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Has the social replaced the religious?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » July 10th, 2019, 9:59 pm

Greta wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 7:32 pm
GLS, I am all for madness and partake in it myself, but I'm wondering if the level of self focus you are displaying is reflective of how you live and think. Is driving-the-Gary-bus the overriding project at this time of your life?

What are your thoughts about those things that are not Gary? Do you see the sacred or profane, or to what extent?
Thanks, Greta, for the question. Mostly people just preach at me, which is fine because I learn what people are thinking and what they value. The overriding project at this time in my life is writing my book on philosophy. Actually that has been the overriding project for almost all my life. I have and have had for a long long time something to say. I love writing and thinking about philosophy. My books are readily available on the Internet, but of course they are not the type of books that are popular so I have almost no readers. It’s understandable. I think you have figured out that my basic philosophy is not yours and not to your taste. I have no objection.

I am here in Kathmandu now and I have to compile something on a particular aspect of Hinduism. I’m writing about Jhakris, who are shamans, and Tantra. The problem is that normal academic writing is totally inadequate for capturing what I think is the essence of all that. Therefore, I write, and I think I have to write, in an artistic style. The style I use is that of Conceptual Art, in particular Conceptual Poetry, which I first learned from the Beats. i.e. William Burroughs with his cut-up style and Allen Ginsberg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq_hztHJCM4&t=444s

I have lived most of my life in Iowa City, Iowa, which is famous for its Writer’s Workshop and for Gustav Bergmann, the world’s most difficult Analytic philosopher. I mix together Logical Analysis, as it has come down to us from Cambridge and Vienna, with Beat poetry. Of course, I am post-post-modern, and not postmodern and certainly not modern, except if you pile enough posts on modern you eventually get back to it, maybe. Poetry and analytic philosophy are what I am. Of course the poetry is as unusual to people as is the philosophical realism that I present. I remain odd to people, but it ain’t my fault; it the fault of the stream of intellectual thought I am rowing my boat in.

As for the sexuality in my writing. Well, why not? Have you read the Beat poets? If you have then you understand. I am not a f*cking rationalist. They are so very very very clean and pure in their high morality. I think they are the offspring of the British missionaries who came here to save the heathen and ended up totally scandalized by the sexuality of Tantra.

I spend my days mostly alone, reading, thinking and writing. I often walk over to one of the Buddhist monasteries nearby and get some good, cheap food. I sometimes talk to Hindu pundits, but they are mostly worried about keeping their job at the university. Reading has totally gone out of style with them. As it has for most denizens of the Internet. A young man comes over every other day and cooks and cleans for me. Right now the rainy season has started. I like that, but the cockroaches are a problem. I think you probably have no more questions to ask me, so I hope I have answered your question adequately.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Belindi » July 11th, 2019, 5:27 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:31 am
Belindi wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 5:52 am

pitfalls: one thing is sure, they are all of them man made.
Against Expression

I'm sure you will enjoy this anthology of conceptual writing - https://monoskop.org/images/3/3c/Dworki ... riting.pdf
Do you value the concept of intellectual property?
A traditional patchwork quilter, whose works are works of art,doesn't usually pretend to make original cotton prints. Those came from designers and machines in Manchester and the designers in their turn imitated Indian cotton prints.

The traditional quilter's art work fitted what her society required of her. Cannot the same be claimed for conceptual language? I don't know if it's true of Kathmandu, but the US and the UK are about to erupt into revolution unless the political evolution gets a jolly good move on. Is there a function for conceptual art? I do hope so. I trust the avant garde in art and science to show the way.

I have not been to Kathmandu and have read almost nothing about it. Is it a world unto itself or can you abstract patterns from it that American quilters can make things from?

https://www.quilting-in-america.com/His ... uilts.html

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » July 11th, 2019, 7:42 am

Belindi wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 5:27 am
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 3:31 am


Against Expression

I'm sure you will enjoy this anthology of conceptual writing - https://monoskop.org/images/3/3c/Dworki ... riting.pdf
Do you value the concept of intellectual property?
A traditional patchwork quilter, whose works are works of art,doesn't usually pretend to make original cotton prints. Those came from designers and machines in Manchester and the designers in their turn imitated Indian cotton prints.

The traditional quilter's art work fitted what her society required of her. Cannot the same be claimed for conceptual language? I don't know if it's true of Kathmandu, but the US and the UK are about to erupt into revolution unless the political evolution gets a jolly good move on. Is there a function for conceptual art? I do hope so. I trust the avant garde in art and science to show the way.

I have not been to Kathmandu and have read almost nothing about it. Is it a world unto itself or can you abstract patterns from it that American quilters can make things from?

https://www.quilting-in-america.com/His ... uilts.html
Ah, intellectual property. If you are a computer programmer here, there will be a problem of someone ripping off your work and selling it for a profit. It used to be a problem for musicians who made CDs, but now nobody uses CDs. Printed material is not ripped off much. What you do find A LOT is fake foreign goods made here. A while back I went to one of those places that makes goods for the Western market. There were about 40 boys sitting in a number of rooms at old trundle sewing machines. In about 15 minutes one guy made me a very nice back pack. Then he looked in a box of labels and pulled out Adidas and sewed that on. It could just as easily have been North Face or Nike or any other major brand. Right now I am typing this on a “duplicate” Windows 10. That and Adobe and Photoshop and any other popular app is dirt cheap here because it all “duplicate”. I was even given a free hacking tool, which I don't know how to use. Once, years ago, I actually tried to buy a real Microsoft operating system here and I quickly found out that it was not available anywhere. Everything is fake. And it all works fine. The truth is that if people in poor countries could not get fake programs, they would not have any programs because they could not afford them. So let’s just say that consumer goods are almost all fake. Much of it is from China, but it’s really from everywhere. My point is that no matter what you think of intellectual property, it is not enforceable. There’s one skin cream I get here for the top of my head. It costs six dollars. When I was in America I tried to get it and the pharmacist told me it would cost $760.00. Here and in India, property rights on drugs is mostly ignored. Another thing. I use Kindle and I buy books with my American bank account. People in poor countries cannot buy good online. I used to be able to make copies of a Kindle book in pdf. Now Amazon has made copying impossible. Here if you want an ebook, you will probably have to look for it on the dark web, which is what people do. You can get almost anything there. BTW, almost every kid has a smart phone. They can get facebook and other things anywhere in the country through "data" from the phone company. Every kid has facebook.

That’s enough. The idea of intellectual ;property is mostly dead among the general populace.

As for revolution, the government here is run mainly by the Maoists and the Communist Marxist Leninists. About 15 years ago there was a revolution. Nepalis, however, usually think that a revolution is ok as long as nobody gets hurt. Still, 15,000 people did die in that uprising. I was here and as an American I learned to keep my mouth shut. Now with the new government, corruption is just a bad as it always was. Not much has changed. Life goes on. The truth is that there is a lot of money in this town. A lot.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Hereandnow » July 11th, 2019, 9:17 am

Greta:
This dynamic changes for many when they are dying and become increasingly inaccessible to others. Finally alone with the world they start to experience a more raw and profound spirituality that they had been conditioned to ignore during life. Then they speak ruefully about all the awesomeness of life and nature that they dismissed and, thus, missed. What is meditation but taking a break from human BS?

Ideally we would learn lessons from those on their deathbeds rather than wait for it to happen to us but, alas, learning from people who know more than we do is less popular than maintaining (blissful?) ignorance.
Brilliant! But then, it does seem to recommend the solitary, contemplative life. Are you, I wonder, defending philosophy, the Kierkegaardian kind of dark "nights of inwardness"? You DO lean toward existentialism.

Taking such a "break" is hardly possible, for what you have done once opening that door is undermine your confidence in what people say, value and think. Take a critical stand against the post modern slouch toward Bethlehem, and you can no more go back than you can to being a child. More like making a break.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Greta » July 11th, 2019, 7:14 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 9:17 am
Greta:
This dynamic changes for many when they are dying and become increasingly inaccessible to others. Finally alone with the world they start to experience a more raw and profound spirituality that they had been conditioned to ignore during life. Then they speak ruefully about all the awesomeness of life and nature that they dismissed and, thus, missed. What is meditation but taking a break from human BS?

Ideally we would learn lessons from those on their deathbeds rather than wait for it to happen to us but, alas, learning from people who know more than we do is less popular than maintaining (blissful?) ignorance.
Brilliant! But then, it does seem to recommend the solitary, contemplative life. Are you, I wonder, defending philosophy, the Kierkegaardian kind of dark "nights of inwardness"? You DO lean toward existentialism.

Taking such a "break" is hardly possible, for what you have done once opening that door is undermine your confidence in what people say, value and think. Take a critical stand against the post modern slouch toward Bethlehem, and you can no more go back than you can to being a child. More like making a break.
Existentialism seems to be the bridge between spirituality and reason. Mostly I'm pointing to our "blinders", which I know intimately from wearing them for over half a century. I now have a distaste for display behaviour - "personal marketing". A musical analogy: bands can play the music that they love or the music that will sell, that they think others will love.Likewise, we can speak the truth as best we can or tell people what we think they want to hear.

So there is sell-out, the trade-off. Selling our souls to the Devil. Selling our happiness for survival. It's about giving to Mammon, because if you don't, Mammon will personally come to your door and pulverise you and yours. It is being an animal to survive amongst animals until you no longer need to play those games (if they are not too conditioned already, hence unhappy retirees). That's the good part of getting old, being freed from the need to impress, or even express. Just to do and be and to actually notice what everyone is doing rather than checking them off.

The dying know the wasted opportunities in a lifetime of treating environments as props for trivial human dramas. At each moment we have the opportunity to appreciate ourselves as temporal spirits in what is basically a dark wonderland.

Ironically, David Attenborough or Neil deGrasse Tyson are more likely to help us notice and appreciate these things than most so-called spiritual types and their fetishistic obsessions. The key word here is "notice". To notice entities, living and otherwise, for what they are in themselves rather than what they are to you.

Consider large trees, how deeply their roots go and their relationship with the moist Earth, fungi, insect larvae and bacteria below. Huge portions of the living Earth pushing up, reaching to feed directly from the starlight of which we are all comprised. The actual tree organism, meanwhile, is a pretty skinny strip that is supported in its drive towards ther sky by thick layers of its own dead skin, and then it pops out the ends as leaves. Each leaf has its own little life, like an individual in a city ... some are in prime locations at the top and never know shade (until some &^%$# bastard moves grows above!). Some lead short tortured lives, swamped by pests and herbivores. Others' lives go as smoothly as can be ... etc.

In a nutshell, at this stage I see spirituality as about not missing life while performing it.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Jklint » July 11th, 2019, 11:29 pm

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:59 pm
I have and have had for a long long time something to say. I love writing and thinking about philosophy. My books are readily available on the Internet, but of course they are not the type of books that are popular so I have almost no readers.
It sounds to me something Nietzsche would have been justified in writing had he been born in the internet age. Of course he would have had no Wagner to converse with but perhaps someone else would have taken his place.

What I wanted to ask was have you ever read any of Herman Hesse's novels which are semi-mystical in nature, e.g., Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game, Narziß und Goldmund, and his most famous though not necessarily the best, Der Steppenwolf? Personally, and feel free to disagree, I regard the Western version of these kind of insightful mysticisms at least equal to anything the East has to offer though Hesse himself was deeply involved in Eastern philosophy and in his own unique fused East & West in his novels.

Anyways, best of luck with your writing and future success! Some things just take longer!

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » July 11th, 2019, 11:51 pm

Jklint wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 11:29 pm
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:59 pm
I have and have had for a long long time something to say. I love writing and thinking about philosophy. My books are readily available on the Internet, but of course they are not the type of books that are popular so I have almost no readers.
It sounds to me something Nietzsche would have been justified in writing had he been born in the internet age. Of course he would have had no Wagner to converse with but perhaps someone else would have taken his place.

What I wanted to ask was have you ever read any of Herman Hesse's novels which are semi-mystical in nature, e.g., Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game, Narziß und Goldmund, and his most famous though not necessarily the best, Der Steppenwolf? Personally, and feel free to disagree, I regard the Western version of these kind of insightful mysticisms at least equal to anything the East has to offer though Hesse himself was deeply involved in Eastern philosophy and in his own unique fused East & West in his novels.

Anyways, best of luck with your writing and future success! Some things just take longer!
I can remember back in the late 1960s reading all of Hesse. I loved his books. At the moment I can't remember why I loved them, but I did. A lot was going on then. I think you probably have a thing or two to say about them and maybe Nietzsche. Please tell me some of your ideas. Have you looked at my blog which you can find under contact over on the right under my name? If you have something to say about that I would love to hear that too. Where do you live?

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Belindi » July 12th, 2019, 5:18 am

Greta wrote:
Existentialism seems to be the bridge between spirituality and reason. Mostly I'm pointing to our "blinders", which I know intimately from wearing them for over half a century. I now have a distaste for display behaviour - "personal marketing". A musical analogy: bands can play the music that they love or the music that will sell, that they think others will love.Likewise, we can speak the truth as best we can or tell people what we think they want to hear.

So there is sell-out, the trade-off. Selling our souls to the Devil. Selling our happiness for survival. It's about giving to Mammon, because if you don't, Mammon will personally come to your door and pulverise you and yours. It is being an animal to survive amongst animals until you no longer need to play those games (if they are not too conditioned already, hence unhappy retirees). That's the good part of getting old, being freed from the need to impress, or even express. Just to do and be and to actually notice what everyone is doing rather than checking them off.
Mammon is what happened, just as you say,when Boris Johnson did not support Kim Darroch.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Hereandnow » July 12th, 2019, 9:23 am

Greta:
So there is sell-out, the trade-off. Selling our souls to the Devil. Selling our happiness for survival. It's about giving to Mammon, because if you don't, Mammon will personally come to your door and pulverise you and yours. It is being an animal to survive amongst animals until you no longer need to play those games (if they are not too conditioned already, hence unhappy retirees). That's the good part of getting old, being freed from the need to impress, or even express. Just to do and be and to actually notice what everyone is doing rather than checking them off.
From Walden:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”

And Emerson's Nature:
Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.


Romantic ideas, no doubt. But to truly retire from the pettiness of this world, one should, I think, realize first that that pettiness is not the world. It never was.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Sculptor1 » July 12th, 2019, 10:16 am

For the last 300 years science has been replacing one of the key roles of religion. Cosmological and ontological answers of existence offered by religion have been overturned, since all religion had to offer these questions is "because god". And the because was an ad hoc invention by whatever the prevailing view of god's personality was. Science, in challenging that also undermined the authority of the priests and bishops, which assisted in the internal divisions of the church in the Reformation, and the bloody wars that raged across Europe because of it.
It was only a matter of time before other functions of the church were challenged and overturned. Once again, because the answer to questions and need of people cannot simply be answered by "because God". And they simply invite suspicion since the answer is always followed by "because God; and the church needs your cash too".

Churchs' and Chapels' functions of the social hub were never going to compete with the pub, music hall, sport, radio, tv, cinema, disco, club, and now a range of social media.
People would rather spend their hard earned cash on entertainments that do not continue to tell them what to do, who they cannot sleep with, and how to behave.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Hereandnow » July 12th, 2019, 11:09 am

Sculptor1
For the last 300 years science has been replacing one of the key roles of religion. Cosmological and ontological answers of existence offered by religion have been overturned, since all religion had to offer these questions is "because god". And the because was an ad hoc invention by whatever the prevailing view of god's personality was. Science, in challenging that also undermined the authority of the priests and bishops, which assisted in the internal divisions of the church in the Reformation, and the bloody wars that raged across Europe because of it.
It was only a matter of time before other functions of the church were challenged and overturned. Once again, because the answer to questions and need of people cannot simply be answered by "because God". And they simply invite suspicion since the answer is always followed by "because God; and the church needs your cash too".

Churchs' and Chapels' functions of the social hub were never going to compete with the pub, music hall, sport, radio, tv, cinema, disco, club, and now a range of social media.
People would rather spend their hard earned cash on entertainments that do not continue to tell them what to do, who they cannot sleep with, and how to behave.
Can't agree with you that spending cash on "entertainments" is so liberated, but i am a defender of freedom; then again, freedom begs the question: freedom to do what? Anything? Is it that any one thing is just as good as another, and that entertainment as such is always good? Obviously not. I bring this up only to say that the plethora of engagements possible in the modern society is not unqualifiedly good, and perhaps there is something to religion that is not bs. One has to consider that being so engaged may be like crawling back into the womb, just as believing in the myths of old.

The real issue lies with treating religion exclusively as a source of bad ideas. What is beneath this drive to something greater? What is religion's essence. If you think it is simply to ease the human struggling in the world with a story, a myth that speciously offers remedy; and if you think it is a false promise of something wonderful beyond the mundane, then the questions go to the struggle: struggle? what struggle? ; and the wonderful--what is this? That is, what is the material basis for the existence of the idea of something being wonderful?

Religion finds its true analysis not in story making and false promises, but in the content of experience at the level of basic ideas. What is suffering, struggle and the rest? Why are we born to suffer and die? How is it that if you take a finite body of molecular constructs, give them a certain complex of gathering and trajectory, you have what we call being in love? What is joy, happiness, or bliss? Why can't science probe these things?

Religion is not foolish at all once stripped of its foolishness.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Sculptor1 » July 12th, 2019, 11:25 am

Hereandnow wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 11:09 am
Sculptor1
For the last 300 years science has been replacing one of the key roles of religion. Cosmological and ontological answers of existence offered by religion have been overturned, since all religion had to offer these questions is "because god". And the because was an ad hoc invention by whatever the prevailing view of god's personality was. Science, in challenging that also undermined the authority of the priests and bishops, which assisted in the internal divisions of the church in the Reformation, and the bloody wars that raged across Europe because of it.
It was only a matter of time before other functions of the church were challenged and overturned. Once again, because the answer to questions and need of people cannot simply be answered by "because God". And they simply invite suspicion since the answer is always followed by "because God; and the church needs your cash too".

Churchs' and Chapels' functions of the social hub were never going to compete with the pub, music hall, sport, radio, tv, cinema, disco, club, and now a range of social media.
People would rather spend their hard earned cash on entertainments that do not continue to tell them what to do, who they cannot sleep with, and how to behave.
Can't agree with you that spending cash on "entertainments" is so liberated, but i am a defender of freedom; then again, freedom begs the question: freedom to do what?
I did not say it liberated. But its a whole lot better than having a priest or vicar chewing off your ear on a Sunday morning telling you that you keep sinning.
Having freedom? Do do whatever - that's the point. Sometimes it just don't matter.
Anything? Is it that any one thing is just as good as another, and that entertainment as such is always good? Obviously not. I bring this up only to say that the plethora of engagements possible in the modern society is not unqualifiedly good, and perhaps there is something to religion that is not bs.
Really? not BS. Like what?
One has to consider that being so engaged may be like crawling back into the womb, just as believing in the myths of old.

The real issue lies with treating religion exclusively as a source of bad ideas. What is beneath this drive to something greater? What is religion's essence.
The essence of religion is social control. Beyond that it is a collection of discredited ideas, and out-of-date cosmologies.
It has nothing philosophy can't do much better.
If you think it is simply to ease the human struggling in the world with a story, a myth that speciously offers remedy; and if you think it is a false promise of something wonderful beyond the mundane, then the questions go to the struggle: struggle? what struggle? ; and the wonderful--what is this? That is, what is the material basis for the existence of the idea of something being wonderful?
If you want a myth - then pick anyone from Homer to Breaking Bad. What's the difference? When it comes to religion people take their myths as truth. ANd therein lies the problem of credibility.

Religion finds its true analysis not in story making and false promises, but in the content of experience at the level of basic ideas.
On which planet?

What is suffering, struggle and the rest? Why are we born to suffer and die? How is it that if you take a finite body of molecular constructs, give them a certain complex of gathering and trajectory, you have what we call being in love? What is joy, happiness, or bliss? Why can't science probe these things?
It can probe these things, but not as well as, say, Lord of the RIngs, which has more truth about the human experience than all the holy books put together. Want to know about struggle and suffering? Try The Walking Dead

Religion is not foolish at all once stripped of its foolishness.
Once religion is stripped of its foolishness, it has disappeared completely.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Belindi » July 12th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Religion has become associated with Authority of priests and buildings with funny windows.That's wrong. Religion is when two or three are gathered together to do good or to think good with an attitude of freedom from authority. God and other iconic persons need never be mentioned.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Belindi » July 12th, 2019, 12:46 pm

No university departments are devoted to studying psychic phenomena. In fact, a panoply of scientists now aggressively denounces them.
The university department uses elaborated language code (Basil Bernstein) which cannot be adapted to imprecise, tricky, magical, liminal experiences.

These experiences which break established boundaries are often scary but the consolation for the radical shake-up of consciousness is the recognition of some seemingly real thing that overarches times and places and seems to resist transience. I like those very much.

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Re: Has the social replaced the religious?

Post by Hereandnow » July 12th, 2019, 4:29 pm

Sculptor1

On which planet?
This one. So I read all you wrote, and it is pretty clear to me that we are not on the same page. I agree that religion, public religion,s are ridiculous things and cause a lot of trouble and if only people would learn to think clearly about such things they wouldn't waste their time, etc., etc. But I do disagree that once religion is understood clearly there will be nothing left beyond its institutions. Religion is no more its institutions than agriculture is agribusiness.
It is not as if all that is essential about religion goes away simply because megachurches are corrupt. To discover the essence of religion we have to look at content free of its institutional entanglements. Here we find the terrible uncertainties of and frailties of the human condition, the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to, and so forth. This is why I take religion seriously: All inquiries into the nature of things end in a trailing off of meaningful language, and this is true of our ethical world most disturbingly. All one has to do is take a serious look at the tonnage of human suffering. herein you will find the foundation for religion qua religion. Religion is about human suffering without remedy. Simon Critchley wrote, "suffering people can tolerate; but suffering for no reason, this is unbearable."

But even if suffering is eliminated, the question remains regarding its existence at all. And, of course, to resolve your affairs in the trivialities of post modern life, well, trivializes life. But then, this takes the matter into a deeper discussion about whether being a person has any genuine depth or profundity. Most do not think so, and the religious types are too transfixed by scripture, and the new age people are idiots. But philosophers, they can rearrange the argument at the level of basic assumptions. One can never go back to being ruled by trivialities again.

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