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Is Religion a virus?
May 26, 2007
12:11 am
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Is Religion a virus?

According to Richard Dawkins it is.

In his TV documentary on the "Root of All Evil. Pt 2" this is a small part of what went down:

"... Dawkins discusses specifically the idea of religion seen as a virus in the sense of a meme. He begins by explaining how he considers the mind of a child to be genetically pre-programmed to believe without questioning the word of authority figures, especially parents โ€“ the evolutionary imperative being that no child would survive by adopting a sceptical attitude towards everything their elders said. But this same imperative, he claims, leaves children open to "infection" by religion.

Dawkins meets the psychologist Jill Mytton who suffered an abusive religious upbringing โ€“ she now helps to rehabilitate similarly affected children. Mytton explains how, for a child, images of hell fire are in no sense metaphorical, but instead inspire real terror. She portrays her own childhood as one "dominated by fear." When pressed by Dawkins to describe the realities of Hell, Mytton hesitates, explaining that the images of eternal damnation which she absorbed as a child still have the power to affect her now.

Then Dawkins visits Pastor Keenan Roberts, who has been running the Hell House Outreach programme for 15 years, producing theatre shows aimed at giving children of twelve or older an indelible impression that "sin destroys". We see rehearsal scenes depicting doctors forcing an abortion on a woman despite her changing her mind, and a lesbian gay marriage ceremony presided over by Satan in which the women swear to โ€œnever believe that you are normalโ€ and Satan cites First Corinthians 6 as God saying homosexuality equals sin. Roberts absolutely and unapologetically believes the scriptures about sin, and when Dawkins questions this basis for morality, replies that it is a faith issue. ...

May 26, 2007
2:55 am
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Well, I don't know if I would say it is a faith issue but rather an issue of children who were raised by tyranically abusive manipulative humans that wanted to usurp their authority over these children who were obviously victims of their circumstances. Not all religions raise their children to the extreme of causing them nightmares of eternal hellfire and damnation. It is no different than comparing a child of incest and regular beatings to a child that comes from a home w/ loving parents. You can take any theory and find totally opposite ends of the spectrum depending on what you are looking to find. Kinda like comparing apples to oranges; night to day; evil parents to good parents. Just my opinion of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

May 26, 2007
7:32 am
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I think religion has too many parts to be a virus.

Religion looks, to me, like a cultural artifact--like Medicine or Sociology or Engineering.

May 29, 2007
2:46 am
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Worried_Dad.

But I thought the social and engineering sciences were based upon sound reasoning as opposed to the blind faith in the absurd that resulted in 9/11 and furthered by Falwell blaming homosexuals etc for same because they supposedly rejection of his god's message.

Is it or is it not absurd for Christians to claim that homosexuality is an abomination and their sexual preferences a free choice made by homosexuals?

Is this unthinking, irrational attitude that is based upon blind faith, not a virus that eats away at any human progress?

Why would any scientist want to research these aspects of human behavior if they unquestioningly believed such rubbish?

May 29, 2007
1:32 pm
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I aree with mamacinnamon. And, I think that people tend to beleive what they want to believe regardless of what works. YOu have to keep in mind that there is no logical reason for those who wrote the New Testament to have lied about Jesus Christ and who He was/is, and there is no logical reason for them to have died the way they did if they did not know orginal Christianity was true. But it has kind of turned into a comparison and similar to food additives...you have real sugar, which the body digests and recognizes, and we have Splenda, Nutrasweet, Sacchrin, etc., which the body does not recognize and strives to digest but has difficulty.

I think people hellbent on trying to destroy Christianity through religion can be abusive if misused by parents. Many parents, me included, offered life in this way to my children, and they percieve it as life because they are thriving in it. I keep saying look to God, not to people. People who dont listen or hear God can be dangerous. There is some idiot out there now who is claiming to be God, and has his followers tatooing '666' on their skin, and they really believe he is God......

May 29, 2007
1:37 pm
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On the other hand in answer to "Is Religion a virus?"....In my experience, "religion" can kill if shared the wrong way, however, Jesus IS CONTAGIOUS!!!! :0), in a GREAT way! Jesus is not religion.

May 29, 2007
7:07 pm
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OMW

"and there is no logical reason for them to have died the way they did if they did not know orginal Christianity was true."

Even though your statement is no validation for their religious beliefs any more than it is for yours, I could just as easily write about the 9/11 Islamic martyrs: "there is no logical reason for them to have died the way they did if they did not know orginal Islam was true."

Much 'evil' comes out of Christianity for the very same reason.

"People who dont listen or hear God can be dangerous."

You mean like all the Islamic suicide bombers who listen to their god just as Christians like Bush do? Funny that. I don't see much good coming out of either religion only great evil!

Hearing voices in your head and believing their origin to be from some god giving his instructions is a medical condition.

Yep - religion is a virus alright and the antibiotic is reason.

May 29, 2007
7:44 pm
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OMW

You wrote:

"Jesus is not religion."

Right on - he's a guy who stirred up the Romans and died together with most of his message, and stayed just as dead as Sakyamuni Buddha is today. His resurrection is a convenient myth that his followers made up to justify their fanciful delusions.

Paul created Christianity not Jesus or some god.

Here's a cut and paste that gives some idea of where Christianity came from and it ain't from some god.

"The founder of Christianity was Jesus Christ a Jewish teacher and healer who lived in what is now Israel during the first century A.D. His followers grew steadily in number. In the A.D.300s the Roman emperor, Constantine, decreed that Christianity should be tolerated throughout his empire. An important figure around that time was Augustine, who was bishop of Hippo (in modern-day Algeria, Africa) from A.D.396 until A.D.430. Augustine developed Christian thought in his Confessions, mixing them with Greek ideas. His interpretation of Christianity spread throughout Europe.

From the 1500s, as Europeans explored other continents, they took Christianity with them. Today Christians live on every continent of the globe. They total almost two billion, which makes Christianity the world's biggest religion.

Christians believe in one God. They believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. The Christian God has three parts, known as the Holy Trinity. The Trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit."

The Mystery of the Blessed Trinity - Three separate divine beings or Gods all being part of the one and only true God. Hmmm!!

It was only declared a 'Mystery' of Religion as a heretical 'thought chruncher' because Christians cannot explain away such a blatant and glaring incongruity in their superstitious beliefs - one of the many incongruities in their religious beliefs.

And you wrote:

"I think people hellbent on trying to destroy Christianity through religion can be abusive if misused by parents."

I think Christians hellbent on trying to destroy rational thought about and openminded, scientific analysis of their beliefs can be abusive if misused by parents.

It is this virulent parental behavior of religious adherents that motivates Prof Richard Dawkins to expose religion for the danger that it is to human progress;that is, Dawkins is exposing religion's superstitious, irrational nature.

May 30, 2007
5:34 pm
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religion a virus..interesting and odd idea. they've probably killed about the same number of people...

May 31, 2007
12:41 am
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Watch these two vids about him, I was his fan after watching them:

Video 1(speech)

Video 2 (questions)

You can see him kicking the believer's bottoms right and left (sorry couldnt put it in a better way). Check it out.

May 31, 2007
9:24 pm
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guest_guest

Thanks for the links.

Dawkins is a highly respected scientist. Like Sam Harris he's no fool.

The only response the Christians and muslims have to him is emotional in nature and lacking in all or all logical, rational thought.

I was expecting the Christians to come back at me quoting from my last post saying something like this:

Your post said: "Today Christians live on every continent of the globe. They total almost two billion, which makes Christianity the world's biggest religion." Surely when it comes to their religion, all those people's beliefs can't be irrational and socially/emotionally/culturally/blind faith based!

To which I would reply: Why can't they be? When it comes to their religion, Christians, as well as members of other religions, have always reacted emotionally and irrationally to any perceived threat to their beliefs - even their theologins.

But the question is not whether their beliefs are true or not but whether their religious beliefs are a psychological virus, i.e., a boil on the backside of human progress.

June 1, 2007
10:29 am
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Tez

A collective madness?

June 1, 2007
2:43 pm
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Tez,
IMHO, I question your incessant diatribes to try to discredit Christianity. I have never known someone sho hates it so much. Then, you support your writings with those like Harris and Dawkins...what about Hitchins?....still, attempting to wholly discredit Christianity. I can't help but beleive that this 'quest' is not a symptom of another source within you. If so, in that case the problem lies with YOU, and to try to encourage or involve others to learn to also discredit Christianity, is egotistical and unwarranted...IMHO.

ALL Recovery groups, ALL of them, teach that the problem lies with ourselves. Forgive me, but this is what I see about you.

omw

June 1, 2007
2:56 pm
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Also Tez,
Have you ever been to a Men's Promise Keeper's meeting, or have you ever been to a Christian Conference, or have you ever read any books by reformed Athiests, or anything but what supports your opinions and lifestyles? Have you ever given God a chance?....not what or who misinformed people say he is, but who he might be to you? See, a person's response to trauma and adversity determines his life path. My life path has been HARD, and in someways it still is, and I know I STILL have some onion peeling to do....and I dread it, sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and say 'what's the use?' ....but for me i have to lean on the God of my understanding. And, as you know i have a hard time wondering how others don't do the same.

I figure my writing here will catch heck with you, or you will ignore it.

June 1, 2007
4:02 pm
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OMW

Just for the record- I hate it as much as Tez does. For the damage it has done. I just don't say as much about it.

June 1, 2007
4:31 pm
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bevdee,

I know, and I understand that. But in my heart, deep, in my heart, I wonder at times why some hate it so much and others love it so much, because I don't think any of us are that different, save for our experiences. Love and hate are such strong emotions, I just wonder, without judgement, what makes those emotions different? They are both emotions, spurred on by the same thing. Any thoughts?

June 1, 2007
4:43 pm
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...or maybe I shouldn't care, and I need to learn how to 'LIVE AND LET LIVE". That is probably best.

June 1, 2007
4:48 pm
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bevdee
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Ah- you just don't want MY answer Miss OMW.

June 1, 2007
4:52 pm
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no, just thinking from post to post.

what are your thoughts?

June 1, 2007
5:34 pm
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I don't like it because I have seen and experienced abuse at the hands of religion. I tried for years to love it, thinking to tie together the inconsistencies in that bible and all the different messages that are put out by the different individuals that consider themselves annointed or instructed by god to interpret the bible. I tried to do that because I was taught that to do so would bring me happiness. It didn't, so I studied deeper, and the more I studied, the less sense it made. Especially because the people who told me so weren't getting any happier, either.

Now as for frustration at folks who have chosen this "path of righteousness"? A big part of it is frustration for me, because it is very very seldom that I can communicate with someone that does not have some kind of cloak or shroud of religion around them. You may have noticed this on the Suppport side of this site. Even though specifically stated as against the guidelines, it bleeds through thought then speech.

I hate that synopsis of the book on the other thread on this side about BPD being demonic. I hate the fact that even today religion needs to demonize everything that that is not stated and approval stamped within the narrow confine of a book - and it is just that - a book that was originally a compilation of short stories- many with disturbingly plagiaristic similarities to mythological stories. A book written by men that probably did not know if the earth was flat or round. And they found the proof of their authenticity- in a cave! Cavemen wrote it and hid it.

Because for religion to demonize something is the worst proclamation - isn't it? Because the opposite of GOD is SATAN and/or his demons and minions. The opposite of GOOD- is EVIL. DEMONS ARE NOT OF GOD AND THEY ARE EVIL.

That's why I get frustrated. Now my personal opinion of why some love it is this. In a Christian household, I was taught that this is the way to think. The only way to think. I was told which emotions were sins. Anger is. Jealousy. And I wasn't to explore that emotion. We are not encouraged in that bible to understand the roots of our pain. And in church, as an adult I was told to take all the rage I had at my abuse/rapist and imagine myself wrapping my *problems* in a gift and giving it to Jaysus. And that would be that.

That don't cut it for me.

I was to shut it off by taking it to the Lord in Prayer. If you read that bible and take it literally, you as a human being will never measure up. Godamighty - no wonder there is so much hopelessness and depression in the world, no wonder people want to kill themselves. No matter what you do, it will never be good enough. And if the only relief from this life is HEAVEN - maybe that's why people are killing themselves off the way they are- with alcohol, drugs, blatant suicide attempts. Might get a shot at those Pearly Gates. That distant far-off land that we have been promised.

If we are to take the bible literally. And if we can't? Then what is the religion based on? Take what we need and leave the rest? If we can't prove everything that is in that bible, then it should not be used to demonise behaviour that was misunderstood in the caveman days. And if we take what we need and leave the rest? I don't believe it is fair for the one who believes half of it to judge or condemn the one who doesn't need any of it and left it all.

We tell ourselves what to love. Look at the NC threads, the relationship threads here. It is the loss of an illusion and it causes grief. Did you ever see that movie Castaway with Tom Hanks? That friend of his Wilson, the soccer ball? Alone on that island, he needed something. And Wilson listened to him. Wilson heard him. My personal opinion is that we love what we tell ourselves to love.

I am working on not getting triggered to blind adherence to ancient belief pattern. To still love those that try to project their wish for my salvation on me by means of guilt and shame. It's not easy.

June 1, 2007
6:57 pm
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bevdee

Your last post was extremely well written, rational and to the point.

Through it, I saw a person who had thrown off the crippling shackles of Christianity.

You spelt out plainly and in no uncertain terms for all to see what those shackles were.

These were the same emotionally and psychologically crippling shackles that I too carried around for so long.

If I resent and hate Christianity it is because of what it put me through and the hurdles it created and is still creating for me and others like me.

It nearly makes me spew my guts up when I hear the 'same old, same old party line' being purveyed as some kind of snake oil alixir for the human condition when in fact it is naught but a very primitive mind infecting virus. Christianity is much more insideous and virulent than the voodoo cults of old Haiti.

June 1, 2007
9:26 pm
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On my way

On the 1-Jun-07 you wrote:

"Also Tez, Have you ever been to a Men's Promise Keeper's meeting, ... "

Never heard of it.

"... or have you ever been to a Christian Conference, or have you ever read any books by reformed Athiests, or anything but what supports your opinions and lifestyles?..."

Sure have been there done that. Much to my disgust now, I've even marched in anti-abortion rallies deluded into thinking I was defending 'God's holy laws'. I would have done so to the death if necessary. I psalm sung with the 'best of the Christians'! I've partaken in bible study courses. I was a member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society for years. I was a member of a group of born again idiots who practiced speaking in tongues. I was an altar boy. I was educated in Catholic schools ALL of my school life - never, ever attending a state run school ever. I was a collector of the monies at my local church. I've had the 'real' Christianity force fed at both ends for so many years as both a child and as an adult. I doubt that you or any other Christian, the pope included, could teach or show me something new about it that I haven't already explored at depth and found wanting. But I could be wrong here. Please feel free to try me on that point.

You followed with:

"... Have you ever given God a chance?....."

Over 43 years I grovelled, pleaded and begged your imaginery god to make contact with me, to show me the 'true meaning' in some of the the gibberish that I read in the bible. Guess what? As hard as I tried I had more success contacting Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, may they both be praised.

And you followed with:

"... not what or who misinformed people say he is, but who he might be to you?"

When you speak of "misinformed people", do you meam well intentioned but misguided people such as your good self? I'm not sure what you mean by your usage of the word "misinformed".

And you followed with:

" See, a person's response to trauma and adversity determines his life path. My life path has been HARD, and in someways it still is, and I know I STILL have some onion peeling to do....and I dread it, sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and say 'what's the use?'"

And you think my life has been a cakewalk?

And you followed with:

"....but for me i have to lean on the God of my understanding. And, as you know i have a hard time wondering how others don't do the same.

Ahhhh ... now we are getting to the guts of it. I see that you are looking for that Divine Daddy in the sky to take care of you by doing your thinking and emotion soothing for you. This is the hook, upon which so many christians dangle so self-helplessly.

And you followed with:

"I figure my writing here will catch heck with you, or you will ignore it."

I wouldn't call the above either 'you catching heck' or my ignoring you.

First of all I had a little smile. Then I saw that your beliefs were threatened by my writings. I knew that they most probably would make unpleasant reading for you. My intent was not to make you suffer. 'Antibiotics' are not always pleasant in their side effects.

I weighed up whether to let BevDee's excellent response say it all for me or not.

Then I thought: "No... OMW is a good person. If I can cut away just a part of the 'welding' that is holding the shackles in place, it might just help her later on as she pairs away at her "onion" more freely

Today I am ever so grateful to the antagonist who gave me so much pain in my psalm singing days as a red hot, gungho Christian. But I have to admit that he wasn't so up front and in your face as I am these days. But then I'm running out of time.

Please note this OMW: You choose to come to this thread that is certainly not pro-religion. You come here at your own volition. You are welcome to express your views here. But you must accord the rest of us the same rights to express ours. If not then you are bound to end up with a burr of your own making under your saddle.

Please answer for me these simple questions:

Do you really believe that you have the real Christian faith whereas other Christians don't?

Do you really imagine that I haven't experienced the 'rapture' that you obviously feel sometimes when you think you are conversing with your god?

Do you really think that this 'rapture' is incontravertible proof that your god exists?

If you do then good luck to you. But when you Christians wield your collective political power to force feed your beliefs upon me through legislation, don't expect me to sit benignly bye and cop it. I won't - I will be making the burrs that go under the Christian saddle. Of this I can assure you.

What do you think is motivating Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and other mental freedom fighters like them to stand up and be counted in their war against the psychological/mental religious virus?

June 1, 2007
9:32 pm
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Oh I forgot to add:

Without prejudice, ... at the beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚

June 2, 2007
2:22 pm
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Tez

Thank you! "Your last post was extremely well written, rational and to the point.

Through it, I saw a person who had thrown off the crippling shackles of Christianity."

If only.....I could throw off other shackles. ๐Ÿ™‚

June 2, 2007
9:17 pm
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bevdee

"If only.....I could throw off other shackles. :)"

You are well on the way there too.

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