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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    A test? More questions come:
    1. Why is that test so much harder for some than it is for others?
    2. Why do we need to be tested at all?
    3. What is so good and noble about blind faith?
    4. What exactly is a "little while"? The suffering some people experience shouldn't be understated. In fact, to say this sort of thing you said seems kind of callous. Maybe you live a charmed life and have a poor imagination. This world has shown people horrendous torture, and that experience feels like an eternity. Unforgivable act on god's part, I don't care what his excuse is.
    5. As Alea already said, wouldn't god pretty much already know whose faith would hold up and whose wouldn't? How could this really be a test? He already knows who will and will not fail. Plus, why would anyone fail, if they were given the choice and they knew the consequences? This is clearly an unfair game - god basically gives some players advantages and easier rules, while giving other players things like "awful childhoods" and "skepticism," which makes them incapable of even knowing for sure if it is a test they are going through.
    I don't have all of the answers. Good night.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    A test? More questions come:
    1. Why is that test so much harder for some than it is for others?
    2. Why do we need to be tested at all?
    3. What is so good and noble about blind faith?
    4. What exactly is a "little while"? The suffering some people experience shouldn't be understated. In fact, to say this sort of thing you said seems kind of callous. Maybe you live a charmed life and have a poor imagination. This world has shown people horrendous torture, and that experience feels like an eternity. Unforgivable act on god's part, I don't care what his excuse is.
    5. As Alea already said, wouldn't god pretty much already know whose faith would hold up and whose wouldn't? How could this really be a test? He already knows who will and will not fail. Plus, why would anyone fail, if they were given the choice and they knew the consequences? This is clearly an unfair game - god basically gives some players advantages and easier rules, while giving other players things like "awful childhoods" and "skepticism," which makes them incapable of even knowing for sure if it is a test they are going through.
    All this talk of still adoring and looking to God as a kind deity has a reminiscent stench of masochism about it.
    Last edited by Alea_iacta_est; 12-15-2013 at 01:40 AM. Reason: "hero" wasn't an appropriate word choice

  3. #23
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny-Love View Post
    I don't have all of the answers. Good night.
    Cop out. You should be able to explain why you believe in god and why it's ok to do so. You don't need to have all the answers to do this. You're basically saying, "yes, I see the appearance of tyranny and astounding injustice, but god knows better than me." The question is, why are you afraid to demand answers? You have the ability to reason. You don't just have to fatalistically say "I don't know" and passively watch this world be an awful shit hole. How can you be expected to believe without proof? Why should you have to suffer without a decent explanation for it, especially when it appears to be so unnecessary? I mean, can you explain why god wouldn't just create heaven and populate it with people to live a joyous existence? Don't you think you have the right to ask that sort of question? But you believe god went ahead and created us with the capacity for evil so some of us would wind up in hell forever. Nice god.

  4. #24
    WhoCares
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post

    I'm really not sure exactly how these sort of people go about their lives thinking they are living according to god's plan when it seems that they believe any act of apparent free will is to interfere. But that's beside the point I guess.

    Which is all to say, I guess it is kind of understandable that people would resist advances that will obviously make this deeply flawed world better, but we need to start letting go of that resistance. I think it will be easier as there is less to cope with still in the future. The less we suffer, the less we need god. Kind of makes sense, really, considering the zeal that used to exist in the world compared to the lukewarm nature of today's religious. Sure, plenty of people still claim to be religious in the 21st century, but how important to them is it really? I would argue that it is far less important than it used to be.
    People say its Gods plan when it doesn't affect them. Watch what happens when it does. It's easy to believe in a divine plan that involves suffering when you're watching it on the news drinking hot chocolate.
    Religions may have had their roots in some kind of faith and desire to live a good life, but those roots are now so deeply buried in the corruption of the churches that religion is now and has been for centuries a control mechanism by a powerful entity. Is natural for any stakeholder to then resist change that would ease its grip on the masses over which it holds say. The christian church, for instance has a long history of challenging even monarchies for power over the people. It became so rich off its power base that it hasn't really lost much temporal power even a century after its grip over society started to lose ground. These days it just doesn't care anymore, its owned businesses and real estate are enough to ensure its perpetuity for centuries to come.

    From that point of view, yes its a coping mechanism for the masses. For reality is so dark and there are so many powerful influencers over their life they need to not see it all the time and feel like a slave. Its just easier to pretend that one of these influencers is a benevolent shepherd helping you to navigate the murky waters of life. The alternative view is quite frightening - random shit could happen to you or a loved one at any time. You have no control over it, you probably don't deserve it and most people wont care about it either. Such thoughts are quite unsettling when you think about it.

  5. #25
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    I wonder if monotheistic religions with their elaborate and unambiguous stories were created by the first schizophrenics (most likely schizotypal for they can still be talked to) who claimed that they had seen the true path, the true deity, or the true enlightenment. Polytheistic religions seem to have arisen from a more sane perspective of naming deities that reign over certain things, such as Zeus and Thor's wrath/anger for lightning and thunder. However, pagan and polytheistic myths are just as assuming as their monotheistic counterparts. I would honestly prefer religions that were ambiguous and abstract rather than direct and concrete. For example, Christianity versus Judaism. Christianity is known for being an imposing religion, one that teaches its followers of the history of the world based on the perspective of a text that is deemed concrete, undoubtedly accurate, and paramount to society. Judaism on the other hand, actually encourages its followers to ask questions. For example, if a student of Judaism were to show his or her Rabbi a differing thesis on the plagues of Egypt, such as a volcanic eruption being the cause of the various plagues rather than God directly, the Rabbi would most likely agree with the student and conclude that perhaps (ambiguously) God caused the volcano to erupt to create the plagues of Egypt. Juxtaposing the Christian counterpart which is more inclined to debase external theorems rather than mold their framework to accept them (Not all Christians do this, but a majority do, and not all Jews conform to external information but a majority do).
    Wow, Alea, this is fascinating!
    RobertCalifornia: TL thinks im black
    RobertCalifornia: shes my homegurl
    Hive: arent you
    SpankyMcfly: wait... you arent?

    thoughtlost: I am not really religious. I just like getting free stuff from churches.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    I understand how people can believe obviously false things like Religion, especially when these falsehoods are so helpful/socially acceptable.

    Atheist or Devout, we all have our own myths. I have all sorts of odd beliefs about myself that I could debunk, if I hadn't unconsciously cultivated my memories to support them. It's okay, even important to have a personal mythology, but it also helps if you're aware of the limitations of such a system. I think MBTI is useful in the same way. It's a helpful framework for making sense of the world, but it's not a real thing.

    Religion just needs to learn its place, IMO.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I understand how people can believe obviously false things like Religion, especially when these falsehoods are so helpful/socially acceptable.

    Atheist or Devout, we all have our own myths. I have all sorts of odd beliefs about myself that I could debunk, if I hadn't unconsciously cultivated my memories to support them. It's okay, even important to have a personal mythology, but it also helps if you're aware of the limitations of such a system. I think MBTI is useful in the same way. It's a helpful framework for making sense of the world, but it's not a real thing.

    Religion just needs to learn its place, IMO.
    Personally, I have nothing against religion, but I have everything against organized religion. Believe what you want, not what others want you to believe.

    Great comment on MBTI as well.

  8. #28
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoCares View Post
    People say its Gods plan when it doesn't affect them. Watch what happens when it does. It's easy to believe in a divine plan that involves suffering when you're watching it on the news drinking hot chocolate.
    Religions may have had their roots in some kind of faith and desire to live a good life, but those roots are now so deeply buried in the corruption of the churches that religion is now and has been for centuries a control mechanism by a powerful entity. Is natural for any stakeholder to then resist change that would ease its grip on the masses over which it holds say. The christian church, for instance has a long history of challenging even monarchies for power over the people. It became so rich off its power base that it hasn't really lost much temporal power even a century after its grip over society started to lose ground. These days it just doesn't care anymore, its owned businesses and real estate are enough to ensure its perpetuity for centuries to come.

    From that point of view, yes its a coping mechanism for the masses. For reality is so dark and there are so many powerful influencers over their life they need to not see it all the time and feel like a slave. Its just easier to pretend that one of these influencers is a benevolent shepherd helping you to navigate the murky waters of life. The alternative view is quite frightening - random shit could happen to you or a loved one at any time. You have no control over it, you probably don't deserve it and most people wont care about it either. Such thoughts are quite unsettling when you think about it.
    I read somewhere (now I can't find it) that religion merely the obvious natural consequence of large groups, irrationality, and imagination. In any group there are going to be varying levels of leadership from person to person. They eventually wind up forming a hierarchy. Being irrational they tend to just spout nonsense from their imaginations, but as they are born leaders to varying degrees, it really doesn't matter, people follow anyway. We know well that communication isn't nearly all what is said but mostly how it is said. I could go out and make up a ridiculous story and people would believe me if I sounded extremely confident because I sound extremely confident, that is all (the only thing preventing me or most people from doing this freely is simply not having a psychopathic desire to). It seems pretty natural that this crap got institutionalized. What is remarkable is that I doubt that it happened by anyone's conscious design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Personally, I have nothing against religion, but I have everything against organized religion. Believe what you want, not what others want you to believe.
    I think organized religion is awful, but personal religion seems pretty bad to me too. It's quite the cliche if nothing else: "I'm like... spiritual but not religious..." lol. While this kind of person isn't overtly an automaton of the church, they are still an agent of irrationality. If anything it sounds to me like a way to sex up your beliefs a little. I think we all, atheist or not, get this feeling of longing for god. How could one not in this sort of world--a great being who thinks our tiny individual lives are important, loves us, and could prevent and give meaning to our suffering. People confuse wanting with believing, i.e., they believe whatever they want to believe. And that's also exactly what makes them so easy to manipulate. Just tell 'em what they want to hear and they'll be hooked.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I read somewhere (now I can't find it) that religion merely the obvious natural consequence of large groups, irrationality, and imagination. In any group there are going to be varying levels of leadership from person to person. They eventually wind up forming a hierarchy. Being irrational they tend to just spout nonsense from their imaginations, but as they are born leaders to varying degrees, it really doesn't matter, people follow anyway. We know well that communication isn't nearly all what is said but mostly how it is said. I could go out and make up a ridiculous story and people would believe me if I sounded extremely confident because I sound extremely confident, that is all (the only thing preventing me or most people from doing this freely is simply not having a psychopathic desire to). It seems pretty natural that this crap got institutionalized. What is remarkable is that I doubt that it happened by anyone's conscious design.



    I think organized religion is awful, but personal religion seems pretty bad to me too. It's quite the cliche if nothing else: "I'm like... spiritual but not religious..." lol. While this kind of person isn't overtly an automaton of the church, they are still an agent of irrationality. If anything it sounds to me like a way to sex up your beliefs a little. I think we all, atheist or not, get this feeling of longing for god. How could one not in this sort of world--a great being who thinks our tiny individual lives are important, loves us, and could prevent and give meaning to our suffering. People confuse wanting with believing, i.e., they believe whatever they want to believe. And that's also exactly what makes them so easy to manipulate. Just tell 'em what they want to hear and they'll be hooked.
    Let them suffer with their irrationality, what can they do but practice in private? Organized religion allows its irrationality to sink into society and the government, while personal religion, equally irrational, is much more private, unique, and much less manipulating.

  10. #30
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Let them suffer with their irrationality, what can they do but practice in private? Organized religion allows its irrationality to sink into society and the government, while personal religion, equally irrational, is much more private, unique, and much less manipulating.
    If they suffer, in a sense, we all suffer. I know 'cause I've been there. I never subscribed to any organized religion, but I definitely went around squawking about my beliefs--beliefs which ultimately left me a very miserable person and wasted a vast portion of my life. Hopefully nobody listened to me lol. No man is an island! But I do agree the effect is much less when the religion isn't organized. Bottom line is that I do have a problem with unorganized religion, in the same sense that I have a problem with 1 person lying.. or unorganized lying.

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