« David James Duncan’s “In Praise of No Guide” | Main | Some Radhasoami UK Facebook excerpts »

June 09, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Beyond these trifling issues for the leaders of this country, how much do people think of religion on a daily basis? I'm willing to bet that in the West, very little. Regardless of their belief in God, most people live life however they choose to. How often do you get the chance to oppose/support stem-cell research? Abort a fetus? Suicide bomb?

You can believe all sorts of things and still be concentrated on this life. Did you watch the 30-second clip of Richard Dawkins on CNN when they apologized for the atheist special (with no atheists on the panel)? He stated that atheists focus on this life rather than the next. That's bogus. Who doesn't focus on this life?

Ashwin, I disagree. Lots of people--most people, really (because most are religious) live their lives differently because of a belief in an afterlife.

They go to church, temple, or mosque. They pray, meditate, chant, worship, do penances. They abstain from some behaviors and engage in others out of a belief that God (or karma) rewards certain actions and punishes others.

They fly planes into buildings. They strap on explosive filled vests and then blow themselves up. They fill legislators' phone and email message boxes up with pleas to vote this way or that out of a conviction that this is pleasing to God and that isn't.

All of this is a focus on something other than what is directly experienced in this life. To my mind, it shows that most human beings have one foot in physical reality and one foot in an imagined afterlife.

Hmmmm. I think I can see how a belief in an afterlife prevents (maximally) reverencing this one.


I need to think it through a bit more.

I tentatively believe in an afterlife (closer to reincarnation than "heaven"), but I'm very much about this one.

I don't think a culture of life has to be godless though. Dogma free, yes. Faith free, yes.

You forgot to give examples like mother theresa who selflessly gave her life for others. There's a million of them.

But religion, the fantasies we believe.

Really, there is just me. It's crazy.


Is consciousness necessary for human existence? I believe that through our consciousness we can become aware of the greatness of our human existence, but that awareness is not what makes us human or what makes us great. We fall in and out of conscious states, sometimes we can be highly recollected and in a superb state of self-awareness, where as other times we are no more conscious then that little 7 week old that you spoke about. Are we any less human during these times?

On a different point, you said, "No one who believes in an afterlife can maximally reverence present life. Divided loyalties preclude a whole-hearted commitment to the reality of is, because 'could be' drains energy, commitment, and attention." Do you really think that one should forget about such a big 'could be' even you seem to think that it could be. This 'could be' not only entails the next life but also God and even the very meaning of our life. If this 'could be' were true "the reality of is" in our present life totally changes. I think we should not blow off this 'could be' question so lightly. In fact, if one loves truth this may be the most important question.

Joseph, part of me resonates with what you say. I've spent most of my life immersed in "could be's." They're pleasant and satisfying, but not in the same way of "really is."

Rumi has a story where he talks about a man who is shown a house with no roof. Another person says, "This would be a great place to live if it had a roof."

The man replies, "Yes, but we can't live in 'if.'" More and more, that's my sentiment. Lots of things could be true. Until they are, they aren't.

I think that there is prudery in organized religions and social-circle faiths because if there is one thing that will make me believe in the power of heaven. it is a kiss.

Without such evidence of god, life would be a prison, suffered for the study of others.

(No tales today, and just one metaphor. E-A-S-Y W-O-R-D-S, m'kay?)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.