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modern man's dispute with religion has more to do with discomfort...

  1. lizzieBoo profile image65
    lizzieBooposted 6 years ago

    Yeah, give it all the historical, scientific, sociological jargon you like, but the truth is that the real problem people have with accepting religion is the possibility of their personal discomfort. We pick out the elements of history and biology which suit our sense of entitlement to all things pleasurable. The life of self-denial just doesn't sit happily with our desire for material fulfillment. Lets think of some of the people most keen to promote a Godless, permissive lifestyle:
    Nietzche; the man who said 'God is dead' believed that humans were divided by merit of birth. He saw himself as being of superior birth along with other people with 'exceptional' brains. His sister later tried and failed to set up a colony of superior human beings. He himself died in syphilitic madness. Needless to say, Hitler was a big fan.
    Virginia Woolf; One of the protagonists of the Modernist movement, belonged to a cozy group called the Bloomsbury set, whose members were hugely brainy, godless, promiscuous and suicidal. I could name a bunch of such types who justify a less-then wholesome lifestyle by telling us religion is simply the bastion for the mad, bad and the sad. We believe them because we are intimidated by the privilege of their cleverness and education.
    Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis, Philip Roth, Richard Dawkins, Germaine Greer, Iris Murdoch, Gore Vidal, to name one or two....none of these give the impression of a self-giving, self-sacrificing life, so it is to be expected that they would want to turn the idea of morality on its head in order to justify themselves.
    There is no denying that there are equally clever people who use the veil of religion to justify their corrupt intentions. The give-away is always the same:  self-denial vs self-gratification. Which side are they on? Which side are you on?

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I mean, do we really see more clearly than ever before, or is the opposite more likely?

    2. thisisoli profile image54
      thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      So you are either relgious or hitler-esque?

      1. lizzieBoo profile image65
        lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Ha ha of course not! There's alot of anti-religious stuff on here (not that that means much, being so broad) and so I'm making a point. I think the problem alot of people have religion is that it is inconvenient.

        1. recommend1 profile image65
          recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I do not agree.  Most people have a problem with right wing religion which is trying to gather up every dimwit to its phony cause.  The other issue with religion is its blatant misuse for bigotry and phony moralising.

          I think every anti-religious poster in these threads has at some time or another spoken out in support of the average person who has some form of religious belief and does not try to indoctrinate kids with it, stuff it down anyone's throat or use it to megaphone their homophobia and horrendous moral values.

          1. lizzieBoo profile image65
            lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            recommend1, yes but you're only talking about a minor aspect of world religion; that which exists in the wealthy free world.

            1. recommend1 profile image65
              recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Right wing christians trying to push their pseudo science for personal gain is a minor issue ?    The UK government is working to exclude the intelligent design nonsense from being infiltrated into British schools by the American Christian right !   

              Or do you mean that christians in the real world outside of the states are normal ?

              1. lizzieBoo profile image65
                lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Well it might be a big issue in the states, and they may well try to push that nonsense all over the globe, but really it's small beans in regards to the likes of Hinduism and Catholicism.

              2. lone77star profile image88
                lone77starposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                @recommend1, you make some good points about the pseudo-Christian right in America, but that's not a majority. Alarmingly, it is a rapidly growing minority with a potent power base.

                You said, "Right wing christians trying to push their pseudo science for personal gain is a minor issue?" Yes, minor, from a religious standpoint. I shudder to think that the Texas school board might really mess up the textbooks for a sizable portion of the USA. Education in America is already sliding behind the rest of the world. One young man I knew from Thailand was a poor student in Thailand, but excelled easily in Los Angeles high school, because the school and its curriculum sucks! With creationism in schools, it'd become far worse.

                The problem with the so-called "creationists" is that they lazily think they have the Bible all figured out while ignoring reality (the subject which science studies). They're living in a delusion.

                But so are you, @recommend1. There is much more to the Bible than either you or the creationists know. It takes humility to find answers, even in science.

                1. recommend1 profile image65
                  recommend1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Do not assume what I know or do not know about the bible, you do not know me.

                  You are also mistaken - The problem with creationists is not lazy thinking - they are a rapidly growing toxic group that is conciously feeding on ignorance and fear.  The orchestrators of this ridiculous nonsense are people with immense power and an agenda to return societies to the dark ages.  This is not a minor issue, it is a desease that has its effects in the ease with which the US goes to war that are thinly disguised crusades, the destruction of enlightened education and the general dumbing down of the population.

                  1. earnestshub profile image88
                    earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Spot on. These people have an agenda that would make a hardened criminal wince!

                    No conscience, no morals, and no empathy. A sick and dangerous group of people by any standard.

        2. thisisoli profile image54
          thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Not really, most peoples problem with religion is that it is unnecessary.

          Also in many ways atheism is less self gratifying than religion because you have to work to find the real answers rather than accept a simple one with no basis.

          1. lizzieBoo profile image65
            lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            But of course you know that can't be true otherwise the big religions would never have built universities. It is gratifying to have a central goal in mind at times, but it doesn't and shouldn't give you greater physical comfort.

        3. Hollie Thomas profile image61
          Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I think one of the biggest problems that people have with religion is the way it has been used over the centuries to command social control.

          1. lizzieBoo profile image65
            lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Well, that's a criticism of religion, but is it the real reason why people have a problem with it?

            1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
              Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Maybe some, I imagine it depends on the individual. People may have a problem with religion for a variety of reasons, not just one single issue.

    3. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Not true and poorly perceived.
      Entitlement? Now, that's funny.
      Self denial? Try the religious have self-deluded(lied to themselves).
      Try people promoting self awareness, increased knowledge and wisdom(truth) about life...was you real meaning right?
      I think this is true. Many use religion for power, wealth and control.

      1. lizzieBoo profile image65
        lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        cagsil, I'm not talking about the fat, false prophet living on his ranch in Texas. I'm talking about the truly faithful who live in humility around the world. Can we dispute the self-denial of the Dali Lama say, or Mother Theresa?

        1. Cagsil profile image60
          Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Really? There are less of those types than there are atheist in the world. lol
          Who said these two people self-denial? And, how did you reach your conclusion?

          1. lizzieBoo profile image65
            lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            The self-denial is evident in their behavior, but certainly, most people aren't like them.
            There are bad people of all kinds in the world. The voices that shout the loudest put themselves in the way of examination I think.

    4. TMMason profile image63
      TMMasonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Pretty much on tee.

      Man cannot stand to look in the mirror of religion and see just how disgusting and immoral his "Progress" and "freedom to advance humanity" is.

      As a note, it took a lot of twisting on Elizebeth Nietzsche and Bernard Forster's part to wrench Nietzsce's writiings into the propaganda for the NAZI ideology

      As with your, "God is Dead", quote... the point was not that God was dead... but that we, Man, had killed him, and even now, then, the blood was still warm and dripping from our hands.

      1. DoubleScorpion profile image82
        DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago in reply to this



        Does this theory call for stop of progress for the advancement of religion?

        1. TMMason profile image63
          TMMasonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That depends on what you call progress and advancing humanity, doesn't it.

          And I do not care about the advancing religion part... God can take care of his own things... he doesn't need you or I to do it for him.

          1. lizzieBoo profile image65
            lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It's a good point.

          2. Hollie Thomas profile image61
            Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            And I do not care about the advancing religion part... God can take care of his own things... he doesn't need you or I to do it for him.

            Then why do you often quote from the bible in an attempt to qualify your arguments?

    5. 2besure profile image85
      2besureposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Great points Lizziebo this statement says it all "The life of self-denial just doesn't sit happily with our desire for material fulfillment."

      1. lizzieBoo profile image65
        lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'm glad you think so.

    6. oldrick profile image75
      oldrickposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      " the real problem people have with accepting religion is the possibility of their personal discomfort. "  I like this , it's so easy to just talk the talk, less easy to walk the walk!

  2. Vigilantics profile image60
    Vigilanticsposted 6 years ago

    lizzieBoo,

    I noticed that a lot of your posts are religious in nature (or perhaps they're just the ones that catch my attention). I have to say that although you pose a few seemingly puzzling questions, they sort of remind me of the question "Where is the forest, I can't see it with all these trees in the way." The idea that religion HAS to be this or HAS to be that in some form or fashion is a bit of a limited mindset. You can't touch one tree (or even just a few) in a forest that you don't like and judge everything by it. You also can't blame an entire religion for the actions of a few who use a religion’s rules for their own personal gain. As a Catholic I can honestly say that, from over 30 years of constant exposure, all religions are a personal journey. While that doesn't mean that you get to make up your own rules as you go, I find that the guidance you receive from Religion is more important than memorizing the rules. Limit your mind and you'll see a bunch of fear-mongering, robe-wearing child molesters. Expand just a little bit and you'll find a group of relatively faithful people doing their best to spread happiness, peace and love as far and wide as they can afford while merely being thankful and appreciative for the gift of life. Life is much like machine in the sense that we can't all be bolts or wheels, that's the beauty. We all have our roles and we all work as part of a whole. We really don't have to think about it as much as enjoy what we are and be thankful that we are here. To keep the reigns pulled in a bit, religion steps in to offer guidance on how to treat ourselves and one another to become as happy as we can manage. Cutting the crap in between will always be up to you.

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Vigilantics, thank you fro replying to my rant. Yes I agree with you. It seems to me that the interests people have on this forum fall into two categories: religion and American politics. The stuff in between is either just fluff or is directing itself into one or other camp. When people are discussing politics here, they invariably start to talk about religion anyway. I put it down to the predominantly American users. Europeans aren't so fond of the subject.
      I enjoy the ease with which you can debate on here, albeit within the confines of a "yes God exists...no he doesn't" environment,  and since I have only a rudimentary knowledge of American politics, religion gets all my attention.
      You are quite right, religion is as broad as politics in terms of being THIS or THAT. You couldn't dismiss politics without first stressing which stream of politics you were referring, so why do people do as much with religion?
      Religion is there for guidance, yes, but to use the example of academia, the more you know and understand about it, the better you are likely to be at it.
      Which of my questions have been puzzling by the way?

  3. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 6 years ago

    Since I've never noticed religion to cause personal discomfort for its adherents, I'd be curious to understand why you brought that up. No one lets religion stand in the way of the things they personally want to do. There is no self denial. Religion is used to bash people who don't agree with the adherents.

    I'd have to say your argument is bogus and somewhat offensive.

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Emile,  aw common, surely not offensive? It is not so much in defense of religion, you'll notice, but a counter-attack. I'm a big fan of Hitchens, for example. He really can argue, but I want to come from a different angle. My angle is, what angle are THEY trying to push and how does it benefit them?

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes. It is offensive. I have no idea how you can say this is not a defense of religion. You make some bizarre and less than truthful assumptions in order to pose this ' counter attack'

        the truth is that the real problem people have with accepting religion is the possibility of their personal discomfort.

        This implies that the religious sacrifice for their faith. That's ludicrous. It also implies that those of us who deny religion are hedonistic. So, of course one would take offense.

        We pick out the elements of history and biology which suit our sense of entitlement to all things pleasurable. The life of self-denial just doesn't sit happily with our desire for material fulfillment.

        Talk about grand standing. You make the religious sound like a bunch of monks. Exactly what do you deny yourself? How are the religious any different from the non religious on this matter?

        Lets think of some of the people most keen to promote a Godless, permissive lifestyle: Nietzche; the man who said 'God is dead' believed that humans were divided by merit of birth. He saw himself as being of superior birth along with other people with 'exceptional' brains. His sister later tried and failed to set up a colony of superior human beings. He himself died in syphilitic madness.  I could name a bunch of such types who justify a less-then wholesome lifestyle by telling us religion is simply the bastion for the mad, bad and the sad.

        I suppose since you chose to lump everyone together with the likes of these, then I can lump all Christians in with the evangelicals. Good to know.

        1. lizzieBoo profile image65
          lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          There's no need to be so touchy Emile. I said WE not 'you lot out there'. My problem with religion often comes from a resentment of how much I need to give up to be good. And I also made a point that you can tell a truly religious person from a fake religious person by their self-denial. You can tell a good person full-stop from their good deeds.
          But when hedonistic types such as Hitchens, Amis and Greer have such vitriol against religion, I would question their motives.
          I don't in any way lump people together.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            How much you need to give up to be good? That's a problem. Please enlighten me as to what you don't have, and what you aren't doing; in order to be good. I've always said wild people need a wild religion; but I thought you were catholic. Would you go wild without religion too? What, exactly, do religious people lack in moral fiber that the rest of us don't? I don't need religion to do what I know is right and good. I don't need religion in order to understand when I miss the mark. Is religion a simple admission that you, yourself, will always turn to, and embrace, that which is wrong? Has it occurred to the religious that some of us don't?

            1. lizzieBoo profile image65
              lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well, according to Christ, you need to give up everything to be good. Kind words and pleasant floral arrangements don't cut the mustard it would seem. There's a fine line between religion and culture. Your morality must be largely due to a cultural altruism. would you agree?
              Buddhists seek to completely abandon their ego. Priests and nuns or all faiths are accordingly called to give up personal comfort, including physical contact with others. That's too much for most people.
              I wish I could be better. I admire good people.
              Wild religion for wild people..yes I would go with that. The single-parent drunk I used to be would be unlikely to attract Islamic types. Catholicism is suited to the massively flawed among us.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Umm, have you read the New Testament? Christ didn't deny the simple pleasures of life. Don't you remember when he said something about they complained against John the Baptist because he didn't drink, but they called Jesus a drunkard because he drank and went to parties? I don't think it's entirely necessary to live a life in complete denial in order to be good. You said it yourself.Love God, Love your neighbor.

                1. lizzieBoo profile image65
                  lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  No, I have never heard that Jesus was a drunkard. Are you sure about that?
                  Anyway, I think part of the problem with religious people today is the lack of self-sacrifice, I really do. We have this attitude of 'oh this'll do. God will understand'. When it gets tough we say, "oo I don't know if I want this...I thought it was a God of love. How come I've got to work so hard?'

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I didn't say he was a drunkard. I said he said people called him that. Kind of like the religious today. They don't know people, but they simply assume the worst of others.

                2. TMMason profile image63
                  TMMasonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  All things in moderation.

                  And I have not seen the Jesus was a drunkard line either, Emile.

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I didn't say he was a drunkard. He was talking about other people talking about him. Does no one know how to google? Matthew 11: 18-19

                    18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’

    2. jblais1122@aol profile image75
      jblais1122@aolposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      On the one aspect of personal discomfort.  You may never have attended an Orghodox Mass in a Village church in Greece.  3 hours, no chairs, or fancy pews.  Very interesting, but, come on where are the chairs?  I now understand why the old Greek men all gather at the local coffee house while their wives attend church.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Can't say that I have, but I doubt that is what the OP is referring to.

  4. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    Isn't belief in being created as a the special being of the one true God and being given eternal life self-gratifying? IMHO your argument is the wrong way around.

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It should be but it isn't. Having religion doesn't make us richer or better at sport. If it does, we're doing something wrong.

      1. psycheskinner profile image80
        psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I think getting to live for ever is more gratifying than being good at sport. My suggestion is that religious "truths" are gratifying. They allow us to believe nice stuff that is good for us, about how we are special.

    2. lone77star profile image88
      lone77starposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      @psycheskinner, the dimension you are missing involves ego vs spirit.

      "Self-gratifying" being discussed here is all about the ego pseudo-self, the physical construct which dwells on entitlements (selfishness).

      The eternal life of which you spoke is only attained through selflessness (humility). This is the complete opposite.

      So, no, to answer your question.

      Try to wrap your mind around this. You will only understand LizzieBoo's idea if you fully grok this.

  5. DoubleScorpion profile image82
    DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago

    "Love your God with all your heart, soul and mind" and "Love you neighbor as yourself"

    Why does anyone need to give anything up to follow these two simple rules?

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Greater love has no man, then to lay down his life for his friends. That would be quite a big thing to give up.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Christians don't have a monopoly on selflessness and, seriously, when was the last time you went to the funeral of a Christian that sacrificed their life for their fellow man?

        1. lizzieBoo profile image65
          lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Ofcourse Christians don't hold a monopoly a goodness. But this isn't the point. I'm asking why person who has been near killing himself with the partying, has such a problem with the idea of an all-seeing God. I suggest that self-loathing is involved, stemming from denial. Christopher Hitchens would argue beautifully that I was wrong. It is an ongoing point of debate.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            So, call Hitchins. But I find it hard to believe anyone would put time and effort to 'beautifully' argue  against this arrogant and shortsighted stand. I doubt anyone near killing themselves from partying are contemplating the question of god.

            1. lizzieBoo profile image65
              lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I'm making a generalisation. That's what you do in a debate. You build your argument on a set of general theories. If religion was a real blast, if it made you feel really good about yourself, do you think people would run it down the way they do?

      2. DoubleScorpion profile image82
        DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        And the members of the Military do it on a daily basis. They give up their lives to defend the rights of their countries and it's citizens.

        One cannot claim to have given up something that they do not possess. I believe that it is the Christian philosophy that says "our lives are not our own but belongs to the one who created us".

        Jeremiah 10:23
        I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own;
        it is not for man to direct his steps.

    2. lone77star profile image88
      lone77starposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      @Double, they need to give up ego -- the source of all selfishness (lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, etc). One can't follow two masters.

      If you love God with all your heart, soul and mind, you will not lust after the things of this world, including the sense of entitlement to be right, for which ego is so fond.

      Even being attached to these Homo sapiens bodies is an act of turning away from God. Living in your current Homo sapiens body, but unattached to it, one can gain spiritual enlightenment (Heaven) prior to physical death. Thus, one attains spiritual consciousness which lasts beyond the bounds of physical life and constitutes the "everlasting life" of which the Nazarene teacher spoke.

      One cannot crave fame, pride, worldly possessions and the like and attain this rebirth.

      1. DoubleScorpion profile image82
        DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Ego...If that is the case...completely giving up all aspects of ego...Then we have alot of people who are not following the Love your God with all of your heart, soul and mind rule.

        Complete lack of Ego could only be achieved in death.
        Living will have some ego involved, it a human flaw and cannot be helped, at least not as of yet.

        1. lizzieBoo profile image65
          lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          DS it's true, we can't completely give up our ego because it would leave us with no desire to love or be loved or to be better. Some ego is necessary.

  6. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    I think the "biggest problem" with people being willing to buy into any religion is the fact that all religions believe/say something different and have their own "rules".  A whole lot of people are fairly certain that all those religions cannot be correct in their beliefs, so they write off the idea of paying any attention to what any religion says/does and figure they'll figure out their own set of beliefs/spirituality (or lack of one or both) for themselves.

    Throwing in the fact that many religions don't believe in equality for all people (including those of both sexes and all religions), and you've got a whole other bunch of people who don't think such beliefs seem to at all fit with what any God would have in mind when/if He, She, or a blend of both sexes created the whole picture.

    I think what appears in a lot of ways to be a move away from belief if in a higher power is often, instead, a move toward believing in something/someone that doesn't exclude x percent of the rest of the people (even creatures) on the Earth.  A move away from religion doesn't necessarily always indicate a move away from having belief in a higher power.  As for anyone who doesn't believe in a higher power, maybe, at least, they aren't in the business of inflicting their own personal set of rules on everyone else.  There really is such a thing as people who are good, kind, and moral because they "have that in them" and not because they fear going to hell.

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The rules that different religions have are indeed all different, as is their reasoning. However, all major religions recognise that self-denial is the first step towards personal improvement. That is not to say that we do not have that quality without religion. We do, it's called motherhood.

      1. lone77star profile image88
        lone77starposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Good point, Lizzie. But with self-denial (humility) one opens the door to the immortal spirit, within. For some, the door is open, but they don't care to go through it.

  7. aware profile image72
    awareposted 6 years ago

    Building a bigger god.

  8. lone77star profile image88
    lone77starposted 6 years ago

    @lizzieBoo, thank you!

    Good show by pinpointing the problem -- self-denial vs self-gratification.

    Another way of saying this is humility vs ego, but I think this way of saying it is more all-encompassing. Attachments and consumption are only part of the equation, but a major part.

    It seems that ego is the "self" we need to deny (self-denial). Ego hungers for being right. Ego feeds on the entitlement to have things for itself.

    Ego is the blindness that keeps us from seeing through spiritual eyes. Ego is the soporific which keeps us mortal and keeps our consciousness confined to these islands called Homo sapiens lifetimes.

    Letting go is hard to do. I keep practicing this. By moving to the Philippines from the USA, I gave up a great deal, but it was worth every bit. And yet, I still have so much ego to offload -- so much of myself to deny.

    1. lizzieBoo profile image65
      lizzieBooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you lonestar. I know it is a subject you like to emphasise. All things come down to 'Vanity..all is vanity!'

  9. ThePastor profile image73
    ThePastorposted 6 years ago

    Interesting format.  I enjoyed the read.

  10. thooghun profile image83
    thooghunposted 6 years ago

    The idea to love God above and beyond all else is questionable at best. It can be downright insane.

    To illustrate my point, ask yourselves whether you applaud Abraham's willingness to gut his child because God commanded him to do so. To this day, people celebrate this dedication. I find it abhorrent.

    How many of you who trumpet the God above all else line would be willing to do what Abraham was ready to do?

    1. A Troubled Man profile image60
      A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You mean listening to the voices in his head telling him to viciously murder his son?

 
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