pulled up from the comments

Simen writes in the comments of on one of the PZ posts:

What most people want (it seems to me) is a feeling of belonging and meaning. What many don’t understand is that even though religion has traditionally been a way to get those, it’s not the only way. Take sports events: people experience the same sense of belonging and meaning when they cheer for their team together with thousands of others as they do when they pray together with lots of other people. […]

People seem to imagine some artificial relationships between religion and other things. Morality and religion. Meaning and religion. Belonging and religion. The truth is that while religion has traditionally been one way to get all of those it is far from the only way. Those “spiritual” moments can be had from something other than religion. They can even be chemically induced, which says something about the non-connection between religion and that “spiritual” feeling of awe and mystery.

I will second that. I have been calling for a revamping of religion, but i could just as well call for a revamping of ethics, or philosophy or just plain call for something new. The points i want to stress, are that, for one, religion desperately needs to change, and second that in this century that change will probably be one that is rationally motivated. Whether we call the end product religion or not is of no importance to me. What is important is that we think through our desires for community, identity, meaning and even ritual and find out the best and most productive ways of going about them. And not simply wait until we fortuitously happen upon the right solution. Sapere aude remains the watchword of the age.


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