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Switch to Forum Live View The Religion of Healthy Mindedness
5 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2009 - 4:27PM #1
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

William James characterized religions into two groups:

1. The religion of healthy mindedness

2. The religion of the sin sick soul. 

The first sees human nature as essentially good (not corrupt), a source for goodness, and charity.  They believe human nature and the biological process has the potential to uncover and reinforce "healthy" adaptive behavior. 

The second sees human nature, and all of creation, as essentially corrupt, needing redemption.  He also called this group "the religion of the twice born".  They believe something external needs to save or restore humanity.  The image of God in people has been "damaged".  Humans, according to this view, need to be given a "new nature" (a new birth).  Occasional examples of human goodness are believe to be what remains from the "original" nature, imprinted by God, but later corrupted by human sin.

The foundational idea for "the religion of the sin sick soul" is the creation myth and the Fall. Genocide, war, rape, child abuse, and other examples of human malfeasance reinforces this "mindset".   In spite of the evidence undermining the foundational dogma, this form of religion will point to human failings and perversions as evidence that human nature is inherently corrupt.  They are comforted in their idea that God will "fix it all", if they stay faithful to these ideas, "to the end". The price they pay for this comfort is cognitive dissonance. 

Some in this group will use a fundamentalist argument, denying science, or deny the contradictions found in their traditions.  Some will find comfort in not being "atheists" and nihilists" and throwing disparaging remarks against those who do not close ranks against the "heretics".

Progressive Christianity is the religion of healthy mindedness.  We do not deny human failings, but we see these as self correcting over time.  The forces that brought us religion, morality, and ethics are natural forces.  The biocentric nature of these (optimal life supporting behaviors) will naturally crowd out (but never eliminate fully) the destructive behaviors that may arise in our nature. This is our Good News!


Well I hope this self-correcting feature kicks in pretty soon!  There is no evidence of it in the twentieth century, some of the highlights of which I list below:

    * Armenians in Turkey:     1915-1918     1,500,000 Deaths
    * Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933     7,000,000 Deaths
    * Rape of Nanking:           1937-1938       300,000 Deaths
    * Nazi Holocaust:              1938-1945    6,000,000 Deaths
    * Mao's Forced Famine:    1958-1961  40,000,000 Deaths
    * Pol Pot in Cambodia:      1975-1979    2,000,000 Deaths
    * Rwanda:                         1994                800,000 Deaths
    * Bosnia-Herzegovina:      1992-1995       200,000 Deaths

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2009 - 4:27PM #2
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

William James characterized religions into two groups:

1. The religion of healthy mindedness

2. The religion of the sin sick soul. 

The first sees human nature as essentially good (not corrupt), a source for goodness, and charity.  They believe human nature and the biological process has the potential to uncover and reinforce "healthy" adaptive behavior. 

The second sees human nature, and all of creation, as essentially corrupt, needing redemption.  He also called this group "the religion of the twice born".  They believe something external needs to save or restore humanity.  The image of God in people has been "damaged".  Humans, according to this view, need to be given a "new nature" (a new birth).  Occasional examples of human goodness are believe to be what remains from the "original" nature, imprinted by God, but later corrupted by human sin.

The foundational idea for "the religion of the sin sick soul" is the creation myth and the Fall. Genocide, war, rape, child abuse, and other examples of human malfeasance reinforces this "mindset".   In spite of the evidence undermining the foundational dogma, this form of religion will point to human failings and perversions as evidence that human nature is inherently corrupt.  They are comforted in their idea that God will "fix it all", if they stay faithful to these ideas, "to the end". The price they pay for this comfort is cognitive dissonance. 

Some in this group will use a fundamentalist argument, denying science, or deny the contradictions found in their traditions.  Some will find comfort in not being "atheists" and nihilists" and throwing disparaging remarks against those who do not close ranks against the "heretics".

Progressive Christianity is the religion of healthy mindedness.  We do not deny human failings, but we see these as self correcting over time.  The forces that brought us religion, morality, and ethics are natural forces.  The biocentric nature of these (optimal life supporting behaviors) will naturally crowd out (but never eliminate fully) the destructive behaviors that may arise in our nature. This is our Good News!


Well I hope this self-correcting feature kicks in pretty soon!  There is no evidence of it in the twentieth century, some of the highlights of which I list below:

    * Armenians in Turkey:     1915-1918     1,500,000 Deaths
    * Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933     7,000,000 Deaths
    * Rape of Nanking:           1937-1938       300,000 Deaths
    * Nazi Holocaust:              1938-1945    6,000,000 Deaths
    * Mao's Forced Famine:    1958-1961  40,000,000 Deaths
    * Pol Pot in Cambodia:      1975-1979    2,000,000 Deaths
    * Rwanda:                         1994                800,000 Deaths
    * Bosnia-Herzegovina:      1992-1995       200,000 Deaths

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2009 - 4:40PM #3
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264
You've asked all knowledgeable people?  I think not!

Myself, I'd pick Song Dynasty China or 8th Century Byzantium anyday.

A correspondent to the Economist magazine one chose 9th Century Germany and noted:

"For those who say that life in those days was nasty, brutish, and short, all I can say is that nowadays the nastiness and brutishness is prolonged far too long."

Today we might have gee-whiz technology and prolonged life spans, but the culture isn't worth a bucket of warm spit, IMHO.  Where is the great poetry and music?  People don't even read anymore.
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 6:54PM #4
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

I bet the correspondent was a male. 

Would any woman still reading this thread want to share her POV about our cuture's treatment of women veres any ancient period?

I have two daughters,  I am glad they live in a culture where they can dream the dreams of any man! 

Progressive Christians have led and are leading the civil rights, woman's rights, and Gay and Lesbian rights movements. 

Thankfully today women aren't exhorted to be silent and learn at home from their husbands.


So what?  I have different standards as to what makes a society good.

What makes your opinion of what is good better than mine. 

And I don't think our culture teaches women anything worthwhile, i.e. "The Bachelor", "Sex and the City", etc.  Or the men for that matter.

But that's just my opinion.  And I think I qualify as a knowledgeable person.  It is just there is no objective standards as to what qualifies as a good society, as I'm sure you'll acknowledge.

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 9:41AM #5
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

Pluralism does not deny that there is truth or morality ( right and wrong behavior).

Progressive Christians are Pluralists.  We realize that truth is ascertained and communicated through one's community.

I believe Jesus is the savior of the world.  I believe this while I understand that I know this through my communal experience.  I am a father of two girls.  This is an experience that informs me, but not more than my community's culture, which informs my value of all people.

Therefore I may judge another person's actions and opinions, but I realize that this judgement may reflect my values (not the other person's).  Civil rights are now widely considered a universal right. So modernity is a cultural phenomenon that is rapidly changing how we value the contribution of all people. The full application of this value will require women to have equal access to all roles in society (including ministry).

I am sorry for the repeat.  I know I have said this before in different ways.  I thought it may be helpful to state it again. :)


Thank for the repeat.  Yes, modern culture values things like feminism.  But Song dynasty China was wise enough to know that the sexes are different and have different roles in the good society.  Do you really think any Song dynasty women would envy 21st C. American women?  I would think not!  I suspect they would be appalled at feminism and our culture in general.  Their culture was after all Taoist.

And here I think they knew an "Eternal Transcultural Truth" that modernity has forgotten, or rather gotten rid of in the name of Progress.  And when modernity collapses because it is out of step with the Tao, then maybe this ETT will be rediscovered.

The real, objective, truth is that modern societies don't reproduce themselves.  European populations are collapsing and Italians will become a minority in Italy in a few  generations if present trends continue.

This can be seen also in the demographic collapse of the Flatline Churches, which as Bishop Schori has pointed out, are shrinking mainly because their members don't have children.

Modern Progressive Christianity is profoundly anti-biocentric.  It doesn't promote the generation of new biocenters!

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 5:29PM #6
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

This is a global phenomenon related to economic and social changes. The same statistic are true of the RCC in the USA, which offsets their membership decline among the same ethnic populations as the Mainline Protestants, by the addition of new immigration of RCs from Latin America (whom have even higher birth rates).

The Orthodox Church is also impacted, as this USA Today article below indicates. Here is an excerpt about the decline of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land: [Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Holy Land ]"Theofilos, ... his flock of now 90,000 keeps shrinking, as do the other Christian denominations hit by emigration and relatively low birth rates"

The full article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2008-04-26-3511944583_x.htm

Yes, but the Orthodox Church and the RCC don't like it, unlike Progressive Christians.

Traditional Christians certainly feel the baleful influences of the modern world, but we fight against them.  Progressive Christians embrace them, just because they are modern.

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 8:47PM #7
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

KevinPONeill wrote:

Please help me understand what you mean. What do Progressives like and embrace?

Birth control?

The diminution of our ethnic group?

The decline in Church membership?

What do you Traditionalists fight against?

Technology?

The application of technology?


In this context: Feminism, both times.

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 10:56PM #8
Stardove
Posts: 14,543

SeraphimR wrote:

Yes, but the Orthodox Church and the RCC don't like it, unlike Progressive Christians.

Traditional Christians certainly feel the baleful influences of the modern world, but we fight against them.  Progressive Christians embrace them, just because they are modern.


But since you are not a Progressive Christian, how pray tell do you know what we feel or think? :confused:

The Times They Are A Changing

Have a listen.  ;)

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.


Beliefnet Community Wide Moderator ~ Peace Love Stardove
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Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified in return, and that you are in no way responsible for it. ACIM

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 10:14AM #9
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,264

stardove wrote:

But since you are not a Progressive Christian, how pray tell do you know what we feel or think? :confused:


Stardove:

I know because I read Progressive Christian writings, observe their deeds, and am currently engaging in dialogue!  Don't be so pessimistic;  communication is possible.

(I found Wm. James' lectures on the "Religion of Healthy Mindedness.  Very interesting.  Did you know he identified a pathological form of the RoHM?)

And anyway, I grew up in the sixties, marched against the war (Exorcism of the Pentagon '67), lived for a spell in the Shambala of the 60's, Berkeley CA.

And I am a bona fide Veteran of the Sexual Revolution.

So I think I am qualified to know what you think and feel,

I can criticize what I do understand.

And I'll add my own poetic quote:

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us
An' ev'n Devotion.


Robert Burns

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 9:54PM #10
Benediction
Posts: 4

KevinPONeill wrote:

I think the point is that only women can "speak to" what a Patriarchal Worldview is like for them.

Only women can "speak to" what a Patriarchal worldview is like for them?  What about empathy?  How else will we be able to "talk to" each other?
 
Therefore unfettered participation and contribution, based on ability and current human need (not ancient tribal power rules) is the best way to assure human progress.

Unfettered participation of all people (male, female, black, white, red, yellow, gay straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc) is the best way to assure human progress!

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