Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
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20-01-2013, 11:47 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense.

As for trauma, I don't really have personal experience with leaving religion, either. My dad was always an atheist, and my mom considers herself christian but is almost totally nonreligious. Her weak efforts at getting me to belief in god as a child were about as effective as getting me to believe in the tooth fairy (I'd pretend to sleep and watch her slip money under my pillow at night). But it's no wonder so many people cling to their religion, its tentacles are pretty far-reaching into their worldview and their social circles.

My mom laughs at me for this, but I often say I feel like the only sane person in a world full of nutters. And I do. Well, not literally the only person, but I do feel like part of a very small, invisible minority, and I'm sure that also adds to any trauma felt by formerly religious folks: the idea that many people seem either insane or willfully ignorant.
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21-01-2013, 05:29 AM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(20-01-2013 10:48 PM)pxlgirl Wrote:  I think the monopoly on fantasy kinda hits the nail, I was thinking the same thing. Religion would create a story for people to avoid that they make up stories themselves, as they would be objected to constant change and revision. So in order to make the people stick to it, they have to declare it as true. Anything that would threaten that so called truth is considered evil, and did anyone take notice that it's mostly fantasy stories they pick on?
Thowing in my 0.2, hope it´s not too sidetracked.

Too simplified, IMO. First of all, it is only some religions which exercise a focus on faith that severely collide with other "fantasy" - the folklore and its practices in Denmark were in much better shape during the reign of the Catholic church than after the Protestant renewed focus on (the only) faith.

To most religious people (if not all?) the religions and myths are separated from fantasy and fables and considered true (then one can question whether they are true or not). That they are considered true is not necessarily because of your idea of a grand scheme; it can also be because they are rooted in tradition and already accepted as truth by a group of people.

Secondly, religions can be based on already existing stories, slightly altered existing stories, already existing themes, customs or settings with which a story is constructed. This does not have to be deliberate and sudden, with four guys sitting around a table going "let us make up a brand new story for this cool god we have constructed".
Stories can be used and altered to justify/found worship, knowledge of a god or the universe and this religious worship and knowledge are equally formed by these stories.
The idea that this is always, or originally, a deliberate and conscious act, with the intent to avoid other stories, is unfounded.

Btw, like other stories, religious myths, and the way we view them, are constantly changed and revisioned.
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21-01-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
I dunno if anyone is suggesting that there is a single criminal mastermind behind each religion, but rather, that there are tendencies which seem to emerge, especially in more fundamental versions of the monotheistic religions that would seem to make them more powerful in the eyes of their adherents.
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21-01-2013, 03:56 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(21-01-2013 02:09 PM)amyb Wrote:  I dunno if anyone is suggesting that there is a single criminal mastermind behind each religion, but rather, that there are tendencies which seem to emerge, especially in more fundamental versions of the monotheistic religions that would seem to make them more powerful in the eyes of their adherents.
Hm, agreed.

I think that is a modification I can agree with. I do not want to deny the validity of the thougths in pxlgirls post, I just wanted to provide some other perspectives on the relationship between religions and stories Smile
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21-01-2013, 11:26 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(20-01-2013 08:25 AM)pxlgirl Wrote:  Ok, so here we go:
http://www.behance.net/designbypxlgirl -> project: "_____ exists*"


That's cute, by why is "exists" misspelled? By the way, I love your crowdsourcing pics.

On topic, I would suggest reading the books "Why We Believe Weird Things" and "The Believing Brain" by Michael Shermer. To sum it up, he suggests that our early survival depended on "agenticity", the anthromorphization of non-living or non-existant things. "It's better to believe that rustle in the grass is a tiger than to dismiss the tiger as wind. One leads to embarrassment, the other leads to becoming tiger food."

If you read either or both of these books, you'll understand why somebody could literally believe in fairies.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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21-01-2013, 11:59 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
*facepalm* note to self: always delete or move incorrect files from the project folder... I uploaded the correct ones.

Back to topic too, I hope I'll be able to get Sherman's book as audio.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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22-01-2013, 10:34 AM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(20-01-2013 08:25 AM)pxlgirl Wrote:  Ok, so here we go:
http://www.behance.net/designbypxlgirl -> project: "_____ exists*"
Your projects are pretty neat. I particularly like this one. While it is a bit over the top, it does a good job at getting the message across.

[Image: IcJnQOT.gif]
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22-01-2013, 09:04 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(22-01-2013 10:34 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Your projects are pretty neat. I particularly like this one. While it is a bit over the top, it does a good job at getting the message across.


Thank you. Smile Well, it is intended to be over the top and I also was kinda tired of seeing the same "say-no-to"... stuff because it was just boring.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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27-01-2013, 09:18 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2013 09:24 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
(20-01-2013 10:48 PM)pxlgirl Wrote:  As far as indoctrination goes, I had a short convo on skype a few days ago. I have noticed that many people on here pretty much act like they are recovering from sort of a trauma. It almost seems to me that some would go through some PTSD, which was quite shocking to see. As a pretty much "natural born atheist", I would never have thought what impact religious indoctrination would have on people.
What an eye-opening statement! Your observation really struck me.

When the fantasy is perpetrated not just by your parents but your grandparents, aunts and uncles; all the people you look to for guidance the psychological weight of the fantasy/story is immense. The fact that after all these years of self-detoxification I find great comfort in listening to what other like-minded individuals say about their own experiences shows me I still feel the effects of the trauma.

Thanks for your insight pxlgirl.

Throughout history conversions happen at the point of a sword, deconversions at the point of a pen - FC

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain in Eruption
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27-01-2013, 09:54 PM
RE: Fantasy/imagination vs. belief/faith
Oh, now I'm flattered... I'm glad that I could help you in some way. Right now I'm kind of learning new things about religion I had no idea about even during my short "believer-phase". I never knew about those baby-killing, genocide verses about a all so just and oh so loving god. I already was disturbed by the fact that people would worship an instrument of torture (read: the cross) and a guy dying on it. Which was another reason, why I switched to virgin Mary, as she looked more calm and peaceful to me, and she looked cute. Wink

But as far as my own deal with religion goes, there was one thing that had an impact on me, especially when I was young. I never really feared hell or the devil. I rather feared a god that would be everywhere, see everything what I do, think, where I go... Kind of like a voyeur. I felt like someone would be chasing me, watching me. That could have led to something more serious if I hadn't let go of it. And ironically, when bad things have happened and the good god wasn't there to help, I've started to have doubts if he's there at all. That was between age 8 and 11.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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