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Denial Of Self


Mythra
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"You must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me."

 

Is this even possible? Every person looks out for himself to one degree or another.

 

Why are words like self-sufficient, self-reliant, self-supporting, self-confident, self-motivated, good words -

 

While words like selfish, self-centered, self-seeking, and self-indulgent are bad words?

 

Aren't even "selfless" christians ultimately selfish? Doesn't christianity pander to human nature when it says "I go to prepare a place for you".., or the many many other verses in the New Testament that speak of the riches that await the faithful.

 

Christians have their eye on the prize. The reward. The eternal goody bag.

 

Why is it noble to suffer now in exchange for eternal comforts and happiness - while it's cheap and shallow to seek comfort and happiness in this life?

 

True selflessness.

 

Rare - if not non-existent.

 

People just aren't made that way.

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Just listen to any prophet and if you hear him speak of sacrifice - run. Run faster than from a plague. It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there's someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice speaks of slaves and masters. And he intends to be the master.

-Ellsworth Toohey

 

Too much altruism corrupts the soul. It's completely against human nature. Selfishness and self-sufficiency are the same thing. They're both nole endeavors.

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self denial is a social control trick, b/c the people who are called on to deny themselves the most are typically the most impoverished. a case of organized "religion makes stupid," keeping the masses in line.

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"You must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me."

This part sounds like religious BS to me

 

Is this even possible? Every person looks out for himself to one degree or another.

It's a dog eat dog world we live in

 

Why are words like self-sufficient, self-reliant, self-supporting, self-confident, self-motivated, good words -

 

While words like selfish, self-centered, self-seeking, and self-indulgent are bad words?

All this is a matter of personal opinion. I'm sure all these words can be used in good or bad.

 

Aren't even "selfless" christians ultimately selfish? Doesn't christianity pander to human nature when it says "I go to prepare a place for you".., or the many many other verses in the New Testament that speak of the riches that await the faithful.

Yes

 

Why is it noble to suffer now in exchange for eternal comforts and happiness - while it's cheap and shallow to seek comfort and happiness in this life?

I'm not sure where this came from but I am trying to have as much fun as I can while I'm here. I do not see that as being cheap and shallow

 

True selflessness.

 

Rare - if not non-existent.

 

People just aren't made that way.

I think that people can do selfless acts to help others and the world around them without wanting any kind of recognition for what they have done.

As for being truly selfless I have learned that lots of people will shit on you if you are to kind.

I'm not sure that true selflessness ever existed in the human race. This would also be a matter of personal opinion on what the act is. Different people different opinions.

We do not have a common goal to keep all people going in the same direction.

Maybe that is what xtians are trying to accomplish but there opinions are constantly changing. This is not a bad thing cause it shows that they can learn and try to correct the error of their ways but they have not corrected a lot in 2000 years and still need to learn a lot more. :ugh:

 

I'm not perfect (as in a truly selfless person) or would I ever claim to be but I do try and keep an open mind about the world around me.

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Self-denial is just one of those nasty traits of Eastern religions. Even respectable Eastern religions like Buddhism advocate self-denial, often in extremes. Xianity and Is-lame are unique in that they make it a bigger deal and often a central point of faith and practice.

 

Denying oneself is as dangerous as overindulging oneself. The crux of the problem lies in being unbalanced and irrational, which denial of self usually is.

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Well, they're essentially creating the market for their product -- religion -- by preaching self-denial. Make people feel guilty enough about things they shouldn't have to feel guilty about, and self-denial will begin to seem like a good thing, especially if you brainwash them to believe they'll be tortured for all of eternity if they don't deny themselves.

 

I agree with Varokhar; I think there should be a healthy balance between self-denial and overindulgence. I don't think extremes are good either way.

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And of course, the hypocrisy. Those who preach it, don't practice it....unless they really think god "wants" them to have that gold cadillac with the rabbit fur steering wheel cover. :Wendywhatever::Hmm:

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Sometimes denial of self is practical to society. If firemen did not agree to deny themselves and go into danger, not many people would be saved, for instance. As a parent, I have denied myself the things I wanted or needed to provide for my children. I would willingly die to protect my loved ones. People do not always act out of selfishness or selflessness, it is a synchronous intermeshing of both. Those that are overhwhelmingly selfish or selfless are those who are generally regarded as unbalanced.

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Sometimes denial of self is practical to society. If firemen did not agree to deny themselves and go into danger, not many people would be saved, for instance. As a parent, I have denied myself the things I wanted or needed to provide for my children. I would willingly die to protect my loved ones. People do not always act out of selfishness or selflessness, it is a synchronous intermeshing of both. Those that are overhwhelmingly selfish or selfless are those who are generally regarded as unbalanced.

 

I don't think those things are really self-denial, though. Firefighters do their jobs not because they're made to feel horrible if they don't but because they want to. They're not entirely denying themselves because some part of them wants to do that for a living; otherwise, they'd have chosen an office job where they could be completely safe. If you want to do something, and you're not under some kind of coercion, how are you denying yourself?

 

I don't consider that the same thing. Certain religious fundies say that you can't do anything you ever want to in life, you can't listen to the music you want to or you'll burn in hell, you can't read the books you want to or you'll burn in hell, you can't go dancing because you'll burn in hell, etc. I don't think it's the same because when religion is involved like that, people are being coerced not to do what they really want to.

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Yes, I agree. I came to the same realization a while back, that "I want to be saved to go to Heaven" is ultimately a selfish goal, and I sometimes try to get some of the visiting Christians to see this problem. They think they do the "right thing" by becoming Christian, but yet what they do is only fueling their ego, and hence love themselves more than the rest of the world. The only way a Christian could claim full love to their peers is to ask (their fictious) God if they can take the place in Hell in replacement for someone else. That would be ultimate proof of love. To ask God if I could, as a "sin-free" person, could go to Hell, and by that make someone that is not "saved" get to Heaven. That is unselfishness, but no one does it. Not even Jesus, since he supposedly only stayed 2 days, and then went back to his peaceful and beautiful mansion and lived happily ever after. So not even Jesus did the ultimate sacrifice.

 

The only way to become really unselfish is to realize that I don't have a self at all, and I don't feed into it. The Buddha way. :)

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