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AMCrenshaw
06-14-2008, 01:11 AM
But could you name ONE thing that you think is most destructive about Organized Religion? I'm hoping to read some thoughtful, not-so-obvious responses.

An obvious one :D for me is how often the churches (try to) influence and maintain laws, particularly concerning abortion/birth control and marriage, based little even on scripture but on doctrine (which are two different things, IMO).

AMC


p.s. Remember not to bash.
p.p.s. Mods: I like tangents.

Sarpedon
06-14-2008, 01:24 AM
Seriously. I can name lots of things, but I don't want to start a fight. I can introduce you to all atheist, all the time discussion forums. Available in regular, spicy, and extra spicy.

Alvah
06-14-2008, 01:35 AM
[quote=AMCrenshaw;2446262]But could you name ONE thing that you think is most destructive about Organized Religion?
quote]

Fanaticism. The belief that a particular way of seeing things
is the only right way, and that those who disagree are somehow
inferior, so it's O.K. to persecute them or kill them.

That's the most destructive attitude I can think of.
However, I also think that fanaticism is a perversion of
the true teachings of religion. Unfortunately fanatics
often have the loudest voices, so they are the ones who get
noticed the most.

I am a Baha'i; a religion which is organized, but which has
avoided violent fanaticism.

joyce
06-14-2008, 01:43 AM
[quote=AMCrenshaw;2446262]But could you name ONE thing that you think is most destructive about Organized Religion?
quote]

Fanaticism. The belief that a particular way of seeing things
is the only right way, and that those who disagree are somehow
inferior, so it's O.K. to persecute them or kill them.

That's the most destructive attitude I can think of.
However, I also think that fanaticism is a perversion of
the true teachings of religion. Unfortunately fanatics
often have the loudest voices, so they are the ones who get
noticed the most.

I am a Baha'i; a religion which is organized, but which has
avoided violent fanaticism.

I agree with this. Also, so many people are filled with so much fear instead of love which births hatred for others that are different. The God I was taught to trust and love was bathed in love and forgiveness not hatred.

I saw a Trading Spouses show the other night and this religious woman was a total wack job. She was freaking out about everything so much I felt sorry for her family when she returned home. It seemed like if you didn't crap out a cross everytime you went to the bathroom, you were a demon according to her.

benbradley
06-14-2008, 02:11 AM
Wondering if I can get a shot in this thread before it gets locked. Meanwhile...

:popcorn:

Autodidact
06-14-2008, 02:25 AM
I think it's when they start killing the people who don't belong to their religion. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence.

Snowstorm
06-14-2008, 04:17 AM
I think the most destructive thing about organized religion is the impact on deep believers' mental processes.

What I mean by this is the enforced you-must-believe-this-because-...well...I-
told-you-or-here-it-is-written philosophy. Nowhere is common sense, logic, or intelligence.

Believers state God created the earth in seven days and religious experts believe that this happened about 7,000 years ago (if memory serves). They state this standing on ground that's proven to be billions of years old. Or a pilot, approaching a runway for landing, forgets to put down his landing gear. The air traffic controller alerts him. The pilot, just before he belly-flops the plane, states that Allah willed him to forget to put down his landing gear and so he refused to put down the landing gear (Based on a true incident).

I know religion requires "belief" in its tenets and customs to be a part of that belief. Yet, common sense, logic, intelligence remains at a stand-still. For instance the Catholic Church now allows eating meat on Fridays but still refuses to acknowledge over-population and forbids birth control. Or Mormons are to abstain from caffeine, yet the church owns Coke or Pepsi (I forget which; also that the beverage ownership was passed on by word of mouth; I have no direct evidence) and now they are allowed to drink only that caffeinated beverage.

Upon being asked a question as simple as "what are you going to grow up to be?" a believer replies, "What He wants me to be" or "It's all up to God" rather than being allowed (or required) to take responsibility for their own actions--and happiness.

From what I know of Buddism, that religion doesn't fit this destructive thing. I have a lot of respect for it. The Amish require their teenagers to leave and experience the outside world and let them make up their own minds. I have a lot of respect for that too.

Just my opinion.

Round John Virgin
06-14-2008, 04:57 AM
Inquisitions, Crusades, . . .

AMCrenshaw
06-14-2008, 05:09 AM
"From what I know of Buddism, that religion doesn't fit this destructive thing."

The Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, led particularly by DT Suzuki, encouraged Japan to join WWII.

The only example I know, however.

"The Amish require their teenagers to leave and experience the outside world and let them make up their own minds. I have a lot of respect for that too."

However, that has serious consequences. Hear of the film Devil's Playground ? Don't know how accurately it portrays the culture, though.

Sarp: PV me about those. All flavors.

benbradley
06-14-2008, 07:25 AM
But could you name ONE thing that you think is most destructive about Organized Religion?
Does it count if the "organized religion" I'm most famiiar with, and was once a part of, claimed that it "ought never be organized" (don't google that!;)) AND that it was NOT religious?

p.s. Remember not to bash.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of something else to say...

Well, there was this, and I've seen pretty much the same thing said by some (self-proclaimed) Christians as well, that "everything bad that happens to me is because I did something to bring it on myself because of my self-will, and everything good that happens to me is because of the Grace [meaning unmerited gift - any good thing is given to me even though I DON'T DESERVE IT!] of God."

Smiling Ted
06-14-2008, 08:07 AM
I'd be more interested in the answers to that question if you posted it in the Christian Writing forum.

AMCrenshaw
06-14-2008, 08:58 AM
Then I shall.

Ruv Draba
06-14-2008, 11:23 AM
Actually, I don't believe that organised religions are terribly destructive these days. And back when they were more destructive I think it was also true that societies themselves were more destructive. Despite its sometimes bad rep, I can't think of many cases where religion alone causes destructive social behaviours (though I think there may be some). More often I think it has taken advantage of, and directed those behaviours to its own benefit - and more often these days, I think it opposes those behaviours.

More than destructiveness, I take issue with some of the things that religions create and preserve: ignorance, delusion, inhumane and cruel beliefs. I feel that they create these things to help get people to submit to them, and they preserve them to hold their power. In consequence, they sometimes slow down improvements to society, distract and confuse people who are genuinely seeking knowledge, and people can suffer because of that.

Balanced against that I recognise that religion is a binding and often benign social force. I suppose that my biggest problem is that, for all the influence it sometimes wields, it is distressingly unaccountable - to itself, to society and to the people it is supposed to serve.

L M Ashton
06-14-2008, 03:06 PM
I don't believe there is anything that is inherently destructive about any organized religion.

Now, the people who will twist things to justify their own very bad actions, ah, that's a whole other topic...

L M Ashton
06-14-2008, 03:53 PM
Or Mormons are to abstain from caffeine, yet the church owns Coke or Pepsi (I forget which; also that the beverage ownership was passed on by word of mouth; I have no direct evidence) and now they are allowed to drink only that caffeinated beverage.

This is not at all accurate.

The Word of Wisdom, which is the LDS (or Mormon) health code, means that LDS people are instructed to abstain from consuming tea, coffee, and alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco. Caffeine has never been mentioned by the leaders of the church as the reason for abstaining from consuming tea or coffee, nor is caffeine a part of the Word of Wisdom. Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, and other caffeinated beverages or food items other than coffee or tea have also never been a part of the Word of Wisdom.

Also, the LDS church has never owned shares in either Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola. If you don't have direct evidence, which it appears you don't, then don't pass on rumours.

HeronW
06-14-2008, 04:55 PM
The hypocrisy that flavors almost everything.

Mother Teresa and her sisters did more as volunteers than any elected power-grubbing pope.

sheadakota
06-14-2008, 06:01 PM
The most destructive thing about organized religion?

War in the name of God- that's pretty destructive

AMCrenshaw
06-14-2008, 06:15 PM
"Mother Teresa and her sisters did more as volunteers than any elected power-grubbing pope."

Dorothy Day is one of my heroes, in fact...

Roger J Carlson
06-14-2008, 06:38 PM
I fail to see how this topic can encourage "thoughtful" discussion when it presumes destructive things about a particular group. It violates the very founding principle of Absolute Write, which is respect for other writers. A "What's the Most Destructive Thing About Atheism?" thread would never be allowed in the Christian Forum out of respect for the people here.

dpaterso
06-14-2008, 07:13 PM
Gotta agree with Roger here.

I'm going to close the thread, but -- what with this being a writers' board and all -- if this discussion is vital research for a book you're writing rather than just a random, "Oh, I was just wondering..." thought, PM me and maybe we'll have a rethink.

-Derek