GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board Meetings Discussion Forum › Politics, Religion and Spirituality.

Politics, Religion and Spirituality.

Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 167
Politics, religion, spirituality do all these go together or should they be kept separate? Is politics about social change and religion and spirituality about personal change and never the twain should mix! Well that is what we are discussing in October.What do others think?

Below are some of the discussion that this generated on out Linkedin site. To be updated you can visit that discussion here ....
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 168
Alejandro Correa Rueda • Thank you for your blog.

I think that among some scientists is a true religious intolerance, I have read several science blogs that speak out against religion in a very immature and desplicente, as if being an atheist was the truth, the only truth. This don't seems fine since it attacks religion in a mode aggressive, even there are those who condemn those who profess any religion as rude, stupid, ignorant, etc.., I really find it inconceivable to the intolerance of thoughts among scientists, for a subject purely on ideology, I think it will be quite difficult find a midpoint for better progress and development of science under these resentments archaic and primitive.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 169
Kelly Whelan-Enns •

Alejandro ... it is reverse snobbery. The snobbery of intellectualism ... the need to control what you have rejected. It is the indication of a limited and closeted perceptual foundation to come from any type of aggressive mindset that seeks to perpetuate conflict even in debate. The intellect, the analyzing mind can only think which generally is an act of using filters based in a reality conditioned and programmed to not see more than what supports the chosen reality ... in this case as you mention the false modesty of reverse snobbery of an intellectually elitist mindset.
2 days ago
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 170
Eric Galvin •

My instinct is to say that politics, religion and spirituality do hang together, not least for really effective leaders.

The old statement about leaders doing the right thing and managers doing things right illustrates niocely the difficulties we encounter and individuals, communities and nations if we try to draw rigid boundaries between these three aspects of human life. To a much greater extent that is accepted by some the value systems underpinning our view of liberal democracy have their origins in the religious and spiritual aspects of our lives. The position is particularly acute in the UK as one of the most secular countries in the world - far more so that any other developed economy. Real leaders if they are to be effective need to be able to connect with the spiritual aspects of people's lives and the religious beliefs that motivate them. This goes much futher that the mercenary self seeking and cynical motivation that dominate some views of the world. In my work in the public and third sectors a I am constantly amazed by the drive and motivation of people at all levels and in amnay professional and occupational groups- something that is rarely matched by monetary or similar rewards.

I would like to argue that adopting a strict separation would lead to a more fractured, unjust and bigoted society; less innovation, greater unhappiness and a reduced sense of well being.

That probably enough of a rant from me. Many thanks for raising such an interesting topic.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 171
Michelle Thomasson •

In a secular society these three conceptual frameworks can appear separate because we have developed a set of cultural norms to deal with partitioned lives, we even use different types of language for each.

However, as Eric mentioned, underlying theses areas of our lives are our motives, but what are they and where do they come from, do enough people ask themselves that question? Are our motives / hopes / ideals shaped by a set of religious beliefs (some as a menu card given to you according to where you where born), a dominant social paradigm, the politics of the day, trust in the empirical or more realistically a mixture of all of these. So trying to totally separate them out would be like an illusion.

It is a soul searching question Francis because it probes us to analyse the source of the ideology that guides us and if there is to be significant social change how does that happen without a personal change...
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 172
Alejandro Correa Rueda •

Michelle - I agree with you that that there should be a personal change. But I think it is very complicated, not all such people are willing to this sacrifice for a matter of selfishness, convenience and comfort. Maybe the basis (or solution) of the problem is education. We have to start from zero.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 173
Maarten Rector •

To keep this as simple as possible we can say that Politics is an entirely different concept than Religion and Spirituality. The last two - I admit it is a bit tricky to say this about spirituality, but it is safe to say for this argument that they both - suppose that there is something out of this world; they suppose a dualism and some form of believe that often is accompanied with certain values, or even norms. Politics is different because it is of this world and has to do with a process whereby groups of people make collective decisions. The connection with the two other categories becomes crystal-clear when we note that to govern people they must come into agreement about the norms and values they share and want to put in practice. Also note that norms and values can be profane as Michelle noted. In other words our question here is a normative question and people will disagree about this question whatever (rational) argument is put forward. Better is to ask how different believe-systems can work together to promote humane solutions, as for example in politics.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 174
Adam Butler •

Politics and religion (and money) are those things one is not supposed to talk about. One reason for this, I think, is because of the contradictions associated with each. Can anyone be "pure" enough to say they are 100% Liberal or 100% Catholic or 100% Free Marketeer? I don't think so. A Libertarian, for example, will inevitably have boundaries, so too the Catholic or Free Marketeer. It is because of these boundaries and contradictions that politics, religion and spirituality MUST go together and as Maarten has said "Better is to ask how different believe-systems can work together" so that we don't have wars, so that we don't have struggles for basic living standards, so that all peoples have the opportunity to be healthy and educated.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 175
Jim Caldwell •

Science, Democratic Politics, Nature and Religion all purport to put truth in the role of arbitrator among various beliefs and perspectives. In the end, nature is the final judge. Dogma is the enemy of progress in any endeavor. This seems self evident. Therefore anyone who, in the name of science, democracy, or religion insists on dogma regardless of the measured facts is self-destructive. Unfortunately some scientists, politicians and religious spokespeople do their own members a disservice by promoting dogma instead of reasoned dialogue and a search for truth. All great religions were inspired by a larger vision of unity with all creation and a search for unity. Science is also inspired by a search for deeper understanding based on measured observation and practical results. Politics, as Aristotle and many others have observed, work best when honest dialoge is guided by a enlightened self interest: a search for a common good which also serves individuals, families and communities.

One critical observation of science in history is that the greatest breakthroughs in human progress have been made by people who have changed professions, cultural contexts or moved to another ecosystem. In order to promote innovation and healthy progress, we must promote diversity in everything as long as it is not destructive of social harmony. Therefore, I will argue that politics, religion, economics and spirituality must work together in a dynamic tension to spur creative thinking and action. Once they are separated too far, each is deprived of the insights the other can offer.
Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 176
Adam Butler •

Great post Jim...particularly like the "dynamic tension to spur creative thinking and action." Reminds me of something from the book "5th Discipline." Are you able to point me to the Aristotle reference...wouldn't mind giving it a read.
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