Does religion foster blind obedience or does it instead, inspire willful cooperation and acceptance?
Does it seem that religions in general are demanding and imposing?
Could religious leaders be more encouraging and inspiring?
Or Is blind obedience a religious expectation?
Kathryn in my preaching if I thought for one second that someone believed something because I told them to, I would act quickly and resolutely to rectify that error. If I get even a hint that one of my young people are agreeing to something because the "church" or "religion" told them to we gather together and dispel any such notions.
We are designed by God with this gray matter between our ears. God would not have done that if God did not want us to use it. Can you imagine older days or current weird cultures with arranged marriages.
I go so far as to say that religion should not even foster cooperation and acceptance, if those terms mean going along with the crowd. If they mean a willful and cooperative and accepting individual attitude toward our neighbor then that is all cool.
I think it is the nature of religions to demand of you and impose on you. I just happen to be impervious to such shenanigans so I get to enjoy religions they can demand and impose all they want. That goes in one of my ears and out the other (I suppose indicating that God gave me a little less of that gray matter;-)
And let me end with this thought. Your questions I mean the questions are as close as I get to religion. Asking questions. You did a wonderful job providing thought provoking and reflection requiring questions. Unlike many who like to say amen when a preacher makes a good point, I always say amen when they ask a good question.
But, you are a little different than most.
Here is a related question:
Which one of our domesticated pets has more free will?
A Cat or a Dog?
I don't think it's fair to associate followers and leaders with dogs and cats as dogs and cats are a different species. Cats may seem to have more free will, but is it free will or intelligence? The dogs brain is far more complex and as such their frontal lobe has more area dedicated to executive functions so it's attempting to please us while the house cat acts more on impulse.
So it's like trying to assess who has more free will, the guy with a 60 or 140 IQ? One appears to do whatever he wants when he wants while the guy is working hard with very little time for himself. Both are free (necessary illusion), but one has a purpose and a goal.
Does a dog, hardwired by evolution with a desperate need for a pack to fit into, have hardly any free will? Is it's dash to meet us at the door, tail going 100 mph, no more that an effort to meet that hardwired need?
While the cat has the ability to choose what he wants to do - no terrific, innate need to please and fit in?
How much of our "free will" isn't free at all, but bound tightly to our needs and strong desires?
Probably all of it.
Humans are, and have always been, social animals. Everything we do is the result of evolution hard-wiring us to please at least one group of people with our actions.
Rad man. I suppose who are one of those folks who think love is just a chemical reaction in our brain. And that through exercise and meditation and practice we still cannot change the chemistry one way or another. Or that medications can have no effect.
We are just slaves and have no dominion over our bodies>
What else might it be, considering that it is most definitely in the brain and the brain is a chemical machine?
And what determines what chemicals it gets? I do. I can force adrenaline and I can force dopa-mine through had work and practice and intake. I can even rewire it through physical therapy to go around injured portions and use another route to make a limb work again.
Through substance abuse I can shut down portions. And yet on cessation I can get them back up and working again. I can exercise it or give it rest.
Those are my choices that I have
Ahhh, the chemical reaction that happens in the brain is the same as addiction. Withdrawal or a breakup has the very same effect. New couple meet and a constant show of affection feeds brain chemistry and the breakup happens with withdrawal from the flow of affection.
Exercise, meditation and medication and even thought changes brain chemistry, but everything being identical we will make the same decisions every time.
The illusion is necessary.
So emotions are not separate and all brain function is genetically imposed and pre-ordained. Fatalism is a very depressing thought ;-)
So how did we evolve? I do not mean some great billion year transformation let us just say the last 5,000.
That is like looking at the last 1.125 millisecond of a football game to determine how the game was. lol
Mark that is significant. My hubpages site is like 3 millionth --- that is like in the top .003 percent.. I have watched you evolve in just one year ;-) Maybe just a small step for Mark but a huge step for mankind.
I once stood and touched rock they tell me is 2 billion years old down in the bottom of the Grand Canyon --- I had an irresistible urge to carve Eric + Betty in it. Sure glad I moved along -- Betty left me for another.
We actually missed the field goal - the play started with only one second left and so by the time we missed it was actually 2 seconds after the end. I am sure that is a metaphor for something lol
My simple point is that nothing is insignificant. You know about the butterfly flapping it's' wings in China making me turn left instead of right.
Everything is insignificant. Except to you of course.
My point was that looking at the last 5,000 years of human evolution is a waste of time without understanding what came before. But - in the last 5,000 years, it looks like irrational beliefs peaked around the 1600s and have been in slow decline since then.
Mark of course you are right -- it really does not matter which way you say it. Everything is significant or everything is insignificant.
I just love the notion of rational belief. It is rational to follow the herd and be protected by them ie religion. Totally irrational to go out and have your own beliefs. Of course the same can be said for empirical sciences -- that is why they are so danged slow to develop, Blind obedience to what the "learned in school". What the hell? over 6,000 years before they figured out the earth was round. That is totally an example of blind obedience.
What are talking about Mark you just said that 6,000 was irrelevant. Columbus did not set sail until 1492. OK maybe some sporadic notions before that but really. No I am talking about rational belief in the spiritual is all interesting and I love to make the case for it. But if it is based on proof and rationality then it is not a spiritual belief. It is a scientific of evidentiary belief and that had better be at least somewhat rational.
But to frame argument against willful obedience by injecting the notion of rationality is to try to make spiritual belief -- logical belief. Totally different fruits.
We have know the earth was round since the time of Pythagoras. Do your research before making these claims - please?
Knowing the earth is round and having the wherewithal to travel around it are 2 entirely different things. Pretty sure Magellan beat Columbus to it as well.
Of course you love to make the case for rational belief in the spiritual. This is why your religion causes so many fights.
I don't understand the point you are trying to make.
I know you don't Mark and that is OK.
I love the Pythagorian claim of round. I bookmarked this because it is hillarious http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang … rth-is-ro/
This guy is making a case that we knew the earth was round in and around 600 BC But in the beginning of his article he says this:: "Indeed, there are many ancient references to the Earth being shaped like a disc"
disk-shaped - having a flat circular shape LOL
Dear me. No wonder your religion causes so many fights. "Round" was your word - I should have changed it to "Spherical,"
LOLOL That is was Columbus wot thinked it up first. A Preacher man said it was flat huh? Is that what you tell your kids?
I can certainly recommend you take the trouble to actually read that article you linked to. Hilarious talking with you.
The only thing that has changed in the last 5000 years is we figured out how to share our creativity.
Do you not think other animals have emotions? Our emotions are a product of our evolution.
Perhaps this question you ask is right on the point of this forum. Does a good smart dog act all excited and then sad -- because he learned it from us? But then how would he know when to display such affect. He sees you get in your car all dressed for work and slumps his shoulders and lowers his head and resignedly lays down. And then when you get home he gets all excited and dances around. Hell I do not know.
Do you really think all other animals learn to act as if they have emotions from watching us. Fear is what keeps the hunter alive. Mammals have evolved with the individual set of emotions that helped them survive. The Chimp and the bonobo look identical but evolved separated from each other. The bonobo's environment was void of predators so the bonobo and the chimp do not share the same set of emotions.
Precisely what I was attempting to say. The dog appears smarter with less free will at the same time. The car appears that it makes it's own choices when it's just dumb as wood. Free will is a necessary illusion.
Or - we think the cat is dumb as wood because it doesn't care to be a dog and obey us. Because it's exercising it's free will, in other words.
That's the necessary illusion part. We are all slaves to our brain chemistry. If all things being the same we'd make the same decisions over again every time. Meaning, if the entire planet had to live the same day over and over with knowing it we'd make the same decisions every time.
the cat does what it wills, dogs follow
Tell that to the 300 lb Tiger that jumps through a ring of fire.
Tigers usually weigh about 500-650 lbs., though. :V
a dogs willingness to serve its master is far different then a tiger being trained against its will
Only because we modified the wolf to behave as a pet.
Much like how we trained the wolf against its will?
You got me there Mathew. I am neither a dog nor a cat whisperer. Although both seem to really like me. Maybe they just like me because I am fat and sweat a lot. Tasty salt to lick.
Seriously, though I think both are blind obedience taught and not willing.
I agree with Zelkiiro. I think that definitely for most people...all, without a doubt. You nailed it here, wilderness.
Kathryn actually this is more a matter of nurture versus nature. I have seen "Cats" larger than a man be trained to jump through a ring of fire. I had a Chow Chow 110 lbs that would not obey and danged command. And I had a great hunting Labrador -- but he was a runner. Somehow he jumped a 6 ft fence and bye bye. I just could not break the will of those two dogs. My ex-had a cat trained to pull on a cord every morning to let the dogs out to the yard.
However giving all three species affection for laziness generally all three will go to where the easiest food to be found is. So as a generalization Rad man is right on point and correct.
(I agree- dogs do not have blind will either. My dogs just made me realize this fact. They have endless amounts of affection. They are willing do tricks for a treat, and obey certain commands for praise and approval. They enjoy free will on their walks. They enjoy free will when off leash in the mountains, dog park or beach. Freedom of will is joy of life which all creatures seem to have a certain amount of... do lizards? My apologies to dogs.)
Yes, M. james. What you said is true: Dogs follow.
- but my dog, a Jack Russell, (which were bred for intelligence and not looks,) is very intelligent and does a few things just to entertain herself, (like roll a ball down the driveway and go retrieve it for herself repeatedly. I've also seen a Golden Retriever drop a tennis ball in the pool to retrieve it.) My other two dogs do very little on their own and mostly wait for me as their stimulus for action. They wait and wait and wait, (lounging on the couch,) for me to take them on a walk, for instance. But they certainly initiate breakfast and dinner! Some dogs will actually go get their leashes to initiate walks! Dogs instinctively bark to protect their homes. Dogs will also bite things up or dig to alleviate boredom. So, its not like they do not use will power at all.
Why do dogs like walks so much?
Blind obedience is nor an expectation, otherwise, we would not have been given a brain or free will. It is helpful to discover whatever evidence we can find from those who have studied ancient historical documents in earnest and then reach our own conclusions through further research. As an aside, faith is believing that a Higher Power hears you and helps you. Faith is not abdicating reason or intelligence-- that which may very well have been given to us by a Creator, perhaps to reflect his own nature. The following link is a debate between two very highly respected Biblical historians. Hope it proves helpful.
I'm not sure classifying it as blind obedience is a fair assessment. Organized religion, when coupled with a charismatic leader, attempts to hem in its adherents by group intimidation. Agree, or burn. But no individual lives in the vacuum of one take on religion. There are enough examples of people who eventually decide the religion they live in is not in line with their understanding of the world and they leave it. Classifying it as blind obedience smacks of the idea that only one take on the subject (that of the speaker) is valid. To unilaterally agree would be blind acceptance.
Religion, in and of itself, does not necessarily imply blind obedience. The individual who believes in God usually reads what they consider to be scripture and applies it to their own life and attempt to raise their children within the confines of morality as they understand it. If they choose to join a group it is usually for companionship. Again, a charismatic leader can play a negative role and cause their need to be used against them.
Few of us are blind in our mind's eye. Chalking anyone's conclusions up as blind obedience is short sighted and somewhat pompous. Unless, of course, it is a conclusion we come to concerning our own mental gyrations. Then, I would accept the term applied to the individual speaking.
A cat has more free will, in general, due to the fact that it was not hard-wired for blind obedience as a dog is. Humans are not hard-wired for blind obedience either. We must inspire and encourage ourselves and each other. Forcing in any arena, whether it be religion, education, or government is taboo. What I am opposed to in religion are those who say if you are not baptized in the name of.... you will not go to heaven. To me that is forcing.
I wish religious leaders wouldn't say that. Also, I wish the governmental leaders wouldn't force us to become involved in a national health care scheme. I do not want to be taxed or forced to get insurance. It is against my hard-wiring. I wish they would just drop it. Thanks for your inputs. Once again wilderness nailed it with his last comment.
So now showing indifference is exhibiting free will?
Freedom to choose healthcare? I think having universal healthcare adds to my freedom. Many pay for the few so we all are equal. I have the freedom to see as many doctors as I want and the freedom to choose my treatment.
The sides are becoming more and more obvious are they not?
Choose wisely... the choice you make will affect the quality of your own life.
I choose freedom of will and self determination...
Independence, if you will.
- why are you laughing out loud? Some of us have not given up.
Some of us have, I guess.
Because I find such self righteousness funny.
Maybe you are jealous. People on the same page (and there are millions) would not be jealous.
What IS self-righteousness to you or How have you not given up? (Which ever is the pertinent question.)
Humans are evolving toward more and more free will... Let's not de-evolve with health-care mandates. Most religions no longer force people into becoming more pious with threats of fire and brimstone. Why would our government suddenly become like old-school religions? We were supposed to have hope and change... for the sake of something forward reaching...not backward reaching.
By not fighting Obama Care we are more like dogs.
Obama Care -- whatever one thinks of it is not right now the free will of the majority. So yes it would be obedient willfulness to not oppose it at this time. Obedience to what --- ? Socialism. Obama himself as though we were in the military? To an outdated and now majority opposed mandate? To Democratic party line? Of self interest?
Yet, we are not barking at all!
- we are blindly obedient.
We will become more like cats afterwards;
sneaky, bribing, clever and self-oriented cats.
We need to scrap PPACA and preserve our humanity.
( Believe me, our founding fathers wouldn't recommend it
for a free people. The government is too big already.)
But, I digress.
In conclusion, (and agreeing with Emile R) one must always confer with oneself to avoid becoming blindly obedient to any religion, philosophy, educator/professor, book, source on the internet, or charismatic individual.
But we all know that...
I also agree with eric d. in that willful obedience does require the use of gray matter, i.e. knowledge and wisdom.
Appropriate education contributes to the quality of one's gray matter. Strangely enough, the quality of grey matter is very unique to every individual.
George Mason: "Representatives are the servants of the people and at all times amenable to them."
"Whenever government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, the majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform (it)...in such manner as shall be the most conducive to public weal."
Thank you for reminding me of that. We seem to somehow get to thinking that getting involved willfully is a right or privilege or honor..... But no it is so much more. It is a duty. Just as it is in a church setting it is in our community, societal and governmental realities.
(A duty to be taken on w i l l i n g l y. )
That is one I think does not matter. In some regards. Sometimes we must confess we need a coach or teacher to motivate us when the spirit is willing but the flesh reluctant. Not blindly necessary but maybe somehow forced until new habits are formed. And knowledge gained and then make a new choice.
I don't know. There are a lot of Catholics who are very angry right now with the Pope and who are challenging not only his infallibility (as defined by Catholic history and doctrine), but his right to re-interpret Church teachings.
A lot of things contribute to "blind obedience", and probably among them is religion, but it is not less a contributor than politics or ideology or even love or family or tribe.
Blind obedience is allowing ourselves to be forced into a way of living, being or thinking.
It can be considered a form of self-abuse...
Is the Pope trying to free people and they don't want to be freed? I'll have to listen in...
Actually, if you listen closely the pope is not changing anything, he's just saying he doesn't want to talk about all that stuff anymore.
And that in and of itself is a major change; a major refocusing of Church energy away from conservative social issues, and hopefully, back to its post-Vatican II focus which was social justice.
No you don't understand. He doesn't want anything to change, he just wants to talk about other stuff. He wants to distract.
Institutions change in order to survive. The Catholic Church---and many other churches, has changed radically and has changed many times. The most recent radical change in the Church occurred in the 1960s with Vatican II.
The changes were real and substantive.
And perhaps you can respond with something more constructive than the usual "you don't understand". You have no idea what my knowledge and/or understanding of Roman Catholicism or Church history may be; no knowledge of the base from which I may be speaking. None.
Opinions that differ from yours are not always a function of lack of information or lack of understanding.
You are right and I am very sorry, perhaps you do understand.
From what I have read so far the pope seems to say something that sounds like a positive change and then simply takes it back.
For instance, while talking about homosexuality he says that it should be a house for all and who is he to judge, then he says homosexuals should simply not participate in the act as the act is a sin.
However, I do apologies for my insensitivity.
I think you meant to say Roman Catholics I don't think the huge number of Orthodox Catholics really care.
I suspect that many Orthodox Catholics do indeed concern themselves with what happens in The Vatican and with what the Pope says.
As I also suspect that world religious leaders across virtually all religions care about what The Vatican and the Pope say. The ROMAN Catholic Church is not one that operates in isolation nor is it one that is unaccustomed to claiming global authority.
Oh I see your point, and it is a good one -- I care. I meant it in a interpretation of the Bible way, via authority in that sense. But for sure you are right on the issues of impact and effect/affect.
Questions: Why do Catholics (Orthodox and Roman) care... and what are they caring about? - what are their beliefs based on? - what are they agreeing with? - not agreeing with... based on what... specifically? - what are the issues of impact and affect?
Real general and real brief. Orthodox believe they are a continuation of the Church. Roman think that they are. Roman base this generally on divine lineage from Peter. Orthodox claim theirs based on Christ's teachings. Generally speaking Roman are a law based concept. Generally Orthodox are a spirit based. Strange the Roman has the Pope the Father. But Orthodoxy is considered patriarchal. Roman delineates between old and new Testaments. Orthodox do not. Modern day texts used by both are different in wording in many places. (not sure for sure) But I think they have a few differences in the Books included in the Bible. Their liturgies may seem the same to a complete outsider but they have subtle distinctions that mean stuff to them.
Calendars are different.
So probably if you were looking for differences in absolutes it would be found in their belief about the two testaments merging versus old and new and this is important why? Because if they merge the Gospels become one in the same as the other books. I do not believe you find a red letter strictly Orthodox Bible. So the Orthodox lean toward more of an understanding that Christs physical presence here was more part of a continuum of the teachings of the Bible where as Roman sees it more or a freedom from the old law and a birth of the new.
In essence I really think it more dogma and doctrine than divine absolutes that separate them. Of course I promise you that either from either side will argue against this depiction of their side. As they should. Probably this difference shows us that even the differences creates no difference in the majority that follow based on blind obedience. This stuff is just too much work for most people. So they choose one and follow it.
So in short by studying both you kind of need to conclude that most the following of either is blind. At least to the other.
Thank You very Much, eric!
So, what contributes to blind obedience is un-thinking acceptance. And religious leaders depend on this kind of acceptance... and maybe even foster it...
Because they so easily can. (Are we people like dogs in our tendency to follow?)
What social conservative issues has the church been dealing with?
What social justice issues should the church be dealing with?
I think it is a matter of change vs status quo. We always have to be careful with change. It is a balancing act in every arena. What should changes be based on? What should stay the same, as it is working just fine. What is the will of the majority regarding the issues?
Churches need to be sensitive to the needs of their congregations. They should be very careful to stick to the truth regarding spiritual matters. They need to incorporate scientific discoveries and truths. They need to keep abreast of developments in psychology. Yet they also need to stick to the common sense values which make up morality.
Seemingly, the people who come to Catholicism on their own, benefit from it. But, many who were raised in it, did not benefit so much.
I wonder why?
Free Will. Most Christians stop thinking about that once they have freely chosen Christ. The big debates are about Free Will to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That is cool. But like so many things in life that we think once obtained we can forget. Free Will is not like that. It is the choices we make every day. On Sundays when his mother works My son starts off not wanting to go to church. I have watched this and spoken with him about it. He loves school but some days wants to stay home with dad. So I hurry and get dressed to make sure he knows I have to go to work so I will not be there to play --- and then school and happy happies. The same for church, once he gets idea again that I am going -- oh boy let's go to church!!
Too many families and people HAVE to go to church. If one of my youth miss because he got Chargers tickets -- duh I am jealous. If faith is by blind obedience rather than choice -- even attending services - that will work if that person has stopped growing and thinking like so many. But if it is blind and they grow then that which binds them soon vanishes.
It is okay if we have to force ourselves...to be motivated, to go to work, to go to church with our family on Sunday, to help our children with their homework, to cut the grass etc.... but it is not okay to be forced by others is it?
I am not sure what the end conclusion of this discussion is...
Is finding a way to survive enough? So many people are rich! They have it all: their own businesses, houses, cars, yachts, they are dynamic, they are optimistic, they exercise a huge amount of free will. Others are trapped in an endless battle to earn enough to survive and have very little opportunity to experience free-will. There are varying degrees of free-will being expressed within society.
How can free-will be considered an illusion?
Free will is the most important thing about life!
Our free will is for us to guide (wisely) toward some self-chosen purpose.
- without it, we might as well stay in bed.
hmmm... maybe this is a good conclusion:
The last organization which should be prohibiting, blocking or preventing free will is a church!
Instead, churches need to be sharing the the good news!
You do have free will!
Only you yourself can influence the amount you have.
Churches should be teaching people how to develop their free will for their own benefits!
...not tyrannizing over them with expectations and admonitions.
Thanks again for you input, eric.
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