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Old 05-11-2012, 06:51 PM
 
1,140 posts, read 2,138,213 times
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I often listen to Religious beliefs,- it all well talking about beliefs, or having belief - but often an individuals behaviour is self interested or dominated by the situation they are in. How does that actually transfer into how you actually behave on a day to day basis.

We all have to do jobs, compete with others, compete with siblings - and live in the real world, often many religious people in their job etc are quite self interested and capitalistic in the real world but claim to be religious?

How does a religious person live in the dog eat dog real world, vs beliefs - Is it just a form of denial about the reality of the world around them? Its not any worse than watching too much TV, self improvement and thinking positive, political beliefs, etc.

Do we live in a culture of Denial, and Religion is just another form of this?
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:01 PM
 
16,294 posts, read 28,518,209 times
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The question is what beliefs you listen to.

Religion is such a failed concept, for out of a single book people derive polar opposites of what it says or means. Many will tell you that it says they should love, forgive and be tolerant, yet others take the same parts to mean you must be a bigot, hateful, intolerant, and judgmental.

And it is all a meaningless boat load of bull hockey, a collection of myths, legends and bronze age ignorance, most often used as an excuse to express hate.

After the proof that man invented god, is in the fact that god hates the same things the person that says god is real hates.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Philippines
460 posts, read 592,827 times
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1. I get a little confused when a poster writes "religion," as the meaning of the word has both several denotations and several connotations.

So, in order to respond with any confidence, it helps to understand the meaning of the original post and/or question.

2. A religious person: sorry if I am a bit amused by the image this conjures up. Used to be that a person who performed a routine day-in/day-out was described as being religious. "He performed his ablutions religiously."

Another meaning includes the outward activity one associates with a particular organized religion. This can include dress, the performance of prayers at specific times and events, even the crossing of the body when passing by venerable objects.

Personally, I feel that, for the most part, a religious person is merely showcasing or acting a part for the rest of the world to "marvel" at.

3. As to "religion is a failed concept," I nitpick generalities.

Again, religion is not confined to an organized religion. Since religion is supposed to be personal and performed at a personal level, whatever a person professes to be true and/or real and how a person conducts himself through the daily course of life becomes that person's religion.

I believe Ashville is trying to limit his comment to organized religion and those institutions attempting to regulate human behavior to ascend to a plateua of higher, almost non-human, morals. If so, he has hit the "nail on the head."

Rules, as everyone knows, do not work. "Rules are made to be broken." Whether or not I am playing a friendly boardgame with a friend or relative or I am competing for high stakes for a promotion, a contract, or a "political" position, rules are "for the other guy."

a. Impartial umpiring on rules is virtually impossible, even if one were able to procure an umpire for everyday life. I used to be a Little League umpire, and I will admit that I am still haunted by a couple of my mistakes. I watched just recently a Major League ballgame in which the first base umpire called the batter out at first. My first instinct was that the batter was safe, having beat out the throw. Subsequent playback proved that I was right. However, like baseball, life doesn't allow playback, and a lot of the infractions both on the side of the rules and outside of the rules are either never challenged or just left standing.

b. In sports, we have penalties. In life, we are supposed to have penalties. My goodness, we certainly have more than enough candidates to be locked up in penal institutions whereby the so-called law-abiding tax payer can pay for and support the miscreants for the rest of both of their lives. [Wonder who really is being punished here, huh?]

Strict religious doctrine tries to stress a kind of karma associated when people break the rules set down by a particular religious sect, organized or not. But then, "all you have to do is confess and have a contrite heart, and you will be forgiven of all your sins." Which, to me, negates any kind of karma "threat" for all the bad things we do in this life.

Then, too, who is going to be the arbitrator or judge who will mete out justice for the bad things that people think (emphasis there) and do? Answer: no one.

I have written before: God (or whatever you wish to call IT) does not care about what happens on this silly little planet. If mankind wants to eradicate itself from existence altogether, so be it.

Secondly, IT is not going to mete out human justice. Note the adjective, please. Human justice does not measure up to divine justice.

In human justice, if I hit you, you expect the right to hit me. If I kill a person, theoretically, the victim's family and friends expect me to be similarly killed. But, as we all know, such justice does not occur except on a few occassions. People are hurting, killing, raping, stealing, and all the other kinds of nasty things humans enjoy doing every minute of the day. And there is no retribution, no justice.

Just a threat of going to eternal damnation, which, contrary to the most fervent wishes of people seeking both human and divine justice, does not exist. Except maybe right here on the jail-planet Earth.

So, let's get to the meat of the question: do we humans live in a state of denial? Yes and No.

Is religion another form of Denial? Yes and No.

Are scriptures a boatload of bull hockey? Yes and No.

Are scriptures merely myths and legends and bronze age ignorance? Yes but with a heavy dose of No.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Philippines
460 posts, read 592,827 times
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Is religion a state of Denial?

Absolutely.

But let's preface this discussion with the concept that a state of denial is not necessarily bad. Our brains, in order to maintain some semblance of good mental health, practices denial all the time. Memories become distorted and oftentimes altogether forgotten. Over time, the denial places the blame from the individual to other individual, group, or "act of God."

If a person takes religion as a place of refuge from the real world, there are some consequences that need to be considered. All of us seek a bulwark from the onslaught of life. But if we are to hide from life in a religion, then I feel that one has "cut off his nose to spite his face." Hiding from life behind rose-colored glasses does not help in coping with the realities of life.

If people, however, approach life as the horrible situation that it is, rolls up their sleeves, and slogs it out for the benefit of themselves and other people, they are practicing denial. All of their efforts, over the long run (say a thousand years), won't amount to a hill of beans historically speaking. However, the lives they touch are changed. The present--which should be the only thing that matters--is altered, hopefully for the good.

On the other hand, we have the "Tooth Fairy" effect: people just simply give up and accede that nothing they do in this life means anything. Just get everything one can out of life and from other people, because in the end it was just one worthless deadend.

And that brings me to EXPECTATION.

How many times have we heard the promise of expectation from pulpit pundits?

"The more you love God, the more God is going to love you."
"The more you give to God, the more God is going to give back to you."

And when bad things happen to "good" people, the cyclic reason always comes back: "Well, you just didn't love/give enough to God."

Isaiah, for one, ridiculed people for expecting. One refrain I love from Jesus Christ Superstar:

"I believe in you and God
So tell me that I'm saved"

is exemplary of the expectation religious people believe--and were indoctrinated--from their God.

But the answer that keeps coming back from the Deity is: don't expect anything. If I give, be thankful. If I don't give, be thankful. 'Cause it's my world, my rules, and whatever I do is GOOD!"

Denial? You bet.

People are in denial if they expect refuge from the big bad world.
People are in denial if they expect--even deman--justice in this world.
People are in denial if they expect favors from their deity for believing--or at least running around trying to fool others into believing that they are believing.

What is the alternative?

"I never promised you a rose garden."

Okay. Life is a horrible, horrible place. But, we all have to get throught it. It would be nice if we could just go through this ordeal one time, but I am of the mind that some of us (I have experienced the possibility that I have been through this nonsense several times already) need to be placed back on this planet until we get it right, whatever "it" is that has to be right.

So, we arm ourselves with a belief system. And then we slug it out. We gather like-minded people to lean on, to garner support (mentally and physically). We aim to run the good race until it is over.

And then we leave it up to the Deity or afterlife to sort it all out. No expectation. We take our lumps right along with our bounty.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Philippines
460 posts, read 592,827 times
Reputation: 221
Let's talk about scriptures.

Discounting a few additions that have come on the scene in the last two hundred years, the Old Testament is really a newcomer on the scene. Final canonization of the Old Testament is thought to have occurred around 90 a.d. There is so much scripture and literature out in the world prior to this time for the Old Testament redactors (usually believed to have begun in the 2 century b.c.) to use and formulate their scriptures.

I am going to ignore Islam and the Quran in this discussion. One can see that the Quran has some roots in Judaism and Christian thought, but there is a great deal of Eastern and Arabian culture and thought there as well.

Where there is a myth or a legend, there is a kernel of truth.

In my desire to rewrite the Arabian Nights so that I could retell the stories closer to their actual roots, my research into the flying horse led me to the fantastical tale of Rama. Delving deeper into this myth and trying to see if there was any correlating archeaological evidence et al, I was personally astounded at what I deduced. Naturally, I am looking for a story and not the whole truth, nothing but the truth kind of thing.

But the fact that there was a Rama, and that there was a large war between the subcontinent (or various factions on the subcontinent) and other cultures led to some incredible and entertaining stories.

Now, as to those folks who want to live and breathe that the characters depicted in the Old Testament were once flesh-and-blood people, I have only this to say: leave 'em alone. They are happy with their small paradigm. They are a small irritant when they try to convince the whole world that their narrow cosmic view of the world is correct. That and dinosaurs were cold-blood lizards!

The ancient Jews knew that their patriarchs did not really exist. Interesting that Abram/Abraham was not really considered to be of importance until the returning Jews started rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem.

So, what was their real purpose in writing a "history," a background for a people?

In my view, the intelligentsia were trying to write a history of tradition: why do we dress this way, talk this way, act this way, et al. The intelligentsia definitely had a hidden agenda: we all become fervent, rabid followers of Jahweh, and we will restore the Davidic/Solomonic kingdom we once had. There is that expectation again.

Didn't happen.

But unlike the Indian scriptures which could describe 23rd Century a.d. (if we get there) warfare that occured instead thousands of years ago, the Old Testament was galvanized to create a Jewish culture separate from the rest of the world.

How the Old Testament is used and abused should not be a reflection on either Judaism or Christianity but upon the individuals abusing the literature.

While many keep epistlizing on prophecies and dire end scenarios of the world (a phenomenon that has been on-going in just about every culture since the dawn of mankind) and Martin Luther and others dismissing the Old Testament as a book of "lessons to learn by," I prefer to investigate the "why" the stories were invented without getting all caught up in the either-or debate of truth.

As true stories, there is a great deal of absurdity and fabrication.

As clues to our prehistory, there are rocks that have yet to be overturned to completely understand what was "before."

Who knows? Maybe we were so advanced at one time that it was us that built pyramids and faces on the surface of Mars and glass-domed cities on the Moon.

Despite our ancestors best efforts to keep us moderns in the dark, light is seeping through the cracks.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:24 AM
 
Location: TN
337 posts, read 408,990 times
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My religion teaches that man is a fallen creature, full of sin, so yes that is realistic when I look at the evil of man and see that he confirms the Bible. It also teaches that even the religious sin, they can't live up to their ideals, confirmed with reality again. It also teaches that man can be good at times and do the things that God wants him to and I see that in reality. Now if there is a religion that says that once you join that religion then you never do anything wrong, then that wouldn't be reality.

I would suggest that the irreligious are the inconsistent ones. If there is no God, then survival of the fittest must be the truth and I don't see anyone living like that is true. Very few irreligious live like animals even though they should if there is no God.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:39 PM
 
1,140 posts, read 2,138,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind over Chatter View Post
My religion teaches that man is a fallen creature, full of sin, so yes that is realistic when I look at the evil of man and see that he confirms the Bible. It also teaches that even the religious sin, they can't live up to their ideals, confirmed with reality again. It also teaches that man can be good at times and do the things that God wants him to and I see that in reality. Now if there is a religion that says that once you join that religion then you never do anything wrong, then that wouldn't be reality.

I would suggest that the irreligious are the inconsistent ones. If there is no God, then survival of the fittest must be the truth and I don't see anyone living like that is true. Very few irreligious live like animals even though they should if there is no God.
There are no Religions, there are no beliefs, there are no political beliefs, there are no opinions, there are no mindsets - every human being is a calculating machine that changes there opinions, beliefs based on the Scenario before them, most Business Leaders and Political Opinions are simply people who are good at recognizing the reality of the world around them and framing their actions and "beliefs" around that.

Beliefs and fixed frames of mind are just denial - Imagine the most religious person you know, but below all the rhetoric, is simply a self interested person who tells you what you want to hear and who say the right things.

Think about if it - most successful political leaders simply move the opinions, beliefs to the most favourable side, this is going on all over society - the more you clinically at Human Behavior - All Forms of Religious Belief, Political, self improvement - are just attempts at the moral high ground.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:44 PM
 
13,511 posts, read 19,270,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyking View Post
I often listen to Religious beliefs,- it all well talking about beliefs, or having belief - but often an individuals behaviour is self interested or dominated by the situation they are in. How does that actually transfer into how you actually behave on a day to day basis.

We all have to do jobs, compete with others, compete with siblings - and live in the real world, often many religious people in their job etc are quite self interested and capitalistic in the real world but claim to be religious?

How does a religious person live in the dog eat dog real world, vs beliefs - Is it just a form of denial about the reality of the world around them? Its not any worse than watching too much TV, self improvement and thinking positive, political beliefs, etc.

Do we live in a culture of Denial, and Religion is just another form of this?
I used to know a young women who attended a church every sunday...as soon as she got home she'd break out the cigarrettes....something no-one at her church was aware of....she feared that she would be seen in a lesser light by fellow parishioners.....so no..for a lot (in my opinion)..day to day life is quite seperate from the pretense they put on in church.......I don't know how believing in a god can help some people...but if that's what it takes for them to live in this "dog eat dog" world, then so be it....we all have our own ways to deal with life...whatever works is goooood!
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
20,438 posts, read 12,775,263 times
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I'm a Christian. Living out our faith is what we are called to do. It takes a lifetime of spiritual growth. It includes constant study of God's Word, prayer (which includes listening to God's Spirit that lives within all believers), fellowship with other believers, and ministering to the needs of others. It is not easy to live the life Jesus called us to, in this world.
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