Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
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12-05-2015, 06:41 AM
Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
I was doing a little writing and trying to think of the advantages that religions give over no religion.

The biggest one that I can think of and have directly observed is the "Pre-packaged Purpose" that religion gives people. With minimal effort you can be told that your purpose in life is to serve God's will BowingBowing and you will feel that there is nothing greater you could do in life if you believe that.

I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

I think these observations are fairly obvious, but I really think it won't be until we have more "Atheist Churches" like the Sunday Assembly that we will make a lot of progress as these can replace what people lose in church. Thoughts?

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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12-05-2015, 06:55 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
I never believed so I can only say how it looks to me as a complete outsider. I see two somewhat related reasons why people cling to belief. First, it provides a sense of community and of being part of something greater than yourself. Second, it provides a feeling of security in a very insecure world. Believers "know" that everything is really under control no matter how things appear and that they have others they can turn to for support (as long as they toe the line).

There are certainly some that take a sense of purpose from it but those are the more fundamentalist ones. I honestly don't think most people really care about having a purpose.

(12-05-2015 06:41 AM)microterf Wrote:  I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

From my perspective, those people have learned that they really can stand on their own and they have developed attachments to communities outside of the religion. That makes giving up the security blanket of belief easier because it is a smaller part of their life.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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12-05-2015, 06:55 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
I know many people in religion. While they *claim* to hold certain common core *beliefs*, they're just as opinionated at we are, and in fact have worked out for themselves what their "purposes" are, and where they find meaning and energy. Some are in healthcare, some teach immigrants to read, some feed the squirrels, some bitch about the world all day, some are into education, some are into music. The idea that religion gives everyone a "common purpose" is just BS.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-05-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
Many people like to "belong" to something.

Slavery has it's comforts.

I prefer to come up with my own dumb ideas, rather than somebody else spoon feeding them to me.

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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12-05-2015, 07:26 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
I think people believe because they are incapable of coping with the idea that we have no real purpose for existing - that our existence is by pure chance. That frightens people because the strongest believers do not want to face the fact that we created morality and that we create our own purpose for living.

What I find truly awesome from a secularist POV is that life is cherished so much more than by true believers. Believers are conditioned to believe that life on earth is nothing but a temporary testing center so there's no reason to get too attached. And while many believers are staunchly pro life, I think they take a very cavalier approach to life in general. When you think of your life as being a mere blip when compared to the eternal nature of the soul, it's easy to throw away another life when you think that person is going to get something better via "sacrifice".

Pre-packaged purpose is also a great tool if you want to control a group of people though, and that is scary. You don't become an Islamic suicide bomber if you are not a believer. Nor do you encourage a group of warriors to fight crusades over a patch of land simply because Jesus was supposed to have lived and died there. I think Atheists in general are some of the most peaceful people out there because they realize that this life is the only shot you get, so why not make the most of it and let others have the same opportunities to do the same.
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12-05-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
(12-05-2015 06:41 AM)microterf Wrote:  I was doing a little writing and trying to think of the advantages that religions give over no religion.

The biggest one that I can think of and have directly observed is the "Pre-packaged Purpose" that religion gives people. With minimal effort you can be told that your purpose in life is to serve God's will BowingBowing and you will feel that there is nothing greater you could do in life if you believe that.

I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

I think these observations are fairly obvious, but I really think it won't be until we have more "Atheist Churches" like the Sunday Assembly that we will make a lot of progress as these can replace what people lose in church. Thoughts?

Spot on. No thinking required. Ayn Rand once said that religion is a germ that attacks you through a single wound, your fear of thinking for yourself. I've thought the same thing many times. It is a desire to escape from reality and the responsibility to think for oneself.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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12-05-2015, 08:39 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
(12-05-2015 06:41 AM)microterf Wrote:  I was doing a little writing and trying to think of the advantages that religions give over no religion.

The biggest one that I can think of and have directly observed is the "Pre-packaged Purpose" that religion gives people. With minimal effort you can be told that your purpose in life is to serve God's will BowingBowing and you will feel that there is nothing greater you could do in life if you believe that.

I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

I think these observations are fairly obvious, but I really think it won't be until we have more "Atheist Churches" like the Sunday Assembly that we will make a lot of progress as these can replace what people lose in church. Thoughts?

I think it's, well strange purpose - spending your entire life in service to some fairy with beard. Also it's not purpose that can stand on it's own - one need to be indoctrinated in order to thinks such nonsense could be purpose in life.

I think religion stil exists not cause it gives purpose in life, but rather cause it give sense of belonging and comfort to those who apart from faith don't have much. I think that Marx was right when he said that: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".

So best things to that could help in getting rid of religion are education and eradicating poverty. One who is educated, wealthy (or not poor at least) and contend with his life has no need of invisible friend.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-05-2015, 10:56 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
(12-05-2015 06:41 AM)microterf Wrote:  I was doing a little writing and trying to think of the advantages that religions give over no religion.

The biggest one that I can think of and have directly observed is the "Pre-packaged Purpose" that religion gives people. With minimal effort you can be told that your purpose in life is to serve God's will BowingBowing and you will feel that there is nothing greater you could do in life if you believe that.

I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

I think these observations are fairly obvious, but I really think it won't be until we have more "Atheist Churches" like the Sunday Assembly that we will make a lot of progress as these can replace what people lose in church. Thoughts?

There are many ways to have community - we don't need no stinkin' "atheist churches". No

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-05-2015, 11:20 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
I love the phrasing that you used " pre-packaged purpose". As I am sure others have insinuated, religion really does give this sense of finding out what god's will is for their lives and working to accomplish that. However, what they don't seem to realize is that they have to figure out what god's will is. How does he reveal it to them? How can they truly know it is him. Some never get their answer. Some get it right away. Some fall back on the bedrock of making god / jesus famous as their purpose. One would think a god who would want to grant purpose of life would at least give this information to everyone and fairly quickly.

What they don't seem to realize is that their god-breathed purpose is merely their own desires manifested in the name of a god.

(12-05-2015 07:26 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  I think people believe because they are incapable of coping with the idea that we have no real purpose for existing - that our existence is by pure chance. That frightens people because the strongest believers do not want to face the fact that we created morality and that we create our own purpose for living.

This is true and i also think the fear of death with no purpose plays into the stream of thought. However, only on the surface is it frightening. Once you get past this initial blow and settle in you can truly start to appreciate the here and now. Facing death is fearful but it doesn't need to be if you don't believe in an afterlife. I tell myself it's just like falling asleep forever. For some reason I find comfort in that. I like Twain's quote: I do not fear death.I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience of it.
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15-05-2015, 11:32 AM
RE: Religion gives a pre-packaged purpose
(12-05-2015 06:41 AM)microterf Wrote:  I was doing a little writing and trying to think of the advantages that religions give over no religion.

The biggest one that I can think of and have directly observed is the "Pre-packaged Purpose" that religion gives people. With minimal effort you can be told that your purpose in life is to serve God's will BowingBowing and you will feel that there is nothing greater you could do in life if you believe that.

I believe this is important because it shows the "Why" for so many followers, and I have noticed a pattern talking to people that the more they have going for them (Interesting Job, hobbies, skills etc.) the easier it is to show them that religion is not true.

I think these observations are fairly obvious, but I really think it won't be until we have more "Atheist Churches" like the Sunday Assembly that we will make a lot of progress as these can replace what people lose in church. Thoughts?

I think this is a pretty fair (albeit simple) way of looking at it. From my experience, most religious never really think that deeply about what they are hearing or saying. Take about any bible study, some of the questions can have a right answer (e.g what does the fig tree symbolize) but most are rather nebulous. I am willing to bet that if I was in my wife's bible study, that would be a very interesting hour because I don't have the happy-clappy opinion on god. So the "right" answer in all cases is essentially "god is awesome and he will take care of me" but almost none actually think about how horrible of a statement this is. The hard part as I see it is to even get them to see that there actually ARE bad thinks that jesus allegedly says.

Side note: I am not a fan of the Sunday Assemblies but I totally get why it appeals to some for the community reasons you stated. I personally would feel kind of stupid going to one.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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