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Author Topic: Religion is a control mechanism?  (Read 8932 times)

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Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2010, 07:20:46 PM »
Lilias did, Brandon.

Any movement with a large number of supporters uses control tactics. It's its nature, to avoid disintegrating. Administration, I believe it's called.

Now, whether religion - any religion - does more harm or good, that's largely to be decided on a case by case basis. There are people who will twist the best principles into excuses for evil, and people who will wring out the good kernel from the worst situation.

And I agree. There are good and bad contributions with any religion or organization. I don't blame christianity for the evils of the world.

Christianity just takes the "anti-religion" heat because its one of the biggest in the world.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2010, 07:24:25 PM »
because it isnt recent. Christiantiy and specifically we Catholics have evolved beyond violence. The inquisition and the crusades were black marks upon our faith, theres no doubt about that, but havnt we proved in the last hundred years or so that we've evolved beyond violence? If not then what do we have to do to fully atone for those terrible acts? Answer me that!

Acctually those were the questions I was reffering to. I dont feel that those answers and the questions above correlate, or at least dont see them correlating at first glance

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2010, 07:38:08 PM »
I am still waiting for the answers to my earlier questions. No one seems to want to touch them and I believe its because a lot of the people here feel that no matter how much better the catholic church makes the world, the black marks on our faith can not be atoned for. I dont think I can express in the english language how much that idea bothers me but even if it is true in some people then I have to accept that its an opinion.

Even more bothering to me, it seems that Silk, xenophile, and possibly Veksied (although that would surprise me) absolutely refuse to accept that Christianity and more specifically the catholic church has done any good for anyone. Am I wrong about that?

As I've already said, there are black marks and good contributions with any faith, or organization which was already said.

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2010, 08:59:09 PM »
Religion doesn't go on mass murdering sprees.  People go on mass murdering sprees....

As much as I dislike the Christian faith, I will not say that it itself is evil in nature.  Many of the things people are mentioning in this thread were done by individual people.  They just claimed it to be God's will so that the faithful would follow them without question.  They were using God's name to fulfill their own personal agendas.  While I think those that followed the words of a few men blindly were idiots, they had good intentions.  They believed they were doing what was right.

There are other threads elsewhere about the people today who use the Bible to condemn gay people among other things.  Those are ignorant and hateful people who are hiding behind scripture to make themselves feel justified and righteous.  Of course some of them are just extremist nuts who think the Bible is law. 

So really, it's all about the individual.  The Methodist church I used to go to sends teddy bears to children in areas where there are natural disasters.  I remember back when all this war crap started they collected items to send care packages to soldiers.  There is a local Christian food pantry.  Last summer some ladies from a local church sat in the Wal Mart parking lot selling raffle tickets for some charity.  I can't remember what the charity was, but I remember buying the tickets.  Ladies from a Baptist church raised money for a battered women's shelter. 

So yes, while great evil has been done in the name of God, there are also people who choose to go out in the world and do good.  Blame the people, not God. 

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2010, 09:13:35 PM »
Matthew 6:1-2

"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward."

The true Christian does not do good deeds to get notice.  The true Christian does good deeds simply because they are good - and therefore, they are noticed only by those they affect directly, or with one or two degrees of separation. 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2010, 09:26:16 PM »
I suppose in that case Im not a very good Christian, as when I do something to help someone else, I do it because its the right thing to do and while I dont expect thanks I do expect recognition. Think about it this way, if I pull a someone out of a burning building I dont expect thanks because it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I expect that people wont deny I did it either. From my point of view, the millions of lives that have been improved by Christians all over the world should not be denied, and I see that happening in these threads constantly, and by the same people.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2010, 09:50:08 PM »
because it isnt recent. Christiantiy and specifically we Catholics have evolved beyond violence. The inquisition and the crusades were black marks upon our faith, theres no doubt about that, but havnt we proved in the last hundred years or so that we've evolved beyond violence? If not then what do we have to do to fully atone for those terrible acts? Answer me that!

Is recent really the important factor?  If so, I don't really see how your argument holds water.  Because it seems to me that no matter where in time you look, there's some reason to dislike the Catholic church.  The Inquisition and the Crusades may have happened a long, long time ago, I'll give you that, along with the forceful stymieing of scientific progress (which I consider equally atrocious).

But even so, what about their handling of Nazi Germany?  I don't mean to invoke Godwin here-- I'm not comparing Catholics to Nazis.  I'm saying that there have been plenty of valid, recent reasons to point the finger at them.  I hate to bring up the pedophilia, but really, it's valid.

So what about the good things they do?  Fine.  At best, the Catholic Church is a deeply troubled, morally ambiguous organization.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2010, 10:00:48 PM »
Great job trying to spin it so the Catholic church comes out as the ultimate evil religion Will. This time try reading the questions and acctually answering them.

Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2010, 10:03:28 PM »
I suppose in that case Im not a very good Christian, as when I do something to help someone else, I do it because its the right thing to do and while I dont expect thanks I do expect recognition. Think about it this way, if I pull a someone out of a burning building I dont expect thanks because it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I expect that people wont deny I did it either. From my point of view, the millions of lives that have been improved by Christians all over the world should not be denied, and I see that happening in these threads constantly, and by the same people.

Actually, the thing is that the people you've helped will recognize that you've helped them.  It's just that 'Man's recognition' (using 'Man' to mean mankind here) is supposed to be less important than 'God's recognition'. If you rescue a kitten from a tree, the little old grandma that you helped says to herself 'More people should be like him.'  If you rescue a kitten from a tree and start blowing a horn saying 'Look at me!  I just saved this kitten!', then the little old grandma thinks you're a bit of a nut.  If you refuse to rescue the kitten and say that 'Cats are the familiars of witches, and deserve to be stuck in trees!', then the little old grandma and the whole neighborhood thinks you're a bad person.

It's not that the good deeds are denied - it's just that they are done quietly, without thought of that overwhelming recognition.  At the same time, 'the evil men do lives after them.'  Who do you talk about - the cashier that bags your groceries and makes sure that the bread and eggs don't get squashed, or the one that takes forever to count your change and is still several dollars off?

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2010, 10:06:10 PM »
Great job trying to spin it so the Catholic church comes out as the ultimate evil religion Will. This time try reading the questions and acctually answering them.

O.o

How does that not constitute an answer?  As far as I can tell, your questions have been answered more than once.  And as far as what can be done to atone?  I dunno.  Not having issues like the ones I mentioned keep cropping up every so often would be a start.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:07:17 PM by Will »

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2010, 10:19:30 PM »
Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

That's interesting. Do you believe that the Church is trying to redeem themselves? If that were the case, then they would have to admit wrongdoing. I don't keep up with Vatican public policy, and I might be mistaken, but the last major error admitted (not counting the current sexual abuse allegations), was their treatment of Galileo.

I do want to say that some of the good the Catholic church does, is maintain a holy standard for devout and good people, that try to do their best to love their neighbor every day. I'm not going to denounce or ignore wrongdoings, but for balance we need to remember the good. The Church is not a solely evil organization. I am not Catholic or Christian, but I know some priests that are some of the most beautiful people i've ever known. These men have sacrificed their lives, through their faith, to give themselves, through love, to others.

We can drum up all sorts of horrors through history and in the current age about the church, but it is not a solely evil organization. It's just an organization in an imperfect world.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2010, 10:49:08 PM »
O.o

How does that not constitute an answer?  As far as I can tell, your questions have been answered more than once.  And as far as what can be done to atone?  I dunno.  Not having issues like the ones I mentioned keep cropping up every so often would be a start.

I asked specifically about violence and major loss of life, you avoided that completely and instead focused on morale and ethical actions that do not fall within those purviews, furthermore ones that (as far as i know) can not be proven. You even went on and questioned whether recent actions were really important to further pull away from having to answer. That is called avoiding the question.

I will accept I dont know as an answer, thats at least an honest one but I will not accept a non-answer from people that wont accept what they themselves define as non-answers

Kurzyk: Yes I do, and I also recall a past Pope saying something along the lines of "They wish they could go back in history and make sure the crusades and inquisition never happened". I can understand where Oniya was coming from with "people always remember the bad stuff and not the good stuff" but doesnt time pass to a point where the bad stuff no longer matters? How do the crusades and the inquisition matter today beyond a lesson of how not to do things or a lesson that power (not religion, power) can be used to do terrible things? In fact doesnt world war 2 serve that same lesson? Let me be clear about 1 thing though, Im not saying forget the past, Im saying there comes a point when it doesnt matter anymore

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2010, 11:05:20 PM »
Just because something isn't violence or major loss of life doesn't mean it's not immoral and wrong.  You're splitting hairs.  I gave you a valid answer, and you tightened the range of your question in order to dismiss it.

...And not provable?  How so?

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2010, 11:15:43 PM »
Just because something isn't violence or major loss of life doesn't mean it's not immoral and wrong.  You're splitting hairs.  I gave you a valid answer, and you tightened the range of your question in order to dismiss it.

...And not provable?  How so?

Ill agree with that, evil can be done without violence or loss of life. I consider the Willful dismissment of facts like not telling the full story about the good and bad that the Catholic church is responsible for could be such a thing  :D

In fact I did not tighten the range after you avoided the question. Go look at the first page, I think my post was 3rd or 4th. Its exactly the same as it has been. It asked specifically about violence from the start and you avoided the question till I called you out on it

I am a big enough man to admit when Im wrong so if you have evidence that can prove guilt or innocence put it up

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2010, 11:27:06 PM »
No, I didn't ignore your question.  I simply thought the issues I mentioned were material to your point.  Let me rephrase myself; your question was too narrow to begin with.

And let's see.  I mentioned the Church's conspicuous inaction during the Nazi regime?  That's proven.  Pedophilia is proven, and more importantly, the Church's faulty handling of it as well.

...I feel kind of silly linking this stuff.  It's all pretty much common knowledge, right?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:38:17 PM by Will »

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2010, 11:46:24 PM »
No, I didn't ignore your question.  I simply thought the issues I mentioned were material to your point.  Let me rephrase myself; your question was too narrow to begin with.

And let's see.  I mentioned the Church's conspicuous inaction during the Nazi regime?  That's proven.  Pedophilia is proven, and more importantly, the Church's faulty handling of it as well.

Oh here we go, going from avoiding to dismissal. Just like everyone else around here

Let me make sure I put this in context, the coversation began with me pointing out that the OP and the one discussion with him were both making Christianity out to be the ultimate evil power. I also made a comparison between how extremists fight in recent memory. Muslim extremists are blowing up planes and beheading people while christian extremists tend to fight with words and ideas. Yet Christianity is still seen as the ultimate evil around here

The point was countered with the violence and loss of life of the inquisition (not a recent event mind you). This is where my questions came into play. They were not to narrow, they were right on for what we were discussing. On that note Majere has still not answered them I dont care if others do or dont (although I am curious about the results) but they were posed to him

So you dont have any proof for the churches actions during the Nazi regime, gotcha. Doing nothing is not a crime. Im on record that all pedofile priests should be prosecuted to the full extend of the law and those that were not convicted or settled outside of court are innocent. Im also on record that of those cases that were settled out of court, I believe that the church should go back and charge them with extortion. Im also on record of saying that if the Pope had anything to do with pedofile priests escaping justice he should be tried to the full extent of the law. What does any of that have to do with violence and major loss of life done by the catholic church in recent memory?

Online Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2010, 03:02:33 AM »
Well I'm pretty sure a good number of people in africa are dieing because the catholic church told them condoms would increase HIV. Then there is the uganda (I think it was) That is actively outlawing homosexualty which the catholic church is condoning. Just because stuff isnt happening in the UK/US/Europe Doesnt mean its not happening. Then there is the systamical brainwashing of small children with emotional blackmail and other such torments. Then the hundreds to thousands of people who are dieing because of their religious beliefs to not accept medical treatment. Just because its not in the newspaper doesn't mean its not happening.

Religious people do good? People do good regardless why does it need the religion attached to it? Why is there no atheist oganisations going to charities, could it because there are charities that are not affiliated with religion where the Atheists can go to help so having their own charities is unessersary?

Again, all I've seen from the christian side thus far is people trying to matyr themselves as the big evil as the world, everyone is picking on them, and once again I tell you to get off your high horse because the muslims are having a hell of a harder time than you at the moment!

Then lets have a look at catholics vaunted morality

Response              Number      %
----------------------------  --------
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Muslim                  5435    7.273%
American Indian         2408    3.222%
Nation                  1734    2.320%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Moorish                 1066    1.426%
Buddhist                 882    1.180%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%
Scientology              190    0.254%
Atheist                  156    0.209%
Hindu                    119    0.159%
Santeria                 117    0.157%
Sikh                      14    0.019%
Bahai                      9    0.012%
Krishna                    7    0.009%


Take a geuss on what that is, what no geusses? Hmm Pershaps I should enlighten you, Its the number of religious or non religious affiliations currently in prison in the US. Atheists, a good 10% of the population, and only 0.2% of the prison population? Here is a explaination. Religion gives people a sense of right and self importance, and two moral codes, the one everyone follows, and the one that actively contradicts it, their religous one. More often than not I try to keep a narrow veiw in these debates and keep to the scripture that the entire religion relies on. Which in the bibles case is a absolutely horrid abomination of a book that has no place in civilised society. That is full of contradictions, and needs outside sources to rescue it from scrutiny. Not really what you would expect from the word of god is it?

Online Lilias

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2010, 03:18:55 AM »
Care to cite your source? Because that list is not skewed at all towards the percentages of each religion in the general, law-abiding population. No, not at all ::)

Plus, since when is 'Moorish' a religion? ??? Not to mention the staggering display of ignorance that 'American Indian' displays.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2010, 06:39:36 AM »
Denise Golumbaski, who was a Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The data was compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997.  This is who gathered the data and when that data was gathered.  Please note that the question asked to the prisoners was their religious affiliation.  This does not include their activity in the religion, strength of their belief or the time when they became believers in that faith.  Notice I do not say practitioners because once more the study does not address that aspect.  Aside from assisting the prison in allocating funds to religious worship, the study has no other use.

Of course that doesnít stop people from trying to make it do what it cannot. 

Online Lilias

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2010, 08:00:01 AM »
I was wondering if that survey took for granted that whatever affiliation was prior to sentence or accounted for the common phenomenon of finding religion in prison. Your info covered that, Pumpkin; thanks a lot.

Online Oniya

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2010, 08:37:46 AM »
(tl;dr version:  Agreeing with Pumpkin, math ensues.)

That study does nothing to normalize based on population values.  If 40% of the 'free' population is Catholic, then having around 40% of the 'prison' population identifying as Catholic means bupkis.

Now, if the numbers were 80% free, 40% prison; or 40% free, 80% prison, then that would be something that a statistician could muck about with - and still possibly come up with the wrong reason that the numbers are skewed.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
Even more bothering to me, it seems that Silk, xenophile, and possibly Veksied (although that would surprise me) absolutely refuse to accept that Christianity and more specifically the catholic church has done any good for anyone. Am I wrong about that?

Of course you are wrong about that. And you know you are. Language like that does not sway moral arguments, it frustrates people and cements their opinion. I know that when frustrated we all slip into it from time to time, but it really is best avoided.

Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

In the games of power balance is not found by setting x amount of good against y amount of evil and declaring whichever amount is greater the final result. No matter what religion may claim to be in possession of the final, perfected, unalterable truth, perfection is a process and not a destination. Good organizations will self-analyze and root out not only corruption itself, but those processes that allow corruption to foment. Where that is clearly not occurring, we call that 'bad' even though the organization in question may have done a great deal of good.

If you truly want to see those organizations you support thrive, you will support healthy processes within them, and discourage bad ones. This goes for your country, your religious order, your political party, your state, your military unit, your business, and those forums you invest your time in - every organization you are a part of. Every single one of these organizations is made up of human beings, and every single human being has their flaws - from worker to leader.

Some flaws may be intractable. Others may simply not have priority. Inundating a leadership with complaints can be just as bad as misinterpreting a virtue for a flaw. These sorts of things are why we value transparency and discourse.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2010, 02:41:26 PM »
Brandon, you're really demanding proof of the Catholic Church's inaction during the Holocaust?  They outright apologized for it.  Isn't that proof enough? And no, before you ask, apologies don't ever make anything better.

And why would they have apologized if there was nothing wrong in their inaction?  They aren't exactly the type of organization that just hands out apologies for no reason.

I understood your point just fine, I promise.  My point is that you can't say that "We're all better now, get off our backs" when bad things keep happening.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2010, 05:44:25 PM »
A bit late to add to the topic now, but to quickly address the "religion as opiate" question. Few people realise how pro-religion Marx actually was. The full context of the quotation:

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of manóstate, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

In short, religion is the only thing that made life worth living.

Online Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2010, 05:55:26 PM »
What makes life worth living is down to the individual, some people need the safety net of religion. Taking myself however, I find fulfillment being a learning support to give people oppotunities they would not of otherwise had if I wasnt there to help. I have close friends who I love, and pets that I adore. Its a humble life but what I do makes the world of difference to others. I don't need a religious edict to give me morals or to make me want to do good things, I do good thinks because I want too.