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about

A vision of the future of religion, entirely naturalized.

Further reading: www.naturalism.org/spirituality

lyrics

Like John Lennon I can imagine a world with no religion
It’s a world you can visit, just get a ticket to Denmark, Norway or Finland
I can imagine a world without religion even if religious is adaptive
And religious rituals are designed to elevate, bind, and enrapture us

Nature is full of adaptations that fill us with a sense of admiration
From the peacock to the leopard asleep in the treetops, it’s all so amazing
Which means religion is also amazing, incentivizing cooperation
Building civilizations and building trust among strangers in congregations

And building walls of separation between competing factions
Religion enhances and also entrenches human interactions
And yeah, I can imagine a world with no religion; it’s not so far fetched
In fact, that world has been imagined already; it’s called “Star Trek”

And yes, I too dream of a unified human race exploring space
But for that to happen we’d have to see the end of wars over faith
Or maybe just the end of faith, but this view of religion is an antidote
It’s the evolutionary view, which every human on this planet should know

Even if they don’t agree with it, don’t agree with it! That’s fine, just try to comprehend it
If everybody could at least comprehend it, religious violence would be all but ended
This vision begins with every human being as part of one species
An African ape that expanded its range, but we can still interbreed with ease

We all share a common ancestor a couple hundred thousand years ago
And we all share a set of instincts that are known by the label "spiritual"
A set of practices that assisted our ancestors in becoming ancestral
But that doesn't mean religion today is either benign or beneficial

Things done changed! There's more information out there for the curious
And scientific findings are contradicting varieties of religious experience
And today belief in the supernatural isn’t necessary or sufficient
To live a meaningful life, but it does carry some nasty baggage with it

Like homophobic scriptures, sectarian divisions, karmic victim blaming
Pernicious guilt, fear of hell, taking infidels into slavery
Treating women shamefully, and trusting the gods instead of changing things
If everything happens for a reason, those reasons could use some explaining

So yeah, I can imagine a world without religion, but that's not my vision
My vision is a world with religion, in which religion is naturalistic
It embraces the path we've been on, and the fact that we're naturally selected
And celebrates our place in the cosmos, and the planet we’re inhabiting in it

But with no supernatural, no superstition, no miracles breakin’ the laws of physics
And no religious justification for the mistreatment of conspecifics
With the supernatural gone, we can still experience transcendence
We’ll get it from dancing and meditation, we’ll tap into compassion without limits

We’ll get it from music and moving images, from shared moments as audience members
We’ll get it from nature, from being intrinsically part of it instead of separate
But most of all, we get it from connecting with our fellow citizen humans
From that feeling of expansion that's endowed in us by evolution

So join me in imagining religion entirely naturalized
In which communal rituals and stories still survive to enhance our lives
In which we live to improve this world, ‘cause there’s nothing after we die
Imagine how good that could be, it’s easy if you try

credits

from The Rap Guide to Religion, released October 23, 2015
Written by D. Brinkman and T. Caruana
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Piano and Organ by Simon Kendall
String Arrangement by Simon Kendall
Cello by Peggy Lee
Violin by Mark Ferris
Mastered by Mr. Simmonds

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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Canadian hip-hop with an intellectual bent, nothing but sexy beats and sumptuous brain food.

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