Religious faith has inspired..." />
Posted by Elizabeth on November 18, 1999, at 0:25:27
In reply to Re: science superior to religion? (CarolAnn), posted by Adam on November 17, 1999, at 15:38:03
> What science perhaps can never do is tell people how they ought to feel.
Why should *anything* tell people how they "ought" to feel?
On another note (pun intended):
>Religious faith has inspired such movingly beautiful creations of literature and music and art, I would feel deeply saddened if it were all
>suddenly taken away.
Hmm...the same claim has been made of depression. (e.g., what if Dostoevsky, Salinger, Mozart, etc., had been on Prozac?). Does that make depression a good thing that shouldn't be eliminated? (And how do we know that depression, or religion, is required for inspiration?)
(For that matter, speaking of Dostoevsky, it's been hypothesized that his apparent mood disorder may have been related to temporal lobe epilepsy. Does that make epilepsy a good thing?)
> What will inspire future creators to compose another requiem mass, write another Upanisad, move with the grace and serenity of tai chi.
> I have participated in Latin masses, Bhuddist chants, read part of the Pesach Hagadah. I even helped organize the Divali celebration at my college and adapted
> part of the Ramayana as a play. To lose religion seems a terrible thing to me, and at the same time, I cannot truly understand it or be a part of it, and I
> predict it is slowly dying.
I wrote a "little mass" as my final project for a music composition course in college. It's not Bach (actually Palestrina was the inspiration), but it shows something I think: it doesn't require faith to write a mass or to be moved by it. (A lot of Catholic-style masses have been written by Protestants, and Brahms reinvented the requiem.)
I don't think faith is required to be inspired, either. I've found at least two of the classes I've taken deeply inspiring (Allan Hobson's sleep class, and a course of my dad's that I sat in on).
For that matter I've sometimes experienced brief spontaneous episodes of "inspiration" or ecstasy (sort of like being moved by a beautiful piece of music or a sad story, only more so). (This seems to be predictive of panic attacks, interestingly enough.)