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" It seems true that the growth of science and secularism made organized Christianity feel under threat. "
" It's unlikely that the organized religions will get more sectarian... or is it? I am not at all sure. "
" When we are reflecting on terrorism we can grieve for many things we do and have done. "
" Enclave life becomes very tense, Even when they do elect a leader, the factions remain, with the threat of splitting off. "
" Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. "
" Religion can make it worse. Are you supposing that if people were encouraged to believe in a transcendent reality, and to be encouraged by grand rituals and music and preaching, to love their neighbors, then they would put jealousy and frustration aside? "
" I have increasingly, over the years, felt that religion today does our civilization more harm than good. "
" The theory of cultural bias... is the idea that a culture is based on a particular form of organization. It can't be transplanted except to another variant of that organization. "
" I am convinced that living in an enclave shapes the personality, and living alone shapes the personality too. "
" Pretensions to moral superiority are devastatingly destructive. "
" Real equality is immensely difficult to achieve, it needs continual revision and monitoring of distributions. And it does not provide buffers between members, so they are continually colliding or frustrating each other. "
" It is very reasonable to worry about the harm done by organized religion, and to prefer looser and more private arrangements. "
" Inequality can have a bad downside, but equality, for its part, sure does get in the way of coordination. "
" An escalating, violent tit-for-tat may lead to terrorism. "
" The natural response of the old-timers is to build a strong moral wall against the outside. This is where the world starts to be painted in black and white, saints inside, and sinners outside the wall. "
Black And White
" The history of the Church of Rome is a constant leakage of members into such breakaway cults, which go on splitting. "
" Yes, disappointment over perceived unfairness, injustice, promises not kept, tends to go hand in hand with increasing prosperity. Expectations are dashed. What can I say! "
" Islam is in principle egalitarian, and has always had problems with power. "
" Mormons... are so strong, they can handle wealth, they are confident. I think it is because they are not bogged down by rules for equality, but have a firmly defined system of relative status and responsible command. "
" Some scholars have been arguing that a civilizational clash between organized religions is the next step in human history. "
" What did our nation ever do to provoke these madly vicious enemies? What is seen as injustice in one place is seen as just requital in the other. "
" Hierarchy is is much reviled in the present day. "
" It is only partly true that religion does more harm than good in society. The community makes God into the image it wants, vengeful, or milky sweet, or scrupulously just, and so on. "
" Our technological infrastructure alienates us from each other. No need to form a workplace community, everybody there will be out in a year or two, and so will you, looking for a better place. "
" Any great organization can go through sectarian phases. "
" Hierarchy works well in a stable environment. "
" Without that assured American largesse Israel would have been obliged to come to an accommodation with her neighbours. "
" Every year the progress of advanced capitalist society makes our population consist of more and more isolates. This is because of the infrastructure of the economy, especially electronic communications. "
" If people want to compete for leadership of a religious group, they can compete in piety. A chilling thought. Or funny. "
" Since 1970, relationships can be more volatile, jobs more ephemeral, geographical mobility more intensified, stability of marriage weaker. "
" I am sure it must be true that people opt out of the mainstream society because they feel that there are going to be no rewards for them, if they stay. "