Why would anyone say ‘religion’ is here…to ‘control’ people?

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posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


No I'm afraid. I don't think any of us have been posting much lately.




posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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I'll preface my answers by saying I am not a religious person but I am a compassionate and loving human being. Here are my answers:

1) Do you think faith/religion is here to control the masses?
I think Faith is extremely important but I do not think religion goes hand-in-hand with faith, not necessarily anyways. Faith can help a lot of people get through their daily lives, it can be a very important tool. Those with strong faith tend to be much more pleasant to be around than those of little faith, at the very least. I believe religion is a crutch, though not necessarily a crutch that needs to be abandoned. Religion itself can bring together a community, some people NEED a community in order to survive. While I do believe that one should be able to live without a community but by yourself, I also understand that this isn't so easy for everybody. Myself being one of them.

While I don't believe religion is used to control a mass of people in all situations, I do believe that it is easily manipulated to be so.

2) Why?
It's very easy to prey on a persons insecurities. It's easy to exploit their need for a higher power, and this happens in many churches (of all faiths) all over the world. Though I do not deny the presence of true, honest, and pure houses.

3) Your evidence?
Pastors using collection money to put a down payment on a new car instead of funding the church; convincing a man that in order to appease Allah he must destroy himself along with a market full of 'infidels'; making people pay thousands of dollars for classes that will help them reach enlightenment. These are all examples of exploitation of faith, and one way to do that is by gaining control over them.

4) Did you once believe?
I was a Christian, briefly. But there was a lot in the religion I didn't agree with so I didn't stick with it. I believe in love and the universe as one. I believe in the same God that everybody believes in, those who do believe in a God, I just don't claim a religion. I don't even call my god 'God' I call my god 'Love.'

5) Did you change?
Very much for the better, leaving religion behind me made me begin a path towards non-judgement, a path towards tolerance and understanding. Love for my fellow man, compassion for the world. Leaving religion behind me made me much happier.

6) Why are you an atheist?
I am not.

7) Why are you an agnostic?
I am not.

8) Why you are a christian?
I am not.

9) What ‘SHOULD‘ God look like/act like/be like?
It would be a dishonor to my own soul to presume to assume any of those things. But, when I think of 'God' I tend to imagine pure white blinding light, that's where my imagination naturally flows. Though I doubt it's a true depiction. If it were I get the feeling I wouldn't be able to imagine it.





But then again, maybe I'm wrong about all of it. Maybe I should've just been Mormon.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by stonespiral
3) Your evidence?
Pastors using collection money to put a down payment on a new car instead of funding the church; convincing a man that in order to appease Allah he must destroy himself along with a market full of 'infidels'; making people pay thousands of dollars for classes that will help them reach enlightenment. These are all examples of exploitation of faith, and one way to do that is by gaining control over them.


Hey you did a great job with the answers - thanks...

Your evidence for #3 gives all honorable followers a bad name...sad for sure!!!

Two thumbs up



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Thanks


It's a pity that the honorable followers get a bad name. Some of the best people I know are honorable followers of various religious backgrounds. Beautiful people, they always fight to defend their faith at first and I stopped them with, "Hey man, it's cool I'm not here to mess with you I just want to have a discussion." They usually look pretty relieved after that.

Glad you liked my answers!



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 10:20 PM
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You're right, as an atheist I should not have opened this forum. I'm bowing out.

Ciao.



Originally posted by gYvMessanger
To be fair this is the religious discussion forum, and OT clearly stated his intent early on in the thread.

Hes not pretending to be anything other than what he is.

Which is a passionate follower of Jesus, that's his choice, hes very open about it, I'm not sure what the issue is.


This is the first lines of the thread after the question was posed:

Any ATS regular or lurker can see OT is online to represent his savior….no bait and switch here. It’s pretty darn clear, agree?

That was posted by OT himself by the way.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by gYvMessanger]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by SantaClaus
5) Did you change?

I used to be catholic, but learned that most of the people i practiced with were not pure in any sense of the word. In fact, I believe they practice their faith to make themselves feel better for being so spiritually apathetic and for the bad ways they lived their lives.


Yeah, I've met some that use it as an 'cover' for livin' like Hell all week...sad, but true....

I, however, have many many I know that are trying to live surrendered lives and I see FRUIT from them...you know any?

OT



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


I'm hopeful that it doesn't suck. The last trip into the past (Enterprise) was rather disappointing. But yes, I am looking forward to it, hence the new avatar.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Intellect is not a universal metric by which all mankind can evaluate any form of scripture, because not all intellects are equal. When you combine intellect with what we observe in the natural world, it becomes less and less likely that scripture is accurate to any degree.

I believe it was Galileo who once said: "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.." Or something rather like that. However, I'm not so sure it was even god who endowed humanity with intelligence or reason. There's every indication that it could have evolved naturally, and that consciousness is merely an emergent property of the highly complex interactions of the various areas of our brain.

I believe in a god... however, everything I've seen, experienced, read, reasoned, or inquired about has lead me to the conclusion that god likely does not exist. Yet this enduring faith burns. Perhaps it is merely a reconciliation on my part, but it seems to me that if both my faith and my reason are true - then god is not a personal god who takes an active hand in our lives.

Scripture, miracles, revealed truths, prophecy... these have little meaning to me, for they are not the word of god, but the words of men trying to make sense of the concept of such a being - and all of their proofs lie in little more than magic.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 



Lasheic, I appreciate your transparency there man...

My take is...if an all powerful deity wanted to convey a message to imperfect humans, He's figure out a way to preserve it...

OT



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 07:47 AM
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1. I not sure whether that was the original intention of any religion initially, but control does become a major factor as an organised religion matures. Organised religions certainly wield massive control over their believers in many ways.
All Religions have much in common, like football teams. And like football teams the fans of one particular team will show much devotion to their chosen team, and pour scorn on the opponents team, to the point of physical harm. But in the final analysis it's just a game of football. Religion is a game of delusion, and sometimes many people die because of the faith of the supporters. Sad but true.
2. Because if the religion doesn't have control it does not have any relevance, think about it.
3. Take an honest look around you without the bias of your faith, you will see it everywhere. The evidence is inescapable. If you fail to see it then (a) Your club/religion is obscuring your vision. (b) You're dead.
4. Not sure about this as I was a child, so I'd place this question up there with: Did I once believe in Santa Claus.
5. Not sure about this either, maybe I just got a little wiser.
6. I didn't know I was one, but maybe I am.
7. I didn't know I was one of these either.
8. I'm actually glad I'm not one of these, they have a lot of blood and death and pain to sidestep down the centuries and the years and on and on into the future.
9. I'm not expecting to ever "See" God and that's ok with me. And if I do then it will be a bonus.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by willywagga

8. I'm actually glad I'm not one of these, they have a lot of blood and death and pain to sidestep down the centuries and the years and on and on into the future.



Alright...but for number 8 here...I'd say 'religion' was very intermingled with the 'state' for lack of a better term....basically where men that wanted to 'conquer' used the most influencial faction of the time, i.e. the religion of their country, to manipulate, etc...

Not really the true followers? But it does give faith a bad name...


OT



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by OldThinker

Originally posted by willywagga

8. I'm actually glad I'm not one of these, they have a lot of blood and death and pain to sidestep down the centuries and the years and on and on into the future.



Alright...but for number 8 here...I'd say 'religion' was very intermingled with the 'state' for lack of a better term....basically where men that wanted to 'conquer' used the most influencial faction of the time, i.e. the religion of their country, to manipulate, etc...

Not really the true followers? But it does give faith a bad name...


OT


It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. Religious leaders and the State Leaders both benefited - with the hapless believers stuck in the middle following the supposed word of their god. Take, for instance, the case of Hypatia whom I reference in my signature. She was caught in the middle of a political/religious conflict between Orestes and Cicero. As a close personal friend of Orestes, she was seen as the reason for him being unable to reconcile with the Bishop. It's suspected, but unproven, whether or not Cicero ordered her execution or not, but a mob of Christians lead by a man named "Peter" waylayed her carriage and had her drug through the streets to the church of Caesareum and flayed the skin off her body with tiles and/or oyster shells - then drug her to Cineron where she was burned alive.

With her death, what remained of the Library of Alexandria was considered a pagan temple and destroyed by the standing order of Theodosius I. Because of the description her Christian murderers gave of the account vs. that of the more moderate Christians (she was seen as a symbol of virtue by many Christians of the time) and her pupils gave - she is often considered one of first victims of the "witch hunts".

So I think this would definitely be considered a case of the religious institution influencing the state in order to effect their own ends, and succeeding because of the power they wielded within the political system.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


Sad story, never heard it...found this on it...


The story has several flaws:

Hypatia was not a young woman at the time, she was old.

Monks did not kill Hypatia, nor did the clergy, the Alexadrians led by a lector named Peter did it. The mob of monks that Mangasar is talking about were around several years before this scene in 419 A.D. and they rescued Christians from death at the hands of the Alexandrian Jews.

Cyril did not instigate the mob nor was he there/


link: www.davidmacd.com...

sounds like there are many debatable facts, I dunno?




posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


My take is...if an all powerful deity wanted to convey a message to imperfect humans, He's figure out a way to preserve it...


... ?

Do you think this has happened or something? Why would he want to convey a message to 'imperfect' man anyway? Why not build the message into the being like programming. And also what is this about "imperfect" humans? You're trying to apply absolutes to nature - it doesn't work.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf
reply to post by OldThinker
 


My take is...if an all powerful deity wanted to convey a message to imperfect humans, He's figure out a way to preserve it...


... ?

Do you think this has happened or something? Why would he want to convey a message to 'imperfect' man anyway? Why not build the message into the being like programming. And also what is this about "imperfect" humans? You're trying to apply absolutes to nature - it doesn't work.



Good questions GW,

1) Yeah I believe it did happen, I believe God did preserve the intent of his message in the bible.
2) Why? Because He is LOVE
3) Programming? I think because as I "want" my children to love me, as opposed to pragramming them as robots that walk around citing..."I love OT, I love OT!" He wants us to want to seek Him
4) "Imperfect?" Romans 3:23

Not sure how to respond to the absolutes point...need some amplification if possible...

Always honored GW!

OT



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Good questions GW,

1) Yeah I believe it did happen, I believe God did preserve the intent of his message in the bible.


Of course you'd believe that, anything else would screw with your world view and we can't have that because that would be scary!





2) Why? Because He is LOVE


Really? The bible itself makes me think otherwise.


3) Programming? I think because as I "want" my children to love me, as opposed to pragramming them as robots that walk around citing..."I love OT, I love OT!" He wants us to want to seek Him


To play devils advocate, perhaps because you apparently 'want' to know him, that is in fact your pre-programming. Also 'programming' doesn't automatically mean 'drone'. The point was if he wants to preserve a message for us, programming it into life would be better than a book like the bible. After all we do have a thing called DNA which is programmed with certain behaviours to aide survivability like fight or flight instincts.


4) "Imperfect?" Romans 3:23

Not sure how to respond to the absolutes point...need some amplification if possible...


Yes well Romans isn't exactly an authority of nature is it? Also 3:23 doesn't mention anything about perfection.

Absolutes, perfection and nature. It goes like this, there cannot be imperfection without some standard of perfection. It's odd; if man cannot be perfect (even in potential) then there is no such thing as perfection and hence there is no such thing as imperfection.

You see what I mean?

Or, point 2.

You ever watched one of those natgeo specials showing a lioness taking down a young wildebeest? Is there morals in this system aka "The Circle of Life"? No. It's amoral, meaning without morals (as opposed to good or bad morals). It's the same when you call a person imperfect, "Imperfect" is a needless label being applied to this person.

Sigh. I'm going for a nap. Be back in an hour or so.


[edit on 9/2/2009 by Good Wolf]



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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government = latin governare mente = control mind

same as religious institutions



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf

....Also 'programming' doesn't mean 'drone'. The point was if he wants to preserve a message for us, programming it into life would be better than a book like the bible.



Yes, he is not limited to a book....he had programmed it into life as you have said, see...


Romans 1:20.... For the invisible things of him from-or "since"


Jamieson-Fausset says...

For the invisible things of him from-or "since"

the creation of the world are clearly seen-the mind brightly beholding what the eye cannot discern.

being understood by the things that are made-Thus, the outward creation is not the parent but the interpreter of our faith in God. That faith has its primary sources within our own breast (Ro 1:19); but it becomes an intelligible and articulate conviction only through what we observe around us ("by the things which are made," Ro 1:20). And thus are the inner and the outer revelation of God the complement of each other, making up between them one universal and immovable conviction that God is. (With this striking apostolic statement agree the latest conclusions of the most profound speculative students of Theism).

even his eternal power and Godhead-both that there is an Eternal Power, and that this is not a mere blind force, or pantheistic "spirit of nature," but the power of a living Godhead.

so that they are without excuse-all their degeneracy being a voluntary departure from truth thus brightly revealed to the unsophisticated spirit.



And respected Matthew Henry says..."

By what way and means these discoveries and notices which they had were confirmed and improved, namely, by the work of creation (v. 20); For the invisible things of God, etc.

(1.) Observe what they knew: The invisible things of him, even his eternal power and Godhead. Though God be not the object of sense, yet he hath discovered and made known himself by those things that are sensible. The power and Godhead of God are invisible things, and yet are clearly seen in their products. He works in secret (Job 23:8, 9; Ps. 139:15; Eccl. 11:5), but manifests what he has wrought, and therein makes known his power and Godhead, and others of his attributes which natural light apprehends in the idea of a God. They could not come by natural light to the knowledge of the three persons in the Godhead (though some fancy they have found footsteps of this in Plato's writings), but they did come to the knowledge of the Godhead, at least so much knowledge as was sufficient to have kept them from idolatry. This was that truth which they held in unrighteousness.

(2.) How they knew it: By the things that are made, which could not make themselves, nor fall into such an exact order and harmony by any casual hits; and therefore must have been produced by some first cause or intelligent agent, which first cause could be no other than an eternal powerful God. See Ps. 19:1; Isa. 40:26; Acts 17:24. The workman is known by his work. The variety, multitude, order, beauty, harmony, different nature, and excellent contrivance, of the things that are made, the direction of them to certain ends, and the concurrence of all the parts to the good and beauty of the whole, do abundantly prove a Creator and his eternal power and Godhead. Thus did the light shine in the darkness. And this from the creation of the world. Understand it either, [1.] As the topic from which the knowledge of them is drawn. To evince this truth, we have recourse to the great work of creation. And some think this ktisis kosmou, this creature of the world (as it may be read), is to be understood of man, the ktisis katÕ exocheµn-the most remarkable creature of the lower world, called ktisis, Mk. 16:15. The frame and structure of human bodies, and especially the most excellent powers, faculties, and capacities of human souls, do abundantly prove that there is a Creator, and that he is God. Or, [2.] As the date of the discovery. It as old as the creation of the world. In this sense apo ktiseoµs is most frequently used in scripture. These notices concerning God are not any modern discoveries, hit upon of late, but ancient truths, which were from the beginning. The way of the acknowledgement of God is a good old way; it was from the beginning. Truth got the start of error.



Source: biblecommenter.com...

GW, its all there...if we are looking...

You made some good points earlier....I'm just trying to get you past your paradigm....no pressure man, just sharing!

[edit on 9-2-2009 by OldThinker]



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by OldThinker
1) Do you think faith/religion is here to control the masses?


Yes.


2) Why?


Because realistically the beliefs that are predominant in any particular area will program people from a young age as to how to dress, talk, act, think, feel, etc. It's all arbitrary and unproven to begin with but the effects last a life time and limit what a person is capable of believing and experiencing, unless they realize their brains are being abused.


3) Your evidence?


The way religious people behave.


4) Did you once believe?


Yes.


5) Did you change?


Yes.


6) Why are you an atheist?
7) Why are you an agnostic?
8) Why you are a christian?


I once considered myself each of those three things. But there are flaws with all of those words now as they apply to me. I am what I am and nothing more, labels couldn't help people see inside my head anyway.


9) What ‘SHOULD‘ God look like/act like/be like?


Absolutely everything.



posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Firstly, all of that is speculative at best.

Secondly, if he did program stuff into life, (and I stress the 'if') it would make the bible pointless.

Thirdly, you aught to source your quotes.

My paradigm is pretty simple in this context. If it can't be measured and analysed then no one can be objective regarding it's nature.

[edit on 9/2/2009 by Good Wolf]





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