The History of Religion (thumbnail)

A Rule of Thumb?
A Rule of Thumb?

The Old Religions say. . .

“Give us money (plus power & authority) and we’ll tell you how Bad you are” (Sin based)

The New Religions say. . .

“Give us money (plus power & authority) and we’ll tell you how Good you are” (Self based)

Post-Religion Secular Naturalism says. . .

“Give money where it does the most Good” (since You have the power and authority to act reasonably and to think of more than your self or some other world)

{This is obviously an oversimplification, and surely open to discussion, yet. . .I find truth in this thumbnail sketch}

4 thoughts on “The History of Religion (thumbnail)

  1. The one thing religion does well is bring people together for charitable causes. I wonder if we could magically make the planet secular if charity would suffer or expand. I see no reason why secular charitable organizations couldn’t pop up to take the place of church based ones, but would they?

    Good post.

  2. Yes, Mike, and I would only add that *large segments* of religion, but definitely not all, “bring people together for charity.” Other larger segments come together for themselves and otherworldly purposes, I sense you would agree?
    I see many secular-based organizations doing good, practical work. Often they may receive a check or two from congregations (who neglect to do the work themselves), but the basis and mission is really secular. It seems to me the best human service work is growing from the non-religious community. Yet, I think you’re also right. We have to admit there is much good work coming from religious groups.

  3. I like this perspective and appreciate the comments. What I fear we’re losing with modern secularism is what I’d call “social insurance” – the direct personal connection and responsibility for each other at the individual level. I’m independent enough have enough friends that I could afford to give that up when I left religion, but I know there are too many in different positions.

  4. Thanks for commenting. I’m not sure that we’re “losing” that connection, but maybe in the process of growing it? Maybe taking responsibility for ourselves as well as others could emerge from collaborating with people both inside and outside faith communities. Perhaps that’s really the true “secular” way.

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