Okay, to Earnest...
If you looked at the whole "religion" thing as trying to find a role model, would it seem unreasonable to you?
(speaking in a broad view, with no specific religion addressed)
Yes it would. To follow a role model like the OT god would just be crazy, and I should think you would understand where I am coming from there.
I don't want to be threatened in to a role model as that is an oxymoron in itself.
The bible has little or nothing to do with role models as such, it is about obedience to a role model and convincing that a particular role model is the only one worth pursuing.
The jesus figure although most likely fictitious is better than nothing I suppose, but the connection with the father screams foul over the top of any noise the NT makes.
A belief in religion begins in the brain, the part of the brain that deals with religion is the amygdala.
This is a very old fear mechanism in place here that causes so much fear of death to arrive in to the sub-conscious mind, it is suppressed by anything at hand to that part of the brain.
What is at hand is religiosity. It seems to be hard-wired according to my studies.
I spent a lot of years learning this stuff, and none of it is set in concrete, but as it is a part of main stream knowledge and has been for many years, I wonder why no person on here has wanted to discuss it.
I'm fairly satisfied with the double blinds and other process from Stanford and many other University tests, MR2 scans and other compiled data from Jung et al to have formed some beliefs, again growing and changing in light of further information coming on stream and things I have missed.
Geez I wrote another bloody novel! I meant this to be brief.
There's nothing wrong with finding role models anywhere.
But, you certainly don't elevate the role model to the point of worshiping him as a god, causing you to believe in all sorts of supernatural nonsense, willing to kill or die for him. Huge difference.
You've actually raised 2 interesting points there.
The first being exactly what constitutes worship. Which I think can be pretty broad depending on the definition. If we are talking about rituals such as prayer and congregation, I actually see some benefits in both... even if they are broken down to the most basic components of self-affirmation (or even a mild form of self-hypnosis) and community involvement.
I do understand that the later creates a type of group think that can eventually lead to mob mentality, but unfortunately that is the risk that comes with any large gathering of people. For the most part, the benefits of a sense of community outweighs the risks of group-think (which isn't even always bad in itself)
As far as prayer, self affirmation is a very valid psychological process. Prayer serves the same purpose.
Your second point, the supernatural aspect... I never really bought into the supernatural stuff. Still, I can see the purpose of it. Awe-inspiring is quite inspirational. While I don't necessarily believe that Moses parted the Red Sea, I can definitely see the value that comes from the story. Its a wonderful lesson in overcoming obstacles when you truly believe in a cause. If someone needs that inspiration, I see no problem with them believing the story.
And, honestly, there are some things in this world that I would be willing to kill or die for. If I feel that way, who am I to judge others on what they would be willing to kill or die for?
Although a role model may want people to worship them, a good role model would not make such a demand and would in fact deny such worship as that is clearly not the point of a role model. However, depending on the religion, the god in question demands their followers to worship them, which defeats the purpose of the role model.
The universe itself, which is real, is awe-inspiring, the supernatural, which is not real, are obvious lies. There is nothing that can be gained by perpetuating lies.
Killing and dying for worshiping the supernatural should be something we need to take seriously. And, we do.
Interesting title for the forum.
So, where shall we begin. Many different World Religions, all making the same claim that a god exists and if one doesn't follow along the rules, then one will be smite by said god.
Judgment is what's claimed, regardless of whether or not, one believes, but even if you don't believe and still live a honest(good) life, you will still be given judgment. That said judgment will be handed down upon the individual just because they lived their life in non-belief.
So, regardless of what they do and how they live, if you don't believe, then judgment will be negative, no matter what.
Sure sounds unreasonable to me and now you want to try to have a reasonable discussion about it? That's funny.
Awww... I love you too Cagsil. But the question was more about the reasonableness of using religion as a way to find a role model rather than all the smiting stuff. Thanks for the input though.
Finding a role model?
Really? How does one find a role model where religion is concerned?
Well, let's say you are seeking to become more compassionate... In reading about a specific religion/holy man you find a deity/prophet that personifies this ideal and choose to follow their examples... That's what I mean about finding role models through religion...
Okay, I've said this before and I'll gladly say it again. Strip Jesus' teachings from religion, throw away the mysticism side and the religious language, then transform his teachings(metaphor and parables) into ordinary English text, and that should do the trick.
Which would leave us ,um humanism,hmm interesting.
No need for a Saviour then either ,because we wouldnt need saving from anything ,least of all our sin.
Heaven forbid if someone should ever try to tell us what to do.
Hey EK, you're human accept it and move on.
To top it off, if you don't like the fact that people make mistakes and end up paying some consequence for it regardless of whether or not, there's an afterlife, is for you to reconcile.
I've made plenty of mistakes and I have paid the consequences of those mistakes. I will not pay for them again, unless I make the same mistake twice. If I don't make that same mistake again, then there would be no reason for me to pay twice for one mistake. To think so is utterly ridiculous.
All actions have consequences and reactions. Sorry, no god required for that to take place.
Oh Cags ,please dont assume what I dont like based on YOUR opinion of what I must believe in.
Of course Im human ,and a daughter of the living Christ.
I love Him , and Jesus is as real to me as the air I breathe.
Sure,all I need is the oxygen to stay alive,but there is more to life and Jesus is the MORE
(Now,did you feel anything being rammed down your throat?)...
Oh, come on now, Cags - there have to be a few biblical characters that would make a role model.
Not Christ himself - he got into so much trouble with the authorities they executed him. Not Lot - he had the misfortune to marry a real loser not worth her salt and that counts against him. Even Moses was a real screw up and didn't get into the promised land.
How about Joseph, though? As far as we know he accepted his wife's infidelity and moved on with his life. It didn't turn him bitter or evil - he just went on and raised his mongrel child the best he could.
Or maybe Pontius Pilate? Pontius did his best to avoid condemning Christ; it was the Jews that demanded his crucifixion. Pontius tried hard to be a good governor and eliminate what violence and misconduct he could.
I take you only got to my first post, before you decided to post?
“When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.”
― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
So we automatically went to Christianity... Back to the question... If say I wanted to learn compassion and looked towards the teachings of... (to move it away from Christianity) Parshva. What exactly would be the problem with that?
I don't know anything about this fellow other than the stuff I could find on wiki.
Siddhartha or Kahlil Gibran I can relate to, and many others as well, but the best role models I have seen are in daily life, such as the headmistress of my son's school who greeted all 600 children and knew all about their interests, or the old priest I know who looks after kids who are having it hard, or my dad who was as honest as the sun.
Those are indeed awesome role models. And I agree that there are great people with great traits to aspire to everywhere around us. If someone would find inspiration in them, that is awesome.
But... (and you knew it was coming) what if someone would find that same inspiration in a religious figure? Would you have a problem with that?
If that was all they found then I don't object to that.
The problem is that religions have an agenda and once the role model becomes something else then it usually involves hating or critisizing others.
I can be readily inspired by a couple of things in the bible, and one of my favourite pieces of music is "How great thou art" sung by Paul Robeson.
I am a very typical Australian of my age I think, no time for bull*hit in any guise and don't tolerate complete idiots with no knowledge and an ego projection big enough to be called megalomanic.
In other words fundies.
I respect everything you just said. I'm not arguing for or against religion so much as carrying our conversation over from the other thread (so as not to hijack) You said you didn't know why I believed any of it. I'm trying to discuss why I am not really in the business of conversion and I damn sure can't answer for every other Christian (nor would I want to).
I'm kinda probing to see (other than the psychotic God thing) whether your belief is against religion in general, Christianity, taking every passage of the Bible literally, the people practicing religion etc.
It's how I learn and grow (If you don't believe me, look up the slew of Unitarian jokes... you'll get a feel of how much the religion as a whole likes discussing things and getting other viewpoints)
No problem believing you say what you believe. So far you have remained pretty credible to me.
I find answers in many things, but the difficult part of examining self although long and painful has been wonderful to me.
Carl Jung once went to great lengths to explain how difficult any real examination of the self is and I can vouch for that from my own experience.
I have done the full 6 years of Jungian psychotherapy with the goal in mind of knowing something of self.
I then spent 23 years reading all of Jung, Von Franz, Hillman et al and delving deeper in to myself.
By that I mean All aspects of self including the shadow or "dark side" of my nature, establishing archetypes and symbols along the way by using my dreams after pre-briefing sessions on that day. I had a very unusual upbringing that has meant spending most of my life fascinated by it all.
I still know very little, and nothing is set in concrete. I go from day to day trying to grow.
Reasonable question from a reasonable Hubber.
Yes, religion can be a way to set a standard for moral behavior that's higher than our own biology or even societal pressures can give us. It's certainly been that to me. I'm a decent person without any religion, but my religion is constantly prodding me to do more.
Because of it's nature... which is essentially to fulfill that empty questioning spot... religion (and philosophy) provides answers. The reason that there are so many different faiths is because there are so many different variations of those answers. I have always found it remarkable that many of the answers, while in different forms, often line up with other religions, laws, and common sense. I'm not saying the 40 percent of stuff that everyone picks apart... I'm talking about basic morals.
But yes, having an ideal that guides you drives you to do better. Religion tends to give flesh to that ideal and provide a concrete goal.
Yep, I agree with you completely.
And as every religion evolves, they do seem to focus on the same things. Everything that rises must converge.
That was very deep L.L. I'll make a U.U. out of you yet *ducks and covers*
So you're not into gay bashing then, that's a good start.
Go ahead! It's Friday, and I'm thick-skinned. (You can use that part in the joke too!)
No fair L.L., If I'm going to be banned for something, I want it to be for a personal attack, not for rated "R" jokes. I'll think on it and see if I can reduce it to P.G. 13. Although talking about thick skin with a Jew makes that much much more difficult.
On that subject... how do they handle that aspect of conversion into your faith when it is an adult male? Surely there isn't a bris?
Haha! Yes, well, to complete a halakhic conversion (i.e. according to Jewish law), one of the steps is circumcision. Since I had already been circumcised as a child, you can do a symbolic circumcision (hatafat dam brit) that requires drawing a drop of blood...down there. I did have it done, although, strictly speaking, it was optional under a Reform conversion (but now my circumcision is recognized by Conservative authorities as well).
Well as you know, your beliefs are OK with that and so am I.
Everyone has role models in life, religious or otherwise. The issue with religious figures is that they come with all the bags and trappings of all their previous followers, they are all tarnished with the deeds of their followers.
Maybe one reason we are seeing the current toxic religious situation in the States is that it is past time for a new religion or religious figure that fits the times. As Earnest points out, the current crop of religious figures were current in times when communication was physically person to person, we did not know the first steps of how the Universe worked or where we came from, the religions of those times was already thousands of years old and only a few people could read or write.
We need a new figure, a modern religion suitable for the current way of life and that puts real pressure on poverty and differences, aggression and self seeking, rather than the followers of the current role models such as christ and mohammed who (en masse) only add to the pain and suffering.
Maybe we could name it something like "The Church of conscious behaviour" just to separate it out from the rest.
There are some very progressive religions that are growing quickly in the U.S. They DO focus on acceptance and non-violence... and are very centered on the humanitarian side of religion...
And don't judge the entire christian faith based on fundies... Almost a quarter of Christians in the U.S. don't buy into the whole Christ was the son of God thing. They (myself included) very much see him as a good role model, but not as a portion of a deity.
I don't judge the entire christian faith based on fundies, but I do accuse the entirety of christianity for being the base cause of many wars and subjugation of races and peoples.
Any 'emerging' religion based on christianity is just another sect - we need a charismatic figure who can - across races and nations - sweep into the past the hatred and bigotry that comes with the current religious followers, and along with this make the acceptance of poverty a sin and engaging in any aspect of war a blasphemy.
That won't happen with one charismatic person, a messianic type of proposition that I'm surprised to see come out of an atheist.
It will happen slowly through a grinding process of generational mindset change, exactly through the kinds of conversations that we're having here.
Of course change comes from grinding change, but like earthquakes they normally make a huge single shift of change. Society, like any story, relies on major events as a catalyst for a big swing.
The idea of a charismatic figure is not a theist idea, it is political - and it generally relies on the main actor being killed as he achieves the sea-change in the direction of society, sound familiar ?
All the past charismatic figures are charismatic because they fit the required archetype I think ?
I believe you are correct.
If people started reading myths as myths they may see a whole new consciousness open up before their very axons.
I disagree. The thought of an emerging personality to form a new religion around scares the crap out of me. Cults of personality are tricky... You get your Gandhis and MLKs, but you also get your Hitlers. That's one of the reasons that I believe that religions based on archtypes are preferable. Humans are too fallible and prone to corruption.
I am, of course, biased here. But I believe that a religion that blends all faiths (and none) and allows individuals to worship in whatever way they want while focusing, as a group, on humanitarian/charity efforts is the answer.
I agree that basing religions on archetypes does have some safety as it allows continuity of the lessons to be learned from understanding archetypes and the whole concept of mass-consciousness, not by seeing them as "real" and following a Zeus like entity as if it were real, but by learning about the scope of the subconscious and how it controls belief.
I hope this is readable, it is very early here and I just had to go and have a yarn to the birds in the park before the city wakes.
I wish you all a beautiful morning/afternoon/evening.
What a beautiful day!
I took the three little ones back to the park at 8am. The swallows were diving everywhere, showing off their acrobatics while the kids chased them.
The birds have no fear at all, and fly around the little ones. They had a ball!
Birds everywhere, magpies, finches, larakeets..... wonderful!
I agree with your 'answer', but a huge segment of people respond more to directions from above and do not 'reason' their way along, they need a list of do's and dont's to follow. Those who cannot reason so well need a BIG idea to follow that overwhelms and supercedes all the mass of argument that is entwined with personal likes and dis-likes, such as homophobia, the need for a father figure, or just the need to fit into a herd like the born again people.
Without a big change through some kind of BIG idea, personified in someone who can take the rap, change will come from a major event. The major event is looking more like war every day.
Indeed it is. There are people from 180 different countries around me in Australia, we have many friends or friends of friends and family who are refugees from hell holes of war.
I watch what is happening in Pakistan, Syria, many African countries, Russia, India, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Palestine, and more as we all do, and feel for my friends who still have families unable to escape to another place that is safe for them and their children.
It is heartbreaking for their families who are here, safe, with their kids in our best free schools.
Many I know personally feel guilt even when they send every spare dollar to support their families until they can get the hell out of there.
I think that's a pretty jaded and limited view of humanity. There are several world religions that have no unifying charismatic leader and really no driving dogma. Humans can and do have the ability to reason and very seldom are sheep.
I'm not sure what war you are envisioning or who would be fighting it, but I don't think that any major movement is likely to involve open warfare. I honestly believe the major event has already happened and is continuing to happen on a daily basis. The emergence of the vocal minority of extremists is more a symptom of resistance to change than a barrier to such. I actually see them as a sign that progress is occurring as there is rarely a vocal opposition to status quo.
Out here in the world it is clear that there is a war already going on. There seems to be no real cause, unless it is a crusade. The daily death and destruction that has continued unabated for the last 50 years may not directly impact the streets of America but directly affects the lives of more 'other' people than walk those American streets.
This is not a jaded and limited view, I consider it to be unblinkered.
The numbers of sheeple who fall in behind the aggressive actions of their various governments are testament to my view on this.
I can agree that a major event has passed by and most of what we see is reaction to that, and an unwillingness to progress.
You'll forgive me recommend if I say that your post seemed a little like rhetoric.
I acknowledge that there are wars and fighting, but I was discussing religion not politics. If we were talking about death and destruction on political grounds, the last 50 years is a drop in the bucket.
Yes, I am American but I still am aware of what is happening in the rest of the world. If you would like to pick a specific war/military action to talk about that involves religion then I would be happy to discuss that.
I'm also not sure what sheep you are speaking of and in what context, so the statement has no real meaning to me.
Of course I forgive you - you have cute dimples
Iraq and the entire middle east crusade.
LOL, I know right!
Oh Iraq... Iraq has little to do with religion, except as a smokescreen. The most admirable reason the U.S. had for their actions was the mistreatment of the Iraqi people by their leadership. Mostly, I believe, it was little George trying to prove that his balls were as big as his daddy's. Largely, it was the U.S. trying to find someone to retaliate against for the 9-11 attacks. Which were ALSO not motivated by religion, unless the hatred of Americans has become a religion now.
I can agree with this except I don't think you are seeing enough in what you say. Religion provides the public support for these atrocities on both sides, without it the various leaders would not have been able to lie to their people so easily and blatantly and get away with it. Except to Emile R of course, who seems to have swallowed it hook, line and sinker
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