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Good works: God vs. Philosopher?


padren
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I was thinking about this the other day, what attributes can we ascribe to any religion and their "good works" that have quite honestly improved the world, in addition to the problems they have caused (as all have, as all human organizations of any age have) to their leaders or founders as philosophers, versus their leaders or founders as prophets and gods?

 

From my vantage point, that is anything but unbiased (I should get that out of the way) it strikes me that all the great things about Jesus or Buddha Mohammad or whomever exist as a result of their efforts as philosophers or, just generally leaders. The negative aspects associated with any of today's religions that exist in their names seem to me, are a result specifically of their elevation to the level of Gods and Prophets.

 

 

The reason I bring this up is I see at times a conflict in discussions about "the good religions have done" versus the "harm that religions have done" and at least from my perspective it appeared that quite clearly these could be broken down between the two categories: good that has come from the philosopher and thinker, vs. the harm done in His name as a Deity or Prophet.

 

It's still recent, but I could not imagine a religion built around Mahatma Gandhi going well - at least not better than could be had by embracing him as a philosopher and historical leader.

 

How would the world look today if Jesus was a Confucius for the west, with his specific teachings, morals and parables taken as the wisdom of a philosopher instead of as the word of God? If Mohammad was an inspiring figure for his day, who brought about many philosophical twists with a touch of Joan of Arc?

 

I could be entirely wrong and welcome conflicting views - the fact I am as biased as I am is part of the reason I want to post this, so I can get some alternative view points.

 

What does everyone else think?

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I was thinking about this the other day, what attributes can we ascribe to any religion and their "good works" that have quite honestly improved the world, in addition to the problems they have caused (as all have, as all human organizations of any age have) to their leaders or founders as philosophers, versus their leaders or founders as prophets and gods?

 

I hope to come to this later padren but 'all the problems' caused by religion are obscure compared to the works of others. What about the non religious neo Hegelians?

 

Lenin - 7 million deaths, or more Lenin

Stalin - anything up to 8 million deaths Stalin

Mao Tse Tung - anything up to 20 million dead Mao Tse Tung/ Mao Zedung

 

And as for Hiler, an apparent member of occult societies, 5 million dead.

Hitler

 

Let's please keep in perspective that the first three above were based on certain philosophies. The Socialists believed in a system where opposing forces would inevitably indulge in conflict until the best system won. Moreover, the winners would then enter into another conflict ad infinitum, until a new type of human arose from the ashes of disaster with a new philosophy based on collective good.

 

Hitler seems to have been influenced IIRC, but correct me if I am wrong, on the belief of Nietzsche's in a 'superman' and also influenced by the occult beliefs of the Thule Society. Thule Society

 

Nevertheless, these represent a type of logic. Christ, Moses and Mohammed represent a logic that is metaphysical.

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Jimmy, I am not claiming that non-religious philosophies are inherently good or non-destructive, I am curious if when we talk about the "good" that any given religion provides, if that is rightly ascribed to the religious aspect, or more to the philosophical aspect.

Usually, a given religion is considered an irreducible element - a force that has a combination of positive and negative influence, and (often argued) that the good outweighs the bad.

I am curious if it really is that irreducible, and whether or not the separation of faith and philosophy could put any given religion in a new light.

 

Also, I wasn't implying that 'all the problems' out there are caused by religion, just that there are problems caused by religion that are quite specific, and 'all of those' may be considered within that context.

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