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The American Religion Is Over.

1-2-3
Posts: 42
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10/31/2009 9:28:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Historically, the direct influence of specific religious groups on American society has waned. We began as a Protestant nation, and for over 100 years Protestantism was the unofficial national religion, with massive waves of European immigration beginning in the latter half of the 19th century and continuing until around the early 1900's. Then large numbers of Catholics and Jews started to arrive. Since our Constitution provided for freedom of expression for all religious groups, it became progressively harder to identify Protestantism with the nation as a whole. As a result, the 20th century saw a progessive withering away of most specific religious identifications. What was left was a uniquely American religion: A highly generalized set of beliefs recognizing God as the ultimate guide and the kingdom of God in America as the ultimate material goal, but without relation to any particular religious creed. The focus of American religion is on the moral, almost sacred, mission of the nation itself; a dogmatic belief in American society and it's progressive devolpment.

American society has always been seen by it's people as "The Promised Land" in the same way that the Jews have regarded Israel. The Revolutionary War can be linked to the Exodus from Egypt, a breakaway from oppresive external control; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are our Ten Commandments. The Civil War is analogous to the Christian breakaway from Roman rule, an attempt at living under moral principles in the face of the evil antihuman forces of slavery. Also, we have important days of "worship" like all religions: Memorial Day, growing out of the Civil War, and the Fourth of July, growing out of the signing of the Declaration of Independance, are days of rededication to the American Dream. Every four years, the election of the president is like communion, a recommitment to the democratic process.

Historically we have invoked our American religion in our foreign adventures. In the 19th century we had Manifest Destiny, a God-given duty to colonize and civilize the continent, and to convert the savages to the American religion. Our entry into all the wars since the beginning of the 20th century was always seen as a moral responsibility; a way to make the world safe for the American religion.

However, our American religion is currently in big trouble. Because of it's very abstract nature, people can and do vehemently disagree with statements concerning it. For example, every American interventionist or expansionist activity (with the possible exception of WWII) were denounced by many Americans as immoral acts. Unless those who are the leaders of this American religion can find a way of expressing it that satisfies the beliefs of most Americans, it will continue to undermine the legitimacy of the state as a whole. The best alternative would be a transition to a world civil religion that would take into account a cross-cultural recognition of our moral responsibilities for all human beings and nations while at the same time recognizing their rights to self-determination. The only way this can be done is if America adopts a more socialist approach in government.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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10/31/2009 9:54:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Okay... let me see if I got this right.

The "American religion," as you call it, is threatened because of dissenters within its ranks... rather, opposition to what exactly the country does at certain times. You call this act bad, because it, er, "undermines the legitimacy of the state."

Then, you say that the world needs to transition to a global "civil religion," and that the only way this can occur is if the US adopts a more socialist approach to governance and, I assume, culture.

One question; what the hell are you talking about?
1-2-3
Posts: 42
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10/31/2009 10:05:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/31/2009 9:54:34 PM, Volkov wrote:
Then, you say that the world needs to transition to a global "civil religion," and that the only way this can occur is if the US adopts a more socialist approach to governance and, I assume, culture.

Not "the world needs to transition to a global civil religion"...... The United States of America does.

Concerning what the hell am I talking about: I thought I made myself pretty clear.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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10/31/2009 10:09:00 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/31/2009 10:05:17 PM, 1-2-3 wrote:
Not "the world needs to transition to a global civil religion"...... The United States of America does.

In order for the US to transition to a world civil religion... wouldn't there have to be a world civil religion?

And why? The US is running exactly how any other empire in the history of the world has, if not better and more optimistically. I see no reason for the US to "transition" from anything.

Concerning what the hell am I talking about: I thought I made myself pretty clear.

You didn't.
MistahKurtz
Posts: 400
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10/31/2009 10:25:46 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Wow.

While I appreciate your willingness to come in here and lay some big ideas down on us, that is a terrible argument.

Point 1: American religions are homogeneous (not true.)
Point 2: America is the holyland for Christians (only true of Mormons.)
Point 3: Religion has been evoked in America's foreign policy
Conclusion: There should be a new world civic religion. The only way this can happen is if America turns socialist.

There are so many monumental gaps in this case that I believe you qualify for the long jump portion of the debating.org Olympics.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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11/1/2009 7:33:46 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Wait, so the foundings of America were freedom, so you think we need to take those freedoms away?

Summarise your argument. The analogy is poor.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/1/2009 4:50:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Actually, I thought the argument made perfect sense... until the conclusion.

I agreed with 1-2-3 until this part right here:

The best alternative would be a transition to a world civil religion that would take into account a cross-cultural recognition of our moral responsibilities for all human beings and nations while at the same time recognizing their rights to self-determination. The only way this can be done is if America adopts a more socialist approach in government.

1) There will never be a "world civil religion." For too many reasons to get into here, there is an ingrained sense of 'culture' almost inherent in every individual, that is upheld and celebrated/idealized/promoted to the point where it just wouldn't be possible. For instance, consider Isarael and Palestine. Now add about 190 countries to that mix, with all of their ideologies and beliefs just as sacred to them as the "American way" is to us. Plus, they're willing to fight for it just as we are. I also think it can't peacefully co-exist with the concept of self-determination.

2) How/why would a socialist U.S. government be ideal for this endeavor?
President of DDO
banker
Posts: 1,370
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11/2/2009 6:45:48 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Thanks for your troll its good that everyone could see that radicals like you do exist...! By the way what's your view on cominisem.?
the most important source for muslim Arabs:

"And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd'.".

- Qur'an 17:104 -

Any sincere muslim must recognize the Land they call "Palestine" as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah's ultimate revelation.

Ibn Khaldun, one of the most creditable
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/3/2009 9:04:21 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/2/2009 6:45:48 PM, banker wrote:
Thanks for your troll its good that everyone could see that radicals like you do exist...! By the way what's your view on cominisem.?

That comment was way more troll-ish than his point.
President of DDO
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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11/3/2009 9:43:01 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Here's what I see:

1. Historical information
2. Religious allegory
3. Application of the American Religion
4. Explanation of the problem
5. WTF????

It's like starting an essay about how abortion is unethical, then ending with the proposal that we kill all mankind.

The American religion is over, yes, but why should we try to save it? It's not being replaced or misinterpreted, its losing its foothold in American society. We're seeing a progression towards secularism. In 100 years, Christianity will probably be reduced to a minor cultural practice as each successive generation begins to worship science and technology more and more.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
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