Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t)

Professor of Philosophy Stephen T. Asma (The New York Times, Opinion, The Stone); CC Liu, Ashley Wells, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
The Christ, the Buddha, the Orisha, the Goddess (Kwan Yin), the Shiva (Rumi quote)
Good St. Issa (Jesus of Nazareth, the "Christ"), Jewish outcast (William Widmer/NY Times)

Krishna (Hindu), Jay, Sid, Lao Tzu (Taoist)
It’s a tough time to defend religion. Respect for it has diminished in almost every corner of modern life -- not just among atheists and intellectuals, but among the wider public, too.

Maitreya (Messiah) (MickeySuman)
And the next generation of young people looks likely to be the most religiously unaffiliated demographic in recent memory.
There are good reasons for this discontent: continued revelations of [child molestation and sexual] abuse by priests and clerics, [CIA-orchestrated] jihad campaigns against “infidels,” and homegrown Christian hostility toward [religious] diversity and secular culture.

Many people need deva idols.
This convergence of bad behavior and bad press has led many to echo the evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson’s claim that:

“For the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faiths.”
Despite the very real problems with religion -- and my own historical skepticism toward it -- I don’t subscribe to that view. I would like to argue here, in fact, that we still need religion. Perhaps a story is a good way to begin.
Divine Feminine like Kwan Yin
One day, after pompously lecturing a class of undergraduates about the incoherence of monotheism, I was approached by a shy student.

He nervously stuttered through a heartbreaking story, one that slowly unraveled my own convictions and assumptions about religion [and the teachings of karma].

Five years ago, he explained, his older teenage brother had been brutally... More

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