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Expanding Our Social Network

Surfers, I am going to lead you off the familiar path of support for classical believers to a non-traditional believer. I have been working to try and build a new social network for the future of belief in God, and I need you to follow along, dear surfers, because I am going to stretch our network out to Billy, who is questing for spiritual guidance, from the outside of Christianity looking in. This is your opportunity to visit Billy’s blog and offer words of encouragement.

Just a bit of history for you, surfers, regarding “Pascal’s Wager,” in case you are not familiar with the discussion.

Pascal's Wager

Pascal

With that out of the way, we need to shift focus from decision theories to helping Billy to continue on his path to greater spiritual development. It was nice to take a walk through history, but that was then, and this is now. Right now the future of belief in God has some trouble it must surpass. Surfers, take a look at this blog that outlines an perception about organized religion as irrelevant. Then, have a look at this blog that discusses a little more than just a perception. Neo de Caussade will not defend rude or criminal activity. These blog topics are clear examples of issues that turn people, like Billy, against God.

Do not misunderstand, dear surfers, in the future belief in God will not be tied to a religion. These bloggers were not lucky enough to be born in the future, where current religions will have been marginalized, by their irrelevance and modern technology. Today, you can have God without religion, and in the future people will think it was silly to believe that people once thought they had to connected.

Richard J. Foster, who wrote the introduction to the Sacrament of the Present Moment, succinctly describes the Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s teaching on this subject.

It is sad to say that much of modern Christianity is captivated by the religion of the “big deal.” The slogan of our day is not “might makes right,” but “bigger is better.” Big churches, big budgets, big names – certainly this is the sign of things important. To such idolatry, de Caussade speaks with devastating precision. For him, the focus of God’s activity is not center stage but backstage, in the insignificant moments we often cast aside.
Richard J. Foster

Billy asks rhetorical questions to religious leaders who will not possibly answer questions of their own irrelevance. Which religion has the right message? I would urge Billy, and all the other bloggers, to have a look at one of my older blog posts “God Baggage – Drop Yours Here” on May 22, 2008. Pick it up in the archives. Have a look at the references I list, and then come back to discuss the future of belief in God. If you still feel that the reverse of Pascal’s Wager is the right way, let me know because I have more resources that can be brought to bear.

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About neodecaussade

I am a Roman Catholic quester. You will find that I have scripture based academic interests. You will discover that I am a conservative Catholic but I am also prone to heterodox tendencies. I am versed in highly pietistic traditionalist practices but I am not a traditionalist. I am interested in entering a discussion on the future of the Roman Catholic Church. I would like to have a role in discussing how the future Church will be shaped.

6 responses »

  1. Just to be clear, as the author of one of the blogs you linked (thanks for that, by the way), whether it is connected to a religion or not, I still see no good reason to believe in a god.

    Just saying.

    Reply
  2. Dear Morsec0de, just to be clear, there is nothing wrong in not believing in God. I accept you as you are.

    Reply
  3. Thanks. I wasn’t trying to deride you for believing either. Just seemed like in the post you were implying that the actions of some people and some religions leads to not believing. Which is true for some, but not for me.

    You could be the nicest, most upstanding and incredible people in the world. But I still won’t believe without evidence.

    Anyway, cheers, again, for the link.

    Reply
  4. I don’t believe that there is an issue with religion and/or God becoming marginalized or challenged by modern scientific or technological advancements. True people of faith should not be challenged by a competing theory or explanation of the nature of their universe; faith is not rational. Rational individuals are free to choose an explanation that makes the most sense to them.

    The real problem is that nobody seems to realize that this shouldn’t matter. Whether God poured the universe out of a smoothie machine or if it burst from an infinitesimal particle in false vacuum ought to have no bearing on how a human being lives their life on the planet Earth. Science is an opportunity to expand knowledge. The imperative for someone to be moral and to love the rest of humanity should shake the foundations of faith, not science. Our minds and spirits, which we have had all along, ought to turn one from God, not experimental results.

    I know this is not the primary issue that you intended to address but I thought it best to clear this misconception. We are not outgrowing religion, we have never needed it.

    Reply
  5. Steve raises some good points. The last statement, that we never needed religion, is a very good discussion starter. If human beings never needed religion, then why have we always had one? I like that question. Perhaps human beings have some genetic component of development that religion gloms onto? As we grow we could shed that developmental need, but we tend not to do so. Interesting?

    Reply
  6. I think Daniel Dennett (American philosopher) puts forward the best hypothesis for ‘religion as a natural phenomenon’.

    Part of it is that humans in general have been selected, or so it seems, for following authority when young. Again, this is in general, but it makes sense. In prehistory if you didn’t listen to your parents, you were liable to fall off a cliff or get eaten by a tiger. So a general “believe what is told to you” could easily be a part of us that functions to keep religion going.

    Our curiosity is also a major component. I think Christopher Hitchens put it best when he said “Religion was our first and worst attempt at explaining the universe.” Worst essentially because it was first, and we came up with it when we knew even less than the considerably little we know now.

    Reply

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