We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
But why should we build community? Why be considerate of others?
I'm reminded of a joke: Seems the scientist figured out how to create life. So they declared there was no more reason for God. God listened to their logical and reasoned argument then proposed a little demonstration before he went away.
Upon the day, God appeared and was permitted to go first. So he shaped up some dirt and breathed life into it.
Then the scientists' turn came. They wheeled in a large machine and spent a bit of time tinkering with the set up. Finally, a scientist grabbed a shovel to load some dirt into the machine.
At this point, God said, "Whoa, hold on a minute."
you are easily the most "liberal" individual i have had the pleasure of reading, bar none. thank you - it provides hope.
*this comment should be qualified with the understanding that the authour is not lacking hope. or faith. charity will speak for itself.
People see that church organizations have secular value, too, and they experiment to see if they can replicate that while leaving out the God part. Frankly, when churchgoing was more routine and universal, that's probably how a lot of traditional churchgoers approached it, too, privately. When people try it this way, they find out one way or the other. If it doesn't work for them, they'll probably eschew church altogether or move to one that's more frankly spiritual. They probably won't try another watered-down version.
Frankly, when churchgoing was more routine and universal, that's probably how a lot of traditional churchgoers approached it, too, privately.
Probably right. I don't have a spiritual bone in my body, even though I grew up going to church with family every Sunday. I don't attend a Church now and I feel vaguely guilty about it - not a "sin" guilt, but a social guilt, like I'm not doing my part. And in abstract, I approve of church-going; news of declining church attendance is bad news. This even though I was hyper-sensitive to religious bigotry / stupidity when I was young. But I never held the idiots against the religion.
Anyway, I think outfits like the Atheists' Club are bound to fail - probably have a better chance of thriving if it really was just a social club.
You don't have to bring religion to your church but if your church doesn't have religion, it isn't going anywhere. Odd but true.
I see nothing new here. Taoism and (some versions of) Buddhism have no gods, but are widely regarded as religions.
Religion, at least most versions of it, began as some government's thought-control apparatus, just as Hobbes advocates in Leviathan. And inertia is probably the main reason it still exists in places where it's no longer compulsory.
But even if you don't like big, bullying governments, Hobbes had a point. Religions can be useful sources of moral stability even when belonging to one is voluntary. To serve this end, "God" has no more of a function than the stone in Stone Soup. The concept is merely the leadership's way of assuring their followers that their church's principles are (1) old and (2) well thought out. I should hope that modern people would not need that type of reassurance, or even find it helpful, and would instead seek out and practice the kind of critical thinking you can see on LessWrong.com.