Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spirituality vs Religion

A friend of mine provided the following comments.

Spirituality captures all of the good things of religion. Religion is essentially spirituality with control and greed built in. My view of religion is it is someone taking spirituality and all the good and truth it has and saying
1. Heaven exists
2. You can get there and have everything you ever wanted or dreamed of
3. There is a road to heaven, a sure way to get there
4. It runs right through my religion
5. I know the road and can guide you on it
6. Trust me and you will get there – listen to my advice
7. And, the road to heaven
8. It is a toll road
9. Send your money to God (at my address)

16 comments:

  1. I also think that religion also has a greater tendency to divide people into camps and make enemies of them. I have friends who were disowned for leaving their childhood religions.

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  2. "Religion is essentially spirituality with control and greed built in." Not my experience. And none of those nine points has meaning for me at all. I think you're painting with a broad brush that's half full, BF.

    My spirituality/religion is who I am. Every day.

    Sorry that other people had such different experiences. Or think they do.

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    1. Your experience and those of many others like you is more due to your own personality than the particular religious organization to which you belong. The religious right would tell you that you are not only not Christian, you are not religious.
      There are many studies done on lives ruined by alcohol. Are there studies done on lives ruined by religion? I am not even talking the history of religious wars, nor all the atrocities committed in the name of religion over the centuries. I am talking my and your lifetime.

      http://jezebel.com/5899461/christians-fight-for-their-childrens-god+given-right-to-bully-gay-kids

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  3. P.S.: Easter blessings to you and Tanya. Bear hugs, too!

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    1. Same to you. Our Easter is next Sunday. Today I think is Palm Sunday.

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  4. I just have never understood why people put so much "faith" in organized religion...why they need someone to tell them what they should believe. Give me a walk in the beautiful Arizona desert anytime...I really do think a lot of women use God as a substitue husband and the pastor plays into that. It is not meant to be so complicate..

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    1. afcg, for my friend Rob-Bear, it is his life, he walks the talk. Others go for love, fellowship and forgiveness and are held captive by hatred, fear and guilt wielded by those in power in what ever form the hierarchy takes.

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  5. I love the Orthodox services - my wife and I experienced them in the Native villages of Alaska - the service and chants were in Yu'pik. Even though and atheist I still appreciate the beauty and community of religions - it is just the hatred and bigotry it spawns I abhor.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. If I could convince Tanya, I think I would go to Orthodox services. They are very beautiful and the singing in Ukraine is so marvelous - like all the angels in Heaven.

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  6. Late in life W.C. Fields was seen laboriously pouring over a bible. When asked what he was doing he replied "Looking for loopholes!"

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    1. Voltaire had the right idea too. A priest advised Voltaire on his death bed to renounce the devil. Voltaire said, "This is no time to make new enemies".

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  7. One constant of mankind's existence through recorded history has been exploitation of people's need and desire to believe in God. That exploitation can pay off handsomely, as many a televangelist and lesser Elmer Gantry type will attest.

    I try to keep in mind that churches and religions are inventions of men, not God. Somewhere in the Bible, which is also a product of men, it says to go into a room and pray quietly. The inference is that it's neither necessary nor seemly to pray ostentatiously and beat one's breast in public. I've always thought that passage is very meaningful and important.

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    1. You understand and too many people do not. They reject the concept of God based on their experience with religion. I have always been embarrassed by those who wear their religion on their sleeve, like they feel the need to impress. Praying quietly and privately is a good thing. Which I need to do more of.

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  8. "They reject the concept of God based on their experience with religion."

    My friend, this is not the case with me. It is first necessary to define God, and then it is necessary to show evidence that this God exists. As for myself, I simply don't see ANY evidence to support the belief in ANY meaningful entity that is defined as God. Of course, if you define God as love or as "all that exists," then I believe in you God, but I personally don't consider such definitions of God to be meaningful.

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    1. I am afraid with God, one either believes or one doesn't. For humans to "prove" God exists is a bit more difficult than for two E. coli trying to "prove" I exist.

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  9. "For humans to "prove" God exists is a bit more difficult than for two E. coli trying to "prove" I exist."

    I must confess that I'm lost with the comparison because if I assume that E. coli are intelligent beings with curiosity, I should think they would find it easy to prove that you exist. Of course, is they are as we perceive them, they have neither intelligence nor curiosity, and that would seem to invalidate the comparison. As you and I are both aware, we could discuss the matter endlessly without the least chance that either of us would change his mind.

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