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Old 10-30-2017, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Land of the Caddo and Tonkawa
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Coping with death is not a reason for religion (and spirituality), but it can be related.

Many people reflect upon religion and spirituality for applying to their life and life in general, not just application in death or beyond.
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Good onya for selectin g damselfly wings, those dang rigid dragonfly wings would get in the way any time yer not flying.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
Unfortunately, religious belief based on fear is very sustainable. In fact, fear is one of the primary ways to keep people trapped in religions and cults. For example, if you tell a young child that they will burn in hell for eternity if they question their religion, they may not be able to escape.

I managed to escape, but it took several years of panic attacks, medication, and counseling to deprogram myself from all of the implanted phobias.
I think it depends on what you're vulnerable to. I never feared hell or even death when I was in the faith. If there's anything I feared it was disapproval and the judgment of others. And there's plenty of disapproval and judgment from others in the church, or at least in fundamentalism. It's almost like it had a selection of common fears to control you with.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
My own opinion it is not. We each have to come to terms with the reality of physical life being temporary and quite short. It is simply the nature of existence in a mortal world.

Our reason for religion should be simply the acknowledgment of our Creator and to serve Him by submission to Him alone.
No. This reduces what is actually two separate issues - belief in God and belief in afterlife - not only into a single issue, but rationalizes it away as a defense mechanism against fear.

How about I turn the question around? Is fear of being controlled by another the reason for atheism?

To be clear, as I tried, and ultimately failed to persuade others of, atheism and belief in afterlife are not mutually exclusive. Any real scientist notices that matter doesn't really die even if life appears to.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I think it depends on what you're vulnerable to. I never feared hell or even death when I was in the faith. If there's anything I feared it was disapproval and the judgment of others. And there's plenty of disapproval and judgment from others in the church, or at least in fundamentalism. It's almost like it had a selection of common fears to control you with.
It seems like your brand of fundamentalism was different from mine. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod emphasizes hellfire and death constantly. It's in sermons, hymns, and the liturgy. Remember forum member "twin.spin" and all of his fire-and brimstone rants? I think he was LC-MS (or possibly WELS, an even more conservative Lutheran synod) based on very Lutheran-specific terms that he used. So that's a good example of the world I grew up in.

The LC-MS has a more "Catholic" look and feel compared to the average Fundamentalist church, complete with liturgies where we would mindlessly say things like "we justly deserve our present and eternal punishment." There is also a lot of rich and graphic imagery. Nothing really puts the fear of death and hell into a person like loud organ music, candles, pointy thorn-like woodwork, blood-red banners, and all of the other kinds of things you might see in a Halloween store. The theme of blood sacrifice was fairly apparent.

Maybe you simply have a different "psychological orientation" than I. I have most certainly inherited my mother's vulnerability to anxiety disorders, which has made my upbringing in fundamentalism much more damaging. My brain has a tendency to latch on to any potential threat, real or imaginary. It's good for survival but not for enjoyment.

Last edited by Freak80; 10-30-2017 at 07:22 PM..
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
It seems like your brand of fundamentalism was different from mine. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod emphasizes hellfire and death constantly. It's in sermons, hymns, and the liturgy. Remember forum member "twin.spin" and all of his fire-and brimstone rants? I think he was LC-MS (or possibly WELS, an even more conservative Lutheran synod) based on very Lutheran-specific terms that he used. So that's a good example of the world I grew up in.

The LC-MS has a more "Catholic" look and feel compared to your average Fundamentalist church, complete with liturgies where we would mindlessly say things like "we justly deserve our present and eternal punishment." There is also a lot of rich and graphic imagery. Nothing really puts the fear of death and hell into a person like loud organ music, candles, pointy thorn-like woodwork, blood-red banners, and all of the other kinds of things you might see in a Halloween store.

Maybe you simply have a different "psychological orientation" than I. I have most certainly inherited my mother's vulnerability to anxiety disorders, which has made my upbringing in fundamentalism much more damaging. My brain has a tendency to latch on to any potential threat, real or imaginary. It's good for survival but not for enjoyment. Thank you evolution.
You're already answering your own question.

Adam and Eve: The Story of Human Consciousness

The reason the church you attended was so judgemental is because your brain created it. My mind has a tendency to walk away so the one fundie church I went to, I ultimately left when they got too annoying, every church since has been reasonably welcoming.

If you believe the church judges you, that's all you'll ever see.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
Maybe you simply have a different "psychological orientation" than I. I have most certainly inherited my mother's vulnerability to anxiety disorders, which has made my upbringing in fundamentalism much more damaging. My brain has a tendency to latch on to any potential threat, real or imaginary. It's good for survival but not for enjoyment.
I think it's more my psychological makeup than differences in the flavor of fundamentalism.

Although I was from a denomination that emphasized the "Good News" over the "Bad News", I noticed on several occasions over the years that there were people in our midst who agonized over not "feeling" saved, and worried about death and hell. Because even though our emphasis wasn't particularly on that, especially for those already in the fold, there were people who were just really vulnerable to the mere existence of the doctrine of eternal punishment. In fact I distinctly recall our minister telling one of these people that because of "once saved always saved" he should simply ignore his fears and stand in the truth of his salvation. Because salvation doesn't depend on feelings. Of course, this does NOT help because all it amounted to was telling an anxious person not to be so anxious.

I never did figure out if these people were traumatized first by more strident fundamentalists, but I got the sense that at least one of them had picked up their hell-terrors from a televangelist. My guess is that if you're vulnerable to this particular threat, you only have to experience it once or twice for it to worm its way into your brain.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I think it's more my psychological makeup than differences in the flavor of fundamentalism.

Although I was from a denomination that emphasized the "Good News" over the "Bad News", I noticed on several occasions over the years that there were people in our midst who agonized over not "feeling" saved, and worried about death and hell. Because even though our emphasis wasn't particularly on that, especially for those already in the fold, there were people who were just really vulnerable to the mere existence of the doctrine of eternal punishment. In fact I distinctly recall our minister telling one of these people that because of "once saved always saved" he should simply ignore his fears and stand in the truth of his salvation. Because salvation doesn't depend on feelings. Of course, this does NOT help because all it amounted to was telling an anxious person not to be so anxious.

I never did figure out if these people were traumatized first by more strident fundamentalists, but I got the sense that at least one of them had picked up their hell-terrors from a televangelist. My guess is that if you're vulnerable to this particular threat, you only have to experience it once or twice for it to worm its way into your brain.
Those anxious folks weren't totally irrational, underneath the premises of the fundamentalist Christian belief system. If one really believes that the danger of infinite punishment is real, they need to be 100% certain that they are safe from said danger. At least if they want to keep their sanity. Even a 0.0001% chance of infinite danger is intolerable.

According to my Lutheran sect's tribal narrative, Martin Luther himself was so worried about hell that he almost went mad, until he "rediscovered" the doctrine of Salvation by Faith Alone. In actuality he simply cherry-picked the stuff in the book of Romans that supported his views, and ignored the stuff in the book of James that directly contradicted his views...but that's another story. At any rate, the story of Luther's sudden realization that he was "guaranteed" salvation formed the basis of our whole theological narrative.

Unfortunately, Luther's theology tends to emphasize the "fire and brimstone" that eventually led him to his epiphany. Conservative Lutherans have a doctrine that all of the Bible is to be understood in terms of a "Law vs. Gospel" dichotomy. Law is said to be everything in the Bible that shows us how sinful we are before a Holy God: the Ten Commandments, exhortations to righteous behavior, Jesus teaching us that we should give everything to the poor, etc. Gospel is said to be everything in the Bible that tells us we are saved by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty for sin.

A significant theme in conservative Lutheranism is "being crucified by the Law and animated by the Gospel." People are told (via the pulpit and the liturgy) what horrible miserable sinners they are, and how they deserve eternal punishment. Then once everyone is sufficiently "crushed by the Law", they are told that there is Good News: Jesus died on the cross for us, and was punished in our place. We were "brought back to life by the Good News" that we were "saved."

In the secular world, the behaviors described in the previous paragraph could be called "institutionalized psychological abuse." And they'd be right. The behaviors might also be called "creating a problem and then offering the exclusive solution." And they'd be right about that too. Unfortunately, the whole message will tend to resonate with those who fear death the most, since (to them) death is "obviously horrible" and they must be "saved" from it. Unfortunately, it often makes their fear of death even worse.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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^OUTstanding post, Freak80!
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:44 AM
 
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Is coping with death a reason for religion

Who wants to dwell on the end of life all their lives?

Self-delusion is evolutions tasty little Prozac
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