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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

radcen

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or its not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?
 
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joG

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or it's not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?

Of course it should. But that does not mean that everything a majority wants is ethically okay. Some of the things that we have introduced have not turned out as we hoped and have caused problems that we are not at all sure how to deal with.
 

William Rea

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or its not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?

Religions have changed and always will because they are a product of a subjective morality dressed in truth hence, they are a fraud.

Human knowledge is inversely proportional to the amount of 'truthiness' claimed by religions.
 

StillBallin75

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I might ruffle a few feathers here...but religion is NOT about truth and that's why I'm irreligious. Religion is about belief and taking a leap of faith in someone who claims to be providing the truth but in reality may or may not be.

Homosexual behavior is sinful and abhorrent? Well, according to whom? Upon what basis and reasoning?

I can't eat some mother****ing shellfish. Well, why the **** not? No satisfactory answer is provided.

I could give more extreme examples (i.e. Jesus is the son of God, just believe me) etc. If you claim to provide the truth, prove it to me and explain your reasoning. Otherwise you're just asking me to take your word for it that whatever BS you spew out is true. I'm sorry, I don't operate in that fashion.

That's just my two cents on it anyway.
 

MaggieD

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or its not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?

Are Catholics still excommunicated for remarrying after a divorce the church doesn't recognize? Not sure.
Can they now use birth control? Never could. I think that's changed.
Are babies who die without being baptized still relegated to Limbo? I think so.
If one dies with a so-called mortal sin unforgiven, do they still go to hell?
Can they now eat meat on Friday. Yes to that one. Before the Pope heard from God on this, people went to hell for it.

I'm Christian. Of all Christian churches, I'd guess the Catholic Church has changed the most. Probably because their laws were the most strict and promised you hell and damnation the most. Not really good for a membership drive.
 

radcen

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I might ruffle a few feathers here...but religion is NOT about truth and that's why I'm irreligious. Religion is about belief and taking a leap of faith in someone who claims to be providing the truth but in reality may or may not be.

Homosexual behavior is sinful and abhorrent? Well, according to whom? Upon what basis and reasoning?

I can't eat some mother****ing shellfish. Well, why the **** not? No satisfactory answer is provided.

I could give more extreme examples (i.e. Jesus is the son of God, just believe me) etc. If you claim to provide the truth, prove it to me and explain your reasoning. Otherwise you're just asking me to take your word for it that whatever BS you spew out is true. I'm sorry, I don't operate in that fashion.

That's just my two cents on it anyway.
That's what I'm trying to say, I just wasn't as complete in my wording. When I say truth I mean someone's perception of truth... and I guess how well they sell it to others. Whether or not it really is the truth is another question for another thread.

One person says, "Follow me, I have the truth."

Another person says, "I will follow you because I believe you have the truth."

Then, later, what was supposedly the truth is no longer the truth.
 

StillBallin75

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That's what I'm trying to say, I just wasn't as complete in my wording. When I say truth I mean someone's perception of truth... and I guess how well they sell it to others. Whether or not it really is the truth is another question for another thread.

Well in that case, from an institutional standpoint, if a religion wants to survive and get with the times they have to evolve. They also lose intellectual credibility every time they choose to shift on an official stance like gay marriage. Like if you just had to change your stance on something, how do we know everything else you're telling us isn't also bull****?
 
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radcen

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Well in that case, from an institutional standpoint, if a religion wants to survive and get with the times they have to evolve. They also lose intellectual credibility every time they choose to shift on an official stance like gay marriage.
And to me, that's the crux of it... survival. Which means anything... even "the truth"... is for sale as long as we keep members and the organization intact. I have a hard time with that. If that's what I want I'll go find another club that isn't so demanding.
 

StillBallin75

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Are Catholics still excommunicated for remarrying after a divorce the church doesn't recognize? Not sure.
Can they now use birth control? Never could. I think that's changed.
Are babies who die without being baptized still relegated to Limbo? I think so.
If one dies with a so-called mortal sin unforgiven, do they still go to hell?
Can they now eat meat on Friday. Yes to that one. Before the Pope heard from God on this, people went to hell for it.

I'm Christian. Of all Christian churches, I'd guess the Catholic Church has changed the most. Probably because their laws were the most strict and promised you hell and damnation the most. Not really good for a membership drive.

I'm with you, but the original Lutherans and Calvinists weren't all sunshine and rainbows and do whatever the hell you want either. Some of their beliefs were/are super depressing as well. (Referring specifically to things like being a member of "the elect" and predestination etc.)
 

blarg

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or its not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?

religion should be questioned you hsould not do what seems worng based on faith and what seems good should not be based on faith either

it would make sense to abandon ship but people like ther comfort so as long as ther not hurting others to get it they can pretend ther religion has always been right for all i care
 

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to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless.

I'm not sure that your point of view on what religion has always been about is accurate. Religion makes certain truth claims, but I think it's difficult to support the idea that those claims are what religion has always been about. I understand where you are coming from, because contemporary evangelicalism places enormous emphasis on correct belief. But traditionally, Christianity has been more about how you live your life than about what you believe. The same is still true within the Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity as well as within Islam and Buddhism (I don't know much about other religions outside of those). The idea that Christianity is all about having correct beliefs is a fairly new invention.

If we look at (Christian) church history, we find that the church has, at various times answered the question of what the essential beliefs of Christianity are. This resulted in the creation of the creeds, the most popular of which is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed which I've pasted below:
Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed said:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made;
of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets;
And we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
We look for the Resurrection of the dead,
And the Life of the age to come. Amen.

Notice how there's nothing about creation there (other than the fact God is the creator). Notice how it says nothing about homosexuality, or even salvation or atonement. It doesn't even say anything about hell. You could still say Christianity is about "the truth" of course, but it's a far more limited number of truths than what you seem to have been implying. I know the same to be true of Islam and Buddhism as well.

Thus I'm not sure your view of what religion has always been about is accurate. Religion does make certain truth claims, and some of those are central to that religion, but primarily, religion is about praxis.
 

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Any religion that survives long automatically does this. It has to. It finds some way to rationalize making changes to it's core concepts because if it doesn't, it doesn't gain new members and it goes away. So in reality, any religion that lasts longer than a single generation must do this in order to survive.

That said though, if these religions were actually true, they wouldn't have to because society simply wouldn't change and make their core tenets outdated. So the fact that this happens just proves that every single one of these religions is wrong. And if they're wrong and they supposedly got their teachings from some imaginary friend in the sky, that doesn't say a lot of good things about the existence of said friend, does it?
 

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Whether religions should change or not, they do. They, like every other aspect of human culture, evolve. However, because some people value religion more as an anachronism, the wording is still from a more ignorant and violent time in history. Being incomprehensible adds to the mystery of it all.

Most religions don't advertise that they are as philosophically malleable as they are. They pretend that nothing has changed since they were commanded to do this or that but, the truth is, religion is much different than it was even a hundred years ago....good.

If you don't think that religions change, consider Catholicism, for example. They used to do their services in Latin with the priest facing away from the congregation, those things changed. They used to take a hard line on homosexuality but they've softened quite a bit on that one, because they were hemorrhaging believers who no longer believed in the underlying dogma that homosexuality was a choice and not an inborn trait.

The more I see the religious change, the more encouraged I am that religion for most people has to make sense on some level and where their reality (like having a gay child) does not comport with the stated dogma, they choose NOT to worship. Very often, however, their need for some sort of spiritual outlet leads them to some different form of religion with, perhaps, less offensive ideas, so the choice not to be catholic does not mean people become atheists. There are many different brands to choose from, you know, so if product A is poisonous, they can always choose the one that tastes great and is less filling, or something.

Churches really are businesses and their marketing and responsiveness to consumers is important. They don't have the generational brand loyalty that they once had and, I believe, are finding themselves having to appeal to a new generation that is more fickle than previous ones. To do that, they have to lighten up a bit or go the way of the dinosaurs.

Jesus, I wish they'd speed things up.
 

radcen

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I'm not sure that your point of view on what religion has always been about is accurate. Religion makes certain truth claims, but I think it's difficult to support the idea that those claims are what religion has always been about. I understand where you are coming from, because contemporary evangelicalism places enormous emphasis on correct belief. But traditionally, Christianity has been more about how you live your life than about what you believe. The same is still true within the Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity as well as within Islam and Buddhism (I don't know much about other religions outside of those). The idea that Christianity is all about having correct beliefs is a fairly new invention.

If we look at (Christian) church history, we find that the church has, at various times answered the question of what the essential beliefs of Christianity are. This resulted in the creation of the creeds, the most popular of which is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed which I've pasted below:


Notice how there's nothing about creation there (other than the fact God is the creator). Notice how it says nothing about homosexuality, or even salvation or atonement. It doesn't even say anything about hell. You could still say Christianity is about "the truth" of course, but it's a far more limited number of truths than what you seem to have been implying. I know the same to be true of Islam and Buddhism as well.

Thus I'm not sure your view of what religion has always been about is accurate. Religion does make certain truth claims, and some of those are central to that religion, but primarily, religion is about praxis.
Good post. Thank you.

Yeah, to me, if religion isn't truth, and what I mean is as it is believed, not necessarily provable, then what's the point?
 

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Homosexual behavior is sinful and abhorrent? Well, according to whom? Upon what basis and reasoning?

According to God. Gay sex is a moral sin.

I can't eat some mother****ing shellfish. Well, why the **** not? No satisfactory answer is provided.

Have you ever read the Bible? If so you missed this verse: "For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) - Mark 7:19

I could give more extreme examples (i.e. Jesus is the son of God, just believe me) etc. If you claim to provide the truth, prove it to me and explain your reasoning. Otherwise you're just asking me to take your word for it that whatever BS you spew out is true. I'm sorry, I don't operate in that fashion.

Likewise what you believe about that.

But if you want to really question Jesus, then try busting the resurrection. You'll be the first to accomplish it.
 

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Christians are adapting.........although slowly due to some of the insane Catholic Church requirements of it's followers.

Birth control
Gays


But on the other hand, you still have Muslims throwing gays off the rooftops.
 

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Christians are adapting.........although slowly due to some of the insane Catholic Church requirements of it's followers.

Birth control
Gays


But on the other hand, you still have Muslims throwing gays off the rooftops.

Some Christians are those that continue to follow God's word will remain true.
Those that attempt to preach something other than the message that was given will be
Cursed.

You have to remember that Christ didn't approve of the actions of a lot of people including his own disciples.
Yet he still loved them no matter what.
 

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Some Christians are those that continue to follow God's word will remain true.
Those that attempt to preach something other than the message that was given will be
Cursed.

You have to remember that Christ didn't approve of the actions of a lot of people including his own disciples.
Yet he still loved them no matter what.

Please don't think I dislike Christians. I think for many people, religion sort of gives them guideposts through life and that is a good thing in many ways.
 

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Please don't think I dislike Christians. I think for many people, religion sort of gives them guideposts through life and that is a good thing in many ways.

To summarize Dostoevsky
"If there is no God then anything is permissible."
 

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To summarize Dostoevsky
"If there is no God then anything is permissible."

Why? There is such a thing known as 'enlightened self interest' .. and 'The needs of society to help protect individuals and society as a whole'.
 

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Good post. Thank you.

Yeah, to me, if religion isn't truth, and what I mean is as it is believed, not necessarily provable, then what's the point?

Sure. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter whether religious claims are true or not. Obviously, if the claims are not true then they should not be believed. I'm just pointing out that religion is NOT about "the truth". Religion contains truth claims, but religion is not about those claims, it's about: praxis, community, worldview, and ethics.

I was also pointing out that those truth claims that are truly central to Christianity are not anywhere close to as numerous as you seemed to imply.

One person says, "Follow me, I have the truth."

Another person says, "I will follow you because I believe you have the truth."

Then, later, what was supposedly the truth is no longer the truth.

The problem with this illustration is that it doesn't actually resemble the way anyone actually finds religion, nor does it illustrate what religion claims to be able to provide. A more typical illustration would be something along these lines:

Person A: "I can't take this any more. My life's a mess. I've gone and ruined everything!"
Person B: "Follow me, I know someone who can help you"
 

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Should a religion allow for societal changes?

Scenario: Religion A is an old religion. Religion A was founded on several core tenets. Over time, society and people's popular thinking changes. Attitudes about sex, association, marriage, etc., change. Religion A feels pressured to keep up with the times. Religion A makes changes.

Does this mean Religion had always been based on a fraud? If the core tenets were correct way back when, why wouldn't they still be valid today?

Theoretically truth doesn't change, and to me, religion has always been about the truth. A sometimes inconvenient truth, but truth nonetheless. If a religion changes and adapts to the times, then to me that says the leaders know it's a fraud. It was either not the truth way back when, or its not the truth now... either way, it's truth aspect is questionable.

Thoughts?

Religion must walk the tightrope between appearing as an aloof authority on truth, and maintaining societal relevance. When a religion has political power this is possible; once it looses political power it just a waiting game. In the end its conservatism will cause religion to move at a relatively glacial rate, and/or to splinter and lose its mantle of legitimacy that way. We saw this in the West following the Protestant Reformation. Christianity did change throughout the years up to that point, but it never really deviated from central doctrines because the Church was politically powerful. The opportunistic use of fractious religious leaders by princes who found the yoke of Rome tiresome shattered that ability to control doctrine by severing the Altar from the Throne

So, in short, yes, a religion must more or less maintain central tenets in order to wield moral authority, but it is this very facet of religion which dooms most sects to eventually fall by the wayside. At that point, a new sect recalibrates to the status quo, clothes itself in the vestments of its fallen predecessor, and takes its place as society's new pious fiction.
 
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