User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 13

  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default Problem of Religious bigotry

    "Philosophize among yourselves as much as you please. I fancy I hear the dilettanti giving for their own pleasure a refined music taste; but take good care not to perform the concert before the ignorant, the brutal, and the vulgar; they might break your instruments over your heads. Let a philosopher be a disciple of Spinoza if he likes, but let the statesman be a theist."

    de Voltaire


    So what, I ask is the problem here?

    Do we really want for our religion to send us back to the middle ages? Philosophers, after all, were pioneers of new thought in society and the driving force in the progress of civilization.

    Religion was supposed to give meaning to our lives, yet how could it if it prevents us from exploring life for our own tastes. Forcing us to live a lie almost..how could the religious teachings have meaning to you if you havent had a chance to go out in the real world to experience them?

    My solution to this problem is that religions at best should suggest what the world to come may be like, or suggest (not impose) an ethical attitude to the end of perfection of human nature and what not..but the politicians ought to keep their paws off that enterprise and understanding how the world works should be the business of science and philosophy and religion shall have no voice in that enterprise.

    I highly recommend to you all, a reading of Medieval philosophy---The Guide for the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides. His intellectual influence represented the zenith of Jewish religious rationalism and he's got a compelling argument for why reason must be deemed superior to revelation and how it is possible to be deeply religious without comprimising your intellectual integrity.

    He had an interesting theory concerning prophecy, that they are merely Intuitions and visionaries translated them into parables and concrete symbols so they can pass their massage onto the masses. As to know the truth about divine revelation you'd need a profound understanding of metaphysics, yet most people are neither able to acquire this nor appreciate abstractions. They can only handle the concrete and hence the prophets had to give it to them in the guise they demanded.

    Or in other words, hell was supposed to be a profoundly negative vision and heaven a profoundly positive, no lake of fire for the infidels. The real story was that there was a Mr. John, an ESTJ who was absolutely certain of his own moral rectitude because he licked the right boots and followed all the rules--yet going to heaven wasnt enough for him, to be satisfied he insisted on eternal punishment for Mr.Brown, an ESTP. Who was a terribly wicked man because he spent his sunday mornings outdoors instead of the church, he didnt wash his hands before dining, he didnt attend John's Wedding ceremony, and he never really cared to tell people how evil they were because they didnt wear their sandals the right way--of course, the way that was prescribed by those John worshipped.

    The real case scenario here is that people had more faith in their RELIGIOUS METHOD of finding meaning in life than in the quest itself of finding meaning in life. Their loyalties lied to their political authorities who instituted the philosophy they are adhering to rather than to the task of finding a congneial worldview. They were not concerned with the perfection of their nature or making their life more fulfilling, they just wanted to be content with themselves and they rested as soon as they found someone who'd give them a simplistic worldview to be satisfied with.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shimpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISFJ
    Enneagram
    9
    Socionics
    ISFx
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Very interesting post!

  3. #3
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    No further takes on this?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    I have one. It sounds like you're saying that religion has a very SJ nature. I would say that it can be interpreted that way, and the irritation with it that I experience has led me to be more agnostic/athestic than anything else, but I'll pretend to be religious if I'm around someone who is strongly religious, so that they won't become angry with and potentially harm me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISFJ
    Enneagram
    9
    Socionics
    ISFx
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Religion was supposed to give meaning to our lives, yet how could it if it prevents us from exploring life for our own tastes. Forcing us to live a lie almost..how could the religious teachings have meaning to you if you havent had a chance to go out in the real world to experience them?
    Religion, (especially the institutionalized one) is a structure/system of laws and rules to follow, and ready-made ideas and solutions to accept - so it's always restrictive when it comes to experiencing the real world bravely. When you have ready-made worldviews at hand, you don't feel the need to further explore the world, thus religion may make people lazy and narrow-minded. I dare to state that bigotry produces simpletons.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    My solution to this problem is that religions at best should suggest what the world to come may be like, or suggest (not impose) an ethical attitude to the end of perfection of human nature and what not..but the politicians ought to keep their paws off that enterprise and understanding how the world works should be the business of science and philosophy and religion shall have no voice in that enterprise.
    Yeah, I do think, religion is discriminating unfavorably to those who are outside of that specific religion. When a high politician follows a certain kind of religion and lets this influence his decisions, he may hurt others' feelings but what's worse, he can restrict other's freedom. The worst form of this phenomenon is when the state and the religion are intertwined.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    The Guide for the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides. ...He had an interesting theory concerning prophecy, that they are merely Intuitions and visionaries translated them into parables and concrete symbols so they can pass their massage onto the masses.
    ...The real case scenario here is that people had more faith in their RELIGIOUS METHOD of finding meaning in life than in the quest itself of finding meaning in life. Their loyalties lied to their political authorities who instituted the philosophy they are adhering to rather than to the task of finding a congneial worldview. They were not concerned with the perfection of their nature or making their life more fulfilling, they just wanted to be content with themselves and they rested as soon as they found someone who'd give them a simplistic worldview to be satisfied with.
    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I have one. It sounds like you're saying that religion has a very SJ nature.
    I agree on what Athenian says. I do think institutionalized religion or any fossilized systems are always of SJ nature (resistance to change, strong connection to past, importance of traditions and rituals, reactionism).
    Religion brings out pretense, hypocrisy, formalism and superficiality in people.
    And I agree that religion should be "practiced" from an intuitive point of view where traditionalism and outer expectations don't matter.

  6. #6
    Member Ferrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    "Philosophize among yourselves as much as you please. I fancy I hear the dilettanti giving for their own pleasure a refined music taste; but take good care not to perform the concert before the ignorant, the brutal, and the vulgar; they might break your instruments over your heads. Let a philosopher be a disciple of Spinoza if he likes, but let the statesman be a theist."

    de Voltaire


    So what, I ask is the problem here?
    Is it not really very simple - most people are not philosophers and have limited capacity for critical thought. Voltaire is right.

  7. #7
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6
    Posts
    24,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post

    He had an interesting theory concerning prophecy, that they are merely Intuitions and visionaries translated them into parables and concrete symbols so they can pass their massage onto the masses. As to know the truth about divine revelation you'd need a profound understanding of metaphysics, yet most people are neither able to acquire this nor appreciate abstractions. They can only handle the concrete and hence the prophets had to give it to them in the guise they demanded.

    Or in other words, hell was supposed to be a profoundly negative vision and heaven a profoundly positive, no lake of fire for the infidels. The real story was that there was a Mr. John, an ESTJ who was absolutely certain of his own moral rectitude because he licked the right boots and followed all the rules--yet going to heaven wasnt enough for him, to be satisfied he insisted on eternal punishment for Mr.Brown, an ESTP. Who was a terribly wicked man because he spent his sunday mornings outdoors instead of the church, he didnt wash his hands before dining, he didnt attend John's Wedding ceremony, and he never really cared to tell people how evil they were because they didnt wear their sandals the right way--of course, the way that was prescribed by those John worshipped.

    The real case scenario here is that people had more faith in their RELIGIOUS METHOD of finding meaning in life than in the quest itself of finding meaning in life. Their loyalties lied to their political authorities who instituted the philosophy they are adhering to rather than to the task of finding a congneial worldview. They were not concerned with the perfection of their nature or making their life more fulfilling, they just wanted to be content with themselves and they rested as soon as they found someone who'd give them a simplistic worldview to be satisfied with.
    Very interesting stuff. I'd like to offer another perspective, if I may. I love the idea of prophesy as an earthly, fleshly incarnation of esoteric truths. It is important for many people to get their hands on something to understand it in their way. However, I don't believe the esoteric and the earthly are necessarily in opposition with one another. Jesus, if you consider him a philosopher, often spoke in parables to make his concepts known to the people he was addressing. In the biblical accounts he did get frustrated when his parables were taken too literally, but the act of crafting the parables seems to me an act of love towards the hands-on nature of most people. I don't see it as a condescension.

    I agree with much of what you say in your OP, especially regarding the concepts of heaven and hell being robbed of their meaning over the years by a too-literal (and punative) interpretation. This is sort of the fulcrum of my own spirituality-- forcing a literal, punative interpretation onto religious symbology strips the symbology of its meaning. It's possible (and IMO necessary) to synthesize a more complex understanding of the ideas on more than one level. However, I don't agree with the negativity towards those who find meaning in the ritual. I find that I need both the conceptual and the ritual. The ritual without the conceptual is hollow; the conceptual without the ritual is ephemeral. This is for myself alone; I recognize that others have different preferences, and that's fine.

    As for the Voltaire quote it brought "pearls to swine" to mind immediately for me. I'm just hesitant to classify most people as swine, I guess.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  8. #8
    Member Ferrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    However, I don't believe the esoteric and the earthly are necessarily in opposition with one another
    Perhaps not, but when the two are admixed, the essentially traditional and irrational nature of the esoteric means it comes to have an objectivity that the essentially transient earthly perception lacks. So, it dominates and shapes lives, yet at the same time seems to admit no measure of its own validity. Most people believe in a certain brand of esotericism only because they have had it inculcated from a young age, and thus assume their beliefs are somehow superior to others.
    As for the Voltaire quote it brought "pearls to swine" to mind immediately for me. I'm just hesitant to classify most people as swine, I guess.
    Really though, doesn't a cursory conversation with an average voter about politics reveal as much?

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6
    Posts
    24,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrus View Post
    Perhaps not, but when the two are admixed, the essentially traditional and irrational nature of the esoteric means it comes to have an objectivity that the essentially transient earthly perception lacks. So, it dominates and shapes lives, yet at the same time seems to admit no measure of its own validity. Most people believe in a certain brand of esotericism only because they have had it inculcated from a young age, and thus assume their beliefs are somehow superior to others.
    Good point, and I'd argue that those beliefs are not as esoteric as the believers believe them to be. They are satisfied with beating the level boss, but they haven't beaten the game boss. They've just taken it one short step up and they're hovering just above the earthly. Instead of "these are some actions that I have performed my entire life so they comfort me," it's "these are some words I have heard and spoken my entire life that correspond to actions I have also performed or had performed on my behalf, so they comfort me." They haven't gotten outside of themselves enough to see that there is a nearly-universal human experience of being comforted by words and actions, and perhaps there's some greater meaning in ALL of that, not only their own experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrus
    Really though, doesn't a cursory conversation with an average voter about politics reveal as much?
    Well, I try to avoid even cursory conversations with average voters about politics. Seriously, pretty much the only person I'll talk politics with is my husband. But your point is well-taken. I'll disagree, though, in that I don't think being earthy and practical and having no use for the symbolic, intuitive, and metaphysical is synonymous with being a cad or an idiot. Sometimes they go together, but correlation is not causation.

    I slept like two hours last night so if I'm totally pulling all of this out of some body cavity I plead exhaustion.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  10. #10
    Oberon
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrus View Post
    Is it not really very simple - most people are not philosophers and have limited capacity for critical thought. Voltaire is right.
    Do you imply, then, that anyone capable of critical thought will as a matter of course reject religious belief?

Similar Threads

  1. Judgment Problem of Introverted Intuition?
    By Kephalos in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-23-2009, 07:15 PM
  2. Problems of Typology
    By SolitaryWalker in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 04-26-2008, 11:12 PM
  3. A Note on the Problem of Induction
    By reason in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-19-2007, 08:47 AM
  4. Problem of Problematicality
    By reason in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-23-2007, 05:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO