What's The Difference Between Religion & Myth/Superstition

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Why do people believe 1 fiction but not others?
    How can they mock what they call superstition while believing things which make no sense & have no evidence?

    What's the difference between a religion & a cult?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2008
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  3. ylooshi breakingspells.net Registered Senior Member

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    Humans are very good at creating a sense of the "other." In doing so, they can naturally and unconsciously create solidarity with their own group (i.e. kin, clan, tribe, cult, etc.) thereby increasing their odds of survival and passing on their genes to off-spring.

    This sense of the "other" creates an illusion that your own in-group's beliefs, traditions, and norms are legitimate while those of out-groups are illegitimate. When a group gets too big, sub-cultures develop and the extremes of these are either re-assimilated or marginalized. The marginalized sub-cultures become cultures unto themselves creating new out-groups.

    When it comes to superstitions, those superstitious beliefs of the in-group are considered legitimate and never as "superstition," while the superstitious beliefs of out-groups are more easily looked down upon as "superstition," heresy, apostasy, quaint, myth, etc.

    A good example is in another thread in this forum where a member of a Christian cult states "transubstantiation is a Catholic belief. Not a Christian one. I'm a Christian..."

    This cult member has full belief that his own superstitions are legitimate while those of other cults, even ones that are Christian, are myth, allegory, or otherwise illegitimate. Indeed, this cult follower is so deluded by his own cult's dogma and doctrine, that he refuses to accept Catholicism, the very base cult of all Christianity, as Christian!

    Such ignorance and denial is common when comparing and contrasting religious cults and base superstitions, however, there are many base/core myths and superstitions that are shared between religious cults and other in-groups. The belief that Jesus was born of a virgin (a scientific improbability in the Iron Age, to say the very least) is one such myth. The belief that silent or oral utterances are heard by a deity who is loving and caring and will answer or respond (another scientific improbability) is one such superstition.

    In short, the believers in religious cults are deluded by the doctrines and dogma for which they create elaborate psychological barriers and "spells" which legitimize their own myths and superstitions whilst minimizing and rejecting competing or contrary myths and superstitions of other cults.
     
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  5. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    ylooshi:The belief that Jesus was born of a virgin (a scientific improbability in the Iron Age, to say the very least) is one such myth.

    Hey. They had invented virgins by the iron age.

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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Some people are very gullible while others are fearful but even more are just uneducated.
     
  8. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    Just wanted to point out that there is a bit of apples and oranges about the terms superstition and myth.

    Like if you break a mirror you get bad luck. A custom around relating to things. In a sense magic.

    Whereas myth....

    [my emphasis in both definitions]

    IOW superstitions are practices, generally involving things and myths are stories, generally involving gods or other entities with personalities.

    I realize that this is not the issue you want to focus on but I felt like the waters were very muddy because of your terms right from the start.
     
  9. OilIsMastery Banned Banned

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    Myth is false religion.
     
  10. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    OilIsMastery:Myth is false religion.

    Religion is false myth.
     
  11. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    So if one judges Christianity or Buddhism, for example, without having
    studied, analyzed, examine, experimented
    with the practices of these religions
    one's opinion about these religions would be a myth?
     
  12. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Simon Anders: So if one judges Christianity or Buddhism, for example, without having
    studied, analyzed, examine, experimented with the practices of these religions one's opinion about these religions would be a myth?


    Not necessarily. It could just be your (possibly ill informed) opinion. The mythic quality would depend on how your opinion was structured. Here is a good example of a mythic structuring of an opinion about xtianity (and well worth the read): http://www.jhuger.com/kisshank.php

    Luckily I have a good solid background in both Xtianity and Buddhism.
     
  13. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    3,535
    Which generally comes with a narrative 'explanation'. I realize I am pushing myth to the edge here, but I was working it from his rather bald dichotemy.
    With philosophers I think I would have an easier time with the line I am taking by using Buddhism, but I'll stick with both for the challenge. If you have a Christian who says that they felt terrible, life sucked and they found themselves calling out to God one night who it seemed responded. They heard a voice and felt a presence. At first they were shocked and somewhat skeptical, but they followed the advice of this voice and felt good in the presence of this, whatever it was, and so continued this calling out to God and realized this was a form of prayer. This experience led them to read a lot of the New Testement, which also gave them a sense of peace. They decided that reading the NT and praying made them feel better - which was reflecting in their relationships and could even be verified objectively - ie. via third person, even non-religious subjective accounts of the changes in the person. They have now become Christian.

    If one decides they are irrational without pursuing similar practices under some double blind research study conditions
    and simply judges this person as irrational from the outside
    isn't one essentially guessing - and if one adds some narrative

    such as 'just like all Christians he was afraid of death and is gullible and thus irrationally latched onto something that may give some comfort but is actually just hallucination.'

    isn't this myth?

    Alcholics Anonymous has a fairly good success rate even compared with psychiatric approaches - another line I could take.
     
  14. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Not to say we have to stay here, but let's try to disambiguate myth a bit...

    The first group of usages refer to myth as a means of conveying information in a non literal way:

    1. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.

    2. A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.

    The second group focuses more on the fictional aspect:

    3. A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.

    4. A fictitious story, person, or thing: "German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth" (Leon Wolff).
    ===

    So are you trying to say that an uninformed opinion on a subject requires a non literal approach or that an uninformed opinion is fictitious?

    Of course on the Buddhist side an uninformed attitude (beginner's mind) is the approach to remedy the uninformed opinion (ignorance).

    Simon Anders: Alcholics Anonymous has a fairly good success rate even compared with psychiatric approaches - another line I could take.

    Last I checked AA is no better than just deciding to quit or any other approach for that matter. They all hover about 10%. The most successful person I know at that sort of thing just decided to quit, did, and hasn't looked back. She isn't "recovering." She just doesn't bother with it at all. No big deal. There are times when I wish I could put "no big deal" in a pill for people.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  15. OilIsMastery Banned Banned

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    Your religion is. Not mine.
     
  16. Carico Registered Member

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    Myths don't happen in reality nor are they witnessed. So myths are lies. The truth on the other hand can be supported by reality.

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  17. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    OilIsMastery: Your religion is. Not mine.

    My religion's rubber, yours is glue. Bounce off me and stick to you!

    Can we grow up now? Or should I say: your myth is. Not mine?
     
  18. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Carico: Myths don't happen in reality nor are they witnessed. So myths are lies. The truth on the other hand can be supported by reality.

    No. Myths may be non literal and they may be fictitious, but a lie is a deliberate attempt to deceive, something lacking in a myth.

    So it is easy to show xtianity is a myth, but it is much harder to make the case that it is a lie, though you could make the case that for some one like Ted Haggard, it is a lie.
     
  19. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    Simple: concept. Religion, as ridiculous as it may seem, has a basis in the core concept of intelligence.

    Therefore religion isn't even ridiculous, let alone comparing it to no basis myth.
     
  20. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Religion is myth with popular support. Old religions that lose popularity are relegated to "myths".
     
  21. nova900 more spirituality,less dogma Registered Senior Member

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    The story of Exodus in the OT was a myth ,so by your own admission the Old Testament is a lie.
     
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    There can be some truth in myths, but they aren't literally true. They could originate in a true event.
     
  23. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    *************
    M*W: I actually agree with you on this one.
     

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