Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

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Bahai is a monotheistic religion. Sticking to tradition, it originates from Iran. They believe, as do all progressive and original forms of monotheism, in a single unitary God (not in borderline polytheism such as the Christian trinity).

Their God is a modern abstract one, they embrace science fully and accept god as the cause of reality as we discover it through science. Meaning that there's not really much for their god to do on a day-by-day basis. Like many modern god believers, there god is pretty much reduced to a simple "First Cause" god, with no real need for it do actually do anything beyond an initial creation.

However, Bahai is strongly interfaith and does believe nontheless that their God has sent a series of prophets and messengers, such as Muhammed, Jesus, etc, and as many other respectable spiritual leaders as the founders could think of. In their theology, it is said that such leaders come once every few hundred years. Despite this, Bahai' claims the inspiration of a rapid succession of two prophets, the Bab, and then Baha'u'llah. In keeping with Arab culture, any worship of the messengers themselves is detested and considered heresy.

"Salvation lies in the search for truth as revealed by the Manifestations of God -- the achievement of spiritual perfection and closeness to God, deliverance from one's imperfection or base nature This is achieved by faith in God and strict obedience to the commands of God; turning to the latest Manifestation of God, Bahá'u'lláh, for spiritual guidance; study of the scriptures of the Manifestations" from this summary (from a quiz) you can see why it's a big inter-faith religion. The UN has a disproportionate number of Bahai's in prominent places, and I think the religion may well climb right up there besides international Buddhism for peacekeeping issues. (For example, serving others is the closest thing they've got to a sacrement and is considered a form of worship).

Bahai' does have some of the traditional values associated with monotheistic religions, such as anti-homosexuality. But aside from those, Bahai' is one of the best monotheistic religion (of a rotten bunch), and I'd like to see it become a real world religion, although their theology is just as messed up, I don't care about that, it's not as anti-intellectual as most monotheistic-isms.

You see, it has the ability to liberalize arab culture in a way that Sufi or other slightly-alternative Islamic faiths have failed to do. And anything that can begin to bring Islam out of the dark ages is a good thing. (Even if it's not as good as, say, being moral without religion at all).

So... go Bahai go!

Along with Pantheism and Liberal Christianity (or what's left of liberal Christianity anyway), Bahai is a nicely progressive religion with a suitably vague god (read: small and unobtrusive) to suit the scientific future.

http://www.vexen.co.uk/books/momen_tpor.html is an excellent book on religion in general "The Phenomenon of Religion", the author is a Bahai', it's a voluminous book covering many aspects of religion including history, beliefs, psychology and sociology in a balanced and scholarly way.

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I can't say enough good things about Bahai's...they also have a lot of martyrs (given their context this is not suprising). I have many good friends who are Bahai's and they are wonderful, deeply spiritual people. It was a Bahai group that I used to attend who taught me the some of the best meditation and prayer techniques I ever learned. A youth group I lead in San Francisco used to attend interfaith activities with the Bahai's and the youth got along great. I have a rather large collection of Bahai books too although they have a "no proselytizing" rule which I appreciate....but it may slow down their growth.

I agree...go Bahai go!

*smiles*

Yeah they're good, a wise person pointed out "But every religion has it's plonkers" and I *have* been subjected to the semi-insane rantings of a Bahai prosytiser... he excelled at telling other people what they believed, and asserting that Bahai' was the ultimate expression of what the other person "really" or "should" believe.

But... even Bahai' prosyltising is more refreshing and lively than the mind deadening antics of the poorer elements of other religions, like physical coercian!

further reducing size of world

sub head to yours to mine on
another site, but am adding you to
my friends list, you are welcome to
visit mine and add if it seems or
not contrariwise as tweedledum wld
say and in every case blessin's
lj=seraphimsigrist
+Seraphim Joseph Sigrist.

of course I suppose any persons god
is fairly vague isnt it...?
but my objection, if the thought is serious,
wld be that of the old math major blaise
pascal Fire ... etc as recorded
in his hat band.
+Seraphim.

*Disclaimer* Childhood memory, obviously prone to innacuracy / interpretation.

I have to say, when I was about 9, I had a friend who's parents were part of a Bahai group, and once I went to a barbecue with them. Everyone was frienly and polite and everything, but something about the whole group was just, well, really damn creepy. It's hard to describe, but it's like in a horror film where the subject suddenly realises that everyone around him has been subtly brainwashed. Creepy. Not to say that Bahai has anything to do with brainwashing, it's was just a creepy experience I had >.

Sorta 'Stepford Wives' feeling?

I had that feeling a year ago when I realized all my new housemates that I just moved in with, were Theatre Set Designers!

</joke>>

Maybe Bahai' was simply there front for something sinister! (Or... maybe they were taking over Bahai!)

The main Bahai temple is a really beautiful modern geometric thing surrounded by nice fields and trees and things!

(But I could imagine when everything seems so nice that people are warranted some malaise!)

*nods and bounces*

Most Bahai's that I know are people that have earned my respect.

Tis most definately one of my favourite religions although if does also have it's share of plonkers (as does pretty much any religion/group/club with more than a dozen people ;p)

See, this is what I like about your journal - I'd been meaning to look into what Bahai' was about (curiousity after the David Kelly affair), but didn't get around to it.

Don't suppose you've ever written anything about Zoroastrianism, have you? :)

Yeah from time to time, but I don't think I've got any text available readily on my sites ... well nothing I can recall anyway!

I've index half my site (www.dpjs.co.uk, Satanism content) on http://www.dpjs.co.uk/dictionary.html that's worth a check!

I once worked with a guy who was a Baha'i - he always seemed to be a rather earnest and introspective sort of fellow, who was happy to discuss the worldview of his faith if you asked him. I get the impression that Baha'i is not really a proselytising faith, but prefer people to come to it by their own means.

Sufism is interesting too - I can wholeheartedly recommend some of the
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I once worked with a guy who was a Baha'i - he always seemed to be a rather earnest and introspective sort of fellow, who was happy to discuss the worldview of his faith if you asked him. I get the impression that Baha'i is not really a proselytising faith, but prefer people to come to it by their own means.

Sufism is interesting too - I can wholeheartedly recommend some of the <A writings and <A HREF="http://www.khamush.com/love_poems.html">love poetry</A> of <A HREF="http://www.khamush.com/life.html">Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi</A> - there's an interesting thread underlying most of his writings which distinguishes between love/passion in the purely physical/sexual sense, and the deeper feeling you can have for a special person [who may be a mortal, living, breathing being or could be a deity] to the extent that you would devote your entire life to their service.


Sufism is interesting, so different to Islam! But is, however, dying out under heavy oppression in all Muslim countries.

Gnostic faiths always lose out to orthodox ones. There's something about undertaking a personal search for enlightenment that makes one a very bad soldier, I think ...

Yeah there's a definate clear trend isn't there?! I think literalism naturally suits grunts, that's why!

Well I have to say any religion that does not have a god poised to smite you for any wrong doing, and does not have a misogynistic slant, has to be an improvement. But still would much rather the world turned Secular Humanist!!! But yes, I do particularly dislike religions that actively discourage it's followers from thinking...

I thought this sounded familiar! ;)
That sounds like a great book!

Yeah, I realized whilst writing that reply that it'd worth doing a top-level post!

I'm glad to have inspired one of your entries. :)

I still wish Bahai would take a more sensible stance on homosexuality.. *sigh*

You've obviously seen ... http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bah.htm

And this is from a religion that has "no prejudice" as a basic law!! Of course, they get around this by denying that homophobia is a prejudice at all - there nothing wrong with stamping out evil, you see - which makes the whole "no prejudice" cosmic rule seem like a bit of a case of 'do as I say, not do as I do' on the part of god.

Yeah, I've checked out the Bahai webpages. More 'nice' than 'nasty', but really, they're just the same dumb cowpeople as all the other religious fruitcakes. The founder preaches 'A man shall seek his own truth and not follow the word of prophets!' and the crowd respond 'Lord, show us the way!' and proceed to analyse the deceased guru's every last uttered vowel as the one, true, unchanging wellspring of all wisdom.

Idiots, the lot.

So I'm filing this one under "better than being a Muslem or a Southern Baptist", which is damning by faint praise, I'm afraid.

Thanks for that link, I hadn't seen that!! I normally check OCRT as a point of reference whenever I start waffling about religious stuff, they've always got varied and pertinent sources on every religious matter (and I'm not just saying that because they link me!)

You're generally right about Bahai', in total the faith is still only the winner of the special olympics, but in some specifics (such as interfaith dialogue and international peace) they've proven themselves to be worthy players.

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