, I put Buddhism.

Religion can provide practical help for people in need of hope. Christian Aid is a fine example. Religion gives people an identity and a sense of fraternity that maybe our society now lacks. These are just my opinions.

Now, if we examine societies where religion is forbidden (a past phase of soviet history comes to mind) we don't see a wonderful utopia. The reason as I see it is that human nature is filled with dissatisfaction. Life in the human realm is afflicted by dukkha, am I wrong? We are all subject to the human condition and grasping for something to blame (be it religion, politics or materialism) is not productive and I think misses the point. To end dukkha let's not turn against religion, let's do what the Buddha taught in the four noble truthes.

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:19 pm

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:28 pm


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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:30 pm

My main point against religion is that it doesnt really explain anything, the "truths" it proclaims have either now been shown to be false through science or are unprovable in the first place. It offers no evidence and just requires that you believe, the moral acts it proclaims can be done just as well by the non-religious and in fact are and it causes wars, sectarianism, persecution, suppression, superstition and irrational set backs of human advancement


I think that if religion went tomorow the world, although not being perfect, would get a whole let better and with nothing to lose. Not denying there should be a spiritual side through meditiation, boundless love and compassion and ethical conduct but all that can be done witout invoking the supernatural and going back to irrational beliefs IMO


Not wanting to offend, just my view :smile:
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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:41 pm

Last edited by clw_uk on Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Mawkish1983
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:54 pm


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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:14 pm

Last edited by clw_uk on Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:17 pm

Wow Makwish, great posts :anjali:


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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:21 pm

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Mawkish1983
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:48 pm


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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:56 pm

This has raised an interesting point in my mind.

As Mawkish has pointed out, it's been human nature that is responsible for the horrors mentioned, more than the religions or philosophies themselves.
So if we didn't permit religion of any sort, or just made it somehow evaporate from everyone's consciousness, what would be left? How would people behave? I think the dharma seals would still hold true, even without buddhism as we know it today. They're stainless.

:anjali:


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clw_uk
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:10 pm

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:32 pm

Well, I think I've said all I can without repeating myself again, and I don't think it's benefit any of us if I did repeat myself, so I'm done [for now :D] :)

:anjali:

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:52 pm

:shrug: i guess the real question is does the bad outweight the good...

people wont stop doing good things just because any of the religions we have today are gone, people were pretty much the same before they were around.
they are handy for getting large masses to get behind and approve of horrible things though they dont seem to have the reverse effect.
theyre good for getting people to believe that nothing will change or that things are out of their hands which i find very disturbing.
they seem to inspire in a few people a reason to overcome a situation though and do great things and this in turn inspires others, though sadly most wait on other great people to come along and not to rise up themselves...

i also include buddhism here, the dhamma may or may not be a religion, but take one look at buddhism in asia now or what we know of it going back a couple thousand years and it's a religion just like anyother and has been used to control societies, get approval for war , etc.
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:56 pm

Greetings,

I see we're talking about other religions again. :tongue:

To help ensure that this topic does not go the way of the "Overlap between Theravada sila and Biblical commandments" topic, please remember that...

Members are expected to self-moderate, being mindful of the adage that 'behaviour breeds behaviour'. Mutual respect and friendliness should be the basis of all interactions.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:07 am


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pink_trike
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Re: Religion - Do we need it?

Postby pink_trike » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:12 am

I find religion, both the institutional aspects and the "religious" mind state, to be unnecessary layers of obscuration, distraction, "defilement", and conceptual confusion that has grown (and been cultivated) like mold on top of actual truth (The Law, The Dharma, The Way, Just What Is, etc...). Religion has no beneficial purpose in our modern culture - and in fact has become a source of much suffering, and the mind-state of religiosity is just fantasy that fuels intellectual/emotional masturbation.

We have a hard time seeing religion clearly in our modern culture for what it is...a hallucinatory fungus that has grown on top of original wisdom that nearly completely hides the stainless truth buried under it. Original wisdom wasn't "religion", "religious", or "spiritual"...it was just a clear understanding of how things work in the phenomenal world and how we can best live in balance with the patterns of time/space and the natural world. Original wisdom was a combination of science (knowledge) and practicality (knowledge put into practice).

Original wisdom is nearly forgotten and lost - there are small distorted bits and pieces of it preserved, obscured, and ignored under layers of lovely, florid religious rantings and ruminations, the weight of heavy powerful institutions, and seductive simulacra that stirs emotional attachment. We're all amnesiacs - a clear memory of original wisdom gradually became lost to us after the global geological/atmospheric events that took place around 10,000 to 12,000 BC destroying a highly advanced global civilization (did you just roll your eyes reactively there?) and humankind has been in a state of post-traumatic stress, denial, and ignorance since then, clinging to false memories and increasingly irrational but comforting stories. Fortunately, rationality, mathematics, and science emerged again and is steadily uncovering the factual basis of original wisdom (and also the cause of our amnesia) which inspires fear, denial, and irritation in religious people who use religion to build a false identity and baseless sense of certainty and who indulge in the mind-state of religiosity in the same way that a drug addict indulges in drug use. And religious institutions have a lot of power, authority, and money to lose if everyone begins to wake up to original wisdom.

Visualize a post-religious era.
Last edited by pink_trike on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:18 am, edited 5 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.


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