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Objective Look At Religion

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posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 08:42 AM
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Religion can be considered a misinterpretation of identity. Many talk about religion as if they were talking about themselves. The fact that people claim a particular book or belief is true is an act of the ego or identification. They do have truth when they say their beliefs are true because really they are talking about themselves and their beliefs become symbols to represent their identity. The beliefs themselves are mere opinions and are not relevant because it is the identification to these beliefs that makes them important to people. Many defend their beliefs to the death because they are really trying to protect their identity that is entangled into their beliefs.

Those who are lost within the stories and symbols of their ideologies will not see this because one needs to step back to see it.

This discussion holds true to other areas in life such as politics, sports, etc...




posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 08:46 AM
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This is a very metaphysical point that you raise with the basic question being- What is truth? Is it what each individual holds as true or is there a one truth that each individual is seeking to find? And how do we know what the real truth is and when we found it?



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by Ralphy
Religion can be considered a misinterpretation of identity. Many talk about religion as if they were talking about themselves. The fact that people claim a particular book or belief is true is an act of the ego or identification. They do have truth when they say their beliefs are true because really they are talking about themselves and their beliefs become symbols to represent their identity. The beliefs themselves are mere opinions and are not relevant because it is the identification to these beliefs that makes them important to people. Many defend their beliefs to the death because they are really trying to protect their identity that is entangled into their beliefs.


In order for this to be an "objective look at religion", these conclusions need to be backed up with facts, because without facts, these are simply opinions. Kindly cite your sources that say people will defend their beliefs to the death because they are trying to protect their egos, rather than doing so because they actually believe in what they stand up for.

Thousands voluntarily joined the military in World War II (as an example,) because they believed in the defense of democracy, and many died in that defense. Are you claiming that they were simply egos run wild?



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by Ralphy
 

I like your theorem. It makes sense, and I've been studying the psychology and sociology (and so forth and so on) of being "religious."

adjensen suggested citing sources, I thought I'd see if I could find any. I came across this page
Ego & Religion
It's not exactly "objective", (being a Christian site), but it makes some interesting points about ego and the spiritual self.

In modern day religion, the pattern of worship is for people to attend their churches and to follow their clerical patriarchs’ guidance so as to fulfill their requirements to God.

Most of the people do not feel compelled to engage in deep contemplation, but are simply faithful to Jesus Christ and obedient to the church dogma. These good Christian people have done their best to live as Christ has advocated and as they have been taught and reared.

But, if we were to view Christ’s teachings differently, as a path of transformation, we see that he tells us to struggle and to think for ourselves and to change our lives so that we eliminate the weaknesses and errors of the ego. In this way, we begin to take responsibility for who we are as spiritual beings before God.

To explain this in a slightly different context, our ego/personalities attempt to understand the mythical story of Jesus Christ as presented to us through the institutions of religion, in the only way it knows, through its understanding of spatial reality.

With the best of intentions, people attempt to be faithful and to conform to religious instruction, but what no one seems to realize is that everyone is still functioning in their ego/personality (natural mind). Under these circumstances, the best anyone can do is to change their mask or self-concept to conform to the example given to us by Jesus Christ and be more loving and giving.

We humans are subject to the biological and psychological forces within our natural minds and physical bodies and the best we can do under these circumstances is to modify our behavior to emulate Jesus Christ.

On the surface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s just that it is still 3rd dimensional reality only with a new and cleaner mask. A new, cleaner, or praising mask is not what Christ meant by being born again.


Not sure if this addresses your thoughts exactly, but it touches on it.
Have you read The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James? Written near the turn of the 20th century (published in 1902) based on a series of his lectures at a University (he was a Psychologist), it has fabulous case-studies that deal with the individual's "handling" of religion. I think you'd really like it based on your OP.

S/F
I'll see if this is on-topic enough for your interest before providing more thought on this!
edit on 31-10-2012 by wildtimes because: formatting. should have done a preview. doh!



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
In order for this to be an "objective look at religion", these conclusions need to be backed up with facts, because without facts, these are simply opinions. Kindly cite your sources that say people will defend their beliefs to the death because they are trying to protect their egos, rather than doing so because they actually believe in what they stand up for.

Thousands voluntarily joined the military in World War II (as an example,) because they believed in the defense of democracy, and many died in that defense. Are you claiming that they were simply egos run wild?


It looks like you associate the word "ego" with selfishness(which is usually interpreted as "bad") from what I understand. Whether someone dies for their ego or "what they believe, its the same thing. You are assuming this is bad because of your judgments.

People joined the war efforts because they identified with it, the saw themselves in it.

I'm not saying its right or wrong, bad or good, I'm just trying to provide a objective look at beliefs.
edit on 31-10-2012 by Ralphy because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-10-2012 by Ralphy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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Okay, I lied. I am going to post another source for readers' enjoyment. This one is not copy/pastable for extext use...
it's on JSTOR. Go to the link to read the abstract.

Against Wholeness: The Ego's Complicity in Religion by Volney P. Gay, from Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 539-555

I'm too broke to pay the $29 download fee, but the abstract can by viewed in the link, just FYI.

Great topic. I look forward to an interesting thread!
~wild



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Wildtimes, thanks for links. I appreciate your input here. I will check them out now.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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i am going to s&f this topic. its probably the first time on this website in amlost 4 years visitation ive read someone with a similar outlook on the religious side of duality and its relation to our naturaly arisen egos.
and bravo to the first reply under the op for bringing up so quickly how it in essence all ties into one truth, no matter the path taken, and still ive yet to find this truth aswell.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by Ralphy
 


I agree that what people believe in regards to the metaphysics of the universe—God, no god, gods etc.—is also deeply ingrained in identity. Having heresy and blasphemy as crimes in many countries is a fine example. Of course, if all metaphysical interpretations were seen as mere opinions, which indeed they are, there wouldn't be such crimes. Instead, people become deeply offended, to the point of inflicting punishment on the 'heretic', when the prevailing opinion isn't accepted as fact. Killing or punishing another because they don't believe as I do shows that not only my opinions are affected, but my identity is as well.

I wrote a post that parallels yours as well. You can read it here if you are bored.

S&F



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
I'm too broke to pay the $29 download fee, but the abstract can by viewed in the link, just FYI.


Here's the full article, WT: Against Wholeness

I'm not a psychologist and don't know much beyond the basics, so my eyes glossed over pretty quickly, but my read of it is that he doesn't think that ego begets religion, as OP is claiming, but that religion and ego mesh to help make a "whole" person, which is kind of the opposite of what OP is saying.

But, like I said, not my field, so I might be way off there.


Originally posted by Ralphy
It looks like you associate the word "ego" with selfishness(which is usually interpreted as "bad") from what I understand. Whether someone dies for their ego or "what they believe, its the same thing. You are assuming this is bad because of your judgments.


No -- though I'm not into psychology, I understand the concepts of ego, superego and id, but I just don't see that there is a necessary connection between having a belief and necessarily attributing that to a need of the ego. Which is why I asked for actual objective evidence of it, because, since I see it as invalid, I see your position as a valid, but subjective, one.


People joined the war efforts because they identified with it, the saw themselves in it.


I don't think that's a defensible statement, particularly on a universal basis.



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

No -- though I'm not into psychology, I understand the concepts of ego, superego and id, but I just don't see that there is a necessary connection between having a belief and necessarily attributing that to a need of the ego. Which is why I asked for actual objective evidence of it, because, since I see it as invalid, I see your position as a valid, but subjective, one.


I don't think that's a defensible statement, particularly on a universal basis.


I think you are misunderstanding what I'm trying to get at here.

You mentioned ego, superego, id which is the works of Sigmund Freud, which I'm not talking about. I'm not talking about a need for an ego to attribute itself to a belief.

I'm talking about people who have beliefs and unconsciously don't realize that they are identifying with their beliefs.
edit on 31-10-2012 by Ralphy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



I'm not a psychologist and don't know much beyond the basics, so my eyes glossed over pretty quickly, but my read of it is that he doesn't think that ego begets religion, as OP is claiming, but that religion and ego mesh to help make a "whole" person, which is kind of the opposite of what OP is saying.

But, like I said, not my field, so I might be way off there.

Well, thanks, adjensen! Very kind of you!!
I'll consider it my virtual birthday present (only 18 more days til I hit 54!
And still learning as much as a schoolkid every day!)

I think the topic is fascinating, and I'll look at the article with delight. *salivating as she rubs her hands together*


Ralphy, your topic is quite deep. I hope it blossoms into something really great!
Can't wait to discuss the ideas with you and the others!!






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