originally posted by: backcase
What is thought of the common religious?
"They are hypocrites. They are the epitome of hatred. ... [sic]
But is it really so?
I believe individual religious ideas or concepts and the people who believe them are mostly separate things. Most people tend to follow their own
morality whether religious or not, they just express it differently.
Some religious ideas are stupid grant you.
Because I feel that all people know in their hearts the truth,
I believe most
humans have ingrained and shared biological behaviours that predefine them towards some moral behaviours that we might call some
kind of truth inside some kind of metaphorical heart.
Things like mirror neurons and all the rest help us have empathy for others and build relationships, and we get those nice happy feelings when we do
something nice. The occurrence of these traits could be considered 'goodness', but in a lot of people they happen regardless of what they believe.
It is said among many men that virtue is fake
But not amongst most.
What is sad is that many think that that man is happy despite his goodness.
There are actually a lot of studies that shows the brain rewards kind acts with happy chemicals for most people except psychopaths etc ... partly
because we mirror other people somewhat. It's probably why it feels better to give a homeless person $20 than it does to pay some organization to
build a well in Africa.
Humans aren't really evolved to pay people to build wells in Africa.
Is that man not an enigma who forgives the hand which harms him and even allows his heart to love that criminal out of pity?
Forgiveness is a good for health and for community mostly.
That man denies that the good man grasps some sort of lofty truth. Why? Because the man who does not understand 'foolish' man's actions,
does not grasp what the foolish man does.
Kind of agree with you here, but forgiveness and do unto others stand on their own merits.
Ancient philosopher named Seneca once said something along the lines of, 'the greatest punishment you can give a criminal is understanding of his
actions'. It's in Greek, would need to dig out the exact quote but these are ancient concepts. They shouldn't be considered lofty. Even
chimpanzees, dogs, and rats understand fairness as a concept.
asking your heart to be changed so that it may move and act with actual love and happiness, that of which, it has not been capable of so
Understanding all those concepts is pretty neat, but it doesn't require religion to do so, it's just the secular version of these concepts were
absorbed into faiths of all kinds for a couple of thousand years.
The major difference I see between many religious interpretations of good and my own is that many faiths claim you 'chose' to be good or are
commanded to be so by divine will, whilst I personally feel that many people just don't get the opportunity due to factors beyond their control in
the forming of their being.
I don't hold it against them, I don't believe they chose this, and I don't command them to be well, but I help out where I can. It ends up having
many of the same properties of forgiveness but requires no active decision making and is born out of my understanding humanity than a relationship
with a God.
Hope that helps your thinking?