So basically, if all we preserve of religion are “the customs, practices, norms of past generations,” meaning the cultural externals, and replace religious moral guidance with secular philosophy, all of the knowledge contained in categories 2 and 3 above are lost to humanity. That’s what’s at …
Jack Preston King
Jack, I don’t see it as a simple binary choice between “religious moral guidance” and “secular philosophy”, I think we have to recognize cultural heritage as the essential complement to science — and again I thank you for putting in the effort distill these heady concepts into easier-to-digest articles which we can ponder over & dissect.
I see “customs, practices, norms of past generations”, and all the great books & stories & artwork handed down to us, as the source of moral guidance for present & future generations.
There is absolutely a need to preserve & study & celebrate this cultural heritage, and to let it co-exist with technological advancement. And I think I am forgetting something else — our natural heritage, this amazing habitat we are made stewards of.
The religions of the world, their mythology & holy books, etc. are one important sliver of this heritage. But religion to me is a tainted concept. I am fed up with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists & the rest of the lot, claiming to have some inside track to morality. They need to step aside, concede that their teachings belong on the book shelf of human history.
If I feel I’m running low on morality, I have no need to run to the nearest church — instead, I can
- call my Mom,
- talk a walk in the woods,
- pick up a good book,
- or visit a local museum
ps: I feel another long-form spirituality rant coming on ;-)