Author Topic: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)  (Read 6917 times)

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Offline rigabear5

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2008, 05:04:22 PM »
I'm not sure that asking for knowledge that 'leads to a consensus among all or even most religious scholars?' is a fair question.
Why not?  It happens all the time in project management and plumbing.
I'd liken the field to say, philosophy. While new knowledge is constantly being produced, you are never going to reach a consensus amongst most philosophers.
I didn't say that no other fields can't suffer from this problem.
That said, I'm looking at less esoteric issues, that's why I mentioned plumbing and accounting.
You have missed my point; I was saying (in a nutshell) that theology is much more obscure than either of those professions. It is much, much harder to reach a consensus due to the type of evidence (or lack of).

Of course in the case of plumbing and business (both of which could be considered a science of sorts).

Why do you keep wanting to bring in the irrelevant topic of science?

In either case, plumbing as a field isn't a science.  To call it one makes both words meaningless.
By science I mean the 'study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment'. Key bit in bold; generally speaking, you can do that with plumbing and business, but not theology.

Cruguru has pointed out some new knowledge produced by religious scholars. There are no 'best practices' for philosophy; or at least none in the last 100 years (as far as I know... my knowledge of the field of philosophy is limited). For theology, there is nothing as clear (I say this in the loosest sense of the term) and quantifiable as a market with which to forge best practices. There are no recessions, trends (not in the last 100 years) etc to make theologians go; 'whoops, we were completely wrong' and the fact that religion is so old and ingrained in society does not help. Business and theology seem to be very different things (I don't mean in the literal sense or in terms of content; obviously). 
Philosophy has been addressed above.
As for the rest, I didn't ask for retractions of dogmas.  I was asking for new knowledge that can be agreed upon by a general consensus.
I will concede that point was that none exists (at least to my knowledge); but that that answer is not just limited to theology... so calling religion dead is like calling philosophy dead. New knowledge is always being created; but a consensus is not being achieved. If anything this is a sign of a healthy religion... it remains dynamic and open to change / ideas. Stagnation is the sign of a dead subject.

If you mean 'relevant' knowledge, then again I point to cruguru's reasoning; you have assumed that God does not exist, therefore the study of God is not going to produce much of consequence. I'm not getting into whether God exists or not, I'm just saying that assuming that God does not exist and answering responses with this is mind makes this question even more unfair and impossible to answer.

The existence or non-existence of a specific deity doesn't impact the possibility of a gain in knowledge or reaching a concensus on general issues.
Within the community of religion yes, but what I was getting at was that if you want us to provide knowledge that is relevant to the world, then you have presented an almost impossible task; how can the study of something that does not exist lead to meaningful information.

I'm not arguing ... nor do I have a point to drive home beyond what seems to be true; religious professionals don't produce new knowledge on a regular basis that is shareable with other religious professionals in general and that which they basically concur.
I ask the question because any answer that comes up that is valid even partially would be very interesting.   It's the exceptions to general rules that tell us something, not that the surface of the planet is lit by the sun constantly at some point.
I'm saying there is no answer to the question. No because religion is dead, but because there can be no answer.

I'm not the best at articulating what I am trying to say (as is no doubt evident). If you have proof that I'm talking air, I'm all ears.

I apologise to anyone who actually have knowledge that the religious community has come to a consensus on; I'm not aware of it and it may seem like I have conceded the question.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2008, 05:55:36 PM »
I'm not sure that asking for knowledge that 'leads to a consensus among all or even most religious scholars?' is a fair question.
Why not?  It happens all the time in project management and plumbing.
I'd liken the field to say, philosophy. While new knowledge is constantly being produced, you are never going to reach a consensus amongst most philosophers.
I didn't say that no other fields can't suffer from this problem.
That said, I'm looking at less esoteric issues, that's why I mentioned plumbing and accounting.
You have missed my point; I was saying (in a nutshell) that theology is much more obscure than either of those professions. It is much, much harder to reach a consensus due to the type of evidence (or lack of). 

People get together.  They do things.  They have a chance to share things.

Of course in the case of plumbing and business (both of which could be considered a science of sorts).

Why do you keep wanting to bring in the irrelevant topic of science?

In either case, plumbing as a field isn't a science.  To call it one makes both words meaningless.
By science I mean the 'study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment'. Key bit in bold; generally speaking, you can do that with plumbing and business, but not theology.

People get together.  They do things.  They have a chance to share things.

...I'm explicitly not putting limits on that sharing.

Cruguru has pointed out some new knowledge produced by religious scholars. There are no 'best practices' for philosophy; or at least none in the last 100 years (as far as I know... my knowledge of the field of philosophy is limited). For theology, there is nothing as clear (I say this in the loosest sense of the term) and quantifiable as a market with which to forge best practices. There are no recessions, trends (not in the last 100 years) etc to make theologians go; 'whoops, we were completely wrong' and the fact that religion is so old and ingrained in society does not help. Business and theology seem to be very different things (I don't mean in the literal sense or in terms of content; obviously). 
Philosophy has been addressed above.
As for the rest, I didn't ask for retractions of dogmas.  I was asking for new knowledge that can be agreed upon by a general consensus.
I will concede that point was that none exists (at least to my knowledge); but that that answer is not just limited to theology... so calling religion dead is like calling philosophy dead. New knowledge is always being created; but a consensus is not being achieved. If anything this is a sign of a healthy religion... it remains dynamic and open to change / ideas. Stagnation is the sign of a dead subject.

The current title of this thread is a grabber to draw in more theists.   The atheists gave it a try, but found no new knowledge.  It would be unfair not to get the input from theists.  For what it's worth, the original was;

Theology: Innovative, Knowledgeable, or Dead?

In the case of philosophy, it jerks ahead in fits and stops depending on the knowledge gained elsewhere.  Otherwise, it's a largely closed system and is stagnant.

I'll leave the results of religious professionals open for the moment in this discussion.

(I'd like to learn something I did not know ... not debate the issue.)

If you mean 'relevant' knowledge, then again I point to cruguru's reasoning; you have assumed that God does not exist, therefore the study of God is not going to produce much of consequence. I'm not getting into whether God exists or not, I'm just saying that assuming that God does not exist and answering responses with this is mind makes this question even more unfair and impossible to answer.

The existence or non-existence of a specific deity doesn't impact the possibility of a gain in knowledge or reaching a concensus on general issues.
Within the community of religion yes, but what I was getting at was that if you want us to provide knowledge that is relevant to the world, then you have presented an almost impossible task; how can the study of something that does not exist lead to meaningful information.

Relevant to the sum knowledge of the field, not the world.  To the world would be a bonus.

I'm not arguing ... nor do I have a point to drive home beyond what seems to be true; religious professionals don't produce new knowledge on a regular basis that is shareable with other religious professionals in general and that which they basically concur.
I ask the question because any answer that comes up that is valid even partially would be very interesting.   It's the exceptions to general rules that tell us something, not that the surface of the planet is lit by the sun constantly at some point.
I'm saying there is no answer to the question. No because religion is dead, but because there can be no answer.

I'm not the best at articulating what I am trying to say (as is no doubt evident). If you have proof that I'm talking air, I'm all ears.

I apologise to anyone who actually have knowledge that the religious community has come to a consensus on; I'm not aware of it and it may seem like I have conceded the question.

I'm an optimist.  Every field produces new knowledge.

Let's expand it a bit.  What knowledge has been adopted by religious professionals and expanded to make it specific to the activities religious professionals perform in the last 100 years?

Hope I said that right ... I'm off to dinner and a bit distracted.  I'll reserve the right to tweak that one later.  Suggestions appreciated.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2008, 11:20:02 AM »
I'm not sure why I didn't think of this off the bat:
Dead Sea Scrolls
NIV, NRSV and the Message translations of the bible (in fact, I think biblical translation is huge field by itself)

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2008, 12:48:05 PM »
I'd agree that those discoveries have quite a bit of impact on the 2 largest religions and a few other small ones like Judaism.  If there were no other religions, that would definitely qualify though I don't think that discovery had much or any impact on the Hindus or Buddhists.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2008, 03:27:35 PM »
sorry, if I'm reading things wrong, but the scrolls have been touted to be "the same" as the common versions so that does not seem to be contributing to any change.
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Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2008, 03:35:17 PM »
Quote
I'd agree that those discoveries have quite a bit of impact on the 2 largest religions and a few other small ones like Judaism.  If there were no other religions, that would definitely qualify though I don't think that discovery had much or any impact on the Hindus or Buddhists.

So we're back to the idea that all religious people should be treated as one group? Christian Theology and Hindu Theology are totally different fields of study.  I guess by your logic airbags aren't a significant innovation since they don't really impact all sectors of the transportation industry. And I suppose since the discovery of the double helix didn't really have much of an impact on astronomy, it wasn't that big of a deal.

I'm trying to hit your target, but it would sure be a lot easier if you stopped running around with it...

Quote
sorry, if I'm reading things wrong, but the scrolls have been touted to be "the same" as the common versions so that does not seem to be contributing to any change.

Two problems with this: first, the dead sea scrolls may be touted by some as 'the same', but they actually contain several differences from the commonly used sources for the bible; second, even if they were 'the same' they would still provide valuable insight about the bible and what assumptions can be made about the text.

Offline niceties

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2008, 03:58:57 PM »
Christians have recently discovered something remarkable actually.  Something that all the scientists in the world could not have figured out.

After years of research, they now know that unbaptised babies go to heaven instead of purgatory.

You have to agree that its quite an impressive piece of knowledge to have discovered!
Chef! What would a priest want to stick up my butt?

Offline rigabear5

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2008, 04:06:09 PM »
Christians have recently discovered something remarkable actually.  Something that all the scientists in the world could not have figured out.

After years of research, they now know that unbaptised babies go to heaven instead of purgatory.

You have to agree that its quite an impressive piece of knowledge to have discovered!
Assuming that you did not just make a sarcastic joke, and that that is recent knowledge, then yes, amoung religious scholars it is an impressive piece of knowledge. To non-religious society everyone else, obviously not, as you so quaintly pointed out... but then as Hermes has made clear; that is not what is being asked.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 04:25:53 PM by rigabear5 »

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #66 on: December 11, 2008, 04:31:56 PM »
Quote
I'd agree that those discoveries have quite a bit of impact on the 2 largest religions and a few other small ones like Judaism.  If there were no other religions, that would definitely qualify though I don't think that discovery had much or any impact on the Hindus or Buddhists.

So we're back to the idea that all religious people should be treated as one group?

Well, it hasn't changed.

A project manager for a toy company can benefit from PMBOK and/or CMMI, as can a project manager from a refuse recycling center.

A random religious professional may or may not be able to benefit from what is learned from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Christian Theology and Hindu Theology are totally different fields of study.  I guess by your logic airbags aren't a significant innovation since they don't really impact all sectors of the transportation industry. And I suppose since the discovery of the double helix didn't really have much of an impact on astronomy, it wasn't that big of a deal.

It's more like Ford and Nissan, not Schwinn and Honda.

I'm trying to hit your target, but it would sure be a lot easier if you stopped running around with it...

A question for you: Do you see the category of "religion" as a catch-all for what are actually entirely different disciplines or business or other fields of knowledge?

Say, the professionals in the RCC are like employees of a cruise ship line, the Baptist professionals are like shopping mall operators, and professionals in Hinduism are like restaurant chain operators?   (Note: The analogies are intended not to be close to reality -- only to provide an example of how religious professionals could be chunked into groups that don't overlap in significant ways.  A better arrangement surely could be made based on more relevant criteria.)

If you can show how the religious groups aren't really in the same 'business'/discipline/knowledge area/... then I'd have to agree you've got something and we can start chunking the groups up into like areas.  Till then, I see no reason to treat Ford as being in a totally different category from Volvo or Citron.



... the rest is for velkyn;

Quote
sorry, if I'm reading things wrong, but the scrolls have been touted to be "the same" as the common versions so that does not seem to be contributing to any change.

Two problems with this: first, the dead sea scrolls may be touted by some as 'the same', but they actually contain several differences from the commonly used sources for the bible; second, even if they were 'the same' they would still provide valuable insight about the bible and what assumptions can be made about the text.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #67 on: December 11, 2008, 10:38:07 PM »
I think if you look at what you need to know to study Christian Theology versus what you need to know to study Hindu Theology, you find that it's a lot like comparing biology to astronomy.  You have a different cultural base and a different langauge base.  Some basic skills are the same, but the two fields are very different.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #68 on: December 11, 2008, 10:41:53 PM »
I think if you look at what you need to know to study Christian Theology versus what you need to know to study Hindu Theology, you find that it's a lot like comparing biology to astronomy.  You have a different cultural base and a different langauge base.  Some basic skills are the same, but the two fields are very different.

How should the two be categorized (not necessarily divided)?

Should the word 'religion' be discarded for both and a different category provided for each?
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2008, 08:39:20 AM »
Quote
Should the word 'religion' be discarded for both and a different category provided for each?

Not unless you think the word 'science' should be discarded...

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2008, 08:48:30 AM »
Quote
Should the word 'religion' be discarded for both and a different category provided for each?

Not unless you think the word 'science' should be discarded...

I'm not talking about the sciences.  I know you want to bring them up, but they are irrelevant to what I'm talking about.

My question still stands, and I made it in earnest not to be clever.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2008, 09:12:01 AM »
Quote
I'm not talking about the sciences.  I know you want to bring them up, but they are irrelevant to what I'm talking about.

My question still stands, and I made it in earnest not to be clever.

I'm suggesting that the classification of a variety of distinct disciplines underneath the umbrella of 'science' is similar to the classification of a variety of distinct disciplines under 'religion'.  A biologist and an astronomer are both scientists, but they're not really interchangeable.  Point being, if you want to classify 'religious professionals' together, it's going to create a broad group like scientists or athletes.  Since I don't think you would require an innovation from one branch of science to have to apply to all scientists for it to be considered a real innovation, I wonder why you want to apply that criteria to religion.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2008, 09:31:20 AM »
Quote
I'm not talking about the sciences.  I know you want to bring them up, but they are irrelevant to what I'm talking about.

My question still stands, and I made it in earnest not to be clever.

I'm suggesting that the classification of a variety of distinct disciplines underneath the umbrella of 'science' is similar to the classification of a variety of distinct disciplines under 'religion'.  A biologist and an astronomer are both scientists, but they're not really interchangeable.  Point being, if you want to classify 'religious professionals' together, it's going to create a broad group like scientists or athletes.  Since I don't think you would require an innovation from one branch of science to have to apply to all scientists for it to be considered a real innovation, I wonder why you want to apply that criteria to religion.

OK.  I thought this would be painfully obvious, but I'll make an exception this one time.  Here's why the sciences are irrelevant to the questions I'm posing;

A biologist benefits from the work done by a physicist (new analysis tools based on physics).  An astronomer benefits from the work done by the biologist (atmospheric studies).  ...   Scientists tend to reference scientists in other fields of science in the papers they publish.  They are in different fields of science, but they all share and benefit from the knowledge gained and accept it just as project managers tend to accept the PMBOK (if they are serious professionals).

Dividing the religions into groups of demi religions that don't overlap allows for one solution that currently does not seem to be available in addressing any sharable knowledge that the religious professionals may be making but does not seem to be there.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Flamel

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #73 on: December 12, 2008, 11:58:22 AM »
I don't think that anyone has come up with anything that the "general consensus" can agree on.  If that were possible, there wouldn't be over 30,000 sects of christianity in existence today.  Obviously, no one agrees on all counts.  And most sects of christianity do seem to be rehashing the old and trying to make it new.

But, I think that truly innovative developments can be found if one is willing to look at those who seem to be thinking outside the box.  These developments are not mainstream at all.  But they are decidedly christian in their foundations.

One such development comes to us by way of a Russian man named Boris Mouravieff.  He had had predecessors as well, but he taught the principals of "esoteric christianity" that are not only scripturally supported, but scientifically measurable and applicable.  His books, Gnosis I, II and III are brilliant.  I think he was publushed in the late forties or early fifties, (I'm not sure).  But www.scribd.com has them available for reading.

Another source that I've found that is truly innovative and applicable is introduced by a couple through their website www.hallvworthington.com  Their names are Hall and Joan Worthington and they present their material with refreshing integrity.  And, they give practical instruction on how to apply the knowledge they share.  Again - these are not mainstream.  But I think what they have to offer is so beneficial to people who are seeking God.

If anyone cared to check into these sources, I think you'd be pleasantly suprised at what they had to say.

One thing I appreciate about them is that they insist that God gives us the way to learn about him within ourselves, and not through outside teachings.

Thank you.
I am not without God.  I am without religion.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #74 on: December 12, 2008, 12:07:03 PM »
One such development comes to us by way of a Russian man named Boris Mouravieff.  He had had predecessors as well, but he taught the principals of "esoteric christianity" that are not only scripturally supported, but scientifically measurable and applicable.  His books, Gnosis I, II and III are brilliant.  I think he was publushed in the late forties or early fifties, (I'm not sure).  But www.scribd.com has them available for reading.

In that I'm not too keen on joing yet another website, can you give me one of thiese principals and how it was determiend to be "scientifically measurable and applicable"?  "Esoteric christianity" is a pretty broad and rather vague subject for me to go out looking. I know something bout Gnostic Christianity so you don't have to start from scratch.   
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #75 on: December 12, 2008, 12:31:48 PM »
Flamel,

  • ... have others improved upon that base?
  •             -- OR --
  • ... do others think that reading the documents and discussing them is enough?
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Offline cruguru

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #76 on: December 12, 2008, 02:05:12 PM »
Quote
OK.  I thought this would be painfully obvious, but I'll make an exception this one time.  Here's why the sciences are irrelevant to the questions I'm posing;

Hermes, your condescension is going to cost you a lot of burnt offerings... Maybe when the lovely smell of burnt flesh is wafting its way to heaven in Athena's temple, you'll see the error of your ways.

Anyway, bad attempts at humor aside, I think you're trying to view religions in a way they're not built to be viewed.  Most religions do not see themselves as part of a larger worldview (with the exception of Baha'is and Unitarians), but rather competing views of which only one is true.  So there's very little collaboration between various religions because it is often assumed that other groups have nothing to offer.  That view is especially prevalent these days with fundamentalism of all sorts taking the spotlight.  If we exorcise fundamentalism though, I'm definitely going to run back here and post that as an innovation...

Offline JII

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #77 on: December 12, 2008, 02:22:40 PM »
Not dead, just wounded. It still needs to be put out of its collective, mythological misery.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #78 on: December 12, 2008, 05:01:51 PM »
Quote
OK.  I thought this would be painfully obvious, but I'll make an exception this one time.  Here's why the sciences are irrelevant to the questions I'm posing;

Hermes, your condescension is going to cost you a lot of burnt offerings... Maybe when the lovely smell of burnt flesh is wafting its way to heaven in Athena's temple, you'll see the error of your ways.

Being a god means never having to say you are sorry.

Anyway, bad attempts at humor aside, I think you're trying to view religions in a way they're not built to be viewed.  Most religions do not see themselves as part of a larger worldview (with the exception of Baha'is and Unitarians), but rather competing views of which only one is true.  So there's very little collaboration between various religions because it is often assumed that other groups have nothing to offer.  That view is especially prevalent these days with fundamentalism of all sorts taking the spotlight.  If we exorcise fundamentalism though, I'm definitely going to run back here and post that as an innovation...

Then, if they don't share knowledge because of this competitive bias -- propitiatory NIH attitude -- toward competing religions, could they?  If so, what could be shared and why aren't they noticing the knowledge being gained by competitors?

In the automotive industry and in more service industries, there are patents or copyrights that restrict sharing to some degree.  Yet, I don't know of any similar restriction in religion (except Scientology; they patent and copyright quite a bit).
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Flamel

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #79 on: December 12, 2008, 06:03:48 PM »
Velkyn - Scientifically measurable and applicable to me means I can - on my own - follow a procedure and get the same results consistently each time, (once I've become disciplined).  Also, it means I can observe it in others who follow the same steps.  While that part is more difficult, I can only really on other written sources and/or having dialogue with people who, seperately, have experienced the same results.  Mouravieff was able to give more physiological explanations.  He explains what one can expect to experience and why this is so.  The Worthington website explains this in terms that the bible student will understand.  Mouravieff explains it in a way that the esoteric student (for lack of a better word) will understand. 

Having begun the steps, (and it is a continuous work), I am experiencing exactly the things that both separate sources say that I will.  It is, I feel, both a spiritual as well as physiological experience at the same time; which is why - for me at least - both approaches are helpful in my learning.

However - I don't think it's the same thing as gnostic Christianity, though I think there are similarities, just as there are similarities, (or seem to be), in other religious teachings.

Hermes - I have no idea if any have improved on these techniques as I have a very hard time finding anyone willing to try to try to approach their faith in any new way.  I think this is because, it may take an event of some sort, in a person's life that causes them to feel they must question their beliefs.  That's the way it happened for me; and I've read of others who experienced the same shift in faith after a traumatic event.

However, I have met someone whose experiences seem to match what I have been learning.  I met her on youtube and, after some correspondence, and subscribing to her videos, I believe that she is talking about the same experience and concept as the other sources. 

I don't necessarily come to the same religious conclusions as her, but, maybe as I go further along, my thoughts will change.  The thing is it is pretty much a universal teaching, for the most part, and I guess I like that the most about it. 

As for whether or not reading the documents and discussing them being enough - the information is about applicable technique - so reading is not enough.  Following procedures along WITH the understanding that comes from reading or learning is needed.

I am not without God.  I am without religion.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #80 on: December 12, 2008, 06:23:41 PM »
Hermes - I have no idea if any have improved on these techniques as I have a very hard time finding anyone willing to try to try to approach their faith in any new way.  I think this is because, it may take an event of some sort, in a person's life that causes them to feel they must question their beliefs.  That's the way it happened for me; and I've read of others who experienced the same shift in faith after a traumatic event.

That would be another thread.  This one is focused on religious professionals as a group and what they do and the knowledge they develop not individuals who may take advantage of services provided by those professionals.

As for whether or not reading the documents and discussing them being enough - the information is about applicable technique - so reading is not enough.  Following procedures along WITH the understanding that comes from reading or learning is needed.

In general, has any religious professional taken and built upon the information in the documents you referenced so that other religious professionals can benefit (even if that benefit is to disseminate it to individuals who benefit from services and knowledge of those professionals)?
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Flamel

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #81 on: December 12, 2008, 06:43:46 PM »
Hermes - I can't say that I know of any personally.  However, Mouravieff claimed that in the Russian Orthodox Church, this was a long-held practice and teaching by many of its leaders - but that - at the time of his writing, the practice was dwindling.  However, he himself was a student at a school that had formed on this basis, but I've not myself been to such a school as this occured in other countries, and I'm unaware of any American institution, with one possible exception.

An American author, named Laura Knight-Jadczyk, along with her husband, whose name is Ark Jadczyk have taken a unique approach to this blending esoteric with quantum theory and started a "school" of sorts called "Quantum Future" that I've been trying to study.  I'll be honest - the stuff is way above my head, though I am struggling to understand it.  She also has read Mouravieff and put into practice what he taught and has claimed the same experiences, though she herself is not Christian in her beliefs.  They have a number of websites about their ideas one of which is www.cassiopaea.com.  I believe they live in Europe.  He is a quantum physicist or professor of quantum physics, one of the two.



Also, you asked if anyone improved on the techniques and my answer was relevant, I think. 
I am not without God.  I am without religion.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #82 on: December 12, 2008, 06:50:24 PM »
Flamel, do you know what a quantum is?  Do you have an opinion on the movie "What the bleep do we know?"?

Never mind.  Looked up Ark Jadczyk and found quite a bit on the cult-like aspects of the 'quantum future' group.

That said, 'Quantum Future' being a cult or not ... a scam or not, I appreciate your efforts as they are closer to answering the core questions that I'm looking to investigate here.

Side note: If you want to learn about quantum mechanics, try Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 06:54:54 PM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Flamel

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #83 on: December 12, 2008, 06:53:51 PM »
Hermes - I understand so very little of what a quantum is.  I find myself drawn to the subject when I come across someone who can dumb it down for me.  Then, I'm enthralled by it.  But I don't even possess the vocabulary to express what I learn from such people.

I've heard of the movie - but haven't seen it.  Why?
I am not without God.  I am without religion.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #84 on: December 12, 2008, 06:56:27 PM »
Sorry.  I didn't fix my post fast enough. 

Here's the part I replaced it with;

Never mind.  Looked up Ark Jadczyk and found quite a bit on the cult-like aspects of the 'quantum future' group.

That said, 'Quantum Future' being a cult or not ... a scam or not, I appreciate your efforts as they are closer to answering the core questions that I'm looking to investigate here.

Side note: If you want to learn about quantum mechanics, try Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Flamel

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #85 on: December 12, 2008, 07:13:55 PM »
Thank you.  I'll look up the book you suggested.  As for the "Quantum Future School" I don't think I could have ever understood what they were about.  I came across them when I did a search on commentaries about Mouravieff.

There are still in existence - I believe, schools based on this teaching.  I'm still investigating and will post if I find anything more substantive, if there is any interest. 

Thanks again for your help.
I am not without God.  I am without religion.

Offline Why Not?

Re: Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)
« Reply #86 on: December 12, 2008, 08:32:44 PM »
God is dead. Religion has killed God.

As far in big advances in religion, I see none. But there are many advances in spirituality.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 08:35:25 PM by Why Not? »