Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
30 comments

Life Arts

Do We Need Religion?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Funny 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H4 5/14/13
Become a Fan
  (22 fans)

opednews.com

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/87310047@N05/8723190145/: .Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.. -Dan Brown
.Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.. -Dan Brown by QuotesEverlasting

From John Caputo's book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct, "Meister Eckhart, said God is unnameable and therefore omninameable, and so He prays, I pray God to rid me of God. I pray (the unnameable) God to rid me of (the idol I have named) God."

He goes on to say, "Orthodoxy is idolatry if it means holding "correct opinions about God" -- "fundamentalism" is the most extreme and salient example of such idolatry, but not if it means holding faith in the right way, that is, not holding it at all but being held by God, in love and service."

Before you object to the term, "by God, in love and service," and dismiss this whole piece because you don't believe God exists, please indulge me a bit longer.

In a nutshell, Mr. Caputo's comments go directly to the heart of the religious crisis in America today. The crisis? With regard to religion, the largest growing cohort are the "none's". I.e., the people who don't subscribe to any religion. For further evidence for this claim of crisis, read the reader comments on articles related to religion on just about any popular website or blog.

Religion is regularly criticized, condemned, and blamed for atrocities going back to the Crusades, Inquisition and Witch Trials up through current forms of terrorism driven by the fundamentalist fervor of Muslim jihadists. Believers are called every pejorative term ever invented. Many times, rightfully so, given the superficial level of faith that Caputo often refers to as that practiced in postmodern times.

But what has happened to religion in postmodern times that warrants the kinds of criticism it gets? I've written about the difference between faith in our beliefs and faith in the unknowable as a way to delineate the level of superficiality that seems to define postmodern religion. That is, the heavy focus on following the orthodoxy of a belief system without questioning its bases. Deconstruction is about this very point.

My fear is that we throw the baby out with the bathwater if we condemn and dismiss religion out of hand. When we reject the existence of God, in the process we run the risk of rejecting the essence of what the concept of God represents to humanity. I repeat, not the orthodoxy, but the essence. I understand the rejection of the orthodoxy.

Valerie Tarico, articulated reasons quite well in her article on Alternet.org titled, "The 20 Weirdest Religious Beliefs. Here's a few: " The foreskin of [a holy one] may lie safeguarded in reliquaries made of gold and crystal and inlayed with gems--or it may have ascended into the heavens all by itself." "Brown skin is a punishment for disobeying God." "Sacred underwear protects believers from spiritual contamination and, according to some adherents, from fire and speeding bullets." "When certain rites are performed beforehand, bread turns into human flesh after it is chewed and swallowed."   "Invisible supernatural beings reveal themselves in mundane objects like oozing paint or cooking food."

But we see these beliefs in isolation, standing aside, so to speak, of the whole system of which they are a part. Systems that have evolved over centuries of reinterpretations and reiterations. They are human attempts to understand and explain to other humans, the essence of the concept we call God. Humans who were ignorant of the science we have at our fingertips today. Humans who were born into and nurtured in the systems that contain what we can see as ridiculous from an outside point of view.

To understand the truth of a proposition, we must travel the steps of those who preceded us in creating the meanings upon meanings heaped on it from the beginning.

There is a place, indeed a need, for religion today, with or without a God or god. Because failing as it may be today, we need it to tie us back, not to an earlier time as its definition implies, but to remind us of the original truths contained therein.

With the exception of natural disasters, there is an undeniable element of truth in the logic of God's judgments behind many of our tragedies. The claims that many of us love to ridicule. I don't claim there is an intelligent agent named God judging us. I claim it's often the consequences of our own folly. A folly that might have been prevented with an appreciation for what the concept of God represents -- the highest level of human morality.    

Robert De Filippis

 

Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Illinois Is Now on Board. We Can Carry Concealed Weapons in Every State.

The Primary American Meme: Be Afraid.

What Jesus said and What the Christian Lunatic Fringe Hears.

This Pope Makes Me Want to be an Atheist

Don't be Fooled: Black Racism Causes White Racism

Ethan Couch: An Example of the Pathology of Wealth

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
12 people are discussing this page, with 30 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

 Take your statement "Religion is regularly c... by lwarman on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2:49:34 PM
Thank you. I think my article argues in defense of... by Robert De Filippis on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:29:44 PM
" what has happened to religion in postmodern time... by lwarman on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:30:36 PM
persecuted and killed for disagreeing, sometimes l... by BFalcon on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 3:58:13 AM
What you are presenting is a 'No true scotsman' ar... by lwarman on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:48:43 PM
You wrote, "Also, if the " concept of God represen... by Robert De Filippis on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 9:25:32 PM
If there are universal human truths (and what woul... by lwarman on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11:34:03 PM
We all try to figure out if there is "an Absolute ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 4:06:09 AM
We do not ALL try to figure out of there is an abs... by lwarman on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 3:11:20 PM
You did not "try to figure out if there is "an Abs... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 5:10:50 AM
I like how it is theorized that the term "God" is ... by Stanislaus Wojnowski on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 7:39:29 PM
The worth of religion is a highly subjective thing... by anna kakol on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:11:14 PM
And I think that it analyzes very appropriately so... by BFalcon on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 9:15:29 PM
I knew this would bring some criticisms but when o... by Robert De Filippis on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 9:20:14 PM
I hope by "criticisms" your not getting the impres... by anna kakol on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 9:38:06 AM
Thank you for your comments. To me, my opinion is ... by Robert De Filippis on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 2:46:48 PM
I didn't assert that "people are trying to be supe... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:56:06 AM
"A folly that might have been prevented with an ap... by R. A. Landbeck on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 5:52:55 AM
and we cannot 'be without them'. Everything humans... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 9:23:01 AM
simply doesn't exist. The variety of intellects ca... by molly cruz on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 5:13:41 PM
I like this: "My fear is that we throw the baby ou... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 6:50:31 PM
I often say the origin of the term religion is the... by Burl Hall on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:04:34 AM
Much as I can appreciate the sentiment in Burl Hal... by David Chester on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:14:57 AM
With all do respect, from the way I am perceiving ... by anna kakol on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:57:28 AM
My apologies, I was trying to respond to BFalcon i... by anna kakol on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 12:09:03 PM
Long ago I figured out that religion is bad for ou... by Lester Shepherd on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 2:53:46 PM
I would add philosophy is bad for our planet. ... by Burl Hall on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 4:56:22 AM
Your prolific writings reveal a very kind person. ... by Lester Shepherd on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 6:43:39 AM
Yes, I 100% agree.  I think it a shame, thoug... by Burl Hall on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 2:15:25 PM
Religion is not exactly thrust upon us. Strangely ... by David Chester on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8:32:39 AM