Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Religion Provides Community

So what do I miss about the OA cult community? It is just that, community. What do I miss about the Church of my youth? community. Once I came out as an atheist, I was cut off, or shunned from what had been my community's. Much of my extended family quit talking to me. Oh well. So called Christians ah. Archery and AABB still provide some limited specific community.

Schopenhauer said we have a need for food and sex, and once these needs are satisfied, we are left with boredom and emptiness of life. Life is only empty until we put something in to it and then it fills with flourishing of some kind. Religion provides something to put into life, any purpose greater or more important than ourselves can provide the seed for a fulfilling life, even if it is wrong, as is the case of religions. There is nothing wrong with compassion, altruism, helping the poor, and all those other things religions did, but without community, something seems lacking 

But Schopenhauer may have been wrong for some of us; there is also an attachment need for some of us, not a strong need but there. As children we attach to parents, and as seniors we attach to the next generations, if we have them. As adults, many are driven by the needs of their children. Religions of old assisted in child rearing by providing education facilities, teachers, and the like. The government has taken this over, but is not doing a very good job.

Religions of old provided the medical help, and acted as depositories of information; however, tightly controlled both. It did not let to much information out, the well educated could challenge there authority, and soon did. Some of the hospitals are still run by church charities, which provides some revenue to the churches and free space for them recruit. Oh well.

Community is critical going forward. We have some community in the form of service clubs and some community organizations, but these are limited and do not have much success beyond specific projects.

If we non-believers wish to take over, we will need to provide similar services to the churches and mosques of old. Going forward, what is in store for us mere mortals?  

So what do I have against religions? I have difficulty with adults actually believing myth, parables, and "miracles" as real facts. I have difficult with adults not being able to separate story's from science, or choosing religious story's over science when there is conflict and mutual exclusion. I have difficulty with people committing child abuse in the name of religion; I have difficulty with people shrugging and saying "It is God's will." to something that science can solve. I have difficulty with the like of AA not telling the people the facts in modern times, after we know the problem of addiction is chemical and psychological.

But what do I know?

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