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Religion is not Brainwashing

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posted on May, 30 2009 @ 01:56 PM
Well, not exactly.
If you've been paying any amount of attention to the religious debate you've probably noticed that the same people show up on both sides of the debate.
It's natural, and will probably always be so.
Now, the thing to keep in mind is that even without religion, these people would still be this way. You remove religion or faith from a person and what you have left would pretty much be whatever opinions, ideas, and prejudices.
Often, what I've found is it's not the religion of the man, but instead how he uses his religion that defines him.
Einstein was a religious man, would he have still been as intelligent without religion? Probably, however it's difficult to say what impact his faith may have had on his studies.

Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, two very famous people for Americans were both religious, though Franklin did not support organized religion.

There are many men and women throughout modern history who's faith was a part of what made them great.

And there are those who's faith made them terrible, and no names need be said for them.

It's not the faith that drives the person, it's the person behind the faith. Terrible people would still be terrible people, regardless.

I'm not speaking against athiests, far from it.
I am, however, speaking out against those who constantly deride religion.

posted on May, 30 2009 @ 02:34 PM
I totally agree with you 100%

Human beings are naturally religious creatures, isn't that one of the things that sets us apart from animals? Just because someone does not believe in a "god" or does not belong to a church, does not mean they are not religious, they still have a belief system they live by.

You gave good examples of famous people who were very religious, I'll throw another one.... Sir Isaac Newton, and the list can go on and on.

The very foundation of all ancient civilizations have been built on religious beliefs and ideals. The great USA is no exception. In fact, the infamous elites, the big hanchos that run the show are extremely religious. So, the whole religion topic will actually increase as we keep getting closer to the end of this system. The ones running the show will continue to push their long awaited and revered plan.

Watch these documentaries, you'll see just how much religion plays a part in the whole scheme of things... they are VERY LONG, so make sure you have the time:

The New Atlantis

Riddles in Stone

Eye of the Phoenix

[edit on 30-5-2009 by holywar]

posted on May, 30 2009 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by RuneSpider

I saw a documentary once ( sorry can't remember what it was ) that came up with the conclusion that religious belief is actually programmed into the brain from conception

As you say, most people do have faith in something.I personally think faith gets you through all life's traumas.I am a spiritualist and a firm believer that we are created by a higher force. But I don't buy all the bible nonsense. I am totally open-minded on who or what decided to unleash our destructive species on the world !! Even alien possibly

Yes you're right too about evil people still being evil, with or without religion.

posted on May, 30 2009 @ 03:34 PM
Do you mean that religion does not brainwash the individual? Having a little trouble interpreting your post, but that seems to be what you're saying - and I would agree. An individual does not lose his own brain in any way when he joins a religion.

When people state religion is a form of brainwashing, I assume they refer to religion as a process on a larger social scale. You're right when you say it's not the faith behind the person, but the person behind the faith - but in a lot of cultures, children are brought up dogmatically with no room for doubt, and in those cases the "person behind the faith" is so formed by religion that it is more like "the religion in the person behind the faith". I think this can also be related to the use of words ascribed to 'the others' - kafir, gentile, heathen. These words bear negative connotations - negative attitudes that are commonly associated with religions - in order to protect itself, it needs to isolate itself from those who pose a danger, if they cannot 'conquer' it (both figuratively and literally). So a social mindset develops in which an outsider is evil, stupid, forsaken, or anything else that renders them 'less right'. The main effect of this isolation is cohesion: a strong feeling of "others" implies a strong feeling of "us". There are a lot of benefits from cohesion, of which one is that outsiders have the image of a strong, collective religion, which they may want to join - and anyone who is part of "us" feels protected and at home, something all of us want.

So while a religion is always what the believer makes of it, a lot of religions - when perceived as a social process - have these built-in self-protection and -expansion mechanisms. Those mechanisms isolate the religion further from contradictory ideologies, and anyone who doesn't agree is either expelled or reeled in to change his views.
(Most religions have widened a great deal (different 'sorts'), but there are always limits - for example, you can't become a Christian if you don't believe he ever existed. So Christianity has two ways to go with you - either change your views and accept you as a new member, or ignore you. But Christianity will never change it's view that Christ existed; anyone who does change his view, is effectively not a Christian anymore. Just like someone who doesn't believe in God is not theistically religious, and someone who doesn't believe in Zeus does not believe in ancient greek religions. )

You might wonder whether for example kids in an fundamentalistically christian home wouldn't be able to find their own path when they grown up, and whether that renders any brain-washing essentially irrelevant. I'd say this holds true for some cases, but I expect one effect to happen quite a lot too - the polarisation of attitudes. Basically, this means that if you have a strongly formed attitude (through a youth-full of religious traditions, for example) you will see new data in the light of this attitude, and possibly draw conclusions that you can only draw if you already feel that way. For example:

Let's say you have been raised with the idea that intimacy should be only between men and women. Maybe when you get older and talk to people who disagree, you start wondering about your previous attitudes, and realise it has been forced upon you. You might start to think you have been raised the wrong way. Now let's say you've become accustomed to this new tolerance, and one day for the first time you see two men kissing, right in front of you. This is when your current attitudes and ideas are tested - do you freak out? Do you amaze yourself by not caring at all? What happens is an instant reevaluation, and in this reevaluation you try to find an answer to what you're seeing here. If you've been raised with a mental image of 'one way it should be', this will come back at this very moment, and influence your thoughts. Maybe you had grown to be very tolerant, mentally - but now that you see it in front of you, you realise that this 'weird feeling' inside is your deepest feeling, and while you tolerate them because they are people, you're absolutely disgusted and strongly disagree. Now, the chance of this happening in someone who had learned in an early stage that only heterosexuality is normal, is far higher than in someone who learned about homosexuality at the same time. This difference is the effect of attitude polarisation: an attitude that gets stronger because of it's own implications. It's a bit recursive and strange to think about, but terribly interesting as well.

Now imagine if this isn't about homosexuality, but about the way the world works. About whether there is a God. About how we should live with each other. About whether others are worthy enough to live. About the nature of the universe itself. Those aren't arbitrary issues - homosexuals are an indicative measure as they seem to be the easily recognisable underdogs, and they're still being killed for being themselves. So what about those other issues, far less noticeable? Ideas are being killed, but gain no memorial stones or articles in the paper (for example a girl who finds out she's lesbian and being told "no hunny, you're just confused").

So, religion has both the power to bind people to it's social identity, as to it's mental identity. Individuals have the power to counter-act this for themselves, but they cannot exert power over religions in the same way it has exerted power over them.
This larger scale of social processes in which attitudes are retained through isolation from contradictory sources and expansion by social nature is what people might refer to as "brainwashing". It's not necessarily inherent to all religions, but it is inherent to any ideology that closes itself off from contradictory sources and expands itself by its social nature (any such gathering based on an ideology - meetings with a political agenda for example) - so religions and/or their hosting subcultures that do not make concessions with those that disagree usually do have those effects.

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 10:48 PM
Brainwashed is when you accept everything as fact without even trying or investigating it deeply..

I'm a Christian but I think certain things in the Bible needs more explanation than mere accepting it as truth. I like the books Matthew up to John that it attempts to explain everything that's written in the books. I practice faith, experienced and believe in it, no doubt about it.

But about the Israelites, and the Gentiles, much explanation is needed and it's missing in the Bible. What makes the Jews so special and who created the Gentiles? What is the purpose of the Jews? Their purpose is clear but what about the Gentiles, why are they created in the first place, what is their 'genetic purpose'??

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 11:45 PM
I have to disagree. Religion in the majority of cases is brainwashing. It has been used throughout history as a way of controlling men. There isn't much denying these things IMO.

However, that doesn't mean that to have beliefs and understandings that go beyond what we "see" with our eyes and so forth is false. I believe that is the spirit of your post? And on that point I agree.

As someone else mentioned, it's a matter of if people are just blindly accepting, or if they are gaining actual understanding. The brainwashing aspect comes from people just blindly accepting things. At which point, they are generally focused on the literal, the symbolism and so forth, rather than proper understanding. Once the people are focused on these things, then they are lead down paths/directions that are contrary to the understanding. And that is when it becomes brainwashing.

But this is hardly a subject reduced to religion. Religion is merely a symptom of things. It is the status quo for keeping people ignorant in order to gain power over them. Want proof? Just look at American politics. Look at all the people who wave the flag proud, wear their flag pins, and think they are being patriotic by supporting anything the government throws at them. What's going on there? The same exact thing, brainwashing. The people stick to the symbolisms, but eventually reject the basic principles behind it.

So IMO, a good patriot isn't someone who waves the flag, puts support the troops stickers on their bumpers and so forth. The true patriot is the one who sticks up for the principles these things were founded on, especially when the flag is being carried against those principles.

Same thing is done in religion. I noticed it in politics first, and then I realized it was the same thing in religion as well. So I won't let the people waving their flags around thinking they are patriots define what this country was founded on, and I'm not going to let Christians define what religion says either.

And oddly enough, if you read the story of Jesus it's pretty much the same thing. He is constantly dealing with people who don't understand and so forth. People who keep others ignorant for the purposes of control and so forth. He even talks about how they wear things to make them look more grand and so forth, which is the equivalent to those who wear flag pins and so forth.

I call it wolves in sheeps clothing. Here is a thread I made on the topic(only thread I ever started).
Sheeps clothing = symbolism and idols.

posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 02:58 AM
The amount of known brainwashing techniques used by the religious is staggering. The worst of the worst is towards children and the jesus camps. Techniques such as:

-get children to remote area away from civilization
-deprive of food all day
-at night give mass amounts of candy and sodas, this gets the mind in a different state
-place the kids in uncomfortable situations (the camp my son went to the made the boys stand before girls and say "I love you" in front of everyone)
-then the music comes in
-in comes the preaching with voice roll technique

The kids have no idea what hit them. I have been to one of these things myself but luckily am not prone to these techniques so just sat back and watched in horror as children wept, gave themselves to jesus and fell on the ground , etc. Shocking stuff.

posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 03:43 AM

Originally posted by contemplator
The kids have no idea what hit them. I have been to one of these things myself but luckily am not prone to these techniques so just sat back and watched in horror as children wept, gave themselves to jesus and fell on the ground , etc. Shocking stuff.

I've grown up in a Christian family and I've never had those experience even if no matter how hard I tried, young and now... The part when you get baptized by the Holy Spirit and the spirit takes over you body. I thought I must be a devil spawn!!

That is one concept of Christianity I have yet to understand.

posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 04:40 AM

Originally posted by ahnggk
I've grown up in a Christian family and I've never had those experience even if no matter how hard I tried, young and now... The part when you get baptized by the Holy Spirit and the spirit takes over you body. I thought I must be a devil spawn!!

That is one concept of Christianity I have yet to understand.

I'd say because it's not real. That is not what the holy spirit does. I wonder why people do those things.

The holy spirit is just a teacher. It gives understanding and that understanding is in itself comforting. When it says it speaks in "tongues", it means it's able to speak in any language the person may have. So it's not like you need to know a certain language for the holy spirit to give you understanding.

Somehow it goes from the holy spirit being able to speak in tongues, to people running around all crazy like while speaking in a language nobody can understand.

But it's the understanding that people can't have without the holy spirit. And so sometimes that is taken to mean another person in the room has to translate it. I fail to see any understanding in it.

What does make sense is that the holy spirit and father doesn't give as the world gives. Instead if gives in a way the world can't. In understanding. We can in this world only express an understanding, but when given in understanding it is a language that is unknown to those without the understanding, and is universal among those who gain it.

My wife is pentecostal and swears it's real because of her aunts and family doing it. I tell her the same thing.

posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 01:55 PM
Part of what I meant is that religion itself is probably healthy.
It can be compared to clothing, to a degree.
You are in a huge universe, full of planets, stars, and vast regions of space.

When you die, the universe is simply to large to care.

So, religion, in healthy amounts, is comparable to wearing a jacket in cold weather. Otherwise, a lot of folks would be overwhelmed.

As for blindly accepting, wel, that's part of people. like I said, a lot of these people would be the same, regardless of what system you put in front of them.

Imagine it as putting bowels of food in front of a dog. It'll choose from one of them, probably. While I am not trying to insult the person, what I meant by this is that people are free to choose what they believe, to s degree. It is also dependent on their family, influences in life, and a number of other influences that drive us to who we are.
And some people are just wired from birth to be a certain way.

A number of "truth seekers" on ATS are just such products of their environments.
A majority of people who count themselves as being a particular part of whatever region usually pick ou what they agree with in the religion, and gloss over other parts and ignore them.

Now, that's not to say that Religion isn't used as part of a tool for. brainwashing. It is, however, a tool that is utilized, and is not much different from any tool.

posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 02:45 PM
I think it becoems brainwashing when one is raised with one idea and never shown other options. The Amish will raise their children in the word of God and then when they hit teenage years they release them to the modern world to make their choices.

I think it is brainwashing when people have no further ANY religion


posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 02:49 AM
Well I have had those experiences with the holy ghost. I can name time, place, area, where something unusual has entered me from communion, or when I was in the state of grace.

Like one instant I literally cried during mass the whole time, not a fake cry, a sincere cry.

some other times God will not allow that grace and I cannot cry at all, sometimes I feal DEAD inside like now, and others I am on fire.

so it is all grace, the level it can reach, is undescribable. Like a consolation from Mary.

what this is is like a comforting grace from mary or God you can feal inside, a literal consolation.

The last time I felt one was in 2006 in a praking lot, while feeding the birds.

haven't had those fealings since.

That fire of grace is the exact opposite of dead heartedness which usualy comes from lust. Lust destroys Gods grace inside.

like I said all love if from grace, if it wasn't then no evil person would exist. We don't just luck out on love and others dont, its not only a choice but a grace as well. The choice corrosponds with the grace.

Now as for the OP.

Well you are correct. The bottom line is this. If religion were gone, communism, athiesm woud take over, free thought without rules which leads to destruction.

and the fact is that without religion people who create nukes will destroy ourselves faster then religion would. I garuntee you that anyone who follows Christ true teachings could not create a nuke.

But scientists (free) thinkers without rule have created nukes and watch in a couple years where that leads us, as a matter of fact God said he will have to intervene so we don't blow ourselves up.

teu religion is loving God and your enemies. there is no way anything violent can come out of this.

so it's actually hypocrites in religion, which means they are no longer religious anymore but apostates, that create destruction and brainwashing.

hypocrites. Nothing else.


posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 03:45 AM

Originally posted by JesusisTruth

But scientists (free) thinkers without rule have created nukes and watch in a couple years where that leads us, as a matter of fact God said he will have to intervene so we don't blow ourselves up.

Unfortunately, no such rule exists in the Bible. The closest I could find is a recommended life of simplicity and caring for others.

It might even make nuclear technology look good in the Bible if the original intent was to provide a clean and cheap source of energy.

There's not even a rule that you must avoid messing with space-time and risk liberating evil entities locked up in other dimensions. I still advice great caution and the ability to sometimes obey your gut feelings. Because sometimes, they are right

[edit on 3-6-2009 by ahnggk]

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 04:17 AM
reply to post by JesusisTruth

I don't think you can really blame scientists for the nukes and stuff, or science in general. Science has it's place and role.

Just have to remember there are 2 realms here. There is creation/physical and there is spiritual. Creation and the physical is based off logic, and we call that logic "laws" and "physics". As they are based on logic and such, it is repeatable in a lab over and over.

The other realm is spiritual. And that is the realm of god and so forth, and that is where logic comes from. In this place, science is not at all equipped to deal with it because you can not use logic to explain it. No logic can explain the spiritual, it is beyond logic.

All things should be in their proper places, and each of these have their places. It is sad when people cling to 1 or the other, when they are not really disagreeable. Science has it's proper place, as does spirituality.

Now, if you take a look at history, you will find that spirituality has been put on hold for 2000 years. No advancements, no better understanding, the same questions that existed then still exist. However, science/technology has been in full gear.

Sure there are examples like Galileo and what he found, but that is because he wasn't applying the science in the "correct" manner. What was and has been the correct manner? Advancement of war and military. If Galileo had been working on advancement in these terms, he would have not had any problems. But his work was actually dealing with things that bordered on spiritual understanding, as it went against what the church taught etc.

It's not much different today. If you understand the economic slavery of things, then the only way these scientists can get any funding is by - you guessed it, advancing the war machine. That is where all the funding goes.

So, the war machine/beast has rolled on, and spirituality has been throw aside. Most advancements have come for reasons of war or profit. And that IMO is by design. What is it that wants to be like god? Since it's not like god, how does it accomplish these things? Technology. But, if spirituality were not put on hold and people had advanced in these terms at the same rate, then we wouldn't be advancing technology in the name of war, but other things.

Technology is not all bad. Your body is more technologically advanced than any machines we have. It's nanotechnology.

[edit on 3-6-2009 by badmedia]

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 05:49 AM

If religion were gone, communism, athiesm woud take over, free thought without rules which leads to destruction.

and the fact is that without religion people who create nukes will destroy ourselves faster then religion would. I garuntee you that anyone who follows Christ true teachings could not create a nuke.

I suppose you somehow know these things by dead fact.

Now you are telling me that true religion has created no evil, no war and no weaponry. Well all we have to do is look into the past at the myriad deaths and war started in the name of God to refute that. So that brings me to a big understanding I have missed for a long time. I see one of three possible outcomes.

1. You're religion DOES cause war and pain

2. You are mistaken then and your religion is nowhere near as big as you thought (will explain in a moment)

3. You have your 'facts' wrong

On suggestion 2...

Let's say for a moment you are right and Christianity (REAL Christianity) has never caused a war, made a weapon, or inflicted pain. Well in that case I say to you that your religion is much much smaller than you think; maybe but a huge percentage. I have served in the AF for many years now. Have slightly over a decade until I can retire. I've served both active duty and reserve.

My job in the reserve is that of a chef. I love what I do because I adore cooking.

My job in Active Duty was as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist. I built them, fixed them and made sure they worked if ever needed. Now with all that being said....

Anytime you go to a controlled military function teo things are guaranteed.

1. It will be a beautiful affair if done right

2. There will be a Christian prayer before the event starts or after it finishes.

Now as a Pagan it truly doesn't bother me. I can go inside myself and ignore the prayer and not disturb everyone else praying, which is the vast majority of the room. Now all of these Christians in the room are ready for war at anytime and that doesn't phase me one bit. Defense of the country is not a bad thing. What bothers me is that the same people who just bowed their head in reverence return to their shop the next day and talk about how they own their wife, smack their kids around, and wish like hell we'd release an ICBM on Afghanistan and melt it down to beaded glass. These are your Christians and Catholics who want to let go a bomb that can destroy a several mile area in a millionth of a second. That's the time it takes to raise the plasma ball which vaporizes a soft target (civilians like to call soft targets 'people' but frankly it makes no difference what you are when the thermal detonation takes over)

So what is it? Are you warlike and goddess forbid...human... like the rest of us? Or are Christians infallible and there are truly only a few out there?

If you ask me, religion of damn near any sort died ages ago and I wish the remnants would die too. Spirituality, believing in God or a deity...these are good things because they teach honest peace and harmony. Frankly I am sick of the whole 'God gives you the only real grace' because frankly, like the rest of ANY simply will never prove it. Some of the most graceful, kind and gentle people I've ever seen don't know who Christ is.

The definition of grace...

1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.
3. favor or good will.
4. a manifestation of favor, esp. by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school.
5. mercy; clemency; pardon: an act of grace.
6. favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity.
7. an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied: The life insurance premium is due today, but we have 31 days' grace before the policy lapses. Compare grace period.

Now clearly, number 2, 4, 6 and 7 aren't quite as relevant to the conversation at hand but let's look at this.

I am going to go against my own belief here and stroke my own ego a second.

I am always showing people beauty of mind and love and good will and mercy (in the military I am a Staff Sergeant. Right now I have an Airman below me who is constantly messing up and I try as best I can to be a good gu and see through what is really happening to find the best result for her.)

All of these things fit me on a day-to-day basis...yet no God...I have a goddess...but no God

So what am I? A liar? Or maybe I am just a good human who realizes you don't need someone cosmic to tell you how to be good to others.


posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 09:46 PM
I do feel sorry for most "Religious" people, because they are so brainwashed, it's pretty sad. I'm of course not saying all people who practice religion are brainwashed, but most of them are. Christianity isn't the only religion where the followers are brainwashed, but this goes for just about all of them. I typically don't like having conversations with the brainwashed because you can't get anywhere with them and when they run out of things to say, they often give up by quoting the bible, and or condemning your soul to hell and that they "pray you will be saved someday".

I do respect other peoples religion, but it amazes me how closed minded many are. I mean they cannot even accept anything outside of their teachings, or more like comfort zone that would actually have them exercise some brain cells. What is it about other religions that scares people? If you are that content about your religion then nothing could make you leave it. My girlfriends family are baptists, and have that brainwashed attitude about them and when we stay there every now and then, we "HAVE" to go to church on sunday because those are the rules or get out. I would go, but since my girlfriend wants to stay there, I stay and can sit through service with no problem, I'm pretty set in my ways. They try hard to convert me, but I just laugh at them as though they are silly.

They try to get me to read the bible, but I have probably read it more than most of them have and can actually have discussions about it, so they don't know what else to do but talk about how satan has infected me and that if i don't convert and get saved soon, i'll be burned for all eternity. I just say i'll bring the BBQ sauce and beer. Some actually laugh at when I say that. Another thing I cannot stand is when someone is trying to convert me. It's mostly Christians who do this, why is it they do that? Some are polite, others are just plain rude and bold about it.

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