Originally Posted By: Revlgking
MY RELIGION--The bottom line, at this point--subject to change
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By now, I hope that most readers know that when it comes to a my philosophy of religion I am a strong advocate of the freedom of and from religion--in all its forms--including the freedom to be an atheist, agnostic and/or secular humanist.

For me, one's religion is matter of deep personal choice. My religion, or lack of it, is my personal choice. I refuse to impose it on others and I will not allow others to impose their religion, or lack of it, on me.

Therefore, while I am happy to dialogue with anyone about the nature and function of what I believe, I refuse to debate, or argue, with the idea of proving that I am right and others are wrong. Systems, like theocracy, may be wrong. But, IMO, having a system is not the same as having a religion.

In my opinion justice, peace and good order are only possible when we all agree to live by the generally-accepted laws of the land, which are established with the participation and cooperation of all the members of the community--religious and non-religious. In the spirit of Adam Smith, the one who wrote The Wealth of Nations, I am a pluralist. I am also an advocate of the separation of church and state. [BTW, I would also like to see separation of the economy and the state. But that is another dialogue as to how this can be done.]

It ought to obvious then that, when I think of good government, theocracy--a government in which God, or a god, is recognized as the supreme civil ruler and divine or religious laws are taken as the laws of the state--is definitely not an option. By the way, most of the early empires, including the Roman Empire, were theocracies. So were the early nation states, including England.

My personal religion is definitely non dogmatic and I abhor taking a fixed-positioned approach to any teaching, including my own. It also frees me to be agnostic about that which I do not know enough, or do not fully understand, yet.

A good religion for me is one which helps me grow and develop, physically, mentally and spiritually and be of real service to my family and my fellow human beings, including those who do not happen to share my beliefs.

I'm responding to this particular post before it might be edited due to some second thought or preconceived idea generated from this response, so the dialogue is not misconstrued or taken out of its original context.

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
MY RELIGION--The bottom line, at this point--subject to change

You're beginning sentence is an oxymoron...
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
By now, I hope that most readers know that when it comes to a my philosophy of religion I am a strong advocate of the freedom of and from religion--in all its forms--including the freedom to be an atheist, agnostic and/or secular humanist.

That would be freedom of choice which is not necessarily a religion. At least not that I'm aware of.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
For me, one's religion is matter of deep personal choice. My religion, or lack of it, is my personal choice. I refuse to impose it on others and I will not allow others to impose their religion, or lack of it, on me.

I gotta say I find it a bit of a stretch trying to believe in an innocuous changing bottom line that could come from any real deep thought.
But I also think if you really believed in freedom of choice then I would find it hard to believe that you would entertain the idea that anyone could or would impose anything on another.
That would be an illusion, something that is not real even if someone thought it was.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Therefore, while I am happy to dialogue with anyone about the nature and function of what I believe, I refuse to debate, or argue, with the idea of proving that I am right and others are wrong.

I'm personally not aware of this proving one is right or proving one is wrong thing actually taking place here on this forum.
We are discussing the nature of reality, and the outcome of certain choices.
That would include the value of making statements regarding philosophy and belief from lack of experience and knowledge of the subject believed in or philosophized.
I would imagine that if words are spoken without knowledge one might feel they are wrong or that another who recognizes such action as trying to be right.

I like Odin1's signature: People will forgive you for anything -but being right ! This is especially true if one feels they are being persecuted by the reflection of their own inadequacies.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking

In my opinion justice, peace and good order are only possible when we all agree to live by the generally-accepted laws of the land, which are established with the participation and cooperation of all the members of the community--religious and non-religious.

Not being Canadian does the law of your land advocate freedom of speech? It does in the law of our land, here in the United States as written in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
I find that law much misunderstood by most.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking

It ought to obvious then that, when I think of good government, theocracy--a government in which God, or a god, is recognized as the supreme civil ruler and divine or religious laws are taken as the laws of the state--is definitely not an option.

God does not take from the son of Man Free will. However it is God's universe and since everything has some form of structure that holds it all together the universe may not bend toward the will of man made governments just because Man will not accept God as part of reality.
So in reality there could never be a theocracy of God because God does not rule and never has and never will. Jesus tried to tell the world that but everyone then was hoping....

Originally Posted By: Revlgking

My personal religion is definitely non dogmatic and I abhor taking a fixed-positioned approach to any teaching, including my own. It also frees me to be agnostic about that which I do not know enough, or do not fully understand, yet.

Hard to have a personal religion or to be dogmatic if you don't understand what religion you have. Also not having a personal point of view that is anchored in anything understandable or experienced, would leave one somewhat pensive about saying anything that might have something of any permanence attached to it.
You might want to give up any attachment to the fixed positions taken by those who actually have a deep understanding and experience of a teaching tho. I find that taking a position against a position when you don't know what you know is kind of futile, and only creates a huge amount of stress.


Originally Posted By: Revlgking

A good religion for me is one which helps me grow and develop, physically, mentally and spiritually and be of real service to my family and my fellow human beings, including those who do not happen to share my beliefs.

One would have to know all religions to have made a choice for a good one.
I'm sure Charles Manson felt what he believed in was a good choice and of real service to his family and fellow human beings and even those who didn't happen to share in his beliefs. I think I remember him saying something to that effect.
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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!