Ronald Haines, Author

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Tag: truth

Religion and Angst in Today’s World

We hear a lot in the news nowadays about the newest religion being no religion at all as many people are abandoning their long held religious beliefs. Established religious doctrine is simply no longer working for them as they try to make sense of the modern world, and the resulting feeling of unrest, angst, is causing a significant religious exodus.

How is it that religions that have been a source of answers and comfort for people for hundreds, in some cases thousands, of years suddenly appear to be broken? Certainly there are multiple and varied reasons on the individual level, but by standing back and taking a big picture look the driving force behind this movement becomes quite clear.  Religions arose concurrently with civilizations in more-or-less homogeneous, stable societies, but societies today are rapidly becoming less homogeneous and people are being exposed to new information and scientific discoveries on an almost daily basis.

While increased knowledge and more information about the world is certainly a positive occurrence, in many cases it has caused people to question what their particular religions may have led them to believe, and this conflict between long held beliefs and current information encourages them to reach out for answers to calm their growing feelings of angst.

People have historically looked to their religions for a sense of comfort, community and a ‘track to run on’ through life, and to give them a sense of who they are relative to the world at large. Unfortunately, when people reach out today in search of answers the traditional solutions offered by their religious leaders frequently results in more angst.  Worse, doing so often compounds it by adding a sense of guilt about this “incorrect thinking” which many find they can do nothing about.  Dissatisfied and not willing to simply stop thinking, these are the people who are leaving their religions in search of something that will be a better fit for them.

But where can they go? As human beings they seek answers to the big questions about life, but what religion exists for the individuals who enjoy free thinking and constantly question the nature of the world around them?

By combining components of the philosophy of existentialism and the religion of humanism, existential humanism offers a solution.  Existential humanism provides the dynamic means to obtaining satisfying answers about life, truth, infinity, and other big questions, which is missing from most traditional religions that remain static in a changing world.  Furthermore, existential humanism is about the individual, and not the religious organization.

To learn more about Existential Humanism go to www.existentialhumanism.com

 

 

 

 

 

Existential Humanism Explained

 

Existential humanism is about enriching an individual’s life by helping to make sense of the world.

Religions provide a sense of belonging, being a part of society as a whole. People often remain with the traditional religion they were raised in, partly so as not to be ostracized from the community they live in.  But there is currently a lot of questioning about traditional religions, the result of us now living in less homogenous societies and being bombarded with new information on an ongoing basis.  And for a growing number people the solutions that traditional religions offer are no longer sufficient for answering their questions about the world as it is today.  This conflict between long held beliefs and current information is resulting in people reaching out for different answers about the world they live in.

In this video I explain how the concept of existential humanism came about and give a short introduction as to what it may accomplish for those who might be seeking a new solution that better fits into the modern world.

By combining components of the philosophy of existentialism and the religion of humanism, existential humanism can provide satisfying answers about life, truth, infinity, and other big questions by providing for a dynamic which is missing from traditional religions.  For many people who have yet to find satisfying answers to their questions of life existential humanism may be the ideal solution: a dynamic religion for those who think and question.

This is not about being critical of any religion, an essential part of this approach is the equal recognition of all religions and the freedom of individuals to follow whatever path they wish.

I conclude this short video with my perspective on life:

Life is wonderful, live it, enjoy it, be a part of it, but don’t diminish it by attempting to give it a reason for existing

Truth is A Transient Axiom

Truth about the world around us can quite easily be defined as the best explanation we have for a situation, that when we apply all of the knowledge available to us, cannot be logically refuted. Since new discoveries are adding to that pool of knowledge on a continual basis, we must accept that today’s truth will only hold until a better explanation comes along, and yesterday’s truth should already be considered suspect.

Truth is therefore both objective and transient, and it is through having an open mind and questioning everything that individuals are free to not only better understand the world they live in, but to also add to the collective knowledge of humanity.

Many people will attempt to make the case that truth is something subjective; stating that what is true for one person is not necessarily true for another. What they are referring to here, however, is not truth but belief.  Believing something to be true is, indeed, a subjective position, but it has little to do with what may actually be true.  Belief in something, especially when that belief is supported by a peer group, may be comforting to a person but it requires that person, that human being, to abdicate thinking.  Such behavior is risky because it may eventually atrophy that person’s ability to reason.

This brings us to a curious human dichotomy regarding the search for truth: while we have the innate drive to ask questions in order to seek out what is true, we also hold steadfastly onto what he have already accepted and seem unwilling to let it go, even in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise.  This is actually a good trait amongst scientists because it ensures that new truths must be well established by repetitive experiment and observation, a process known as scientific proof, before they gain acceptance.  A newly discovered truth is not something that is readily accepted and it must win the argument before rational minds permit it to displace the old thinking.  This process ensures that we don’t randomly flit from one ‘truth’ to another and only advance to the next truth when it has been sufficiently proven.  Certainly, if you examine the fields of mathematics and physics you’ll recognize some truths that have been with us for centuries, but how many more have been replaced in that time?  We have learned that the earth is neither flat nor is it the center of the universe, for example (although if you choose to believe such things that is entirely your choice).

Recognizing that truth necessarily goes through such an arduous process before being accepted by even the most rational minds, who have to override their internal resistance to something new, one can begin to understand why many of the old ‘truths’ not only still remain but are widely accepted in our societies. Within those societies the individual search for truth has been discouraged for millennia by authority figures who train its members from early childhood to repress that innate drive in favor of following the collective creed.

Truth about the world around us is, therefore, not subjective but highly objective, and the scientific method is a tool that provides us with the means to discovering it. In our world, truth is a transient axiom.