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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 05:44 PM

Here's an interesting conversation. Was Religion made to control people?

I honestly think no, by my point of view Religion was made to explain how the world was made and why humans exist on the planet. However, Religion can be used to control people. Prime example, The Republican Party, but that also goes into what I'm about to say. Politic's was made to control people. Let's use Nazi Germany for example. Germans during the time of Nazi Germany, hated Jew's because of all the propaganda and stereotypes put out by the Nazi Regime. Which of course lead to the holocaust, and all that jazz. If I'm brutally honest with my opinion, saying that Religion was made to control people is outlandish and illogical. Religions explains, Politics Controls.
   
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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 07:14 PM

I don't know whether religion was created solely to control people - it was created for fear of a lack of knowledge, primarily, I think.

However, I think it is very true to say that certain aspects of religion are extremely useful for controlling people, even if they contradict themselves (eg. "God loves you, so give Him your money, or in His love, he shall send you to a fiery pit to be tortured forever - because he's moral." ).


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 09:15 PM

Quote:
I don't know whether religion was created solely to control people - it was created for fear of a lack of knowledge, primarily, I think.

However, I think it is very true to say that certain aspects of religion are extremely useful for controlling people, even if they contradict themselves (eg. "God loves you, so give Him your money, or in His love, he shall send you to a fiery pit to be tortured forever - because he's moral." ).
Way to be controversial. You do have a way of thinking that I hate a lot. Let's comment on the aspect's you say that are good for controlling people. "God loves you, so give Him your money" I'm pretty sure you're referencing the whole give a donation to the church thing. Think about it, the church doesn't sell anything, and it doesn't ask to pay for the service it provides. So it just ask's for simple donation's and depending on the pastor or priest. They might use God as a incentive. It's not really bad, but Atheist's like you make it seem bad. "in His love, he shall send you to a fiery pit to be tortured forever - because he's moral." Referencing Hell and that God is immoral because there is a hell. I can see where you're going with this, Atheist believe that Hell is used as an behavior modification tool. Which I don't think it is. I'm going to be brutally honest. Hell is an behavior modification tool, and for the better. Imagine if no one cared about how they treated other people and just where jerks similar to the amazing atheist. It would be bad. God doesn't want people to go to hell, that's why in the bible he encourage's his worshiper's to spread his word. That's why the bible, and pastor's use hell as a behavior modification tool. So we don't have people going to hell in the first place.
   
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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 09:31 PM

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Originally Posted by Mason C. View Post
Way to be controversial. You do have a way of thinking that I hate a lot.
I was going to say more on my opinion but I'm going to keep it brief because I'm afraid you're going to hate the way I think....

To answer the thread question I believe so. Maybe not all religions that ever existed started out that way but through history it became corrupt and from what I see now in present time is a full fledged control system through religion. Maybe it wasn't the initial intention but I don't know the intention. I'd have to go into history of religion to make an opinion on that but right now and in various instances in the past I can see corruption and a means to control using religion. That's not to say the people who follow that religion are bad people....I'm not against anyone here
   
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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 10:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason C. View Post
Way to be controversial. You do have a way of thinking that I hate a lot. Let's comment on the aspect's you say that are good for controlling people. "God loves you, so give Him your money" I'm pretty sure you're referencing the whole give a donation to the church thing. Think about it, the church doesn't sell anything, and it doesn't ask to pay for the service it provides. So it just ask's for simple donation's and depending on the pastor or priest. They might use God as a incentive. It's not really bad, but Atheist's like you make it seem bad. "in His love, he shall send you to a fiery pit to be tortured forever - because he's moral." Referencing Hell and that God is immoral because there is a hell. I can see where you're going with this, Atheist believe that Hell is used as an behavior modification tool. Which I don't think it is. I'm going to be brutally honest. Hell is an behavior modification tool, and for the better. Imagine if no one cared about how they treated other people and just where jerks similar to the amazing atheist. It would be bad. God doesn't want people to go to hell, that's why in the bible he encourage's his worshiper's to spread his word. That's why the bible, and pastor's use hell as a behavior modification tool. So we don't have people going to hell in the first place.
Well, if I'm honest, you did sort of ask.
And, may I just point out that whilst you say you "hate" an aspect of me, I do not hate your way of thinking. I respect and tolerate it. Maybe nothing to do with religion, but beliefs and morals, certainly.

Saying that religious organisations don't exist to sell things seems a bit narrow-minded. It might not necessarily be a materialistic thing, but they certainly sell the idea of God, taking advantage of the fear of the unknown that humans have.
And, with respect, some of the so-called "services" religion provides, like the indoctrination of young children, the condemnation of innocent groups of people, the taking advantage of the vulnerable and, over the years, the deaths of millions, are really not great or worthy of donation to support. I'd rather give the money to TeenHelp, myself (or any other charity that solely HELPS humankind).

"Atheists like me" - which, by the way, is a rather inappropriate generalisation - are entitled to our views on whether it is morally right to confuse and mislead people.

Atheists actually don't believe in Hell. Some Atheists see religious use of the concept of Hell to be used for "behaviour modification" - or as I might more bluntly put it, blackmailing - and I am one of those.

You contradict yourself somewhat in saying that you don't believe that Hel is used as a "behaviour modification tool" and then saying it is, but "for the better".

I can imagine what it might be like if no-one cared about others. But...hey, look: I'm a Humanist, so I don't believe in Hell, but I'm still a darn sight nicer than many religious people.
In a more broad sense, think how many wars have happened because of religion. Then Atheism? None.
Indeed, I feel it's fair to say that many of the greatest atrocities - physical (eg. 9/11, burning of "witches") or not (eg. condemnation of same-sex relationships/marriage) - are committed because of belief in God, not lack of it. I mean, how many Atheists can you find in the KKK?

This whole thing is somewhat ridiculous because you keep contradicting ypurself as to whether Hell (and therefore, religion) are used to control ("modify behaviour"), but I woild invite you to re-read the last few lines of your response.
God created the Bible so that people could believe in something that utterly defies what they know as scientifically-advanced, logical beings (even though an omniscient God would know they wouldn't, and an omnipotent God would just make them) so that, in his love, he could stop them from going to the Hell he created? Why doesn't he just forgive anyway? He's omnipotent. He could.
Whatever wrongs someone committed against me, I'd never send them to eternal torture over eternal happiness - I'd display mercy regardless. I think that makes me more moral than your "perfect" God.

You at times agree with me on the original point, and at others don't, but I am still very much of the opinion that religion can, and does, exist to control.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 10:23 PM

I think some religions were created to control the masses. Remember that control isn't necessarily a bad thing; often, we give examples of control as Hitler rather than just a city with laws. If we didn't have laws, there would be chaos. Not all, but many laws are just and a good for societies. Religion is the same way. Many could say that Christianity is used to control by telling us not to kill people, to be productive, to help others, etc. These aspects are incredibly productive to society and others. If by giving people hope of an afterlife, they become more productive, don't kill each other, and live a happier life, who is to say that's a bad thing? But I definitely think religion has often been used to control, and not always positively.

I also think it's been used to explain phenomenons, especially before we had science and more definitive evidence to explain things. Now religion is often used as an alternative to this evidence (which can be negative, but not always) or ideas to pair with science and other explanations.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 8th 2013, 10:50 PM

I believe that it is bad to use the afterlife to make people be good citizens is a bad thing because it is a lie*. I do not see lying to control people as a good thing, whatever you might use that power for.
And besides, why shouldn't people be moral because of their own conscience? Why do we need to have to have a reward to behave half decently? Isn't life a reward enough?

It's a fairly common misconception that Atheists have no idea of morality because they have no God(s). This isn't true. As stated previously, most of the time, the secular community is shown to be the most moral.

* OK, I cannot prove that the afterlife doesn't exist. But the Christian idea of it doesn't make sense (why bother living if you can go to Heaven? And you couldn't anyway, because Christianity says you always sin. So all your experiences couldn't enter an "all-good" place...and I think that experience makes us who we are. Also, without the concept of "bad," "good" cannot exist. That is a further flaw on the idea of Heaven), and that's what I'm discussing. Most ideas of the afterlife are self-contradictory or illogical, and all are unlikely with no evidence to suggest the existence of them.

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Now religion is often used as an alternative to...evidence
Yes.
Often by authority figures to small children who don't know better.

That seems pretty wrong to me.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 9th 2013, 01:43 AM

Religion (for the purpose of this reply, I use "religion" to apply only to Abrahamic faiths) is designed specifically as a series of controls. It creates two extreme poles of ending: Either you are "good", and you will enjoy eternity in some sort of semi-ambiguous paradise, or you are "bad" and you will instead be tormented in some sort of semi-ambiguous "Hell".

This is where the series of controls comes in. Religion is built around a central character, God, who is a combination of ideas, theories, personalities and power. God is the arbiter of all actions, thoughts, wants, needs and impulses of his primary centerpiece of creation, humanity. He painstakingly created Hell and the "Devil" that resides inside/rules over it. And then he declared that if humans didn't do as he said, he would put them at the Devil's mercy in the aforementioned Hell.

And then we get the rules that determine if we are going to Heaven or Hell. This is where the human construct of religion as a control really takes off. Someone in a position of immense power within the structure of a religion, such as a Pope or Imam, can make his own arbitrary declaration about something that should be condemned and avoided. And how is someone else to know if this is truly a holy inspiration, or simply using religion as a justification for expressing a very personal dispassion with a given action, idea or thought? The idea in these religions is that an individual person, or a powerful group of people, can control anyone who believes in their faith by issuing proclamations of such degree.

If you can convince someone of the existence of eternal damnation, then you can make them afraid of that idea. If you make them afraid of it, then you can make them do anything you want by telling them what they need to do to avoid such a fate.

I know that my reply is probably going to garner some pretty strong emotions and rebuffing, but it's not my intent to declare any religious person to be naive, ignorant or gullible. And please don't generalize me as an atheist; it's tiring to be stereotyped as somehow militaristic or hyper-aggressive about my beliefs (or lack thereof). What I've said here is merely my own personal justification for being an atheist.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 9th 2013, 04:36 AM

I don't think it was created to control people. As time passed however it became a big thing and when you start changing your lifestyle for something then it's controlling you.
In a chain reaction sense, it indirectly controls you.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 9th 2013, 05:17 PM

I think it depends on who you talk to and how you view it. Generally speaking, the answer might be yes, because control does not have to be an oppressive thing like Coexist said. "Controlling" something can be taken as a means of "keeping control and order", like how a parent controls a household or a teacher controls a classroom--typically NOT oppressive but maintains order, community and provides support. This is contrary to exerting a negative oppressive control like a totalitarians rule over a country or like the rule of an abusive parent.

There are a few ways to view the reason for the creation of religion
1 being a means to provide answers in the universe
2 being a means to provide bonds in a community (ex. they all have jobs and families of their own but unite over their religious belief and need for answers) and
3 a means of creating order and law in the world.

Thousands of years ago, or even just simply hundreds of years ago, people weren't necessarily following the law of a king or other ruler that they knew nothing about. They followed the laws and rules implied by priests, priestesses, shamans etc. People would try to please their god or were "God fearing people" etc. (apply applicable term to appropriate religion). Their beliefs helped to determine their actions for better or worse--if you believed God would smite you for being gay then you can probably successfully assume that a lot of people might struggle with those feelings towards the same gender and thus Christianity succeeded in controlling that persons behaviour.

But is religion necessarily controlling beyond a persons choice to follow the laws and rules of that religion? Yes and no.

Religion in itself is a choice, it's an empty thing that people choose to follow, so no, it's not controlling like that. People typically choose to follow it. It's why loads of Christians become more open to things like homosexuality because they can turn around and say "no, I don't think this is point is something I can get on board with", people can redefine the lines of their religion, thus allowing them to follow the main fundamentals of Christianity (lets say), and say you know, there's a god, killing, stealing and being unfaithful is bad, love your god, love everyone else, don't judge blah blah blah... So I think in this way religion isn't a controlling thing. It gives answers to the universe, it allows people to bond but you've removed the factors where it's controlling (and not in a god way) because people are able to assert a certain amount of control over what they're willing to accept as right wrong and what they're expected to do. But you still have to follow the rules of society, you can't just run around behaving like a lawless brigand, order is necessary in society and someone has to enforce those laws (thus the ones who have the control). But nowadays that's usually government, so, for example, modern cultures might have religions present (scratch that *will have* religions present) but generally it's governments that people are expected to obey too, so that's why I think people have X amounts of control over what they do, they have governments, they have religions, cultures, families and friends.... But overall people make their choices, and that does the trick. People have the choice to stop adhering to a religion (and become non-religious, atheist or otherwise), they have a choice to even say "this law in this religion is wrong, so I'm disregarding it but will otherwise obey" etc. etc.

But at the same time religion can be extremely oppressive and controlling. Think of the residential schools that aboriginal children were sent to where priests and nuns abused the children there for years and insisted that they assimilate into "white" culture and forced them to stop speaking their languages, stop practicing their customs and instead replaced it with meanial education intended to set them up to low level jobs in society and made them become Christians. Yes, the government is largely to blame here, and no Christianity (and Catholics) won't always present like this BUT it did happen whether y'all like it or not AND the Catholic church supported it and had their priests and nuns go there and permitted them to abuse these kids (and I think the Protestant church too, but it was to a much lesser extent and I mostly know about Catholics though). I know it sucks for people who don't want to think people they wanted to trust in their religion ever took part in such atrocious things, but it happened, hey, I'm descended from the "settlers" (AKA, French/English people for the most part) who orchestrated all that shit in North America with the Indians too and that sucks for me too knowing how much my ancestors liked being controlling. But you have to remember that not all white people are scary, evil oppressors just like not all Christians are that way. It happened in South America, African and Asia too, all around the world people have used their religious beliefs to justify horrors that they've partaken in or used religious beliefs in the "reasons" like Cortez actually writing stuff saying that it was divinely allowed for him to go to what he did in South America, he compared himself to Moses and believed that treating the locals was totally justified..... It goes on... And on... And on....

But do I think that religion was created for this sole purpose of abusive control? No. Do I think religion was created to oppress people? No.... I think religion exists for fairly valid reasons much like why governments exist and why we grow up with our families and why people seek answers in science and it's why we need friends and so on. A send of community, answers to the worlds mysteries and law/order are fairly important. Law and order DOES maintain a sense of control to it... But the "good kind" of control does not exert it in the way that it takes away a persons right to choose, have free will, and have dignity etc.




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Re: Religion Controls? - September 9th 2013, 08:26 PM

I'd say religion wasn't designed with the intention of controlling people - at its most basic level, religion is just a codifying of a particular set of ideas to do with the supernatural which is then shared by a particular group of people. Where I think the problem arose is that religion and politics became intertwined, and have remained pretty much thus ever since (most obvious example probably being the Vatican, which is its own state). Once that happened, an element of controlling people probably did enter the equation unfortunately. At its heart, though, religion to my mind isn't about control and nor should it be. It should be about guidance and helping a person make the best use of their life that they can.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 10th 2013, 02:46 AM

Quote:
Well, if I'm honest, you did sort of ask.
And, may I just point out that whilst you say you "hate" an aspect of me, I do not hate your way of thinking. I respect and tolerate it. Maybe nothing to do with religion, but beliefs and morals, certainly.

Saying that religious organisations don't exist to sell things seems a bit narrow-minded. It might not necessarily be a materialistic thing, but they certainly sell the idea of God, taking advantage of the fear of the unknown that humans have.
And, with respect, some of the so-called "services" religion provides, like the indoctrination of young children, the condemnation of innocent groups of people, the taking advantage of the vulnerable and, over the years, the deaths of millions, are really not great or worthy of donation to support. I'd rather give the money to TeenHelp, myself (or any other charity that solely HELPS humankind).

"Atheists like me" - which, by the way, is a rather inappropriate generalisation - are entitled to our views on whether it is morally right to confuse and mislead people.

Atheists actually don't believe in Hell. Some Atheists see religious use of the concept of Hell to be used for "behaviour modification" - or as I might more bluntly put it, blackmailing - and I am one of those.

You contradict yourself somewhat in saying that you don't believe that Hel is used as a "behaviour modification tool" and then saying it is, but "for the better".

I can imagine what it might be like if no-one cared about others. But...hey, look: I'm a Humanist, so I don't believe in Hell, but I'm still a darn sight nicer than many religious people.
In a more broad sense, think how many wars have happened because of religion. Then Atheism? None.
Indeed, I feel it's fair to say that many of the greatest atrocities - physical (eg. 9/11, burning of "witches") or not (eg. condemnation of same-sex relationships/marriage) - are committed because of belief in God, not lack of it. I mean, how many Atheists can you find in the KKK?

This whole thing is somewhat ridiculous because you keep contradicting ypurself as to whether Hell (and therefore, religion) are used to control ("modify behaviour"), but I woild invite you to re-read the last few lines of your response.
God created the Bible so that people could believe in something that utterly defies what they know as scientifically-advanced, logical beings (even though an omniscient God would know they wouldn't, and an omnipotent God would just make them) so that, in his love, he could stop them from going to the Hell he created? Why doesn't he just forgive anyway? He's omnipotent. He could.
Whatever wrongs someone committed against me, I'd never send them to eternal torture over eternal happiness - I'd display mercy regardless. I think that makes me more moral than your "perfect" God.

You at times agree with me on the original point, and at others don't, but I am still very much of the opinion that religion can, and does, exist to control.
I would like to apologize for a post that you may or may not have read, but I'll do it anyway. I was immature and a little mad at just let myself go. Now let's agrees the example's you give in this post. You talk about how churches give their services to Christians , and take advantage on the fear of millions, and as you believe "brain wash" children, is narrow-minded itself. It's illogical to believe that every church does these things. The only one church that may fit in all of tropes may be the west boro baptist church. Churches do not just only give their service to Christians but to many people around the world. Can food drive's and other charity act's are only possible though donation. Many churches also do not encourage racism or sexism by any means. If you want to prove this, go to plenty of churches, you'll see. I'd also go as far to say that Teenhelp is a website that barely helps. Word's can only take you so far but actions can take you far enough. Churches Synagogues or any other holy house help's the world far more better then Teenhelp does. You say You're a humanist but I don't see you acting like one. Next is your example of how religion hurt's the world. How many war's where caused by religion? Well as a historian myself I can honestly say none. One of the most famously viewed "religious" war's is a series of conflict over Jerusalem, fought between Christianity Vs. Islam. The Crusades. It was a fight for territory to begin with, Both side's thought they have the right to control Jerusalem, Both knew that if they took control of Jerusalem, they'd get money and power. Jerusalem is known as the land of milk and honey, and in the high middle ages, Honey is just a synonym for money. It's illogical to think that war's start just because of religion. In fact, religion play's a small part in wars. The crusade's was a war for dominance, riches, and territory. Oh yeah and about the KKK, part, Take the number of KKK members, compare it to the number of Christians there are in the world. You're looking at below 150 KKK members to several million Christians. Now about the whole, God and Hell thing. God, does forgive. That's why Christians pray to god to forgive their sins. You just have to ask him. How can you be forgiven if you don't pray for forgiveness in the first place. It wouldn't make sense if God let's people into his kingdom when they don't believe in him in the first place. I could go on in till the cow's come home but you wouldn't care for what I have to say. Same could go on how religion actually discourages greed, corruption, racism, and sexism, but controversial minds like your's would give a damn. It's easy to just assume Religion does more harm then good, but when you think about it, Religion play's a bigger and better part in society, without it we wouldn't know what to do, without it we wouldn't know what's moral and what's not. Without it human's wouldn't have gotten to where we are today.
   
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Re: Religion Controls? - September 10th 2013, 02:51 AM

Quote:
Well, if I'm honest, you did sort of ask.
And, may I just point out that whilst you say you "hate" an aspect of me, I do not hate your way of thinking. I respect and tolerate it. Maybe nothing to do with religion, but beliefs and morals, certainly.

Saying that religious organisations don't exist to sell things seems a bit narrow-minded. It might not necessarily be a materialistic thing, but they certainly sell the idea of God, taking advantage of the fear of the unknown that humans have.
And, with respect, some of the so-called "services" religion provides, like the indoctrination of young children, the condemnation of innocent groups of people, the taking advantage of the vulnerable and, over the years, the deaths of millions, are really not great or worthy of donation to support. I'd rather give the money to TeenHelp, myself (or any other charity that solely HELPS humankind).

"Atheists like me" - which, by the way, is a rather inappropriate generalisation - are entitled to our views on whether it is morally right to confuse and mislead people.

Atheists actually don't believe in Hell. Some Atheists see religious use of the concept of Hell to be used for "behaviour modification" - or as I might more bluntly put it, blackmailing - and I am one of those.

You contradict yourself somewhat in saying that you don't believe that Hel is used as a "behaviour modification tool" and then saying it is, but "for the better".

I can imagine what it might be like if no-one cared about others. But...hey, look: I'm a Humanist, so I don't believe in Hell, but I'm still a darn sight nicer than many religious people.
In a more broad sense, think how many wars have happened because of religion. Then Atheism? None.
Indeed, I feel it's fair to say that many of the greatest atrocities - physical (eg. 9/11, burning of "witches") or not (eg. condemnation of same-sex relationships/marriage) - are committed because of belief in God, not lack of it. I mean, how many Atheists can you find in the KKK?

This whole thing is somewhat ridiculous because you keep contradicting ypurself as to whether Hell (and therefore, religion) are used to control ("modify behaviour"), but I woild invite you to re-read the last few lines of your response.
God created the Bible so that people could believe in something that utterly defies what they know as scientifically-advanced, logical beings (even though an omniscient God would know they wouldn't, and an omnipotent God would just make them) so that, in his love, he could stop them from going to the Hell he created? Why doesn't he just forgive anyway? He's omnipotent. He could.
Whatever wrongs someone committed against me, I'd never send them to eternal torture over eternal happiness - I'd display mercy regardless. I think that makes me more moral than your "perfect" God.

You at times agree with me on the original point, and at others don't, but I am still very much of the opinion that religion can, and does, exist to control.
I would like to apologize for a post that you may or may not have read, but I'll do it anyway. I was immature and a little mad and just let myself go. Now let's look at the example's you give in this post. You talk about how churches give their services to Christians , and take advantage on the fear of millions, and as you believe "brain wash" children, is narrow-minded itself. It's illogical to believe that every church does these things. The only one church that may fit in all of the tropes may be the west boro baptist church. Churches do not just only give their service to Christians but to many people around the world. Can food drive's and other charity act's are only possible though donation. Many churches also do not encourage racism or sexism by any means. If you want to prove this, go to plenty of churches, you'll see. I'd also go as far to say that Teenhelp is a website that barely helps. Word's can only take you so far but actions can take you far enough. Churches Synagogues or any other holy house help's the world far more better then Teenhelp does. You say You're a humanist but I don't see you acting like one. Next is your example of how religion hurt's the world. How many war's where caused by religion? Well as a historian myself I can honestly say none. One of the most famously viewed "religious" war's is a series of conflict over Jerusalem, fought between Christianity Vs. Islam. The Crusades. It was a fight for territory to begin with, Both side's thought they have the right to control Jerusalem, Both knew that if they took control of Jerusalem, they'd get money and power. Jerusalem is known as the land of milk and honey, and in the high middle ages, Honey is just a synonym for money. It's illogical to think that war's start just because of religion. In fact, religion play's a small part in wars. The crusade's was a war for dominance, riches, and territory. Oh yeah and about the KKK, part, Take the number of KKK members, compare it to the number of Christians there are in the world. You're looking at below 150 KKK members to several million Christians. Now about the whole, God and Hell thing. God, does forgive. That's why Christians pray to god to forgive their sins. You just have to ask him. How can you be forgiven if you don't pray for forgiveness in the first place. It wouldn't make sense if God let's people into his kingdom when they don't believe in him in the first place. I could go on in till the cow's come home but you wouldn't care for what I have to say. Same could go on how religion actually discourages greed, corruption, racism, and sexism, but controversial minds like your's wouldn't give a damn. It's easy to just assume Religion does more harm then good, but when you think about it, Religion play's a bigger and better part in society, without it we wouldn't know what to do, without it we wouldn't know what's moral and what's not. Without it human's wouldn't have gotten to where we are today.
   
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Re: Religion Controls? - September 10th 2013, 10:03 AM

Was religion created for control? No. Is it used as such? Yes. I fully respect the millions of people out there who believe in their god, pray to him, and love a good and peaceful life without interfering with others or trying to "save" them. It's the others I disagree with. Prime example: Ever since I was young enough to understand God = good, you be good and follow his rules = god loves you, the idea that some almighty being (catholic god) watches your every move 24/7 has been reinforced in my head. Look at the traditional Ash Wednesday gospel (Matthew 6:4) "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Telling a child that some magic, holy, being can see EVERYTHING they do (much like Santa "seeing you while you're sleeping") is a terrible thing to do. That child will have no privacy and be afraid to so much as breathe the wrong way in case God doesn't like it. That is how religion is used for control. Certainly in young and vulnerable children. It does a lot of damage psychologically and it's dangerous to mess with a kid's head like that.
So yes, religion can, and is, used for control, but not by everyone.

I hope that made sense. I'm quite passionate about this idea.


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Re: Religion Controls? - September 10th 2013, 05:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason C. View Post
I would like to apologize for a post that you may or may not have read, but I'll do it anyway. I was immature and a little mad at just let myself go. Now let's agrees the example's you give in this post. You talk about how churches give their services to Christians , and take advantage on the fear of millions, and as you believe "brain wash" children, is narrow-minded itself. It's illogical to believe that every church does these things. The only one church that may fit in all of tropes may be the west boro baptist church. Churches do not just only give their service to Christians but to many people around the world. Can food drive's and other charity act's are only possible though donation. Many churches also do not encourage racism or sexism by any means. If you want to prove this, go to plenty of churches, you'll see. I'd also go as far to say that Teenhelp is a website that barely helps. Word's can only take you so far but actions can take you far enough. Churches Synagogues or any other holy house help's the world far more better then Teenhelp does. You say You're a humanist but I don't see you acting like one. Next is your example of how religion hurt's the world. How many war's where caused by religion? Well as a historian myself I can honestly say none. One of the most famously viewed "religious" war's is a series of conflict over Jerusalem, fought between Christianity Vs. Islam. The Crusades. It was a fight for territory to begin with, Both side's thought they have the right to control Jerusalem, Both knew that if they took control of Jerusalem, they'd get money and power. Jerusalem is known as the land of milk and honey, and in the high middle ages, Honey is just a synonym for money. It's illogical to think that war's start just because of religion. In fact, religion play's a small part in wars. The crusade's was a war for dominance, riches, and territory. Oh yeah and about the KKK, part, Take the number of KKK members, compare it to the number of Christians there are in the world. You're looking at below 150 KKK members to several million Christians. Now about the whole, God and Hell thing. God, does forgive. That's why Christians pray to god to forgive their sins. You just have to ask him. How can you be forgiven if you don't pray for forgiveness in the first place. It wouldn't make sense if God let's people into his kingdom when they don't believe in him in the first place. I could go on in till the cow's come home but you wouldn't care for what I have to say. Same could go on how religion actually discourages greed, corruption, racism, and sexism, but controversial minds like your's would give a damn. It's easy to just assume Religion does more harm then good, but when you think about it, Religion play's a bigger and better part in society, without it we wouldn't know what to do, without it we wouldn't know what's moral and what's not. Without it human's wouldn't have gotten to where we are today.
As a member of the Moderating Staff, I am able to see this, and apology accepted gratefully . I might also apologise if it was my fault in any way that you were offended enough to post that.

You're right to say that not every church does things such as oppose equality, etc. although I would assert that any surviving churches have to indoctrinate children. Sorry, but can you imagine what would happen if you told a thirty year old who had no idea of religion prior to such an encounter that there was a superbeing who watched everyone all the time and would forgive them for sinning against him. I mean, sin against God is an idea entirely created by religion, so it would seem somewhat pointless to a non-religious person to apologise for something they don't know they've done.

I would also agree that many churches do good things, but I definitely don't think those things wouldn't happen in the absence of the church. Some charities are based upon solely Christian values (Christian Aid, for instance) but most are actually more Humanism-based (if not intentionally) and would continue without a deity because of our intelligent desire to help others.

Your comment about TeenHelp is subjective (and obviously in the other post a bit more relevant) but I would note that - whilst I do represent the TeenHelp Staff to a certain degree - my posts are my opinion, especially in the Religion forums, not those of TeenHelp as an entity. If you don't want to use TeenHelp, we don't force you to or indoctrinate you into believing that you must.

I don't know how I'm not acting like a Humanist. Quite frankly, I wouldn't say that you know me at all well, and as you are not omniscient, I don't see that you're in a position to judge my Humanist values. Certainly, I abide by the most basic description:
Quote:
Originally Posted by British Humanist Association
... non-religious people who seek to live ethical lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We promote Humanism, a secular state, and equal treatment of everyone regardless of religion or belief.
I would utterly disagree with you on the idea that wars have not been either directly or indirectly caused by religion. In a modern context? The war on terror.
More historically, there are wars named because they were religion-based. Take the French Wars of Religion (c16) as an example.

I accept that there are very few Christians in the KKK and other such organisations, but I also feel it's fair to say that there are no Atheists in it .
Other examples might be that, in general, crime rates for the secular community tend to be substantially lower than the religious community. My point is, you may be more moral if you're not having to do good things solely for "forgiveness" - why not do them out of pure goodness?

Well, if God does exist then I guess I'll look a bit of an idiot when I get to being judged. Why would it be impossible for me ask then? "Sorry for going with evidence and proof, please can you let me forgive you for misleading me so badly? And by the way, I believe in you now. Thanks for everything."
If God was loving then he'd be able to forgive Atheists for not believing in him. I don't claim to love everyone in the world, and not everyone in the world necessarily knows about my existence (or they might even refuse it on lack of proof if someone just said "This person exists. Believe me because I have a napkin he wrote on.") but I would still never send them to eternal torture. I mean, how is that even helping?
I don't really think violence is at all helpful in most situations anyway, but it's definitely not helpful of God to not even give you a chance once you're in Hell for eternity. How does that help you learn? You can't do anything about it.

Please do go on - I won't necessarily agree with you, but I promise that I'll listen to you and think carefully about what you say. Definitely don't feel unable to say what you want to here!

However, whilst I can't explain morality that easily, I know about it, and I'm fine without religion to tell me that.
Maybe we wouldn't be here today without religion, but I think that secularism now has a role in making the world better where religion is now faltering.
I mean, it was hardly as if the Church were constant campaigners against slavery, something we now consider an abhorrent immorality, but which the Bible and the Church of the day advocate(d). And in a few years, equal marriage will be supported by the Church (and by that, I mean the official position of the Roman Catholic church, Anglican church, etc. and the people in charge of them, not necessarily the views of individuals) but right now they're holding back development there.

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Re: Religion Controls? - September 10th 2013, 06:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason C. View Post
Here's an interesting conversation. Was Religion made to control people?
I don't think it was made to control people, but is used to control people. Various leaders saw that religion could be used to manipulate and self-govern people. So, they took advantage of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason C. View Post
However, Religion can be used to control people. Prime example, The Republican Party, but that also goes into what I'm about to say.
While a lot of religious people are republican, I don't think it's fair to claim that they are being manipulated to be republican. Go to the Midwest. Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc. Christianity as a whole is becoming VERY social and moving to the left as a whole. Look at people like Shane Caiborne and other prominent religious leaders all moving to the left. In fact, when I was in Michigan, almost everyone believed in god and was democrat.

You could argue that democrats target young atheists. And a lot of them fall prey to it because of our two-party system, or they just don't care. The reason for this is because the educational system is liberal and has a strong left-leaning. Kids then are raised thinking that the left is the more intelligent side because they'll tend to agree with teachers.

I'm not republican but I think claiming republicans use religion to manipulate is false. I think many republicans are just raised religious and stay that way.


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