How Religion Infects Your Mind

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ImFree's picture
How Religion Infects Your Mind

This is a great video with Dr. Darrell Ray. He breaks down how religion is designed to infect your mind using guilt at an early age:

This is an ideal topic for some lively debate.

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mysticrose's picture
It infected me like a disease

It infected me like a disease that I have to endure till I reach intellectual maturity and stopped being brainwashed by the tradition.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Yea so true, guilt is the

Yea so true, guilt is the key to Christianity, constantly Jesus instigates the idea that you are incapable without Jesus.
Is always so apparent in the theology

mysticrose's picture
It's sad t know that there

It's sad t know that there are still billions of people who are infected up to this date.

Valiya's picture
What is guilt in the

What is guilt in the perspective of atheists? Don't you guys feel it at all? Or is it only the idea of feeling guilty over sins as taught by religions that you guys take issue with?

Nyarlathotep's picture
For at least some part of

For at least some part of this reference to guilt, I think they are talking about the guilt of original sin doctrine. From Wikipedia (original sin page), pay special attention to the final phrase:

"Original sin, also called ancestral sin, is the Christian doctrine of humanity's state of sin resulting from the fall of man, stemming from Adam's rebellion in Eden. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, ... to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt of all humans through collective guilt."

Basically you tell people that they were born guilty deserving eternal punishment because someone swiped an apple once. The real miracle is that people believe this stuff, but if you get them while they are young enough, apparently, they will internalize it.

Valiya's picture
I understand the christian

I understand the christian perspective... but what is the atheist perspective of guilt... do you feel it? If yes, over what?

Nyarlathotep's picture
I have regret/remorse for

I have regret/remorse for things I wish I did differently in the past...

ThePragmatic's picture
- "but what is the atheist

- "but what is the atheist perspective of guilt... do you feel it?"

You make it sound like we are another species, we are humans too you know. :)
Here is my view...

Non-believers feel guilt about pretty much the same thing as any theist, except for the explicitly religious parts.

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
- Albert Einstein

Morals come from empathy and by rationally considering the consequences of our actions.
We feel guilty for hurting other people, not for hurting the feelings of a deity.
The further one takes the train of thought when considering the consequences of our actions, the more moral one gets.
Normally people want their children, family, relatives and friends to live in a world that is good, so eventually people start caring about things like social issues, injustice, education, the environment, progress and so on.

In contrast, if you get your morals from an assertion of authority, by fear of punishment and hope of reward in the afterlife, then you are amoral and delusional.

But I think that many theists get their morals in the exact same way as a non-believer, but on top of that they have added a layer of their personal interpretation of religious morals, and are fooled into thinking that it all comes from their religion or their god. In most cases, it just leaves them a little confused as to where their morality comes from.

Unfortunately, that layer of religious morals can distort or completely block real morality and empathy. This is clear in cases like denying women education, forced marriages, genital mutilation. And it can justify their actions all the way to punishing by rape and killing non-believers and apostates.

In other words: In the worst case scenario, it allows for a complete detachment from real morality and justifies the most insane actions.

cmallen's picture
Yes, all of this! Very much

Yes, all of this! Very much all of this right here. Well said.

CyberLN's picture
As long as one is not a

As long as one is not a sociopath, then guilt is a feeling we apply to particular actions of our choosing. You have chosen to feel guilty for some items for which I would feel no guilt. You have also chosen to consider certain behaviors eligible for guilt based on the tenets of the religion you practice. And I suspect that you would want others to feel guilt for actions deemed as sinful by those tenets.

Michee's picture
I turn to God because I was

I turn to God because I was upset. Guilt wasn't the main reason for me. I was so convinced that God would care for me no matter what.

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