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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Questions for the modern mind

    I'm defining the modern mind as anyone who thinks a little more than the European Enlightenment and modernity have been on balance beneficial or simply a fact in itself but who believes positively that the present has nothing to learn from the past and the past should be dead and buried.

    - What is your view of religion? If you condemn it do you condemn it all equally or discriminate between religions or seperate denominations within a single religion?

    - What do you consider the legacies of religion? Are they all negative?

    - Could the cultural or other innovations of modernity have emerged without religion? If even only as a foil to discussion?

    - Can wonder, awe and mystery exist without superstition and prejudice?

    - Does the secular have any definition of the sacred? Can it be generalised? Does it or can it embody any universal principles?

    - Is secular culture or society any more or less prone to what you consider erroneous or detestable in the past? If so why?

    - How do you think modernity can or will reproduce itself one generation after another? Is the traditional the enemy of modernity or is it seeking to embody itself in alternative traditions to those it rejects?

    - Do these questions have any meaning for your daily life? Do the seem abstract or would the influence your judgement on a daily basis?

    - Finally, do you think that modernity owes more or less to Thinking, Feeling, Judging or Percepting? Or what combination of them? Which serves it best and which traits do you think in contrast served the past better?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    - Religion is one of the greatest things humans have ever created. I do not condemn religion or religious followers for their beliefs, but I could be wronged by the actions of an individual.

    - I wouldn't say the legacy is one of negativity, but of incredible feats and deep cultural details.

    - Innovations occur and cultures develop both with and without religion.

    - Superstition and prejudice create something out of nothing, or take something and then distort it to match what we want it to be. Mystery, awe, and wonder can all derive from the unknown, not just the known. Superstitions & prejudices are known, or attempt to fit an unknown into the realm of the known. The problem is that we are flying blind when we do this, so we can't know if we are really knowing (becoming enlightened) or just fooling ourselves. It would be better to organize the known facts into an algorithm and use that to make the decision, and no steps may be omitted if we want the destination to be true. Prejudice and superstition allow us to bridge the gap, but the path is no longer true if points leading to that truth are actually false. If they are, we have to try again.

    - Universal principles are not sacred. We can say something is sacred, but it may only be true for the person(s) making the claim, and not universally sacred.

    - All cultures have potential to be judged detestable, because there exist multiple cultures, each of which can interpret the actions of another within their own (relatively narrow) context and determine that the other culture is wrong.

    - What we do in this generation dictates the level the next generation will function at. Every single day the Earth spins, we are experiencing modernity.

    - These questions probably play some role in my judgement

    - Modernity is best defined by energy usage, in my opinion

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - What is your view of religion? If you condemn it do you condemn it all equally or discriminate between religions or seperate denominations within a single religion?
    I believe that it was necessary at one point, but that it has largely served its purpose. I think that now, religion is mostly harmful and regressive, but some religions and denominations are less harmful than others. The ones that involve less demands and restrictions on people, for instance... are not so bad.
    - What do you consider the legacies of religion? Are they all negative?
    Actually, most of the legacies are good. Religion was the first way of organizing a society, creating a moral code, and beginning to talk about what might be beyond ourselves. We could probably never have accomplished those things without religion. But now we have other ways of doing those things, due to the experiences we've had as a people. Education, science, and philosophy will allow people to do consciously, what religion would have had us do unconsciously. However, religion has also left a legacy of hatred, intolerance, resistance to change, and a discouragement of questioning things. Those are negative.
    - Could the cultural or other innovations of modernity have emerged without religion? If even only as a foil to discussion?
    No, they couldn't have. That's the ironic thing... religion brought us so far in the past, but in order to go further, we have to free ourselves from it. We need a new type of philosophy to replace it, because we've outgrown it.
    - Can wonder, awe and mystery exist without superstition and prejudice?
    I believe that they can. In fact, I think that superstition and prejudice come from FEAR of the unknown, while mystery, awe, and wonder come from a desire to explore the unknown.
    - Does the secular have any definition of the sacred? Can it be generalised? Does it or can it embody any universal principles?
    Oh, there are definitely things that the secular considers sacred, it just doesn't use that word. Tolerance, curiosity, striving for self-improvement, and compassion among the more progressive ones. Others may simply value order, success, power, and logic. I believe that they do embody universal principles of human thought and nature. Though each society may implement different specific rules, the underlying principles behind the rules are often similar. The general trend of movement towards more secular societies is a sign that we're collectively moving to operate based on new principles.
    - Is secular culture or society any more or less prone to what you consider erroneous or detestable in the past? If so why?
    It may be somewhat less prone to error, but I believe that all cultures and societies are prone to horrible atrocities and errors in judgment. The great advantage of secular culture and society, is that it allows us to more openly question ourselves and admit when we are wrong. Traditional culture often did not allow this.

    - How do you think modernity can or will reproduce itself one generation after another? Is the traditional the enemy of modernity or is it seeking to embody itself in alternative traditions to those it rejects?
    I believe that the traditional is the enemy right now, but that it will eventually embody itself in alternative traditions. To some extent, it has already done so. The way it will reproduce itself, is by including in that tradition a cultivation of creative faculties and critical thinking, as well as a desire to preserve social order and tolerance.
    - Do these questions have any meaning for your daily life? Do the seem abstract or would the influence your judgement on a daily basis?
    They have meaning to me. They would influence my judgment on certain questions, but not others. It depends on what kind of decisions I was facing each day.
    - Finally, do you think that modernity owes more or less to Thinking, Feeling, Judging or Percepting? Or what combination of them? Which serves it best and which traits do you think in contrast served the past better?
    I believe that modernity owes more to Intuition and Feeling, and people becoming more aware of how their actions impact one another. We're becoming more connected to each other, and trying to be less unnecessarily cruel to one another than we have been in the past. The past was more served by Sensing and Thinking, because it would often prescribe cold, harsh, brutal rules, and no exceptions were ever tolerated. How those rules affected certain people wasn't considered. This was necessary because of the harsh conditions of the past. They are not so necessary now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm defining the modern mind as anyone who thinks a little more than the European Enlightenment and modernity have been on balance beneficial or simply a fact in itself but who believes positively that the present has nothing to learn from the past and the past should be dead and buried.
    I personally disagree with this idea, I think the present ALWAYS has something to learn from the past

    /SJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - What is your view of religion? If you condemn it do you condemn it all equally or discriminate between religions or separate denominations within a single religion?
    I define religion in two ways: Religion with a capital 'R' and religion with a lowercase 'r' and both have different meanings. Religion (capital R) are ALL of the religions on the planets from the smallest of religions to the largest. With a lowercase r, I define as the specific individual religions that make up the the world. Religion (capital R) is an apparatus that's been in operation since the earliest of human civilizations. I don't consider it good or evil, but simply a facet of civilization. From my own observations, it seems to me that the religions of the time period seem to reflect the respective societies they dwell in (which sometimes makes me wonder who influences who).

    Religions (lowercase r) I take on a case by case basis. Some of them I feel have done a lot of good in spite of whatever shortcomings they may have (modern Christianity) and others....well...the jury is still out (*cough*Scientology*cough*)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - What do you consider the legacies of religion? Are they all negative?
    Some good, some bad I feel. I don't think you can deny that we wouldn't be where we are today if not for the impact that religion has had. For every Fred Phelps I think there is a genuinely kind, warm hearted individuals working the soup kitchens and genuinely trying to make the world a better place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Could the cultural or other innovations of modernity have emerged without religion? If even only as a foil to discussion?
    I think eventually they would have but I do think a lot of our cultural trends are a result of religion (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Can wonder, awe and mystery exist without superstition and prejudice?
    Sure. I can look at the oceans, stare at a landscape, or look up at the moon and still feel humbled and in awe of all of the processes going around me and I'm not religious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Does the secular have any definition of the sacred? Can it be generalised? Does it or can it embody any universal principles?
    Not really, but only for semantic reasons: "Sacred" has religious connotations. Are there things that I consider of value that would equate to sacred? Sure, but they are subjective to me.

    I can't comment on Universal Principles though as that terms sound very nebulous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Is secular culture or society any more or less prone to what you consider erroneous or detestable in the past? If so why?
    Easily, and for the same reasons as a more religious society would be: Morality is something that is not bound too religion. Whether or not you are a good person is not dependent to the god you bend knee too, but the decisions you make and the actions you take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Do these questions have any meaning for your daily life? Do the seem abstract or would the influence your judgement on a daily basis?
    You mean the ones your asking? Not really, no. They're very abstract and, being a stoopid senzor, I'm far more interested in the practical value of a religion or philosophy.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  5. #5
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I tried to answer your questions in the prescribed manner, but I can't because the questions don't exactly make sense from my point of view.

    Religion is inevitable. People claim that religion has something to do with believing in a God or not, but if you carefully examine religions around the world, it's really not all that simple. Mainly what religion is, is a worldview. I don't differentiate between religions and anyother world views that don't supposedly include any 'supernatural' elements. To me Christianity is the same as Athiesm as a class, except that Athiesm is incomplete without something like Humanism thrown in.

    I believe what it all comes down to is culture, what people believe the 'correct' way to live is, religion is just another way to codefy it. Superstition, awe and sacredness exist independently of this.

    Relgions always have adapted to the needs of the time, I don't know exactly what this moderninity is, but by my defintion of belief structures, moderninity can be nothing but an attempt for our worldview to adapt with the our current knowledge of the world. Traditions will exist as they are needed, or will disappear as they aren't, new traditions will form if they are useful.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Qlippoth, I have some sympathy with your dilemma, I thought about it when I was posting the thread and tried to frame the questions as a result in a way I thought people would be able to respond to but it wasnt easy. Communication isnt perfect at the best of times.

    I think that Fromm's definition of religion as an object of devotion and ethical framework is accurate enough, religion can be adapted to the landscape of its age but it can possess certain timeless or perrenial truths, the modernity thing, well, it pretty much defines itself adn does so as the present contra the past, typifing the present as the best of all possible worlds and the past as the worst, sometimes it possesses hope for the future and sometimes it doesnt but the basic assumption is "today's so much better than yesterday".

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