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Organized Religion Is About...


GraphicsGuy
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Religion, especially organized religion; especially fundamentalist religions, seems to be mostly about insecurity and control.

 

It's about insecurity since the people involved generally seem to have a hard time accepting reality or opposing viewpoints or varying lifestyle choices or simply death.

 

It's about control since insecure people generally seek to control that which makes them insecure.

 

The version of "God" that the religion worships really personifies these traits.

 

The Xian God is very much an insecure, controlling being. Also very abusive since he portrays antagonistic traits yet says he loves his people. His people thusly say they love everybody yet they attack everything they even slightly disagree with...even each other. Each person must be more "on God's side" than the next person.

 

Every true strength is perceived as a weakness since it cracks the wall around the insecurity issues.

 

Everything must be controlled in order to prevent that wall from falling.

 

Just some thoughts. What are yours?

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Everything must be controlled in order to prevent that wall from falling.

 

Just some thoughts. What are yours?

 

Whether it is church or a town meeting. There always has to be a certain order of things.

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Whether it is church or a town meeting. There always has to be a certain order of things.

 

Yes, but I am speaking more on an individual level, not specifically in regards to a larger group.

 

Who ultimately controls the individual?

 

Religion seeks to control the individual by making them adhere to a system of laws and regulations. So does society in general, but a church is like a society within a society; layering more and more laws and regulations upon the individual to force them to conform to a leader's ideal.

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Whether it is church or a town meeting. There always has to be a certain order of things.

 

Yes, but I am speaking more on an individual level, not specifically in regards to a larger group.

 

Who ultimately controls the individual?

 

Religion seeks to control the individual by making them adhere to a system of laws and regulations. So does society in general, but a church is like a society within a society; layering more and more laws and regulations upon the individual to force them to conform to a leader's ideal.

 

I agree. Yet, Jesus preached the same thing you are. Right? Jesus hated the church, and its social status. He taught individualism to the fullest. Following Jesus is being a Christian, not following men. I have never been into the church scene, for the very reason you speak of. The impact on the individual. Its like we have replaced God. We play God at church. Gossip. Size each other up, with our implemented standards that the church applies. It's a sad cycle.

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It gives authority to law, meaning to life and a sense of belonging to a group.

 

But you don't HAVE to be religious to find those things.

 

For myself, law doesn't need to have any god involved to have authority, life doesn't need meaning, and I have a great group of friends that I feel like I "belong" to...

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But to answer the question. Influence controls the individual, whether it is self obtained or from others.

 

That's extremely ambiguous. Influence begins from birth. Someone can live a certain way their entire life and have something "influence" them into a mindset change. What influences one may or may not influence another.

 

And some influences have extremely different effects on different individuals. In harsh circumstances some withdraw and hide while others face it head on and move forward.

 

That's getting into the essence of personality. At our core, most of us have the same basic needs. How we deal with meeting those needs seems to develop a lot of who we are and what drives us, what are strengths and weaknesses are, etc.

 

Religion is one tool that a lot of people utilize to meet certain needs in their life. Religion itself then becomes an influence or a symptom of deeper, unmet needs?

 

(Random rambling and hypothesizing)

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I agree. Yet, Jesus preached the same thing you are. Right? Jesus hated the church, and its social status. He taught individualism to the fullest. Following Jesus is being a Christian, not following men.

 

Okay, I can agree with this. I've often said this myself. Evangelical Xians have simply become modern-day pharisees.

 

So, I can see following the "spirit" of what Jesus was saying. Being honest, being good to your fellow human, etc.

 

But even Jesus mentioned hell a few times...then again, perhaps in the context of when you're NOT honest or good to your fellow human.

 

How does one then resolve the writings of Paul or any of the epistles and Revelation, etc.?

 

How does one resolve what an abusive character the OT version of God was?

 

That's getting off topic and becoming the heart of being a liberal Xian I would venture...

 

Still, what you are talking about totally covers being an individual. It's outside of organized Xianity. It breaks its own ground and finds its own answers.

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It gives authority to law, meaning to life and a sense of belonging to a group.

 

But you don't HAVE to be religious to find those things.

 

For myself, law doesn't need to have any god involved to have authority, life doesn't need meaning, and I have a great group of friends that I feel like I "belong" to...

 

So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

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So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

 

Say what?

 

Law is questioned constantly. It doesn't have absolute nor unquestionable authority. It's simply the system we have.

 

And "natural rights"? How are these natural in any way? I would say these come from humans rising above their "natural" nature.

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So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

From power, strength, and dominance.

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So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

And "natural rights"? How are these natural in any way? I would say these come from humans rising above their "natural" nature.

 

 

I'll refer you to John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, et al... before continuing this discussion.

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So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

From power, strength, and dominance.

 

Then you do not believe in the rule of law. You believe in "might is right".

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I'll refer you to John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, et al... before continuing this discussion.

 

????

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Then you do not believe in the rule of law. You believe in "might is right".

It is the law, and it is the law of nature.

 

When we create a democracy, we give the power to the people to create the law or be in control of who makes the law. Then the power is partly with the people to create "right." Because the idea is that they have the "might."

 

If God is the law maker, we think he is because he created the universe, got the power to control our lives, and have the authority to penalize us. So if God is the lawgiver, then he is so because he is "mighty," and not wimpy.

 

It's either rulers, people, or gods, who go the power to say: "it is so."

 

Is it fair? No. But it's the natural law. The one in power dictate, because dictating is part of having power. And the "one" can be so many different things: like majority, dictators, one God, many gods, natures law of survival, and so on. Who can fight the things we can't fight against?

 

To say "might is right," is to say that the actual power itself is the "right" thing, which isn't quite accurate. It's rather, what we do believe to be the "right" thing about this or that, is dictated by the majority being in power, or the minority being in power, or the tradition which we have learned from our parents who dictated it into our lives by raising us, and so on. It doesn't mean that the "might" itself is right, but that this is how it works.

 

What does an engine work? Energy. Power. Mechanics. To deny these things is to deny reality. The engine isn't the power, but power is definitely part of why the engine works.

 

Of course we can discuss and come to agreements of what is "right" based on reason too. But is that possible to do with the majority? It doesn't seem like people follow reason, but rather emotions, and leaders of strong convictions seems to get the followers.

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It gives authority to law, meaning to life and a sense of belonging to a group.

 

But you don't HAVE to be religious to find those things.

 

For myself, law doesn't need to have any god involved to have authority, life doesn't need meaning, and I have a great group of friends that I feel like I "belong" to...

 

So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

 

Religion is contrived or illegitimate authority. There is no "natural" law. That's a concept held by English philosophers upon which the Constitution was based TBS, but it's just a convenient explanation for a more complex issue.

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So then, what gives law its (unquestionable) authority? Where do "natural rights" (life. liberty and property) come from?

From power, strength, and dominance.

 

In part yes, but these are also illegitimate and the law would never hold up if these where the only threads holding it together. It depends on a culture that respects it. Without the respect of the community you will constantly have to contend with revolutionaries. Countries that maintain order only through violence or threat of violence are known as totalitarian.

 

Law is also given authority through what Rousseau called the general will. There is of course the element of forcing people to be free through power, strength and dominance, but if the majority doesn't see the law as valid and moral then the law has a weak hold and the level of force to maintain it must necessarily increase. Obviously that's not an ideal situation.

 

Getting back to the op and the points KCDad is making, religion can be used to influence the general will but it's not the only method of doing so and IMO, not the ideal way of doing so since it also involves fear and threats, though in this case spiritual. Ideally, law can be legitimized by the majority's understanding that it is in their own best interests as a group to maintain an orderly society that recognizes certain rights (I don't rape my neighbor's daughter or steal his chickens because I wouldn't want him to do that to me). This realization can be accomplished by shear logic.

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Just some thoughts. What are yours?
My thoughts is that religion is a means of humanity expressing their awe of the universe and I believe that all religion are different ways of expressing this awe/different ways of worshiping God. I think religion is less about what is fact and more about what religion means to people and I think that what religion means is defined by its followers and their culture just as much as it is by their religion's leaders. Yes, religion is human-made and the positive values of religion can also be done in secular means, but if religion is human-made, why can't we use religion for the benefit of humans instead of for the destruction of humanity? Religion can be used for either positive or negative things, the same as most things made by humans. For example, technology can be used for both the benefit and destruction of humanity, but just because technology is created by humans and has been used to do evil things, does that mean we should get rid of technology instead of creating it for a positive benefit? I think the real danger is fundamentalism. When people start using their beliefs to hurt others and start trying to force their beliefs on people, that's when it starts to become dangerous I think. But if people still find value in religion and aren't going around hurting people with their beliefs, then I don't have a problem with it personally.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Then you do not believe in the rule of law. You believe in "might is right".

It is the law, and it is the law of nature.

 

When we create a democracy, we give the power to the people to create the law or be in control of who makes the law. Then the power is partly with the people to create "right." Because the idea is that they have the "might."

 

If God is the law maker, we think he is because he created the universe, got the power to control our lives, and have the authority to penalize us. So if God is the lawgiver, then he is so because he is "mighty," and not wimpy.

 

It's either rulers, people, or gods, who go the power to say: "it is so."

 

Is it fair? No. But it's the natural law. The one in power dictate, because dictating is part of having power. And the "one" can be so many different things: like majority, dictators, one God, many gods, natures law of survival, and so on. Who can fight the things we can't fight against?

 

To say "might is right," is to say that the actual power itself is the "right" thing, which isn't quite accurate. It's rather, what we do believe to be the "right" thing about this or that, is dictated by the majority being in power, or the minority being in power, or the tradition which we have learned from our parents who dictated it into our lives by raising us, and so on. It doesn't mean that the "might" itself is right, but that this is how it works.

 

What does an engine work? Energy. Power. Mechanics. To deny these things is to deny reality. The engine isn't the power, but power is definitely part of why the engine works.

 

Of course we can discuss and come to agreements of what is "right" based on reason too. But is that possible to do with the majority? It doesn't seem like people follow reason, but rather emotions, and leaders of strong convictions seems to get the followers.

 

"From power, strength, and dominance. "

 

And if that power comes from having a bigger muscles, bigger sticks or bigger bombs... then that law is "right". If you can enforce it, you are right. (Or if you can "sell" it. The guy with the best language skills or propaganda machine, for example)

 

Is that also true if the lawmaker is a white European male (or Christian, Muslim or any other designation) making laws that subjugate anyone who is not a white European male (or Christian, etc.)? Or a State that with holds "human rights" from anyone who is not a "citizen"?

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"From power, strength, and dominance. "

 

And if that power comes from having a bigger muscles, bigger sticks or bigger bombs... then that law is "right". If you can enforce it, you are right. (Or if you can "sell" it. The guy with the best language skills or propaganda machine, for example)

 

Is that also true if the lawmaker is a white European male (or Christian, Muslim or any other designation) making laws that subjugate anyone who is not a white European male (or Christian, etc.)? Or a State that with holds "human rights" from anyone who is not a "citizen"?

No, of course not. What is right only comes from the little man, who has a different opinion than anyone else, and then he makes his arguments and magically everyone agrees.

 

The powerful "right" makes today isn't the white European males, but media. Media got the power today and makes the masses move to what media consider to be "right." What I'm talking about isn't what ultimately the philosopher or the sociologist would consider to be right, or what is right if you really use reason and rationality, but what I'm talking about is what does the masses believe to be right. The majority of people believe one thing to be right or another, not because they sat down and thought about it, but because they were indoctrinated to believe those things to be true and right. It doesn't mean that those things they believe to be the "truth" or the "right" is really what you and I would consider "truth" or "right," but yet that is what they believe to be, and they don't believe it because a monk wrote a little scribble on the wall, but they believe it because the forces who made them believe it is stronger than they are.

 

So what I'm talking about is not: the real right, or what I consider to be right, or what you consider to be right, but what I'm talking about is, "why do most people believe certain things to be right." What make people believe one thing to be right and another not to be right? It sure is not that every person sits down and make a philosophical analysis of their lives. They don't. They just accept what is given to them. They give tradition, family, friends, media, and so on, the power over them to tell them what they are supposed to believe to be "right."

 

Do you understand what I'm talking about?

 

Does this mean I like it? No, it does not. It's just the observation of how it works. This is what is happening regardless if I agree to the majority's view on "right." I can make my own argument for or against abortion, but the majority won't agree with me, even if I would make the most convincing argument in history. The majority believe what it believes, because the forces in society makes the believe what they believe. And those forces have very little to do with one person's opinion, but more about the larger masses and the people who can control information.

 

What you are talking about is if whoever is in power dictate what is right, and that is then right even in the philosophical view or in some universal way, and that is not what I'm talking about at all. I'm not saying that I agree that power makes what is right to be what is supposed to be right, but what I'm saying is that the majority of peoples opinion about what is right is dictated and accepted by them rather than they really research and find out what should be the real right.

 

Take the war in Iraq as an example. Just before it started, the polls showed than more than 70% of America supported it. I was against it. I still believe it was wrong. And I have my arguments, and others with me, and in my opinion my arguments is based on reason. The support for the war was based mostly on fear and false information. But yet, 70% believed they were "right." They believe it was the "RIGHT" thing to do. So why did 70% believe it was the "right" thing to do. Not because it was the right thing to do, but they believe it to be the right thing to do because they were indoctrinated to believe it was the right thing to do.

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And if that power comes from having a bigger muscles, bigger sticks or bigger bombs... then that law is "right". If you can enforce it, you are right. (Or if you can "sell" it. The guy with the best language skills or propaganda machine, for example)

 

Is that also true if the lawmaker is a white European male (or Christian, Muslim or any other designation) making laws that subjugate anyone who is not a white European male (or Christian, etc.)? Or a State that with holds "human rights" from anyone who is not a "citizen"?

 

Isn't "right" subjective to each individual? Mustn't we mold ourselves to the society that we are born/moved into?

 

Those of us born into Xian homes (Evangelical Xian especially), must then conform to society, to our family, and to our religion. We are "told" what is "right" from every direction.

 

I think everyone does need to decide what is "right" for them at some point in their lives. Not simply be told and blindly obey.

 

Might does make right in the overall worldview I think. Does every individual agree with that "right"? No.

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Might does make right in the overall worldview I think. Does every individual agree with that "right"? No.

I think the key is to break free from the governed and dictated "right" and start looking at it personally, and come your own conclusions of what is right and wrong. And many times you will end up with same or similar views as the majority, but not necessarily all the time. The commercialized slaves of the American people need to wake up from the long slumber and start thinking critically outside of the dictums.

 

Another funny example is the pro-life movement, if asked what kind of punishment a woman should get for going through with an abortion, they answer: "I never thought about that." So yeah, it's easy to write signs and stand in the corners and protest against some "wrong", only because you have been moved emotionally by your pastor, but to really think about the consequences it would lead to, is of course out of the question. Ignorance becomes law. No situation is simple, and nothing happens in a void. The general populace need to stop and think just a little bit now and then.

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