What About Religion?

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  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 11 years ago

    Religion has been oftentimes categorized as the GREAT DELUSION and OPIATE of humankind.   Religion has been the means of separation and dissention among humankind.   Wars and prejudices against those we deemed to be outsiders have been done in the name of religion.    Religion is the antithesis of logic and reason.   Religion has been responsible for the thwarted progress of many societies, particularly in terms of equality for LBGT people and women.    It is religious indoctrination which oftentimes precludes further research, particularly stem cell research and the teaching of proper evolution education in  our schools.   

    History have substantiated the religions existed only as a power base and to make people subvert and give away their individual power.   There are many people who believe that religion is the be and end all in their lives and inculcate their children in this premise.   Religion does not encourage logical and critical reasoning but blind acceptance of their particular dogma.   There are people who use religion as an excuse and escape from their lives, believing that things will be better in thereafter instead of being proactive and making their individual lives better.   

    Many people mistakenly view religion as spirituality.  However, they are mutually exclusive concepts.   One can be highly spiritual and believe in God and/or another higher power without being religious.   Atheists are spiritual people.   Many religious people are not spiritual people or have a concept of that world, they just follow the rules of that religion.    Spirituality is inclusive of all while religion is oftentimes exclusive of those who think differently from the particular religious consensus.     

    Do you believe that religion is harmful and divisive or not?   Do you maintain that religions will die out and people will evolve into spirituality without religion?   Why?   Why not?

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      How do you propose to have spirituality without religion? Unless, it is your contention that 'the great beyond' will make contact with all individuals? They won't need religious texts to know what they are being spiritual about? I don't see how one can exist without the other.

      I do think religion will, at some point, hold less power over the individual. They will embrace bits and pieces of many religions in their philosophy. It is already happening in the West. And by doing this they will bridge the gap between the religions that separate.

    2. janesix profile image61
      janesixposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Please define "being religious" as opposed to being spiritual.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image57
        A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.

        The use of the term "spirituality" has changed throughout the ages. In modern times spirituality is often separated from religion, and connotes a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development.


    3. Chris Neal profile image78
      Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I understand many religious people not being spiritual, but I don't understand how an atheist, who by definition does not believe in spirits, can be spiritual.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        This is fun. If an atheist can't be spiritual and a spiritual person can't not be religious; how many professed atheists are then, by default, religious?

    4. pennyofheaven profile image81
      pennyofheavenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Religious and spiritual are words used to try and describe a reality that we barely have a thorough understanding of. Concepts are introduced to convey a meaning that at one time meant something to whomever and has evolved as the world as we know it has continued to evolve. Our perception of what each means may differ even though there is a defined meaning. History is a fine example of how different groups can understand each concept differently and as a result have either done good things or bad things that in their understanding is the correct thing to do.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image57
        A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        All you've managed to accomplish with that claim is to show you have no concept of reality. Show us anything regarding the religious or the spiritual? You can't, no one can, because it isn't part of reality.

        Then obviously, those whose perceptions differ from reality are mistaken.

    5. profile image0
      Deepes Mindposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There are three definitions of religion to consider. One definition of religion is  a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. This definition (in my opinion) primarily deals more with an individualized ideal of religion. Meaning how one person believes and experiences God is different from how another person. 

      The second definition is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. This definition deals more with a group mentality. Enough people believing the same thing fundamentally.

      The third definition is the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices which just means the group of people in general..

      The biggest problem with religion lies with the second definition, which is more in line with Organized religions. When you have a group that believes the same thing exactly the same way, you generate a mob mentality. It is this mob mentality that allows no room for alternative thinking. This is why you have some people trying to force their beliefs onto others even to the point of threatening them with Hell. This mentality makes it difficult on the whole group as well as individuals because not all who claim they are Christians believe the same thing.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image57
        A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Those appear to be right out of the dictionary. But, notice that the binding ideal between all of those definitions is 'a set of beliefs', which is the primary body of the definition. Even though, the various forms of the definition differentiate slightly to encapsulate the individual and the group, the focus is on the beliefs and not so much the rest.

        Hence, there are over 38,000 denominations of Christianity, all of them fighting amongst each other, calling the others names and telling them they are not "real" Christians.

        And remember, if not for the Organized religions having indoctrinated people as children, those folks would most likely not hold that set of beliefs.

        1. Chris Neal profile image78
          Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          That's quite an exaggeration, actually. Even if there are "over 38,000" completely different groups of people calling themselves Christian (where did you get that number and how do you define it?) there is not some perpetual war among most of them. As in any debate, the most vociferous get the most attention. And the extremes usually set the agenda. I've known Catholics, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists and we may not agree on every little point but we agree on the main points and do not go around telling each other who is a "real Christian."

          1. A Troubled Man profile image57
            A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            You claim to be a Christian and you don't even know that? lol

            1. Chris Neal profile image78
              Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              That's what I love about you. You make accusations but you always find ways never to back up what you say. Nothing like a blanket statement that you don't have to actually prove to make you sound authoritative. (I seem to remember that a certain dead leader of Nazi German was especially good at that...)

              At least you're not as completely humorless as some people!

              Oh yeah, almost forgot, it also helps if you don't actually quote the person in entirety!

              1. A Troubled Man profile image57
                A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                You can't be serious, do you have any idea how many times those links have been placed on these forums? And, you're going to tell me you never once saw them? Obviously, they were placed here, but you most likely ignored them.

                How Christian of you to reference me to the Nazis.

                1. Chris Neal profile image78
                  Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  That would be "no." Believe it or not, my life does not revolve around these forums. I enjoy them, I like talking to people, and it filled a hole when my wife died (a situation that I know you were not unsympathetic to) but I don't have the time or energy to read even all the posts that I get notifications for, let alone all the posts. So I'm referencing your interaction with me, which historically has either  consisted of statements you don't back up or generalized "go google it" replies, neither of which hold water. I want to know why you think what you think, I already know what you think and tossing my queries into the elephant gun void of google is not a good reply.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image57
                    A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Sorry, I was incorrect, there are 43,000 denominations of Christianity as of mid 2102...

                    http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/ … ission.pdf

        2. profile image0
          Deepes Mindposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          That may be true, The definitions have one common denominator among them, But, like atheists, does not make them all the same.. Case in point, I do not try to convert anyone over to what I believe. Personally, my beliefs are my beliefs. If i say something that makes enough sense that you think there might be something to it, then cool. But if not, that's fine too because whether you believe what I believe or not has no effect on my life overall. Because I can accept and respect differences, I can still hold conversations (and debates) with people of opposing beliefs because, in my opinion, a person't beliefs does not change the type of person that they are. This is where and how I lean more toward the singular definition of religion. The belief may be similar fundamentally, but the application of those beliefs are different.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image57
            A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Are you saying there are various differences in not holding a belief? How does that work?

            Sorry, but I still don't see any major differences in the definition.

            1. profile image0
              Deepes Mindposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I apologize , but I must have misread in another forum where you, Rad Man, and JM al have said that the only things atheists share in common is a lack of belief. Outside of thet you all are different in your ideals regarding your level of  that lack of belief

              Which proved the point I made in another forum when I told you that It would be a waste of time for me to try to explain it to you because you wouldn't see the difference. This is no knock on you (well none intended). I have learned that your view of religion in general is that you look at it all the same. You are openminded in that you are interested to see if you hear anything different (Which I appreciate because you have at least softened your approach with me) but any similarities lead you back to the same premise you hold in general.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image57
                A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                I would see the difference is there was a difference. But, there wasn't anything substantial.

                1. profile image0
                  Deepes Mindposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Which still rests my case. You don't see anything "substantial" (in your opinion), therefore you dismiss it. But there is still a difference (even if it is slight). Even slight differences can be a determining factor in the outcome of a situation.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image57
                    A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Sorry, but the miniscule differences are insignificant to the primary meaning.

    6. Aaron Seitler profile image61
      Aaron Seitlerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I've been born and bred as a Jew so I suppose I'm a tad biased but when I learn the talmudic texts of our heritage and expound on the thoughts of our ancestors, it feels very spiritual, so in that sense religion does bring about spirituality.

    7. Jerami profile image58
      Jeramiposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      In the absence of formal organized religion; there will always be spiritual minded people of varying degrees, and among these there will always be those that feel a need to be lead deaper within their own spirituality and there will always be those who feel the need to be a leader.   and from this a "New" religion is born.  And around the corner will always be a "Newer" and improved religion.

           The only excape from this IS ....   If that which religion teaches is true; that when we die we (Re)enter this spiritual realm purified, we will not desire to live in this physical world. But as long as we are in this world, religion, as imperfect as it is, will always be a reminder of where we came from.
           Or something similar to that.

  2. Paolocruz profile image60
    Paolocruzposted 11 years ago

    "Studies show that most Americans want spirituality, but perhaps not in religious form. Researcher Wade Clark Roof, Ph.D., from the University of California at Santa Barbara, found that in the 1960s and 1970s baby boomers dropped out of organized religion in large numbers: 84% of Jews, 69% of mainline Protestants, 61% of conservative Protestants and 67% of Catholics.

    Many left church and synagogue not because they had lost interest in spirituality, but because organized religion was not meeting their spiritual needs. In the 1990s and as we approach the millennium, it is obvious that Americans are becoming more expressively spiritual." - from Psychology Today.

    I think one can find spiritual fulfillment even in music. It doesn't have to be associated with any religion, or with a god.

    1. Chris Neal profile image78
      Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's true and I agree. The problem is not in people craving "spirituality" but in whether God actually exists.

      And I'm not faulting people for not loving the church. I'm a believe that  there are reasons for tradition, but God loves everybody as they are and that's not a message the church has always been good at conveying.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image57
        A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        And, since you're one of the very few individuals who actually converses and observes God, we are to take your word for His existence. Yeah, right. lol.

        1. Chris Neal profile image78
          Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I would bet money that what you think you heard and keep responding to is not quite what I actually said.

  3. Zelkiiro profile image87
    Zelkiiroposted 11 years ago

    Religion is a sad relic of Stone Age ignorance, and thus will be cleansed from our societal immune systems eventually. Spirituality is not quite as annoying, but that will probably be weeded out as well.

    1. Chris Neal profile image78
      Chris Nealposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      People keep saying that yet we are really no closer to that than we ever were.

  4. Josh Gathany profile image61
    Josh Gathanyposted 11 years ago

    With the decline of religion, it seems as though spirituality is the new opiate of the masses. With the rise of global capitalism, it seems that the retreat into self and spirituality is the perfect way to ignore the horrific troubles of the external world. I see spirituality without religion replacing organized religion but I think it's a bad thing on the whole - it's the most efficient way to be uncritical about the unsolvable problems in capitalism and democracy.

    I also think you might be using the term 'religion' a bit too broadly here. Seems like one hell of a claim to say that all religions are irrational: what about the Buddhists - they're more concerned with formal reasoning than analytic philosophers! Moreover, most religions have had vibrant philosophical traditions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam included. Islamic philosophers are the thinkers credited with saving Aristotle, who puts the anal in analytic reasoning.

    As an atheist, I can say that I have a whole lot more respect for religionists than spiritualists. If anything, religions are generally founded on rational or liberatory cores and perverted later, spirituality is to the core and from the very beginning ideological and unhelpful.


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