Lets say you were a parent attempting to select the perfect religion to indoctrinate your child with. By the criteria that the "power" of religion comes from what emotional effects it causes in you, why wouldn't you pick my made up religion over an established one? I see your point as an individual, it being hard to follow, but I think I'm really stretching the argument thin here.
I can't answer that, as I'm sure most people would consider my religion to be "made up."
I will say this, however. The problem with your "religion" (your made up one) is that it promotes megalomania and thus anti-social behavior. As a parent myself, I don't want either of those for my daughter.
My overall point is simply that belief in something that generates an emotion isn't a fair example of practical use, because it's just placebo. Belief in science and execution of that belief creates real results which do not require placebo. You can truly impact the world around you positively using science; using religion you can only make the picture more fuzzy to see things a bit differently.
We'll have to agree to disagree. We value different things, and that's pretty typical for women versus men. I value less having a car, and have one only because it's required for the lifestyle I'm required to live; than I value being emotionally stable and feeling joy and peace. Again, as I stated earlier, if it were up to me and not my husband, I'd live a FAR simpler life than I do, without many of the trappings of science that enslave humanity (IMO).
With freedom to live as I wished, I would even give up teh intrawebs, which I happen to really, really enjoy. However, its function in my life is to help maintain the status quo.
Electricity is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My car is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My fridge is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. I could go on, but I think it's clear that you and I value different things.
I'd prefer a far simpler life, but... I can be happy where-ever I am, doing whatever I'm doing. So I suppose it could be said that I value "the placebo effect" over electricity. Which I do.
And if you don't think this is a fair point of superiority of science over religion, imagine a religion came out where belief in it could physically change the world, but it required a certain degree of hopelessness to it. i.e. magic at the risk of accepting that there is no god or afterlife. Do you truly think that people would cling to their old religions instead of embracing magic? I think it's clear most people would jettison their old ideologies in favor of this one one without emotional benefit, but with real power.
Hmm, I would say that you'd be VERY surprised how many people wouldn't. Because again, it has to do with it being something you could REALLY believe. I could never REALLY believe there is no underlying intelligent force in the universe.
I'm saying it's generalizing to use your personal example to claim all Christians are psychologically damaged, or even that the religion as a whole leaves people that way.
Actually, that's not what I'm using to base that upon. I'm basing it upon the Bible's teachings. I'm basing it upon the Holy Book that is used to teach Christianity.
I accept that some people can, and do, ignore a good portion of the book, thus managing not to be damaged by its teachings. However, that doesn't change the fact that the teachings/ Holy Book itself
is damaging if genuinely followed.
Yes, one can turn it into something that isn't... it.
I'm not offended, it seems in the middle of our discussion I've made it seem as if I was personally attacking you in a few places, that wasn't at all my intent, and I'm really sorry if it came off that way. I enjoy a good debate, and I'm really liking this, thanks for discussing this with me.
Not to worry. I understand that you feel I've singled out Christianity, but really, i haven't so much as am just using it as one example among several that I'm personally aware of.
That's more of a macro-benefit than a personal one, but I do see your point; again though I'd argue it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, which in no way speaks towards its validity.
I don't see the "self-fulfilling prophecy" part of it at all. The point of using a religion to control populaces through enforced morality is little to nothing to do with prophecies, so far as I can tell.
It's just that, if you take a certain medicine and it generates a result, that doesn't mean the medicine has any real power to it. The power of believing is that it can often create a result in the human mind, the placebo effect. My point is that, because science can generate a result which is not constrained to the realm of the human mind, it deserves to be considered more valid, more solid, more truthful; because even a false ideology can produce the emotional benefits you've brought up.
It doesn't matter if it's false or not. We're not discussing a given religion (although we have been), we're discussing religion itself. You claim it has no value, because it's just a placebo effect.
I disagree, and state that its value may well BE exactly that. Where one finds that effect, as long as it's not harmful to one's self or others, isn't as important as the end result. Looking at it from both a micro and a macro view, this is true.
People's quality of life and quality of social interaction are both better when they are happy and at peace. Therefor, the value is IN the end effect, not in the specific religion or tenet that GIVES the effect.
The problem with certain religions, and why I "single them out" is that they have additional side effects that tend to cancel out the placebo effect. This is what renders them not quite so valuable, and can even cause them to be a problem rather than a benefit. Yes, anything can be made INTO a problem (look at the way we've become enslaved to technology). But some things are inherently a problem, though they can, with work, be made useful in limited situations/applications.
I agree with you there; some religions are easier to warp than others. I don't think Christianity is the worst of the spectrum, however. I just think that it has been in the most powerful position to do bad things because of its prominence in Western Civilization.
I don't think it's the worst of the spectrum, either. However, it is a well-known religion that affects a huge many people. It's the one best known to the most people, and thus easiest to have an ongoing discussion over. As well as being one with which I am more than intimately familiar, and thus am able to speak on with rather more than a fair degree of knowledge.