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LibraryThing ReviewGebruikersrecensie - LibraryThing
LOSING MY RELIGION BY TOM FRAME TOM : Anglican from Sydney, presently head of theological college Canberra, Bishop to Military Forces of Australia; did special services for Bali Bombings Preface This is a book about unbelief in Australia. I think he is trying to establish a framework for dialogue between believers and others, as Australia becomes increasingly secularised. Quoting from the story by Columbian novelist Gabriel Marquez “A very old man with enormous wings”… ‘ they had lost their religion, and with it the potential to access realms of understanding and aspects of truth that would have made sense of an otherwise pitiful and ultimately pointless existence.’ 1. Believing, behaving, belonging. Religious convictions shape moral vision and give substance to ethical conduct. Religion is persuasive, pervasive and powerful. People with strong religious beliefs are unwilling to compromise, divest or abandon those beliefs, even in the face of coercion or intimidation, because their denial is essentially the denial of self. Though the influence of Christianity is at an historic low, there is escalating antagonism to religious influence in Australian culture. The apparent resurgence of fundamentalism adds to the fire. Most people have quietly abandoned and gently become indifferent to religious claims. Frame contends that those without religious belief do not have a clearly articulated vision of what a godless world will be like. P15: Religion is not ignored willfully or otherwise, it just doesn’t mean much to a lot of people. In my judgment , the culturally compliant strain of Christianity promoted in Australia does not compel people to grapple with ideas that will expand their horizons, nor does it oblige them to embrace lifestyle choices that might involve discomfort… form of religious therapy whose aim is to make people feel better about themselves or help them gain more enjoyment out of life. 2. Why unbelief? Belief is a positive affirmation, as is disbelief, while non-belief is neutral. Unbelief is a default position, an uncertain position, between belief and disbelief. In the late C18th theology and ethics were captured by secular thought and reason. Spirituality has aspects of personal religion, reacting against the formalised belief systems of established churches. Positive atheism => god does not exist. p 28 most atheists are negative atheists. = without the belief that God exists => agnostic; positive atheist believes that God does not exist, an argument that requires refuting that God exists and proving that he does not exist. Negative atheism is devoid of positive content, it is a perspective not a philosophy, and a negative position can never serve as a satisfactory foundation for a philosophical system. Agnosticism is the worst position – not committed to any content-rich position and fails to give any guidance on morals or ethics. Atheists and theists are brothers in faith, they have both leaped, moved on.. agnostics are immoblised by doubt. 3. A Colony of Heaven? (1788 – 1900). The first clergyman was Reverend Richard Johnson, returned to England in 1800 a disappointed and tired man. There was a general lack of interest in religion of the new colony. Reverend Samuel Marsden made a greater impact, but more as enforcer of establishment values and built resentment of the Anglican establishment. In 1836 Governor Bourke enacted the Church Act which ensured a pluralistic church by subsidizing all denominations, though the Baptists declined assistance to avoid any hint of worldly compromise or government control. As society became more established, churches became more common as part of a veneer of prosperity and respectability. The rise of rationalism in England in the 1860’s onwards reached Australia. The spirited opposition to Christianity obliged the church to argue rather than simple assert the case for God. The general adoption of a pluralist Christian society culminated in the establishment of the Commonwealth on the basis that though there was freedom of religion (Sec 116),...
Review: Losing My Religion: Unbelief in AustraliaGebruikersrecensie - Goodreads
well worth a read, unfortunately he is still biased to a belief "frame". he is open an honest about this but IMO this significantly skews the book. I give him 1 in 10 odds of seeing through religious superstition within the decade?