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The Future of Religion

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by S|kH, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. S|kH

    S|kH
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    As opposed to the other thread, here I will discuss why most "religions" will cease to exist or change enormously, rather than just the future of Sikhism.

    I will first highlight "New Religious Trends" and then compare to Sikhism.
    Source : "Many Peoples, Many Faiths" (Elwood)

    Liberalism
    A "liberal" approach to a religion may be defined as one that contends that its traditional formulae need not be interpreted literally or solely in terms of their interpretation in previous eras but rather must be understood in light of the best current standards of reasonable thought and scientific truth. Religious liberals are also characteristically concerned about social justice issues as much as those of personal experience or salvation, and they are inclined to take positions similar to those of political liberals - though of course exceptions do occur.

    Religious liberalism is nothing new. Thinkers who have tried to put their religion in language that is harmonious with that of the leading philosophy and science of their day have no doubt existed as long as religion. But in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries the movement was especially forceful because of the unprecedented array of new scientific ideas, from evolution to psychoanalysis, that religion must deal with. It was also more forcefully concerned with social reform than in most periods in the past.

    Yet today the picture of religious liberalism is unclear. Powerful liberalizing forces have been at work. Despite some opposition in high places, the Roman Catholic Church is far more liberal than before the Second Vatican Council. Major movements such as "feminist theology" and "liberation theology," liberal by our definition though they go beyond conventional liberalism, have made profound and probably irreversible changes in religious consciousness in Christianity, Judaism, and elsewhere. The push for liberalism is not the same as before, these groups are not pushing for minor changes. They are more likely, one way or another, to push for radical (that is, "striking-at-the-root") changes in theology or society than the thoughtful but often fairly comfortable way of conventional liberal.

    --- Now to relate this to Sikhism. One can clearly see how conventional liberalism has ended for Sikhs, and liberalism has changed to attack directly at its root. Previously, liberal-Sikhs accomdated their beliefs into new scientific knowledge and other things of their era. Liberalism in Sikhism is now impacting whether or not the very essence of the 5 K's is neccessary. Whether the Khalsa is needed today or was only meant to be a thing of the past. The very root of Sikhism, the identity, the difference, the discipline is being ripped out. I am in no way claiming which is right or wrong, I am merely pointing out that this difference exists, and it is new to Sikhism, just like other religions. Which will come out on top? No one knows for sure.


    Secularization
    One of the big topics of discussion in contemporary sociology of religion is "secularization," that is, whether religion is losing force in society and, on a more subjective level, as a real power in the minds of people. Some say it is obvious that it is, pointing to the dramatic fall in recent decades in Church attendance and other religious participation in places like Western Europe and East Asia, and the fact that religion no longer has a near-monopoly it once had in the educational and artistic worlds. Skeptics of secularization point to the persistence of high levels of religious activity in other places, such as the United States and the Islamic world and say that religion may not really have been quite as powerful in the past as commonly supposed either.

    Whichever side is right, plain secularism -- the replacement of religious ideals in the political arena with nonreligious humanistic ideals -- is yet another powerful option in the complicated current religious scene, which some contend leads to a lack of interest in religion. Secular values state -- what is important is what gives people a good life here and now as measured by worldly relationships and assets.

    Another possibility is not that people will become entirely indifferent to religion, but that they will be so invidiualistic and private, or small-group oriented, in their religious life that large religious institutions as we now know them will have little social or political influence or even become obsolete. Some observers have detected trends in this direction.

    ---This is seen in every religion, as "Priests" label certian members as "excommunicated" no longer holds the same power as it once did.

    Syncretism
    Some have suggested that the world religion might become syncretic, that is, taking the best elements of each to form a new universal religion. To be sure, as the world becomes more of a global village, more and more exchanges of ideas and practices occur between faiths, as they have in the past.

    ---This could easily happen, but if it does...I'm certain the identity of the Khalsa/Sikhs will be thrown away.

    Pluralism
    A possibility for the religious future that seems to be emerging more and more is the acceptance of pluarlism--the coexistance and multiplication of different religions and cultures in the world and within most countries -- as a good in itself.

    ---This is what Guru Nanak preached. But, how long can the Sikhs overcome this? When your kids are growing up next kids who are atheists, or who do whatever they wish to do, with no regards to kesh, or morals? But, I do think...if pluralism comes out on top...Sikhism may have a slight chance to survive, even the identity. But, societal trends show this being the least popular "new religion".

    And thats it, good read, hope you all read it ;)
     
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  3. etinder

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

     
  4. S|kH

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

     
  5. etinder

    etinder
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    dear slkh

    still waiting for the references?
     
  6. S|kH

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Source is listed at the top of my first post...
     
  7. etinder

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    tht means when u r comparing the above with sikhism, the opinions are yours..
    or u r quoting the mix of different philosophers or theologists?
     
  8. S|kH

    S|kH
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Ooh, sorry.

    the paragraph(s) following the "---" part is my comparison of Sikhism to the other trends.

    My opinion...but I don't think its farfetched, right?

    I tried to base it off normal evidence which everyone should be able to see.
     
  9. etinder

    etinder
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    but Slkh ji
    this is still an opinion...and opinions can go wrong too..so instead of forming opinions lets look for facts and see what happens..and in my opinion (i m also opinionating :) ) instead of prohecizing let's be constructive and see how we can make a difference.

    gurufateh
     
  10. S|kH

    S|kH
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    I listed what I think is the way to improve in the other thread..."Future of Sikhism"
     
  11. Amarpal

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Dear Khalsa Jee,

    In my view, in this knowledge era, only those religions will survive which have rationality in what they preach and their followers are aware of this rationality. Beliefs will progressively fade away and rationality will take over.

    Rational religions will be able to face the challenge thrown on them by the environmet of modern living.

    Among such rational religions, those which are closer to Humanism, will have greater chance.

    Khalsa Panth which is based on Sikhi has excellent chance to survive if we are able to communicate the rationalliy of Sikhi to Khaksas and beyond i.e. if we succeed in communication this aspect well to our fellow Khalsas and others interested in it.

    These are my considered views.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  12. Arvind

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    I am happy that Amarpal ji mentioned this.

    I feel it more appropriate to convey the mission of this site i.e. www.sikhphilosophy.net (SPN forums) to make sikhs, non-sikhs aware of what sikhism is about through sikhi related and inter-faith discussions wherever possible. Lot of questioning has started within sikhism, as new generation sikhs are not getting sufficient guidance from their parents, and ultimately land up thinking sikhism or khalsa as something of 10th century - which it is NOT.

    As Amarpal ji said - only those religions will survive which have rationality in what they preach and their followers are aware of this rationality. Beliefs will progressively fade away and rationality will take over. Considering this, it is extremely important that followers understand the rationality of things involved, otherwise it would just reduce to useless rituals, which sikhism is not about. However, due to human nature, we see lot of people in sikh appearance, who keep on giving wrong messages and drive away the seekers, as they become the first impression.

    Also, this makes an important point that we start discussing about importance of Kakaars afresh. I will be creating threads about these soon. And people like S|kh, We need you more now, than at any other time, to play the roles which any outsiders will. This will make learnings at both sides in a better way.

    Communication is very important, without any doubt. So let us do it.

    Looking forward to learn from all of you.

    Regards.
     
  13. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    When we say 'which religion will survive'?, it seems like we are talking in a very impersonal way as if it does not affect us as Seekers. It is NOT the survival of any particular Dogma but the quest for this never ending enhancement of the Self.

    Any School of Thought that can help us become better from all aspects of life will not only survive but thrive and Sikhism is one of those schools which trains us to have a positive way of life sans dogma.

    Tejwant
     
  14. drkhalsa

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Dear Amarpal ji

    I am bit confuse after you used word rational in your post
    As are my experiences in U.K with peoples around me if we start taking every thing rationally then i thinks god never comes into picture to start with .
    as all the people around me basically are related to health industry are very rational in what ever they do but still manage to ignore even mention of god for days all together
    Also as such as my observation western society has been very rational in all these years and they have done tremendous development due to the same reason but during the same time they never happen to discover the god' existence with their rationality more over now they are more away from it and have more reason that to are rational to deny its existance
    So what i think is rationality cant lead anyone toward god but if some how one accepts his (god) existence then his rationality can guide him through and here sikhism can come into picture and as i can think is that seed factor for the existence of god still lies with god himself and i think he bestows it on who so ever he like to

    But This is what i can think of rationality and i could be wrong
     
  15. Amarpal

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Dear Tejwant Jee,

    I see that rationality will take over. It means that beliefs will disappear. Beliefs are views that we hold to be true, in fact they may or may not be true. Dogma is a set of beliefs laid down authoritatively. As rationality takes over beliefs disappear, Dogmas too will go away.

    I hold that Khalsa Panth is not dogmatic as all it has can be rationally supported.
    An example of it I will give in my next post addressed to drkhalsa Jee.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  16. Amarpal

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Dear drkhalsa Jee,

    From you post I learnt that you are Doctor, that is why drkhalsa.

    True, in comming days spitiually inclinde people will not utter the name of God. We Khalsas have already stopped doing so; we say Waheguru; it is not the name of 'The Sat', in this word we are praising the ultimate teacher; read it now a feel what it means Wah-e- Guru. To me it means Guru - kee - Wah. Guru here for me is 'The Sat'.

    In the paragraph above, 'The Sat' is a belief. I now bring it in the domain of understanding (not realisation as for that one needs Gurparsadi). The nearest that I conceptualise 'The Sat' is as 'Cosmic Intelligence'. It is this 'Cosmic Intelligence', which gave life to me; it is this 'Cosmic Intelligence' which is sustaining me;it is this 'Cosmic Intelligence' which is working within me (that is why I say 'The Sat' is in me) and is working every where in all living entity and is maintaining the cosmic system in order. It is this 'Cosmic Intelligence' which is doing every thing This 'Cosmic Intelligence' was never born and will never die, it is independent of time and is self existant. It is this 'Cosmic Intelligence' which have no enmity with any one and has no fear with any one.

    This 'Cosmic Intelligence' is true to all that is said in the 'Mool Mantra' which is given to us by our Guru Sahib who has realised 'The Sat', who knew every thing. This way I validate my conceptual understand with respect to Gurbani.

    With this rational 'The Sat' is not a belief, it is an understanding which is still to be actualised. I have to strive and become worth of the grace of 'The Sat' and receive 'Gurparsadi'.

    With this awareness I say that Khalsa Panth is not Dogmatic, it is a rational Panth.

    We have to provide the rational for every aspect of Sikhi i.e. the teachings of our Guru Sahibs enshrined in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Sahibs have elaborated enough in Siri Guru Granth Sahib, we have to assimilate the teachings i.e. Sikhi and present it to all who are interested in it.

    Spitirually inclinde individuals will feel 'The Sat' in then and all around them all the time. There is no need for Jaap for them.

    We all are together in this journey.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  17. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    SYncretism: sikhism is this lol i got nutin to say

    sikhism is the mixture of all the good things in all religion plus more to make it better.
     
  18. BhagatSingh

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    the kesh are actually beneficial

    but the others just kinda help u out if u know what i mean.

    like i have a huge kara and it can be used a self defense thing u know

    same with kirpan

    comb is necessay for hair, when i went to india i bot the wooden comb (now its lost) and i remember i had it in my hair and whenever i wud get time i wud clean up my hair and wear a keskee or sumtin but now that i am back and i have no comb m y hair satys messed up and .. etc etc

    kachehra hmm... this is a hard one they just look cool on nihangs:}{}{}: lol
     
  19. Lionchild

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    ...which is?

    Anyways, i believe sikhi will survive no matter how secularized our ppl get. There will always be ppl who serve the guru. Of course, we need to spread our religion and open doors to the masses like living guru's did.
     
  20. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    wut do u mean "which is" ?

    do u mean the good qualities of sikhism:
    equality to both men and women?
    free food kitchen, langar?
    5 ks and (yes they serve their benefit)?
    equality of every race and person?
    the list is endless...

    be more specific because i got the feeling u think that sikhism is not syncretism or a good religion

    remember sikhism did choose the best from the rest!
    things like equality, langar, bhai ghanaiya's (intorduced the idea of red cross) serving water etc were all new to the world and were only found in sikhism

    they were later "invented" by the western society

    i hope that clears things up a bit
     
  21. Lionchild

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    Re: The Future of Religion -

    Sorry.. was thinking of something else... ::cool::
     

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