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Thu Dec 25, 2014, 07:01 AM

 

The Opiate of The Masses

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Rhiannon12866 (a host of the General Discussion forum).

Even if you believe in the Christ story, you know full well that "Jesus" was "born" in October or, more likely, early March.

But, ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're a Jew, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Scientologist, Pagan, or Gun-Worshipper. All are human constructs, designed to distract us from importance, or, when that occasionally fails, whip us back into sheephood.

Enjoy your day!

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Opiate of The Masses (Original post)
Ryan Fitzomething Dec 2014 OP
TexasProgresive Dec 2014 #1
Downwinder Dec 2014 #2
Katashi_itto Dec 2014 #3
Cerridwen Dec 2014 #4
socialist_n_TN Dec 2014 #6
Cerridwen Dec 2014 #15
Sweeney Dec 2014 #5
MisterP Dec 2014 #8
Sweeney Dec 2014 #11
Sweeney Dec 2014 #16
kelliekat44 Dec 2014 #7
Sweeney Dec 2014 #12
chrisa Dec 2014 #9
bhikkhu Dec 2014 #10
seveneyes Dec 2014 #13
KittyWampus Dec 2014 #19
seveneyes Dec 2014 #22
kwassa Dec 2014 #14
ErikJ Dec 2014 #17
KittyWampus Dec 2014 #18
eridani Dec 2014 #20
H2O Man Dec 2014 #21
Rhiannon12866 Dec 2014 #23

Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 07:10 AM

1. Who cares the birth date of Jesus

Of course it is lost and so a day was picked when people were prone to celebrate - not a big deal.
I remember someone of note gifted a young friend born in late December his birth day since people born near Christmas tend to have their special day overshadowed.

No doubt you have your own opiate I am content with mine.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 07:39 AM

2. And a happy Midwinter Festival to you and yours.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 07:54 AM

3. Praise Satan!

 

?v=1399080962

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 07:59 AM

4. "...opium of the people." And the context. (edited to expand quote in subject line)

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. 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 man – state, 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 encyclopaedic 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.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself. <italics in source; bold added>


Far more context at link to source.

"...the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering...the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions."


Written December 1843-January 1844.




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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 10:57 AM

6. Pish! What's context when there's a propaganda war to be won against......

"Godless Communism"? The "war on religion" that the capitalists have claimed the Reds have waged forever has ALWAYS been much more of a war on religious PRIVILIGE than an actual war on religion. Although Stalin did eventually do quite a few things to spur on this "persecuted" mindset. But the original Bolsheviks mostly ignored religion except as it impacted state power relations.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 04:16 PM

15. Just doing my little part from the underground to subvert the dominant propaganda. n/t



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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 10:24 AM

5. All constructs are forms, but not all forms are constructs

I don't mean to ruin your fun by being careful. Feel free to run with scissors. But like Voltaire said, and here I paraphrase: If you would discuss with me, define your terms.

If people build a form like government, for example, whether or not there are psychological or instinctual drives behind it, that form may fairly be called a construct.

What religion is based upon as a form are feelings every child has, and carries into adulthood. Same with morality generally, that it is not a construct because it grows in that period of life when children are pre-rational.

Now; if you were to say that Law is a social construct that is built upon natural moral forms and relationships; then I could agree. Same with organized religions and dogma. All children, like many neurotics are given to magical thinking. For example: That if you follow a certain course of behavior, a certain result will occur. Or; If you wish hard enough, some particular end will be achieved. While this last sentence is not exactly correct since Wish was an old Scandinavian god, you may get my drift. And, the power of ritual. Like a Catholic crossing himself before he leaves the house- to make sure he has everything: Watch, Wallet, spectacles, testicle. That's a joke, But I once witnessed a woman making the sign of the cross over a slot machine every single time she pushed the play button; and I am sure she won something, but not while I watched.

I think that as with all people mired in ignorance, the imagination gives up answers as we seek them out of any available material. Think of something hidden. I would use the example of a light switch. Children do not know how it happens or why; but if they flip the switch, something happens. Do you think they never ask, never wonder, and never associate their own desire with the light being on, or off? The desire itself, their will, becomes for them the cause of the effect.

Consider a child who cannot walk, and cannot get out of bed. He wakes up in the night, and wants his mother. It is dark and he is afraid. Without a sound being made, his mother arrives. How; and why? The child will sooner make the connection with what he knows, that he desires his mother's company, and she comes- than with any possible unseen complex explanation. And don't get me wrong here, for the opposite message can be taken by a child who cries his eyes out for a mother at work; of the inefficiency of desire.

If morality is based upon a pre rational bonding of mother and child and that bond is too soon broken, the child may grow immoral. If the magical explanations of reality are robbed from a child before they will normally become second rather than first nature, the child may cling the harder to them, or become super rational and unfeeling. It is feeling after all that brings others into our hearts and into our space; is it not. And it is this invocation of emotion that forms the basis of organized religion.

Now; if you look at the course of human progress through anthropology, for example; you can see changes in our sense of the spiritual. You can also see the examples of magical thinking as thought, none the less, so that spiritualism, animism, naturalism etc, are all attempts at science with little actual knowledge, with people trying to grasp what is going on so they can manipulate the process to bring good their way. In all of these attempts at science there is pattern recognition, and this is a sign of intelligence, but if you turn those patterns so they are consciously controlled you have symbol rather than sign, and symbol has a great deal to do with religion.

While I cannot prove it, and don't know how I would go about proving it, it seems obvious, that children growing into an adult state go through all the steps of magical thinking that our primitive forebears went through in a telescoped fashion, coving space that may have taken primitive mankind thousands of years to cover in a matter of years. But just like humanity could never escape its roots stuck between ignorance and knowledge; children can never escape their roots, and always are the child they were. And for some, the neurotic, they are stuck at some stage of childhood and suffer a case of arrested development.

So religion, or religious feeling is part of our individual childhoods, and the childhood of mankind. There is no explanation of people or of humanity that does not involve this magical thinking, or the ritual, or symbology associated with it. So it can more accurately be seen as a natural form rather than a social form; but that does not mean that people do not construct social forms to fit the wide spread natural feeling. We can see when the social form of the feeling failed people, as when paganism, for the most part, died. Christianity has went through changes as a social form, and was a shoot off an older form that was seen to be failing people, and ditto for Islam.

And I think if you look, you will see that the moral form exists before the social form. Love is a moral feeling, a moral form, or a transcendent concept. This sense of love must exist before the social form of marriage. No one by choice would marry some one they do not love. The construct does not exist in vitro, but as part of natural relationships acknowledged.

When people say they are lucky, or fortunate, or blessed you may be certain they are seeking after a rational explanation for what had occured under the cloud of complexity and confusion called life, but they are still scientific in that they are looking for a specific cause for a specific event.

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Response to Sweeney (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 02:32 PM

8. hmm, that all's from Comte and EB Tylor

few anthropologists hold to that today ...

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Response to MisterP (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 04:00 PM

11. At least I am not original

I have not read either of those two, and I have an extensive anthropology library.

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Response to MisterP (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:49 PM

16. Would you mind an offering of a small theory of forms?

Would not take too long. I think it is useful in any rational consideration of reality. I may have to sound original, or say something that counts original. Don't shoot me.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 11:04 AM

7. I reuse to knock anything that gives millions of people hope and love and evokes compassion...no

 

matter what or whose religion it is. Gun "worshippers" do not fit into this category in my mind.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 04:08 PM

12. It also justifies a lot of their misery and some times denies their rights to justice

That is all. Except, that religions all begin in the recognition of power external, and attempts to give people power to turn the power of nature to their ends with spell, prayers, ritual, or sacrifice. Organized religion holds us as entirely powerless. Even the term Christian means slave of Christ. And most of all you have to look forward to death to have life. What is wrong with the lives we have here and now? Am I suppose to wish or work this life away to have another?

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 02:39 PM

9. Hail Sithis!

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 02:46 PM

10. Religion is a human universal, self-constructing according to our neural arrangement

It satisfies an innate appetite.

A little thought on that, and you realize that virtually all of our behavior is based on satisfying appetites of one kind or another. Its not a matter good or bad, its just how we our brains (and every other brain, at a basic level) operate. We don't have a separate brain from which to look down and judge from. Lacking that, one approach is to form a rather CT construct about how religion was invented by others to control us, which allows us to de-identify from it, to define it as something not ourselves. In fact, most of the "controls" are internal and biological, and we all share them.

I can choose to be an atheist (based upon the science, which is quite good at this point), but I share the same basic construction as anyone who hasn't made the choice, or who hasn't put the mental work in to realize that there is a choice, or who sees no reason or benefit to making a choice.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 04:08 PM

13. We all seek the resonate frequency

 

The vibrating strings of life strike a chord in everyone. From Doctor Hook to Floyd, the purification of the brain is in need.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:53 PM

19. I may quote you. Well said!

 

Very well said.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 06:34 PM

22. yes, you may

 

We are all influenced by those before us. I give credit to those that taught me well and to those that tread paths best left untraveled. Experience, it's all we have.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 04:16 PM

14. Merry Christmas! Our savior was born! Have a blessed day!

and here is part of a musical masterpiece to enjoy on this great day.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:51 PM

17. "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful"

 

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful"-Seneca-Roman historian- 2000 yrs ago!

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:52 PM

18. Geometry is also a "human construct". And all religions, when you look at their esoteric veins,

 

point to the ONE THING that binds material reality together.

Whatever that ONE THING may be symbolized as. However we may do our best to realize it.

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:57 PM

20. When Marx said that, opium had not yet been demonized n/t

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 05:58 PM

21. silly

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Response to Ryan Fitzomething (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 01:53 AM

23. Locking, sorry, but threads discussing religion are prohibited in GD.

Please consider reposting in the Religion forum. Thanks for your understanding.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025307978

RELIGION
Threads about current events related to religion, and threads about church-state issues are permitted under normal circumstances.

Threads about the existence/non-existence of God, threads discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of religion in general, and threads discussing the truth/untruth of religious dogma are not permitted under normal circumstances and should be posted under Religion.

Open discussion of religion is permitted during very high-profile news events which are heavily covered across all newsmedia.

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