When thinking about human religious systems rather than asking ‘is it true?’ in my view, the more interesting question is ‘what is religion?’ To my mind the dismissal of religious systems as a pre-modern delusion with no larger relevance, fails to do justice to religion’s cultural and moral achievements, and capture their value for posterity.
Religious Systems and Cultural Evolution
To my mind, the most complete way of understanding religion is as an emergent phenomenon of human cultural and intellectual life – a conceptual architecture that grew out of a need for a framework for thinking about our place within, and relationship to, the universe.
One cannot know for sure how long the human race has pondered such matters, but presumably back to well before the dawn of recorded history and, very probably for at least as long as humans have been behaviourally modern (60,000 years plus). With that in mind, in my view the religious systems practiced today are the current expressions of an inheritance of spiritual thinking stretching right back into prehistory.
This underlying unity of human religious systems, and a universal morality, has been recognised by some religious and non-religious thinkers (including the Buddha, Lao Tzu and the Old Testament prophets) for at least 2,000 years.
Therefore, rather than view religious systems as a chapter in human history that will wither away, I predict that religion will evolve and change (possibly out of all recognition), while remaining, in some sense, part of the continuum of human cultural evolution. The Jolly Pilgrim explores what such a religious evolution might look like.
Baker’s perspectives on the impact of religion, and its role in society,
based on his reading of the Bible, Qur’an …
as well as his own personal experiences
[constitutes] a mature, intelligent and enlightened perspective …
- Matt Benson, Blogger, Frankfurt
Details: religious architecture:
On finishing the Bible, a report – excerpt from Part 1
Earth Systems – a excerpt from Part 7, deconstructing what people mean by the word ‘God’
Cultural Evolution, and ‘God’ – notions of God that we take for granted are not fixed for all time
Travelling the world reading Abrahamic scripture - article for the British Humanist Association.
Links – worldview section:
- The Human Project
- What I’m Trying to Achieve
- The Long Now (with downloads)
- Gaia and Humanity (with downloads)
- Religious Architecture (with downloads)
- Planetary Economy (with downloads)
- My Influences