Primal Religions vs. Religious Humanism

Primal Religions vs. Religious Humanism

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Primal Religions vs. Religious Humanism


Although there are many differences between primal religions and modern day religious humanists, there are some similarities between the two. In light of their differences and similarities, both have goals that they are trying to achieve. For the religious humanists it is to establish and maintain " a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently co-operate for the common good." While on the other hand primal religions aim to carry on the traditions of their ancestors and to revive and maintain "a lost reverence and passion for the earth and its web of life" (Collier p.1, 7.)
Primal religions are religions that we associate with tribal communities that passed on religious information through oral traditions, rather than written religious doctrines. The people of primal religions often identified themselves as being a part of nature and with their ancestors. The people of primal religions believe in spirits and engage in mysticism. In revering nature, their ancestors, and through oral traditions and rituals they carry on the legacy of their co-creators in uniting themselves with the earth- who in return nurtures them.
Now, on the other end of the religious spectrum, lies the religious humanists; and though they do respect historical religions and mans humble beginnings, they are more concerned with present day man and that of the future. Religious humanists are concerned with maintaining social well- being and establishing social interactions and communication. Also, religious humanists believe in bettering ones life through achievements and reason rather than religious hopes and faith. They (religious humanists) associate personal happiness, and a better human condition with the self and those around us rather than a god.
Collectively, there are numerous differences between primal religions and religious humanists. One of the important differences are their goals and the way they go about achieving them. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, people primal religions are concerned with carrying on the traditions of their ancestors and caring for nature- so that in return it takes care of them- while religious humanists aim for personal happiness and a better social condition of man. Another prominent difference between the two religious groups is the way in which they tackle problems that man encounters. For example, disease; while religious humanists believe in using technology and science to better a person's medical condition, peoples of a primal religion might look to a shaman, magical concoction or prayer to obtain the same result.

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Another difference is how primal religious members and religious humanists establish their beliefs. Not unlike traditional religions, primal religious members base their beliefs on a certain faith that has been passed down through generations, while religious humanists base their beliefs on reason, and evidence or lack of evidence. Also, we can take into account the fact that the center of religion for the religious humanists is man, while there is no center for primal religions; everything in nature is of equal importance, per se. Finally, the most obvious and significant difference between the two groups involves metaphysics, peoples of primal religions, believe in spirits and most importantly a creator(s),while religious humanists believe in a self existing world with no god or creator(s.)
The differences between religious humanists and primal religions lead us to their similarities. Without looking more deeply into these religious groups, it would be hard to identify significant similarities between the two. The Sioux Native American Indians, a primal religious group, believe there should be human unity, a brotherhood of man, which religious humanists work to establish. Also,both religions are opposed to a "profit -motivated society" and they believe in a value system. Man, in both religious viewpoints is a product of nature and a member within nature's cycle. And at last we can identify that both religious groups- even though one is atheistic and on theistic- believe that the world is finite and that we, as man can do things to prolong our stay here on earth.
In Conclusion, these religions are significantly more different than they are alike. But that does not in anyway exclude the validity or importance of their similarities. By identifying this we can truly appreciate the fact that even the most obviously different religious groups share commonalities.
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