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Old 03-27-2009, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Nashville
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controlling mechanism of the ruling class or as a Psychological disorder? Or maybe something else?


Thanks
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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I see it as something that some people need as a way of understanding their beliefs and interpreting their faith and I think for many people it works well.

I also see it as being corrupted and controlling and not fulfilling its basic principles for a good deal more people.

Mostly I just see it as I do politics and policy in that power corrupts so it seems to me that the higher up the food chain or the more power that a religion is able to weild the more corrupt it becomes.

Personally I'm not a team player, I like to make up my own mind and make my own decisions so religion is not for me but I do understand what it gives to others.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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Mankind is the only animal who seems preoccupied with the idea of the "self" and big questions like "where to we come from" and "why are we here" had to be explained away as we have always seeked answers since the dawn of time. There isn't one tribe or ethnic group I can think of who does not have some belief in the supernatural and a creation story.

We have to remember that science has been a relatively recent asset to mankind and religion provided easy answers to difficult questions before we were truly capable of understanding the workings of Universe and life upon Earth .

Man needs to feel part of something bigger. I think it is a primeval desire , to belong to something bigger and more powerful than your own little environment. Death is a huge issue for human beings, something which is so scary and so dark for so many of us that an after-life was the only answer making sense.

How could we possibly be put on this earth , simply to rot ? How cruel and pointless ? How could our loved ones be taken away from us , often so early in life to simply disappear ?

We created God because we needed him/her/ We needed a supernatural being to make sense of life, to comfort us during our darkest hours and also to make us feel superior above all other creatures. The creator gave us special powers. The powers of dominion over the natural environment and of life over death. It is a reassuring presence in the dark, the hand we can hold on to when it gets too scary. A security blanket of mammoth proportion.

I see it as a kind of societal and mass hypnosis of sorts. Convincing yourself of something out there to explain away the unexplainable.
It made sense in the Dark Ages perhaps with science still in its infancy , but it seems to make little sense when science has explained away so much and carries on discovering the why and the how of the universe.

People have believed for so long I believe there is almost a genetic memory of religion in many , something so culturally ingrained , running so deeply within our making that even intelligent scientists can often hold on to the concept.

Letting go of something we first created at the dawn of humanity must be so difficult for so many people that they are literally unable to face facts.

In many ways I genuinely believe people do not REALLY believe in God. They are pretending to themselves they do and their logical brain is smothered by cultural pressures . To deny their own faith would be to negate their very being and what their very identity and entire self rests upon. It would be an admission of failure , an admission of error so gigantic it is not even imaginable.

I believe that if belief was truly genuine and certainty of a creator so great , "sinning" would be a thing of the past as human nature would be defeated by that certainty. Something so strong as people claim faith is would surely vanquish earthly desires.

Humans are pack animals. We have a need to conform and fit in and religion is the best socilal networking group there is. It allows us instant approval , and makes us feel superior to those who do not fit the communal mould. It is a "safety in numbers" system. it gives us strenghth and social validation.

Politically and socially of course organised religion has been hugely rewarding as the perfect tool of mind and cultural control. No wonder the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was so opposed to mass being said in languages other than latin or the Bible printed for all to read. It allowed the populace to read scriptures for themselves and analyse it , altering one's perception of the established dogma.

It led to people disputing the one and true faith and creating their own to suit their own needs. It weakened the Church by empowering the people

Sadly it also led to even more interpretations and non sensical new dogma. Logic and reason still have little to do with the bible.

Man needed God so we created him/her. Nowadays as we no longer need him/her we have killed him/her in many ways as we move towards a more secular society . We are nothing if "pragmatic" as a specie. He/she will resurface as and when the need arises I suspect

Faith can bring great comfort/succour to people and if it does not incite violent or hateful behaviour then I have no problem with it.


I do not understand it but as long as it remains moderate there is no harm to it. The problem with religion though is that it encourages a "them and us" system where those who do not follow the path meant to be the "one and only truth" are derided, socially excluded etc... "if yu're not with us, you are against us" has never been a the path to harmony, compassion and common sense.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:30 AM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,255,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by california_is_superior View Post
controlling mechanism of the ruling class or as a Psychological disorder? Or maybe something else?


Thanks
Hundreds of years ago it was certainly a controlling mechanism. These days I think it's more of a psychological crutch.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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It still is a controlling mechanism in many islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia without any doubt. The people I know in my life who are religious such as friends and relatives don't seem psychologically imbalanced but I do think they've accepted the whole religious package on faith alone which has never made any sense to me. Even questioning that faith is considered to be some sort of personal crisis that needs to be overcome. That way of thinking just goes against the way that I think because I question just about everything and I see that as a way to make progress.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: In the North Idaho woods, still surrounded by terriers
2,178 posts, read 6,288,347 times
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Actually it is still a mechanism of control here in the Western World, too, for some people in some religions. But for most, I think that it is more a way of coping with life and answering the "big questions" that we have no answers for (death, tragedy, mental illness, etc). There is also a mindset in very religious people that is not there in those of us who question...I don't believe it has anything to do with intelligence, I think it is a case of curiosity and skepticism. Either one's brain is wired that way or it isn't. I don't think I have ever taken anything on faith alone, even as a child. I was always criticized for questioning too much...asking "Why?" too often. My brother is much like me, my sister is a very strong Christian...we were all born & raised by the same parents...so, go figure
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
30,875 posts, read 31,750,270 times
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I think a big part of the difference between believers and non believers is biological.

Religious brain.....Scientist's research suggests that religion is intimately interwoven with human biology, that the brain’s structure, in fact, compels the spiritual urge and that the brain has the capacity to make spiritual experience real. They use the term neurotheology. Their findings suggest religion and spirituality had an evolutionary function....Evolutionary function? Now that is ironic!

Neurotheology -Is "God" Hardwired in the Human Brain?
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:09 PM
 
Location: United States
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Default Religion will destroy the world...in time.

I was born into a christian family. I never bought into. I tried so hard to fit into it when I was younger, but nothing ever made any sense. None of my questions got answered, in fact I was told on several occasions not to ask those questions around the other kids. I am a man who demands answers if I am to put my all into something, be it anything, religion included.
I want some logical proof. Like the computer I am typing on, it's real, it's plastic and metal with tons of little parts that all works together to make it do what it does. With religion, I see all the little parts working together to make it work, but the final product is still invisible. It's the greatest hoax that our universe has ever known...religion.

To answer the OP: I believe religion was created for the sole purpose of imposing fear in the masses as a form of control to keep the entire world from resulting to chaos. Create a myth, give it years to mature and evolve (yet keep the person dumb) and watch it scare people into believing in this grand afterlife that they can enjoy if they are righteous while on earth. As long as people chose not to face reality religion will continue to bring millions/billions more to their graves without enjoying all the pleasures on this earth.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:57 PM
 
40,039 posts, read 26,720,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
I think a big part of the difference between believers and non believers is biological.

Religious brain.....Scientist's research suggests that religion is intimately interwoven with human biology, that the brainís structure, in fact, compels the spiritual urge and that the brain has the capacity to make spiritual experience real. They use the term neurotheology. Their findings suggest religion and spirituality had an evolutionary function....Evolutionary function? Now that is ironic!

Neurotheology -Is "God" Hardwired in the Human Brain?
What is truly ironic is that those things we accept as reality are mere functions of the human brain circuitry . . . yet we accept that "reality" because of our limited capacity to measure some of the inputs to those circuits. On the other hand . . . we attribute to illusion (or delusion) the output of those "spiritual" circuits simply because our technology is insufficient to detect the source of the "inputs" to them. Very scientific . . . NOT.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
4,144 posts, read 5,106,210 times
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Religion is garbage thinking that tries to scare someone into thinking that something much scarier will happen if they don't believe what it says for them to believe or follow a list of arbitrary moral prescriptions that it has laid down for them to follow.
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