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Does religion have any relevance in the modern world ?

Given that most religions are founded on ideas and teachings that come from books written hundreds, or even thousands of years ago, and that their relevance to modern ideas have been superceded by scientific discoveries, is it logical to have any belief in religion ?


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    Apr 16 2012: If we asked a hundred people to share their understanding of the meaning of the word "religion", how many essentially identical responses do you think we would get? 100? 50? 10? 0? My point is that to assume meanings of words is to begin a journey using a faulty compass. For this conversation what is your definition of religion? Thanks Mr. Hodges.
    • Apr 16 2012: I suppose that my idea of a religion would in involve a belief in an anthropomorphic deity, as in Christianity.This is a quote from anthroplogists John Monaghhan and Peter Just - "Many of the great world religions appear to have begun as revitalization movements of some sort, as the vision of a charismatic prophet fires the imaginations of people seeking a more comprehensive answer to their problems than they feel is provided by everyday beliefs. Charismatic individuals have emerged at many times and places in the world. It seems that the key to long-term success – and many movements come and go with little long-term effect – has relatively little to do with the prophets, who appear with surprising regularity, but more to do
      with the development of a group of supporters who are able to institutionalize the movement."
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        Apr 16 2012: Not to be pedantic, but do you consider religion to be a strictly human invention, or do you think there must be a supernatural component? Mr. Just and Mr. Monaghhan clearly believe religion is of human origin. I believe the distinction is critical. Which do you mean by your question, of human origin, or supernatural, or possibly both?
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          Apr 16 2012: The "supernatural component" is a human construct...is it not?
        • Apr 17 2012: As Colleen has stated I believe that all religions are human constructs devised primarily to control the masses. As religions prove, humans are like sheep, and tend to follow the herd. They seldom question whether religious teaching is logical or not.
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          Apr 20 2012: Any religion is a human conatruct. God, of course, is not. Humans create religion in order to better organise their study, understanding, and worship of God. Last night I had this image where I likened it unto a symphony, where we are all still trying to learn our instruments and wventually one day we can make the harmony needed to properly appreciate the One who cpmposed the music.

          Look, religion has been usurped by scurrilous forces to control the masses. Look at what is happening now in America, where the evangelical movement is so controlled by monied elites that the normal rank and file Christian will support very anti-Christian policies. In fact, conservatism and Christianity, the political and the religious,are being blurred together in some obscene cacaphony.

          But at the same time, God knows that for people to worship on their own, even with good intentions, will eventually be led astray by their own thoughts and led down a path of worship designed by their own arrogance. This is why He promotes relign as a way for believers to temper each other, make sure we're on the right path.

          Brass tacks- yeah, I've seen religion make an 18 year old girl throw a rock at the head of another 18 year old girl as she was walking into an abortion clinic. But I've also seen a drunk abuser pass by an open tent evangelist, get converted, and then work hard to eventually become a father and husband that his family adores to this very day, still talking about him thirty years after his passing off this mortal coil.

          To answer the primary question: is religion relevant?, YES. Is it always done right? NO!
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      Apr 18 2012: Hi Edward, Religion is a fairly slippery word. Some even say science is a religion.
      Part of the problem is religious belief systems are extremely diverse.
      Spiritual is another slippery word meaning all sorts of things to different people

      Definition is always a good place to start.

      Anyway, my main point is one the absolute most tricky words is God.
      It means everything from the entire universe to human god kings.
      This is part of the reason religion is such a broad church so to speak.

      On reflection you don't need to be religious to have profound experiences.
      You do need to be a religious to have a specifically religious inspired profound experience.
      You need to be a Hindu or Christian to have a specifically Hindu or Christian profound religious experience.
      I guess the transcendent experience a dervish has spinning around, may be similar but slightly different from a Christian praying intently until they lose their sense of self, or an atheist meditating etc.

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