Re: Religious Variation [Was " Biological = trivial?"]

Edward W. Farrell (ewf@INREACH.COM)
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 21:15:51 -0700

Mike Shupp writes:

Well, he said weakly, yes. Isn't this missing a little something?
Like the idea of a "living faith"?

Herman Kahn, at one point, talking about the decay of the numinous
in everyday life (actually
he called it "the long term secular multiform trend" but it's the
same thing), mentioned his
grandfather, a man who literally "walked with God." According to
Kahn, the old man began
discussing the day ahead with God as soon as he was out of bed,
found time during the day
to carry on his chat, and wrapped up things in the evening with an
extensive commentary
before he went to bed. And, Kahn added, "he had a strength of
character that I for one can never equal. His was the faith that
will move mountains."

Skeptical, cynical, doubting, disbelieveing, unbelieving an agnostic
as I am, I do have to point out that religion is complicated stuff,
and that it can _use_ ritual to produce non-ritualized responses.
I suspect our species has worked just as hard at elaborating religious
belief and behavior as it has at technology and for many of the same
reasons-- it improves life.

(Not to pick on your post in any way. I just think religion is a
harder topic to discuss than people want to imagine.)

Except for love of theorizing, we could stop the thread here. From
my corner, this is the bottom line anyway, said truly and without

Edward W. Farrell