How can anyone take religion seriously?
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24-01-2012, 07:00 PM
How can anyone take religion seriously?
Human history has 'invented' so many religions, so different from each other, that it should be obvious for anyone that the entire concept of religion is man-made, evolved out of ignorance.

I understand the historical necessity of inventing religions, otherwise they would not have been invented. Each one served a purpose, at the time it was invented, in the context it was invented. Sometimes they served a social function, sometimes they served the ruling class, sometimes both.

They were all different and they all claimed to be the "right" belief. The masses usually believed in them because science was in its infancy and the scientific method for acquiring knowledge was not known and understood by most people.

One more reason for religion's 'popularity': very few people can accept that human beings may not be equipped to understand deep reality (quantum physics, Big Bang, evolution of life, etc.) and the concept of infinity, so they have to make it up for comfort's sake.

Add to it the fear of death and then you are home free.

Here is a list of just the major religions (practiced today), from Wikipedia.

See which of them appeals to you?

1 Abrahamic religions
1.1 Bábism
1.2 Bahá'í Faith
1.3 Christianity
1.3.1 Other groups
1.4 Gnosticism
1.5 Islam
1.6 Judaism
1.7 Rastafari movement
1.8 Mandaeans and Sabians
1.9 Samaritanism
1.10 Unitarian Universalism
2 Indian religions
2.1 Ayyavazhi
2.2 Bhakti Movement
2.3 Buddhism
2.4 Din-i-Ilahi
2.5 Hinduism
2.6 Jainism
2.7 Sikhism
3 Iranian religions
3.1 Manichaeism
3.2 Mazdakism
3.3 Mithraism
3.4 Yazdânism
3.5 Zoroastrianism
4 East Asian religions
4.1 Confucianism
4.2 Shinto
4.3 Taoism
4.4 Other
5 African diasporic religions
6 Indigenous traditional religions
6.1 African
6.2 American
6.3 Eurasian
6.4 Oceania/Pacific
6.4.1 Cargo cults
7 Historical polytheism
7.1 Ancient Near Eastern
7.2 Indo-European
7.3 Hellenistic
8 Mysticism and Occult
8.1 Esotericism and mysticism
8.2 Occult and magic
9 Neopaganism
9.1 Syncretic
9.2 Ethnic
10 New religious movements
10.1 Creativity
10.2 New Thought
10.3 Shinshukyo
11 Left-hand path religions
12 Fictional religions
13 Parody or mock religions
14 Others
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24-01-2012, 07:40 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
It's easy. You are aware of only one religion or a few promoted by parents or social group from a young age when you can't question. You just don't have the tools.

It's reinforced by compartmentalizing the brain so that faith is treated as "different" or separate from other truths about the world. You can't address theological questions with non theological means is a standard thought in this process.

From there you start to look at other religions and see them as easily false due to the lack of compartmentalizing on those religions behalf. This reinforces the fact that your religion is the true one. This can even in extreme cases hold true of scientific truths like evolution that you are told by religious authorities can't be true.

In my case I couldn't shake any of the above until my teenage years where I downgraded to a "liberal" Christian when I realized that i had hidden stories like Noah's ark away from the logical parts of my mind. Once I hit University and was introduced to Catholicism as a protestant alongside post secondary education......

Need I go on.
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24-01-2012, 07:48 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
I like the Rastafari movement Big Grin

Your name and avatar are somehow familiar Huh

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24-01-2012, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2012 08:18 PM by Zat.)
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 07:48 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Your name and avatar are somehow familiar Huh

you are correct -- I used to be called Zatamon in an earlier incarnation.

Back to the topic:

The really funny thing is that every single believer, in every one of those religions in that long list in the OP, is convinced that all the rest of them are deluded, or worse.

Guess which of them is right? (all of them! Big Grin)

It may appear that I am ‘crusading’ against religion.

This appearance is false.

I treat religion as a symptom of something much deeper and much more harmful, and it has many manifestations in human cultures.

That something is uncritical thinking.

The kind of mindset that is easy to delude to believe in almost anything.

The same mindset that believes:

- That Capitalism and market economies are not self-destructive
- That it is OK to attack other countries on fraudulent excuses
- That we "support our troops" by not bringing them home
- That torture is a useful practice to serve our country
- That holding prisoners indefinitely, without trial and defense is just fine
- That insane levels of consumption does not harm the planet we live on
- That we can borrow our way out of debt
- That China will forever prop up western ambitions
- That we need to believe in our exploiters
- That we need to vote against our self interest, every time
- That some animals (Orwell’s pigs) are naturally superior to the rest of us.
- That "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"

I am sure I missed a few but that is enough to start with.

Now I know that not all religious people believe in ALL of these and there are many who do not believe in ANY at all, however, the mindset that believes in a concept as obviously silly as religion is, is in danger of believing any or all of the others.

As far as being fascinated by the cultural aspects of religion is concerned, there is no harm in that, for the right anthropological mind it can be truly fascinating.

Just as many psychiatrists are fascinated with the various mental problems they study and many doctors can be truly fascinated with interesting diseases, I can see the fascination from a strictly clinical point of view.

However, gullibility and lack of critical thinking is so widespread in our species that every time I see, read or hear apologies, justification and promotion of religious ideas, a HUGE RED FLAG goes up in my mind and makes me try to inject big-picture perspective into the discussion.

Many people think that religion is harmless, even though it is irrational, without realizing that it is one of the the most visible symptoms of the human disease: gullibility and lack of critical thinking.

This is a battle over human minds, between forces trying to enslave them and forces trying to liberate them.

It is a battle to the end (seems to be near now) -- the enslavers and their apologists on the backswing at the moment.

In the fifties to seventies, we had a brief period when rational humanity and common sense was making progress in the western world: social justice seemed to have a real chance -- now we are being pushed back, relentlessly, into the middle ages of superstition and brutality.
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24-01-2012, 09:18 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
There are only two things to be blamed - corruption and greed! Sad

And, by the way, welcome back Smile

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24-01-2012, 09:21 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Hitchens nailed it when he said, “Our frontal lobes are too small and our Adrenal glands are too large.”
Technology is expanding much faster than we are evolving. I cannot see is “not” blowing up the planet.
Quite a shame if you think about it. Evolution, if it were a conscious entity, would be so proud of her human creation only to see them turn on each other because of unsupported superstitious belief.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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24-01-2012, 09:27 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
The honorable Zat can be right.

The sleeper in the desert dreaming of a movie star is certain that absolute good equates to absolute evil; that any reality of I will manifest around the singular identity of my Gwynnies. If Gwyneth is not enough; it follows that a singular, imagined deity can only fail like engineered obsolescence.

Engineered obsolescence? Like an eternally true Word of God eternally in need of study, revision, translation, and bloodshed? Like faith appearing once to a point object truth such as Lao Tzu, the Buddha, the Christ; in one local moment. And no matter how one wraps Word around the emptiness that once was Being; faith becomes religion becomes religious nonsense.

Leaving what? I can rape, I can kill, I can plunder, I can spill; bloodshed and horror can flow like the sea from the ocean of me - I am evil - needing only my Gwynnies to smile. And sanctify, will I; what you might call defile.

"I love my Gwynnies;" that's waveform madness. I am only 4 words and she is what's right; leaving me will to wrong only wrong just to be wrong.

That's what's serious about religion in the context of identity. Thirty eight thousand sects of sheep are thirty eight thousand ways removed from right. But atheist - I - is seen as being infinitely removed. Ethical standard must code for this consideration in the future.

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24-01-2012, 09:43 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 09:27 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  The honorable Zat can be right.

The sleeper in the desert dreaming of a movie star is certain that absolute good equates to absolute evil; that any reality of I will manifest around the singular identity of my Gwynnies. If Gwyneth is not enough; it follows that a singular, imagined deity can only fail like engineered obsolescence.

Engineered obsolescence? Like an eternally true Word of God eternally in need of study, revision, translation, and bloodshed? Like faith appearing once to a point object truth such as Lao Tzu, the Buddha, the Christ; in one local moment. And no matter how one wraps Word around the emptiness that once was Being; faith becomes religion becomes religious nonsense.

Leaving what? I can rape, I can kill, I can plunder, I can spill; bloodshed and horror can flow like the sea from the ocean of me - I am evil - needing only my Gwynnies to smile. And sanctify, will I; what you might call defile.

"I love my Gwynnies;" that's waveform madness. I am only 4 words and she is what's right; leaving me will to wrong only wrong just to be wrong.

That's what's serious about religion in the context of identity. Thirty eight thousand sects of sheep are thirty eight thousand ways removed from right. But atheist - I - is seen as being infinitely removed. Ethical standard must code for this consideration in the future.

Can you tell me what you're smoking, because it sounds like some good shit. Huh

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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24-01-2012, 09:48 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 09:43 PM)Thomas Wrote:  Can you tell me what you're smoking, because it sounds like some good shit. Huh

Officially it is called unspecified psychosis. Unofficially it is called being the Living Word of Gwynnite. Whatever it is called, you can call it good that it ain't you. Wink

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24-01-2012, 10:01 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 09:48 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Officially it is called unspecified psychosis. Unofficially it is called being the Living Word of Gwynnite. Whatever it is called, you can call it good that it ain't you. Wink

Socrates had his oracle.
You have your "unspecified psychosis".
We all get what we need.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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