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Religious Extremism

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posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 06:22 PM
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Religious extremism.

What is it?

Why does it exist?

I would like to start out by saying that I respect all religions in the world. I believe that all of the world religions offer us certain levels of wisdom, guidance, and comfort.

The one thing that I have not been able to wrap my brain around for some time now is Religious Extremism.

I would like to offer the opportunity for members of ats to discuss and think about what religious extremism is what it means and what the future holds.

I understand there is the Israeli / Palestine conflict. The Christian/ Muslim conflict. But there are more cases that this. There are religious extremists who fight within their own religion. IE Sunni’s, Shiites, Protestants, and Catholics.

But why? Why do people feel the need to take up arms and perform violence against another group of people for what they believe?

Can anyone on this planet really prove what and who god is? And what he/she/it wants form us? Why are we fighting about this?

I am an American. I am a descendant of German, Polish, Swedish, English, and Native American. I was raised up in a Lutheran, Protestant church. In my upbringing I was taught to respect other peoples religious beliefs. I can understand this and can see why it is important to the peace and security of a society. But I have had the opportunity to read many viewpoints and even enter the astral plane. As a free thinking person, and a free human, and a free spirit, I have taken the liberty to learn all I could about the various beliefs in the world. The thing I understand and agree with most is that no one has the answer.

What I don’t understand is why someone would murder or kill another human in the name of religion. What makes the killer’s religion more truthful then the victims? What gives the killer the right to kill in the name of his or her god/deity?

Don’t misunderstand me. This is not an attack on Muslims. This is not an attack on anyone. Remember the Christian crusades. The Christians have killed millions in the name of Christ. This post is not to lay blame on anyone or any religion, but to examine why it exists.

Why do people blindly follow their religious beliefs and commands of their religious leaders without challenging them with the human reasoning abilities god, Allah, Buddha, or another deity gave them.

As humans, we seem to be only a stone throw from the cave we crawled out of. It seems to me the only difference between modern humans and those of 3,000 years ago are – gunpowder, vaccinations, and electricity. Are we still, in the year 2006 fighting the same fights we were fighting 2000 years ago? If so why wont anyone admit this.

In summery. What exactly is religious extremism, why does it exist, is it healthy for the future of society, and if not how do we RECONCILE.

My heart and soul goes out to all the farmers, mechanics, and commonpeople from all over the world who find themselves trapped in a religious war. I know that we all share and have the same wants, fears and ambitions for our families and ourselves. I also know that under the right circumstances that we can all become brothers and friends under the banner of respect and common humanity.

With regards,
MoldMaker




posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 09:58 PM
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Personally, I think it must be fear and insecurity. Ironically, it is the very state of being unsure, and worried about trying to know the unknown, that drives mortals to wear such facades as

'I'm-certain-of-being-way-more-than-absolutely-sure'

and
'I-know-I'm-right-so-everyone-else-must-be-wrong.'


One of my favorite buddhist proverbs:

'Everything in moderation, including moderation.'




posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:11 PM
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Religious Extremism

What is it?

Excessive attachment to one particular theory.

Why does it exist?

Some people have a problem thinking for themselves. Others are weak and need something external to rely on.



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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I think some people are genetically predisposed to extremism.

Some people are born afraid and they are the ones that seek order, ritual and worship authority, consequently gravitate to religious extremism. They can be very intelligent but one dimensional and rigid in their thinking.
Deathly afraid of loosing control. Constant struggle with guilt.






On the other extreme are those that seek chaos, disorder, excitement and personal gratification. The religious extremism of these people tends to be self worship, addictions and alcoholism. Scattered thinking patterns. Schizophrenic. Always seeking control and being constantly disappointed.
Never taking personal responsibility.

queenA38s' quote from the zen master was beautiful!




[edit on 8-4-2006 by whaaa]



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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Extremism in any way I think just comes from having a singletracked mind, focusing only on one thing. In this case, the religous texts, if you do that....you're bound to snap eventually...



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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Anything, strung too tight, for too long, is bound to snap eventually.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 10:04 AM
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religious extremists are people who uses one's belief to control a mass, you just need one guy for everything to go crazy

and i don't think there is a Christian / Muslim conflict



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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Religious extremism is bred into certain societies. If you are raised in an environment which demands that you strictly observe religious rules, you eventually won't be able to think differently, unless you are reverse-brain-washed. (When I was a kid, I lived in a Communist country. I was brainwashed into believing that the USSR was the best place on earth. When I was asked to name a wonderful place, you bet your a$$ I answered "Russia!") If you are taught from the beginning that your religion is "the one", and if you continue to live in a society which believes the same thing,.. you will most likely believe it until the day you die. Sometimes when your position in the world is threatened (i.e. when someone tells you that their religion is "the one", and you're wrong,) you can react in an extreme way.

Why does a government create a brain-washed society? So that it is easier to control. So that it is easier to rile them up against enemies.

I was recently reading a book on medieval Muslim science, and in the opening paragraphs it described the formation of the Islamic religion. At first Muslims believed that education was incredibly important. The point was to discover everything possible about our universe, the creation of Alah. Supposedly in the Koran it says that the ink of a scholar is more precious than the blood of a Martyr. Well, a lot of the Muslim scholars and scientists took this seriously, but once they started to question the existance of God, and religion itself, the Muslim priests/authorities (if that is a proper name for them) put an end to such education. It began to threaten their power over the people. Suddenly education only relevant to Islam was allowed, and schools were reformed. When religious beliefs were placed above everything else, including education, bad things started to happen.

The reason you have such extremism in Muslim countries is, because their religion states that you CANNOT separate religion and government. They must be one and the same. This is also (probably, and in my opinion) the reason why some (if not most) Iraqis have a problem with a new government that would not run according to religious laws.
Now, to address the problem between the two groups; the Sunnis and the Shiites both believe that they are the ones who should be ruling over the other, because they are the ones to whom power belongs. It has to do with the lineages of Mohammed, and what happened after his death. Here is a good, short article on the differences:

Sunnis and Shiites


The major split in Islam is that between the majority Sunnis and the minority Shiites. The split goes back to events in the 7th century:

After Mohammed’s death, leadership of the Islamic community passed to Abu Bakr, one of Mohammed’s closest companions. Some in the community felt that this succession was not legitimate, and that the title of caliph really belonged to Ali. Ali’s claim was supported by the fact that he was Mohammed’s cousin, his adopted son, his first convert (at the age of nine), and husband of his daughter Fatima. Both sides believe that Mohammed specifically designated their man: Supporters of Abu became the Sunnis, those of Ali the Shiites.


The reason you don't see such common extremism in the U.S. for instance is, because in the U.S. the government does not force you to practice one religion over the other. Your education is not based on religious beliefs, and, because the U.S. has had such a dark history when it comes to racism and slavery, the schools push to teach their students diversity and equality. Hence, even if your mom and dad have kept you in the closet, and taught you that your religion is the one,...you will eventually step into this diverse world, and will be indoctrinated to believe differently. Or,...at least you'll be exposed to hundreds of different opinions, cultures, and beliefs, at which point you're free to make up your own mind if it isn't too late for you.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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I'm sorry I'm posting again. I just wanted to add a few more things.



Why do people blindly follow their religious beliefs and commands of their religious leaders without challenging them with the human reasoning abilities god, Allah, Buddha, or another deity gave them.


The reason people follow blindly is, because they have been taught not to question authority from the day they were born. Those who end up questioning authority often get eliminated, before they have a chance to spread their ideas to a large group of others. Though God, or Allah gave man reasoning abilities, human authorities and leaders have taken that away from the common man with threats and force.



As humans, we seem to be only a stone throw from the cave we crawled out of. It seems to me the only difference between modern humans and those of 3,000 years ago are – gunpowder, vaccinations, and electricity. Are we still, in the year 2006 fighting the same fights we were fighting 2000 years ago? If so why wont anyone admit this.


We haven't come a very long way, because our kind hasn't been in existence very long on this earth. It would seem that way to us, but honestly,...in the 24 hour life span of this planet, we've only been alive for about 26 seconds! Our nature remains basically the same;....Kill, or be killed. (Only now in most "civilized" parts of the world it is more like Rule, or be ruled). I think it will take us many a hundred, if not thousands of years before we see a significant change.
I think people know we're basically still fighting the same battles we fought 2000 years ago. Some deny it, because it is politically incorrect to admit it in public. The reason we continue to fight these same battles is, because we still don't understand (as a whole) why we are here, whether there is a God (or Gods), and we certainly don't know which religion/belief has got it right. There is still room for doubt, and uncertainty still lingers. As long as we're not absolutely sure (without a single doubt) that there is no such thing as God, we will continue to fight each other to the death. As long as there are power-hungry individuals who manipulate faith, religion, or any system of belief to their advantage, we will continue to fight. To be honest, religion is nothing but a tool. Science can be used just as well as religion. Hence, eliminating religion will only give way to something new to fight about.




In summery. What exactly is religious extremism, why does it exist, is it healthy for the future of society, and if not how do we RECONCILE.


Religious extremism is not healthy for the future of our societies, but, as I've already stated above, as long as there are power-hungry individuals, they will always find some cause to use for their own benefit. It could be religion, science, race, nationality, family descent, hair color, social status, etc. etc. etc.



My heart and soul goes out to all the farmers, mechanics, and commonpeople from all over the world who find themselves trapped in a religious war. I know that we all share and have the same wants, fears and ambitions for our families and ourselves. I also know that under the right circumstances that we can all become brothers and friends under the banner of respect and common humanity.


My heart goes out to all the people who are trapped under the history of leadership of those who promote hate, in order to maintain their lavish lifestyles, and the false worship of millions.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 02:54 PM
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What really gets me about the whole religious extremist thing is that there are so many simularities between the worlds major religions, a lot of the major aspects of them are the same, yet extremists would rather focus on the petty differences between their religions and other religions.

I personally think it has a lot to do with control. Extreme extremists just need something to show their superiority over others and religion is the easiest thing for them to do that with. It's really not about their belief in the religion itself at all.



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