It seems Dispirited is the basis for this sermon: THE SERMON: listen here…
I have broke (briefly) the re-blog thing: so manual – worth a read nonetheless!
Over at the new Patheos blog, Science on Religion, Connor Wood poses the no longer rhetorical question: “Does religion make us moral?” He presents this question in order to highlight the implications raised by the recent publication of Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, who as Connor notes is an atheist:
It might seem surprising, then, that Bloom has recently published a paper in the Annual Review of Psychology detailing, in part, all the good that religion can do. Religion, Bloom points out, does actually seem to make people more altruistic and generous. Religious people give more to charities than non-religious people, including secular charities. And IRS tax receipts show that states where people are more religious have much higher rates of charitable giving than less religious states. Meanwhile, lab experiments show that participating in religious rituals primes people to be more generous and caring toward one another.
The link is http://irritually.org/2012/06/15/why-we-should-be-cultivating-ritual-not-piety/ – and the rest is worth a look…
More interesting stuff from Justin, on models of thought in Buddhism:
I am often asked “why ‘impose’ Western models of thought on Buddhism?” as if discussing the nature of Buddhist philosophy or ethics is some sort of new colonialist/imperialist activity. The fact is, the Buddha used countless models, analogies, and illustrative examples in his teachings. READ MORE
When I have more energy, I think there is much to be said on how Buddhism engages models of teaching… Till then, I’ll make do with a quote from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta;
I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.
At http://cbatampa.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/but-not-religious.html, Rabbi Jason Rosenberg from Tampa reviews Dispirited.
Below is a flavour of the piece…
There’s always a lot of talk about the idea of being “spiritual but not religious.” It certainly is a fairly common refrain, and it’s no surprise that proponents (and leaders) of organized religion are often against it. I’ll admit to having pretty mixed feelings on the matter*. On the one hand, I’m really not all that eager to attack people who are, more or less, minding their own business. It’s one of the ways in which religious people like myself often allow themselves to engage in mean-spirited pettiness. Not very religious, or spiritual, frankly.
* If you read this blog at all regularly, this should come as no shock to you!
And, maybe more significantly, it’s often not fair. At the very least, it’s using the same broad brush that many of us religious types hate being used on us. I mean, when someone says, “religion is all superstitious nonsense,” I usually protest about the word “all.” It’s manifestly true that some religion is superstitious nonsense. Maybe much of it. READ THE FULL REVIEW…
Another interesting review – it doesn’t wholly agree, but engages with what seem serious questions..