November 5 2017 1st First Sunday Monthly Service on "What Is Religion For?"

Postings about each monthly service includes topics discussed and an open forum to further discuss those topics.
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November 5 2017 1st First Sunday Monthly Service on "What Is Religion For?"

Post by tim »

Our Moment of Science was a mind-blowing account of the gravity waves detected this past August from the collision of two neutron stars that occurred, earth-time, back in the Cretaceous era. The new ability to see these sorts of events in the universe opens up new vistas of understanding. And so, in our day-to-day lives, seeing things that we didn't pay attention to before can help us learn and grow in our life's journey.

In beginning to consider the question of "What is Religion For" we viewed excerpt of a video of Oprah Winfrey interviewing long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad in which Ms. Winfrey put Ms. Nyad on the defensive and made the latter feel as if she had to defend her very humanity. So religion is clearly still "for" creating divisiveness and fueling an "us versus them" sort of tribalism.

We then considered "What Is Religion For" from the standpoint of a variety of things
- religion as a way of making sense of the world and humanity's first effort at philosophy and science
- religion as a tool of social and political control
- religion as a claimed basis for morality - and why that is so wrong!
- religion as an existential comfort

but mostly, going forward, until the day when superstition is finally and deservedly abandoned:

- religion as how we come to grips with the "qualia" of our experiences through the imperfect descriptions - including mythic storytelling - of what it is to be human that is "only" in our heads as we experience it and so "outside of" and "beyond" objective reality

The November 2017 bulletin also discusses this question of "What Is Religion For?" which is really the bedrock of what Freethought is all about. And also gives the "birthday of science" according to Isaac Asimov. (which is quite a good idea actually!)

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