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Old 04-03-2014, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,071 posts, read 2,572,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired of the Nonsense View Post
Control. Exactly. Religion gives people the illusion that life is not a random and capricious adventure, because someone, God, is in control.
Bah! God has nothing to do with the control being exerted by religions. This is all about secular control - an earthly person (like the pope, or Mohammed) or group (ecclesiastical elders or the mulahs) want to be able to control what everybody thinks and does. They do that by cooking up scare tactics (e.g., you will burn in hell) or worse (burning heretics at the stake or killing infidels).

I am not sure which is the more dominant human need here - the need for some people to feel like they need to tell other people what to think and how to live, or the need for many people to be told fairy tells about "what it all means". The latter creates the perfect environment for the former to do the controlling.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pac0900 View Post
I want to know your opinions on what do you think the main goal of religion is? Connection with gods, political control, social control. What do you think it is?
Like everything else in the world, religion has evolved from simpler origins.
Historically, organised religion in any place in the world was simply about collective group worship of a god or gods - People had no little to no understanding of how nature worked, so having a god creator seemed to be the obvious and convenient explanation. But these god/s could be cruel and bring famine and pestilence and so on, so it seemed like a good idea to treat your god with respect, maybe he'd be nicer to you. The arrival of agriculture played a big part - praying for rain and sunshine so that your crops would grow. Collective worship seemed logical - a sort of safety in numbers mentality.

Religious rituals grew up in different cultures - setting aside a collective time for prayer, building a place for worship and so on. Organized religion emerged as a means of providing social and economic stability.

The invention of writing set down these religious beliefs and cultures in a more permanent way.
Some religions considered their beliefs to be derived directly from God, so once they were written down they became unchangeable. Divisions thus developed between religions because each group felt they had their version right.

Over time religion became ingrained, providing people a sense of belonging and tradition within their own society. Fear has remained a factor within many religions and sticking to a set of 'rules' to live by provides a sense of safety within that.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:24 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,961 posts, read 6,498,214 times
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Mind control and money.

To eliminate free thought and control of the masses. To keep people in line. Not trusting human instincts to know right from wrong.

Religion and god belief is not only based on a lie but it's anti-science and backwards thinking.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:17 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,704,474 times
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Quote:
Religious rituals grew up in different cultures - setting aside a collective time for prayer, building a place for worship and so on. Organized religion emerged as a means of providing social and economic stability.
I've always thought the concept of religion followed the course of the development of human societies where the focal point always revolved around the relationship between the individual and the community. Religon today apparently has picked up a pejorative aspect in some quarters for its alleged 'control' over the population. But really its essence came from a need to bring individuals to a community that encompassed having vocation and purpose for the good of the group but also taking into account the individual and his/her uniqueness as they live their lives.

No doubt this looked at physical and social needs but perhaps more importantly it focused on the spiritual orientation of humanity where 'devoutness' mattered. Arguably today it is getting harder and harder to be 'devout' in our increasingly secular society. Perhaps at this point we now are seeing how religious belief goes back to the future to pick up the mantle once again of being a sort of an apparent 'revolutionary' concept in the face of a tilt to a more secular connection in human discourse.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Not.here
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"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." Seneca the Younger 4 b.c.- 65 a.d.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
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I think religion is almost solely about control. I've often wondered what my religious friends would do if they were suddenly free of the ridiculous dogma and guilt attached to their religions. Most truly believe that if they "sin," they go to hell. Even the ones who have lived decent, good lives fear hell.

I've never known a truly intelligent person who was deeply religious. People who are sufficiently intellectual realize by the time they're about 10 years old that all this religious stuff is absurd.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:23 AM
 
Location: california
5,655 posts, read 4,881,665 times
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The catholic church is a great deal about control, but the volume of Protestant churches are not so much .Hence the name.
Many catholics left Europe because of it. including my grand parents.
There are Protestant churches that do seem to be controlling and those I avoid.
However ,there are several others that are quite open and generous.
Like people we all have different views, so do churches .
Religion is man's reach toward God ,
But Jesus provided a different way into a relationship .
Often times people get so busy with the business of church, they loose this relationship.
Ideally one's own pursuit of Jesus Christ and the things He taught is best .
A man desperate for this relationship has a better chance than wandering in a crowd being lead of men having circumvented God's design.
God can teach a man who loves HIM, not a man devoted to a religion, and his own ego.
Academics are not what Jesus taught .
It is behavior and obedience to the Father (God), not to man.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,961 posts, read 6,498,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
I think religion is almost solely about control. I've often wondered what my religious friends would do if they were suddenly free of the ridiculous dogma and guilt attached to their religions. Most truly believe that if they "sin," they go to hell. Even the ones who have lived decent, good lives fear hell.

I've never known a truly intelligent person who was deeply religious. People who are sufficiently intellectual realize by the time they're about 10 years old that all this religious stuff is absurd.
Which is why I am ashamed of myself and embarrassed for not realizing it until I turned 19.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,196,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pac0900 View Post
I want to know your opinions on what do you think the main goal of religion is? Connection with gods, political control, social control. What do you think it is?
A religious institution is kind of like a living thing. It wants to grow and perpetuate itself. It's really that simple.

Individuals in the institution on the other hand are of all stripes... some want to help, some are wise and kind and want to make the world a better place. On the flip side some want to hurt, some want to take advantage of others and others are so sure their perspective is right that others must be made to behave/believe the the same by any means necessary for the other's eventual "good".
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:32 PM
 
25,740 posts, read 25,381,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
I think religion is almost solely about control. I've often wondered what my religious friends would do if they were suddenly free of the ridiculous dogma and guilt attached to their religions. Most truly believe that if they "sin," they go to hell. Even the ones who have lived decent, good lives fear hell.

I've never known a truly intelligent person who was deeply religious. People who are sufficiently intellectual realize by the time they're about 10 years old that all this religious stuff is absurd.
I don't know if this is necessarily true. I do not think intellect/intelligence can always compete with something as emotional and viscerally-planted as religion.

I know some very, very, very bright people, who were far ahead of the pack as children, and who at one time believed deeply in their respective faiths. Heck, I know a few of those today.

My father, at age four, pleased his mother by wandering the garden with her and reciting the Latin names for all the plants. (This was among her favorite stories of him and he confirmed it.) He went to MIT, was disgusted at what he saw as snobbery there and moved along to Stevens. He developed lasers in the 1970s for his living. He absolutely loved talking endlessly about his job even though nobody could understand what the heck he was talking about (and he hung out with the "bright crowd," an ironic bit of snobbery on his own part). He frequently wrote letters to the editor of his local newspaper and twice received his letters back with a frustrated "I don't have the time or a dictionary to figure out what you're asking, Mr. B." He died praying (after a lifetime of praying).

I think accusing (in one way or another) religious people of being dimmer is a form of shaming. Come on, you have plenty to go on without resorting to this.

And no, I am not a religious person, nor am I defending belief/faith in something unprovable and unseen.

People who question are less likely to believe in religion. But I know, again, plenty of people of merely average intelligence who nonetheless question everything and can not believe in such a thing as God sight unseen. I am my own example. My IQ is definitely in the average range. No brilliance over here. But I question everything, have since I was tiny, and have never been able to believe. This was not an over-intelligence thing, obviously (my own intelligence being average) - it was (and is) a personality style.

Perhaps the numbers are slated toward above level intelligence = more likelihood of being agnostic/atheist, but to say you have never known a single truly intelligent person who "deeply believed" must be coincidental and it is, naturally anecdotal. I personally have not found this to be the case.

Last edited by JerZ; 04-04-2014 at 05:42 PM..
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