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Re: [NOVA-Atheists] UU churches

From: Woody L.
Sent on: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:43 AM
Something new for atheists?

and  my today conclusion

After reading very interesting and touching information about UU and atheists experience, I am coming to conclusion that only atheists community does not exist. They are individuals who are meeting for an education purpose or common action if any.  I am member of 10 secular and related organisations and I do not have feeling to be members as UU current or past member feeling is according to your information.

I am "feeling" membership more as PPTC bicycling community than secular. I tried with NV Ethical Society but for me it resembles a regular church or spiritual institution not enough rational and scientific for me but I can be wrong.  If I will have children now the NoVES program would be good for me. Probably my interests to participate in any organization is more politically than ethical. 

I like them all but not yet identification as mine. I must do something concrete together to be included in community and get appropriate feeling of inclusion. 

I am identifying more with Wingrovs' actions and Festivus as well as Secular Coalition of America but still do not understand only education goal or talks in WASH, AHA, and Skeptics or other meetings for drinking and talking about everything but not about others actions or meetings in our area or ouside.

Why if a new person will show up for meetings organizer/coordinator will speak only about her/his group not about 9 others.  

All organizations should be listed in one booklet with names of people who can answer and try to help as any social organization is structured to help develop proper contact and assistance from secular organizations.  Any UU place has such options but strict secular groups not yet. 

What is a solution for secularists and what do you think about?

Woody Lipinski

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM, Janelle <[address removed]> wrote:
I definitely agree that people can have amazing community in places outside of churches, but that often requires staying in one place for a long time.  As a former military spouse, when I did manage to create it, it would be pulled away from me every few years.  When the military was no longer a part of my life, I was at a loss as to where to find a place and it just happened that I wandered into the UU before some other type of place.  Perhaps if I'd found a totally secular organization, I'd have never needed the UU.  But, as I said, I have often found intolerance and atheist fundamentalism in atheist groups that is not to my taste.  I do not feel as safe in those groups as I do at the UU - again, this has just been my personal experience and is not a judgment on atheist groups which I think are vital for our community.  And I have never gotten a casserole from my non-UU atheist friends when I was sick like I have from my UU atheist and non-atheist friends.  It really is all about the casseroles.


An Imperfect Google Translator translation from Polish language!

"It's hard on a consistent atheist. There are those who believe in salvation." What next for religion? [INTERVIEW],103085,13101833,_Trudno_o_konsekwentnego_ateiste__Bywaja_tacy__ktorzy.html

The atheists, who believe that the death of "something" about religion, which once was a "canopy" and now resembles the "umbrella" of whether Christianity is "too old", and Europe, which behaves like a child, cutting themselves off from their Christian roots - an interview with a sociologist of religion, prof. Irena Borowik (*).

Carolina Głowacka: Can you imagine a world without religion?

Prof. Irena Borowik: It all depends on how we understand it. It is related to religion after layer of privacy and existential questions about the meaning of life and death. Sociologists call it "the ultimate problems of human existence." But there is a layer of institutionalized human development because all religions receive some form of organized. 
Often we hear, "I believe in God, but I do not recognize the Church." - sociologist Grace Davie coined a metaphor for the supporting situation in Western Europe: "Believing without Belonging" (believing without belonging - ed.) I believe in God, or understood differently in some form of transcendence is not accompanied by a sense of belonging and the need to meet the requirements imposed by institutional religion. In this respect, Europe is unique. In most countries private religiosity is associated with participation in organized forms a much greater extent.

Today, religion has to deal with the already widely recognized theory of evolution. Darwin showed that unusual, complicated man does not need the creation of a perfect being, that we have evolved from very simple organisms. Excellence is no longer necessary. Therefore changed our approach to religion.

- not just Darwin. Even before the ideas of the Enlightenment social thought put into fresh air. It turned out that human freedom can not only perform as freedom of religion, but also as freedom from religion. 
And the atheists are free from religion? - the atheist's problem. Not an ideologically coherent group, as it sometimes shows. They are very diverse and so far the least studied. Among them are the so-called. hard atheist. These are the people who consistently take all the consequences of the claim that they do not believe in God. Yet studies, including mine and my co-workers have shown that many of them are not so consistent. Some - after the initial declaration that they do not believe in God and do not need it - in reply to another question admitted that they belong to churches or believe in some form of sacredness, and even salvation. Some felt that death is not the end of everything. 

I feel that being fully consistent atheist is extremely intellectually challenging. In this result, one can discover the utter emptiness. Then questions about the meaning of life becomes extremely difficult. Maybe that's why atheists tend to be those miękcy: "I do not believe, but do not rule." - That's it. Already talked about the issue of death and final questions. It is inscribed in human life and the same question will be valid until the man will be there, regardless of the changing forms of response. many atheists really appreciate the faith. Its functions. In fact, mainly attacking the clergy and the Church. They are indeed very many legitimate reasons - even if the problem of the occurrence of the Church. In Poland it is in unheard difficulties, which for many is difficult to accept. I consistently reject apostates - you can tell - the entire religion, religion as such. As a doctrine, as a set of propositions about reality and man, as a science ethics, as an organization. They are very consistent. Well, it is not surprising that the question of why so easy to become a member of the Church - being baptized as an unconscious child - and it's so hard to leave? The more that are still churches that share the baptism of adults, because it is assumed that a person must consciously make a decision. In Poland, the number of atheists and people of religion detached slightly increased. It became evident that the declaration of atheism may be politically viable. Palikot Movement (anty-church party in Polish Parlament) gives the opportunity to express their views attacking the Roman Catholic Church and proposed to move away from its value. 's not a coincidence that the Palikot Movement voted mostly young people and residents of big cities. It is in these groups, the most developed forms of atheism.

 Laïcité in prosperous societies is inevitable? How is the fear of God, and as there is no fear ... - Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart conducted an interesting analysis on the basis of research in 80 countries around the world. They found that wherever the security level associated with national income, economy, living conditions is low, religiosity is high. So is religion must wither as wealth in the country? As shown in the example of the United States, I do not. This is not such a simple matter, because in many cases, the story is more important than economic processes. This is what happens in the U.S., where religious life connected with the history of colonization, political pluralism and a religious competition that lies at the heart of the American nation and the state. There claims of religious faith are strongly linked with the history of the national, proud to be an American, and American philosophy of life. In this way, the United States, being a country of very advanced technology and rich feature high religiosity and its strong presence in the public sphere. It is no coincidence that the newly elected presidents in their inaugural speeches refer to God.
Another thing that you can even see consumerism as a religion. So there is always a religion, but not necessarily in the traditional forms. But generally meets the needs of society. 

This is probably in Japan, a country steeped in pop culture and capitalism. - In Japan, religion is not as strong as in the United States. In fact, the country's popular culture is important. religiosity There is absolutely eclectic. Therefore, for example, New Age trends are put on a very fertile ground. Interestingly, the religion for example, is used as part of the adaptability of workers in the new place of work . Organized for them meditation. Also the business is saturated with religious elements, it all but it is not institutionalized. In the U.S., the situation is quite different, because there is institutionalized religion strong. However, leaders are not just institutions, which is very strong religious communities, especially within Protestantism. Highly integrated, for example, are Mormons. 
Religion always had a community, but I think this role is no longer valid ... - Religion historically served two main functions: it integration, connecting people through shared sacred, and legitimizing - justified the social order and man's place in world by reference to the sacred and medial institutions, such as churches. In modern societies this function failed. Religion is the same subsystem as politics, culture and science. In traditional societies, religion govern the social order. Outstanding sociologist Peter Berger wrote in 1967 about religion as a "sacred canopy". The "canopy" in the past stretched over all forms of human activity. Both individual and collective. I joke that religion today is more similar to an umbrella ... But how religion works in individual, is another matter. For one person can be a source of meaning for all life, for another - only the cultural value. in Poland, regardless of the changes, the level of belonging to the Roman Catholic Church remains between 90-95 per cent. When we look closely at this, it appears that a considerable proportion declaring themselves Catholic religion has cultural value, not a source of meaning and meaning to life. 

Unbelievers practitioner. - These are the Cultural Catholics. The non-practicing believers tend to be deeply religious internally but reluctant Church, which have much to complain about. 

So in modern societies is more faith in God, and less in religion? - You could say that. This is evident for example in the wider mainstream New Age and, not accidentally fashionable, speaking about religion in terms of spirituality. Spirituality is a capacious concept that houses both forms of related institutions, as well as a completely individual, lived in the "inner world . "

 Many philosophers have said that religion is rooted in death, so religion, like death, will always be. - All religions give institutional response to the experience of death, is a very important part of the doctrine. Provide answers to questions that relate to the experience of mystery, anxiety, uncertainty as to the fate of man after death. With all this, what can not be rationalized. horizon in the current human knowledge and ideas can not see that the problem of death is gone. Therefore, this issue has been and will be important for a man. Is the core of almost all religions, but religion secular because they are such.

This institutional religions. And the spirituality of purely private, "self-improvement", also has its roots in the fear of death?

- Certainly. I strongly believe that the fact of death is one of the most important themes of all human creative activities.
 Firmly said. - But it is. Because there is existentially man to death. This fact is related not only to religion but also to issues of identity. A man asks himself about what he is, what are the limits of his existence, what is the value of life. The way in which one sees his own life, crystallized towards this ultimate horizon, which is death. 

You spoke of the interest in spirituality, New Age fashion. It looks a bit as if the gods borrowed from the East. Is the crisis of Christianity stems from the fact that for 2000 years some symbols are worn out? The problem of Christianity stems from the fact that it is too old? - I do not think it was a matter of "old age". But Eastern religions are older than Christianity. 

Course, but for us Europeans are still somewhat fresh and exotic. - It's true. Except that those religions also have their own ground well. Here, rather, in terms of the particular line of development in Europe. The values ​​that are prized in Europe and other civilizations that do not play nearly as big a role such as freedom and human rights. These fundamental to Europe's values ​​are rooted in Christianity. lies in the deep paradox - because these values ​​have evolved in a direction that denies itself the source. This was clearly seen during the discussion on the EU constitution, especially the reference to 

Christianity as the source of European values ​​in the preamble. From many perspectives, not only from the prolaickiej France, was a very strong resistance against any recourse to Christianity. Europe in its development is a little like a child who is seeking to be independent, to build an image of itself, at some point in denying it, the What emerged. Building its identity as something completely independent, just like a child as opposed to the parents, and here - to the value of the old world.

 Islam, today, a very strong, experienced a period of great stagnation. Christianity can go a similar path? Christianity has a strong chance to recover from years ago? - If the chance is, it must be associated with something completely new, so far unknown. therefore that the great strength of Christianity was to connect with the sacred power of secular government. I suppose such a strong pattern of relationships in a democracy there is no chance to repeat. However, if you get out of Europe and the wider look at Christianity, is see that the trends are developing very rapidly. In Latin America, Pentecostalism saints huge success. It is a stream of Christianity, the "attraction" is not a religious organization so strong as enthusiastic and very emotional pattern of piety. It has no such conflict between religion and the personal experience of breaks, which impose a personal experience of institutionalization, in large part steeped in routine. 

Recalls the image of the very beginning of Christianity. - Right. Why Islam is so strong? - mainly for one reason. In contrast to Europe, sacred sphere has not been separated from the political sphere. There continues to be closely linked to the area of religion, politics, the legitimacy of the policy sphere of the sacred, the Koran, the references to Allah and religious values. 

And what about the religions of the East? They are strong, but they are associated with the policy. It does not match the reasons why Islam is the religion of the strong and weakens Christianity. - Good question. It seems to me that the religions of the East is a very strong element of folklore. Eastern society is very traditional.
Hinduism and Buddhism are religions that only from the perspective of Europeans are highly philosophical. This form is dominated by only among the elite, but he is still the size of the people ... Power duration of the folk forms of religion, paradoxically, may be due to the fact that religious institutions are not there so much structurally entrenched, as in the case of Christian Europe. It is, so to speak, soft sacredness management. 

Speak all the time about the great religions, but then there are thousands of small cults. Maybe now it will increase their strength? - We think that modern times are unique. The truth is that on the outskirts of the dominant religious traditions have always been a diverse group. At the time when Christianity from Judaism loomed, similar revolutionary groups were very much. And this raises the interesting question: what drives the success of a particular religion? What social processes, which features the same religion make a small sect of it grows to a great religious tradition and becomes a universal religion, engulfing much of the human population? 

Hundred percent compatible with the social climate? Probably for this reason Christianity has continued to expand in Latin America. - popularly so to speak. Just as transcribe the "social climate"? Sociologists say that the type of society and the type of religion are closely related. Forms of religion must match the type of society. Only the right type of society can take root specific religious ideas - where they express the essential needs of the members of society and the development needs of society itself. On the other hand, you can look at religion and internal processes of development of religion itself. Rodney Stark is an American sociologist, argued that one of the reasons for the great success of the Christian religion was that she recognized the woman as such, and that the women were carriers of the success of Christianity. This cause is of course only a tiny stone in the garden. Weber, for example, shows that Christianity derived from Judaism, reflecting the interests of certain social classes. Who else was God for a warrior. Someone else for the priest, and someone else for a carpenter . 

Disguised form of polytheism? - not necessarily polytheism. Macro scale Weber described very accurately what you see in any type of society. The Saint-Exupéry said that the person operating the temple of love for God comes down to light the candles ... They both had something similar in mind. conception of God depends on many factors. On a macro level, we consider the great social processes and consider society as a whole big diverse, micro - individual cases. Studies confirm that it understands how God, as you see him in relation to each other, depends not only on the inside of religion but also on the external characteristics, such as the environment. Another concept of God will have a people of the parish in Podhale (Polish Mountains), and other members of the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia in Krakow . 

Returning to the integrating role of religion in society ... Thus does the right-wing attachment to religion, especially the very strong institutional ritualized? - This phenomenon is very complex. In Central and Eastern Europe can be seen, what is the strength of religious mobilization, especially religious fundamentalism. Fundamentalism combined with a way of understanding Scripture. Studies confirm that the person operating the mainstream fundamentalist religion in favor of a literal reading of the Bible. This in turn is associated with a way to describe and understand the world. The fundamentalist groups dominated sacral rooted sense that reality is either white or black, on one side is good, the other evil. The people are divided into true and genuine Catholic Poles and the false. The great strength of fundamentalist movements, not just Christian, usually a dualistic vision of reality. superimposed on this structure are also political relations and national consciousness. Religion then full mobilization function, unifying fundamentalist religious symbols around which extend its meaning. Do not apply anymore to the religious sphere, but are transferred to the realm of politics, national values, the cultural sphere. 

TOR. militant atheists attacking religion as something completely parochial and old-fashioned. It seems that the saying "this is not grew up to reject religion." It seems to me terribly unfair. - This is how religion was under attack by communism. But I have not met with similar claims. Studies show atheists something rather the opposite. As I mentioned - a radical thought in this regard apostates. Well, interestingly enough, are a group of atheists who knows a lot about religion. This is not the case. They have yet to answer the questions that believers often do not place yourself. 
Remind me of the words of a familiar atheist: "It is extremely important to me, in which I do not believe God." - It's very clever. What's more, many atheists on religion as a faith speaks with the utmost respect. They see the positive social functions circle to fit the two American sociologists Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge, who in the introduction to his book wrote that although they are unable to share that in a society which is usually called religion, but they believe religious society that is better than the one in which religion would be absent. They emphasized the value of religion in a way that extreme.

 * Professor. Irena Borowik is affiliated with the Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian (Krakov) University, where he directs the Laboratory for the Study of Religion Social and teaches sociology of religion.

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