It pains me to see so many highly religious people spew hate towards other religions and viewpoints. Isn't a main aspect of every religion having goodwill towards others. Most major religions do not condon hatred, but for some reason religious debates always spark the evil in people. For example, I just asked my girlfriend who is Catholic, what makes your religion perfect, and every other one "pointless". My question came after a comment she made about Catholism being the only religion that makes sense. How can people be so closed minded and ignorant?
Does anyone have any input? Thank you...
It's all fully explained in Becker's 1970s classic book, "The Denial of Death".
Well worth a read.
It explains the psychological processes underlying the "us and them" mentality and the apparently counterproductive desire some people have to sacrifiice their lives for a symbol like a cross or a flag - when we were supposedly trying to survive first and foremost.
It explains how the survival of an IDEA, like a nation or a religion, helps us to feel that we ourselves will live as long as the idea survives.
It is fascinating reading, and makes complete sense of everything from suicide bombing to the Holocaust and the Spanish Inquisition, and from high school bitchy cliques to celebrity-worship and even women choosing to be "circumcised".
Anyone interested in religion or human society should at least read a summary of this book!
I haven't read the book, but I've long had the idea that "us versus them" is at the root of most of humanity's problems. Religion can be the worst expression of that (other ideologies not being far behind--like the need to save democracy from communism). When Group A believes that its absolutely right, all other groups must be wrong. Suddenly a doctrine that was based on love and redemption becomes something taught at sword point.
It's not the religion's fault but rather the fault of *some* of its followers. Going back to the original poster's comment about his Catholic girlfriend...nearly everything I've learned about accepting myself, faults and all, and letting others be who they are, I learned from a Catholic. He is passionate about his faith and unbelievably conservative, yet he loves me like a daughter despite my being about as opposite as possible in religion, politics, and just about everything else. There are way too many examples of religious extremists from the major religions. But there are also some very kind, gentle people who follow the same faiths without turning them into something unpleasant.
well first of all religion has been getting people killed for ages.. People want their god to better then other religion gods.. It all goes back to humans being ignorant and dumb... we are a race(human) that has already proved the bible wrong! whats wrong with you all? Now ive said before if you are scared to die and want something more to ease you on your death bed, have faith... the truth is i could pick up an iron man comic 10,000 yrs from now and say that was our god.. there is no proof of a god! Ever!!! only stories about a god...
If more people cared about people rather then the "holy" bible the world would prolly be alot better( i cant prove it)... but no one can dissprove it...
catholism makes sense??? yeah rather then you read the bible, the priest read it for you so you get his interpretation..
They celebrate christmas with gifts(btw i was raised roman catholic, and did some bible studying of my own) if they read jeremiah 10 they might have to rethink that whole holiday...
of course that is my interpretation..
just do right in your life my brother... and remember faith never hurt anybody in the end..
its good to have faith and something to look foward to in the afterlife....
just not for me.....im gonna sacrifice myself inn the end for everything we've killed as human beings(as a whole).....
Its the same with Footabll teams people support, polititians that are liked and everyone will always have something bad to say about the opposition!!
Its just a shame that there are not more people in the world are not as open minded like you Hooksey!
If you ask me - those people are not religious at all. They just pretend to be.
Of course Mark will say that they are religious, and this is what religions are all about - but we kinda have different definitions of religion with him
Hi Hooksey, welcome to hubpages .
Misha was talking about Mark Knowles soon you´ll find out what he means .
On the subject I could not agree with you more, some people (not only religious ones) are often closed minded and ignorant about other´s opinions . The worst thing about them is that they always try to convince you they´re right and that you don´t know nothing about it.
I suppose he knows by now.
I can't stand religion. It breeds monsters. jk. Maybe not monsters, but it makes people hate. Makes people want to be God heros, when God can take care of God's self.
I think that non-religous cults are just the same as religous cults. For everything you can think of that is good, I guarantee someone will think of it's exact opposite.
What's the opposite of religion, no religion...god, no god, life, no life, heaven, hell...love, hate...sad, happy.
So Jesus hates neutral people. I can only imagine that Jesus is the Devil. The light masquarader. But whatever, I am pretty sure this is not acceptable by any religion. So, now I got my own belief.
Use to think Jesus was great, till I realized that the last 2000 years have been messed up because of him. The man with the double edge sward Jesus, The man on the White horse who comes with fire and pestelance and war and famine. Not my idea of a savior.
Sounds more the one who decieves, convinces you to worship him and then kills everything off. Good people, bad people. He don't care. He loves it when you love him...cause he is the devil.
Hey yo though, I forgive him. He's only human.
Unfortunatly being open minded and being very religous must be a hard cross to bear ( sry about the pun!)
All religons are dogmatic in their views. Saying your open minded is therefore a contradiction to your own personal beliefs.
I, of course, respectfully disagree. I think it depends on what religious or philosophical beliefs you aspire to.
I am a devout Buddhist and one of the major tenets of the Buddhist faith is cultivating compassion, understanding, open mindedness and truly embracing diversity.
These principles also happen to be the same ones that Jesus and Mohammed and many other prophets have espoused throughout the centuries.
The reason why so many organized religions became close minded, insular and sometimes downright hateful, bigoted and dogmatic is because the 'powers-that-be' wanted some way to control the masses. They turned religion into basically a brainwashing plan so they could run countries, keep the riches and be a great political force. If people live in fear (fear of going to hell, fear of God, fear of 'the end of days') then it is easier to control them and get them to do whatever you want them to do.
This tactic has been used not only by the Churches but also the Communist Party and now the Bush Administration.
I agree with Misha that truly spiritual people will have a wide open mind.
The problem is many of the 'true believers' who appear the most devout to the outside world are in fact the ones who are the most afraid of life and use religion and the structure of an organization to hide this truth from themselves and others.
Your personal beliefs whatever they may be should release you from fear and give you a sense of freedom and joy that allows you to embrace the diversity of the human spirit. This is my humble opinion on the matter.
And where is Mark? Shouldn't he be weighing in by now? Lol. Mark? Mark?
I do think so too. Unfortunately there is only few people in this world having such character, and usually these people I know let themselves to remain "unknown"...
Pesonally I follow a eclectic path, so any other knowledge and wisdom is greatly taken in!
That sounds wonderful!
I have studied many different religions, theologies, philosophies and the like. I find it fascinating what people believe or how they come to those beliefs or absence of belief as the case may be. We humans are an interesting bunch. Lol
Mark has been otherwise engaged today. Torn between the fact that the sun was shining and the best petits-fours and coffee in the south of France needed to be consumed. Plus trying to set up a Portuguese, German, Chinese, French, Russian and Dutch version of his blog. Sheesh. More work than I thought.
Religion = Scum politician. the only one I have any sort of respect for is Buddhism. And if I am brutally honest, the Zen Buddhists.
Sounds like you've been having fun!
I can see why you singled out Zen Buddhists. I have always studied on my own, talking to Buddhists of all different philosophies etc. Then I thought I might like to have a formal teacher, someone to discourse with on different issues.
Many of my friends are Tibetan Buddhists and so I decided to explore that option but what I have discovered is that Tibetan Buddhism is too dogmatic for me. It is probably the most organized and institutionalized form of Buddhism. While it still holds firm to the Buddha's original teachings there is so much more hierarchy and ritual it seems and that doesn't work for me.
The Buddha himself was not interested in ritual or dogma. In fact he didn't want his teachings to become an organized religion. So I have to agree the Zen Buddhists hold more firmly to the first Dharma teachings than anyone else it seems and now I'm leaning more in that direction.
I don't do well with organized hierarchies. I think an individual approach is better and Zen is certainly individual.
This is what I feel for most religions.
It's not religions per se, that are wrong, it's the people that mis-create/mis-use them. People make choices, and hopefully learn how to make better ones.
It would be good if people really started accepting that truth, of looking at themselves, instead of blaming badness on whatever outside of themselves. We must always look within to find the answers...is it the not-real self in me or is it the not-real self in someone else?
there have been many people who have become saints, sages, wise, etc...from the same religions that others have accused of hurting them. It is the people
or here is another take on similar: I used to get a kick out of kids saying things like blaming what happened to them on an inanimate object or a living thing with less consciousness than themself. i.e. a plant, poison ivy, for instance, they would say "that poison ivy gave me a rash" instead of "I touched that poison ivy". With some people it is an occassional slip of the tongue, with others it is a constant perception.
We are responsible for our own actions, and how we perceive another's actions...sometimes we just need to learn that point. I still have learning to do on that point.
Anyone read the God Delusion? I am about to start it, but I wanted to hear some opinions first, just incase it starts out boring.
I think you'll enjoy it, Sandra.
It sometimes seems like there are two versions of this book. Atheists and agnostics read a coherent, plausible, rationally-argued, evidence-based plea for reason and the scientific method, while religious believers read a violent, aggressive, emotive and totally unjustified attack on their heart-felt beliefs.
Yet, of course, it's exactly the same book. Perception, as they say, is everything.
Although, personally speaking, I agree with just about everything Dawkins says, I have to say that I think it's far from his best book. It sometimes seems written in haste, and not so cogently-argued or well-written as his other works. My own personal favorite is The Blind Watchmaker.
But I'll be very pleased to hear what you think of it.
Imagine a scale which runs all the way from the dogmatically religious at one end (a score of +10) to the dogmatically atheist at the other (a score of -10). By dogmatic, I mean they won't consider any other view but their own.
You'll find lots of people at the +10 end, but virtually no one at the -10 end.
That's what religious fundamentalists can't understand. They are very closed-minded at their end of the scale, so they assume those at the other end of the scale must be the same. However, all atheists are willing to be converted, if they can be shown proof that God exists. Certainly, they will argue (sometimes vehemently) against his existence when faced with unproven claims and poor logic - but their minds are not closed.
True religion, if you will... embraces all people.
I also believe, that true religion teaches love, tolerance, peace and understanding. From my own personal experience with religion - there is no need to argue about who is right or who is wrong.
Each one of us, has personal beliefs about life. Whether they spring from religious teachings or philosophy... all should be respected.
For me, I always enjoy not only sharing what I believe, but also understanding that which others believe.
I think that the problems begin, when one person insist upon being right in conversation with another having different opinions. It is much better to discuss religion, from the perspective of a teacher or student.
Just share and allow others to form their own opinions. When people feel threatened and need to defend what they believe - problems will arise. Religion is not coercive, but more... enticing.
I really appreciate those who allow me to share what I believe. I think this is so respectful. I always hope others will share with me, knowing that I too learn much from them.
HP is a great example. I have learned so much from many others of different faiths, which have added to what I already believe... It is awesome!
Anytime a person becomes aggressive or offensive - I will turn and walk the other way.
Religion, for me - is to form bonds, not to burn bridges with. At least not the religion that has blessed my life.
Open mindedness is also relative. I have seen some people who claim to be spiritual and open minded judgemental towards people that are not more "open minded" like them. For instance, some people will tell a highly religious person that they are not open minded if they are not open to living with someone before marriage. I think open mindedness is a highly relative. Basically, being open minded means you try to understand why everyone thinks the way they do and try not to judge them. Also, using sweet and kind words is a big part of being open minded. You never jump to a conclusion and feel someone's interpretation is more reactionary than yours, etc, etc.
Exactly. An open-minded person is happy to enter into friendly debate about their views or beliefs and expects others to do likewise. Closed-minded people think a debate has to have an outcome - someone has to "win" by having their view prevail. An open-minded person is prepared to agree to disagree.
I consider myself spiritual, but probably wouldn't describe myself as religious. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I pray? Yes, sometimes it is all that keeps me going. But I have no desire to be associated with 'religion'.
Humans are the problem with religion. Religion teaches love and acceptance. Anytime people get involved, it always comes down to a power struggle, greed, and other nasty human vices. I quit attending church a long time ago because of this very reason. I would love to find a church with loving, accepting people, but I'm not holding my breath.
A close friend of mine thought she had found just that, until she was sexually abused by one of the senior members of the congregation and had the temerity to complain ....
Wow, Inspirepub, that is so sad. I really sympathize with your friend. I can't say that I'm surprised, though. I've heard similar stories from churchgoers. And just like many rape cases, the victims had fingers pointed at them and the abusers were protected. I hope that your friend doesn't lose her faith because of it.
This is not to say that I believe that ALL churches are terrible. It is just that I've yet to find a church where I felt the members were sincere. And it's just not worth the effort to me anymore. I'll learn about God on my own, thank you.
As a matter of fact, I'll elaborate one step further. If I meet someone and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is how religious they are, I get out of there fast. In my experience, these are the very people that will put a knife in your back, gossip, and screw you out of money quicker than anyone. I'll choose any of my friends that like to party and haven't set foot in a church for years anyday. (And I'm not much of a partyer.)
Again, these are MY personal and business experiences. I know one person that is an avid churchgoer that I think is truly sincere. But she doesn't try to convince me how religious she is every other sentence, either.
(I have a feeling I am going to regret this post.)
That sometimes seems so such a difficult thing to answer. Often I think its because we loose sight of the fact that we are all God's children. I am a highly religious person and one of our Articles of Faith says We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (11th Article of Faith)
Often I feel it is because of intolerance and ignorance that people become nasty when trying to defend their beliefs. If any faith promotes and encourages their congregations to improve themselves, develop faith, encourages service to others and to practice tolerance then it can only be of benefit no matter what faith it is.
Hi Karen and Leslie (?)
I too am Mormon, which is obvious. LOL Thanks for your comment. I agree with what you have said here. Mormonism teaches these wonderful principles for which I am so grateful. I can't imagine considering or calling myself "religious" and not practicing these very basic tenets of Christianity.
Angela - I am so sorry that these are the experiences that you have had... but, you are right - this is more the common experience of many. Therefore, "religion" is often given a bad name, in His Name, which is horrible IMHO.
I hope to leave a better taste in your mouth. LOL
I hope I didn't offend you or anyone else. I am aware that many people attend church regularly who are truly sincere. Just it has been my experience that those that are always wanting to announce it to the world seem to have something to hide or to prove. I know that not all people that are eager to talk about religion are that way. If I thought so, I would be just as closed minded as most religious zealots. I'm just saying that it sets my warning signals off.
You, dear Kathryn, seem like a very loving, sincere, and accepting religious person. I would like to find a church filled with people like you.
Sorry I didn't check this thread a while back. I was not offended at all. If "religious" individuals do not understand the point you were making.... hmm? Ignorant, I would say. Or maybe arrogant?
Those who do claim to be religious, are often seen by others as hypocrites when they do not behave in ways that others assume that they should, because of what "they" purport to be the right way.
In other words, those who try their best to practice what they believe, oftentimes fall short. In fact, most of the time. I, am a perfect example. LOL
When those that set "themselves" up - inevitably fall short - they become the target to those whom they most likely have judged previously, by their beliefs. Particularly IF they have been preachy or holier than thou. Never attractive.
Worst of all.... they give "religion" a bad name, and turn many off from it.
I know many sincere, imperfect, "religious" people. I actually believe that religion, is exactly for these kinds of folks... meaning, true religion is for the broken and not the perfect. Only when we come to recognize this, will religion become a true blessing in our lives, and ultimately to others whom we come in contact with.
I think that it is one thing to teach and share the principles that we believe, it is better to not ever set ourselves up personally - as the example of such high ideals. Only that we desire to live them and do our best to "practice what we preach".
Only then, will those who are "religious" gain any credibility.
Thank you, for your very kind words.
I hope true religious people cann't be narrow minded whatever religion they embrace.All the religions have such things common to teach their followers.
The reason why people become overly religious is because they are not open-minded. That's why they become fanatics.
Those religious people who don't go overboard are open-minded, though.
I consider myself a religious person. I try to lead a virtuous life, play by the rules most of the time (although I do get a fiendish delight out of challenging rules advanced by those who are somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun) and yet I am also left of center politically. I go to church on Sunday and my kids say bedtime prayers with me.
All that said, I also have a fairly healthy amount of contempt for people who make overt displays of how much holier they are than me. You know the people I'm talking about. They're the ones who have to get down on their knees when receiving holy communion, even though NO ONE else is doing it.
I recall a scriptural reading where Jesus taught us the proper way to pray. He was quite specific that when you are fasting, do not wear long faces so people will know you are fasting, and think well of you because you are so damned holy! So in my book, the people who sit at the back of the church and follow along with the priest are every bit as holy as the people in the front row who want to make for damned sure that everyone sees them and their family up there.
Yeah, I guess I did get off the topic a bit. The point I was trying to make is that in my book, a liberal person is open-minded, whereas a conservative person tries to maintain the status quo. I'm politically liberal on most points, but I still think of myself as a religious person, so I do think it is possible to be open-minded and religious at the same time. I probably didn't come off sounding terribly tollerant after my last post. If not, excuse me. I've had kind of a long day, and I think it's time my head found a pillow.
Jim, I've never been able to categorise myself as liberal or conservative in an absolute fashion. It really depends on the context, and in some ways they are labels and words- and words have meanings that differ according to who's speaking and who's listening...
In the same way 'open-minded' and 'religious' have differing meanings according to the audience, and could be termed 'labels' as well.
Its interesting that one of the tendencies we've often had is to divide, or define?, things as 'this OR that', in very black and white terms. But there's another possibility- one of 'this AND that'. We can be spiritual and financially independent; have unity and independent thinking in an organisation.
Personally I think it's crucial to be open-minded when investigating religion and seeking the truth. To close yourself off almost seems in some ways dogmatic- 'I've found the truth, there's no other way' and on and on..
So I agree with you above that's its absolutely possible to be open-minded and religious at the same time.
(Have you answered your original question then?)
Great discussion :-)
OK, coming back to disagreement. First, I don't see any relationship between being religious and being liberal/conservative. Both could be religious and could be not. Second, I fail to see why liberals are more open minded than conservatives - both have a set of political beliefs, and rigidity of political zealots can compete only with rigidity of religious ones. Third, as Mark already noticed, *very* religious people are close-minded by definition - and the original question was about very religious people I believe
Thanks Jim, now I see your point Does not mean I agree to it, though
That's OK. We can agree to disagree but not be disagreeable in the process. Now, as an open-minded kind of guy, I'd be curious to know where we disagree. Who knows? Maybe you'll change my mind!
Not today, sorry. It's 1:30 over here, and I'm going to hit the pillow right away. Good night
I have no problem with God.
It's his fan clubs and their over zealous members that I can't stand.
I have pretty much no religion at the moment, was raised catholic but like a lot I know when really bad things happen it's hard to see the reasoning that a higher being has done that for the greater good.
Couple that with from my standpoint that religion seems to be the cause or scapegoat for many conflicts in this world.
I'm quite happy being anti-religion but I respect anyone who has faith in some religion of any sort.
"Is it impossible to be very religious while staying open minded?"
If you are very religious and believe whatever religion you believe with all your heart, how on earth can you be open minded?
If you genuinely believe religion XYZ - every other religion must be wrong.
How you choose to manifest that is an entirely different question. Burn them at the stake or tolerate them - either way, you have to still believe they are wrong. Open minded - No.
Hmmm Mark, how about if each religion has a specific purpose, and a specific time and are all part of a progressive revelation. Then there's no wrong religion per se.
Lost me I'm afraid. Is this a new religion or a hypothetical question?
Both I suppose..lol. The Bahai Faith - which is the newest world religion- talks about religion being progressive. So there's no 'right' one, each has come at a specific time in history to address the needs of mankind at that stage. Its like a constant renewal. Openmindedness, in the regard that they don't denounce the other religions is certainly a characteristic of the Bahai's, and they are also 'religious'.
I had a quick look at them and it seems more a political ideology than a religion. Unlike christianity which is not political at all
I see the Iranians are locking them up and killing their leaders. But according to the Bahai religion, this is perfectly acceptable and a normal step in the progression of things.
Bahá’u’lláh is their prophet?
Good for you Mark That's right Baha'u'llah is their prophet.
I think in the context of opposition being a common historical event with new faiths, then there is a recognition that these things are almost inevitable. But we all know what happens when there's opposition and controversy :-)
Funny it gives the impression as being a political ideology, Bahai's don't get involved in politics. Unity being a primary principle, politics is seen as intensely divisive.
When bad things happen, I don't see it as God punishing us, or even allowing certain things to happen. God gave us all free will, so we make the choices. Every choice comes with some sort of consequence, either good or bad. At the end of the day, I have faith that when the chips are down, good will prevail. Until then, people being flawed and imperfect as we are will continue to screw up on a highly regular basis.
I wanted to believe that, but based on my current set of beliefs there are more or less equal amounts of good and evil on human terms, which both are good on Universe terms
Here's my problem with that theory - good and bad are subjective concepts. I am quite sure that Osama bin Laden thought that blowing up the World Trade Center was a good thing. No one wants to be thought of as an evil or bad person. By our standards, he is evil incarnate. By his standards, and those of his followers, he is a hero. So in my estimation, there can be no Universal standard of good. The only standard that matters, I suppose, is God's standard, and we'll find out about that and how we measure up in due time.
Yep - something like we can choose our choices, but we can't choose the consequences
I think that's where we differ. God knows the difference between good and bad. People should, but sadly we don't always follow the good path. We all make choices. I personally don't believe God condemns us to hell. I think that at the moment of death, we have one last choice to make, and some choose the path that will lead to heaven, and the rest choose the other path.
I don't believe that everyone will be so lucky as to get a last chance to ask for forgiveness. How do you explain sudden death? Just a thought, besides we should all strive to live the best life possible. Why would you want to be anything better than good?
Guess you are right - this would be the point of significant difference.
God knows the difference between good and bad - and he knows that this difference is not that significant. Both are necessary, and both are the part of something bigger. Pretty much like day and night, summer and winter, avers and reverse... That's why I believe there are more or less equal amounts of them
And people taking this difference to the absolute is the original sin and the cause of suffering
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