The Religion word

May 2024 Forums General discussion The Religion word

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 528 total)
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  • #89219
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Wow! I see northern light has set the cat amongst the pigeons with this one! A good thing I think.It seems that some SPGB members think you have to be an atheist to be a socialist. Although I am an atheist and a socialist I see a problem with this mode of thinking.I am going to ask a question which may or may not have been addressed in the party before.Do the SPGB members who are against any one with a spiritual belief joining the party, think that a socialist revolution will be made up entirely of atheists?Billions of atheists?

    #89220
    jondwhite
    Participant

    There is already an organised group of supporters of the SPGB who admit religious people, its called World in Common and I think it is smaller than the SPGB.

    #89221
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #89222
    robbo203
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    There is already an organised group of supporters of the SPGB who admit religious people, its called World in Common and I think it is smaller than the SPGB.

     Actually,  I think you will find World in Common is not  an “organised group of supporters of the SPGB” and though it does include some SPGBers in it , most have no connection with the SPGB, nor have they ever been members of it.  WiC is simply an umbrella  organisation for the non-market anti-statist political sector and inclues people from a variety of different tendencies amnd traditions  within that sector.  It is not a political party as such so you are not really comparing like with like.  Maybe,  if  WiC had the money that the SPGB has -(whats it now? Several hundred thousand quid in the bank?)  and nearly 110 years of hstory behind  it might perhaps be a different story altogether

    #89223
    Ed
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    There is already an organised group of supporters of the SPGB who admit religious people, its called World in Common and I think it is smaller than the SPGB.

    No I’m talking about a group that would be within the party but without the all the rights which membership entails, i.e. voting rights. But would still be allowed to table motions and resolutions. They would also be allowed to do things like, I don’t know, use the party library for instance. I think only full members can do that. Or even (and this would have to be debated) join committees.

    #89224
    robbo203
    Participant
    HollyHead wrote:
    robbo203 wrote:
    Besides, as I say, there is a simple solution to all these hypothetical situations  which is to simply ensure that the Party remains strictly secular.  Ban the expression of religious views in Party propaganda but don’t ban religious socialists from joining the Party.  End of problem

     How? Are you suggesting that we add a censorship clause to the D of P perhaps? Would we really remain a revolutionary organisation were we to allow reformists to join providing they agreed not to advocate reforms? Some people with religious views may well understand the case for socialism but cannot be said, in my opinion, to have socialist understanding.

     No, I’m not advocating censorship at all – simply that as a condition of membership, they do not propagate their  religious ideas in the context of Party work. In other words, we are talking about a kind of contractual understanding here.  There is nothing to prevent you from expressing religious ideas in context of Party work but the price of that is that you forfeit membership status i.e. you are expelled.  You join the Party on the understanding that this is what will happen  What you do in your private life is quite another matter –  otherwise the SPGB would surely ban capitalists from joining the Party (and there have been one or two of them in the Party over the years, haven’t there?) There is no comparison whatsoever between  opposition to reformism  and opposition to religious beliefs.  There is an organic connection or antagonism between reformism and the Party’s espousal of socialist revolution that simply does not apply in the case of religious beliefs.  You cannot logically seek to both mend capitalism and end capitalism. It has to be one or the other. . This does not apply in the case of religious belief.  It is fully possible for a religious individual to both want and understand socialism and oppose reformism which only prolongs capitalism. There are a few such individuals who hang around the fringes of the Party but are not currently permitted to join for some arcane nonsensical reason. Which brings me to the final point and to echo what has already been said –  what on earth do you mean that a religious person might understand  the case for socialism but not have socialist understanding. Gnome has said his branch includes a long-time religious supporter of the SPGB who is more active than most members. Would you regard this person as a socialist (who undoubtedly knows the case for socialism inside out by now)?  If YES  – why is such a socialist being prevented from joining?If  NO –  why then  is the SPGB doing soliciting the support of non socialists?I would dearly love to know how members are going to rationalise their way out of that one!

    #89225
    jondwhite
    Participant

    I don’t think the party requires of members a particular opinion on metaphysics.Religions exist that do not believe in higher powers, or afterlives, or are personal, or are organised so I think these are all red herrings of a definition.What characterises all religion is that the process that it makes assertions (generally not restricted to metaphysics) is not strictly through reason, rationalisation, deduction, observation or testing.Even if religion did restrict itself to metaphysics, then would assertions not made strictly through reason, rationalisation, deduction, observation or testing be a wise basis for membership?Some in the party can be dismissive of peoples experiences but an explanation for your experiences arrived at through reasoning, deduction, testing shouldn’t be dismissed either. If time has elapsed for a particular experience then this does not invalidate the scientific method. Incidentally this is the approach of Fortean Times that anomalous phenomena offer some insight into the scientific method or the fallback approach of the guise of open-mindedness.If you join the party because you think the politics are nice rather than rational testable, what’s stopping you changing your mind?If members hold irrational ideas then that is not an argument for introducing more irrational ideas.If demeaning, patronising, condescending attitudes are being exhibited then that is being detrimental to the party. I agree that criticism should be engaged with and not scoffed at.

    #89226
    HollyHead
    Participant
    northern light wrote:
    HollyHead wrote:
    Some people with religious views may well understand the case for socialism but cannot be said, in my opinion, to have socialist understanding.

     I do not know what you mean. Can you please put some meat on the bones

      My apologies for being so cryptic that my meaning was lost. (I was leaving plenty of room on the thread for Robbos long postings ;-))By people who understand the case for socialism I mean those who:1.] recognise the class nature of capitalist society and that this gives rise to irreconcilable conflicts of interest;2.] agree that capitalism cannot be run in the interests of the majority; and3.] are persuaded that production solely for use (that is the abolition of buying and selling) would overcome the problems distribution. Such people may agree with points 1. to 3. but not agree that revolutionary democratic political action is necessary / possible because:1.] they believe it to be “against human nature” – socialism is an utopian dream2.] they don’t think it achievable by majority democratic political action;3.] they do not accept historical materialism.That is they lack socialist understanding. If it to maintain it’s object intact membership of the Party must be open to convinced socialists only.

    #89227
    ALB
    Keymaster
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Do the SPGB members who are against any one with a spiritual belief joining the party, think that a socialist revolution will be made up entirely of atheists?

    No, not entirely. I imagine that at that time it will be enough that those making the socialist revolution know that capitalism can’t work in their interest, that the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production is the way out, and that this can only be brought about democratically.  I wouldn’t have thought either that those making the socialist revolution will all need to be members of the party, just of some democratically-organised working class organisation or other. No doubt some (a minority) may hold religious views. It’s that today, when we’re so small and essentially a propagandist group, we need to have a higher degree of understanding than will then be necessary, if only to retain our integrity as a socialist organisation.Incidentally, a “spiritual belief” is not necessarily a religious belief, so there are members who think that having a “spiritual” belief is not incompatible with membership but that having a religious belief is. We’ve just recently had a big debate, culminating in a Party referendum, as to whether or not socialism is a moral, ethical (as well as a class) issue.

    Quote:
    Billions of atheists?

    Why not? Already today there are billions of people who are practical “atheists” in the sense that they live their life without taking any account of some superbeing that can intervene in their life. They don’t participate in religious rites. They don’t pray.  They don’t blame a god if things go wrong. Ok, if questioned, they might say they believe in god, but that’s just a social convention reflecting what they think they are expected to say (after all, they are not socialists). But in practice they already lead a godless life (which religious leaders are always complaining about). When they become socialists there willl be no reason to respect this social convention. They can come out.

    #89228
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Because one has an inexplicable experience, which causes them pause in their otherwise, so-called, logical view of society, doesn’t mean they are GOD BOTHERERS!IT means just what it says on the tin, they have had an inexplicable experience. If looked into, these experiences may, or may not, have a RATIONAL explanation. It does not, instantly lead to the conclusion that these people, drop to their knees and pray to a GOD, or GODS.

    #89229
    robbo203
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Why not? Already today there are billions of people who are practical “atheists” in the sense that they live their life without taking any account of some superbeing that can intervene in their life. They don’t participate in religious rites. They don’t pray.  They don’t blame a god if things go wrong. Ok, if questioned, they might say they believe in god, but that’s just a social convention reflecting what they think they are expected to say (after all, they are not socialists). But in practice they already lead a godless life (which religious leaders are always complaining about). When they become socialists there willl be no reason to respect this social convention. They can come out.

     These are precisely the kind of people Im talking about  who the Party keep out with its ridiculous rule on religion. They believe in a god but effectively live godless lives

    #89230
    robbo203
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
     I don’t know why Robbo thinks that people who believe in the paranormal or who have New Age spiritual views are more likely to be receptive to the socialist case than humanists and secularists. But he seems to, obsessively so.

     I failed to spot  this – another piece of tripe from ALB.  How on earth did he arrive at this dotty conclusion? I dont think anything of the sort.  To me, whether one holds religious views or whether one is an atheist has litle if any relevance to the question of one’s receptivility to socialist ideas.99% of atheists are non -socialists and some atheists are avidly pro-capitalist.  If the Party were consistent in its logic, it should ban atheists from joining as well!  LOL

    #89231
    ALB
    Keymaster
    robbo203 wrote:
    ALB wrote:
    I don’t know why Robbo thinks that people who believe in the paranormal or who have New Age spiritual views are more likely to be receptive to the socialist case than humanists and secularists. But he seems to, obsessively so.

    I failed to spot  this – another peice of tripe  from ALB.  How on earth did he arrive at this dotty conclusion? I dont think anything of the sort.  To me, whether one holds religious views or whether one is an atheist has litle if any relevance to the question of one’s receptivility to socialist ideas.99% of atheists are non -socialists and some atheists are avidly pro-capitalist.  If the Party were consistent in its logic, it should ban atheists from joining as well!  LOL

    Ex-comrade Robbo is missing the point. It is a question of which group of people we should direct our appeal to: the New Agers or the Rationalists? We can’t appeal to both as we are likely to upset the other. For historical as well as intellectual reasons, we are in the latter camp and get some respect from them for this. Our best selling pamphlet is John Keracher’s How The Gods Were Made and one of the most popular columns in the Standard is “Halo, Halo”. That must mean something.In passing, actually there are formal bans dating back to the 40s, 50s and 60s on members joining the Rationalist Press Association and the Humanist Association (because they advocate reforms, eg the disestablishment of the Church of England), but they have become outdated and are not enforced.In any event, we are scientific materialists rather than atheists as such, even if some members, as a result of what religion did to them, are god-killers and priest-eaters.

    robbo203 wrote:
    These are precisely the kind of people Im talking about  who the Party keep out with its ridiculous rule on religion. They believe in a god but effectively live godless lives

    So ex-comrade Robbo would exclude those who go to church! His crackpot idea of trying to make a distinction between those who are part of an organised religion and those who merely have personal religious views would turn the Membership Dept into the Spanish Inquisition he has denounced it as being. It would have to go into detail about a person’s religious views and ask such questions as: do you go to church? do you eat pork? why are you wearing a turban? etc.In any event, it wouldn’t solve what he sees as the problem: turning down people who are socialists. It is true that quite a number of applicants are turned down because they are religious, but many of these will be members of an organised religion. In fact I myself was on a committee which examined an applicant who was an Anglican priest who had met the party as a conscientious objector in the last (world) war and who was the follower of some Swiss theologian (Karl Barth, I think) who preached that god didn’t exist in the skies but down here on Earth in some vague sort of way. We had an interesting theological discussion but had to turn him down. And the sympathiser who helps out with our Kent branch is, I believe, a Roman Catholic and as such would still be banned under the Robbo formula.Best stick to our clear-cut position than commit ourselves to having  to deal with theological questions.

    #89232
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    And the sympathiser who helps out with our Kent branch is, I believe, a Roman Catholic and as such would still be banned under the Robbo formula.

    Yes, Hannah carries a banner certainly, but which one exactly?  She believes the SPGB is doing God’s work, whatever that might be……………

    #89233
    Ed
    Participant
    steve colborn wrote:
    If looked into, these experiences, may, or may not have a RATIONAL explanation.

    Except there must be a rational explanation based in science. The issue is whether the event can be explained within the context of our current level of scientific understanding or not.  It would be arrogant of us to think we have reached the pinnacle of scientific discovery it’s also clearly not the case. However, this does not mean that we should resort to primitive reasoning declaring that unknown science is magic or the work of God or spirits.

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