You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 02, 2016, 10:44:18 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Why is religion taken literally?  (Read 6215 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2008, 09:49:16 PM »
I don't believe religion makes people weak. I can perfectly define life more myself. I just choose to believe God has a hand in it. Instead of some seemingly random amount of coincidence. I'm perfectly capable of renouncing God right here on the spot, but I won't. So saying religion is a weakness is very limited approach. There are people who use it to that effect like you said, but the same could be said for atheists.

An atheist believes there is no God, or gods, etc. So it could be said that he prefers logic; it could also be said that he just doesn't want to deal with something beyond his scope of thought so he chooses to renounce it. I consider that weakness. He prefers the safety of the definable not leaving himself open to bigger things.

So saying religion (or anything I suppose.) is taken up because of weakness alone is again the limited view. I'm not meaning to offend anyone on this I'm just trying to look at the whole picture.

On another note. The love God fear God thing. I love my parents but I also fear them (in disappointing them among other things.) So maybe the context of fearing God, is disappointing him? Because that's what I fear in God. I fear being punished by him just as I would have my parents doing the same. Again another way of looking at things.   

Food for thought here: Some people draw strength from religion so it gives meaning and structure to their lives, but I tend to wonder instead of a true religious experience, can a church or temple give you a placebo effect, a sense of false security. Some Christians I've met made me highly suspicious of this. They think they’ve had some life-altering spiritual revelation or experience and act accordingly.

Or perhaps it's the Oz Effect; religion or anything else isn't giving anything you didn't have already.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2008, 05:42:08 AM »
Why is it false security?  They believe that for whatever reason they have found some peace in the afterlife.

Offline Moondazed

  • Hmm... plot or pleasure? Perhaps a bit of both...
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Location: Virginia, US
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a switch, name your pleasure...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2008, 06:27:44 AM »
Actually, any kind of security is false to one degree or another.  In this case, it can't be definitively proven either way, which makes it a false security.  Devout religious people have bad things befall them just like heathens do, which makes that security false as well.  The thing is, if you can let go of the illusion of security and think beyond immediate gratification, there's no denying that things generally improve.  I understand the allure of organized religion, having experienced isolation on 9/11 when I wanted to do something, anything, and feel like I was part of something, but the path I follow doesn't include formal churches and the community is small and not nearby.  We went to the church where a friend's husband was the minister and it only served to make me feel less a member of something because they spoke a lot about following God's word and the risks of doing otherwise and I just don't believe that to be meaningful.  It was a strange, almost surreal, experience that led me to believe even more strongly that human beings really are herd animals who need that sense of security and can suspend reason in order to experience it.

NOTE: I am not saying that every person who follows a religion suspends reason all the time, just that I saw a solid example of doing so that night.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2008, 06:36:51 AM »
If a person holds a crucifix in front of them in the belief that a bullet will be stopped in its tracks, then that is false security.  If a person throws holy water at an attacker in the belief they will be burned, false security again.  Believing that through community prayer and following a code of ethics that they will find a place in Heaven, that is unknown.  I suppose logically you can say they are putting invisible pennies in an invisible piggy bank, but that is their own choice.  We have no more evidence to support or deny that existence than any other.

Also, and with no offense intended, just because you went to a church gathering and didn't believe doesn't make all the others there lacking in reason.  I didn't see any suspension of reason there.  They didn't go jumping off cliffs did they?  You simply didn't find their words, practices or faith comforting.  That is not something you can than look at them and say..you are herd animals and without reason because you like this and I don't.

Offline Moondazed

  • Hmm... plot or pleasure? Perhaps a bit of both...
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Location: Virginia, US
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a switch, name your pleasure...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2008, 06:54:00 AM »
Please don't make the mistake of thinking that's what I was saying, because it's not.  The suspension of reason, in my opinion, happened when they spoke of the cause of the disaster being the hoards of sinners in the world.  Forgive me for not clarifying.  Also, my point about false security is that I don't understand why people can't behave in a caring manner toward each other for reasons that don't involve them receiving some unproven reward at the end of their life.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2008, 07:08:57 AM »
Why is it false security?  They believe that for whatever reason they have found some peace in the afterlife.

Exactly. Belief in something that may or may not be true could be a placebo effect, the bottom line is you don't know you found some peace in the afterlife. I can't knock others for their choice, but at least for me, this will never be enough. I'm perfectly willing to admit we really won't know until we know, and that is a truth.

Offline mannikTopic starter

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2008, 07:19:51 AM »
Exactly. Belief in something that may or may not be true could be a placebo effect, the bottom line is you don't know you found some peace in the afterlife. I can't knock others for their choice, but at least for me, this will never be enough. I'm perfectly willing to admit we really won't know until we know, and that is a truth.

That's kinda been my whole point. No body KNOWS any of the answers religion trys to provide for sure, which is why I ask the question in the topic.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2008, 07:33:10 AM »
That's kinda been my whole point. No body KNOWS any of the answers religion trys to provide for sure, which is why I ask the question in the topic.

Well back to your original point, fortunately not everyone does take the bible literally. If you go through the various books, it's metaphor, mythology, literature and truisms, and historical accounts. Multiple authors, each with their own agenda. The people that take it all word for word are grasping for...something. It doesn't take much reason at all to figure out they're on the wrong track, I think the trick is pulling out what is important, both in a general sense and in a cultural sense, but of course this has lead to many different denominations over the years quoting and defining it in their own way. If there is a single truth in the bible, it's probably that nobody is really going to get it right.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2008, 10:24:45 AM »
Its taken literally because well..it can be I suppose.  There are people that taken various works of literature quite literally.  Need I go find all the books written about the Matrix when it came out.  At Loyola University there was a whole course dedicated to deciphering the Matrix and its philosophical implications, as if St Augustine himself had written the movie.  I've run across people that take the work of John Norman (I'm sure there are some Goreans here) very serious.  Some people attach themselves to the principles of the Jedi and some to Star Trek.  We have doomsday cults following ancient Miyan traditions and such. 

I understand that none of these people, well let's say the vast majority, don't actually believe in these things.  Yet its an example of how people do find something that "touches" them and run with that notion.  The Bible has enough historical truth to it that people can argue its absolute truth.  Much like confusing historical fiction for historical documents.  I run across only a few true believers of the Bible as historical fact though, so I suppose that strain of doctrine is dying out.  Even at my Catholic Highschool they taught that the Bible was not real, but was a philosophical book of teachings.

P.S. - Sorry Moondazed, didn't read that as closely as I should have.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 10:29:54 AM by Asku »

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #59 on: November 21, 2008, 07:21:52 PM »
Just because it can be interpreted literally doesn't mean it should be, and I believe history is on my side with that statement. I believe rational Christian denominations will see the bible for the collection of metaphor, mythology, literature and truisms, and historical accounts it actually is, and act accordingly. But of course not everyone has this capacity. It may be my view only, but I believe the four gospels have the highest chance of historical veracity...by the time you get back to Exodus you're talking loose history with extreme writer's embellishment, and of course Genesis is complete mythology (who was parked on a rock in Eden writing it all down anyway?).



As far as the Matrix goes, there were intentional and fully deliberate statements in that trilogy. The creators made statements on philosophy and theology as least as profound as the political statements Lucas made with his new Star Wars trilogy, particularly Episode III.


Off topic slightly but now that you mentioned it, I think the prophecy turning out to be B.S. was the plot tool I loved best in the Matrix.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2008, 07:58:29 PM »
Should be is a far cry from why.

Also, I was not referring to agreeing with political messages or even a brief touch of philosophy.  People follow many of the writings of Star Wars, Star Trek and Gor (just to name a few) with near religious belief.  The writings have touched something in them that they find attractive and so these are followed.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2008, 08:08:27 PM »


Well having read all of the above...the Bible, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gor all have something profound or fundamental in them, so it's understandable.


...


Well...some people that read the series might disagree on Gor, but let's just say if Gor were real, I'd enjoy my vacations there.  :)

Offline Moondazed

  • Hmm... plot or pleasure? Perhaps a bit of both...
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Location: Virginia, US
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a switch, name your pleasure...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #62 on: November 21, 2008, 08:36:25 PM »
 ::)

 :P

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #63 on: November 21, 2008, 08:49:58 PM »
::)

 :P

Oh go away...we all know we enjoyed at least one Gor novel...or three. :P

Offline Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #64 on: November 21, 2008, 10:30:36 PM »
Oh go away...we all know we enjoyed at least one Gor novel...or three. :P
Overlord are you talking about yourself in the collective we?! (Never read a Gor novel)

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #65 on: November 21, 2008, 10:35:46 PM »
Overlord are you talking about yourself in the collective we?! (Never read a Gor novel)

OK OK, then not 'we everyone', just 'we some of us'. Read several myself...haven't yet met a Gor novel I really disliked.

Online Doomsday

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2008, 01:11:50 AM »
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

-Epicurus

My, I've gotten a lot of replies on this. I'm not going to retort against anyone replying to me, I just want to break down the quote and explain what I believe.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent."

Well, this one is obvious. If god wants to get rid of evil but he can't, then he is not omnipotent, because God can supposedly do anything, be anywhere at once, etc.

"Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent."

Again, obvious. If he can prevent evil, but won't, then he's apathetic or malevolent, and not really deserving of our adoration.

"Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?"

If god is all-mighty and willing to do away with evil, then why does evil exist?

"Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

The clincher of the quote; If he does not want to prevent evil and indeed, cannot, then he is no God by human terms.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2008, 01:41:05 AM »
It's kind of obvious what that train of thought means.  Yet it's the same angtsy logic that most teenagers use when rebelling against their parents in highschool.

Online Doomsday

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2008, 01:55:36 AM »
It's kind of obvious what that train of thought means.  Yet it's the same angtsy logic that most teenagers use when rebelling against their parents in highschool.

For a person who barely fits 1/3 of that description, I think it's enlightening.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #69 on: November 22, 2008, 01:57:15 AM »
Then I'd suggest looking further.  The quote goes about as far as simply saying that I believe there is evil so I believe there is no God.

Online Doomsday

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #70 on: November 22, 2008, 02:00:15 AM »
Then I'd suggest looking further.  The quote goes about as far as simply saying that I believe there is evil so I believe there is no God.

Belief is subjective, so I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. My belief is that Epicurus's quote is bulletproof :)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #71 on: November 22, 2008, 02:01:16 AM »
So you are going to argue against faith with faith?

Offline Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #72 on: November 22, 2008, 02:04:17 AM »
I'm feeling waves of "The Bible is the Word of God because he says he is, and he is God because the Bible says so." Pretty circular, leading nowhere. Like saying that quote is bulletproof because you choose to ignore the bullets fired. I'm not commenting on the quote itself, just your odd defense of it.

Online Doomsday

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #73 on: November 22, 2008, 02:06:30 AM »
So you are going to argue against faith with faith?

I'm laying my faith in something more concrete than the concept of God. Epicurus was flesh and blood.

I'm feeling waves of "The Bible is the Word of God because he says he is, and he is God because the Bible says so." Pretty circular, leading nowhere. Like saying that quote is bulletproof because you choose to ignore the bullets fired. I'm not commenting on the quote itself, just your odd defense of it.

Let's just say I'm tired and trying as hard as hell not to start an argument. As a programmer, the quote seems fairly logical, but I guess I lack a philosophical touch.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #74 on: November 22, 2008, 02:08:57 AM »
So were many of the writers of the Bible that so many people put their faith in and use as the focus for their worship.  Jesus was a flesh and blood person as were his followers. 

Just because something sounds logical on the surface doesn't make the statement true.  I can point to the Bell Curve book as evidence of that.  Hell that book even has evidence.