Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Natural Religion

I am reading the Arrian - Complete Works - a Delphi Classics, and came across the term, natural religion, in the introduction to the enchiridion. For those of you who do not know, Arrian (86 - 160 CE) was the student of Epictetus who wrote down his lectures, and became a history author or history chronicler in his day. Epictetus was a famous Stoic. The Stoics understand the human mind better that most psychologists today, and provide logical solutions to many of life's problems that apply even today. 

Natural religion is based on reason rather that divine revelation. Other sources quote it as being defined by the belief that there is only nature, and all come from nature. Wikipedia says: in which God, the soul, spirits, and all objects of the supernatural are considered as part of nature and not separate from it. Conversely, it is also used in philosophy, specifically Roman Catholic philosophy, to describe some aspects of religion that are knowable apart from divine revelation. It seems to me to be an oxymoron of sorts. Wikipedia is out to lunch.

Natural religion is based on reason, and reason says that there is only nature. The supernatural cannot exist inside nature, as to be supernatural, it would be greater than nature. There is something wrong here. Abandon Wiki on this point.

Each translation has a different twist on some points. It is within our power also to believe or not believe anything we are taught by our parents, the community, schools and universities. Some of what we were taught is just wrong, and religion in general is just wrong... there is nothing beyond nature. It is nature that drives us to overeat, and knowing this, we can derive strategies to some of the causes of overeating, like food addiction.

As far a I am concerned, food addiction is caused by some chemicals in the food, or situation that causes us to desire more of that food. It does not matter if that is a cultural food or not. Currently it is the problem and must be completely abandoned. Letting go of specific foods is necessary, regardless of what others say. Quantity control may also be necessary for some slippery foods, but that has nothing to do with natural religion.

The point I am trying to get at with this is all we have is nature, external, internal, then we have logic and the mind. We need to accept nature, there is nothing we can do about it, but we can behave in ways to not create a problem for ourselves, even if others are not happy with our behaviors.   

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