Religion and choice
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02-03-2017, 05:27 AM
Religion and choice
Why is it that almost every person who believes a religion is "true" chooses to be a part of that religion? In my experience, very few don't. I'm speaking generally throughout this post, and I don't intend to imply that every religious person is the same. I'm just talking about very strong trends I have seen.

Let's say I woke up tomorrow thinking that Lord of the Rings was real. I joined the Cult of Sauron, where people worship Sauron and say how great he is. We pray to him, and do all kinds of rituals and such.

When asked why I am in this cult, I start giving you what I consider evidence that the events in the Lord of the Rings book are true. But this isn't the question. Why am I in the cult? It's not necessary to worship something, just because you think it exists.

If I believed any religion was true, I wouldn't join it. Why? Because I consider them to be irrelevant. And often, I find them immoral, too. I find the concept of worship to be grotesque.

If you truly believe a being out there somewhere is responsible for all this, and everything is happening according to its plan, then fine. Obviously I think it's an unecessary assumption and has no evidence to back it, but I don't care what you believe. But what I don't get is why you want to go and worship that creature.

For example, such a person would often believe that "god" decided I was going to get the illnesses I got. God decided there would be suffering in the world. God decided that the "free will" of rapists is more important than that of rape victims. Fair enough, you can't help it if you believe that. But it makes me sad that you would go and worship it, and join a cult based around how great it is. Why? You've gone further than believing this stuff God supposedly does. You're validating it.

Of course, I know why, on the whole. Indoctrination. Fear. Social pressure. But it seems to me that people have rarely considered that they have a choice. Even if they think the Bible is "true", they don't have to be a Christian. If they think the Quran is "true", they don't have to be a Muslim. But instead, they almost all do, and spend the whole time making up excuses for why God is so incompetent and sadistic, just as with Stockholm Syndrome. Almost all apologetics, when not trying to prove religious texts to be true, sounds like a battered spouse to me: excusing the actions of their violent, crazy partner.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-03-2017, 06:29 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2017 07:06 AM by Vera.)
RE: Religion and choice
Those are all good, valid and logical points, Robvalue... which is exactly why they won't make a dent in a religious person's conviction. Don't know if you were ever religious, but I was and I still describe it "some switch was flipped in my brain"... and when that happens, it's extremely hard to look at it reasonably, you just *know* it in your heart that it *is* true. And like I think I mentioned somewhere else, nowadays religion is nothing more than a security blanket and of course you are going to pretend that it's fluffy and warm, and wonderful. In other words - of course god is the bestest ever and everything he does is great. Because the alternative is unthinkable. Also, society has evolved and so has its idea of god, which is actually good (well, as good as it anything regarding religion can be)

One of the things that really didn't sit right with me when I was religious, was if there's only one true religion, what about the people who weren't lucky enough to have been born in it? (Even at my most deluded, I was aware that I was only a Xtian, because of where I was born and had I been born some place else, I might've been a Muslim, a Hindu, or what have you). Yeah, I tried telling myself I was just lucky but... how selfish and improbable and UNFAIR is this? (I then tried telling myself that it's basically different versions of the same religion/god. Didn't really work)

And (with all due respect to Kingschosen, whom I genuinely like), the most abhorrent and vile, and mind-numbingly arrogant of them all is Calvinism. At least other denominations claim that you just need to be a good person to go to Heaven, etc. But to believe that pretty much everyone else is going to suffer for eternity (or not be resurrected, am fuzzy on the details) but YOUR precious self was chosen for eternal salvation? And not just you, mind you, but by some magical coincidence, your spouse and children as well? And to be okay with it and willing to worship such a random, inexplicable monster? How does the mind even handle such a degree of arrogance and cognitive dissonance?

(I'm so with you on the worship part. Hell, I hate even the word. I hate it in my crappy romance novels. Who, on earth, would want to be worshipped? It's such a demeaning, repulsive concept, no matter which side of it you are on)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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02-03-2017, 06:47 AM
RE: Religion and choice
Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and for your feedback Smile

No, I've never been religious at all. It was just never mentioned in my upbringing and I came to my own conclusions. I've tried very hard to understand what it's like to be "under the spell".

I've talked to some people before who genuinely can't seem to understand that they have a choice. They think belief = worship. I guess that's part of the indoctrination, too. No one comes to these beliefs without a lot of "help". At best they've been immersed in the mythology, if not actively forced to believe it.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-03-2017, 06:49 AM
RE: Religion and choice
(02-03-2017 05:27 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Why is it that almost every person who believes a religion is "true" chooses to be a part of that religion?

As you know, people are social animals. We congregate with others who share our perspectives and values.

As for religions and worship specifically, God is typically defined as all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful -- in other words, as worthy of worship. However, that's just about as far as the logic of religions seems to go. There should be no reason whatsoever to pray to such a being, since he will have already foreseen any contingency and provided for it. Nor would there be any reason for an afterlife, except as a theodicy, a compensation for the sufferings of this life. Logically only a god could live forever.

In the end, religions are a boatload of wishful thinking without much logical consistency from my perspective.
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02-03-2017, 07:14 AM
RE: Religion and choice
As humans, we like to talk.
We gather. We listen. We add our two cents.
It's in our nature.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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02-03-2017, 08:11 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2017 08:15 AM by Full Circle.)
RE: Religion and choice
(02-03-2017 06:29 AM)Vera Wrote:  One of the things that really didn't sit right with me when I was religious, was if there's only one true religion, what about the people who weren't lucky enough to have been born in it? (Even at my most deluded, I was aware that I was only a Xtian, because of where I was born and had I been born some place else, I might've been a Muslim, a Hindu, or what have you). Yeah, I tried telling myself I was just lucky but... how selfish and improbable and UNFAIR is this? (I then tried telling myself that it's basically different versions of the same religion/god. Didn't really work)

I have pondered the very same thoughts, in fact I wrote them down years ago in a dairy as I struggled to break from religion. Here’s what I wrote.

"We’ve been traveling a lot lately; we spent nearly a month in Indonesia (most populous Islamic country in the world, the one exception within the country is the island of Bali which is mostly Hindu) and even more recently traveled to Colombia as well. On both trips I have taken many photographs of children and that brings me to today’s rambling about who knows what and when and who gets to go to Heaven and who gets to go to Purgatory or Hell.

I would like to understand the Rule Book on how God parcels these things out. If I listen to the Christians the Bible says, “the only way to the Father is through Me” (JC). Most everyone I talk to takes this to mean that unless you know of Him and have accepted Him in your mind as TOTG (The One True God) you’re SOOL (Shit Out Of Luck). I think this applies to Islam as well but they replace JC with Muhammad (as prophet only and not TSOG, The Son of God). The Jews just skip the middle-man altogether and go straight to the Source until the day they are convinced the real Messiah shows up through the proper gate this time bearing favorable rates or something like that.

Back to the children and my original thought; so JC shows up in one little town and roams around the countryside laying down the law. This law is to be applied to everyone evenly from here on out (what happened to all the humans who preceded Him is another story). There is no internet, cell phones, TV, mail, loudspeakers or the like so it takes many generations for the Word to get around and reach some of the now seven billion plus people in the world. I use the word “some” because I can assure you that most of these kids I have been photographing in far-flung islands and deep jungle don’t have a clue what the hell we’re talking about (cue the missionaries).

This is why I was hoping for a Rule Book.
What happened or happens to all the people who didn’t get the memo?
Such as
1) Those that came before the memo was issued
2) Those that were contemporaries but didn’t live within a couple of donkey rides from the memo writer
3) Those that came after but never got the memo
4) Those that got the memo at the point of a sword
5) Those that got a garbled memo and couldn’t make heads or tails of it
6) Those that got the memo but thought it was a joke
7) Those that had already received previous memos that conflict with the new one and
8) Those that were/are not capable of deciphering or understanding the memo.

If I am to believe what the Bible says there are a lot of people, including these children I have been photographing, that are in deep shit. Personally, I just don’t buy it. Whoever has been tweaking this memorandum all these years has yet to tie up all the loose ends to this fanciful tale. There are just so many holes in it that if people weren’t so superstitious or scared they would file this one away in the drama/fiction/horror heading at a bookstore and give it no more weight than a second rate novel.”

“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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02-03-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: Religion and choice
Thanks so much FC Smile

Yeah, I think that if I was somehow indoctrinated, the whole "other religions" thing would have been my wake-up call. Honestly, I don't know how people can cope with it.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-03-2017, 09:03 AM
RE: Religion and choice
I'm sure there are statistics that tell us how many people practice the religions they were born into, (or somewhat similar religions).

Christians don't themselves "chose" theirs though.They are *special*.
"For many are called but few are *chosen*"
"No one shall come to me UNLESS the Father draw him".
Big Grin
Facepalm
Weeping

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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02-03-2017, 09:10 AM
RE: Religion and choice
Indoctrination and cognitive dissonance is a bitch.
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02-03-2017, 09:22 AM
RE: Religion and choice
I'm the opposite. I worship Odin not because I think he exists, but because I like the concept. So why not roleplay and have some fun with an otherwise relatively meaningless existence?

'Murican Canadian
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