Lecture 5 – February 7th, 2011
Religious Rejections of the World
DOL in Society
Agenda + Structure
Function of DOL
- “The puritan wanted to be someone with a vocational calling, today we are forced to be”
o In the day, working hard that got us closer to god. Today, if you want to get by in the
world, you have to get with the program and work hard.
- What is difference between different religious attitudes and the world? Which religious
encourage people to drop out of the world (make our way up to a higher world), and which
encourage people to accept or actively change the world? If people’s basic values orient towards
their actions, those attitudes are going to influence economics, art, etc.
o Salvation religion
Salva comes from the latin word to save from suffering sin and corruption
Promises to raise people above the world. Have been historically some of the
most important. In rising above the world that currently exists, people who
have been able to do so also have been able to radically change the way the
Interested in the social consequences that lead you to believe salvation
Historically influencial social change
Christianity is a prime one.
Often says that your spiritual brothers are your real brothers, more than your
blood brothers. Radical statement because kinship is a major way or organizing
the world. It breaks the blood family, and instead creates a spiritual family.
Encourages people to love all of humanity. Everyone can be potentially saved
and enter the spiritual realm, That also changes the world because if all people
can be saved, then the bond of the tribe has been a major way of organizing
Inner-Worldly Religion (you’re
supposed to somehow realize
god’s teaches out there in the
Outer-Worldly Religion (you have
to leave the world somehow to
live up to god’s wishes.)
Active Religion (think of
yourself as an active agent of
god. God has a mission, and
you’re god’s tool. If you don’t
carry out the mission, it wont
- You have to go out into
the world and reshape
the world. The world is
- ACCORDING TO WEBER,
it’s the PURIST and
- Go to the monastery and
yourself. But you’re
working on yourself
Passive Religion (you’re not a
tool, but a vessel; a cup into
which god pours himself.
You’re accepting god and
letting him into you somehow.
- You’re out there in the
world. You have to do
stuff, but you don’t
really care about it. You
- Go up to the mountains,
meditate, and let god in.
- ACCORDING TO WEBER,
it’s the PURIST and
take what comes your
way. Nothing in the
world matters; if you
have money, you give it
away because you don’t
care. You’re above
- Where are the sources of tension between salvation of religion that all human beings are equal?
There’s a brotherhood of blood but there’s a brotherhood that we’re all equal
Capitalism doesn’t care, profit is profit. There’s very limited personal
connections. How many people know who their banker is? Their mortgage
person? It’s taking place in an abstract relationship. Deeply neighbourly. Youre
suppose to know people in a warm and loving me. You can’t treat people like
worksheets, treat them as friends; this is more or less a Christian attitude. It is a
fundamental value clash. You have a dehumanizing relationship in the
Two main ways that world religions can square the circle – the possibilities that
allow you to live.
o Puritan Ethic
You work in a vocation
Idea of brotherly love and universal meaning for all people. You focus on
yourself and state of grace if it was in Protestantism. You select an overall part
of salvation – universal brotherly love and remove them; narrow down who
gets to exist in the moral community to just a few people. There’s no tension
here because all the good people are making profit and the bad people are out.
How is that? You participate in the economy but not OF it. You withdraw from
accepting profit. You just drop your pay cheque on the street. These are two
possible ways of reconciling the tensions between the salvations of the world.
Treat success of economic design as religious success. There’s tension between
success in the economy and being a good religious. How can you love all
people, you’re exploiting them.
- Tension between politics and salvation religion
- They say that they will remake the world from scratch. There’s a better and sacred way to live.
We can save and reform the corrupt world and we’re going to make it a better world breaking
the corruption that exists. Say you have to be a king or roman empire, you have Jesus to say He
wants to reform the world, do they like that? Of course not.
- What’s the general source of the problem?
Important when it comes to state administration or function. You work in a
government bureaucracy you got your tax forms and spreadsheets. You aren’t
thinking about the individual human beings but an abstract way. State
bureaucracy accepts your sensitivity to humanity.
If you’re in the state you have the authority to use violence against people.
Power or hierarchy is built into the state.
States use violence. Cops show up and will hurt you sometimes. But a religion
of brotherly love will be pacifists, make love not war.
o Real politik
States will often just pursue what’s in their interest regardless of its morality. A
lot of times the state will say that we don’t like the dictator, but what the hell,
go through with it.
States go to war. States have to do this once in a while. What is it that
motivates people to die for their country? That’s patriotism.
o Consecration of Death
Think about this. If you go to war for your country and you died for something,
your death will be consecrated. For the most part, the only way your death will
have meaning is when you die for your religion. Think about dying for your
country of a universal ethical brotherly love. It’s like brothers killing each other.
Religion is against. Religion of politics is fundamental for giving meaning to
death. There’s two ways out: the puritan way or the mysticism. Puritan way is
to have a religious duty to impose God’s Will on the world. That means you’ll
have to be a crusader and missionary to carry God’s word to the dark places in
the world. For example the Iraq War was a crusade. The mystical route is that
you say that we want to drop out of politics. Violence upon you? - You do not
resist or anything. You just don’t want to get involved. You want to control this
and master this.
- Tension between these religions and the realms of art and aesthetics
- These kinds of religions, the ethic of brotherly love tends to devalue the unity as an important
thing in the world – why?
o Anti-sensuous pleasure
These religions are often demanding of rising above the temptation of the
world by emptying of desire or denying
This is the excitement of listening to music, a poem, looking at art. Insofar as
art is these unleashing of vital energies and should be suppressed and worried
o Meaning versus Form
These salvation religions have these rituals in religions. Here, they focus more
on substance. Do you really belief that it’ll hook you into the higher world?
o Art for Arts’ sake
Art itself can seem like it can be a source of meaning in life. It can be a rival to
religion. You say I’m not religious anymore I don’t need it anymore, done
listening to music looking at art. Where religion is methodical and discipline,
meditating, checking self of temptation. Religion could be restrictive. Artists
want to experiment with these feelings that maybe you don’t want to explore,
it seems dangerous.
o Sex/Erotic Realm
There is a deep tension between brotherly love and realm of eroticism. This is
not a tension between religion and sex all the time. Plenty are okay and maybe
sacred such as religious origins. Some salvation religions think that there is a
deep tension. The tension is not with the sex act per se. No religion is thought
to survive with anyone having sex. The tension is when sex becomes eroticism.
Eroticism could be a source of what gives your life meaning.