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8 replies to this topic

#1 vog

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:39 AM

As an atheist, I would like to question the limits of atheism: the point at which it might become counterproductive.
Specifically I am thinking of the Terasem faith (see it on the Internet) and the Terasem Foundation itself. I love the people involved in this and it appears to me that they actually are onto something that will promise the survival of self.
What troubles me are rituals and other trappings they use that remind me, someone from a powerful religious background, of religion itself. I worked hard, attempting to emulate such men as Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein to sparate myself forever from religion. And now a "trans-religion"? I would like the opinion of other immortalists on the subject of Terasem. Truly all your ideas will be most appreciated. Thank you!

Long Life, Boundless Life, joy and happiness,
John J. Kansevich (vogbank@gmail.com)

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#2 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:23 AM

I'm not familiar with the religious rituals of Terasem. Have you ever explored the Society for Universal Immortalism? What about the Society for Venturism? This rationalist religion business is definitely an exercise in herding cats.
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#3 Lothar

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:49 AM

Idyll Banter: The Body Electric comes to Bristol
The Terasem Movement Foundation, Inc. is housed in a regal Victorian on the northwestern corner of the town green in Bristol. You can stand on the front porch and gaze at the gazebo where the Addison County village has Wednesday night band concerts in the summer. Read more on burlingtonfreepress.com, July 25, 2010. The Terasem Movement Foundation is also mentioned recently at the end of the arcticle I, robot? on newelectronics.co.uk, July 26, 2010.

PS @ vog: I have never heard about this foundation before your post, so without it I would not have noticed these articles, thanks. You have started an interesting topic but I haven't got the time now to write more about it. I would recommend the work and the books of philosopher Ken Wilber and the integral movement around him, especially 'Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution' and his novel 'Boomeritis'. There you can find a lot about the relation between science and religion, the limits of conventional atheism or the integration of traditional spirituality into a "trans-rational" consciousness.


Edited by Lothar, 02 August 2010 - 05:52 AM.

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#4 Soma

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:55 PM

I worked hard, attempting to emulate such men as Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein to separate myself forever from religion.

Einstein was not religious (in the conventional sense) but seemed, at times, deeply spiritual. Yes, the two are mutually exclusive. I tend to think that he was using the terms "religion" and "religious" in these quotes more in terms of spirituality, in general.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

"The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness." ( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." (Albert Einstein)

Edited by Soma, 03 August 2010 - 12:04 AM.

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#5 Romulus

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:15 AM

Although I consider myself an atheist, I do find great beauty and wisdom in reading scripture. I don't mean specifically that of the judeo-christian tradition, but religion in the broadest sense of the word: humankinds collective attempt to imbue the world with meaning.
I find it hard to take a dawkins like stance to religion because I think it ignores millenia of human experience. Although I am a strict empiricist, and I suppose in a sense a determinist, I find militant atheism to be quite arrogant; Should the fact that there is no God (assuming that there isn't, at least in the Biblical sense)discourage people from pursuing transcendence? Or, even more practically, should we even truly embrace a strictly scientific world view, as a people? What are the implications? What does it mean for our art? Our laws? I'm not saying that a secular approach is lacking in anyway--I don't participate in religious ritual, for instance, because I find it quite silly--but I really do believe that there is something to be taken from the rich religious traditions that are available to us.
I think, in a sense, Einstein best encapsulates the world view I subscribe to. What is science without wonder anyway? Without awe? And how could one not be awed, as Einstein was, when he wrestled with the universe?

edit: I am a religious studies major (an academic interest), by the way, and I would love to continue the discussion!

Edited by Romulus, 23 September 2010 - 03:17 AM.

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#6 karen

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 06:55 PM

The exploration of the numinous void is a personal and subjective path. It doesn't translate to others, though there are pointers and there can be fellowship with like minded and dedicated people.

#7 chuckb

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:22 AM

Read "The Demon Haunted World" for a primer on the dismal intellectual situation the world is in.
It is mostly this way because archaic, anachronistic and entirely irrelevant fantasies are STILL in use in much of it.
A little education in psychology will teach you what brainwashing, control mechanisms and outright delusion religion really is.

Check a little of Christopher Hitchens to see how useless and detrimental religion is to the modern world.

I hope to open my eyes in a future world where religion is entirely absent.
THIS world I live in, and the species I am part of is very far from what I would like it to be.

#8 Kyle Fonger

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:06 PM

* :-D *1st Post* :-D *

I went to the Terasem website but couldn't find the "religious practices" in question.

I agree with many of the posts here stating, religion and spirituality are not inseparable. Religion is a means of explaining the spiritual. Spirit, I would define as consciousness at a fundamental level. The fact that we can think at all, or ponder the cosmos remains one of the greatest mysteries man has ever encountered. That said, before the methodology of science, mans' pursuit of answers, desire to control others' actions and thoughts, and a reassurance in a life after this life, were left to fable, mythology, and metaphor. "Faith" is a term used across media and is expected to be revered. By definition however, faith is believing in something without evidence. In any other facet of your life, having "faith" is never an acceptable reason for believing one thing over another. The scientific method has brought us technology, modern medicine, it sent man to space, and brought mankind together through the World Wide Web. Evidence is key! What has religion brought us? War over, "my God is better than your God", genital mutilation, the justified rape and torture of women, mass murders, suicide bombings, etc. etc. etc. Christopher Hitchen's famous question to drive this point home; "Think of a moral/righteous act a religious person might do that an atheist could not have done. Now think of an immoral/evil act that a religious person might do that an atheist could not have done."

Again, I couldn't find the practices vog referred but if they only seemed like (or reminded him) of religious practices on the basis of being traditional, I would like to deter people (for whom don't have extensive religious knowledge) from viewing religions as, simply, traditions. This seems obvious to some degree but as someone who calls himself an "Atheist 2.0" (Google), seeing a list of "traditions" (i.e. "We meet every Sunday at 9 am", "You must wear [color]", "Men cannot wear hats inside", etc.) a secular organization participates in, may raise red flags. I'm an active member of the Greek fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha, and trust me, there are traditions dating back and unchanged from 1868.

To wrap it up (I know I may have gone off on a bit of a tangent - I'm sorry, on vyvanse ;)). When we are faced with a groups' "[color="#282828"]rituals and other trappings", the question we have to ask ourselves is, "Does this ritual/tradition make ANY claim about the world?" If the answer is "yes" then it is your obligation as a sentient being to delve deeper into the claim and its support or lack-thereof. If the answer is "no" then the gut feeling you're experiencing is simply your uncomfortability with something that is different (a completely natural response). If you answered "no" then I recommend you take a moment and analyze "the why." Why do people participate in this? Why/how does this practice draw in followers and retain a congregation? In this moment you are witnessing religions' most prized attribute: its ability to gather people, tell stories, and move its participants through traditions, rituals, and a general consensus of what is "good" and what is "bad." [/color]

#9 Sabrina Sambodhi

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

As a recovered religious extremist I find that Agnosticism feels natural to me whereas Atheism tends to be too much like work, which reminds me of religion. Having to take an all-or-nothing view on anything or looking at something as either all-black-or-all-white tends to remind me too much of religion. Being agnostic versus atheist does not mean I am leaving space in my life for the possibility of religion, more-so to me it means that perhaps man created religion to explain some other thing such as the possibility of an intelligent Universe.

Edited by Sabrina Sambodhi, 02 January 2013 - 11:38 AM.

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