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Lesson 21 ~ Religious Philosophy ~ Ecclesiasticism ~ We Went West ~ Essay
By:  Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF
 
Critics, and some academics, have sometimes maintained that it is this focus on the internal self that has prevented societies where these religions are predominant that has resulted in their lack of material gain and progress. They accept the notion that it is this psychological focus that has removed any emphasis on scientific, educational, or economic advances. What are your thoughts? Do you think that emphasizing the "inner you" that that necessarily precludes social or scientific advances?  I believe if you or a society take things to an extreme then, being totally in touch with your "inner being" can be disastrous to your own wellbeing. Hence, if a society such as those talked about is focused on each individual's inner being I would think this would be too many whole entities and the society would not be working for the betterment of the entire group.  This may cause a total breakdown in the structural basis.  In conclusion:  the individual/society that remains focused on themselves should restructure its thinking to include everyone in the society as a whole, not a lot of individual wholes.
 
If, as we saw earlier in the course, that it is true that religions have tended to focus on one of Russell's 'three great problems' at the expense of the other two, which of these problems seems to you to be the "most important"? Ignoring for the moment the specific religions this indirectly indicates, do you believe the world would be better off if it adopted the views of the Western Ecclesiastical religions (i.e. the natural problem), the Eastern Ecclesiastical religions (i.e. the social problem), or the Southern Ecclesiastical religions (i.e. the psychological problem)? Why?  Interesting, it would be nice if the world could adopt all three sects, however if I were to choose just one, I believe the world may do better adopting the Eastern Ecclesiastical religions, because these seem to be best suited for putting and keeping society's peoples to work and in a forward moving direction.  However, all three "problems" do have their own merits and this should not be over looked either.  It would be interesting if the ancient leaders would have had the ability to spy, if you will, on other parts of the world like using the internet to see what trials and tribulations they were facing and vice versa.  This would also give the different parts of the world the ability to incorporate into their own society what was working for them.  Far fetched eh?  Maybe not, just think of the historical change that might have taken place. 
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