Statesboro, GA, USA
Jim: "So … religion misrepresents past or present facts with intent to defraud?"
Icebox: "Yes, and mostly with intent."
Jim: "Do you plan to back it up, or do you expect us to accept it a priori?"
Icebox: "No, nor do I expect anything; I do not care what you accept or deny. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Your ad hominem attack of "religion" doesn't really work unless you can show that all worshippers of God have been cheaters and defrauders in history. That's just not true. Much good, mercy, kindess, and alleivance of suffering has been done in the name of piety. Your view of history seems to be prejudiced. I admit great wrongs have been done by "religious" people, but you can't blackball everyone who believes in something higher than physical reality, just because the religious have sinned.
"Self-realization, by definition, can only be internal. Also, I can not link self-realization in any way with the mysterious; I am not sure why that link would be attempted..
I don't know if this is what Jim was getting at or not... but I see that Self-realization which holds any concept of "good", "moral", or "honorable", must be mysterious in a sense. Because with any of these standards, there is a value system and a judgement of what is good or bad. In wanting to believe that things are really good or bad, honorable or dishonorable, we are forced to look for universals, or either claim that we are it. Just take a look at most beliefs and philosophies which stress internal fulfillment. Theses tend toward mysticism and the "New Age". . . even the conclusion that each individual is "God". This is not unreasonable if we each arbitrarily determine our own values. The others, going toward a non-mystical approach, still find themselves embedded in mystery. For they continue to stress that things matter, and that their own standards are important (as in judging ethics), but are at a loss to explain what basis there is for thinking such a thing. There is no conceivable foundation for even their strongest convictions. At any rate, it's interesting why there is so much leaning towards mysticism (even in the non-relgious world) ... and I see very well why that link would be attempted. When deity is rejected, it's not strange that something gets venerated in it's place.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-13-2003 09:05 PM).]