Wondrium Event 1: Do We Need God Less the More We Evolve?

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02 Jan 2022 19:07 - 09 Jan 2022 23:01 #365077 by Rosalyn J
So far so good. Here is the first thing we will look at next Sunday, January 9th 2022
4:00 PM GMT

Debate: Do we need God less the more we evolve?

Its about 90 minutes long and we'll be watching it together and discussing it.

Please join us


Here is the youtube link for those of you who could not attend:

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06 Jan 2022 13:49 #365209 by Rosalyn J
Bump

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06 Jan 2022 18:06 #365215 by Alexandre Orion
This is a good debate.
Ros, tell them who the debaters are, that might be more convincing.
;)

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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07 Jan 2022 00:33 #365222 by Rosalyn J
For the motion: Heather Berlin and Michael Shermer
Against the motion: Deepak Chopra and Snoop Kumaar

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09 Jan 2022 15:16 - 09 Jan 2022 15:19 #365317 by Rosalyn J
Bump

About 45 minutes until we start

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09 Jan 2022 16:01 #365320 by Rosalyn J

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09 Jan 2022 22:55 #365332 by Rosalyn J
Hey hey

Thanks to all who attended: Lykeios, Owl, Rex, Alexandre Orion, and myself. Youtube video will be shortly added to the top post

Breaking news:
You can gain 3 dqs points towards your degree by writing a 750 word reflection on the debate.
It would be cool if we could keep the conversation going here, and if you are going to write your reflection, you could write it here and link it to your journal

Happy exploring

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09 Jan 2022 22:56 - 09 Jan 2022 23:52 #365333 by Rosalyn J
Before we begin to answer that question, we need to ask ourselves “how do we define God?” Its a difficult question to answer, but that is where the majority of the disconnect comes from. On the one hand, God is defined as a deity that sets down laws and gives punishments for failure to obey those laws. It is that idea of God that has given rise to dogmatic, and tribalistic belief structures. Do we need a God that gives rise to that? No. But a God that also speaks to our highest forms of morality, our highest forms of being, our “best” self and compels us to live that way and to treat others as if they are living that way or could, that is also a consequence of the idea. The deification of the self and the self in others, as other experiences.
Where the pair Chopra/Kumar missed the boat was by calling this idea of experience “consciousness” because then the question becomes “do we need consciousness less the more we evolve?” which is a moot question and a bit like asking if I need skin. I have skin just like we have consciousness. But failure to agree on a definition of God or even of the aspects thereof was the primary weakness of the debate.

But what could have been a better way to phrase the question? Do we need to believe in something greater than ourselves less the more we evolve? Better, but not the best way to phrase the question either. But on the one side of the table, where science is king, Shumar and Berlin might have been better able to see what Chopra and Kumar were referring to. We need the constant wonder of something outside of ourselves to grow up to, to explore, to get a hold of. If this experience is all there is, then what’s the point? Why go forward at all? But science doesn’t stop at the finite. Science, enlightenment, philosophy, and any other subject that uses the rigor of experimentation isn’t trying to answer a question they already know the answer to, and isn’t trying to grasp something they already have in their hands, but something they do not and cannot. Whether we are moving one step or one hundred steps forward through our experimentation we are through that experimentation attempting to grasp at the infinite, which the Chopra/Kumar pair termed consciousness.

There are a lot of good things that religion has given us. In fact, I think our development as a species might have been hampered if it were not for religion, because the primary function of religion is to provide us a way to make sense of the world. That world being inside of ourselves and outside of ourselves. It’s why we ask the big questions: who am I? Where did I come from? What am I doing? And where am I going? Those questions, and their answers, even if they change the more we grow, develop and evolve, cannot be answered by our sensual experience alone. In fact, they may not have a sure answer, but the exploration of the questions requires more than sensual experience. It requires, as Chopra says, a gap. Religion also helps us to make sense of the world outside of ourselves and helps us make connections within that world. Social connections through community have historically been aided by religion, And we have found the more we have divorced ourselves from religion and taken solace in our individual experiences and our simulated connections, the lonelier we are as a (western) society.

However, for all the good that religion has done, there have been terrible things done in the name of religion, as Shumer and Berlin allude to during the debate. I think this is why people are moving away from “organized religion” as a means of getting their spiritual needs met. I look at the vast majority of people who enter TOTJO as evidence of this and even my own experience. The rigidity of religion, and dogmatism, takes away from what religion is supposed to provide.: community with others and connection with the self in sacred time You can be a Christian only if… Or you can be a Christian, just not here. And I think to some extent, Jediism or Jedi Realism has fallen victim to that in some cases, but I hope becoming aware of it will help us overcome that. That said, Jediism is, and is designed to be, a pretty big box

We don’t need God in the conventional sense, but we don’t need consciousness (we have that). What we need is Thou-ness and the connection that comes from engaging in living dialogue with others and with ourselves. Can we engage in living dialogue with ourselves? Not in the conventional sense, but we can be with ourselves, and whenever we are with ourselves we can make that time and space sacred. The typical way in which we are with ourselves is meditation. But we practice meditation so that the meditative mind becomes second nature. There are other ways in which we can practice being with ourselves. Any activity which is “in this present moment alone” can be imbued with the sacredness the same way that we would in church. Jediism doesn’t provide a list of tools for this because providing said list can limit our exploration. Yet, we have the freedom to discover and or create the tools that inform our practice.

Unconsciousness or rather, unawareness is what Krishnamurti speaks about in Freedom from the Known. The fruits of that are “We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own wives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, Our God's, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us.” This is not God, though our ideas about God can certainly divide us. Religion can produce aggression, but God cannot. An understanding of God, true understanding, yields a namaste response, not a rejection. That is what we need, especially the more we evolve.

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10 Jan 2022 20:40 #365372 by Owl
This debate took into consideration two faces of God, an infinite consciousness that encompasses everything on one side (the side against the idea), and an "eye from the sky" that dictates us how to act on the other (the side for the idea). Both bring ideas that are worth discussing.

On the side describing why we need God less, there is the argument advanced by Mrs. Heather Berlin that the law from the state now takes over the old use of religion as a guideline of what one should or shouldn't do. I agree yet not fully, I believe that state law and religious law are complementary, for example, there are people who aren't stopped by the state law, with the idea of "I won't go to jail if I don't get caught", but of these people there exist people who will say "but the eye of God will judge me so I shouldn't". In the contrary, there are people who don't care one bit for a divine judgement, but won't act in fear of being sentenced to jail. When it comes to the idea that God is there to fill the gaps and there are fewer gaps thanks to science, I agree but there is one limit, that we probably will never cross, that is what happens after death, because no one ever came back to tell us "there's nothing" or the contrary. I feel that this place is a place where God is needed, it gives hope and lessen the existential dread caused by our fear of the end. Even if there is nothing, the very fact that it soothes a fear makes it worth it. When it comes to the idea that we evolve towards a better situation where life is easier and such things thanks to science, there are one big problem with that, evolution of our society haven't always made our lives easier, in fact, when we see our world as of the 2020's where everyone is stressed, you hear fear and burnout everywhere, what tells us that things will go better? What warranty do we have that it won't go worst? I think we'll always need the emotional safety net that religion brings us.

On the side describing why we still need God, Mr. Deepak Chopra says that since God is consciousness, we need it. According to him, God is our own consciousness it is through it that we perceive the world. If we follow that definition of God, I can only agree, since the world is only perceived by the interpretation that our brain makes of stimuli, which it gives to our consciousness and without consciousness we would just act out of reflex, consciousness is how we interpret the world around us, and it is our only window to do so, I believe.

When it comes to the argument of "we can create the feelings of union with the world and of divine intervention or out of body experiences by manipulating neurons" I would have to answer that, while it is certain that we can, what proves us that the naturally occurring instances of such things are illusions? I could argue that when manipulating the nerves of the eye, we can create visual hallucinations, following that thought process, it would mean that the world we see through our eyes isn't real, this is of course very wrong. In fact, I think that manipulating the interpreter of information that is the brain is in no way the proof of existence or lack thereof of anything. It merely shows that we can replicate or alter it's effects.

The idea to say that religion is highly seen in America while there is a lot of social injustice and crime is making a causality out of one element in a situation where many more involved. While I agree that religious close mindedness can cause tragedies, it isn't the only cause. Taking the context of America from my perspective as an European, I can point other sources for such problems, such as the amount of guns that are there, or the lack of (as far as I know) social security. In France there are many organizations that originated in Christian initiatives, I think of the Confrérie de Charitables (a brotherhood of charity) that once was a group of Christian people who tried, under the benediction of a Saint, to give help in the Black plague. Now they are secular and act as the friends of those who lost everything, giving help to those who have no one until the end.

This is why I believe we need God(s) in our life. Maybe not everyone does, but in general, we need to keep this tool that is Religion to keep doing great things with it, by using it with responsibility.
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