Religion in Today’s World
Written by: Wendell Krossa
Most people cannot live without religion or what we call the spiritual, despite the secularist endeavor and the claim of atheists that they now number, according to surveys, some 15% of the world population. Refining of that 15% would discover many believers in Gaia, Karma, angry nature and so on. Even Dawkins creates a god- “Natural Selection is the Source of all enlightenment” (God Delusion). So “religious” or “spiritual” thought is still very prominent in human life.
Spiritual ideas influence everyone in how they live daily life, and especially their business life. Last year Rupert Murdoch claimed that regulation was holding back the world economy at its slow growth levels of today, and it was mostly environmental regulation he said. Ronald Bailey said that over-regulation had made us all poorer, and economic studies have shown this to be true. Since the Second World War, regulation has sucked a certain yearly percentage out of growth, so the average American family today, without that excess regulation, should be earning $330,000 instead of the current average $55,000.
What drives environmental alarmism that produces so much environmental regulation which in turn blocks development? Historian Arthur Herman traces the roots of declinism and shows how major thinkers, past and present, have contributed to its development as a coherent ideology of cultural pessimism. – Landes in his book on apocalyptic millennialism describes its impact on Marxism, Nazism, environmentalism, and Islam. The name comes from the most popular Christian form of this belief: At a future time (initially at the end of a period of six thousand years of earthly history), there would be a thousand-year “reign of saints” when the “good” would enjoy this messianic era on earth and the “evil”(along with Satan) would be bound in a pit. In the Christian scenario, at the end of that thousand years, Satan and his minions would be unleashed, leading to a final conflict that would culminate in the Last Judgment, in which the earth would be no more and the saved would go to heaven and the evil to hell. Much of the evidence presented by the above writers points to the powerful influence of Paul and his Christ myth. Add to this the retarding influence of Paul’s atonement theology on personal development, which would have acted like a “lobotomy” according to Lotufo.
What would the original Jesus gospel do to liberate public consciousness from this alarmism and its drag on the human spirit? What relevance does this have to the real world we live in and how do those religious ideas impact on daily life?
Plato was perhaps too much of an afterlife guy whereas Aristotle was more of a here and now pragmatist. Yet I agree with both. Fundamental to being human is to settle this issue of whether we are in harmony with the greater reality that created us. What is the meaning and purpose of human life? The behavior/belief relationship. Dawkins discusses the meaning and purpose of human life in “Natural Selection is the source of all enlightenment”. He is trying to relate life to some over-arching point or purpose. Plato also did this with his cave shadows and “forms”.
As with most people, both Plato and Aristotle are a complex mix of things. Plato the idealist, actually had a lot to do with inventing basic mathematical concepts. Aristotle was more the empiricist, but had his theology, that later Deists followed. It comes down to what human beings want in life. There must be the practical side of improving life, as in the creating of new gadgets, which portrays man as “the doer”. Yet we all value beauty, art and literature, which shows man to be the idealist and thinker.
What we say and do can impact life powerfully, just as Jesus and Paul impacted on our societies, for better and for worse. Plato and Aristotle were both useful in their search for truth. We have become more refined today in our endless distinguishing of good from bad. For example, try standing up today and shouting, “Slaves submit to your masters”. Today society generally believes that slavery is bad, and freedom good. Women being equal to husbands is greatly preferable to women submitting to their husbands. Human sacrifice is definitely not good.
Lotufos and others are drawing attention to the contrast between the Cruel God and the Kind God. This is a huge ouch for the Christian religion. A God demanding a sacrifice of appeasement is today considered to be psychopathic behavior.