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wonderer
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PostSubject: Why Religion?   Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:54 pm

Basically, religion exists because it works. But not how it claims to work.

Religions provides a common ground for people, and the more people who hold the same religion, the greater the odds are they will band together to form cities or communities. So basically the simple fact that people have a commond ground and belief provides the foundation to create a nation.

Next you have the specifics of the religion. If a religion tells people how to behave, and people obey, a large amount of people can be governed in effective ways. For instance if a religious belief is that stealing is wrong, that would help the society thrive because nobody would fear thieves. If a religion tells you to be charitable or kind then the society would thrive in similar and various ways.

If a religion tells you that all people are equal and to treat them that way, then a society can form a collective unit and work toward their mutually desired goals. Religion is a gem of organization.

Even if the religion tells you to kill outsiders, that can be benificial. Some nations thrive because their religious motivation leads them to conquer other peoples.

Religions with successful directives will thrive and expand, and that is why you might find yourself born into a society with seemingly strange or different beliefs.

Unsuccessful religions will die out. The Shakers were a religion which thrived in europe because they preached conservation and abstinence, which was able to motivate peasants into a success. This religion expanded by recruiting peasants, they did not have children due to their beliefs of abstinence, but it was big at one time. Eventually they made a move to america, but there they died out simply because there were no peasants in need of organization. If a religion cannot recruit it will die out.

If you look at the rules of the major religions they re merely complex and esoteric rules for governing a society. They persist because the religion and the people in it are a success, they are successful in part because of the rules that their religion provides for them. It is almost self growing organism.

L. Ron. Hubbard engineered his own religion. he once said "the easiest way to get rich is to start your own religion" and he wasn't kidding. He created Scientology.

Scientology has some successful methods. One of their beliefs is that any non scientologist or "enturbulator" (someone who hinders the scientologist objective of "wiping earth"(converting the entire population to scientology)) is subject to "fair game" which enumerates possibilities ending with "destruction". This ability to cheat, this religious directive to cheat is a very effective means to success in the modern world.

Jeudiasm has something similar, any "gentile" (not jewish) need not be treated fairly in deals concerning money or property.

But this is not a thread against religion. If you look at what functions religion performs and in what ways that can help or hurt society and therefore the success and future of teh religion itself, you get a very clear idea of "Why?".

It's simple natural selection, it's a successful mechanism... One of the many ladders we humans construct to reach an apple.


Last edited by wonderer on Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:06 pm

wonderer wrote:
If a religion tells people how to behave, and people obey, a large amount of people can be governed in effective ways.

If a religion tells you to be charitable or kind then the society would thrive in similar and various ways.

If a religion tells you that all people are equal and to treat them that way, then a society can form a collective unit and work toward their mutually desired goals. Religion is a gem of organization.

Even if the religion tells you to kill outsiders...


What about a religion like Islam where there are not really any rules? There are many rules in Islam, but reading the Qur’an the month before last, it looked to me the only real rule (except not to eat carrion, which is even forgivable) is to submit to no man (that's almost an un-rule) and to submit only to God (what sort of a rule is that?).
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:34 pm

Dako wrote:
wonderer wrote:
If a religion tells people how to behave, and people obey, a large amount of people can be governed in effective ways.

If a religion tells you to be charitable or kind then the society would thrive in similar and various ways.

If a religion tells you that all people are equal and to treat them that way, then a society can form a collective unit and work toward their mutually desired goals. Religion is a gem of organization.

Even if the religion tells you to kill outsiders...


What about a religion like Islam where there are not really any rules? There are many rules in Islam, but reading the Qur’an the month before last, it looked to me the only real rule (except not to eat carrion, which is even forgivable) is to submit to no man (that's almost an un-rule) and to submit only to God (what sort of a rule is that?).

It's a very flexible rule, one that can be interpreted in many ways. There are many contradictory things in religion, and different things get employed in different times of need.

A religion able to change its ways due to ambiguity might just be useful to the success of the religion
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:02 am

Religion is very good at replicating itself in multiple hosts like any effective parasite.
Quid pro quo.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:10 pm

I was tempted to make the infection comparison, but different religions work differently.

For example the quakers were more of a cleanup crew than a paracitcal organization.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:57 pm

note to any readers, originally i said "Quakers" instead of "Shakers".

The oatmeal guys are alive and well...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:32 am

wonderer wrote:
I was tempted to make the infection comparison...
There is a vast difference between culture and habits (infection) and religiosity.

The Shakers are highly interesting. Their philosophy of furniture for instance,



But this is something different, from Shaker religiosity, which is the same as any religiosity?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:07 pm

some cultures spread like infections, particularly ones who expand by means of aggressive indoctrination.

They shakers more or less took the bad bits of society and formed their own groups, so they are more of a street sweeping religion than an infection.

religions are as diverse as culture can be
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:07 pm

wonderer wrote:
religions are as diverse as culture can be
Indeed, religions are cultures.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:16 am

Dako wrote:
wonderer wrote:
religions are as diverse as culture can be
Indeed, religions are cultures.

Orthodix religious Scriptures were an essential evolutionary step out of the oral-based Bronze Age of totemic worship (ancestral Spiritism)
Nations could not be ruled by word of mouth, like clans could.
The sacred Scriptures unified the clans under a single totem
they bestowed Divine birth rights on the king (paramount chief)
and thus entrenched dynasties and sustained developmental momentum -
Those with ONE GOD became the most potent.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:29 am

MagnetMan wrote:
Dako wrote:
wonderer wrote:
religions are as diverse as culture can be
Indeed, religions are cultures.

Orthodix religious Scriptures were an essential evolutionary step out of the oral-based Bronze Age of totemic worship (ancestral Spiritism)
Nations could not be ruled by word of mouth, like clans could.
The sacred Scriptures unified the clans under a single totem
they bestowed Divine birth rights on the king (paramount chief)
and thus entrenched dynasties and sustained developmental momentum -
Those with ONE GOD became the most potent.

Governing by word of mouth is difficult because conflicting information can spread uncontrollably.

It was the written word that first allowed for extreme mass social control...

the Romans used the Colosseum to communicate and control.

The more complex the religion, the more organization it performs.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:43 pm

wonderer wrote:


Governing by word of mouth is difficult because conflicting information can spread uncontrollably.
And the word of the chief can be misquoted.


Quote :
It was the written word that first allowed for extreme mass social control...
Thus the 1st Scriptures claimed to be the word of God
and orders in His Name dare not be said in vain

Quote :
the Romans used the Colosseum to communicate and control.
Romans needed armies to control their empire
Chrisy used the Scriptures
and controlled the human heart

Quote :
The more complex the religion, the more organization it performs.
And in that process
the simple Truth of the central message
that allowed it to rise to power
gets lost.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:48 pm

there is no reason to believe that a book called the bible originally came or is derived from the word of god.

To entertain such an idea is for pure enjoyment.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:59 pm

Indeed the First Sin was to utter the name of God without Authority.

And look at the result of this today......
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:09 pm

If you want to understand the minds and hearts
of our ancestors of the early Christian centuries
you have to time warp yourself back into their position
Imposing modern thought on ancient times
is a superficial waste of time.

you have to apply imagination
and earthy common sense to do that
Born and raised in Africa
has been a great help
they are just entering the Iron Age
and they take the Bible very seriously
it is an anchor
in a turbulent sea
of tribal chaos.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Dako wrote:

What about a religion like Islam where there are not really any rules? There are many rules in Islam, but reading the Qur’an the month before last, it looked to me the only real rule (except not to eat carrion, which is even forgivable) is to submit to no man (that's almost an un-rule) and to submit only to God (what sort of a rule is that?).

There are indeed many rules within the Qur'an, as well as the Sunnah (the ways of the Prophet Muhammed SAWS). Almost every single aspect of life has some form of rules (whether they be obligatory or recommended) within Islam, from the way we govern, to the way we eat, to the way we pray. Some are less or more important than others. Some are less or more known than others. But there are certainly rules dealing with every single aspect of life.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:31 pm

Musa wrote:


There are indeed many rules within the Qur'an, as well as the Sunnah (the ways of the Prophet Muhammed SAWS). Almost every single aspect of life has some form of rules (whether they be obligatory or recommended) within Islam, from the way we govern, to the way we eat, to the way we pray. Some are less or more important than others. Some are less or more known than others. But there are certainly rules dealing with every single aspect of life.

With all due respect
Musa

When just a single rule is written
there is not enough library room in the Universe
to hold all the arguments
that challenge it.

For this reason
Islam.
like Christianity
is doomed
to endless
jihad

It is only when
we throw away the book
and return
to our base
of common sense
and honor the word
of another man
without the medium
of an interpreter
will all men
be one with God.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:04 pm

MagnetMan wrote:
Musa wrote:


There are indeed many rules within the Qur'an, as well as the Sunnah (the ways of the Prophet Muhammed SAWS). Almost every single aspect of life has some form of rules (whether they be obligatory or recommended) within Islam, from the way we govern, to the way we eat, to the way we pray. Some are less or more important than others. Some are less or more known than others. But there are certainly rules dealing with every single aspect of life.

With all due respect
Musa

When just a single rule is written
there is not enough library room in the Universe
to hold all the arguments
that challenge it.

For this reason
Islam.
like Christianity
is doomed
to endless
jihad

It is only when
we throw away the book
and return
to our base
of common sense
and honor the word
of another man
without the medium
of an interpreter
will all men
be one with God.

I'm sorry but I do not quite understand your point. Specifically, what do you mean "doomed to endless Jihad"?

I believe the Qur'an to be the direct word of God, and I have reasons to believe this. If this is the case, then who knows better than God how the universe functions? And who knows better than God how we as human beings should interact with one another? The Qur'an lays out the foundations of how we should act, and how to keep peace between peoples and nations, as well as how to be among those who excel in the hereafter.

And who is this "God" you speak of, if you have no source of which you believe to be from him? What is your basis to believe in him? I doubt you would believe in God, if it were not a cultural norm in our society. How can you know God if you have not recieved anything from God? Then everything is just guessing, based on nothing.

And if mankind is to act on his own instinct, what an awful world we would live in. Do you realize what desire would lead man to do? Before the Qur'an was revealed, women in the Arabian Peninsula were burried alive after they had given birth. Tribal customs were to battle, and trade a life for a life. So if a woman were killed in one tribe, that tribe would gain its revenge by killing a woman of the aggressor tribe. Islam came and taught humanity to the people. Islam came and taught the people to resist temptation and natural human instict, and instead, to act based on reason and morality.

In a society without religion, you can expect very high rates of Murder, Rape, STDs, Drugs, Depression, Suicide, etc. Just as we are seeing in todays world, with religion on the decline.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:49 am

Musa wrote:

I'm sorry but I do not quite understand your point. Specifically, what do you mean "doomed to endless Jihad"?

I believe the Qur'an to be the direct word of God, and I have reasons to believe this. If this is the case, then who knows better than God how the universe functions? And who knows better than God how we as human beings should interact with one another? The Qur'an lays out the foundations of how we should act, and how to keep peace between peoples and nations, as well as how to be among those who excel in the hereafter.

And who is this "God" you speak of, if you have no source of which you believe to be from him? What is your basis to believe in him? I doubt you would believe in God, if it were not a cultural norm in our society. How can you know God if you have not recieved anything from God? Then everything is just guessing, based on nothing.

And if mankind is to act on his own instinct, what an awful world we would live in. Do you realize what desire would lead man to do? Before the Qur'an was revealed, women in the Arabian Peninsula were burried alive after they had given birth. Tribal customs were to battle, and trade a life for a life. So if a woman were killed in one tribe, that tribe would gain its revenge by killing a woman of the aggressor tribe. Islam came and taught humanity to the people. Islam came and taught the people to resist temptation and natural human instict, and instead, to act based on reason and morality.

In a society without religion, you can expect very high rates of Murder, Rape, STDs, Drugs, Depression, Suicide, etc. Just as we are seeing in todays world, with religion on the decline.

don't expect a very reasonable answer from MM, I tried to make me answer what is this 'God' he believes in before, but he wasn't capable of answering...

he 'simply' believes, which means: he simply doesn't know what he 'believes' in...

now, I agree when you say that without a religion society doesn't work. That just shows that religion is nothing more, nothing less than a mechanism to dominate and tame human beings. It doesn't prove that religion is good or right, its just proves that it's useful, and that it remains alive precisely because it's useful...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:06 am

Drone wrote:
[
don't expect a very reasonable answer from MM, I tried to make me answer what is this 'God' he believes in before, but he wasn't capable of answering...
he 'simply' believes, which means: he simply doesn't know what he 'believes' in...



Thirty years ago while walking my dog under the pines in a Johannesburg
park, I distinctly heard a voice call out my name. “Stuart!” There
is a Gaelic intonation to my name that usually only the Scots know how
to pronounce correctly. The pronunciation was spot on. I looked around,
searching for the source of the call. The park was deserted; no other person
was present. Whether the call had been inside or outside my head, at that
moment, I could not say. I was about to dismiss it and continue my walk,
when a ray of sunlight, beaming down through the branches and striking
the trunk of a tree, caught my attention. A sense of excited anticipation
grew in intensity as I stared at the energy streaming out of the brilliant
beam. My entire body began to vibrate involuntary in response. Some instinct
deep within me knew, without question, from whence the source of
the call had come.
We are taught from childhood to accept that all life on Earth, and by association,
consciousness itself, is sustained by the energy emitted out of our
Sun. I was now preternaturally witness to the life-sustaining process that
we are normally barely conscious of. I began to both see and feel vibrating
ions of atomic energy streaming out of the light beam and fl ow into my
body. I could feel an ecstatic harmonic as the atoms in my body absorbed
the energy. After a short while of bathing in this wondrous stream, I felt a
strong urge (invitation?) to get out from under the shade of trees, and stand
in the unobstructed light of the Sun. With every atom in my body vibrating
in a wild dance of anticipation, I walked forward out of the shade and
stepped into the sunlight and was immediately enraptured by ecstasy.
Without the slightest sense of blinded discomfort, I found myself staring
up, wide-eyed, into the direct light of our Star. I knew instantly and completely,
with a sense of absolute familiarity which lay beyond the realm
of rational explanation, that I was profoundly engaged in a sacred
communion with the source of Supreme Consciousness that originated our
Atomic Being.

Poetry and psalms are the only way we can share with each other, by way
of the printed word, some degree of the storms of extreme emotion that the
human soul is capable of expressing in moments of profound revelation.
I have never been much of a poet. I have tried at the end of this book to
describe in greater detail, through simple lines of verse, the depth of emotional
release that is experienced, and what goes through a lonely Protestant
heart, long divorced from a simple belief in God, when one suddenly
realizes the depth of the disconnect from one’s True Love. The intense
intellectual rush, which accompanies that heart-rending realization, that
MAN is not alone in the universe; and to suddenly know that a Compassionate
Consciousness, infinitely greater than our own, has been waiting
faithfully all along, sharing our existence with us, and has been a constant
witness to our individual lives!

All I wanted then and there was to fl y out of my body; to be done with
worldly things, and return to the source of my Being. “Take me!” The
words burst out of me! Aloud. Spontaneously. Filled with a yearning passion
that I never knew I had in me; I wanted nothing less than instant and
total reunion. In that same moment I realized deep inside me, with a sense
of resignation that was shared by the Consciousness shining compassionately
down on me, that it was not to be. Not yet, I had my life journey to
make, more to learn, and debts to pay. I knew right then and there with a
burst of mature insight that heaven is not a private place of personal peace.
It is a most public place. God loves All, separately and at Once. Heaven
cannot really exist until all share in it - with no one left on the outside,
suffering.

While the realization of contact lasted, my entire psyche was in a state of
ecstasy. My physique vibrated luxuriously in response to the charismatic
charge. My emotions accepted that a Divine Presence was gracing me with
loving compassion. My intellect acknowledged the atomic reality of the
communion. The contact was intensely familiar. I experienced it as a harmony
of loving exchange between a patient parent and a long-lost child. I
felt immensely grateful, divinely graced. Blessed beyond any expectation.
That Divine contact, and three more that followed that wondrous day;
combined with a series of reassuring communications which took place a
week later in the same park, finally and completely assuaged the doubts of
my scientifically indoctrinated mind, that it was not being self-deluded by
some monstrous inner angst. And that realization profoundly altered my
former mundane concept of reality.

Though I have only a rudimentary grasp of nuclear theory; from a psychological
perspective as a child born and raised in an Atomic Age, by
a culture imprinted with twenty fi ve centuries of scientifi c determination
and religious Protestation, I was better prepared both intellectually, and
emotionally, than the master philosophers and theologians of Ages gone
by, to accept that consciousness, per se, could not have evolved out of a
vacuum - that it had to have a germ of origin - and that the prime source
had to be invested in the atom, as an essential metaphysical attribute of
subatomic behavior.

During those extra-terrestrial contacts, the atomic association of my Self;
for a purpose that I still do not fully understand, was made supernaturally
aware, via the medium of ions of radiant energy transmitted through space
into my body, of the Divinely Conscious state of our Star. What I do know
and accept to this day as a fundamental Truth, is that we are nourished
every second of every day, not only with vitamin D, but also with spiritual
manna from our sun, as well. There is a loving exchange taking place
between us and the Light of God, every second of every day that we are
not normally conscious of. For reasons that would take me the rest of my
life to try and come to grips with, the Sacred had intervened in my life and
made me supernaturally aware of the atomic nature of our relationship.
The instant recognition and utter familiarity of the contact, added to the
irresistible surge for union that I experienced, with an overwhelming need
for passionate embrace that completely over-came my biological need to
hold onto physical existence, refl ects, I believe, a profound metaphysical
attraction, far greater than any physical force, that binds the consciousness
of all atoms to a single over-riding super-atomic consciousness.
I intuitively believe that the irresistible attraction of Love unifi es all the
forces in the universe. Every atom inside me acknowledged that our eventual
return to Grace was an absolute State of Being. Every atom in the
universe, at heart, wants to return back to the center.

As a side issue, the prevalent science fiction idea that there might be rapacious
alien intelligence cruising the Cosmos in UFOs, intent on Universal
domination by force, is simply a childish bogeyman manufactured by our
immature imagination. Any other cosmic civilization that has achieved a
transcendental state of consciousness, capable of traveling beyond its own
sphere of influence, will have evolved beyond the feeding stage. In its
mature state it will be motivated by the impulse to nurture - to share the
universal Truth of Love. Any extra-terrestrial that we might meet in the
future can never be aggressively alien. It can only be compassionate and
loving and non-trespassing to us, no matter what form it appears in.
That same universally binding force was fl owing that day between my
atomic being and that of our own Star. The extra-sensory communication
was uncontaminated by the endless problems of verbal interpretation.
I was not being instructed to do anything. I was simply being soulfully
assured, over and over again, despite my self-doubts each time the communication
was broken off and then renewed that a greater consciousness
existed.

During that day and the torment of doubt during the week that followed,
I sensed – hoped – prayed - that the contact would be renewed. Exactly a
week later in the same park, I collapsed onto my knees with relief, when a
second series of contacts with the Sacred forced me to experience the agony
of Divine revelation, as opposed to the ecstasy that I felt the week before.
This time I suffered, as though impaled on a cross. I did not resist and
bore the pain with my eyes closed in loving resignation, even to the point
of believing that my arms had been devilishly and grotesquely reversed in
their sockets. The combined experiences left me with all the assurance one
can ever hope to feel about the innate holiness of human existence.
When the final Communion was over and done with (seven contacts in all)
and my doubts laid at rest forever – because they were without direct instruction
- I did not know why the Divine Intervention had been initiated,
or what the larger purpose was.

For the past thirty years until now, though I have had innumerable other
psychic experiences, I have never had another sacred meeting with our
Father Sun. Nor have I felt any urge to spend my life on a pulpit, giving
testament to that meeting. I knew instinctively that the contact was personal
and private. It was meant for me to try and make sense of the purpose
behind it, and only when I had done so, to try and share the experience in
a comprehensive way.

I can see the psychoanalysts, and those who are engaged in the interpretation
of phenomenological development, pointing at the insane delusions of
a schizophrenic or hysteric. There is a modern contention in hermeneutics
which argues that voices, which seem to come from empty space, come in
fact from inside our own heads; those who are affected interpret them as
super-natural visitations and are simply reacting to a subconscious fear of
death. I find that analysis hard to accept for several reasons.
It is change that we fear, not death. Death is not a factor in the nuclear
equation. In the world of sub-atomic radiation there is no expiration date;
nothing ever dies - only transformation takes place. It is the phantom ego
that fears change. It is our false ego, which must die for change to take
place. And the greater the unknown nature of change, the greater the sense
of fear. When one sees this clearly there is no need for fear.
While experiencing the Divine contact, I, in fact, wanted death - physical
death - with all its finite limitations, so that I could embrace a disembodied
spiritual life with all its intimacy and infinite potentials. If any form
of angst gripped me at that time of my life, making me subconsciously
manufacture a bizarre Divine contact, I was indeed totally unconscious of
it. From a perspective of personal achievement I had no reason on Earth to
want to end my life and fl y into the arms of God.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:12 am

If it is possible in any way shape-or-form for a Word to invoke a feeling, at all, then *ALL* religious faiths are validated by logical necessity.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:01 pm

i would call it emotional pragmatism...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:14 pm

wonderer wrote:
i would call it emotional pragmatism...
You mean religious piety. The old world is older than you.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:22 pm

Unreasonable wrote:
wonderer wrote:
i would call it emotional pragmatism...
You mean religious piety. The old world is older than you.

here's my list of reasons to have religious piety.

a countdown

10) you're too lazy to formulate your own conclusions

9) you want to fit in

8 ) some guy says while brandishing a shot gun "what was that mister?"

7) Cindy with the sweet rack needs guidance

6) you are labeled as a heretic

5) you want to get rich

4) you fear death and eternal damnation

3) You want to win an election

2) you lust for pleasure (heaven)

1) You want to control people

By the way, what's the old remark about?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Religion?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:36 pm

wonderer wrote:
By the way, what's the old remark about?
Do not concern yourself with things beyond your grasp.
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