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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  14:01:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Religion adds to that, it doesn't help anyone.

Respectfully, Gorgo, I disagree. One of my brothers died at the age of two. My parents were on their second honeymoon when he became suddenly ill (spinal meningitis and encephalitis). My grandmother called my parents and they immediately returned, but Steven was dead before they arrived. My mother's last memory of him is of him asking her to push him on his tricycle. She replied that she was too busy packing. Her grief even now, more than forty years later, is almost more than she can bear. It is only her belief that she will see him again in heaven that makes it possible for her to go on.

While I agree that religion does more harm than good, I believe it does help some people.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
Edited by - Wendy on 01/18/2005 14:02:51
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  14:39:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Again, my doctor told me that if I lose weight, I can get my blood pressure and my cholesterol down. He was not "attacking" me, he was letting me know that I would be healthier if I lose the "need" for overeating. I didn't get "pissed off." Some people do. Should he stop doing that because some people get pissed off?

If I tell you that you will be mentally healthier if you accept yourself and your world and lose the need to create fantasies will you be pissed off?


As you have no basis for the statement except opinion and rash generalization, no you wouldn't piss me off nor convince me you are right. But I'm not most people when it comes to the highly emotionally charged subject of religion. This condition of highly emotionally charging is not so for smoking nor weight loss.

quote:
Should I stop because you're pissed off? Did I call you an idiot? You can refuse the advice just like some people refuse the advice to moderate eating or smoking.


Seems to indicate that you have proof for your assertation that you are right by equating superstition with ceremony. I do not agree with your assessment.

quote:
Most people don't seem to be harmed by religion much because they really don't believe it. They don't believe in "God," that is, an omnipotent, omniscient ruler of the Universe.


Not all religions ascribe to such a definition of God. Rash generalization.

quote:
They just have some vague notion that there "must be" something. Well, guess what? You don't need those kinds of ideas. In fact, we're all better off without them.


Thus is your opinion. While I respect it, I do not agree with it.

quote:
Superstition is not neutral. It certainly is not positive. Ellis does not spell that out very well, I agree. However, such beliefs are grounded in fear. Those fearful beliefs are the filters through which we look at our world. They are our "pissed off" beliefs. It is not the world that pisses us off, but our beliefs about ourselves. We think we are not enough as we are, so we attempt to emotionally force the world into something that it isn't. Religion adds to that, it doesn't help anyone.



Again, you equate superstition with ceremony and ignore some people's harmless psychological need for msyticism. Your repeated attempts to claim religion as a whole has elements which you term bad is unsupported. You also believe that you are absolutely right by equating religion and superstition. I do not agree with this assessment and nothing you have listed as a source leads me to believe you are right by comingling them. I have seen people turn to religion as a way to deal with traumatic events until they can fully psychologically handle them. It happened with me when dealing with the death of a two year old child whom I had known since his birth. I was dating the child's mother at the time and it was very traumatic. My religion gave me some relief so that I could completely deal with issues seperately instead of all at once.

Atheists have other coping mechanisms to deal with such trauma. These are different, not better.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 01/18/2005 14:40:41
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  14:40:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Valiant is correct, some of us (including myself) have difficulties with their emotions, and it is important to respect that some subjects are sometimes easier to talk about than others. I agree on that point, but people are angry because they are angry people, not because of what happens to them or what I say to them. That doesn't mean that I want to be rude. Just means that angry people (including me) are angry people.

You have brought up a subject that I would not have brought up, because of ideas our society has about death.

However, this is just a discussion forum, and I am someone that knows nothing about anything, so please take whatever I say (anywhere about anything) with that in mind.

Your parents "could not go on" because of what they tell themselves about themselves and their world. They, in fact, can go on. People do it all the time. They would, in fact, do it better without unrealistic ideas about the world. There may be something we don't know about the afterlife, but it isn't even remotely evident that there is an afterlife. There doesn't need to be an afterlife, and the idea of an afterlife helps nothing. In fact, all that their belief in an after life says is that their son's life was not enough, that they were not enough. They are deficient because they did not do the impossible, that their son's life was deficient because it "should" have been something else. What would help is to understand that people live and die, and that we are all fallible. If she had not been busy packing, she would have found some other way to make herself feel more miserable than she needed to.

Best to understand that the son's life was the son's life and it was enough. Sure, we all want to live forever, and want our loved ones to live forever, but it's like bitching because you don't have wings. Life is what it is. That doesn't mean that some things aren't difficult to deal with, and maybe there are some things for which we really "can't go on", but religion won't help those things at all for certain.

Religion only clouds clear vision. It helps nothing.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  16:29:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

However, this is just a discussion forum, and I am someone that knows nothing about anything, so please take whatever I say (anywhere about anything) with that in mind.

I will do as you ask. It is all that will make it possible for me to be civil to you at this point.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  17:20:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Look, you brought it up for discussion. If you didn't want it discussed, it would have been wise to keep it off the table.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  17:21:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Valiant, I don't know what you're talking about. I said nothing about ceremony, except that you might be right about that. I don't know where you find a gene for ceremony, and I don't care. We are talking about religion. Religion is how one organizes one's ideas about god(s). Such things are superstition and nonsense.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  19:34:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
I agree on that point, but people are angry because they are angry people, not because of what happens to them or what I say to them.


We are way off topic anyway....

I am, generally, laid back and easy going. I stress out or get upset about very little.

I DO get royally pissed off (angry) sometimes, but it is certainly not because I'm an "angry person". That claim is just ridiculous.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  03:36:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Of course it is.


quote:

I DO get royally pissed off (angry) sometimes, but it is certainly not because I'm an "angry person". That claim is just ridiculous.




I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  07:43:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Look, you brought it up for discussion. If you didn't want it discussed, it would have been wise to keep it off the table.

True enough. Since I did, I have a question. Would you want to have the power to make people behave only as you believe is best for them? Would you want to be able to make smokers stop smoking, or force obese people to follow a healthy diet? What about runners? That's a high impact exercise that is hard on the body in many ways. Would you want the power to make them stop?

My mother's belief in God is passive. She does not try to convert anyone. She seldom goes to church. She does passionately believe she will see her child again in heaven. She has much to say to him and believes one day she will have the chance to say it. While I disagree, I respect her belief and her right to feel as she does. If she is harming anyone it is only herself. I know her very well, and I believe her faith does her more good than harm. I also believe that is true for many others like her.

Tolerance is a two-way street. What right do you have to attempt foist your beliefs, or lack thereof, on other people?

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  08:22:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Valiant, I don't know what you're talking about. I said nothing about ceremony, except that you might be right about that. I don't know where you find a gene for ceremony, and I don't care. We are talking about religion. Religion is how one organizes one's ideas about god(s). Such things are superstition and nonsense.



I respect your opinion, but disagree.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  08:22:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Wendy, I don't think I made any laws against anything. I don't think I called anyone stupid. I don't think I said I wanted to foist anything. Did I say that? I don't even think I said anyone SHOULD do anything. I thought (and I could be wrong)I simply said that people get caught up in the mythical idea of self-worth and feel the need to invent fantasies and don't need to and I don't understand why we can't say that. People inventing fantasies includes myself. One of those fantasies is god. Fantasies can seem to help, but you still have the underlying idea that life is not a good thing in and of itself. We see the world through those beliefs and act on those beliefs.

If Valiant thinks religion is simply marriage and funerals, then I guess that's what he thinks religion is and that's what it is. Maybe religion is the wrong word. Belief in things that don't exist is what I'm talking about. Jehovah, the tribal war god, does not exist. Belief in such things helps no one, and we've seen, can be very harmful.

If someone thinks that something helps them, and it harms no one, I don't care. I don't wish to force that. I have said before that most religion doesn't change much because people don't really believe in supernatural forces. They go to work, they do their laundry, etc. God doesn't do anything in their lives. The biggest waste there is the waste of time and money that people spend on nonsense. I guess there are worse things to waste time and money on.

No. I'm not in favor of foisting. I have a hard time even foisting medical treatment on adults that don't want it even though society may pay for it in the end.

People think they need things that they don't, and they think things help them that don't. Otherwise, they wouldn't do them.

When I smoked, I thought smoking helped me to look "cool" and I thought that I "needed" cigarettes. I could tell you that smoking "helped" me. I could tell you that it was a "coping mechanism" because I smoked when I was nervous and it "got me through" those times.

But we all know that I didn't need them, they didn't help me do anything. I think the same is true of god(s).

I'm not saying that anyone is wrong to grieve or be angry, everyone (at least most everyone) does those things. But largely, our emotions are the result of what we tell ourselves about the world. That doesn't mean that losing a child isn't a difficult thing to go through, and I apologize if I seemed to make light of that, and at the risk of being even more rude, I won't refer to what was said directly unless you ask me direct questions.

If you want to tell yourself a fantasy about the world and think that helps you, that's your business, but the underlying beliefs about self-worth that cause you to want to create fantasies don't change. I don't know if Ellis is right in saying that belief in such things is "neurosis." It is at least an error in thinking.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  09:27:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo
Wendy, I don't think I made any laws against anything. I don't think I called anyone stupid.

Nor did I say that you did.
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo
No. I'm not in favor of foisting. I have a hard time even foisting medical treatment on adults that don't want it even though society may pay for it in the end.

Good to know.
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo
If you want to tell yourself a fantasy about the world and think that helps you, that's your business, but the underlying beliefs about self-worth that cause you to want to create fantasies don't change. I don't know if Ellis is right in saying that belief in such things is "neurosis." It is at least an error in thinking.

I find this part of your post a bit difficult to follow, as I have stated I am agnostic. Perhaps you mean "you" in the general sense. I agree, it likely is an error in thinking. Being human means making mistakes. Until you can prove these people are making mistakes I think Dude said it best:
quote:
Originally posted by Dude
Medicine takes this approach:

1. Advise the patient of the best treatment.
2. If they have an objection, based on religion (or based on anything really), explain clearly what the risks are of refusing treatment. (Jehova's Witnesses refuse organ transplants and blood transfusions, for example)
3. Treat the patient as best you can while allowing for their personal choices.
4. Reiterate the risks invloved in not accepting reccomended treatments.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  10:05:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I would agree with that. I would not bring up religion if there were no reason to do so. I wouldn't bring up smoking if there were no reason to do so, but I wonder why when it's appropriate to do so, we are afraid of "pissing" someone off only in the area of superstition.

Superstition is not a positive, or even neutral thing. It is a detriment to our good mental health.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Rubicon95
Skeptic Friend

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  10:40:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rubicon95 a Private Message
Gorgo,

"Superstition is not a positive, or even neutral thing. It is a detriment to our good mental health."

Prove it! Where is the study? Where is the research? Or is this your opinion.

Individual prayer (not intercessory)/Meditation has shown to have a benefit in the healing process and calming the mind.
http://www.mayo.edu/proceedings/2001/dec/7612a1.pdf
Or even help you with a healthy diet.
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/97/103970.htm
Or even help you with depression
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/24/1738_52435.htm

I'll take a pack of superstitious rites over a pack of harmful carcinogens any day.

Dude's post is on target.


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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2005 :  10:47:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/faith.html

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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