Does religion make us better people?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Magical Realist, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I was wondering where she was off to. Hadn't seen her posting here much lately.

    It's a very abstract and almost narcisstic mindset this being good and kind because you believe it's God's will. It's like going to a party and agreeing before hand to treat some person you dislike nicely and compassionately. It comes off as fake and is ultimately very patronizing to that person. They aren't real people afterall--just props in your little self-drama of being a righteous and holy person. The REAL way of being good and compassionate is by relating to and understanding people, NOT by pigeonholing them into judgemental stereotypes in our own minds. Religion is all about stereotyping people as types--the addict, the drunk, the womanizer, the queer, the reprobate, the slut, the rebellious atheist, the devil worshipper, etc. It's not an authentic contact with the complex multidimensional self everyone really is.



    It's the difference between doin something because it's someone else's will or your own will. It's being something you're not just to score points with God, essentially rewarding only the ability to do what you don't want to do. As Paul himself summed up this dysfunctional schizoid conundrum so well:


    Romans 7:

    14 "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."


    Exactly. It is the practiced art of conforming to someone else's ideal instead of just being yourself. A kind of constant self-editing of your thoughts and actions into a G rated version of yourself, all the while repressing your own deep needs for self-fulfillment and pride and creative experimentation. This subjugation and invalidation of your own desires and thoughts eventually builds resentment and bitterness against those you see getting away with it. If moments of real empathy and spontaneous compassion come thru, it is more despite this regimen of performing for an audience than because of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, precisely.

    Freedom from emotional enslavement to religion isn't found in hating it or or by fleeing from it, just as it can't be found in desiring and endlessly pursuing it.

    Those are both the same attraction-repulsion phenomenon, simply with the polarity reversed.

    Freedom from emotional enslavement to religion comes about when neither the desire or the aversion drive us.
     
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    If someone told me a fishing spot was bad, no I wouldn't go there. If they said they got food poisoning at a restaurant, no I wouldn't go there. And if someone said they bought a product and it didn't work, no I wouldn't buy it. I apparently trust the objective truth of other people's actual experience more than you do.

    With a system of delusional thought like religion, are we seriously going to split hairs and suggest that maybe I didn't have the RIGHT delusional religion? Or maybe I wasn't quite deluded in the right way? Do you seriously want to legitimize delusion as a possible feel good experience? I don't. To me delusion is pretty much always a bad thing. A substitute for the truth, the knowing of which is always so much better. Call it my faith in being real.
     
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  7. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    Some good points here.
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Once I stopped swatting her for inanities and condescending remarks, it turned out that most people don't pay her much mind. I was, like, the only one feeding the troll.

    In extreme cases, yes. I think for most, even though they have that nuanced understanding of people and genuine compassion for them, when it comes to the big questions they point to their ancient storybook.

    In my view, you've kept the comfortable aspects of religion--the afterlife, magic, etc.--and dumped the guilt-trip. And hey, I think that's a lot better than being a Catholic. But the mistake you're making is in pretending that by removing God and dogma from the equation you've somehow stumbled upon "real" transcendence. You haven't. It's Christianity in shape and theme and scope, just without any of the baggage or demands.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    If somebody tells me they got food poisoning at a certain restaurant, I might think twice about that particular restaurant. But a bad experience with a particular restaurant wouldn't justify the general conclusion that all restaurants need to be avoided. It certainly wouldn't invalidate all the positive restaurant reviews.

    Similarly, your bad experience probably does reduce my (already low) estimation of 7th Day Adventism, or whatever it was. But your unpleasant experience doesn't put me off all forms of religion in general. (It's almost irrelevant to the kinds of religion that interest me.) In other words, I think that your personal-experience argument would be more persuasive if you dialed back its scope and directed it at the particular form of religion that hurt you.
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The restaurant WAS religion. The entree I ordered was Christianity. The chef is the delusional mind. I'm recommending noone go there. You can go ahead and ignore my experience there. Maybe the chef will get lucky and serve up something nice for a change. I doubt it though. There's a food cart pod down the street that serves philosophy, science, art, music, literature, and poetry specials. Go there if you wanna feed your soul.
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Not everyone feels as confined to that analogy as you do. Because it is just an analogy.


    As if those could be separate from religion.


    Lol. Without religion, the concepts of "soul" and "feeding one's soul" wouldn't exist.
     
  12. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    If your negative experience with religion turns you off from it, that's fine. I've no beef with that.
    But it's silly, immature really, to cast blame on all religions just because one of them made you uncomfortable. And it's similarly childish to expect everyone else to bend to your viewpoint even if their experiences have been positive (or neutral).
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yet the restaurant is always with people.
    One can either conclude that they are delusional, or that their palates are different to yours, their constitution different such that they do not get food poisoning.

    And your analogy is somewhat flawed if you think the entree was Christianity - as that suggests you were picking from a menu of different religions, which I don't believe was the situation (but I could be wrong?). More apt would be that you went to a Christian restaurant... but even then I doubt you actually picked the one you were indoctrinated into?

    Bad reviews exist at every restaurant. But so do good reviews.
    Are we to treat yours as THE objective truth and ignore the others?

    Personally I don't like the food they serve, but that is a personal choice - it doesn't fit with my palate.
    But I can see that the food is edible to many people, and the reviews show that many of those like it, and keep going back.
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The frequent diners there have been convinced by the mgt that their sickness from eating the food there is part of themselves. Part of who they are. Sin..Bad karma..Or the roving restlessness of their own enslaving minds. So they keep coming back, persuaded that the cure is eating ever larger heaps of the same delusion-served tripe. There is now a vomitorium in the back room of the restaurant to allow the diners to puke up their entrees and come back to their tables to order more. These diners always leave gloating at how good the food is and how it helps to remedy their sordid condition. And the restaurant is making out like a bandit.

    You're right. I had my Christianity entree ordered for me by my parents. The first time I got it it was Baptist deep-fried. I sent it back and got it Adventist grilled with onions. Didn't make a difference. Still got sick as a dog.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Tell that to Plato..
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds more like an allergy. Best bet might be to see a doctor!

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  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Ad homing even in the service of your religion doesn't lend it much credibility.
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    “One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.” ― Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

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  19. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    The goat looks a bit like your Avatar!
     
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Given that he is one of the key players in providing philosophical substance for arguments in monotheism (at least in terms of western theology), he is already telling you
     
  21. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Is that photo supposed to show the dietary preferences of his children that is a consequence of their spiritual ignorance and the misconceptions about the material world he is attempting to indoctrinate them into?
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What misconceptions would those be, O wise and learned one?

    And MR, spare us the gross pics, please.
     
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    If compassion ultimately arises from a combination of atoms you don't have a good argument to refrain from slitting another living entity's throat ... or indeed many other things which we would herald as the hallmarks of being civil or even sane.
     

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