HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » Trapped By Religion

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:27 AM

Trapped By Religion

Do you ever wake up feeling trapped by religion? Not your own, but somebody elseís? If so, youíre like millions of Americans. Sadly, there is no medication you can take for this condition.

The religion, of course, is Christianity, and it has held the Western World, not just America, in its vise for nearly two millennia. Weíre all in thrall, like it or not, not only because itís so pervasive, but because by the period of the Middle Ages it had absolute power over everyone Ė even kings and emperors, even an army of its own Ė and it has relinquished this power only very reluctantly and then only when forced.

We all suffer as a result: atheists, who donít want to believe in any gods, polytheists, who want to believe in all but are told they can believe in only one; Jews, who are told they need to get with the Jesus program; Christians, who are told they are worshiping Jesus the wrong way; Mormons, who are told theyíre only a cult and not Christians at all.

But donít feel too sorry for the Mormons. I remember when the Mormon missionaries visited me some thirty years ago. They had many jokes to tell about Jehovahís Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists, about how they are not Christians but cults Ė ironically, the same thing mainstream Christians say about Mormons. The same thing hurting Mitt Romney today. Mitt Romney is trapped by religion as well even as he seeks to trap the rest of us.

You might think from this that I hate religion. Iíve been accused of atheism before when Iíve been critical of Christian fundamentalism as though if youíre not a Christian you are an atheist. But Iím not, of course. Iím very religious and Iím not an atheist but a polytheist. For me, all gods are real. I just donít owe anything to any desert gods. So then I get accused of doing Satanís work by not believing he exists.

Trapped by religion. And it ainít my own. I know you feel me.

http://www.politicususa.com/trapped-religion.html

23 replies, 3965 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trapped By Religion (Original post)
cleanhippie Jun 2012 OP
rug Jun 2012 #1
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #2
rug Jun 2012 #3
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #4
rug Jun 2012 #5
madmom Jun 2012 #6
rug Jun 2012 #7
AlbertCat Jun 2012 #9
rug Jun 2012 #12
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #10
rug Jun 2012 #11
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #13
rug Jun 2012 #14
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #15
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #16
rug Jun 2012 #17
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #18
rug Jun 2012 #19
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #20
rug Jun 2012 #21
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #22
rug Jun 2012 #23
cbayer Jun 2012 #8

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:51 AM

1. Hrafnkell Haraldsson?

 

This Hrafnkell Haraldsson?

About

For five years A Heathenís Day has been providing an online voice for modern Heathenism, also known as Ńsatrķ, and to a great extent, modern Paganism and Polytheism. Since November 2005 it has brought you the life and thoughts of a modern American Heathen, and shown you the world through his eyes as he looks backward towards his ancestors, forward toward the future and at today, which is the construct of that past and the present which is creating that future. A Heathenís Day is a portal into an ancient religion as it is practiced today, and it is to be hoped one that will provide you some insight into what Heathenism is for one American, a Scandinavian American and a surly old son of Odin.

http://aheathensday.com/about-2

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:20 AM

2. Did you have a point?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 11:26 AM

3. Strikes me as an odd source for you.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 11:43 AM

4. So no comments about the actual article then?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 11:48 AM

5. I see his point but it's exaggerrated.

 

This, for example, "Weíre all in thrall, like it or not".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 12:02 PM

6. ...

thrall-a person who is morally or mentally enslaved by some power, influence, or the like: Dictionary.com

I don't think it's as much of an exaggeration as you may think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to madmom (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 12:06 PM

7. Mentally enslaved is an exaggeration.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 12:46 PM

9. Mentally enslaved is an exaggeration.

 

Not if you think anything supernatural is of any help for anything.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AlbertCat (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:40 PM

12. I see. You believe anyone holding a belief in the supernatural is a mental slave.

 

Quick, somebody tell Hrafnkell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:19 PM

10. No more exaggerated than say a resurrection, or the eucharist

Or any other supernatural claim made by religion.

I'm just not seeing what your point is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:38 PM

11. Different things entirely.

 

What you suggest are supernatural claims which you're free to characterize as bold, outrageous or ludicrous.

What Hrafnkell is suggesting is the impact of religion (and those claims) on humans and on society. That is measurable. And to suggest that the result is mental slavery is, generously, exaggerated.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:42 PM

13. Do you really not see religion as mental slavery?

Yes, using the term "slavery" is a bit hyperbolic, but the point is clear; religion binds the mind to the doctrine and dogma of the religion, no?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:56 PM

14. Of course not. Do you?

 

Really, think about it. The notion that believers are stupid, deluded, in thrall or enslaved really makes no sense given human history.

You can reject the premise that there is no god or you can accept it. That premise is really not susceptible to the modern scientific method either way. If you insist that you can not accept any premise that cannot be scientifically demonstrated, well, then, that's your choice. But it's certainly no saner or more rational than accepting that it's not apt.

Now if that premise is accepted, aside from any spiritual experiences that it may provide, it's a tremendously engaging mental exercise. I suppose if one does not engage it, question it, and explore it, the resulting effect is stultifying, reluctant obedience. But that doesn't last. People shed it and quit it.

The only real oppression - or slavery - that comes is if religious belief is imposed by society for whatever purpose it chooses to use religion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 02:19 PM

15. Yes, I do.

While I can see how religion can be a tremendously engaging mental exercise, so is philosophy, physics, literature, etc. but the one thing religion does that no other comes close to doing, is binding one to see the world through the lenses of doctrine and dogma that have no plausibility here in the real world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:03 AM

16. Here is an example...

In addition to my comment above, here is an example that I think proves my point.

46% Americans Believe In Creationism According To Latest Gallup Poll

A new Gallup poll measures Americans' belief in the origin of human beings, and how this belief correlates with church attendance, political party affiliation and education level. The poll was conducted by interviewing a random sample of 1,012 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

--snip--

Forty six percent Americans believed in creationism, 32 percent believed in theistic evolution and 15 percent believed in evolution without any divine intervention. As the graph below shows, the percent of Americans who believe in creationism has increased slightly by 2 percent over the last 30 years. The percent of Americans who believe in evolution has also increased by 6 percent over the last 30 years while the percent of Americans who believe in theistic evolution has decreased 6 percent over the same time period.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/americans-believe-in-creationism_n_1571127.html



Creationism simply does not match reality in any way, and having nearly HALF of the country believing it as fact is proof that religion is mental slavery.

No?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:21 AM

17. It would be a species of mental slavery if no choice was involved.

 

No one is forcing anyone to accept these beliefs. For whatever reason, adults choose to believe this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. But adults also choose to believe all sorts of things, republicans, racists and the like. It would be a hard case to make that republicans and racists are mental slaves.

The matter of children is different. If the parents, who voluntarily accept these belief,s teach them to their children and allow no questions, then those children really do not have a choice, up to a point. When they are no longer children they do have a choice. Although, given their upbringing, it must be an awful choice to shed these beliefs.

There's a series on the National Geaographic channel right now, "Out of Order", about Amsh who leave as young adults. It's heartbreaking, especially since it involves leaving their families and their communities, not just their beliefs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:36 AM

18. Well then what is it? Help me understand.

What makes a person reject reality in favor of magical thinking? If it is not thought control, then what is it?


And I've seen some of that NG series. From what I can tell, the difference between the Amish and xtian fundies is that the fundies have incorporated modern life into their beliefs while the Amish have eschewed it. Were the Amish to adopt the same techniques as the fundies, I don't think we would see Amish kids leaving like they do now

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:00 AM

19. In the case of the Amish, there's more than just belief, it's a whole way of life.

 

Ironically, the same way of life that reinforces these beliefs is often what causes them to leave.

As to why people believe, I imagine there's all sorts of reasons. But I doubt it's framed as a choice of magic over reality.

Here's one essay on it.

http://www.humanismtoday.org/vol13/kurtz.html

I suppose the best way to answer the question is to look at yourself. If you did believe at one point, why? How did that come to be? Was it something that was unremittingly taught and you had no choice? Or was it something you chose as an adult?

The next question would be, why do you no longer believe? Was it the inherent beliefs or the way it was practiced?

If you never believed, the questions are similar. Were you raised in nonbelief? Was it active or passive nonbelief? While raised in nonbelief, did you nevertheless accurately learn what beliefs are.

While there have been many studies on belief and nonbelief, the question is ultimately personal.

As for me, I believe because I was raised in it. I questioned, and continue to question it. I understand my own beliefs pretty well. I understand the critiques of those beliefs pretty well. While many of the arguments are well-taken, I remain unpersuaded, for intellectual reasons, that belief in general is baseless or that my belief in particular is baseless. I find the criticisms wanting.

The most important reason I believe though, is that, if true, it is indeed good news.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:26 AM

20. Maybe that is why I have such a difficult time understanding it.

I never believed in a god or had parents that believed (or if they did, it was never discussed and we never went to a church). As a young man, I dabbled in belief; I looked into xtian beliefs and found them "reality-challenged", I read L. Ron Hubbard and found it to be absurd, and I attempted to practice Buddhism while living in Japan but was unable to focus on it as I was a wide-eyed Gaijin seeing the world and all its wonders for the first time. The more I traveled, the more absurd I found the beliefs people held to be. For example, while in India watching people bathe in sewer water thinking they were cleansing themselves. (What I did find miraculous is how the entire Indian population has not been wiped out by Hepatitis or Cholera...)

My point is that in the end, I chose reality over the supernatural. To me, to think that a man was resurrected, that virgins await the martyr in paradise, that bathing in open sewers is spiritual, that the earth is not billions of years old...IS magical thinking and simply does not match reality. And I cannot understand how modern people in developed countries with access to advanced educations and technology can think that ANY of these things are true.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:33 AM

21. That's a thoughtful answer.

 

Neither of us is stupid and we both look at the same reality. We reach different conclusions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:45 AM

22. Indeed.

This is the second civil and rational conversation we have had, rug. Are we turning a corner? Maybe its because I've been gearing up for my trip to Green River, UT for the Desert Rocks Music and Consciousness Festival www.desertrocks.org

I leave in an hour on my 1100 mile road trip to enlightenment...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:04 AM

23. Sounds like a good trip.

 

Post pictures!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #1)

Reply to this thread