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23 April 2006

The thinking human's religion

In earlier articles I have tried to use quotes from religion to show that religious teachings have relevance outside of the religions themselves, such as discussing the evolution of the web.

However, we need not be religious to believe these things and indeed religion comes with its own baggage. About 2000 years of it, and that's quite a lot of baggage in anyone's Book (old or new testament!). Particularly when the formation of the canon of works known as the Bible is in itself subject to a significant amount of editing. See this Formation of the Canon of the New Testament. This could in part explain the lost books of the bible or an unholy interest in reading The Da Vinci Code. There is also the controversy of the Letters of Christ and Abgurus which despite being allegedly written by Jesus appear prominently in Anglican religion yet are dismissed by Catholics.

Clearly as a book of legends, the Bible is on one level little different from other legends from other ancient cultures such as the salmon of knowledge from Celtic legend. Yet these tales remained as separate works, rather than forming into a religion or a biblical canon.

With religion there is also the contradiction between cannibalism being considered one of the worst sins, yet isn't mentioned in the 10 commandments. Clearly it might cause a problem with communion - or is cannibalism OK if it's Christ's body?

Anyway for a moral slant on life without the religious baggage, why not drop in on the British Humanist Association. Certainly a very interesting read, particularly from the point of view of highlighting inappropriate and unbalanced religious influence in a modern secular society. Particularly relevant also if you want to fight the Intelligent Design / Creationism school of thought that's been pervading certain schools in the US.

Humanism - religion for those who want the message without the baggage.
The thinking person's faith.

If the theory of natural selection is one of the greatest ideas ever, perhaps we should think about how to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth when it comes around on 12th Feb 2009?
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