Love-Hate Relationship

I am probably exaggerating things a little, but only a little, when I say that there is a love-hate relationship developing between society at large and the church.

Whereas once the church helped society establish and find meaning in a Christian approach to morality we are now in a situation where increasingly society at large rejects Christian morality. Whereas thy church teaches love for our neighbour and endeavours, to the best of its ability, to model this, society is increasingly becoming ‘me’ centred
The church continues to put God at the centre of being but all too often society gives God no place in their life or decision making. As this antipathy to the church and its beliefs and values grows we in the church need to respond with a growing love for all people. The more we are rejected the more we love in response and reach out help in every way that we can. To paraphrase Scripture ‘they will know us by our love.’

When Jesus was attacked He responded with love, costly, sacrificial love. We can do no other. Those who malign us, misuse us, criticise our church and our faith are people for whom Jesus died and whom He loves. Let them encounter that sacrificial, caring love in us.

~ Alan Hermann

A world with or without religion

Last week Europe was shaken like the world got a shock in 2001.

European newspapers could fill their pages with the recent and potential terrorist attacks in France. Analysts, experts, and commentators take time and space to discuss and debate the facts, often with skewed and confused perspectives on Islam, and offer a variety of political and emotional responses.

Since the Wednesday January 7 terrorist attacks on the satirical magazine, there has been not only a sharp increase in anti-Muslim attacks in France, but in many countries, again lots of people are saying that it would be better not having any religion and than we would have more peace. Those claiming it would be better without religions do seem to forget it is not the religions which brings the fighting under people. In case there was no religion and in case people had no faith in certain higher values than life provides at the moment, it even could be that there would be more fighting going on in the world.

Would people seriously think that there would not have any terrorist attacks against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo or against the Jewish supermarket in Paris, when it would not have been Jewish but would have been part of a certain political group or certain chain?

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those who agreed to the statement that “there isn’t any sort of God, spirit, or life force”. Colour enhanced from the original: contrast -0.5; gamma 0.7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you take away religion you still have people who can think differently over certain matters. Atheism would not guarantee that they all would agree with each other. Having no religion shall not take away the differences in political thinking and shall still give, and perhaps even more, reason to disagree and react heavenly to other political parties. Have a look at how many different political opinions and how many different political parties there are in the world.

Interior Ministries would have much more work with different opposing groups, who would not mind to try to get rid of the others, no matter at what cost, because they would know a human life having no value when it is done with.So, by taking care of other opinions they shall be happy to be the only ruler and would not fear anything but the strongest human being, and therefore shall try to do everything to become the strongest themselves.

Now with ethics still playing a role and with people led by their faith to organise their life, people shall feel restricted in what they are allowed to do or in what can be done. With not ethics their shall be no boundaries.  For those who think when people do not belief in The God or any gods, the world would be safe of fightings, I would like to tell them that atheism in a certain way is also a religion and when it can not be considered like that it is at least also a faith.

In atheism there are also many thoughts, like there are many denominations in Christendom or in any other religion.

When there would not exist religion people would, as they did, find it out. It is true there would not be Islamophobia or Judaism fear, but still homophobia, racism would still exist. Even having no gods around people would create themselves high persons and idols, like they still do today. Even people who do not believe in God or gods call their idol ‘god’. Just look at the titles they give in the world of sport and how many gods can not be found under the footballers, tennis players and boxers.

Please also do not forget that ‘god’ is a tittle, meaning a higher person or being an important person. In the Bible we do find several called god. Angels are called god in the Holy Scriptures, but also Pharaoh, Moses, Apollo, Zeus and others. Some even think because Thomas at one point says “my god” think he is taking Jesus as his god and as God. Those readers do not see or hear the “and” before “my god” and do not understand Thomas is speaking to one person about that one person and about an other person, the God of Jesus, the God of Abraham, Who is the God of gods.

In this world when there would be no religion we also would see various god-men around the world, with whatever title the people then would give them or whatever word may be used in their language to denote such a figure. Everywhere in the world of religious and non-religious people we can find human beings who seem to be having this delusion that they have special powers or abilities that promote them to a pedestal that is higher than that of us mere mortals.

thinks that’s what makes them excel in their line of business. He also thinks it is good to have faith in a guide/teacher/guru and have a direction in life. I also believe it is very important that children have a good example they can look up at and follow. Teachers or educators or leaders in a youth or adult movement have helped many a men realize their potential (in movies, mythology, and real life).

Throughout the ages the world has seen many inspirational teachers, gurus, masters of with, inspirational thinkers, who stimulated others to think for themselves and to make a real quest in life.

Every age has got its master or people where others looked at or wanted to follow. Jeshua, the Nazarene (also called the Christ) was also such a man who got a lot of followers though others did not like that at all. Mahatma Gandhi and Luther King also were preachers of peace who did not want to create a new religion, like Jesus did not want to do that.

India has always been a very fruitful region for spiritual leaders. Also in this century a new special guru has found attention.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insan, as he calls himself (you can’t miss the mass appeal there) happens to be this socio-religious (and I think political as well) leader in India that has a huge following. His ‘fans’ claim that he is a do gooder who is trying to rid youth of the nation from the evil clutches of drugs. He carries out blood donation drives, and his many followers unquestioningly tread on the path illuminated by him. Why should anybody have a problem with such a man who is working for the society? {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

This man who is born Gregory House frequently referred to overt acts of philanthropy and generosity as underlying symptoms of a disease.

In his vitriolic style, he mocked people for having the “God Complex”, while it can be debated that he had one too. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}…

But then, he decides to make a movie and star in it as a (super)hero. The promotional trailers of MSG-Messenger of God are on the telly and some people like me who are on a highway to hell by India’s religious standards are having a good laugh. His fans have come out all guns  blazing on various social media platforms, silencing the detractors and rooting for their babaji. They counter the arguments by asking questions that are only beaten in absurdity by the movie itself. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

We also love to live a moving picture show, loving to see a better world for us than we can find in this real world. Have a look at Facebook, and you will understand what I mean. There you can find a beautiful example how people present themselves differently than they really are. Also there they love to show others how they can interact and build themselves an empire of friends and activities wherewith they can show off.

Those supporting the movie (most of whom are followers of the baba) innocently question that when other movies can show miraculous escapes and stunt scenes, why can’t Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s movie show him performing miracles?

Second. more important question is that when other movies get away with questioning religion in the name of ‘freedom of expression’, shouldn’t the makers of MSG be allowed to have their freedom too?

The last few days it was all about that freedom in Europe. Having received a big slap in the face we had to cry out loud our anguish at our hurt community. In which way were we to be pushed or to be allowed to go? Where is it that we want to go with our society and ow do want propaganda, brainwashing, infiltration allow our lives to direct?

After the Great War, lots of people thought never such a cruelty would come over them again, but soon World War II was on their doorstep. After that calamity the West soon recovered and thought it was now safe. But on September 11, 2001 the dream of the Western World was demolished by the crash of three air-planes. The material world of successful accomplishments could experience the deadliest attack ever launched on American soil, leaving them asking again:

Why did God permit such a thing to happen?

and

How can human beings be capable of such diabolical savagery in the name of religion?

2015 January 11 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom - Attack on Charlie Hebdo mazazine in Paris, France

2015 January 7 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom – Attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France

On Wednesday January 7, 2015 it was again of the same sort. Once more the West was attacked, fired in the middle of their weak heart.  Again there were people who said it was done in the name of their god, though in the Abrahamic religions there is no such God who would agree with such violence. Others said it was the fault of the religions, but they seem to forget in case there were no religions there still would be other groups fighting each other.

Lots of people do accept opposition from one or the other side but not from certain other sides. But also to be questioned is how much and in which way do we want to accept opposition.

In case there where no religions and no people believing in The God, a god or gods, they would have favouritisms for certain civic believes or political ideas.

Already from the beginning of mankind people sought ways to live with others and to form communities. Therefore different systems where thought of. The different opinions how to make the best of life would also trigger differences to have people arguing and even coming to fight with each other. Economical and political factors would be there to have people coming against each other and even being prepared to kill others for it. History can proof that.

To say therefore that religions are the cause of such misery is doing injustice to those religious people. Most of them look for ways to come at peace with each other in respect of certain values which they consider very important for making a good working human society. They mostly have ethics which they want to give priority to material or personal gain.

What we see from those who claim to be fighting for Allah is that they mostly do not follow the Words of that Allah and even do not mind killing other followers of that God. Boko Haram and ISIS are very good examples of that letting the world see that they are not afraid to rape and kill children, women and men, who also believe in their God. those jihadists also have no scruples to bomb mosques, temples of worship for Allah, and to burn Holy Scriptures like the Quran.

Those people who terrorise others misuse religion to bring more reason to frighten others for what they are doing. The jihad-fighters want people to believe that the Quran justifies their actions. Others do want to believe them and do want to believe others

Islam’s “victorious-with-terror” prophet (Hadith, Bukhari 2977) commands Muslims to mimic his example (Qur’an Sura 33:21) by ruthlessly pursuing non-Muslims (Sura 4:104, 48:29) to “terrorize” them (Sura 3:151, 8:12, 8:57-60), to “siege and slay them” (Sura 4:89, 33:57-61), to “murder” and to maim (Sura 5:33; Hadith, Tabari 9:69) in order that they be “subdued” and “destroyed” by Allah at the hands of Muslims for the cause of Islam (Sura 2:244, 4:76, 8:39, 9:14, 29-30, 9:38-39, 9:111, 61:10-12). Yet when the light of truth is shone upon the horror that is Islam the willingly ignorant still choose to remain in the dark, for to expose pure evil is to expose a monster they’d rather not see … {The Ghost Of Charlie Hebdo And The Purple Beret}

Many do not want to show true respect for those who believe in certain values and in certain elements which are above our human intellect, like spiritual beings and The God of gods.

Pope Francis I, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion. The leader of the Roman Catholics insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs.

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,”

he said.

Religious or not, we all should see what happens in the context, of how human beings act. We should see that even without religions we would have agitators and “provocateurs”. They often are not interested in ethics and what a majority wants. They want to push their believes and their wants on others. They just want to have power over the rest of the world.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Vatican has sought to downplay reports that it is a potential target for Islamic extremists, saying it is being vigilant but has received no specific threat. Francis I said he was concerned primarily for the faithful, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking “prudent and secure measures.”

In many countries it is the unbalance of one group opposite the other that creates problems. In France for example we can see that 5 million Muslims account for 10 to 12 percent of the country’s total population (the largest Muslim population in Europe) and Jews (478,000) are outnumbered by its Muslims 10 to 1. The extreme right party National Front receiving 4,712,461 votes in the 2014 European Parliament election, finishing first with 24.86% of the vote and 24 of France’s 74 seats, should give a clear sign of the danger that could come up to France even when those Jews would not be religious Jews and the Muslims would not exist but still be from foreign origin. The Algerians, Moroccans a.o. North Africans and Turkish people would face the same danger as now with their own religions.

Reburied in Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem the Jewish cell phone salesman Ilan Halimi got a garden named after him in Paris where he was kidnapped on 21 January 2006 by a group called the Gang of Barbarians and subsequently tortured, over a period of three weeks, resulting in his death.

Without religions we also would have headlines about the hatred between people and could find articles about unspeakable murders like the one of the French Jewish man of Moroccan descent Ilan Halimi in 2006 which heralded a sharp turn back to Europe’s most notorious hatred, at the hands of its newest population. More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Paris, demanding justice for Halimi, on Sunday February 26, 2006. Initially buried in the Cimetière parisien de Pantin near Paris his funeral in Paris drew a large Jewish crowd. It could not stop the violence against Judaic people. There have been thousands of attacks on French Jews and Jewish sites in the years since Halimi was killed.

We should know that not only

nationalism is a foundational aspect of French life. Old nationalist allegiances have made it hard for well-meaning Muslim immigrants to integrate into society, as they have no direct ties to Metropolitan France. They live largely among themselves in banlieues, whose customs and norms closely resemble those of the inhabitants’ countries of origin—not those of their new home. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

America’s premier monthly magazine of opinion and a pivotal voice in American intellectual life “Commentary” does see the problem of our European community. Also when there would be no religions we would have people from all sorts of places in the world gathered in our regions. After the second world war we had great dreams of a united world. In the postwar age we needed workforce to build up the country again and invited people from other continents to work for us. The doctrine of multiculturalism, the idée fixe of postwar Europe, has not only a strange relationship with French nationalism:

Though it would seem nationalism’s ideological opposite, multiculturalism offers rosy-cheeked cover to France’s deep unwillingness to allow anyone without centuries-old roots to become “French.” Nominally, according to the postmodern ideal of multiculturalism, no one culture is more virtuous than another.

And so the anti-Western, anti-Semitic Islamism practiced by France’s most dangerous citizens is not to be vilified, but rather understood and, ultimately, tolerated. As a matter of daily reality, however, multiculturalism allows the French to keep the Muslims separate—and unequal. And it allows some in France to entertain the belief that Jews, too, can never be French. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

Several may wonder now what France and its neighbour countries are going to do now they seem to be caught between the deadly reality of radical Islam and the potential manifestation of a neo-fascist revival. In case there would have been no religion there was still the matter of all those ‘foreigners’ and all those ‘coloured’ living in Europe, the same as in America you could find immigrants and coloured people.

In Europe we notice that there has come a certain pressure on many, who have seen in the economical crisis and the political evolution a similar situation as in the 1930s. Therefore many religious as well as non-treligious Jews have chosen to go to their promised Holy Land. Last year, a record-high 7,000 French Jews immigrated to the Jewish state — more than double the year before. The Jewish Agency, which oversees immigration of Jews to Israel, now estimates that some 15,000 French Jews will make aliyah in 2015.

In case there would have been no thought or no idea of a god or gods and no religions, people would have invented something to classify the different groups and ideas between the many different folks. Those classification would be there like we already classify the continents with different names and can find in each of them a multitude of political parties, which have nothing to do with religion. We can see between those political parties there are also battles going on the same as their is competition between economical forces.

With or without God, people would find enough time, arguments, money and weaponry to make their differences hard.

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You may also find to read:

  1. About what happened in France: , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6, Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world, Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  2. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  3. Religious Practices around the world
  4. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  5. Faith because of the questions
  6. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science and God’s existence
  9. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  10. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  11. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  12. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  13. Immigration consternation
  14. Green Claims in Europe
  15. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque
  16. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  17. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  18. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  19. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  20. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  21. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  22. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  23. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  24. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  25. Occupy South African Embassies
  26. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  27. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  28. Classes of people and Cronyism
  29. Economics and Degradation
  30. How do you define religion?
  31. Atheists, deists, and sleepers
  32. Where is the edge
  33. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  34. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  35. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  36. Christian values and voting not just a game
  37. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  38. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  39. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  40. Migrants to the West #1
  41. Migrants to the West #2
  42. Migrants to the West #3
  43. Migrants to the West #5
  44. Migrants to the West #6
  45. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  46. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  47. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  48. Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator
  49. Quran can convert to Christianity
  50. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  51. With Positive Attitude
  52. Stand Up
  53. Helping against or causing more homophobia
  54. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  55. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today

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Additional reading

  1. Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to freedom of expression when faith is insulted
  2. Krauthammer: Obama: Charlie who?
  3. Of tweets, twits and the factually deficient
  4. Pope Says He’d Punch Someone Who Insulted His Mother
  5. Invention of religion

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  • What the Charlie Hebdo terrorists have won so far (bangordailynews.com)
    Although French police have hunted down and killed the suspects in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack, the terrorists have, on at least two levels, already won: They’ve scared a number of powerful news organizations into submission, and they’ve stoked European Islamophobia, whose rise will help militant Islamists recruit more supporters.
  • Anti-Islam Rallies Growing in Germany (guardianlv.com)
    After the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in France last week, anti-Islam rallies in Germany are seen to be growing rapidly. The rallies are being held by a group known as Pegida, which means in English: Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.Pegida is a right wing organization in Germany that is holding protests in various cities to fight against the growing influence of Islam in the everyday life of the country. The organization claims that the influence of Islam is slowly destroying the European culture. They also are against certain immigration practices, asylum seekers, and they want the “protection of Judeo-Christian culture” for the Western world.Although the protests in Germany have been taking place for some time, the number of attendees has been rather small in the past. On October 20 of last year, the first rally only had about 350 people present. At a meeting on January 5, there were 18,000 protestors there. Once the killings at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices had taken place, the number of participants has grown greatly.
  • Hypocrisy Abounds: Free Speech as Cover for Islamophobia (truthdig.com)
    A magazine that most people outside France had never heard of before Jan. 7 now has legions of followers and fans around the world. The dominant narrative that has emerged from the horrific massacre of 10 staffers of Charlie Hebdo (plus police officers and hostages) is that the very foundation of freedom itself was attacked last week in Paris, and that the best way to fight Islamic fundamentalism is to uphold the ethos of Charlie Hebdo’s irreverence and satire. After all, in seeing their own values embodied in Charlie Hebdo, holders of “Je Suis Charlie” signsseem to be positioning themselves on the “right” side of freedom and democracy.
  • Anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rallies grow in Europe (thestar.com)

    A grassroots anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant movement is continuing to move across Europe in wake of the terror attacks that hit Paris last week.

    A crowd of nearly 25,000 attended an anti-Muslim rally in Dresden on Monday. For the last several months, the German group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, has been holding the demonstrations, calling for stricter controls on asylum rules and tighter immigration policies.

    Germany, along with northern European countries, is experiencing massive influxes of migrants from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. Vast numbers of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others caught up in war, persecution and poverty are all trying to settle in wealthier European countries to begin new lives.

  • A dying Western culture is the problem (thecommentator.com)
    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We need to say that right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism should not be allowed any place in our society.” That was the German Chancellor’s response to Pegida, the burgeoning movement in Germany against what its supporters see as the relentless Islamisation of Europe.Ms Merkel’s comment was a politician’s slur. The problem for Angela Merkel is that it’s not Pegida that is anti-Semitic, but large numbers of Europe’s Muslims. This is a truth that the EU political establishment refuses to acknowledge, even when its own bureaucrats produce the hard evidence.For example, a 2003 European Union study on anti-Semitism found that Europe’s anti-Semites were not the usual stereotypical suspects (white, skin-headed Nazis), but Muslim gangs. The report was suppressed — Europe’s PC politicians did not like the findings — and only became public when details were leaked to the Jerusalem Post.But who needs a study to show who the anti-Semites are? You can hear it and see it on Europe’s streets.
  • ‘Charlie Hebdo’: why jihad came to Paris (irishtimes.com)
    Nearly 1,300 years have passed since Charles Martel turned back the Islamic invasion at Tours, and there was a historic resonance to the policeman’s words.
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    Amid the blur of stained glass, incense and candles inside the cathedral, Fr Emmanuel Da alluded to the atrocity. “Whatever his religion, whatever his culture, a human being is your brother, and violence is a prison,” he preached. “Harming one brother with homicidal violence is harming God. There is no act more repugnant to God than homicide.”
  • Charlie Hebdo Attack Could Induce Spread Of Anti-Muslim Sentiments In Europe (eurasiareview.com)
    Elmas stated that Turkey stands as one of the most exemplary countries in terms of showing that Islam can coexist with the values of democracy, rule of law, etc. Here, Elmas underlined that Turkey should continue to cooperate with the EU and that the two parties would greatly benefit from identifying and acting upon the lowest common denominator between them when it comes to the issue.
  • European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    Governments throughout Europe have responded to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France by moving quickly to push through a raft of anti-democratic measures. They are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the event in Paris to take actions… European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack
  • Timeline of European terror attacks (seattletimes.com)
    A gun assault on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday was the deadliest terrorist attack in France’s recent history. Some other terror attacks in Western Europe:

Wired to Connect?

Wired to Connect?

Once born we have to make a connection with the world and have to learn to associate with it and to react in the right way with those around us.

 

Step by step we have to reach out but also take hands which are offered to us. We do have to notice those who would like to help us to advance in the community where we are living in.

 

Having the three neural networks within our brain that promote our social connection we have to learn how to properly use them.
The one that gives us the ability to feel social pain and pleasure is often one we would like to ignore or not foster, but that is just the one we should give much more attention to. When we do grow up we should train our part of the brain which allows us to read others’ emotions and predict their behaviour.
Newt we do have the elements in us which can help us to absorb cultural beliefs and values, thereby linking us to our social groups.

 

Each network involves brain structures and neural pathways that have been mapped using fMRI technology and studied via psychological experiments, some of which make for fascinating and provocative reading.

 

We should be thankful to the Divine Creator He has provided us with a magnificent tool that can brings us further in life and make us able to connect in different ways.

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  • Brain circuits multitask to detect, discriminate the outside world (eurekalert.org)
    A new study found that neural circuits in the brain rapidly multitask between detecting and discriminating sensory input, such as headlights in the distance. That’s different from how electronic circuits work, where one circuit performs a very specific task. The brain, the study found, is wired in way that allows a single pathway to perform multiple tasks.

    “We showed that circuits in the brain change or adapt from situations when you need to detect something versus when you need to discriminate fine details,” said Garrett Stanley, an associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, whose lab performed the research. “One of the things the brain is good at is doing multiple things. Engineers have trouble with that.”

    The research findings were published online in the journal NEURON on March 5. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    The distance at which a person can discern two headlights from a single light is controlled by the acuity of the body’s sensory pathway. For decades neuroscientists have assumed that the level of one’s acuity is controlled by the distance between areas in the brain that are triggered by the sensory input. If these two areas of the brain closely overlap, then two sensory inputs — two headlights in the distance — will appear as one, the thinking went. The new study, for the first time, used animal models and optical imaging to directly assess how acuity is controlled in the brain, and how acuity can adapt to the task at hand. One neuronal circuit can do different things and do them in a robust way, the study found.
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    Learning more about how circuits in the brain multitask could lead to a better understanding of disease, therapeutic applications or to potentially improving how the brain functions. Stanley said that down the road engineers might be able to experimentally manipulate brain circuits to perform a desired task.

    “Can we make individuals better at doing something? Can we have them detect things more rapidly or discriminate between things with better acuity?” Stanley said. “Using modern techniques, we believe that we can actually influence the circuit and have it selectively grab one kind of information from the outside world versus another.”

     

  • Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways (asheepnomore.net)
    You may remember the punch line “The light bulb has to want to change.”  You have to have a high intention to change as well. If there is this high intention, then creating new pathways in your brain is bound to happen.
    +

    To create a new neural pathway, you take the focus off the old habit, and then that old habit eventually falls away. Don’t pay attention to the donuts and cakes. Take your awareness and focus it on good, wholesome, healthy delicious foods.
    +

    Know you have the Force within you, and therefore you have great power. Meditation creates new pathways and brain changes. Actual studies have been done on the brains of monks to show meditation’s effect on neural circuits of the brain.

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Brain (humansarefree.com)
    Neurogenesis has been found to occur in two brain regions; the subventricular zone and the hippocampus.

    The latter part of the brain plays a key role in learning and memory, and alterations have been linked to a variety of cognitive pathologies such as anxiety, depression, addiction and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. A reduction in hippocampus volume has been observed in patients with depression and other cognitive disorders.

    To reverse this process we need to harness neurogenesis. In this article I will cover a wide array of things we can do (for example: meditation, Ibogaine, turmeric) and stuff we can eat to boost our brains.

  • Why Are We So Wired To Connect? (illuminations2012.wordpress.com)
    Our brains are continuously working, and in order to better respond to our environment. “This is what our brains were wired for: reaching out to and interacting with others,” writes Lieberman.
    +
    Why Are We So Wired to Connect?

    Schools need to encourage better social climates where students feel like they belong, writes Lieberman, since a sense of belonging is closely tied to a higher GPA. Teacher should also plan lessons that engage students’ mind-reading neural networks in order to help them learn material better, especially in the social sciences and humanities, but even in math and science courses. Assigning students to learn material in order to help another—i.e., perhaps to tutor a younger student in math—would improve academic learning too, he argues.

    But perhaps most importantly, we need to understand how vital our social connections are to our happiness and health. Lieberman points to research that shows having social connection is as important to health outcomes as not smoking. Our experience of pain is lessened by the presence of those we love and our sense of worth is connected to our social standing more than to our monetary wealth. He cautions against working so hard or remaining so isolated that we eschew social ties.

  • “Clarifying” Neural Circuitry: A New Technique to Image the Brain (lions-talk-science.org)
    Both CLARITY and optogenetics are useful brain mapping tools that may lead us towards the creation of a map of all of the connections in the human brain, allowing us to finally gain a structural understanding of the many neurological disorders out there.
  • Wiring Your Brain (integral-living.com)
    You are not your brain. The stories you tell yourself and the way you respond is in your control. You are not just and actor reciting someone else’s lines. You can rewrite the script.

    Start by focusing each morning on who you want to be and how you want to show up. Breathe. Dress for the occasion. Walk, eat, interact, think, as the best you can be, instead of an unconscious jumble of reflexes and conditioned responses. Be in charge. Believe. Shift will happen. The connections that no longer fire together will rewire and new circuits will start to form. Celebrate when it works. Recalibrate when you regress.

  • Claim: “Male and female brains wired differently” (trueorfalse.me)
    Between 2-3 December 2013, reports emerged through the Guardian newspaper, followed swiftly by the Independent, that a new scientific study had demonstrated for the first time that “the brains of men and women [are] wired differently.” The media stories were based on a study by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) which appeared to find that many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and back regions, and are mostly confined to individual hemispheres. In contrast (on average), the connections in women’s brains were more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres. The only region where men had more “between-hemispheric” neural connectivity was the cerebellum, which plays a vital role in motor control.
  • How one (well financed) startup is attempting to decode the language of the brain (news.nationalpost.com)
    There are many ways to map the brain and many kinds of brains to map. Although the ultimate goal of most neuroscience is understanding how human brains work, many kinds of research can’t be done on human beings, and the brains of mice and even flies share common processes with human brains.

    The work of Reid, and scientists at Allen and elsewhere who share his approach, is part of a surge of activity in brain research as scientists try to build the tools and knowledge to explain — as well as can ever be explained – how brains and minds work. Besides the Obama administration’s $100-million Brain Initiative and the European Union’s $1 billion, decade-long Human Brain Project, there are numerous private and public research efforts in the United States and abroad, some focusing on the human brain, others like Reid’s focusing on nonhumans.

    While the Human Connectome Project, which is spread among several institutions, aims for an overall picture of the associations among parts of the human brain, other scientific teams have set their sights on drilling to deeper levels. For instance, the Connectome Project at Harvard is pursuing a structural map of the mouse brain at a level of magnification that shows packets of neurochemicals at the tips of brain cells.

writing to freedom

Did you know that our brains are designed to connect socially?

Wired to Connect? brain neurons Image source: douban.com

Brain researchers are discovering how much our brains have evolved to thrive on social connections. For those of you who had close loving relationships growing up, this might seem obvious. For others who grew up without close and loving relationships, this is foreign territory. For most of my life, I have struggled with loneliness and depression. Even though I know intellectually that I need people, sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to reach out when I’m feeling lonely or depressed.

The article didn’t address this, but I suspect, for those of us who didn’t have strong social connections growing up, we have fewer connections in our brains, resulting in a lower foundation for emotional health and happiness. Positive psychology calls this our set point. Science seems to demonstrate that we can change and…

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Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...Religion, religiosity and spirituality are not the same. Many people use the three words as synonyms and see no difference between them. Religiosity has to do with the quality of being ‘religiose‘ or being extremely, obtrusively, pious, sanctimoniously or even sentimentally religious, but in its broadest sense it also used to indicate the sort of activity a person is willing to take on for that what he believes.  It is about the numerous aspects of religious activity a person is willing to undertake, his dedication for that belief or religious doctrine. Another term that would work equally well, though less often used, is religiousness for the person’s belief in a god, the God of gods or in gods and their observance of associated activities.

With the choice of a religion comes the preparedness to follow certain teachings of that religion and to follow a sociocultural program for developing spiritually and for bringing spiritual realizations into everyday life according to the teachings or doctrines of that religion. In that movement about certain teachings concerning the individual and his environment the person shall want to become part of that religion and as such would want to take certain attitudes and do certain exercises in that faith. doing those readings, meditations and exercises for the mind, the person shall use ‘‘spirituality’’ to refer to his or her inner experiences that arise from trying to put such programs into practice.

Folk religiosity and faith

Folk religiosity and faith (Photo credit: AlmaGamil_Philippines)

Through the ages lots of people tried to find ways to come to a higher ecstasy or to get into raptures. Their actions in their faith should bring them “Spirituality” bringing them in exaltation a sense of transcendence, sacrality, and ultimacy, making them ready to bring praise, tribute, worship, acclaimglory, blessing, homage, reverence, magnification, apotheosis, glorification, acclamation, panegyric, idolization, extolment, lionization, laudation, in elation, delight, joy, excitement, inspiration, ecstasy, stimulation, with exhilaration, jubilation, exultation, joyousness. Their religious actions want to trigger the ‘becoming more’ going beyond or exceeding the Self. To do this, encoded signs and symbols may be the means by which experiences not only are generated but are described, even recognized and labelled, as religious. The many religions, the world is rich, have always relied upon several symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world. In most religions the believers try to come into an other stadium of life and of feeling. They even try to come in an other or alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames.

Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

To come to full or real spirituality the person has to give himself or herself to the faith which she want to follow and take on its traditions, demanding not only the will to come to an interior life or religious discipline but also to undertake social action, making ethical choices, family commitments, friendship, to live and work according that faith and to make choices for the way to live and in politics.

Whilst ‘Religion’ is a human invention that centers on specific rituals and a set of stories that outline a basic moral code and belief system, ‘spirituality’ is a natural reaction on feeling and the way people do behave. Spirituality relates to the spirit or essential essence of humanity. People who say they are spiritual are working to grow and better this inner force. Religious people are generally spiritual people as well, but spiritual people do not necessarily have to be religious. They may work to attain a heightened spirituality through alternative methods. Religions often, but not necessarily, have a hierarchy of initiates, bringing those further into the inner circle, leading the rituals for the general populace. Their rituals may look or seem spiritual but often can be performed on automatic pilot leaving the spiritual out.
English: Graph of timelines for major religions

Graph of timelines for major religions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people may be very religious but not exactly spiritual, not interested to dig deep in themselves. Some religious people are not so much interested in doing the things themselves, but just want to follow set regulations and handlings done in the religious community. They for example just want to sit down in church and be passive, looking and hearing what is going on, with sometimes even having the mind strolling of to somewhere else. Whilst the religion may be brought on by their parents or their environment where they grew up to get spiritual they have to undertake themselves the action to be willing to enter the spirituality which stems from their inner soul, and not from the hierarchy of their religion, their pastors or priests, but is dependent on their will to search in themselves, to look for the very essence of their own being. The spirited approach or spirituality like the religion may come form influences of different sources, where the parents, in first instance or the most important one, and from driving forces in the life of the person, like a God Almighty.

Some think spirituality can be achieved only through the use of every moral quality in its proper place and on its proper occasion. Moral shall influence the way of thinking and the background of material shall give possibilities to think about those theories, values and attitudes. Because being bounded to the natural state of our being in the universe, our ‘natural state of man’ has a very strong relationship with his moral and spiritual states, so much so that even a person’s manner of eating and drinking affects his moral and spiritual states. If the natural state of a person is subjected to the control of the directions of divine law it becomes his moral state and deeply affects his spirituality, as is said that whatever falls into a salt mine is converted into salt. That is why several Holy Scriptures like the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an have laid stress on physical and psychical cleanliness and postures, and their regulation in relation to all worship and inner purity and spiritual humility.
According to the Bible the first essential quality of a spiritually perfect man is that his relationship should be correct and right both with his Creator God and man, his fellow-creatures. Both relationships should be right and correct which can only retrieved by having righteous conduct, seeking good influences, safeguarding oneself against conduct which is likely to harm the relationships.
The division of ‘morals’ is to be found also in religious faith and in religious life. It is important, therefore, to be clear about religious faith and religious life. There are people who equate religious life with moral life and think they are the same. To them to be religious is to be moral and to be moral is to be religious. This is incorrect and confusing.In religious life ‘morality’ and ‘spirituality’ may be the cornerstones. A man of good moral character may be just moral and be not necessarily religious. He may be a good man but not a perfect man. His moral part is all right, but not his spiritual part. We as human beings should come into ‘a being’ or ‘a creation’ where moral, spirituality and religion are in balance in a correct relationship with the other creatures and with the Creator.

Religious views generally have a great impact on a person’s lifestyle and differing views can cause conflict in relationships. In history we have seen enough examples where the religion was used to come in conflict with other members of the creation. An atheist may be incredibly uncomfortable if their significant other wanted to attend religious services and continue prayers every day. Likewise, a person who is used to being involved in religious practices may feel like something is wrong with them if their boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t want to come with them to their Holy books study or other religious gatherings.
Icon-religion

Many religions cause difficulties in a family or in a community. – Icon-religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion may become a stumbling block in a family whilst the spirituality may have the family grow, because it can be independent from the religion. In a family religion can really become a hot mess of opinions, beliefs and arguments. Whereas, spirituality is life affirming. Even atheist can be a spiritual human being. Spirituality is a way of life. It is the only way to conquer ignorance. the spirituality is looking to get out of spiritual blindness which may cause enough foolishness, benightedness, unenlightenment. Spirituality may take the person beyond his first thought limits and bring him or her out of mental darkness. It is understanding that we all are part of a whole. The realm of spirituality is mystical and mysterious. When we look at the world with an attitude of wonder and awe, we become aware that the world is filled with spiritual life. Part of spirituality is being willing to admit that something is beyond our comprehension. With our materialistic attitude and ego-tripping of today, many having a high quality ore it is difficult for them to come to the science in understanding the world, trying to find answers they may never find. When we look at the universe and into our own hearts and see that which we don’t understand, we know that we have touched that which is unknowable and holy. To come to the acceptance of nullity is the most difficult part of spirituality. Only by willing to see  the futility of our self, accepting that insignificance we shall be able to become really spiritual. though we may be religious it can well be that we are not at all spiritual.

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Preceding article: Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Read also:

  1. Faith
  2. Living in faith
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Religion and spirituality
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  8. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. How should we react against the world
  11. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  12. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  13. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  14. Childish or reasonable ways
  15. Words to push and pull
  16. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  17. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  18. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  19. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  20. Making church
  21. Church sent into the world
  22. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  23. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  24. True riches
  25. If you have integrity
  26. Happiness is like manna
  27. Happiness an inner state
  28. Poetry of Peace

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Additional reading:

  1. A Soul Wrapped in Vanity
  2. Identify With Your Soul by Ram Dass
  3. Relationship with God

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religiosity-cover-test-2

religiosity-cover-test-2 (Photo credit: jeffmikels)

  • The Rise of Religion Might Be All About Sex (alternet.org)
    A study suggests religion might have arisen to protect certain reproductive strategies, like long-term partnership.
  • Is There Still a Place for Religion? (virtuoussociety.com)
    Sociologists juxtapose the low religiosity of countries in Northern Europe with their low rates of crime and poverty. Unbelievers in America remark that religious people are over-represented in US prisons—and under-represented among its scientists and thinkers. In the opinion of many researchers, the statistical landscape of religion is bleak.
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    the US states with the lowest incarceration rates have the lowest levels of religiosity. But when controlling for race, income and other social factors by way of regression methods, Stark finds that religion is actually negatively correlated with violent crime.
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    To the extent that social scientists have neglected rigorous analysis in favor of more agreeable correlations, they must re-evaluate their assumptions, and paint their portrait of religious society in finer strokes, and from a wider palette. They will likely find that faith does not cast a shadow on modernity, but rather lights its way.
  • Texas A&M professor blends neuroscience, religion in new course (believervsnonbelievers.wordpress.com)
    In the apparent conflict between science and religion, many are turning to the field of neuroscience to weigh in on debates like whether the Book of Revelation was based on an inspired dream, like Paul said it was, or a simple neurological process.
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    With more than 50 years of research and teaching experience across the entire spectrum of neuroscience, Klemm admits that his emphasis is on neuroscience, because, as he says it, “I’m not a preacher,” but he wants the students to take their own religious beliefs and try to make the connection with what he teaches them about neuroscience.
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    Religionists hold that humans have free will and are accountable for their beliefs and choices, while scientific experiments have led scientists to believe that free will is an illusion.
  • Supplementary Materials on Spirituality and Religion (chermercado.wordpress.com)
    For those who want to expand their understanding of the topic and Spirituality and Religion, you may refer to the following links below. I’ve provided some points of reflection that should help you re-think things though you may not necessarily agree with them.
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    Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
    The tendency of people who claim to be Spiritual but not religious is to treat faith as if it were a buffet: cherry-picking only the good parts and leaving the rest behind (as explained by the meme above). It’s convenient and satisfying but it doesn’t capture the essence of real faith.
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    Faith is a matter of reciprocity because it is a two-way street.
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    In summary, if your aim is to develop a personal but life-giving spirituality, it needs a check-in balance system to make sure it does just that. This check-in balance is easily provided by organized religion.
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    The Value of Community in Christian Spirituality
    To relate with the Church, then, is to concretely relate with Jesus, who is God afterall. If you find yourself having a difficult time dealing with the Church’s imperfection, that’s insight in itself into how it might be like for God to be dealing with each and everyone of us. To relate with others (the Church), then, is to get to know more how God relates with us and how He has to deal with our petty problems and imperfections.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Many people religious background comes from what their parents instill in them but once they reach a certain age is where they find their true calling as to what they think and feel is right. Realistically most people just conform into whatever is most common to them.
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    Religion is organized; it’s more of a physical thing. Like something imaginable as far as seeing or feeling. Religion is instituted by man. In a religion there are many gods, although they are serving the same purpose. Just like there are many beliefs in religion. Where a spiritual person does not have an organized way about being spiritual, it is all within yourself. It’s more of being spiritual than something being physical.
  • Religiosity Raises Risk Among Sex Offenders, Clergy More Dangerous Than Other Groups (atheistrev.com)
    Male clergy accused of sex crimes were found to be more dangerous in some important ways than matched non-clergy offenders (Langevin, Curnoe, & Bain, 2000). And religiosity was positively associated with the number of convictions for sex crimes and the number of victims among convicted male sex offenders (Eshuys & Smallbone, 2006). It was also inversely related to the age of the victims (i.e., more religious offenders tended to victimize younger children).Parents place clergy on pedestals due to their presumed connection to some sort of “god,” and they teach their children to do the same. They lower their guard because the pastor wouldn’t possibly do things like that. Clergy are often viewed as morally superior to the rest of us, and the same goes for highly religious non-clergy. They are given the benefit of the doubt again and again. We couldn’t possibly question behavior that would never be tolerated in other contexts. And this continues despite evidence that clergy and highly religious persons may actually be more dangerous to our children.
  • Who is religious? (suryanarayanarajumd.wordpress.com)
    Common man understands religion by belonging to certain religion or belief system, he follows the pattern followed by crowd, mob by going to temple on certain dates, enjoys the entertainment involved in it.But religiosity is an inner science, “doing” is relevent to outer but “non-doing” is the key to inner exploration which does not mean laziness but it demands heightened awareness. With heightened awareness you touch a point from which you witness the seemingly opposite things are complimentary both in the outer and the inner.
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    First when you are not doing bodily or mentally which include thinking, concentration, contemplation, when all activity caeses “you simply are”, “just be”.
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    develop the skill of watching self activity which is nothing but self-inquiry.As you go on watching self activity from your center of being, thought process slows down, there is radical change in self-activity and one fine day self stops functioning when it is not required. Mind is not enemy but because of lack of awareness in functining of daily activities at present it is dictating our way of life. Mind means past plus future. But life is in the present.
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    The whole education makes the human mind conditioned to trust only in objects which he can dissect their basic constituents.

    The problem arises when when one tries to analyze the subject in the same way. An average mans thinks of Self in an objective way.

    But the nature of subjectivity is that it cannot be observed. That which is observable is not your subject.

    Meditation, watchfulness is the key to explore the inner. With watchfulness a distance is created between the watcher and the mind.

    As watchfulness crystallizes the distance becomes longer and longer. Soon the mind is so far away you can hardly feel that it exists.

  • Spirituality is the world around us (realmof13.wordpress.com)
    God and spirituality are pretty controversial subjects in this day and age.  I myself have run the full circle of beliefs, not really wandering, but falling into the next one based of experiences and changes of perception.  I have never been the biggest fan of organized religion, but I have recognized the good it does for those who participate with good intention in their hearts.
  • Religious vs. Spiritual (reginayflorence.wordpress.com)
    Many people study different types of religions. It says “ the fact that many of the negative things which people attribute to religions are features of some forms of some religions(usually Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but not of other religions (like Taoism or Buddhism).” We are stating that being spiritual is expressing our religion. By worshiping our spirit it shows that our religion is more than that. It is a way of getting deeper with him(God). It bring a deeper meaning to us when we believe.
  • Relying on Religion (creativesolblog.wordpress.com)
    Many conversations concerning the topic of religion get quite personal, emotional and out of hand fairly fast. This is the case so often that common etiquette generally recommends that one avoids the subject all together (especially at the dinner table).

Morality, values and Developing right choices

In 2011 laurie cordy wrote:

Every person has within them a set of values which are tuned in the school of hard knocks. For instance if a child pinches another it soon gets pinched back and if it hurts he or she soon learns better conduct or recognises that they are doing the wrong thing. This ability to learn from experience is not a set of taught rules or expedients but ethical principles which are enunciated in the proverbs and the character of people like Job and many others.

The ultimate expression is found in the character and discourses of Jeshua Ha’Notzri commonly known as Jesus of Nazareth who ‘learned from the things that he suffered‘. He was not concerned with doctrines and challenged those of the religious rulers.

Cover of "Right Choices"

Cover of Right Choices

This ability to choose right from wrong seems to be innate and a specific human characteristic, and those who develop right choices are highlighted in the Jewish histories. This is commendable, and whether one ascribes it to God as godliness is related to arguments for or against the existence of a creator. To deny this is to postulate that ethical principles are acquired characteristics, that is, that morality can be passed on in the genes. If this is the case one would expect the development of two classes of society over time, the totally moral and the other totally immoral.

Like my argument for a being called God, http://www.christadelphianism.info/is god {not available any more in 2013}
Not to accept the proposition leads one into impossible arguments such as “Out of nothing everything came into existence”.
The argument for maintaining ethical principles is also on the site “Rules or principles”, and whether or not one allows the existence of a god in all of this, it still seems better to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I suggest that to do this is, in biblical terms, godliness, or an expression of the proposition that God is.

I am suggesting that this is an ethical thing and not a belief thing and that religions have got it all wrong in trying to differentiate their beliefs.

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  • The ethics of admitting you messed up. (blogs.scientificamerican.com)

    Humans make mistakes.

    Some of them are the result of deliberate choices to violate a norm. Some of them are the result of honest misunderstandings, or of misjudgments about how much control we have over conditions or events. Some of them come about in instances where we didn’t really want the bad thing that happened to happen, but we didn’t take the steps we reasonably could have taken to avoid that outcome, either. Sometimes we don’t recognize that what we did (or neglected to do) was a mistake until we appreciate the negative impact it has.

  • A Friendly Discussion (Morals, Ethics, and Theism) (ahumanistsperspective.wordpress.com)

    I deny the existence of any credible evidence to warrant the conclusion that a personal deity exists.

    I furthermore acknowledge evidence otherwise in the light of an impersonal universe which is indifferent to the well being of anyone or anything.
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    Consequently, and because of this acceptance, man has to conjure up a right/wrong approach to life (this you have just done). This, you say, is not in accordance with an outside source (such as God), but in accordance with “matters of effect,” or, in essence, to what an individual person likes (pleasure) or dislikes (discomfort, suffering). Your moral code is the result of “natural principles” (this is the foundation of its existence).
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    About My Humanist’s Perspective
    Having spent the first 40 plus years of my life as a practicing fundamentalist Christian, I have utilized what time that I could these past several years to read and reflect on life from outside the “biblical box” if you will.
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    ultimately I have come to realize that common decency is and always has been a somewhat self imposed development of human experiences and consequences, and that such is and always has been the case regardless of one’s religious perspectives and practices.

  • Ethics and Answers: Leave pirating to the high seas, not your cable box (naplesnews.com)
    Often there are no ethical absolutes. Ethical people can, and do, disagree.
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    The concept of ethics has been defined in many ways, but it is generally considered to be the principles that guide societies toward “right” behavior and away from “wrong.” While there is overlap among law, morals, religion and ethics, ethics focuses on the societal good.
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    Ethics are historically dynamic: They evolve. Ethics typically aren’t situationally dynamic; what is ethical should remain so despite outside factors. Just because a behavior can be justified does not transform it from an unethical behavior into an ethical one.

    For a behavior to be ethical, it should be ethical regardless of outside factors. Complications can follow when two ethical positions collide, for example, balancing the ethics of stealing food versus the ethics of letting a nearby child die of starvation.

  • International Encyclopaedia of Ethics (ejournalscambridge.wordpress.com)

    Trial access is now available to the International Encyclopedia of Ethics. The trial ends December 14th 2013.

    Access the trial via this link.

  • Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion (appliedsentience.com)
    Many moral philosophers – or at least those who think there are objective facts about what is right and wrong – find widespread disagreement over these facts very troubling. That is, if there are objective moral facts, why does there seem to be so much disagreement about what they are? After all, experts from other disciplines that seek objective facts (i.e. physics) seem to have converging beliefs about what is true.
  • An Introduction to Logic (amthorn0602.wordpress.com)
    Basically, there are three laws of logic from which every other law of logic is derived. there are dozens of logical arguments that can be derived from these three laws.
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    In logic, there are variables (similar to the way that there are variables in mathematics). Let’s take the variable “A”. now, the first rule of logic is called “The Law of Identity” and it simply states that: If A is true, then it is true. This seems intuitively simple, it means that if A is true, it must, by definition, be true.
  • Louis P. Pojman – Ethical Relativism (darinafridman.wordpress.com)
    Louis Pojman takes on the non relativist point of view in this article. His thesis claims that moral principle’s derive their validity from dependence on society or individual choice. While reading this I kept comparing his view points to those of Ruth Benedict, both of them make interesting arguments.