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Does Religion Have Any Value At All? 
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Post Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
Once in a while I am forced to ask myself if religion has any value at all. To me religion is a search of light, but once and a while I turn to the "spiritual books" in search of light.

Lord Buddha is attributed with having said the following: "Avoid all evil, cultivate the good, purify your mind: this sums up the teaching of the Buddhas" ("The Dhammapada", verse 183). A similar verse is found in the Jewish TANAKH: "Wash yourselves clean; put your evil doings away from My sight. Cease to do evil; learn to do good" (Isiah 1:17).

When I read these words, I feel that the true purpose of religion is "shunning evil, doing good, purifying our minds". It matters not if we believe in God or not; it matters not if we perform elaborate rituals or not; it matters not if we join a ministry or priesthood or not. What really matters is if we understand what is evil, what is goodness, and how we can avoid doing evil, and how we can learn to do goodness.

What is evil? I could be wrong, but I think that evil is anything that we do with the purpose of forcing suffering in another sentient being. Raping, stealing, cursing, lying in order to offend, murder produce suffering. Doing good would be to not to do those things that produce suffering and/or to alleviate the to the best of our capacities the causes of suffering. To purify our minds then would be know the difference between good and evil, and to cease from doing evil. I sounds easy, but it is not.

We are fallible human beings, and sometimes we are faced with situation that disturb our serenity and good will. That is why it is necessary to learn self-control at every moment of our lives. It is not easy.

It is easy to believe or not to believe; it is not easy to live a life of serenity.

In spiritual friendship,
Hermano Luis
Moriviví Hermitage

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Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
We are Pan Narans. The story telling ape. Religion is just stories, but we need stories to be human.

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Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
We are not the only species that wages war (chimpanzees against chimpanzees) or kills for sport (dolphins like to kill porpoises) but we only define ourselves as evil when it is done, not the other species. Is it because we think they have no stories to define 'moral' behaviour?

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Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:42 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
Zen, I always have a story to tell. Yes we are story telling apes.

Hermano Luis

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The Tejabindu Upanishad


Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:37 am
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
We need stories. We need storytellers. In China they have official storytellers in tea houses to entertain the customers. They keep alive the myths, legends and history of their ancient culture. In the East, previous generations are revered. In the West, previous generations are largely despised and forgotten.

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Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:59 am
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
question luis:what is good,and who decides?what is not good and who decides?

or in the words of pilate"what is truth?"


Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:34 am
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
Discworld DEATH explains it perfectly to his grandaughter in The Hogfather. I have posted it around here somewhere. Or you can Google it.

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Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
rev mark wrote:
question luis:what is good,and who decides?what is not good and who decides?

or in the words of pilate"what is truth?"



Hmmm...,
Unfortunately, throughout history, men in power have decided what is "good".
And by men I mean men, the masculine part of the human species.

Historically, women and children, and men of races considered inferior by the dominating "story telling apes" have had to deal with the brunt of what has been deemed "good" by the men in power at any given historical period.


Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
rev mark wrote:
question luis:what is good,and who decides?what is not good and who decides?

or in the words of pilate"what is truth?"


I do not think that there is an absolute definition of what is "truth". Telling a lie would be considered evil or not good, but telling a lie to save an innocent person who will be murdered without a fair trial I would not be consider true but could be consider an act of goodness. Many Christian priests and minister lied to save Jewish children during the Nazi years in Europe. Each of us -- not just the males of our species -- must discover what is "truth" or what is "good". Walking the path of freedom is not easy.

Slavery was wrong from day one. If I would have been born in the year 1716 in Puerto Rico, I would probably have been born a slave. I am not white.

I am sure that there are a lot of things that are wrong in the world; for example many women suffer physical abuse simply because they are born female. In some cultures they are not treated with equality, they are not educated, or their religious traditions do not allow for just treatment. It is sad. We have to find truth/goodness not in our legal systems, but in our hearts and not be afraid to speak out.

I think that we can improve life in this world.

Hermano Luis

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Is to be freed from all conditioning."

The Tejabindu Upanishad


Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Does Religion Have Any Value At All?
" We have to find truth/goodness not in our legal systems, but in our hearts and not be afraid to speak out.

I think that we can improve life in this world.

Hermano Luis[/quote]


I do think that we can change the world.
We have been changing the world.

But it has to go beyond the heart. It has to go into the legal system, so that things that are "good" for everyone are guaranteed.

Good treatment of people cannot be left up to how we feel about this or that.
Or up to how my father (or whoever is in charge) feels about something in his/her heart, he might want slaves and daughters that stay at home and do not learn to read.
I needs to be legal.
Not stoning a woman to death has to be legal: women are not to be stoned to death.
Allowing girls an education needs to be legal: all children will go to school. ALL.
People shall not be enslaved: ALL people are to NOT be enslaved, regardless of ....
Child prostitution has to be illegal: ALL children, boys and girls will NOT be prostituted.

It has to find its way into the legal system of the country!!


Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:45 pm
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