We Are All Religious

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posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 11:16 PM
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We Are All Religious


 




1.

We are all religious. To superficial ears, such a remark might instantly make one revolt in horror. Surely, men and women who bow to idols and chant conventional mantras are much different than someone as irreligious as I. They wear robes, rub beads and recite ancient scripture; I do not. They seek guidance in lore of times past while I am more interested in the beauty of its poetry. However, to be honest one must think and act honestly. And although the content of my thought, my language and my culture are much different than theirs, I still see myself, no doubt, acting religious about what amounts to no more than my own tastes, desires and opinions.

I like the idea of God. There I said it. And although my skin crawls at this admittance, the idea that all of the evil and good in this world gets judged in the hereafter would suit me quite well. I wouldn’t mind going into death knowing that I’d see my friends and family once more. It is comforting. Do I believe in it? Not in the slightest—I find my comforts elsewhere—but I nonetheless enjoy discussing the topic, at least so that the imagery and fantasy of it may pass through my imagination.

But God is just an idea as far as we can know or care. It lives only within the words and imagery of our culture, and hence our imagination. Paradoxically, vivid paintings of him adorn walls and anatomically correct statues stand grotesquely as reminders of this vague and indescribable force; and one would be hard-pressed to completely exercise these visuals from one’s mind. But one who doesn’t believe in supernatural forces might begin to see what it is that people actually pray to. If religion is the worship of a “superhuman controlling power”, it could also be said that it is the worship of nothing more than a comforting idea—both definitions describing the exact same phenomena depending on how one chooses to look at it. And what is living one’s life for this idea but living one’s life according to ideas in general?


2.

It’s strange how someone can cheer for the same football team for their entire life. The players change, the owners change, the uniforms change, and the team is never the same team save for its name; yet there is a certain loyalty towards this team despite not having any direct relationship or similarities with it. In the stands at games, opposing fans will and do razz each other to the point of a fist fight, despite the fact that no one in the stands has any personal investment in any of the actual people playing. They fight for the name of the team only. Couldn’t this be considered religion, insofar as one acts—not according to any sense, reason or experience—but towards an idea?

It seems that there is no difference between football fans and the religious—both are hardcore idealists. Both wear the branding, don the bumper stickers and talk incessantly about their team with other followers. Both take time out of the Sundays to enjoy the satiation found in their feigned participation, and one moment spent with an opposing team is sure to lead to argument or worse. The enthusiasm—and I mean this in the classical sense of the word—always begets the reason.

And how is this any different than political affiliation? Leftists, rightists, all sorts of people committing their conduct and rhetoric to affiliate with an idea that someone once came up with. They enjoy the idea as it is perhaps conventional to their culture or it simply fits comfortably in the intellect. But soon the desire to advertise this affiliation shows itself in the age-old display of pure worship. To display our opinions at all cost! “I’m right, you’re wrong”!—and other such games. Their vanities wish to make it known what their tastes are, for the same reason a pious man prays or meditates in public—to be seen a certain way. Even followers of Jesus refuse to pray in a closet.


3.

Does one talk about God because he doesn’t like talking about God? I wouldn’t say so; and the atheist and agnostics are a strange case in this manner. They too employ the idea of God in their speech as much as the religious man does. The atheist contemplates it for the sake of refuting it (how one should approach every idea), but he holds on to it, not to let it go. Instead of tossing the idea out with yesterday’s news, he keeps it, because maybe he likes it. He still hangs around it. Or maybe he wishes to use it as an intellectual weapon of sorts as the religious often do. Either way, their opinion about it must be known and acted according to. Isn’t this how we treat all “gods” and other such comforting ideas?

We all do it. People are religious—always have been and always will—as long as the strive to put their opinions above others. Gods, ways of life, doctrines, facts, mathematics, metaphysics, philosophy, physics, law, quantum mechanics—all ideas expressed a certain way, written down by ages and ages of articulate humans—all metaphor and poetry and art. It is simply a matter of taste which one chooses to supplant for his own. Express it, but simply express it better and politely and have fun with it. Then it becomes art.

4.

Religion is not the problem. We all know many people who follow a religion or believe in a God who are truly excellent human beings. Let the people have their comforts and festivals. However, every evil act done in the name of one’s religion, or against one’s religion, or for any idealistic notion, is an act of pure stupidity, letting one’s own mere opinions, one’s ideas, one’s God, get the better of their very own reason. To belittle, harm, or even kill someone for an idea is the worst kind of fundamentalism.

Truth is, religion, poetry, art, science, are windows into the human imagination, and as methods of intellectual comfort or pure play, I would hate to see any of it disappear.




edit on 5-12-2013 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


You say you like the idea of God.
How does an idea of something you like make your
skin crawl ? The things I like make me happy or
content, nostalgic, warm and fuzzy even.
Just trying to understand what makes you say that I guess.

But I love your thread as it hosts some great thinking
and a perfect amount of text.

SnF
edit on 5-12-2013 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:26 AM
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Aphorism
The atheist contemplates it for the sake of refuting it (how one should approach every idea), but he holds on to it, not to let it go. Instead of tossing the idea out with yesterday’s news, he keeps it, because maybe he likes it. He still hangs around it. Or maybe he wishes to use it as an intellectual weapon of sorts as the religious often do.

The 'intellectual weapon' starts another thread.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:47 AM
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randyvs
reply to post by Aphorism
 


You say you like the idea of God.
How does an idea of something you like make your
skin crawl ?

SnF
edit on 5-12-2013 by randyvs because: (no reason given)


I can not answer for the OP, but "a god", Doesn't make my skin crawl. The idea of a god as presented in the bible although makes me physically sick, the god of the the Christian bible is unstable to say the least.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:50 AM
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You say you like the idea of God.
How does an idea of something you like make your
skin crawl ? The things I like make me happy or
content, nostalgic, warm and fuzzy even.
Just trying to understand what makes you say that I guess.

But I love your thread as it hosts some great thinking
and a perfect amount of text.

SnF
reply to post by randyvs
 


It was something I would never admit before. I should've expressed that only at first it was difficult to admit. It was my biases that didn't allow me to.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 





The 'intellectual weapon' starts another thread.


I'll take that as a compliment. Thank you.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:48 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


WELL PUT. EXCELLENT POINTS.

The interesting thing is that our brains appear to be structured and hardwired to NEED to believe RELIGIOUSLY in SOMETHING/SOMEONE.

I don't see "evolution" doing that.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:48 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


WELL PUT. EXCELLENT POINTS.

The interesting thing is that our brains appear to be structured and hardwired to NEED to believe RELIGIOUSLY in SOMETHING/SOMEONE.

I don't see "evolution" doing that.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 

One joins clubs and cults in the search to fit in. When God is found - one finds that one no longer needs to fit in.
The puzzle is complete.


edit on 6-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:49 AM
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Historically, human beings seem to have been naturally spiritual as with ancient aboriginal cultures, then with religion being imposed on us and the 'God' or 'higher force' aspect being removed (or put out of reach) from us. I chose to circumvent the church and go directly to the source because I am naturally spiritual, so this is my truth and that choice was the natural way to go for me. Am I self-serving to believe my nature is God given?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Maybe we're All Spiritual beings... as opposed to religious ones...




posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:58 AM
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InTheLight
Am I self-serving to believe my nature is God given?

If you 'believe your nature is God given' then that is (separate/individual) self serving.
But if you realize that there is only God and no separate you or any thing then that is not self serving.
Believing is one thing and realizing is another.

Some use the term 'Self' instead of 'God' but you wrote 'self' so I assume you are speaking of the separate, individual self.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


So, any idea why we are all religious?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:25 AM
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Astyanax
reply to post by Aphorism
 


So, any idea why we are all religious?



" First, that sentient beings exhibit sensations and feeling"

I think it probably started with a sentient being looking up at the sky. (stars, sun, etc..) And wondered.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by RUFFREADY
 


A poetic but unhelpful answer. Perhaps I should have phrased the question better. I'll try again:

If we are all religious, religion must be necessary to human beings. Why? What is the use of religion?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:43 AM
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Itisnowagain

InTheLight
Am I self-serving to believe my nature is God given?

If you 'believe your nature is God given' then that is (separate/individual) self serving.
But if you realize that there is only God and no separate you or any thing then that is not self serving.
Believing is one thing and realizing is another.

Some use the term 'Self' instead of 'God' but you wrote 'self' so I assume you are speaking of the separate, individual self.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Or, is our nature God?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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Astyanax
reply to post by RUFFREADY
 


A poetic but unhelpful answer. Perhaps I should have phrased the question better. I'll try again:

If we are all religious, religion must be necessary to human beings. Why? What is the use of religion?


Well then I'd say so when you hit your finger with a hammer you have something to say (God Damn it! )



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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InTheLight

Itisnowagain

InTheLight
Am I self-serving to believe my nature is God given?

If you 'believe your nature is God given' then that is (separate/individual) self serving.
But if you realize that there is only God and no separate you or any thing then that is not self serving.
Believing is one thing and realizing is another.

Some use the term 'Self' instead of 'God' but you wrote 'self' so I assume you are speaking of the separate, individual self.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Or, is our nature God?

Nature is God.
The petals on a flower unfold as does all there is.

The absolute is doing what is does - it is being all there is.

And then concepts (words that build dream worlds) arise and make believe there is something separate to all that is - a someone who lives in time.

There is only the eternal present - it is always happening - it appears to be unfolding.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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This is a nice, thought out thread, and I truly appreciate your efforts here.

BUT...

Being "religious" means that you believe in a god or gods and follow rules of that religion or take vows.

Being emotionally invested in something is not the same as being religious.

Pretty much, your whole post is saying is that if you are really into something, it is a religion. That is not the case.

I love the Walking Dead. I watch it every single week and can't wait for it to be on. But am I religious? No. Is Walking Dead a religion to me? No. It is a tv show.

As for sport fanaticism, your overview is correct but the issue is more complicated than that. But then people go to church for many reasons as well.

The comparison is that some people go to church for a sense of connectedness, to belong to something and identify with something. Some people go because they are religious.

People follow teams because it also brings them a sense of identity, and belonging to community. Sports fans have lower rates of depression. And have a collective higher self esteem.

But the comparison stops there.

People pick sports that they tend to play as a child. It is a nostalgic and emotional experience.

Sports revolve around human ability and the limits of the human body. Religion is about worshipping a higher power.
Sports focus on achievement and religions focus on humbleness and humility.

Last but not least, there is nothing "comforting" about sports. Unlike religion.

As for the region people follow a team their whole lives, that depends on the city. There is a large group of Cubs fans despite the Cubs never going to the World Series. They love the atomosphere and the stadium.

Steelers fans are some of the most devoted fans, because when the city was at its lowest, football saved the city by giving the downtrodden something to look too every week.

People want to be a part of something. Something that creates group identity. That is biological, that is human nature, that is not religion.

If anything religion was developed off of a biological need.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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Itisnowagain

InTheLight

Itisnowagain

InTheLight
Am I self-serving to believe my nature is God given?

If you 'believe your nature is God given' then that is (separate/individual) self serving.
But if you realize that there is only God and no separate you or any thing then that is not self serving.
Believing is one thing and realizing is another.

Some use the term 'Self' instead of 'God' but you wrote 'self' so I assume you are speaking of the separate, individual self.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Or, is our nature God?

Nature is God.
The petals on a flower unfold as does all there is.

The absolute is doing what is does - it is being all there is.

And then concepts (words that build dream worlds) arise and make believe there is something separate to all that is - a someone who lives in time.

There is only the eternal present - it is always happening - it appears to be unfolding.


The term 'God' is a personal concept within each of us. As it happened one day in antiquity, when that one particular, influencial human gave the higher force the name of 'God' or 'Manitou'.

If we are in an eternal present than it cannot be unfolding, perhaps realized, if indeed that is the truth, or perhaps your truth.





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