Thursday, 22 January 2015

Karen Armstrong - A Powerful, Hopeful, and Beautiful Challenge

Karen Armstrong
Two speeches by Karen Armstrong :

OK - so I'm also sharing other people's 'stuff..."  An hour and 15 minutes more worth listening to than ... well - ... it's wonderful. Thanks to Barb Hill Bissonnette for bringing it to my attention. 

Some amazing lines - some facts to "counter our many unsubstantiated certainties ...  :-) And we are sooo certain... 

"The always fascinating Karen Armstrong gave a timely talk on the connection between religion and violence, arguing against the idea that religion has been the cause of all, or even most, of the major wars in history. Religion is implicated in violence with a religious dimension, she says, but if we don’t look at all the other factors, we aren’t seeing the situation straight."  The Germanacos Lecture

She's told so often = "Religion is the cause of all the wars..." "Religion is not the cause of all wars. Eg - WW1 and WW11 were fought for secular nationalism... We never go to war for a single ideology. There's never a single reason for wars - ... territorial, geographical, military (power), competition for scarce resources .... even terrorism - even if it is said to be in the name of religion it is inescapably political - power - grabbing power or disposing of the current status quo..."

For instance: WW1 - 5% of those killed were innocent civilians. WW11, 66.5% (firebombs of whole cities on both sides in europe, atomic bombs - and now - in war 90% of those killed are innocent civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Re Islam - she says a great deal - one point worth thinking about: "We need to educate ourselves."

"We need to allow ourselves to be shaken, changed, to go beyond our received wisdom." coming from Socrates who, just before he died, said, "I know only one thing - that I know nothing." or something close to that...

Anyhow, well worth the long watch/listen. There are many other memorable quotes - but i don't remember them - it's like books - if they change my heart, they've done their job and set me in the right direction.  But don't ask me to quote them.

Just a few thoughts... and she walked away from the institutional church years ago, but "I never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but I really love what the Pope is doing."  

Check out Armstrong's Charter of Compassion. sign up if you wish.

People want to be religious, says scholar Karen Armstrong; we should help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help build a Charter for Compassion — to restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.

The Golden Rule is at the centre of all religions. 

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