Why does religion fail?

by cosmic 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Carmel

    "Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized. The world of thought has been regenerated. Sciences of former ages and philosophies of the past are useless today. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent. Old ideas and modes of thought are fast becoming obsolete. Ancient laws and archaic ethical systems will not meet the requirements of modern conditions, for this is clearly the century of a new life, the century of the revelation of the reality and therefore the greatest of all centuries. Consider how the scientific developments of fifty years have surpassed and eclipsed the knowledge and achievements of all the former ages combined. Would the announcements and theories of ancient astronomers explain our present knowledge of the sun-worlds and planetary systems? Would the mask of obscurity which beclouded mediaeval centuries meet the demand for clear-eyed vision and understanding which characterizes the world today? Will the despotism of former governments answer the call for freedom which has risen from the heart of humanity in this cycle of illumination? It is evident that no vital results are now forthcoming from the customs, institutions and standpoints of the past. In view of this, shall blind imitations of ancestral forms and theological interpretations continue to guide and control the religious life and spiritual development of humanity today? Shall man gifted with the power of reason unthinkingly follow and adhere to dogma, creeds and hereditary beliefs which will not bear the analysis of reason in this century of effulgent reality? Unquestionably this will not satisfy men of science, for when they find premise or conclusion contrary to present standards of proof and without real foundation, they reject that which has been formerly accepted as standard and correct and move forward from new foundations."

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 224)

  • cosmic

    Thank you for your replies, I am humbled.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    I believe the reason "religion" fails, is that it is man reaching up to God, on mans terms. Relationship succeeds because it's God reaching down to man, on God's terms. D Dog

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    It most often takes over spirituality and reverts it back to notions of the flesh - literalism and fundamentalism infiltrate and replace spirituality - but not always.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    My thoughts on this are kind of long, so bear with me.

    Religion is human. Religion has evolved. Through the passages of time the earths religions have molded themselves into what they are today. 20th century christianity is completely differant than 15th century christianty. The Islam of yesterday is not nessacarily the Islam of today. Things change, differant movements form, other doctrines of a religion become more popular in one century and less popular in another. As society changes so does the viewpoints of the differant members. What was important to a Buddist living in the 12th century is totally differant than the modern Buddist living in shanghai with the modern world all around.
    This isn't to say that EVERYTHING has changed, the past elements are allways there. I'm simply saying that these things do change, and mean differant things to differant people as time goes on.
    Why did I bring that up?
    Because religion is HUMAN, and HUMANS are allways changing. Does religion fail? I think is fails in the same degree that humans fail in general. Think about human governments, organizations, grassroots political movements. The list could go on forever. They are allways changing. All of these have failed in one way or another.
    Failure I think is part of the human condition. We keep moving forward, then backwards, then forward a little more.
    I also suppose it's what you look for religion to do. Solve all of your problem? Solve mankinds problems? People look to religion BECAUSE of the human condition. If the idea is that religion is holding us back, then I would go further and say thats it's not religion but the human condition itself.

    I know, I know. I just typed a bunch of rubbish that dosn't gel togeather that great. It's the end of the day, what do you expect?

  • Carmel

    When a child trys to rise up from crawling and attempts to walk and falls down, is it a "failure"? How many attempts does it take before it is called a "toddler"? When humanity attempts new paradigms is it "failure"?


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