On willpower and obedience
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28-04-2014, 04:51 PM
On willpower and obedience
If self-control is an expression of obedience, does this go some way towards explaining "lives changed due to Jesus"? My mother often uses changed lives as evidence for God, citing better behaviour and self-control once a person has accepted Jesus into their heart. But I wonder if this in some sense is a mischaracterisation. Perhaps what the person has really done is to accept a ruler, and to subjugate themselves to the authority of another. Perhaps what we are seeing is not self-control, so much as obedience to an authority.

If this is true, then perhaps the effect of increased self control could be achieved by submitting to other authorities such as the authority of one's past self.

[Image: quitsmoking1.jpg]
Continued here: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/13

Thoughts?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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28-04-2014, 05:17 PM
RE: On willpower and obedience
(28-04-2014 04:51 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  If self-control is an expression of obedience, does this go some way towards explaining "lives changed due to Jesus"? My mother often uses changed lives as evidence for God, citing better behaviour and self-control once a person has accepted Jesus into their heart. But I wonder if this in some sense is a mischaracterisation. Perhaps what the person has really done is to accept a ruler, and to subjugate themselves to the authority of another. Perhaps what we are seeing is not self-control, so much as obedience to an authority.

If this is true, then perhaps the effect of increased self control could be achieved by submitting to other authorities such as the authority of one's past self.

[Image: quitsmoking1.jpg]
Continued here: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/13

Thoughts?

Hafnof at first glance I think you have a very valid observation. I can certainly see how this could play out in causing people to change their lives. Once they convince themselves or are convinced by others that a higher power, god, supreme being is an unquestionable authority (God becomes the Controlling Parent) coupled with fear of punishment the mind goes into a submissive state explained by transactional analysis

http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/ta.htm

“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
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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02-05-2014, 09:31 PM
RE: On willpower and obedience
Any idol can be used as a tool for self fulfillment, which is why many hold to their own personal deities, even if these deities are only deified by man (which all are).

Although I hold this belief, I do understand the use of a higher power for self fulfillment, as obedience leads one to give a center to the world, revolving around whatever deity/being/material object they may choose (and not themselves).
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03-05-2014, 02:37 AM
RE: On willpower and obedience
I always thought of it as change through inspiration. Pretty much in the same way that a person you love inspires you to be a better person yourself. At least that's what they claim.

But now that you mention this, it makes sense. In the case when someone inspires you to be better, there's no need for punishment if you do otherwise, but in the case of Jesus, there is.

Punishment can be a very strong motivator.

I've had so many Christians tell me "You need Jesus in your life, I've accepted him and I've managed to be a better person and overcome my problems" and I always doubted their claims, but really, in that light, they seem even more pathetic.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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03-05-2014, 08:44 PM
RE: On willpower and obedience
You don't need to believe in a Deity in order to increase in temperance. Often, if one lives his or her life with no self restraint, it will show eventually. Secular lessons can help us to change our ways, if we were going down a bad path.

Believing in a Deity isn't essential to growing in temperance/self control, therefore.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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