Unquestioning Christian?

I once again don’t have time for a proper post this week (I should be back in the saddle next week!), so I thought I’d post this little bit of humour (click for the full size image). Can you come up with any more? Choose whatever religion you want, or even atheism if you can come up with something good!

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I find hard to believe that some Christians have trouble with the true age of the Earth. Let’s face it, if the planet is as old (young) as some Christians claim, then wouldn’t we have believeable proof that Humans and dinosaurs might have “co-existed”? Oh, wait a minute, they probably don’t believe dinosaurs existed either.

  
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While some people believe there is a hard wired need in the human brain to believe in a higher power, I wonder if religious belief systems are simply achieved by massive brainwashing from birth as are other belief systems: Nazism, Soviet Communism, N. Korean Totalitarianism, etc. Repressive belief systems work very well to keep populations thoroughly controlled even though they most often must deny reality to do so.

One benefit I have witnesses from a higher power belief system is the 12 Steps Program used to control substance abuse. How could a parallel system be set up w/o using a God reference point?

  
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Sachiko writes “..post this little bit of humour..”.

whether the ten points were intended to be funny or not scarcely matters — they do seem to summarise the conceit of the (Abrahamic) religions very nicely.

Robert writes “I wonder if religious belief systems are simply achieved by massive brainwashing..”.

my own ‘belief’ is that all life is inherently spiritual, and interconnected. and it is this spirituality which leaves us open to the misuse and perversion perpetrated by organisations; churches, corporations, diktators, you name it.

  
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It doesn’t take “brainwashing”, just cultural recognition as being part of a larger group. On the individual level, for example there are narcissists, that feel pleasure when in the company of themselves or viewing themself in the mirror. “A group of one” in this instance, can be very self-congratulatory, as it can never be wrong, but it has only the ability to influence itself.
So if this person can convince others of a goal, and can get more people to “reflect” this common purpose then the “group of one” can become a group of many with “one goal”. It becomes a shared identity, or a shared narcissism.

This is the proponent space of spiritualism, that feeling that you or your group can achieve a higher purpose with your surroundings and thus have a greater longevity, impact, or otherwise mean more to the world than those who do not participate or are not connected to “your” group and don’t “reflect” “your” own space in the universe as being special.

The spiritual center has been identified loosely with a combined/shared/common usage of the areas of euphoria centers and cognitive identity areas of the brain. So in essence the brain finds comfort, soothing pleasure, when in a state of identified “spirituality”.

Whether this state is achieved in a nationalistic fervor, a drug induced high, a meditation circle, tantric yoga, prayer group, sexual exstacy, or after a sustained period of exertion/exercise the result to the brain is the same, it experiences endorphin release, and attaches it to the personal nature of the activity. It is stored as a memory, and the memory can be reinforced by repetitions of the activity. In the case of external drugs, the drug can be too powerful, and thus overwhelm the natural systems of uptake leading to “crashes”, depression, addiction, etc. While this addiction can also be achieved using the other sources of this “spirituality” with the results of people attending 3 – 5 church sessions a day, looking for groups that align with their ideas on national identity, extending their yoga sessions, or the external stressors of their yoga sessions, pursuing hour upon hour of exercise etc, these processes take years to attain such harmful results as opposed to a few months of constant ever increasing dosages of external drugs.

Of course, once addicted to these belonging/spiritual/safe/feelings of control while participating, the person becomes much more subject to conditioning, manipulation and control. Usually these groups are after sex, money, or social control. You see it in all groups where group identity is more important than individual identity – this includes team sports, military units, and of course corporations, nation states, and the hugely ubiquitous religious groupings that generally cross over all of those smaller groups.

Overall we want to be connected socially, but we don’t want our individuality to be completly removed, so we choose to narcissistically associate with people like ourselves. It is quite easy to reflect upon yourself when your neighbors act, think, and do pursuits just like you. “Your” place in the universe is all about you (proximity and belief) and you can turn to those people for assistance quite easily and they will feel good assisting you and vice versa. However if you can’t reflect yourself in those around you, there is that nagging feeling that you are out of place – all the time. So you constantly are looking, questioning, for those common interests that link you to the larger surrounding group. These abrupt social interactions can cause conflict, because your questions may have never been asked in the culture, or you ask too often, or too heatedly/passionately.

Thus it can easily grow to be you versus them, as they hear your questions and realize that no one has sought these answers out, thus their identity has become threatened. The mental picture of themself has just become less recognizable. Worse yet it is you who has caused this damage to their self-identity. Now you have become a threat just by asking a rudimentary/fundamental cultural question!

Thus the “Brave New World” problem begins, and with it the possibility a 1984 solution. Then “interesting times” happen! Currently Iran, China, Honduras, N. Korea, Thailand, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Georgia, Russia and most of America is in the grip of “interesting times”. May the paradigm change and recognition of a larger self identity with the rest of the world continue to shield us from the 1984 solution that has always been the tool of choice by those past & present warlords, kings, despots, corporate oligarchs, theocratic dictators and others that have cropped up to cause mischief during the past 10 millennia. The world is both more connected and more disparate in many ways than ever before in the history of human kind. It is time to look past our past/present individual self-narcissism and find ever more resonant connectors to the people who make up our planet, so that humanity will continue its improvement and survive these conflicted times.

  
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Robert,

How do you explain converts then? And how is Christianity repressive? It asks people to love on another and have respect for each other. And without God, what moral reason do we have for not encouraging substance abuse? No God means it is every man for himself, and if you want to spend your life drunk, then that’s okay.

  
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Rachel,

How is Christianity repressive? How about all the sexism and homophobia, just for starters? And how does Christianity enforce morality? You can do pretty much anything you want, then just ask Jesus for forgiveness later. And the morality of the Christian God is as bad as it gets: if the God of the Bible existed, he would be far and away the greatest genocidal mass murderer in history. The real reason for morality is simple: if we mistreat others, they will mistreat us; if we treat others well, they will treat us well. We all want to be loved, and the only way to get that is to love others. Plus other social species display the same altruistic patterns of behaviour as we do—ironically, it is ‘evil’ evolution that actually gave us morality.

  
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