Brand Wars

http://www.politico.eu/article/wahhabi-religious-nationalism-turns-ugly-mecca/

http://religiondispatches.org/how-marketers-invented-old-time-religion/

My oft-repeated comment on topics like this is that we have no idea of how recently modified-in-major-ways were all of the institutions we view as traditional.

Schools traditional? Changed last Thursday.

Forms change, names stay the same.  People comment on the form change when it happens, and then it becomes normal and the attributes of the name stay largely the same.

Amish can claim support from traditions because they intentionally froze their social and economic system and don’t allow it to change, but not anyone else.

I attribute many of the problems of the modern world, e.g. the rate of young men trying to kill as many people as possible, to the institution’s forcing people to conform, rather than vv.  Schools are terrible for children.

And, btw, I am not at all anti-religious.  I am against, however, any belief that asserts it is real, as that sets up conflicts that can’t be resolved by rational people talking and experimenting, the two positions are incommensurate.  Religion and concepts of God have been simplified in modern times, read Karen Armstrong.

Believe what benefits you, it can be completely disconnected from any external reality, but be a significant part of your life and prospects, a basis of your community. But you have to keep it there, a belief. If you begin asserting the reality of your Holy Book even in your own community, you will have problems.  Assert that reality for others, you have established a conflict between you.  Unwise, I believe.

We can only deal with each other as rational humans when we agree to base our understandings on that external reality, when we make it the arbiter of all things. Having done so, we have a language for effective and efficient exchange of thoughts, can anticipate each other because we know what the other thinks about most things.

As a problem-avoiding mechanism, it is hard to beat simple, clear, honest communication in a positive-sum relationship.

In my engineer’s understanding of things, a religion is a piece of human social creation just like schools or any other social meme-complex, and one can be a believer on Sunday in church a valued member of your community, and a sociologist studying Religion Monday AM at work.  There is not even any need for cognitive dissonance, they are two entirely different entities with entirely different functions in your life, the religion you experience in a church service with family and community vs the religion you study, even if you are analyzing a tape of the service where you were sitting in a pew.

 

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