Joined: Oct. 2005
redwave June 17, 2018 at 8:23 am
A new religion emerges from a milieu of well founded religious beliefs, in which well founded means prevailing, broadly accepted, and codified. This is generally the case and a new religion will have attributes from a religion’s predecessor, yet believed to correct errors in knowledge, advance new interpretations, and extend the experience of the aging religion. The labels called atheism and agnosticism are often used to identify or describe a new religion’s adherents, because the rejection and denial of community gods or a religion’s inability or unwillingness to effectively answer new questions from new experiential knowledge. When there is an expansion of atheism and agnosticism there is a rolling back of continuity between the old and the new, a transitional space broadens. This happens because religious beliefs have both experiential continuity and discontinuity in where a new religion could represent a natural propensity to resolve the discontinuity through reinterpretation of the underlying continuity.
The present day transitional space for religious beliefs has become fertile ground for speculators, new prophets, avatars, savants, and new messiahs. But within a transitional space for religious beliefs one challenge is the prognostication of which or whom will prevail overtime, which new religion will become the old religion. The old religion could adapt and change in arbitrary ways from the tension with or against the expansion of knowledge and the reinterpretations of accepted knowledge. Yet many adherents of the old religion will migrate to the new religion because of social, cultural, and political pressures, which pressures are typically inter-generational.
The “generality” of this view has exceptions and the use of the concepts “old” and “new” is imprecise. The imprecision, generality with exceptions, is in part due to the present day existential position in the transitional space and our inability to prognosticate. Atheism and agnosticism, along with old religions, will continue and contract in numbers and import narrowing the transitional space as a new religion develops and expands to fill the space with adherents. Theisms and religious beliefs are not sustainable in isolation from atheism and agnosticism. And a new religion can not emerge outside the milieu of an old religion, or rarely so. The relationships are natural however their oppositional views become.
We can view the foregoing process only through an interpretation of our history or living long enough to observe, let us say a life lived over multiple generations, a continuous life observing the discontinuities and transitional spaces. An interesting interpretive observation is inter-generational continuity of singular lives are recounted in the oldest religions, exempli gratia, Sumero-Akkadian, Abrahamic, Hinduism, Buddhism, Aboriginal, Ancestral Taoism, et cetera. The unwritten, or oft unconscious, hope of the new is to become like the old, that discontinuity is overwhelmed by continuity, that the new truths asserted will remain, that we emerge from a transitional space into “the light of day”, that we live forever.
In an informal manner, one might agree with Qoheleth and say, ” … there is nothing new under the sun … “. A new religion will be as perplexed and perplexing as the old religion.
doubterJune 17, 2018 at 11:53 am
It is not unexpected that the oncoming wave toward the lifestyle of being spiritual but not religious is denigrated in this blog.