This web site, titled Culture and Religion, 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 defines the social forces within a community involving its conventions for behavior, ranging from food preparation techniques, to forms of entertainment that keep the community together like music or dancing, to dating rituals, and so on.
Religion defines how the community members interpret their role in the universe, with this teaching based on the local culture, so different religions rise out of different cultures. Similarly when members of one religion convert members of a foreign culture often the resulting religion in that area is affected by the host culture.
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 tolerance or 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.
According to the book by Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (GGS), religion only surfaces as something important to a community after the group is has grown to such an extent that layers of leaders are in place to manage the larger population and its resources. Religion is often a tool of politicians.
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. The book GGS also describes how different cultures have invaded or disappeared over the course of human history around the world.
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.
The point of this web site is we are all part of this global community and it is not fair that only a few benefit while most suffer. 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.
I have collected my thoughts into several groups (with the number of pages in each group shown). The site map has the site in an outline form
The past - mythology and the origins of our religions (7)
The present - religion and culture (18) (new page added 11/16/2013)
The present - religion and moral values (11)
The present - politics (15) (new page added 11/10/2013)
Accountability (5) (new page added 11/25/2013)
The future (15) (new page added 09/02/2013)
A brief view of life (16)
Debates dominated by a single group (5) (new page added 11/10/2013)
The Religion of CAGW (8) (new page added 11/17/2013)
My counterpoint to BreakPoint commentaries
Parentís guide part 1 responses (19),
Parentís 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. I am offering an alternate perspective to consider.
Various publications regarding catastrophism (Pensee, Kronos, Aeon)
Various books about religion, science and politics
A little about the author,
the site chronology,
and links to a few comments left on other blogs (about religion).
Site Map (this site in outline form)
If you have comments, please E-mail me at dave at cultureandreligion.com.
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original site created in geocities - May 2000
Ďculture and religioní web site created - Nov. 2004
last home page content change - 09/22/2013
last change to the web site - 11/25/2013