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Posted by M.W.Pearson on March 10, 2002 23:05:47 UTC

I have no objection to criticizing religions
or even to living without them, but for many
it is good to live with them, and here is part of my reasoning why. (This is not to preempt any of your points -- just related commentary)

Please do not blame the problems humans have on books. Humans, like higher primates, most often tend to organize in monolithic social orders based on favors, strategic alliances and tit-for-tat politics. Many of our modern social systems seem to have evolved from nature itself.
The use of currency may have begun with exchanging sacred sticks as a bond of agreement.

The books which describe utopias in the jungle are incomplete...vast tragedies also occur in the natural world.
Organized religion is probably inevitable, being based on the tendency to form hierarchies, and in times since books were invented, some of these are according to still-unmapped forms of emotional pattern recognition.

We can't be positive that some of these are not organized by benevolent energy fields, or THE benevolent energy field... though humans break out and misbehave occasionally enmasse, perhaps without "God's" approval. Sorry if this sounds stupid, but please, another couple of paragraphs to explain.

Secular humanism is best for government only
in an atmosphere of freedom of religion, I think.
Secular humanist government, in the form of quasi-communism, killed about 113 million in the 20th Century, according to Harrison Salisbury, I think, or John King Fairbank -- two of the most distinguished (and politically centrist) historical scholars of the past century)

With dual channels, like Yin and Yang, we ahve somewhere to alternate between. Where it goes wrong is when the religion runs the state education, because THEN, interpretations and modernizations COULD NOT ANY MORE be explored with all the power of the minds God supposedly made. The goodness in fasting, mindfulness, universality and other tenets of Islam must not be rejected because something goes wrong. There have been times when Islam's practitioners preserved some of the vital parts of western civilization -- such as math.
As you probably know !

I trust your intentions and do not fault your statement. I write this message representing only the ideas stated, and not any particular power group.

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