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Determing the true nature of a given religion

Religion True Nature poll

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51 replies to this topic

Poll: Which is the "real" thing? (52 member(s) have cast votes)

Which is the "real" thing?

  1. The writings/sayings of the religion's founder (your reading) (4 votes [8.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.51%

  2. Accumulated works of its theologians over time (your reading) (2 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  3. Present-day leaders' interpretation/presentation of past works (2 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  4. Behavior of its members right here and now (14 votes [29.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.79%

  5. Behavior of its members in times/places when it's not held back (2 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  6. Whichever is most positive; Don't want to judge it "bad" (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. Whichever is most negative; Religion squashes what is good in people (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. I judge that which I personally experience/make it up as I go along (4 votes [8.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.51%

  9. Other (11 votes [23.40%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.40%

  10. None; there's no such thing (8 votes [17.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.02%

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#41 Enkanowen

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 10:45 AM

I do not believe that organized religion is anything other than a method to control people. Written doctrine is written by humans to control its subjects. Look at Germany in the Middle Ages. The Catholic church was so intertwined with the state that it made the law. People were required to pay for redemption; bibles were in latin so the church could alter the context with no one noticing because no one but the church was able to read and speak latin. Most organized religions have similar ways of controlling people, therefore I believe them to be not condusive to society.
However, faith is a completely different thing.

#42 Rhea

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 10:51 AM

Hey, it tells me I voted and this is the first I've seen of the thread!  :eek:  :eek:
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#43 woody000

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:20 AM

Religion as a way to control people only applies to the past, to its origins and the reason for the spread of the larger ones. In what way does Christianity control people? And to what end? (In modern times.)

Even in the past, in most cases I don't accept it was done on purpose, it was simply an underlying psychology. There are a few exceptions however, such as several past English kings, but far fewer in modern times.

Edited by woody000, 10 August 2005 - 11:20 AM.


#44 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:23 AM

Its origins?  I totally disagree.  I do not agree that religion originates to control people.  Jesus didn't do that, Muhammad didn't do that, Buddha didn't do that, etc.  That control element happens later in the lifecycle of a religion.

QT

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#45 woody000

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:27 AM

Ok, fair enough, that's not really what I meant, even though I typed it pretty plainly there. It's the spread of religion that could be argued is down to that. Not that I agree, of course, but that's not the point.

#46 Enkanowen

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 12:14 PM

QueenTiye, on Aug 10 2005, 12:23 PM, said:

Its origins?  I totally disagree.  I do not agree that religion originates to control people.  Jesus didn't do that, Muhammad didn't do that, Buddha didn't do that, etc.  That control element happens later in the lifecycle of a religion.

QT

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Jesus also said that he did not want a religion made from what he believed. Religion controls people; faith does not.

We are still controlled by religion: same sex marriage, abortion... US money states "In God We Trust"... whenever state and religion is mixed that will happen.

#47 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 12:27 PM

Enkanowen, on Aug 10 2005, 01:14 PM, said:

Jesus also said that he did not want a religion made from what he believed. Religion controls people; faith does not.

We are still controlled by religion: same sex marriage, abortion... US money states "In God We Trust"... whenever state and religion is mixed that will happen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Did He?  Where?  I agree that Jesus wanted the religion and the state separate (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's), but where did he say that He didn't want religion?

QT

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#48 woody000

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 12:56 PM

Enkanowen, on Aug 10 2005, 05:14 PM, said:

We are still controlled by religion: same sex marriage, abortion... US money states "In God We Trust"... whenever state and religion is mixed that will happen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Same sex marriage and abortion are issues which many people even within religions disagree on. Again though I say to what end? What benefit do religious leaders have to gain in stopping people from doing those things other than non-selfish ones; that they simply believe it to be wrong and so they're trying to help you? (Whether you agree with those beliefs or not.)

#49 Enkanowen

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 05:17 PM

QueenTiye, on Aug 10 2005, 01:27 PM, said:

Did He?  Where?  I agree that Jesus wanted the religion and the state separate (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's), but where did he say that He didn't want religion?
QT

If I had my bible handy I could tell you the exact passage. However, not a Christian so the bible I own is at my parents' house. It was a very big discussion in my philosophy class in grade 11. Perhaps your bible is different than mine though. Mine is a reprint of an original Lutheran bible in old german.


woody000, on Aug 10 2005, 01:56 PM, said:

Same sex marriage and abortion are issues which many people even within religions disagree on. Again though I say to what end? What benefit do religious leaders have to gain in stopping people from doing those things other than non-selfish ones; that they simply believe it to be wrong and so they're trying to help you? (Whether you agree with those beliefs or not.)

Monetary gain, self righteousness, power, what don't they have to gain from millions of people following them blindly pumping their money into the church?
It is wrong to force down your beliefs down another person's throat especially if the religion you follow isn't a very old one. Religion is the oldest cause of conflict in the world that isn't related to basic survival.

#50 sierraleone

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:19 PM

How to jugde a whole religion?

How to jugde the ruling party of government? Bear with me a moment (though I'm not sure I'll be able to bear with me myself, considering I'll probably be babbling non-sense by the end ;) )

The government is suppose to be beholden and working for the people. So in this wacked out analogy, people are god (either imagine a panathea, or a Hindu type religion, or just imagine they are all one entity, whichever suits you ;) ).

What do you judge the ruling party by? (other parties are other religions)
Their leaders? Their "dogma"/texts? (as in their party platform) What they actually do? Their other powerfull people? Their campaign runners? Their assistants? The actions of all of them collectively? Is the actions of one wayward Senator/Member of Parliament/etc reflective of the whole party? 2/3? How about their ambassadors?
Do you judge them by their "followers"? (forget for a minute they are the god(s) in this situation ;) )

Since a political party is in many ways different, I'd go a political party is what it does once it is in power (though that may not fit the defination of what their party is suppose to be, liberal or conversative ;) )

Religion though... Religion as an organization should be jugde by what it does in power (and considering how fervent religion can be in power, thats not a good thing usually). Religion as its basic tenents and beliefs should be judge by its texts/propehets/scholars. Religion as part of a cultural way of life should be judge by the *average* behavour of its adherents, and this interpretations must be carefully viewed to see if the behavour reflects the heart of the religion, the culture/place/time of the observing, or both.
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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#51 woody000

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:18 AM

Enkanowen, on Aug 10 2005, 10:17 PM, said:

Monetary gain,

Being a leader in most denominations (including my own) usually means poverty. They certainly don't have anything to gain, at the very least.

Quote

self righteousness,

By this do you mean, feeling good about themselves? If I felt I was helping God's people, I would feel good about myself, at least in that aspect of my life, as long as you don't see yourself as somehow free from sin or better than the others then there's nothing wrong with that. And someone who thought those things would be unlikely to get far in most denominations, though I suppose they could keep it entirely to themselves.

Quote

power, what don't they have to gain from millions of people following them blindly pumping their money into the church?

No leader, with the exception of the catholic church, has millions of people following them blindly. They're not going to believe absolutely anything a leader tells them. If my church leader told me something I didn't believe in, I'd change churches, as would most Christians I've met. (And I would report it to the Baptist Union for that matter.) And most denominations are non-profit. We take what we need to run the church and the rest goes to causes.

Even the catholic church I don't believe is corrupt as it was in the past. In the past, if the pope said something, you would believe it without hesitation. These days, I've talked to many catholics that have put their own spin on things because they cannot accept what the church has said. The main way the catholic church today is corrupt is in money matters, but even then I don't accept it's any kind of plot. In the past, maybe; not now. For a start, even as a catholic priest, I doubt they are very rich at the bottom of the chain, and there's no way you could be sure you'll get far up the chain at the start of your... "career". (Correct me if I'm wrong, I don't know that much about the catholic church, I generally try to ignore it because it just gets me annoyed.)

Quote

It is wrong to force down your beliefs down another person's throat especially if the religion you follow isn't a very old one. Religion is the oldest cause of conflict in the world that isn't related to basic survival.

Religion is the oldest EXCUSE for conflict in the world, as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by woody000, 11 August 2005 - 03:21 AM.


#52 woody000

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:54 AM

I think I'll actually answer the question of the thread, hadn't bothered before now.

Determining the true nature of a given religion.

Well to me, it really depends what you mean. If a religion prizes deeds over anything else, then I'd say the behaviour of present day members is a good judge, though not including the really extreme cases, just taking some kind of average.

A religion like Christianity on the other hand. Christianity calls everyone sinners and says although we have to strive to avoid sin, ultimately we will not be able to stop ourselves. It say that we're forgiven, that's very different. I think that it's a combination of things in this case. If Christians were on the whole bad people, if Christianity had (in your own opinion) a bad effect on the majority of members, then I would see that as being significant, but otherwise I would be inclined to look at what the religion is actually about to make a decision. (As I have done, in fact.) I would look first at the founder, make some preliminary conclusions, and then look at the theologians and make some further conclusions.

So basically I believe it depends on the religion to how you must determine its true nature. As with so many things, I don't think you can apply the same system to every one.



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