No, rationality is just a religious revolution

By | April 27, 2012
The rebirth of spirituality

I've encountered many highly rational people who are not strongly religious in the traditional sense of going to their place of worship on a weekly bases and following each of the huge pile of religious rules prescribed by doctrine. Yet they are deeply spiritual: they understand the metaphysical 'karma'-style connection that religion is trying to teach them. Thus I would argue that rationality and religion are not enemies. Rather, there is a revolution going on that is shaking the religious institutions as we know them today, and the leaders of those institutions don't find that very comforting.

Just as we demand personalized experiences – whether in G+, Facebook, search results, etc. – we are also starting to demand that religion take on a personal meaning. That change is often only insufficiently reflected in large institutional doctrines offering a one-size-fit-all set of instructions, with a set of guides (sermons) on how you could interpret it. I've seen thriving and failing communities of many religious denominations, and there seems to be very little corrolation between believer uptake and religion. Rather, the correlating factor contributing to success is whether the community offers a personal experience and a personal experience exchange forum, than anything else.

I've also noticed an increasing tendency for people to express strong religious beliefs and yet detach themselves from all religious institutions – another form of 'spiritual' belief suggesting that there's a subtle revolution taking place, decentralizing the structure of religious institutions and begging for institutions to catch up with society.

/via +Steven Sudit

Reshared post from +Sakis Koukouvis

Is rationality the enemy of religion?

Study, published in this week's issue of Science1, offers evidence that when people engage in analytical thinking, they are less likely to express strong religious beliefs. In other words, the more you’re inclined to think a problem through rather than to rely on gut instinct, the less likely you are to capitulate to belief in supernatural agencies.

Is rationality the enemy of religion? | Science News
A provocative study linking religious disbelief to analytical thinking requires some careful analysis itself, says Philip Ball.

12 thoughts on “No, rationality is just a religious revolution

  1. Pradeep Doddaballapur

    +Steven Sudit my bad. I used the term middle ages too loosely. But I stick to my point that the beginning of every religion was an improvement in the conditions of man. Inquisition again proves my point that it is the organising superstructure and the people in power who are destructive.
    "Satyameva jayate" truth alone triumphs. I have no issues with truth. But absolute truth is hard to come by. So better my version than yours 🙂

  2. Pradeep Doddaballapur

    I'm sure all religions were basically good and were a civilizing force in the middle ages.
    But when you start organising religion and institutionalising it, it becomes a magnet for all kinds of scoundrels looking for power and influence over the masses. So the more organised and conformist a religion is, the more evil its manifestations (eventually).
    I am lucky to have been born a Hindu. My parents taught me to respect Gods of all religions –

    "Akashat patitam toyam, yada gachchati sagram,

    Sarva devo namaskaraha, keshavam pratigachchati."

    In the same way that rain from the skies form different rivers but all make their way to the ocean, prayers to all gods eventually reach the supreme.

    To be a Hindu we don't have to be a part of a congregation or church. In fact, my father dislikes going to popular temples because of the crowds and abstains from most rituals. But still there is no social pressure on him to conform. Religion is a personal matter for most Hindus and that's one of the reasons Hinduism has survived Muslim and British rule.

    Don't give up on your religion, give up on the church.

  3. M Monica

    No, I think you're just not getting it. You expect you live on a tiny island where you have no need to reform or protest for any laws?

    And you wonder why CISPA was passed today.

  4. M Monica

    I'm not interested in finding truth. That's not what athiests do. Darwin already found it.

    But you cannot affect social change successfully alone.

  5. M Monica


    But I think you may be overlooking the fact that one who professes Steveism can also be a member of the Unitarian Universalist church. They don't care who (or what) you worship. Many athiests attend. My fiance and I do. We go for the social justice work and to connect with other people who are interested in standing up about:

    1. Fracking
    2. GMOs
    3. Finding people who are interested in protesting
    4. Immigration reform
    5. Healthcare reform

  6. Jeremy Foote

    "That change is often only insufficiently reflected in large institutional doctrines offering a one-size-fit-all set of instructions"

    I think that this is a great observation of a real trend.

    For me, one of the great benefits of my religion (I'm LDS) is that it is stubbornly non-personalized. I am forced to confront doctrines that I don't want to believe, and wrestle with concepts that a self-directed religion might allow me to sidestep.

  7. Nicholas Vilppu

    I see it this way. I would rather be around people who are decent human beings because they know it is the right thing to do and it is their nature, not someone who is being forced into it because they fear god will punish them for all eternity.


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