I am about to sign off for the evening but I just had this question pop into mind. If religion eases pain or gives comfort to someone what is wrong with that?
I am not religious, believe in a God concept after a fashion but don't trust religion. I feel very very wary of religion quite honestly, see loads of corruption in every one I have any experience of (and I have a reasonable range of experiences of loads of different religions). My personal feelings about religion aside, if/when I meet someone who takes comfort from their religion or feel it eases some pain in their life I could not ever imagine trying to talk them out of it and rob them of that comfort. I may not understand the comfort they feel but I don't have to in order to accept them as they are, religion and all.
I do think some folks would push and be perceived as trying to take that religion/comfort from them with the 'God is silly and stupid and anyone who believes is silly and stupid' types of arguments that seem to happen. Do those folks mind that they could be perceived that way? Is religion/believing in religion so evil that people should not be free to believe if they want/feel it gives them something?
Try this one on for size. The christians ( www.armyofgod.com ) who attend a certian baptist church in Chesapeake Virginia take comfort from, and celebrate their belief in god every time one of their members kills a doctor preforming legal medical proceedures. They then place this person on their web page ( anti-abortion heroes of faith) dedicated to those who kill in their god's name. They preach that birth control causes abortions and glorify the bloody remains of aborted fetuses.
Now should we celebrate the mental defects their god graced them with or do we place common sense and decency above those who worship imaginary things?
I'm all for giving comfort to people but draw the line at allowing these people to kill other human beings so they can prove to their imaginary friend that they' re the kind of follower it should be proud of. Thats a little more comfort than anyone deserves in this lifetime. I am not saying all christians feel this way but enough do that I feel the only good christian, is the kind that resembles what the good christians used to feel was athe only good indian. Hmmm, seems like every generation of good christians have had their favorite people to kill in god's name haven't they?
that is deeply disturbing and makes me feel ashamed to have ever called myself a christian.
Are you saying than that what these almost demonic people are doing justifies disrespecting those who believe differently to me (ie they believe in religion where as I don't)?
You see I cannot ever justify within myself being disrespectful and trying to dictate to others what to think and do. Take for example my Grandpa. When I was a kid (before my dad lost custody of me and I moved in with my adopted family) no one in my family went to church but me. (My dad would drop me off and pick me up because I wanted to go, wanted to know what my friends were on about when they talked about their churches.)
I never heard Grandpa say the word God before, ever. When my dad lost custody of me and I was taken to live else-where my Grandma died. Some 20 years later I go to stay with Grandpa for a few weeks while I wait for my visa to move to the UK. For a guy who never said the word God when I was a kid it came as a big shock to find that after grandma died he turned to religion, not any religion either, he became a Jehovah's Witness. I found his talk somewhat offensive at the time, didn't talk about anything not religious. The thing that kept me holding my tongue was the thought that this religion is how he copes with the loss of grandma and I don't have anything to trade with him, if I told him what a crock it all is and actually got him to leave his religion, what could I give him to replace it when he misses grandma late at night? It is not my place to take his comfort in some wacky religion away from him.
Those folks you talk about, what I object to is what they do, not their religion but what they do with it. Use religion to try to tell me what to do, to justify criminal behavior and I will not respect you the way I don't respect those people you posted about. The point is I hold those people in contempt, not the religion, the people. Their actions, not their beliefs. At the end of the day there are demonic type people, they want to do f*cked up sh*t to other people and lord over others with their superiority, religion is a very convenient tool to use to justify doing all that cr*p but do you really think if we got rid of religion those people wouldn't find something else to pervert and use to target other groups for torment and hate?
Kirsten, I agree with you in principle that it is the people in the religion and not the religion that is the problem. I am also aware that there are lunatics and fanatics in almost any organization you name. I'm still not sure the Mary Kay people aren't fanatics from the islamic religion. They desire to see all women cover their faces in public with their products.
It seems to me that there is a double standard in action here. Christians like to spread the opinion that the islamic religion is the problem due to the violence of the fanatics in it. When those of the christian faith commit these acts, it's always the fault of the people in the religion and not the religion. This is almost assuredly due to their belief that their god is a superior god and the only true god, correct?
Without religion what excuse would these people have for killing and terrorizing those they disagree with? I have no problem with people worshiping anything they want to. The problem is that they feel that due to the fact that they have convinced themselves that they are right, they have the right to treat any and all non-believers as second or third class citizens. Very few christians will admit to supportting the actions of the Army of god. The flip side of this is that you never see a christian organization picketing this church or the westbor baptist gruop of animals. They are to busy lining up to persecute homosexuals to waste time dealing with the killers in their ranks. That these killers are working to stop abortions that most christians disagree with is the reason the get a free ride from the holier than thou groups out there.
Without religion what excuse would these people have for killing and terrorizing those they disagree with? Red hair? ADD? ADHD? Any genetic illness that could be passed down to future generations? Oh wait, I am getting this sense of deja-vu, maybe because this isn't new, hating for genetic/scientific reasons.
The thing is that there are right little sh*ts in every walk of life. There are also wonderful caring people in every walk of life, including the unlikely religious walks .
I have known both Muslim and Christian people who take the whole love side of religious teachings to the extreme and organize food drives for the poor and homeless. As a kid I helped out every month with the monthly food drive by helping bag the food and carry heavy stuff to the cars of the elderly and disabled. My adopted mom got roped in by the priest (even tho she was converting to Judaism and did not like Catholics generally speaking) to drive those bags of food to the homes of the bed bound poor in our community. It was an all day job. During the month we did the bingo night serving cookies and drinks and stuff to raise the money to buy the food in the first place. We even did the long drive to the city to buy bulk food from the nuns who organized the deals, and we didn't even go to that church! We did the daycare on Sundays at a different church.
My point is these lovely folks that actually do real charity work and share what they can freely tell me it's their faith and love of God that motivates them I may think 'bullocks, you would be a good person with or without God' I just don't want to hurt them with offense to their motivation. I do not consider myself a christian or catholic but I have had these sorts of people say of me that I am more christian then half the congregation they worship with. Now I don't need to believe in god to find joy in helping out when food is being provided to the poor, or donate clothing I no longer need, or give the lady with the big issue what change I have, or whatever other opportunity I find to do something that helps. If others do need to believe in God to do those things then I am not going to be the one to take their God from them (even if I don't think it would make a fig of a difference to how they choose to live). Thing is I have no reason to tell that person what to think or believe, I hate people telling me what to do and I am not going to do that myself. I guess I see it as being hypocritical, you know, believe like me or your stupid?
Telling someone that their beliefs are irrational, self contradictory and so on is NOT telling them how to live.
If someone says something ludicrous, it's not "telling them how to live" to point out that their statement is absurd.
Ideas do not deserve respect just because the person holding them says they are part of their religious faith. If I told you I just had a conversation with the Moon, you'd laugh. If I persisted, you'd think me insane - and rightfully so. The "god" stuff is no different.
You sure about that? I was put on a med back in my teen depression years that had me talking to the moon or myself about why the world would be better off with 2 moons instead of the one . Lets just say I got off those meds right fast.
And my belief that pills cannot cure traumatic experiences was considered irrational by the docs giving them to me, overdosing me and all that junk. Go figure!
I would only have a problem with you having conversations with the moon if the moon told you to do certain things. Things that led to you tying me to a rocket and blasting me to the moon. I would have issues with that
Otherwise I would probably just wonder what the moon was telling you and of course wonder why you were being stingy with the psychotropics?
Yet there is major flack from nonbelievers when a post about having faith is made. Funny how selectively sensitive nonbelievers can be when it suits them.
If you think matters of faith are based in absurdity, why are you so compelled to squawk about religion being forced on you by it? If you truly believed our reality doesn't apply to you, why can't you act like you believe it doesn't apply to you?
http://hubpages.com/hub/Teaching_Perpet … a_Religion
here's a hub about a lovely "christian" church that promotes hate - and a daughter disowned
Everyone should be free to follow whatever religion/spiritual beliefs that they want to, and many people do feel a need for organised religion and it gives them a lot of comfort and a good social base.
I think what turns off a lot of people is when there is a lack of tolerance for other faiths, trying to force people to comply with certain rules, moral judegements and behaviours, and trying to shove their beliefs down other people's throats.
Live and let live is what I say - if the love which is supposed to be the basis of all religions was actually really, truly felt and manifested in religious people's lives none of the abuses of organised religions would happen.
Live and let live has been edited to read, live and let live as long as they live like me. That very few christians actually have an understanding of their religion is part of the problem. Religion is the only instance where a student can claim to have a masters degree in a subject after taking 1 course. god 101. The vast number of people here in the south who lack any formal education and yet are willing to argue advanced scientific theory is at times hilarious. The rest of the time it's simply sad and/or dangerous.
Alcohol eases the pain and gives comfort to the alcoholic, heroine eases the pain and gives comfort to the drug addict. Is there anything wrong with that?
Perhaps, these examples are over the top, but the underlying issue remains the same in that the pained eased and comfort provided by religion only masks the inherent problems.
And while excessive alcohol and drugs deteriorates and rots the body, religion deteriorates and rots the mind.
Of course, believers will always promote that they have the right to believe what they want, but they will demand others only believe as they do.
Is this also the same as not having the right to believe what you want to believe?
One should not deprive one from one's comfort; one should not confuse anyone.
Always try to relieve the pain and clear one from doubt.
Absolutely .... for what you speek of is at the foundation of what everyone believes themselves to be.
And may God bless the queen too.
Nothing at all in my opinion. The problems tend to come when religion is used to try and infringe on how other people deal with the same greifs. ...Or some people just like to argue
Personally, I don't care about others beliefs. If religion eases their pain they are welcome to it. Like psycheskinner says, as long as they don't try to infringe another's rights.
If it substitutes the science and real life, and struggle for something,(and life is a constant struggle),for a fantasy, then - yes, it's evil. If it is just a social tradition to go somewhere on Sunday, then - I don't know.
I have no idea if there is a God or not. I used to think so. But I can't deny that I've actually had experiences that I believe are rather spiritual, a little miraculous, and I wasn't alone when they happened. Few and far between were these things, and I don't know what to make of them, but I don't trust religion, either. However, Kirsten, I tend to agree that many people do get comfort and solace from religion, and I'm certainly not against it.
In many such cases religion is a calm way to help people deal with unexplanable, tragic, or even miraculous things that happen. Not everything that happens can be explained by science. Perhaps most things, yes, but not all.
A little respect for others goes a long way in helping to agree to disagree. I personally think that most petty issues are about the ability or inability of agreeing to disagree.
I used to think so too. I was more depressed as a christian than not, as I was unable to reconcile an "ideal" world I'd been told about with the "real" world. So for me, belief in God didn't help ease pain; it actually contributed to more pain.
Lets just keep in mind here that blanket statements about whole groups of people are always wrong because you cannot blanket a group of people like that.
Most folks these days would not say, 'all blacks are....' without fearing being called rascist, by saying 'all Christians are....' or 'all Muslims are ...' or 'All atheists are...' is always going to be wrong.
I mean heck, you can't even say that all people who believe in god belong to a religion. I do not belong to any religion and would not want to, the idea of belonging to any organization kinda creeps me out really, but I do believe in a God concept.
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
George Bernard Shaw
One should not deprive one from one's comfort; one should not confuse anyone.
Always try to relieve the pain and clear one from doubt.
Nothing wrong with the religion if it does relieves pain and serves the humanity.
You sound at one with Marx - he though religion was the "opium of the people".
I won't like to confuse the people; I would like to strengthen them in truthful belief. I don't consider religion as "opium of the people".
Churches are run by human beings who are flawed, that is all humans are flawed. Therefore one should not expect perfection Comfort is not exactly the reason for belonging to a religions. It should start with faith. If you don't believe there is not much point in it. On the other hand non-believers should keep an open mind.
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