Sorry if you felt I neglected your comments, quite the contrary, I was pleased with them. It's just that I don't have time to write too much. Unless you find evidence against it, you can always assume my silence is a result of being busy.
I will agree with you that knowledge does give people power. My only thought is that I would rather power be held by people who must give evidence for their claims ... than by people who believe in an invisible entity pulling our strings for the interest of providing a "moral" society. Either way you cut the mustard, rational thought (or the "illusion" thereof) will always win out when compared with superstition.
Oh, I couldn't agree more with this. I think society has evolved a lot in that sense. The only problem I see is that there's still a lot of "superstition" going on masqueraded as rational thought. It's just we have a new name for it, we call them "theories"
"Anyone claiming to know about God who never died is, in my opinion, a liar."
That is a bold statement - I love it. People who claim that God talks to them have always seemed a little shady. Why them and not me. I don't think "God" plays favorites and I certainly don't think it cares who wins the super bowl.
Not so fast! I'm not as bold as I appear to be, I only give the illusion of boldness. Mind you, it's always possible that my definition of "death" is a bit different from yours.
"I'd rather say that religious devotion is a by-product of deep questioning and contemplation."
Is that possible? Contemplation about something that may or may not be the biggest farce ever foisted upon humankind does not seem very noble.
I'm a bit lost here. Here are two definitions of "contemplation" from Merriam-Webster:
1a : concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion b: a state of mystical awareness of God's being
2: an act of considering with attention
I think I'm talking about 1 while you're talking about 2. Funny how a single word can seem to mean two opposite things
I don't think anyone who is a devout religous practitioner has ever had a deep thought, if so, they surely wouldn't be devout. In my estimation, deep thought and blind faith can never go hand in hand.
You know, I used to think like that too. I thought religion was nonsensical and boring, that no one in their right mind should waste their time with it. But then I learned something. And today I understand that religion is not what it seems to be for people who do not understand it.
One day I was talking about sports with a friend who doesn't like any of it. He said all sports are stupid, and gave one example. "Look at football", he said, "a bunch of grown men fighting each other over the possession a ball. Does that make any sense? Why not give each one a ball of their own and stop the nonsense?"
If you think my friend is missing something, I can tell you for sure the same applies for people who dismiss religion.
Thank you for treating my response with a dignified response of your own.
Thanks for calling my response "dignified". I don't think that highly of myself.