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(Tibbo) Quark, why are man-made religions still so popular?
(Quark) The constancy of mindless ritual is reassuring,
(Quark) and there's always the hope of divine assistance.
But the biggest factor is cultural tradition.
(Tibbo) Do people really believe in the teachings?
(Quark) No. That's not the point.
(Flossie) Zilfer, what's the problem?
(Zilfer) Every time it looks like a new species of human is going to be successful, they go and create man-made religions.
(Zilfer) With man-made scriptures.
(Flossie) When will they ever learn [with music notes]
Q: I believe in the complete truthfulness and validity of this scripture. (holding book)
A: How do you know it's absolute truth?
Q: It says so in 2 Timothy 3:16.
Q: How can I judge how true a religion is?
A: It's inversely proportional to how many rules there are. Up to a point.
Q: OK, what if there are no rules?
A: Well, there at least has to be general guidelines, otherwise you have nothing.
Teacher: Actually, a true religion will have one rule.
Q: Which is?
A: At bottom, everything is love and unity. Act accordingly.
Q: I don't see a lot of love and unity here.
A: We're not at the bottom of everything yet.
Tibbo: A true religion also will have very little doctrine.
Person: Why is that?
Tibbo: Truth is big. And unspecific. It can't be pinned down.
Person: So then a true religion would have no ritual at all? And there would be no reason to attend church.
OK, I'm beginning to understand.
Q: Why do some religions denigrate the intrinsic worth of individuals?
A: The religion wants to be seen as the spiritual authority and the savior of helpless individuals.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for us?
A: Remember the bumper sticker "Question authority"?
Teacher: You've given away your spiritual life and understanding to the churches. Just as you've given your health to the doctors,
your children's education to the schools, and your money to the credit institutions.
Q: What can I do?
A: Take them back.
Q: What motivates people to follow the religion of their culture?
A: Wanting a personal relationship with the divine - 10%.
A: Tradition, ritual, and a feeling of belonging - 90%.
Q: What are the primary sources of conflict in the world?
A: Cultural differences, ethnic differences, religious differences and territorial disputes.
A: Especially the combination of those, aided by the universal psychological need for an adversary.
Q: So there's little hope for a peaceful future.
A: There would be, if people paid attention to the original teachings of their religion.
Q: Is the need for conflict innate in humans?
A: No. But it gets learned quickly. It shows up very early in children.
Q: How do we prevent it?
A: Pay attention to what those children are learning from.
A: And make a list of the parts of society that are motivated by competition.
Q: Who are the most arrogant people?
A: 1) Long-time New Yorkers, 2) Political extremists, 3) Religious extremists, 4) Atheists.
Q: In that order?
A: In the reverse order.
Q If religions really wanted to help people, what would they do?
A Encourage people to discover their own uniqueness and strengths.
Q How can people do that?
A Creativity of any kind – art, music, writing, architecture, engineering…
A I think that's in a different category.
Teacher: Creativity is the best way to discover Self.
Q: What about excelling at a particular skill?
A: That's good, but the more creative you are at it, the better.
Q: Are there other ways toward self-discovery?
A: Yes, for example being in nature, helping others lead happier lives, and meditation.
Q: What about watching movies every night?
A: Umm, we need to back up here a little bit
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