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Is Religion Designed To Hold Us Back?

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posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by Grimpachi

Dear Grimpachi,

I hope you'll allow me to explain my position as honestly and openly as I know how.

For me, it starts with the New Testament. What historians and scientists have told us is that, by their analysis, we can be pretty sure we have the words that were originally written. One way they do that is by checking the copies. If 100 people copy from the original writing, the parts that are the same in all the copies can be safely assumed to be in the original.

By an analysis of style, it has been concluded that four different people wrote the Gospels. Four people writing about events will give you a more complete picture than just one.

The idea that this was written as fiction has been pretty well ruled out. That kind of "realistic" fiction, including all the mundane details, hadn't been invented yet. It's nearly impossible that four people would invent it at the same time, then it would be unused as a writing style for centuries. Besides, fiction means inventing things, things that didn't happen or didn't exist. The people who saw these letters were in a perfect position to say "That's not what happened," and some writings were set aside as not legitimate. But not the ones we have today.

I could go on, but the final result for me is that the New Testament has more evidence for it's authenticity than not, and I want my thoughts and beliefs to line up with the truth. The New Testament is the basis for Christianity, so, here I am.

But your objection seems to be that it's perfectly alright for intelligent people to be very religious, but society as a whole shouldn't be. That position confuses me, so I assume I misunderstood it.

Religion is an obsolete thought process? I wonder when that happened. I'm guessing it must have been sometime in the last two centuries. People all around the world believe in some kind of god in overwhelming numbers, and always have. Even isolated tribes have come up with their own form of deity, uninfluenced by another culture.

Tool to control the masses? To do what? Christianity teaches me to love my neighbor and my God. It has provided me with a book of inspiration and doesn't push conformity in my life. I won't attack anyone over their beliefs. True, some will, but you're talking about getting rid of religion, not getting rid of people who fail to live up to their religion. (Of course, for Christians, that's all of us.) If the religion was controlling me to kill unbelievers or infidels, then, yeah, I'd have the same problem you do. But it doesn't.

Satan worship is a religion, so is Islam. I don't imply that Islam is Satanism, but certainly there are religions which refuse to accept and love their fellow man in some circumstances. I see Islam as different from Christianity in that way. As I've said before, you don't see beheadings in the name of Presbyterianism. The most that will happen is you might get three bean casserole thrown at you.

Christianity and perhaps most religion, is a force to bring people from other countries together. If a Catholic walks into a church in Africa, he knows what is going on and knows he is a brother to them. Similarly, if the Dali Lama speaks, Christians and others, hear the true things he is saying.

Perhaps, it is just media reports, but I don't see Islam as "playing well with others." Nothing in my reading indicates that they would tolerate a community of a million average Americans or Jews or Atheists in their midst.

But I've gone on long enough. (Too long, probably.) If there are some areas you'd like to discuss, you know I'm available for you.

With respect,

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by Sissel

Thank you Sissel for the compliment. I understand this is a touchy subject for many and I admit my timing is not the greatest for this thread however it is not meant to offend the subject matter simply hit me on this day. I did not take into account the time of year at all and I have been completely oblivious to the coming holidays.

To answer your question yes I do live in the US. Florida to be more exact but I spend much of the year out of the country mostly in warmer climates where it always seems like summer and I just recently returned from one of those trips. I am not religious as I am sure you have figured out and it is very rare for my family to do holidays. So I offer you my apologies for the timing and I assure you I am not trying to pull one over on anyone. These are some of the many questions I ponder that I need answers to or at least some kind of consensus.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 12:49 AM
reply to post by charles1952

Thank you Charles I am going to take some time and think over some of the things you have said and try to formulate a proper response. I do disagree with some of the things you stated which I need to research a little first on my part but what I wanted to clear up now is where you said I think it is OK for intelligent people to believe in religion but not humanity in general. When I was responding to you what I took from your post is that you were under the assumption that I believed a person would need to lack intelligence to believe in religion.

I want to insure you that is not the case. I know very intelligent people who are also religious in fact they do not all follow the same religion. I also believe that there is no religion which holds sway over people of different IQs that is to say believing in one god over another is not indicative of a person’s intelligence either. Religion has power over people in some way that I do not understand which is part of the reason why I started this thread so I may understand better. So now that you know I do not equate intelligence with someone’s faith let me say no I do not believe it is Ok that religion is prominent in society in any form regardless of individual intelligence. Religion is learned, taught and instilled in society and for most it is at a young age. Almost everyone I have talked to have had doubts at some point in their life and most that I know personally that have stayed with their religion afterward have been coerced in some way and I use that term in a very broad sense.

For now I will leave it at that because I need to address the other points you brought up first which at the moment I am not prepared to do. It is always a pleasure conversing with you Charles you definitely challenge me intellectually.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

First off, I don't know what religion you are pointing too here, but my religion does not control, as a matter of fact it does the opposite. Where there is forgiveness through grace, there is no one that can control you through it.

Also, I love science, and I also love religion, neither “disproves” the other except in the minds of those who wish to believe that they do. Both peacefully coexist in my mind and life with no problems. I think that you'll also find that much of what religion teaches is even proven through science. A prime example is that science now leans toward catastrophism, and away from uniformitarianism, just as told in many religious texts.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 01:02 AM

Originally posted by Grimpachi

. I understand this is a touchy subject for many and I admit my timing is not the greatest for this thread however it is not meant to offend the subject matter simply hit me on this day.

Thank You. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, however, only that you consider religious folk to be retards. To answer your question about it holding me back?

Not at all.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 01:39 AM
reply to post by defcon5

Well I definitely have to disagree that religion is not controlling but as for what you said

science now leans toward catastrophism, and away from uniformitarianism, just as told in many religious texts.

I will look this up however I have never read an accredited science journal stating a religion to be true or where science has proven religions teachings I have found it to be the opposite.

I am not pointing to any particular religion they are pretty much equal when comparing them so I am not singling anyone’s religion out.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by Sissel

I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. I can only assume this your way of avoiding an honest discussion by painting a crude picture.

That’s fine there are some people on here interested in an honest strait forward discussion I thought you might be one but obviously that is not your intention.

There is always one they say I am willing to bet there will be more. (Not referring to intelligence)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 01:59 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

Religion is the oldest form of mind control there is

Religion places people in a state of dependency by making people believe their future is dependent on worshiping somebody

Religion disempowers believers by making them believe somebody else is responsible for them .It encourages believers to believe they cannot deliver themselves and that someone else is repsonsible for 'deliviering them from some threat.'

In other words it ensourages beleivers to think that someone else is responsible for solving their problems not them themselves.
edit on 17-11-2012 by learnatic because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:09 AM
reply to post by learnatic

I'm not sure I can agree with you, if I understood you properly.

I don't worship any person on earth. I know that if I screw up, I have to solve the problem I've created. I don't expect God to send me $10,000 in some mysterious fashion.

My future is what I make of it. I have free will to choose whatever path I want. Some will take different paths, but I won't ever force anyone to take mine.

Or did I misunderstand?

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:10 AM
Considering much of scientific discovery came through those wanting to understand the work of God, I would say no, religion isn't meant to hold us back. Some evil people may use it that way, but that's a different matter.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:16 AM
reply to post by OMsk3ptic

I totally agree that much of the early and some of the later scientific discovery came from those wanting to understand and even some trying to prove the existence of God and scriptures however many were chastised imprisoned and threatened with death when their findings were not in line with the church or scriptures. Those individuals may have been inspired by religion but the religious organization if left up to them would have kept us in the dark ages.

I cannot say when it was exactly in history but the time has already passed when mankind should have moved on past the stories of lore. I would put that time long before Darwin and they started discovering missing links. In this day and age with DNA mapping their really is no excuse anymore.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:45 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

Good thread, and the simple answer is Of course it is! its no more than a cynical control construct that preys on your most base instincts of fear and kinship. the same as any control construct like patriotism or nationalism.Its the stuff war is made from and always has been.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 04:32 AM
The name of the game has always been and always will be divide and conqour

Whens the last time you ever saw two Religons coming together never mind all of them which is so seemingly impossible that it would seem like a millenial masterplan if it happened now wouldnt it??.

Lets just say that if all god claiming religons combined forces against say an Alien threat that was godless,you would see one heck of a team on the playing field,maybe the biggest humanity has ever seen.

But they can divide if not utilised properly and with humanitarian integrity.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 06:00 AM
Babel was united by "one language", building it's tower in defiance of the Creator, striving to reach the Heavens on it's own terms.

God came down and confused the "language" into many "languages".

Religion has always been a glue in society like physical languages. It has kept the serpent cults separated.

God came down again to find that the Jews had built another tower. The "language" was once again confused, and the gospel written in Greek.

In these last days, the builders of the world's last tower are uniting their "language" once again. Their bricks are the sins of the world and the tar that holds them together is bloodshed. As the descendants of Christians happily believe the serpent's religion and fall into sin, they have no understanding that they are the bricks and it is their bloodshed building the last world Babel.

So yes, religions have served their purpose - holding off the serpent cults from regathering long enough to enact salvation in an already condemned world.. Time is running short, the last Babel ( called globalisation) is around the corner. And just as before, it reaches it's top into the Heavens, piling it's sins one atop another, declaring itself capable completely without it's Creator.

This is why God Almighty comes down one last time. The third time. Completion.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:21 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

Religion is like a map. Go into the area it refers to and it can be useful. On the other hand, if you are not in that area you may wonder what good it does you.

Religion is like a menu. Go to a restaurant and it can be a useful guide. But if you eat at home, all the menus in the world dont add up to a hill of beans for you.

The problem isn't religion. The problem is people are mistaking the map for the territory...mistaking the menu for the meal.

edit on 17-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:33 AM
IMO a majority of people wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they didn't have someone bigger, stronger, more powerful to give them orders.

Religion fills those shoes while allowing the follower to keep his pride intact, if only as an illusion.

Do this. Don't do that. Good good, you are on the right path, all those other people are on the wrong path. Go ahead puff your chest out, wait, wait don't puff it out too much, and don't judge those one the wrong path, even though they are below you.

Those who are considered a true follower of any religion are the ones who can do the dance and know their place. They don't ask too many questions and just do as they are told. Just like a good worker bee, leaving the heavy thinking for someone "higher up".


posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:55 AM
reply to post by boncho

It makes people completely irrational and easily manipulated. And it is very effective in doing so...

Religion, Politics, Law, Alcohol, fast cars, Marriage (hehe) - which one you talkin bout Willis?

I agree with your statement though - about Religion. Spirituality though - that's a whole other ball game - Yes?

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:07 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

I'm not sure, but since all the Republican types seems to adhere to religion, that seems to cast a rather suspicious light on the whole deal. Republicans abhor change, they don't fight for progression, they like tradition and they wanna keep things the way they were.

In other words, holding us back. And guess what religion does? It pretty much condemns everything we have today. So ask yourself: what would you have if you were a fundamentalist? How much about you would change? Would that be holding you back?

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:22 AM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

I think I know where you are coming from but you need to articulate yourself to the global audience that reads ATS - "Republican" does not mean squat to many people and leads to confusion.

If you want to say it - then say it.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:22 AM
When used improperly, religion can be a severe hindrance and, dare I say crutch to one's spiritual development. When used properly, it's a vital tool in one's spiritual development.

It just depends on how you use it. If you literally believe everything with no room for metaphor, if you question nothing and accept everything, if you take it serious, then religion becomes nothing more than a cold, mechanical, reactionary entity that is destined to die out.

I can't remember who said it, but they said something to the extent of, when priests laugh in their churches, religion is dead. But if they laugh because they're having such a good time, religion is very alive.

There's a term in Zen Buddhism called "satori", it's a brief flash of enlightenment, a quick realization of a great truth. I've been told that when one experience satori, the only thing left to do is have a good laugh. Maybe that's hat we all need to do, religious and non-religious: Have a good laugh, even at ourselves, and learn to stop taking everything so seriously.

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