Culture and Religion
This site presents a world view where the guide for society (and culture and religion) is based on human nature, not on ancient scriptures.
The entire site is being updated as of 06/24/2018 and is still in progress.
Please tolerate any unexpected problems or an inconsistent page format when mixing old and new files, until the transition is complete. There is a transition note at the bottom of this page with a little more detail.
The point of this web site is describing how our society (with its various cultures and religions) is based on our human nature, not based on the Bible as a guide
I was born and raised Catholic in a world view based on the Bible as the guide for society. The interpretation of ancient scriptures is not a stable foundation for society. A stable foundation is one based on our understanding of human nature, learned via scientific investigation. Human beings have a social nature that is the true foundation for defining society. The site content is intended to flesh out this world view based on our human nature, with new topics filling in gaps, but hopefully written in a way another reader might find it interesting. There are many references in the site to religions. Few are willing to question their sense of self.
This web site is about our human nature and how the social forces of culture and religion can bring people together for cooperative success or can divide people for persecution and suffering.
Culture arises from the social groups within a community involving its conventions for acceptable behavior.
Religion defines how the community members interpret their role in the universe, with this belief system based on the local culture so different religions rise out of different cultures
Each culture must deal with unexplainable catastrophic events. If the culture cannot accept the chaos of nature then the religion can impose order on the chaos by assigning responsibility for these events on an invisible supernatural deity. This deity will be given characteristics as needed by that culture, resulting in its mythology to help define the deity. The Abrahamic religions had the Egyptian pharaoh as a model, an authoritarian leader. Polytheistic religions are comfortable with distributed responsibility. Many Chinese religions arose from cultures that are comfortable with the chaos of nature so there was no need for a supreme deity, which is lacking in these religions. The success of a religion requires the local culture to believe in this interpretation.
According to the book by Jonathan Haidt, the Righteous Mind, most of humanity seems to fall into valuing one of two tendencies higher than the other, either wanting tolerance or wanting loyalty and conformance. I suspect those valuing conformance higher than tolerance can be influenced into intolerant behaviors. This book also points out the inherent groupish nature of people. These tendencies provide the foundation for the typically divisive political leadership of today.
Religion is a divisive tool for political leaders as it enables one group to be defined and divided from another, just as race has been used. Whenever one political group can unite against an opposing group, persecution and suffering is often the result for that group now isolated from the others.
In our modern times of high rates of literacy across so many different cultures around the world, we should have learned that cooperation is part of our human nature and its practice will be successful in most endeavors, where a group of people of diverse skills and backgrounds can succeed when individuals or a group of uniform skills cannot. Instead the problem is 'divide and conquer' remains the most widespread leadership technique, so only a privileged few will benefit to the detriment of so many others.
I started this web site because American political and religious leaders were using the Christian religion to justify the wars in the Middle East. This message is emphasized throughout our media, with the ever present phrase 'God bless America' as if our country is exceptional as the conduit for God's master plan during our campaign of dominance over competing cultures and religions in the world.
Another point of this web site is the obsevation it is not fair that only a few benefit while most suffer. The concentration of power, with no workable mechanisms for accountability, leads to absolute power which (as observed long ago) corrupts absolutely. I find it quite appalling our world is approaching the dystopian world described in the infamous book of fiction 1984, as if no one of importance has recognized such dangers.
The topics are collected into several groups (with the number of topics in each Topic Group is shown below). This list also provides a recent revision history. Near the bottom of every topic is a simple tool bar to select either a desired Topic Group or the site map . The site map has the entire site in an outline form, which can be easier to navigate among the various topics within the Topic Groups; in the map each Topic Group has its topics indented below it.
Culture (15) (new page added 05/11/2018)
Moral values (10)
Accountability (9) (new page added 04/22/2018)
Business (11) (page updated 05/08/2018)
Foreign policy (8) (new page added 04/18/2018)
Debates - issues dominated by groups (7)
A brief view of life (20) (new page added 01/10/2018)
Mythology and the origins of our religions (8)
The Religion of AGW (6 + 25 pages of analysis)
Creationism - mixing science and religion (6)
My counterpoint to BreakPoint commentaries
These are collected into several groups:
Parent’s guide part 1 responses (19),
Parent’s guide part 2 responses (14),
Worldview of the Church responses (2),
Second Sight responses (5)
The BreakPoint web site provides a Christian fundamentalist perspective on life and trends, where interpretations of the Bible serve as the guide for society. Cultureandreligion.com offers an alternate world view with society based on our human nature.
Comments on a blog about Progressive Christianity (links to about 33)
Various books about religion, science and politics (books added 01/10/2018)
Academic publications regarding catastrophism
About Me, the author (3) (new page added 02/14/2018)
Email Me If you have comments, please send an email to me. All comments are welcome. This site is not a blog so it offers no interactive exchanges of comments.
Site Map presents the site in an outline form, for simple site navigation to all Topic Groups and Topics from one page)
Site Chronology (a selection in the Site Map) is a quick way to navigate to recent posts (at the end of the list)
also follow Cultureandreligion on Facebook as a Follow gets a notification when a new page is added to the site.
The reminder for zooming, with shortcuts common to many browsers, is near the bottom of each topic, in case any user finds the font undesirable on any display.
During this transition all the pages were reformatted; the main content changes were improving the descriptions for the Topic Groups and removing navigation bars and tables. That initial page design in 2004 was not efficient, plus it assumed a much larger display common on desktops than on a typical smart phone in 2018.
Original site created in geocities - May 2000
‘culture and religion’ web site created - Nov. 2004
last home page content change - 01/02/2015
page layouts simplified 06/24/2018
last change to the web site - 07/04/2018
Please pick either text link here, for the next display.
All Topic Groups are available after selecting More TG.
All topics in the site are in the Site Map, where each topic is indented under its Topic Group.
There is probably a big gap below (to be fixed) so please click on either text link above instead of scrolling down to the buttons.