Author Topic: A Reasonable Bishop  (Read 341 times)

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Offline Traveler

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A Reasonable Bishop
« on: September 28, 2013, 12:00:48 PM »
This fellow talks about what I would term spirituality, rather than religion, describing religions as methods of control, of keeping people child-like. I think this might be a bit like what folks like Junebug and other folks might be attempting to describe, and is perfectly compatible with many other spiritual approaches. A concept, rather than the biblical, literalist, father-figure in the sky type of religion. Sort of putting religion on its head. Instead of the bible (or other religious text) leading the way, various religions as attempts/paths to becoming more fully human. This is the kind of religious person whom I find interesting to talk with, and not at all offensive to my sensibilities, at least with what little I've heard of him. I find him very interesting ... its only 3 minutes and worth a listen.

http://www.upworthy.com/best-explanation-of-religion-i-have-ever-heard-and-im-practically-an-atheist?g=3&c=bl3
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 12:29:25 PM »
Are most theists just going through the motions? Is it peer pressure from family and friends?

 Most theists have SPAG as their Deity,Christians mostly do not pay attention to their god or his rules unless they are telling others what to do or think.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 01:32:29 PM »
I think there are a lot of people who think there is something "greater" out there, but that human's attempts to describe it have failed. These are people for whom the bible is NOT literal, but is merely a series of mythical stories with lessons in them AND attempts by rulers to control the people. For these people, religion is a search, not a destination. I can kind of get it, as opposed to traditional christians, which I don't get at all. The kind of person I'm talking about might use religious terminology, but is really on their own path of discovery. How common is this? I don't know, but I know several in person. They might call themselves christians, but when you delve into it, you realize that they are something not at all what a fundamentalist would call a christian.

Its a complex subject, and one I'd love to explore. Its easy to take potshots at fundies. Its much harder to understand the true seeker (whatever that means) who uses religious words, but isn't really religious in the way that this forum argues about.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 01:41:45 PM »
I think he is wrong believing in life after death.  IMO, what is thought about us by our descedents is as close as we get.

I like when he says, "The people don't need to be born again [as the church historically likes], they need to grow up and accept their responsibility for themselves in the world."

In my view, he gets close to what I believe, but falls short, by not saying,
"the faith we need is in each other."
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Offline Traveler

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 01:59:38 PM »
Agreed, Shnozzola ... to me this is merely the beginning of a conversation, but delightful to hear from a bishop (not sure which denomination).
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 02:10:23 PM »
I think there are a lot of people who think there is something "greater" out there, but that human's attempts to describe it have failed. These are people for whom the bible is NOT literal, but is merely a series of mythical stories with lessons in them AND attempts by rulers to control the people. For these people, religion is a search, not a destination. I can kind of get it, as opposed to traditional Christian's, which I don't get at all. The kind of person I'm talking about might use religious terminology, but is really on their own path of discovery. How common is this? I don't know, but I know several in person. They might call themselves christians, but when you delve into it, you realize that they are something not at all what a fundamentalist would call a christian.

Its a complex subject, and one I'd love to explore. Its easy to take potshots at fundies. Its much harder to understand the true seeker (whatever that means) who uses religious words, but isn't really religious in the way that this forum argues about.
Would someone on a true religious "path" limit themselves to one set of books,as the OT and NT are groups of writings put together through time?  One would explore all paths to a god or group of gods before making a choice if they were truly open. Why would someone rely on "Christian" inspired writings without exploring the base of the very religion,Judeism? Why leave all paths out?

 The control of the people through fear of punishment is one thing,excusing people who fail to even follow the basic rules of a religion means that hell fails to hold the meaning.  A follower does as they feel,is justified in his actions by leaders and has no fear a god will punish him means their hell is something not to be feared. They justify it with Spag,thinking God is ok with broken rules
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Offline Traveler

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 02:38:41 PM »
Would someone on a true religious "path" limit themselves to one set of books,as the OT and NT are groups of writings put together through time?  One would explore all paths to a god or group of gods before making a choice if they were truly open. Why would someone rely on "Christian" inspired writings without exploring the base of the very religion,Judeism? Why leave all paths out?

No, they wouldn't, and many do not stick to just christian writings.

Quote
The control of the people through fear of punishment is one thing,excusing people who fail to even follow the basic rules of a religion means that hell fails to hold the meaning.  A follower does as they feel,is justified in his actions by leaders and has no fear a god will punish him means their hell is something not to be feared. They justify it with Spag,thinking God is ok with broken rules

The bishop does not believe in hell. And he believes the rules are not from god, but from humans.

See, I think what people like this are trying to say is that no one has the answers. They are seeking, and doing the best with what they've found so far. They read religious texts, philosophy books, etc. When speaking to, or about, these people, forget everything you think you know about conservative followers of abrahamic religions. They are an entirely different species. Forget about a human-like creator being. Forget about rules laid down for us. Forget about all that. Yes, its vague. Yes, its hard to describe. But if we're to get through, or even have a conversation with, liberal religious folks like this, we need to attempt to understand them. They scoff at atheists who refute a literal bible. They refute a literal bible too, and consider fundamentalists as dangerous as we do.
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Offline jgl53

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 01:13:20 PM »
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Fundamentalism/literalism is the problem.

I look upon "liberals" like this guy, Bishop Spong and perhaps, in many ways, the new pope, as fellow-travelers, to coin a phrase.

Rather than being purist atheists and denouncing the metaphorical religionists as mealy-mouthed or whatever we should recognize they are the only force that can perhaps in time put an end to the power of fundamentalism.  Atheism is probably too strong a medicine for many.  We maybe should recognize that and not worry about an elitist attitude.   Condescension has its place. lol.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 01:15:57 PM by jgl53 »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 01:21:24 PM »
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Fundamentalism and literalism is the problem.

I look upon "liberals" like this guy, Bishop Spong and perhaps, in many ways, the new pope, as fellow-travelers, to coin a phrase.

Rather than being purist atheists and denouncing the metaphorical religionists as mealy-mouthed or whatever we should recognize they are the only force that can perhaps in time put an end to the power of fundamentalism.  Atheism is probably too strong a medicine for many.  We maybe should recognize that and not worry about an elitist attitude.   Condescension has its place. lol.

Fundamentally (ha!) I disagree.  I don't see religion as The Problem, let alone fundamentalism or literalism.  I see religion as a symptom of The Problem - magical thinking.  And while liberal, mealy-mouthed bishops are much more preferable to fundies, they are still magical thinkers and will not ever, no how, ending fundamentalism.  Because fundamentalism is just the logical extension of magical thinking.

By my estimation, if you took every fundie on the planet and shipped them off to a distant galaxy, in 20 years we'd be right back where we are with them.

You need to either redeisgn (or evolve) the brain to think rationally, or make rational thinking the #1 educational priority in the world.  And I think the latter solution is fleeting and hopeless.

My opinion, anyway.
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Offline Nam

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 01:23:39 PM »
I've known some religious people to use spirituality as a guise of their religion. They make it seem as if they are talking about something deeper, to get people to start listening to their "common sense approach" but in actuality, they are just spewing the same shit as always.

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Offline jgl53

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Re: A Reasonable Bishop
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 01:32:05 PM »
I think my point was to recognize a sliding-scale of harm and to focus on the bad end of the Bell Curve.

As to magical thinking - I've read several books making the case that such is an evolved human tendency that will not go away any time soon.  Job one would be to recognized it as such and then to develop a mindset or some methods to reduce such to a harmless situation.  Or something like that.
"I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."  -Nikos Kazantzakis

"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself." - Sir Richard F. Burton

All dogs die too soon.  Many humans don’t die soon enough.
- Albert Payson Terhune