@Download Pdf Î The Religious Case Against Belief õ eBook or E-pub free

Really interesting and challenging I need to read this at least a second time to fully digest the author s argument, but the first reading helped me to integrate my spiritual experiences and commitments with my commitment to reason and empiricism just a little further I was especially impressed with his discussions of evil and of death. In this book, Carse resolves the apparent oxymoron of the title by distinguishing between religion and belief Religion is about asking such cosmic questions as Why are we here How do we know Belief is all about having answers Religion, the ineffable, meditation, and transcendence go together Belief is deeply suspicious of meditation and doesn t want anything to do with mystery Religion is all about what s beyond the horizon Belief has boundaries and is hostile to anything that threatens them Wish I could find my notes from the book I had a great summary that I wanted to share, but the above paragraph, though inadequate, will give you some idea of the book Learned ignorance the good kind of ignorance, ignorance that knows it doesn t know and can hang out with not knowing Carse refers to Nicholas of Cusa as the originator of this idea, but in fact it recurs in Jewish rabbinical thought and is very similar though emphatically not the same as the attitude cultivated in several strains of Buddhism Another wonderful aspect of this book is Carse s declaration that all religions are not about the same thing Christians have been squabbling about what exactly Christianity is since the word was coined, but they all recognize another Christian Similarly, there are multiple schools, lineages, and practices in Buddhism, but we recognize one another as Buddhists There s been a vogue among Christians for various aspects of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation, but that doesn t make Thomas Merton a Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh likes a lot of what Jesus said, but he s never going to be a Christian.It s a book I m going to have to re read I recommend it to anyone who has a spiritual bent. @Download Pdf ¹ The Religious Case Against Belief ð A Provocative, Insightful Explanation For Why It Is That Belief Not Religion Keeps Us In A Perilous State Of Willful IgnoranceIn The Religious Case Against Belief, James Carse Identifies The Twenty First Century S Most Forbidding Villain Belief In Distinguishing Religions From Belief Systems, Carse Works To Reveal How Belief With Its Restriction On Thought And Encouragement Of Hostility Has Corrupted Religion And Spawned Violence The World Over Galileo, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, And Jesus Christ Using Their Stories Carse Creates His Own Brand Of Parable And Establishes A New Vocabulary With Which To Study Conflict In The Modern World The Religious Case Against Belief Introduces Three Kinds Of Ignorance Ordinary Ignorance A Mundane Lack Of Knowledge, Such As Ignorance Of Tomorrow S Weather Or The Reason Why Your Stove Is Malfunctioning , Willful Ignorance An Intentional Avoidance Of Accessible Knowledge , And Finally Higher Ignorance A Learned Understanding That No Matter How Many Truths We May Accumulate, Our Knowledge Falls Infinitely Short Of The Truth While Ordinary Ignorance Is Common To All People, Carse Associates The Strongest Manifestation Of Willful Ignorance With The Most Fervent And Dangerous Of Believers He Points To The Historic Conflict Between Martin Luther And Holy Roman Emperor Charles V Both To Reveal This Seemingly Religious Collision As A Clash Of Belief And To Identify Belief S Inherently Destructive Characteristics From Luther To The Contemporary Christian Right, We Learn That Believers Construct Identity By Erecting Boundaries And By Fostering Aggression Between The Believer And The Other This Is Why Belief Systems Choose At Great Cost To Remain Locked In Bloody Conflict Rather Than To Engage In Dialogue, Recognizing The Great Deal They Have In Common This Is Willful Ignorance In Fierce Contrast To Willful Ignorance, Higher Ignorance Is An Acquired State Enhanced By Religion Those Traveling The Path To Higher Ignorance Recognize Faith Teachings Such As The Bible As Poetry Intended To Promote Contemplation, Interpretation, And A Sense Of Wonder For Evidence Of Religion S Deeply Embedded Rejection Of Singular Truth And Its Acceptance Of Diverse Dialogue, Carse Looks To The Many Faces Of Jesus Presented In The Books Of The Bible And Elsewhere Uncontaminated By Belief Systems, Religion Rejects The Imagined Boundaries That Falsely Divide People And Ideas, Working To Expand Horizons The Religious Case Against Belief Exposes A World In Which Religion And Belief Have Become Erroneously And Terrifyingly Conflated In Strengthening Their Association With Powerful Belief Systems, Religions Have Departed From Their Essential Purpose As Agencies Of Higher Ignorance Carse Uses His Wideranging Understanding Of Religion To Find A Viable And Vital Path Away From What He Calls The Age Of Faith II And Toward Open Ended Global Dialogue Far From Abstract Philosophical Musing, The Religious Case Against Belief Is Required Reading For Our Age One of the most interesting books I have read on religious belief, at least since Gauchet s work It is, rightly an aesthetic view religion as poetry NOT as truth or falsehood. No professional jargon here In clear, precise, brillant yet scholarly prose, this author makes us aware that most of us are under the enthrallment of belief systems of one kind or another, whether or not we are part of any organized religion and further, he even recommends not less real religion, because real religion makes no ultimate truth claims to divide folks rather it lays bare the mystery in which we all live , and allows us to reopen the search for truth Most of us are willfully ignorant because we avoid knowledge that might undermine the authority of our chosen belief systems Now after all, is there not good precedent for this tradition Socrates, for instance, went about trying to get his listeners to make the confession of ignorance, so that real learning could resume And how about Jesus, for that matter especially in the Gospel of Thomas In the end Carse proposes a higher ignorance which informs us that we can never know the Total Truth Those on the path to higher ignorance recognize the Bible for instance as poetry intended to expand our horizons, to arrive at a sense of wonder uncontaminated by belief systems, which shut down the mind and make unnecessary enemies A wise and provocative read. You start reading this existential crap and you ll be as crazy as me, I warn you That said, I can recommend skipping this one for the additional reason that it, in my opinion, sucks Contemporary bestsellers which are fashionable these days sell books by bashing traditional religions and point out their obvious incongruities and misuses Dawkins, Harris, et al Other authors, failing to have jumped in time on that specific bandwagon, publish a text that can be seen thus purchased as expanding on or arguing for or against the validity of these bestsellers Most strong atheist writers put out a polemic text for the layperson, but Carse is a professor of religion, and thus, produces an academic treatise which is dry, dull, and difficult And to top it off, I would include pointless, since his argument as best I could discern it is that we shouldn t jettison religions , just belief systems which include deities and scriptures and such He spends a lot of time outlining what constitutes a belief system vs a religion , and it s all a house of cards, as far as I m concerned I am of the opinion he just wanted to publish something to ride on the coattails of successful anti religion authors by appearing to be doing something novel Hey, look at me I m an atheist, but I am going to argue for keeping religion Isn t that nifty if I am a knower, I am open to correction if I am a believer, I resist it The one says, This is what I am thinking I will Wait for your response to see if it is the truth The other says, This is what I think I will wait for you to see it as the truth p 60Some good insights at times, he tackles perhaps an awkward idea that is already poorly defined and framed The title itself is the subject matter for the book yet it has a feel of tilting at windmills Reads like a good intellect with his mind manacled to religion belief Seems like he is a few steps away from atheism yet wants to throw away his cake and eat it too three stars, a worthwhile read If you read critically and struggle through it Seems his personal view is , yay the bible is wonderful poetry So yes, goodbye to literalist nonsense but no, while some poetry in the bible is good stuff, resonates with deepest human wants, desires and big questions , alas way too much is awful , vengeful , downright evil nonsense that I can t buy his papering over it. The first section, on belief systems, is far compelling than his section on religion Unlike his Finite Infinite Games, which clearly lays a good case for both s necessity, Carse has difficulty parsing out what is religious versus what is poetic Particularly after the thrashing of belief systems, it is hard to swallow that religion beyond poetry is necessary or desirable at all I would agree that religion is best understood as poetry, but I d go farther than Carse say that is all it needs to be no need for institutions to create rules or boundaries for their sustainability The best poems live as long or longer than any religion without any belief system around them. Very interesting, and very challenging to read I especially have enjoyed mulling over the concepts of 3 forms of ignorance 1 Ordinary you just don t know something someones phone number for example 2 Willful an assuming of ignorance when there is no ignorance Creationists who refuse to believe carbon dating or fossil evidence of human existence before the time of the Bible, or a fighter pilot who refuses to acknowledge that his bombs are killing people AN IGNORANCE MOST DANGEROUS 3 Higher Knowing that there is always to know, to learn that manifested by many inspirational leaders Budda for example, or Galileo Galilei And then there is an extended discussion most of the book actually around the concept of Belief Systems comprehensive networks of tenets that reach into every area of thought and action pp33 Many religions, for example but also Fascism, Marxism and the Nazi s And how pervasive they are and how potentially dangerous.It will take much deliberation to fully understand this what fun I have a soft spot for James Carse I discovered his The Silence of God on my own, and then a friend told me how much she enjoyed his Finite and Infinite Games, which I read next Later, I enjoyed his Breakfast at the Victory So when I saw this book in the bookstore, I snapped it up And I did enjoy it, almost to the end I do recommend it, but would understand if someone quit reading it about halfway through.The first chapter 100 pages long, about half the book is an engaging and thought provoking treatment of belief and how a system of belief is a different thing from religion The Table of Contents seems to promise that the subsequent chapters will add to or build upon the initial exposition Chapter One Belief Chapter Two Religion Chapter Three Religion Beyond Belief The second chapter sustains a good beginning for about twenty pages, and then bogs down in the matter of defining religion, which it fails to do leaving the third chapter nowhere to go The book is dedicated to Tom Driver from whom I took a memorable course at Union Theological Seminary in New York on ritual and the human activity of ritualizing Carse notes in his acknowledgments Tom Driver was unrestrained in his critical review of the book s intellectual content, and relentless in his repeated demands for greater clarity and accuracy It was a high challenge I fear was not fully met I can testify that Driver has been on the receiving end of similar demands, so I m sure he asked Carse the right questions I m left wondering what stopped Carse from rising to the challenge.What he says about belief is an apt answer to the latest wave of atheist complaints about religion from Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and the rest And what he says throughout the book is a lot like what he said in Finite and Infinite Games A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play In effect he argues that attachment to a system of beliefs is a finite game, whereas religion is an infinite game Passionate believers take power as a sign of authority, whereas the religious take poetry Believers seek certainty, religious seek a higher ignorance not ordinary ignorance just not knowing something or willful ignorance the refusal of knowledge , but acceptance of the limits of human knowledge and an accompanying willingness to engage in open ended dialogue that is not aimed at coercion or persuasion Thus he aligns himself with the atheists critique of believers, but from a religious perspective What he had a missed opportunity to address is what motivates people to affiliate with a religion He defines religion as a community which has no identity that the world can recognize p 151 and is at its core an active conversation concerning how it is to understand itself and present itself to the world p 147 , whose vast discourses go on because there is something at stake, something that matters to those engaged in it, that is critically important to them, something that they already find perplexing and in need of understanding, even if the understanding is only preliminary p 159 The closest he comes to anyone s motivation to join such a community is we join when the questions being asked there become our questions p 159 Now, observing some of the churches to be found in America, it might indeed seem that a church is a collection of people who, in the absence of deep commitment to anything beyond themselves, spend their time crafting their worldly appearance while indulging their shared perhaps petty obsessions But a faith community that understands its traditions and teachings develops a core of committed members who actively strive to live the values contained in them not beliefs, but values lessons from experience passed on from generation to generation And others join to be exposed to and inspired by people with that level of commitment, or to expose their children to it It s than questions, it s hope that draws and keeps folks in the fold I wish Carse had addressed that aspect of religion beyond belief, and how it is an ever unfolding infinite game.