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Author Topic: A global religion?  (Read 805 times)

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2019, 08:50:27 am »
Different religions solve different problems.

Different people have different problems.

So: no. Obviously that would not work.
But human nature is common to all of us. The differences are minor, no?

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2019, 08:51:57 am »
Even if it was possible, would it really be a good thing for everyone to be exactly the the same? Even if it were to stop some religious wars, what would we all lose in the process? Over on a Christian forum that I frequent, I often see threads there from people complaining (usually Catholics, but sometimes others) about the thousands of different Christian denominations and how all those denominations are being disobedient when Christ demands unity within the church. But they forget that there are many people who would never become Christian at all (or who would leave) if the only choice they had was being Catholic. Maybe since people are all different, all those different denominations have a beneficial purpose to meet the needs of a variety of unique people.

So if we take that a step further outside of Christianity and decide that some form of Wicca would be the one religion, how would it be decided which form it would be? Gardnerian, Eclectic, something else? Would everyone have to be skyclad within circles? Do all the high priests and priestesses need to become indoctrinated and certified by some board of Wiccan standards board to make sure they are all on the same page? Who would enforce that everyone in the world is practicing the appropriate form of Wicca and would "heretics" need to be hunted down for the sake of "peace"?

What about Atheists? Will they be forced to become Theists?

I just don't see how it could work and not have everyone fighting each other even worse than before!

Not to mention some Evangelical Christian groups who see in biblical prophecy that the arrival of the Anti-Christ is going to institute a one world government and one world religion and require everyone in the world to receive the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell. Many see *any* form of religious ecumenicism (even just working together to provide aid to impoverished countries) as a threat and actively work against it.

Taking up cat herding should be challenging enough I would think. :)
I don't mean identical religions. Just a basic minimum common ground.  :)

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2019, 08:55:08 am »
I can't imagine anything worse. Religions have tried in the past and a quick look at the current Middle East shows how successful the current attempt by IS is proving.

As I'm not an adherent to a dharmic faith nor an eclectic wiccan, those principles are as meaningless to me as the bible is. I'm not going to abandon my world view to embrace them or anything else. How would you plan to try to force me?
Dharma was an example.  :) Because dharma is good natured. Likewise, some basic fundamentals would be nice, like humanity.

Darkhawk

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2019, 10:32:13 am »
But human nature is common to all of us. The differences are minor, no?

No.

A person who is arrogant to the point of destructiveness would be made worse by a religion that encourages the further development of self-will and personal assertiveness.

A person who is prone to martyrdom and passive-aggressive false helping would be made worse by a religion that encourages humility and sacrifice for others.

A person coming from a highly individualistic, solipsistic culture would be balanced and improved by a religion that emphasizes community.

Etc.

Soul-destroying artificially imposed sameness that pretends that human beings are functionally identical automatons does not have any sort of appeal for me, and I am highly skeptical, to say the least, of any system that claims that somehow their problem-solving works for everyone's problems. At the very least, they are ignorant; more likely, they are creators of authoritarian hellscapes.
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we rise and fall
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2019, 01:30:15 pm »
English is far from a universal language. Yes, people who want to trade with english-speaking people will learn english, but there are many who would rather not, or even disdain its presence in their life. Not to mention that, if it were mandated that people learn English rather than their native tongues, around the world, there'd be massive backlash.

The same is true for religion. People can't even agree on what to eat for lunch, much less deeply held things like what they believe. I don't think insisting on a universal religion would help anything.
I am not saying that we will stop learning our native language. But we will learn to languages. Our native and an international one. Well America is the powerful country so we speak American for the international communication.  :)

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2019, 01:31:35 pm »
Not only that, recent studies suggest that, far from being a benefit, a single universal language to the limited extent we do have it is actively harmful to cognitive health.  The absolute biggest protection yet found against Alzheimer's is being bilingual.
I don't say we abandon native languages. We could all be bilingual (native language and american language)  :)

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2019, 01:36:10 pm »
When did that happen? Last time I went out of the USA, to Peru and Bolivia, only about 1/10 of the people I met had any English. Some of them didn't even have any Spanish because they were monolingual Aymara or Quechua speakers. Here at home, I see and interact with monolingual Spanish speaking immigrants on a daily basis - those are people living in the USA, an English-dominant country. English isn't a global language, and it's never gonna be one, if the growth of French and Spanish in developing countries is any indicator - right now those two languages are growing rapidly in places other than their historic ranges.

Does it? Seems to me that all that would do is wipe away thousands of years of traditional songs, stories, and values that are expressed through language. Look at what happened in Ireland - how much Irish identitiy was warped by the imposition of English; it changed their religious practices, their music, their literature, everything that was uniquely Irish was threatened by adopting English. The same thing happened with indigenous North American groups.

Regarding buisness, tourism, and political interaction - the main things that would benefit from a common global language - translation is already available and is totally sufficient to allow for globalized interactions without destroying thousands of cultures.

Can we convert the entire world to one religion? No. No. Not remotely. There are dozens of extant proselytizing religions that have tried and failed to do this, as well as an unknown number of extinct ones. Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and many, many other religions have tried to spread their teachings on a global scale and none have gotten further than 1/3 of the population, which was reached by Christianity which is currently shrinking in it's traditional strongholds and which will likely take up a much smaller percentage than it currently does in the next couple of decades.

Yeah - I would say converting the whole world to one religion would involve quite a bit of both.

Religious acceptance? Yeah. I could actually get behind that - not sure how that meshes with the rest of your post, though.

If everyone followed the same religious dogma, magically, tomorrow - without any need human rights violations to get there - would we be any better? No, I don't think we would. Most people already follow some form of religious morality, and having them all follow the Rede wouldn't really be any different from having some of them following the Rede, some of them following Ahimsa, some of them following the Golden Rule, some of them following the NAP, etc.

If most people already have a moral compass that says 'don't murder people' and yet still kill each other, how would making those compasses uniform change things?
We keep our language and tradition BUT in addition we aknowledge a second global language for communication purposes and a religion agreement for living peacefully  :)

arete

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2019, 01:39:55 pm »
No.

A person who is arrogant to the point of destructiveness would be made worse by a religion that encourages the further development of self-will and personal assertiveness.

A person who is prone to martyrdom and passive-aggressive false helping would be made worse by a religion that encourages humility and sacrifice for others.

A person coming from a highly individualistic, solipsistic culture would be balanced and improved by a religion that emphasizes community.

Etc.

Soul-destroying artificially imposed sameness that pretends that human beings are functionally identical automatons does not have any sort of appeal for me, and I am highly skeptical, to say the least, of any system that claims that somehow their problem-solving works for everyone's problems. At the very least, they are ignorant; more likely, they are creators of authoritarian hellscapes.
Yes, you are correct. But still there must be a meeting point. Something that all religions can at least agree upon...

Darkhawk

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2019, 04:03:02 pm »
Yes, you are correct. But still there must be a meeting point. Something that all religions can at least agree upon...

So you want to find a trivial, minor point that you can claim is universal and promulgte that utterly useless factoid as an actual religion, ignoring the fact that religions have more than a single factoid and instead have worldviews, cosmologies, ethos, practices, beliefs, and actual contents?

You think this nothingburger will bring about world peace?
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Donal2018

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2019, 05:56:17 pm »
No.

A person who is arrogant to the point of destructiveness would be made worse by a religion that encourages the further development of self-will and personal assertiveness.

A person who is prone to martyrdom and passive-aggressive false helping would be made worse by a religion that encourages humility and sacrifice for others.

A person coming from a highly individualistic, solipsistic culture would be balanced and improved by a religion that emphasizes community.

Etc.

Soul-destroying artificially imposed sameness that pretends that human beings are functionally identical automatons does not have any sort of appeal for me, and I am highly skeptical, to say the least, of any system that claims that somehow their problem-solving works for everyone's problems. At the very least, they are ignorant; more likely, they are creators of authoritarian hellscapes.

People are different but they also have commonalities. It is not too far-fetched to try and imagine some sort of universal system. People have been trying to create universal religions for centuries. Such schemes have not really succeeded for some of the reasons you point out- complexity, differences, traditions, individuality, etc. I think that traditions should be preserved and protected where they do not impose on other people's rights.

That said, perhaps we could have a system of global democracy that asserts certain basic human rights, including freedom of religion. The idea is to have a framework that allows diversity of thought and belief. A universal religion would not work because it would homogenize too much of existing culture and promote a resistance between established religions and cultures.

Instead, a system of democracy and human rights would prevent any one religion or belief system from becoming unnaturally dominant. A lot of global conflict is clearly religious in content. I would like to see religious freedom preserved with a system that encourages human rights and cultural diversity.

I don't think this idea is unrealistic. Slavery was abolished in America in the 19th Century, so why can we not do likewise and try to eliminate religious conflict? Not an easy task, but perhaps possible. Of course, that would not solve all of our global problems, but it certainly could help.

Donal2018

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2019, 06:12:43 pm »
People are different but they also have commonalities. It is not too far-fetched to try and imagine some sort of universal system. People have been trying to create universal religions for centuries. Such schemes have not really succeeded for some of the reasons you point out- complexity, differences, traditions, individuality, etc. I think that traditions should be preserved and protected where they do not impose on other people's rights.

That said, perhaps we could have a system of global democracy that asserts certain basic human rights, including freedom of religion. The idea is to have a framework that allows diversity of thought and belief. A universal religion would not work because it would homogenize too much of existing culture and promote a resistance between established religions and cultures.

Instead, a system of democracy and human rights would prevent any one religion or belief system from becoming unnaturally dominant. A lot of global conflict is clearly religious in content. I would like to see religious freedom preserved with a system that encourages human rights and cultural diversity.

I don't think this idea is unrealistic. Slavery was abolished in America in the 19th Century, so why can we not do likewise and try to eliminate religious conflict? Not an easy task, but perhaps possible. Of course, that would not solve all of our global problems, but it certainly could help.

I would also note that it took a major war to end slavery in America, but I would hope that global religious conflicts could be adjudicated without a major war. Not an easy thing.

Likewise, even though slavery was eliminated, it did not wipe out racism. In many ways, it was not just the end of slavery, but the beginning of a longer fight against racism.

So, a universal system of democracy, human rights, religious freedom, and cultural diversity would be a process for improving justice on a global scale. It would be a beginning, not an absolute solution.

Donal2018

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2019, 09:16:50 pm »
I would also note that it took a major war to end slavery in America, but I would hope that global religious conflicts could be adjudicated without a major war. Not an easy thing.

Likewise, even though slavery was eliminated, it did not wipe out racism. In many ways, it was not just the end of slavery, but the beginning of a longer fight against racism.

So, a universal system of democracy, human rights, religious freedom, and cultural diversity would be a process for improving justice on a global scale. It would be a beginning, not an absolute solution.

Another point for clarification: I would compare the abolition of slavery to the abolition of war. Many people thought that these were wrong-headed or impossible goals. The formal abolition for slavery was preceded by a social movement of abolitionism. It was a long, involved process with many different aspects. The end of slavery certainly did not end racism; there is still an ongoing movement for that.

Likewise, the end of war would likely not be the complete end of any kind of conflict; there would just be less of it, not based in nation state versus nation state. Low level non-state conflict might persist in some form or another (ie, terrorism or asymmetric conflict). But that could be worked on also.

A lot of the current peace movement seems like a remnant of the the 60s counter-culture. Some people consider the idea of peace to be soft-minded and easily dismissed. I would say that there could be a harder-headed idea of peace maybe called simply Anti-War or the Abolish War Movement.

I am not trying to re-invent the wheel here. These movements already exist in some form or another. I am just proposing that there could be more efforts to abolish war, whatever its cause, including religious conflict. Such a movement should be strengthened.

Yei

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2019, 07:29:08 pm »
People are different but they also have commonalities. It is not too far-fetched to try and imagine some sort of universal system. People have been trying to create universal religions for centuries. Such schemes have not really succeeded for some of the reasons you point out- complexity, differences, traditions, individuality, etc. I think that traditions should be preserved and protected where they do not impose on other people's rights.

That said, perhaps we could have a system of global democracy that asserts certain basic human rights, including freedom of religion. The idea is to have a framework that allows diversity of thought and belief. A universal religion would not work because it would homogenize too much of existing culture and promote a resistance between established religions and cultures.

Instead, a system of democracy and human rights would prevent any one religion or belief system from becoming unnaturally dominant. A lot of global conflict is clearly religious in content. I would like to see religious freedom preserved with a system that encourages human rights and cultural diversity.

I don't think this idea is unrealistic. Slavery was abolished in America in the 19th Century, so why can we not do likewise and try to eliminate religious conflict? Not an easy task, but perhaps possible. Of course, that would not solve all of our global problems, but it certainly could help.

I'm not so sure about that. I mean, if we take something like democracy and say it should be universal, lets ask: which type of democracy? There are several different options. We could go for an American style Presidential system, or a UK style Parliamentary system. Or we could go for something completely different and invent a new type of democracy. But if we did, what would it look like? Would you include political parties? Would it be federated? Would sortition be used? I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

Then look at something like human rights. They seem like a good idea, but take a closer look. If we look at early humanists, such as Bartolome de las Casas (I know I'm drawing a pretty longbow here, but stay with me), we can understand some of the complications. Las Casas is sometimes credited as the founder of modern human rights due to his support of indigenous people. But remember, Las Casas based his beliefs on the idea that indigenous people were legitimate subjects of the Spanish crown and new members of the Catholic Church. He may have criticised Spanish mistreatment of native people, but he never challenged Spain's right to rule the New World.

And we often see this dynamic in play, even in the modern era. For example, US missionary efforts into the American West justified their intervention, at least partly, on the basis that converting the natives would eliminate violence among Plains Nations, violence of course as assumed to be the result of indigenous religion. Other reforms were justified under similar logic. They were necessary to 'kill the Indian, save the Man.'

Modern western nations, the supposed advocates for Universal Human Rights, are all too quick to violate their own rules. The frequent US interventions throughout the entire world may be the best example. I'd say that, internationally speaking at least (in terms of domestic policy its quite different), the US has been far more violent, aggressive, and destructive than many of the dictatorships they are supposedly protecting the world from.

I'd go so far as to say that the claim of universal rights can even justify violations of said rights. Think about how many times US Presidents proclaim their peaceful intentions while sending bombs into other countries, often in wars that have nothing to do with them. Often the idea is that the US or Western nations have to invade to prevent someone else from committing atrocities. Essentially, they justify their atrocities by shifting the blame for the resulting violence on the victims of said violence. I'm reminded of when George Bush excused his attack on Iraq by noting that Saddam had gassed his own people. Not an inaccurate claim. However, the essential message is: our violence is ok, because they are violent. Or: our violence is ok, because it protects them from other people's violence.'
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 07:43:54 pm by SunflowerP »

Zlote Jablko

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2019, 09:39:29 pm »
I'm not so sure about that. I mean, if we take something like democracy and say it should be universal, lets ask: which type of democracy? There are several different options. We could go for an American style Presidential system, or a UK style Parliamentary system. Or we could go for something completely different and invent a new type of democracy. But if we did, what would it look like? Would you include political parties? Would it be federated? Would sortition be used? I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

Then look at something like human rights. They seem like a good idea, but take a closer look. If we look at early humanists, such as Bartolome de las Casas (I know I'm drawing a pretty longbow here, but stay with me), we can understand some of the complications. Las Casas is sometimes credited as the founder of modern human rights due to his support of indigenous people. But remember, Las Casas based his beliefs on the idea that indigenous people were legitimate subjects of the Spanish crown and new members of the Catholic Church. He may have criticised Spanish mistreatment of native people, but he never challenged Spain's right to rule the New World. And we often see this dynamic in play, even in the modern era. For example, US missionary efforts into the American West justified their intervention, at least partly, on the basis that converting the natives would eliminate violence among Plains Nations, violence of course as assumed to be the result of indigenous religion. Other reforms were justified under similar logic. They were necessary to 'kill the Indian, save the Man.' Modern western nations, the supposed advocates for Universal Human Rights, are all too quick to violate their own rules. The frequent US interventions throughout the entire world may be the best example. I'd say that, internationally speaking at least (in terms of domestic policy its quite different), the US has been far more violent, aggressive, and destructive than many of the dictatorships they are supposedly protecting the world from. I'd go so far as to say that the claim of universal rights can even justify violations of said rights. Think about how many times US Presidents proclaim their peaceful intentions while sending bombs into other countries, often in wars that have nothing to do with them. Often the idea is that the US or Western nations have to invade to prevent someone else from committing atrocities. Essentially, they justify their atrocities by shifting the blame for the resulting violence on the victims of said violence. I'm reminded of when George Bush excused his attack on Iraq by noting that Saddam had gassed his own people. Not an inaccurate claim. However, the essential message is: our violence is ok, because they are violent. Or: our violence is ok, because it protects them from other people's violence.'

Human rights may not be the best example, in my opinion. Good and evil exist. That’s something approaching universality, along with the acknowledgment of objective truths. We can argue about different codes of morality, but for many human rights violations it doesn’t matter. They’re wrong by any measure.

If by “his own people” you mean Iraqi’s, then yes, Saddam’s regime was responsible for the Anfal genocide against the Kurds in northern Iraq. That’s not to say it justified the Iraq war in which Saddam was overthrown. But human rights are a thing. I wouldn’t call it a religion, but sure, there are some very basic ideals we should be able to share.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anfal_genocide

Donal2018

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Re: A global religion?
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2019, 09:50:08 pm »
I'm not so sure about that. I mean, if we take something like democracy and say it should be universal, lets ask: which type of democracy? There are several different options. We could go for an American style Presidential system, or a UK style Parliamentary system. Or we could go for something completely different and invent a new type of democracy. But if we did, what would it look like? Would you include political parties? Would it be federated? Would sortition be used? I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I am not actually proposing a world government or democracy. We already have an international political order based on economy, diplomacy, and force. Nation-states compete in a global real politick. What I would actuallly like to see is some sort of global treaty organization made up of legitimate democracies. Sort of how NATO militarily protects Europe, I would imagine a Global Democratic Organization to be made of of many member states globally that are democracies. There would be a military aspect, designed for mutual protection of global democracies. But, the main idea would be the use of soft power to encourage global democracy and discourage militant, undemocratic and authoriatarian regimes.

By soft power, I mean economics, diplomacy, and political pressure. The idea might be also something like a global economic order where only legitimate democracies with good constitutions and human rights records would be admitted. Non-democratic nations would not be admitted and would have sanctions (economic, political) imposed for human rights violations and any other kinds of undemocratic activites (supporting terrorism, for example). Now, we already have somethign like this on an ad hoc basis. Often with America leading a coalition of allies to impose limits and sanctions on countries like North Korea for there anti-democratic and human rights violations as well as their development of nuclear weapons.

The idea is that a nation state would be excluded from economic participation if they are not a part of the Global Democratic Organization. The idea would be to encourage democracy and human rights in foreign countries that do not have them. The intent would be to incentivize democracy and disincentivize authoritarian rule. The Treaty Organization structure would solve the problem of nation state sovereignty. Every nation in the Treaty Org would remain a legitimate sovereign nation with their own independent governments. This solves part of the problem that these sort of "one world" type schemes always reject as an idea: a one world government and the loss of a coutnries national sovereignty. The Treaty Org would function as a global collection of Nation States with strong democracies with a policy of economics and diplomacy to encouyrage other nations to embrace democrcy and reject authoritarianism.

There is of course the United Nations, but that body has not been very effective as a functioning government, largely because the constituent nations do not want to give up any of their sovereign power to the U.N. This idea of a Global Treaty Organization of Democracies would function differently, because the constituent Nations would not be giving up their sovereign powers becasue the Treaty Org is just that: a treaty org of constiuent and sovereign nations versus something that looks like an ineffective attempt at world governemt, which is basically what the U.N. is.

As far as what kinds of democracies should exist- Republics, Parliaments, how many Parties, what types, etc, it would not really matter. As long as a country has a legimate functioning democracy, a free system, some sort of Bill of Rights or Universal Human Rights Declaration, they could be admitted to the Treaty Org. The idea is to put political, economic, and diplomatic pressure on nation states that have authoritarian governments and to create incentives for those nations that make the transition to a functioning democracy of whatever particular sort.

Anyway, the type of global system that we would hope would evolve from this is a world made up of free nations and democracies that preserve their own national character and cultures, yet participate in a world where peace and prosperity are the goals, and militarism and war are made obsolete. I recognize that some would consider this sort of idea as unlikely and pie-in-the-sky, but fortune really does favor the bold. We have seen other democracies, governments, and systems developed throughout history. Why should we not hope for some sort of global order where people live in democracies that protect their rights and freedoms, inlcuding religious freedoms? I am not proposing that developing such a system would be easy, but very few things of value in this world are simple and easy. So, idealistic, maybe, but impractical, I don't think so. Just a large challenge.   

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The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall