Culture drives religion, though for some people religion takes precedence.
The culture drives the moral values for itself and for the society that envelops that culture. 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 its interpretation.
The Abrahamic religions are driven by interpretations of ancient texts making political manipulation easier. The Eastern religions are different as those cultures accept the inherent chaos of nature (e.g. Tao). These Eastern cultures define their moral values for their religion, like Confucianism, which has no supreme deity. Christian leaders often claim the Bible defines the rules for society. Sometimes I feel conversations focus too often on Christianity or Islam without considering other religions or cultures. Obviously the Abrahamic religions dominate Western society so they have most influence. However humanity is more diverse than that and the role of religions should not be considered immutable. Perhaps humanity does not hold its religions accountable but it is important to note the local culture has this power within its political constraints; hence the rise of humanism as something of a religion, when no religion with a supreme deity can be found acceptable.
These topics in this group are about religion, with such topics as God, a soul, and the meaning of life. The date shown in parentheses is the date that page was last changed.
What is the Meaning of Life? What am I to do with my life? (11/29/2002)
Why Are We Here? Who Am I? Each person must recognize their nature as a social creature. The denial of that innate characteristic can lead to many psychological issues. (03/09/2003)
Who is God? The Wizard of Oz, hiding behind the curtain, is a good analogy to the belief in God. The Eastern religions do not require this supernatural wizard, but the Western religions certainly do. (11/13/2003)
Is There Life after Death? This belief makes no sense philosophically, nor can it be physically proven since the supernatural cannot also be natural. (03/27/2004)
Thoughts on religion and growing up Catholic. (11/07/2004)
Christianity in Crisis. The movie Passion of the Christ at the same time as the gay marriage debate have brought Christianity into the news. Is there a problem here? (11/07/2004)
Is There an Evil Religion? Franklin Graham and other American Christian evangelists have preached that Islam is an evil religion. Is this claim justified? (04/23/2006)
God’s Chosen Religion Can we find God’s chosen religion so that we know the correct course for our life? (09/25/2005)
My soul and Zen What is the difference between consciousness and a soul (02/04/2007)
East vs West Religions Does it matter if there is a difference in the religious experience (enlightenment) felt when influenced by an Eastern or Western religion? (07/14/2007)
Consciousness What is human consciousness? Is it the proverbial soul, that lives after we die? (04/30/2011)
Jesus is the Real Life Saver If the belief in Jesus is the real life saver then why are religious believers so intolerant of other religions? (09/22/2013)
Proof of God Is there a proof that God exists? (11/16/2013)
Religious Conformance The push of religion into public schools and into government establishes a state religion, by defining the religious doctrine for others to conform to. (10/11/2014)
Militant Islam There are frequent warnings in American politics and media about militant Islam. What is never mentioned is the fact America supports those terrorist groups, a stateless enemy that will never go away in our perpetual Global War on Terror. (12/30/2015)
Does an Animal Have a Soul? Does an animal have a soul when its neural development and accompanying behaviors imply the animal will possess a form of consciousness? (08/07/2016)
Now Mind Maintaining a now mind keeps a person concentrating on the present, on the current personal integration within life, avoiding a sense of being separate from the universe. (10/01/1016)
Theologians Theologians typically try to discover what does God want but is the answer really just for people to help others, not just to try to satisfy God's unknown wishes.(12/02/2016)
Christ in Christmas The slogan keep Christ in Christmas ignores the important fact Christmas is almost a universal holiday, regardless of religion, to celebrate family. (12/24/2017)
Spiritual A spiritual person is very interested in the human spirit while a religious person concentrates on the interpretations within their religion. A religious person is one trying to live by the book. (12/27/2017)
Here is the list of topics in this Religion Topic Group.
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