Personally, my take on religion is that it has been an extraordinarily successful means of organizing groups. I don't religion has ever been any one person's Machiavellian scheme, rather I think religion (and other cultural institutions) have been selected for in the evolution of culture. I also tend to see collectives of humans as organisms-in-themselves, in roughly the same way that a hive of bees can be seen as an organism in itself; and that human genetics has co-evolved with the cultural memetics.
As such, I tend to run religious dogma through this filter: does it promote values in individuals, that, taken collectively, make the collective more likely to persist. When I run the above prayer through that filter I find that it is a pretty good fit for that idea. Terren On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM, Kim Jones <kimjo...@ozemail.com.au> wrote: > This is a pretty well-worn, oft-used, school prayer. Given it is recited > or sung by the entire student body and staff at a good many schools and > other institutions you would have to assume that it's all fundamentally > good stuff. > > > > Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deserves; > to give and not to count the cost; > to fight and not to heed the wounds; > to till, and not to seek for rest; > to labour, and not to ask for any reward, > save that of knowing we do thy will. > > > Amen. > > > But it's all incredibly bad advice, really - don't you think? Why do > people assume God wants Earthlings to be such a bunch of try-hards? > I hate this prayer. It advertises values that no one can live up to and no > one need live up to. Surely we can invent a better, less servile, less > obsequious, less cringing, less Gollum-like take on what we think God wants > for us. > > All this servility, this grovelling at the feet of somebody. Is God really > into all that? I don't believe it. > > > > Kim Jones > > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an > email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out. > > > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.