Re: Religion and Extropianism...

Holger Wagner (
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 12:16:12 +0100 (MET)

On Mon, 3 Nov 1997, Wesley Schwein wrote:

> Religion is about experience. Most of the sophisticated or "world"
> religions have ethical systems, cosmologies, and various other gewgaws
> bolted on, but the reason you can't argue a religionist into an atheist
> is not a lack of mental ability on their part but because words and clear
> logic simply can't compare to the visceral, tangible, personal experiences
> they've had.

I tend to believe that every (or at least most) religion(s) are BASED on
that. My experience with religion (christian protestant church in
Germany) was completely void of any "experience" - it was just words, and
second-hand information about experience.

> The real question in all of this is, what is the origin of the religious
> experience? and is it necessarily a bad thing from an extropian
> perspective? As someone on this list said a while ago, religions do a lot
> of commendable things; we just don't need the antirational baggage.

Yep, that's exactly the point. But unfortunately, it seems as if the
antirational baggage was one very important motivation for promoting
religion - because it allows certain power structures (when people
believe you)...

> That's one of the things that excites me, too, about the rave phenomenon.
> Lights, rhythm, and all that unleashed tension make for a hell of a
> ego-melting, tribal experience that has _nothing_ to do with dogma,
> philosophy, or propositional thought. It makes me wonder what a
> consensual borganism might be like.

The problem I see is that one could use that in the same manner people
used other "experiences" before. When I look at great parts of the rave
scene today (in Munich, Germany), most of the people that go there, go
because they think it's cool. They pay $30 for a rave with 30 DJs and
5.000 people, just to 'be there'. And many of them don't even smile

Maybe this has just been commercialized - but fortunately, the hype
usually doesn't for to long, then there's no more money in it, and people
who are in it for the money look for something else ;-)