The Subject of Religion is an Emotional One

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Kataclismic's picture
The Subject of Religion is an Emotional One

The first emotion tied to religion is that of self-importance. The concept that we (as individuals) have some meaning in the grand scheme of things is part of our genetic structure. Our ability to analyze threats to our own health and safety is one of the key features of our development. When you consider the fragile hardware that we are equipped with, self-importance only makes sense if we are to have any hope of promoting our lineage.

From that one emotion spawns a new one; the fear of death. The original belief that we are important in this reality makes the notion of slipping out of this world that much more pivotal. From there we can add another emotion that ties us to religion; the fear of the unknown. It's easier to be convinced we know something we've been told than to consider the alternative.

There are many reasons to think that our emotions should lead the way, we use them on a daily basis to make decisions. But there are just as many reasons to suggest that our emotions are not dependable. I believe in the dependability of logical testing and less in the dependability of emotional judgments.

“Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

What do you believe?

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arakish's picture
You are born. You eat. You

You are born. You eat. You defecate. You reproduce. You die.

Can't get much simpler. As I have done my whole life, I have done what I could to help promote the well-being of humanity no matter how small or insignificant. I ain't had the illusion of self-importance. Ever. I just try to do the best I can, even if my best never gets recognized as ever having occurred.

rmfr

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Nyarlathotep's picture
I've slowly come to the

I've slowly come to the opinion that Abrahamic religions can at least largely be summarized with the simple statement: the belief that humans are not animals.

Talyyn's picture
Because being an animal is

Because being an animal is not so cool...

Cognostic's picture
Science flies men to the moon

Science flies men to the moon and religions fly them into buildings.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Why would self-importance

Why would self-importance lead to religions in which we are the servants as opposed to the gods?

Talyyn's picture
Really? You consider yourself

Really? You consider yourself as being made in the image of a Supreme being, which has a special plan for you. All of this while being only one individual of a specie counting seven billions people. This specie living on a insignificant speck of dust among the stars. Ah! And this same Supreme being made the ultimate sacrifice to redeem you?

I'm already hearing the accusation of being nihilist coming at me.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Within Christianity, worth

Within Christianity, worth and value is given to us, it doesn't come from ourselves. We are made in the image of God, but still formed from the dust of the ground, on the same day that every other beast of the field was made.

Talyyn's picture
So why are you better than

So why are you better than any other animals? I sorry for you if you think that you have value and worth only if you accept some rabbi from 2000 years ago.

Also what is the composition of the dust?

LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

Why would self-importance lead to religions in which we are the servants as opposed to the gods?

Do you consider yourself a servant of god?

How do you serve god? Do you bring it food? Make it's bed? Has god given you a command that you want to carry out? Or did people give you a command in "god's name" to carry out?

Seriously how do you serve god, and how are you sure that: you are not serving the people that talk about the particular god idea you follow instead?

 
 

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Sheldon's picture
Because making yourself

Because making yourself eternal after you die is God like. It's elevated us from the finite evolved primates we so clearly care, in the minds of the needy and the gullible.

The rest is coloured bibles.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Religion is all emotion and

Religion is all emotion and not reason. No reasonable person would believe in any of the Abrahamic or Messianic religions.

Sheldon's picture
Good post. As you say, i try

Good post. As you say, I try not to think with my emotions. Its not a Vulcan trick I've mastered, Ive just learned that my emotions are an unreliable indicator of the truth of any claim or belief.

If this were not a valid idea then the advertising industry would consist of dry fact based narratives, giving objective evaluations at the end, WITHOUT MUSIC or attractive young people to distract our emotions.

Once you accept this premise deciding if you need superstition is no different than deciding if you need to try crack or heroine.

Deciding which heroine dealer has the most compelling argument becomes entirely moot at that point. After 53 years religious apologists sound to me like they're disagreeing over technical points of unicorn husbandry, or the best food to give a growing Dragon.

Cognostic's picture
BREEZY: RE: "Why would self

BREEZY: RE: "Why would self-importance lead to religions in which we are the servants as opposed to the gods? Within Christianity, worth and value is given to us, it doesn't come from ourselves."

ANOTHER COUPLE OF FANTASTIC POSTS FROM OUR FRIEND BREEZY
Hypocrisy at its best!!!! We get self worth and importance because of our relationship with God. He gives it to us. We are special. We are made in the image of God. All non-believers are filthy sinners but they can be saved if they think like us. We are going to heaven and they are going to burn in hell for all eternity.

You defeat your own bullshit at every turn.

Talyyn's picture
I said the exact same things

I said the exact same things to him, minus eternal damnation, and he has handwaved it. We will see how he will answer to tou

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Be more specific: Where was I

Be more specific: Where was I hypocritical, and where did I defeat my own porpuse?

Kataclismic's picture
I'm sure your god sits and

I'm sure your god sits and watches the whole of humanity while doing nothing because they aren't important. The almighty god that agrees with and loves you just has nothing better to do.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Again, what?

Again, what?

Sheldon's picture
Itszsimome enough, there is

It's simple enough, there is nothing humbling in the idea that among all the millions of evolved species, the universe and everything in it was created with us in mind.

That's an unbelievably arrogant idea in fact.

Cognostic's picture
This is the "Pretend I can't

This is the "Pretend I can't read" fallacy. Someone else play with Breezy. I don't have my boots on.

LogicFTW's picture
I find he mostly ignores me.

I find he mostly ignores me. Oh darn :P

 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
I just don't have anything to

I just don't have anything to respond with beyond saying read the bible, which isn't worth saying. I thought servanthood, not just towards God but towards one another, was a basic concept within Christianity. So, how do you think we serve God? If you say by making its bed again, I'm not going to respond.

arakish's picture
I thought servanthood, not

I thought servanthood, not just towards God but towards one another, was a basic concept within Christianity.

But THAT is NOT Christianity Breezy, you need to re-read that plagiarized book of faerie tales. Now take God and Christianity out of the above, and you do have a true belief. It is called humanism.

BTW: The way you believe, you are doing nothing but making Gods bed for it.

rmfr

LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

Don't care to summarize it for me eh? I get to figure out which version of the bible you mean and read it all? I think we both know I will not do that. So fair enough.

The making it's bed part was definitely tongue in cheek humour but I was serious about how do you serve a god? Follow it's commands? Why are the commands so vague and poorly delivered? I know enough about bibles in general that I can say with confidence you will not find clear concise non contradictory list of how to serve god in the bible. If I recall my early conversations with you, you actually reject much of the standard christian KJB version of god and what it says. Been a while but it if I recall correctly you stated you do not believe in heaven or hell, and very few select people get to "be with god" in their afterlife, and even you could not come up with clear rules of how to get a place next to god in the afterlife. Rules that handles scenarios like people that are born and died that never knew of your version of god or the particular rule set and how to "serve god."

 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
For staters, the version

For staters, the version doesn't matter. A translation is a translation; and because language meaning flows across time and regions, no single translation is above the others. They each have their strengths and their weaknesses, their time and place.

I don't reject the KJV, so you may have me confused with someone else. I also don't recall saying a select few get to be with God; I can't possibly know the exact quantity that get saved. But I have said a few times on this forum that an atheist that lives an upright life is more fit for heaven than a Christian that does not.

I do believe in heaven and hell. The only difference is that Scripture presents heaven more as a location than as an afterlife, and hell more as a capital punishment than a furnace beneath the earth.

LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

For staters, the version doesn't matter. A translation is a translation; and because language meaning flows across time and regions, no single translation is above the others. They each have their strengths and their weaknesses, their time and place.

I do agree with your first 2 sentences. Version does not matter and language and meaning is not an exact procedure. I am curious though, how do you determine when a particular versions time and place comes? Subjectively when it is convenient to the reader? Seems like a fairly useless collection of books if there is a bunch different versions with no standard between them, not even chronological (like per say versions of a school text book, where the latest version updates the older versions to the latest findings in both the latest knowledge as well as the latest techniques to engage the reader, (not to mention the whole combat piracy, book re-selling and charging more for new books, etc aka money grab.)

I don't reject the KJV, so you may have me confused with someone else.

Very possible I do not keep notes on conversations I have with people and only go by the very faulty and prone to error human memory recollection. I feel you may have rejected at least parts of it in conversation with me/the board in the past, but I certainly cannot be arsed to look it up.

I do believe in heaven and hell.

I more confidently recall conversation about how heaven and hell works, again it may not have been with you, but with you (or the other person stating after some back and forth, well: a sort of: "my version of heaven/hell is different" from that of the more common theist interpretation and reading of in popular bibles such as the KJB.

I am curious thought what your thoughts are on how entrance to heaven and hell works. Any "rules" or clarifications /directions on how it works come from any of your reading? What are they? Any you agree with? I do like your perspective of: "atheist that lives an upright life is more fit for heaven than a Christian that does not."

But it does beg the question if that is true, why bother spend anytime worshiping, reading, learning about god at all? Why not just be atheist, skip all that stuff and be a good "upright life?" I feel like I do that, certainly (to my own opinion) better then many christians that I know of. A sort of: "explains that a particular religion/god idea did not screw over the 99% of all people that never heard of it" but creates the new problem of: well why bother with religion at all if 99% of people did not have to? And in your case, why argue to others at all (or even for your self) why bother? Why bother try to convince others your god is real, when according to what you think your god does not care if people know of him and his "rules" or not.
 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
1. Most of the time when you

1. Most of the time when you open up a bible, it'll contain a preface which tells you something about that translations history, and more importantly its philosophy for translation. For example my ESV bible says it "seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the origina text and personal style of each Bible writer. As such its emphasis is on "word-for-word" correspondence." In contrast, my NKJV says "The format of the New King James Version is designed to enhance the vividness and devotional quality of the Holy Scriptures." So the ESV appears to be more interested in the translation of words, and the NKJV in the translation of meaning. Its also worth noting that I took a semester of Biblical Greek once. Which is always an option if you're worried about translations. You can always just learn the original languages, and read the original texts.

2. I think its important to remember that the religious narrative isn't about this battle among mankind, atheist vs theist, Christian vs Muslim. Instead it is humanity vs God. So, you can say you're better than most Christians and it doesn't matter, because Christians aren't the standard. These are labels and categories which we create for ourselves, to organize our thoughts and behaviors, which are presumably absent when God looks down on mankind. He just sees people, and doesn't care what we've decided to call ourselves. Thus why being Christian doesn't save you, and being atheist doesn't condemn you. Your question of why not just be atheist and skip all the reading and learning, shows the uselessness of labels. How can I "be" atheist for example? Do I just call myself one? Do I have to behave like one? Believe as one? If its the behavior route, then I agree, worshiping and reading doesn't save anyone. Read the gospels and you'll find that Jesus is often calling the strongest worshipers hypocrites, while calling the strongest sinners sons and daughters of God. Calling myself an atheist doesn't do anything for obvious reasons. And believing as one is complicated. How do I unbelieve something, without lying to myself? How do I make myself believe that the sky is green for example, when I can see that it isn't?

LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐyAt point

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
At point number 1:
Cool I learned something today, thanks for sharing that. I was unaware of the preface that states the goal of a particular version. It does somewhat seem to confirm you read the book that fulfill's your current need at the time. If you want something that tries to be word for word you read that, if you want something that "makes god great" read that. So a sort of yeah, versions are different, that is fine, just read what suits your mood, the god depicted in the bible will just match whatever mood your in. A sort of the rules are made by the author and the reader, not god, so: sort of make it up as you go.

At point number 2:

Instead it is humanity vs God.

Interesting take, is it also the opposite? God versus humanity?

Your question of why not just be atheist and skip all the reading and learning, shows the uselessness of labels. How can I "be" atheist for example?

Being atheist is easy, simply do not be theist. It involves doing less stuff, not more. Obviously you can stop doing other things to, like going to church, reading bibles heck you can even stop thinking about god entirely. I am a unique atheist in that I think about why god does not exist all the time, but I don't have to, I can be an atheist that simply never thinks about god. But as I said before, why do anything like read long verbose books, and study god, if god does not care if you study him or what group you belong to etc? Why argue to others in defense of your particular god concept to others here on this board? I like to debate against god idea because I am also anti theist. Study and reading of the various religions with their god ideas and the enormous harm they have inflicted on the whole of humanity. Why would you, thinking your god does not care if you believe in it or not want to associate on any level with the major organized religion? Why not simply be a good person, you do not need a "god book" with many versions written by humans to do that.

How do I unbelieve something, without lying to myself?

How did you unbelieve santa claus? Did you feel you had to lie to yourself to stop believing in santa claus? Have you ever had a friend or co-worker or family member or the like that you believed to be reliable and trustworthy and then suddenly you had to unbelieve that when presented with evidence to contrary, did you consider this lying to yourself?

How do I make myself believe that the sky is green for example, when I can see that it isn't?

Good question, one you should apply to your god belief. Have you seen your god like you have seen a blue sky versus a green one? Or have you never seen your god? And don't say "I see god in everything" answers like that are like me answering your sky question with: well actually you do see some green, just you see more blue then green."
 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
"So a sort of yeah, versions

"So a sort of yeah, versions are different, that is fine, just read what suits your mood, the god depicted in the bible will just match whatever mood your in."

Are you being sarcastic, or is that the honest conclusion you arrived at?

"But as I said before, why do anything like read long verbose books, and study god, if god does not care if you study him or what group you belong to etc?"

I think you are confusing two separate things: what is needed, with what is good. For example, each week I'm asked to write a critique on an a journal article. Given the format of the assignment, I can get away with reading a single paragraph of the article, perhaps just the abstract, and write my response on that. I don't have to read through twenty pages of material, or the dozen of assigned papers. But should I? Of course, because I want to take my education seriously, not just get away with the bare minimum. When you try to fool others, you often end up fooling yourself.

So yeah, going to church doesn't matter, but there's benefits to it. Reading the bible doesn't save you, but there's benefits to it.

The question of why do anything is a dangerous question, because indifference is hard to argue against. Again, to use academia as an analogy. It's not uncommon to come across people that ask why we study some specific thing, and invest time and money into it? Who cares what the answer is? When one of my classmates asked one of my professors that question, the best answer he could give is, because we're scientists and that's what we do.

So perhaps the best answer to your question of why do anything, is simply for the sake of doing sonething, and not living a passive life that never applies the things it learns.

arakish's picture
Favorite Religious Absolutist

Favorite Religious Absolutist Tactic:

Indoctrinate a person, especially a child, playing on their emotions through methods of psychological terrorism into believing something so deeply, the mind can drive the body to the overdose release of endorphins, adrenaline, and neurotransmitters which cause a self-induced psychosomatic psychosis, to the point that it is no different than getting stoned on illicit drugs. Then tell them that was the Holy Spirit coming into them.

Which Leads to My New Hypothesis:

Persons who never used illicit drugs before getting saved and having that psychosomatic psychosis, then disillusioned by the church, may have a greater chance of using illicit drugs to recover the euphoria caused by the self-induced psychosomatic psychosis of being saved.

rmfr

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