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When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary
dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
- Anais Nin

Philosophy of Religion
Updated: 01/07/2021

A valid religion would be concerned more with purpose, values and principles than with dogma and doctrines, because the various dogmas and doctrines in formal religions often stand in violation of these crucial aspects foundational to human well-being and happiness. Adoption of the existing dogmas does nothing to address and relieve us of the deplorable human condition. As has been said elsewhere more than a few times.

The dogma and doctrine concerning creation, the history of the earth and the history of  Mankind that is accepted by the various formal religions is a wasteland replete with both myth and nonsense, and both science and a true understanding of ancient myth have done their part to disconfirm this dogma or destroy it intellectually. However, there is a vast reservoir of clerical proponents with a vested interest in the old paradigm along with the psyche of the gullible subordinates to keep these ideas continuing for a long time. But they are slowly fading.

Scientism as dominant religion

Scientism has now actually ascended to become the world's dominant religion, and it has been eroding the influence of the formal religions for over 200 years now in the Western world. Here is what Bryan Appleyard has to say about the conflict with other formal religions:

First, it is clear that there is something about the human condition that demands a dimension we call religious, whatever it might be.  Particular faiths have come and gone, but nothing has ever displaced the religious presence itself from human life.  It has always accompanied men and their cultures.
     Religions have usually attempted to relate their spiritual systems to the material experience of the world.  In doing so they have depended on the conviction that value and meaning can be found in the facts of the world–precisely the conviction that science has so successfully defied and apparently disproved.  It is, therefore, idle to pretend, as many do, that there is no contradiction between religion and science...they are absolutely and irresolvably conflicting views.  Unless, that is, science is obliged to change its fundamental nature.
     Religion, like science began with the inscrutable and majestic spectacle of the heavens.  This points again to the fact that they are destined to compete; they are occupying the same territory. 
Bryan Appleyard, Understanding The Present, Anchor Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY. 10036, 1992, p. 82.

Of course the "human condition" calls us to the "religious dimension", because there is something undeniably wrong with it. Of course this determines the nature and flavor of the religious dimension, which is largely comprised of explanations and coping mechanisms, and is also so far bereft of any conclusion to it. The elephant in the living room is that our "material experience of the world" does NOT relate well to the dimensions of a benevolent God or "heavenly father", so the religious dogma/doctrine becomes a morass of tortured explanations and gaping holes in what should be an elegant and coherent narrative and picture.

Appleyard is acutely insightful when he says that religion and science are destined to compete because they both began with the spectacle in the heavens. But scientism is winning that competition WITHOUT leading us to anything more meaningful than an advancing technology in a world of exploding population.

The roots of the word "religion" imply a RETURN to reason and meaning (literally "bind together AGAIN with logic"). Yet what we see is an ocean of incomprehensible extractions from ancient "sacred" mythological scriptures, which is anything but a return to reason and meaning. The confusion is so wide, so deep, so ancient that we and our religious institutions have become inured to it, and there seems to be no hope of corporately-shared clarity and unity short of a dramatic demonstration that would cut through all the miasma of religious claims and counterclaims. Given that there is a God, you would want to think that we are looking forward to a clarifying and unifying demonstration? Or has it already taken place and been misunderstood and unappreciated?

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