Is Religion Designed To Hold Us Back?

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posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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I found this chapter of C.S. Lewis book doing a really good job explaining human nature. it also explains about moral law like after infinity was explain the laws of water. people have laws just like water. except outs greatly differ. water follows the law of gravity and will move accordingly depending on its surroundings. this is where people differ greatly and why i strongly believe in a god. we have laws that tell us wright and wrong in our head. and its up to us to choose which one we obey.




2. Some Objections ... Some of the letters I have had show that a good many people find it difficult to understand just what this Law of Human Nature, or Moral Law, or Rule of Decent Behavior is. For example, some people wrote to me saying, 'Isn't what you call the Moral Law simply our herd instinct and hasn't it been developed just like all our other instincts?' Now I do not deny that we may have a herd instinct: but that is not what I mean by the Moral Law. We all know what it feels like to be prompted by instinct — by mother love, or sexual instinct, or the instinct for food. It means that you feel a strong want or desire to act in a certain way. And, of course, we sometimes do feel just that sort of desire to help another person: and no doubt that desire is due to the herd instinct. But feeling a desire to help is quite different from feeling that you ought to help whether you want to or not. Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires — one desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys. Another way of seeing that the Moral Law is not simply one of our instincts is this. If two instincts are in conflict, and there is nothing in a creature's mind except those two instincts, obviously the stronger of the two must win. But at those moments when we are most conscious of the Moral Law, it usually seems to be telling us to side with the weaker of the two impulses. You probably want to be safe much more than you want to help the man who is drowning: but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same. And surely it often tells us to try to make the right impulse stronger than it naturally is? I mean, we often feel it our duty to stimulate the herd instinct, by waking up our imaginations and arousing our pity and so on, so as to get up enough steam for doing the right thing. But clearly we are not acting from instinct when we set about making an instinct stronger than it is. The thing that says to you, 'Your herd instinct is asleep. Wake it up,' cannot itself be the herd instinct. The thing that tells you which note on the piano needs to be played louder cannot itself be that note. Here is a third way of seeing it. If the Moral Law was one of our instincts, we ought to be able to point to some one impulse inside us which was always what we call 'good,' always in agreement with the rule of right behaviors. But you cannot. There is none of our impulses which the Moral Law may not sometimes tell us to suppress, and none which it may not sometimes tell us to encourage. It is a mistake to think that some of our impulses — say mother love or patriotism — are good, and others, like sex or the fighting instinct, are bad. All we mean is that the occasions on which the fighting instinct or the sexual desire need to be restrained are rather more frequent than those for restraining mother love or patriotism. But there are situations in which it is the duty of a married man to encourage his sexual impulse and of a soldier to encourage the fighting instinct. There are also occasions on which a mother's love for her own children or a man's love for his own country have to be suppressed or they will lead to unfairness towards other people's children or countries. Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think once again of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the 'right' notes and the 'wrong' ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts. By the way, the point is of great practical consequence. The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There is not one of them which will not make us into devils if we set up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it is not. If you leave out justice you will find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials 'for the sake of humanity', and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man. Other people wrote to me saying 'Isn't what you call the Moral Law just a social convention, something that is put into us by education?' I think there is a misunderstanding here. The people who ask that question are usually taking it for granted that if we have learned a thing from parents and teachers, then that thing must be merely a human invention. But, of course, that is not so. We all learned the multiplication table at school. A child who grew up alone on a desert island would not know it. But surely it does not follow that the multiplication table is simply a human convention, something human beings made up for themselves and might have made different if they had liked? I fully agree that we learn the Rule of Decent Behaviour from parents and teachers, and friends and books, as we learn everything else. But some of the things we learn are mere conventions which might have been different — we learn to keep to the left of the road, but it might just as well have been the rule to keep to the right — and others of them, like mathematics, are real truths. The questions is to which class the Law of Human Nature belongs. There are two reasons for saying it belongs to the same class as mathematics. The first is, as I said in the first chapter, that though there are differences between the moral ideas of one time or country and those of another, the differences are not really very great — not nearly so great as most people imagine — and you can recognize the same lay running through them all: whereas mere conventions, like the rule of the road of the kinds or clothes people wear, may differ to any extent. The other reason is this. When you think about these differences between the morality of one people and another, do you think that the morality of one people is ever better or worse than that of another? Have any of the changes been improvements? If not, then of course there could never be any moral progress. Progress means not just changing, but changing for the better. If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality. In fact, of course, we all do believe that some moralities are better than others. We do believe that some of the people who tried to change the moral ideas of their own age were what we would call Reformers of Pioneers — people who understood morality better than their neighbors did. Very well then. The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people thing, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something — some Real Morality — for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer of less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks. If when each of us said 'New York' each means merely 'The town I am imagining in my own head', how could one of us have truer ideas than the other? There would be no question of truth or falsehood at all. In the same way, if the Rule of Decent Behaviour meant simply 'whatever each nation happens to approve', there would be no sense in saying that any one nation had even been more correct in its approval than any other; no sense in saying that the world would ever grow morally better or morally worse. I conclude then, that though the difference between people's ideas of Decent Behaviour often make you suspect that there is no real natural Law of Behaviour at all, yet the things we are bound to think about these differences really prove just the opposite. But one word before I end. I have met people who exaggerate the differences, because they have not distinguished between difference of morality and differences of belief about facts. For example, one man said to me, 'Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?' But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did — if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbors or drive them mad or bring bad weather — surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did? There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simple about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believes there were no mice in the house.




posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


That type of extremism is extremely obnoxious. I accept that some people can disregard having any type of faith in an organized set of dogmas but all people I ever known have some sort of faith belief something we generally as religious, a belief without the need of factual verifiability...

Faith or belief is intrinsic to human nature, there is no way a human mind can (for now) retain and personally experience reality in a full strictly empirical fashion. So we internal create a set of "virtual factoids" that we build upon like putting a puzzle set together only contesting the sets that fail to match with our model...

Faith is also a very powerful tool, the power of belief can indeed move mountains (take a look on the subjects of hypnosis, delusion and self empowerment). That would indeed shift your view point...

The issue is about group thinking and the formation of organized power structures. Organized religion is a form of social control and exploitation. I see no need for it and have personally pity for those that require the need to conform to a collective rigid set model that to my view are conceptually unsupportable, let alone justify murder or conflict on the grounds of forcing others to share it. That is simply insane, so in that regard organized religions holds us back (but not all religious beliefs).
edit on 28-11-2012 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


You are speaking about faith yet the thread is speaking about religion. Do you see the difference?




posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Since there is no religion without faith I do not see the point on your call of attention about the distinction. My selection of words was intentional as I understand the distinction.

I'm a pantheist, and so religious. I have some beliefs based in direct observation and some degree of faith. May religion is not very complex

What I posted is valid, the extremism in your posts directed to all religions was extremely obnoxious. I attempted to explain why...

Had you specifically stated Organized Religions I would probably agree with you, even if there is a distinction between the religion and the practicer of said religion, there are lots of nuances that even painting it so would be using a too broad a brush...



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 03:56 AM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


While religion requires those to have faith the opposite is not true.

A person can have faith with the absence of religion.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed only changed I have faith in that and science agrees with me.

Religion is dogma and dogma is not needed.



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 06:29 PM
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all I have to say Is easily quotable by a few people. points that science cant really explain for..

The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words 'true' or 'false'. -C.S. Lewis

“Science when it becomes perfect, will have explained the connection between each link in the chain and the link before it. But the actual existence of the chain will remain wholly unaccountable. We learn more and more about the pattern. We learn nothing about that which ‘feeds’ real events into the pattern. If it not God, we must at least call it Destiny–the immaterial, ultimate, one-way pressure which keeps the universe on the move.”
(CS Lewis

If there is no God, then all that exists is time and chance acting on matter. If this is true then the difference between your thoughts and mine correspond to the difference between shaking up a bottle of Mountain Dew and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. You simply fizz atheistically and I fizz theistically. This means that you do not hold to
atheism because it is true , but rather because of a series of chemical reactions… … Morality, tragedy, and sorrow are equally evanescent. They are all empty sensations created by the chemical reactions of the brain, in turn created by too much pizza the night before. If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality. If no God, mankind is a set of bi-pedal carbon units of mostly water. And nothing else.
Douglas Wilson

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance. But when we find the text of Hamlet, we don't wonder whether it came from chance and monkeys. Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe? Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist. At this point we need a psychological explanation of the atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.
Peter Kreeft

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?... Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. C.S. Lewis



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:50 AM
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Churches are regarded as an institutionalized expression of religion and religion itself serves as an agency of social control, hence commandments.

Idolatry of this unquestioned omnipotent ideal is simply embarrassing, and abiding an age-old archaic novel only to draw a curtain over history to shield your subsisted beliefs just proves that you're a victim of communal brainwashing institutes.

I believe in Science, in God, but I don't believe in age-old archaic novels telling me how to live my life.

MSick.
edit on 1-12-2012 by MSick because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by MSick
 


Churches are regarded as an institutionalized expression of religion and religion itself serves as an agency of social control, hence commandments.

i keep hearing "organized religion is for control". tell me exactly how its "controlling". Im a christian and i go to church on occasion, not as much as i should. but usually when i go in there, everyone's friendly and nice, not controlling. Everyone sort of builds each other up and usually the message is pretty good and life-relevant. for example not to get overly mad about things, or not to lie when its a much easier way to deal with a situation. etc.. i dont find it at all controlling. in fact, If you want to think of it as "control", i wish it actually worked and controlled therefore living up to its definition. I im definitely not perfect in doing it. none of us are.. anyone that says they are, isnt exactly fitting the profile as a christian. The definition of a Christian to me is one who cognitively tries to do good and acts aware when he is doing bad. therefore not really doing it all because he tries to catch himself before he does. in other words trying his best to act "Christ-like". hence the name Christian..if most people acted this way there's no debating that the world would be a better place. I find no one ever has problems with the "guidelines" the problem lies within the skepticism of who wrote them..but seriously.. list me the benefits of these rules to man looking to "pull a fast one" on everybody. whats in it for him after hes dead? keep in mind (look at the 10 commandments when you write) if i keep see things like money or killing and war, i already know all things immediately fall out of the rules of the 10 commandments and his golden rule of :"treat everyone as you would yourself". if you say anything otherwise you are instantly giving me an example of how much you do not understand Christianity or the way we we shown how to act. if you say anything otherwise you are instantly giving me an example of how much you do not understand Christianity. I do not care what people who "called" themselves Christians did. they were not Christians if it was done in a way that breaks any of these rules or hurts others. im so tired of people basing all the religions on stuff people have done. you might as well say America has legalized killing,drugs, prostitution, violence etc. because i see it in America.. even though the laws say otherwise..
edit on 1-12-2012 by MikeHawke because: (no reason given)
edit on 1-12-2012 by MikeHawke because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by MSick
 

Your post is interesting to me, and part of the reason has been pointed out above.

Churches are regarded as an institutionalized expression of religion
And pools are an institutionalized expression of swimming. And libraries are an institutionalized expression of reading.

and religion itself serves as an agency of social control, hence commandments.
Is it an example of social control to note that churches teach "Don't do what's wrong, like killing people. Do do what's right, like love your neighbor as yourself?"

If anyone is concerned about social control, the churches are about the last places to look. The members of the Catholic Church, reputed to be the most rigid and controlling, voted 50% Obama, 47% Romney. That's control? If you are seriously, worried about control, consider all Media, the public schools, the legal systems. The churches don't control.

Idolatry of this unquestioned omnipotent ideal is simply embarrassing,
You say that you believe in God, apparently some God that no religion in the world has discovered. Worshipping God is simply embarrassing? What were you planning to do, tell Him dirty stories?

and abiding an age-old archaic novel only to draw a curtain over history to shield your subsisted beliefs
You don't accept the Bible, and, probably, especially the New Testament. Most that have studied it, accept it.

just proves that you're a victim of communal brainwashing institutes.
"You don't agree with me, that proves you're brainwashed." Sorry, guy. You're claiming that multiple billions of people have gone through brainwashing institutes? Only a few, select, special, people haven't been brainwashed?

I believe in Science, in God, but I don't believe in age-old archaic novels telling me how to live my life.
Ok, now I get it. "I'm wild and free, no rules apply to me. I'll do what I want, when I want." I understand, I went through that phase once, myself.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 01:08 AM
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Man's Fall from Heaven
The VEIL.
EGYPT, Pharaohs and the after life
CHRIST'S Descent into Sheol to Free Souls
CHRIST rips the Veils..Opens the Seals, Portal
www.youtube.com...





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