Religion thwarts Spirituality

  • #26
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http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/05/10-reasons-you-should-never-have-a-religion/

"When you subscribe to a religion, you substitute nebulous group-think for focused, independent thought. Instead of learning to discern truth on your own, you’re told what to believe. This doesn’t accelerate your spiritual growth; on the contrary it puts the brakes on your continued conscious development. "

Thoughts?
It could be the other way around for those who choose their religion. When you substitute nebulous group-think for focused, independent thought you subscribe to a religion.

Both statements are a gross generalization. Not all people who subscribe to a religion are incapable of independent thought. The author creates a false dichotomy so he can associate his product with intelligent, independent thought.
 
  • #27
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Humans in general need more than just critical thinking and evidence. Science can't cover everything. There is more to the human experience.

And I think atheists are repaying the favor with their own best-selling polemics about how evil, stupid, and immoral religious people are. The atheist movement has become so obnoxious and lowbrow that I have found myself defending people and ideologies that I never thought I would.
I meant only in regards to what one believes is true, and how one perceives reality and the axioms of it.
I don't believe one needs more than what one can see to live and live happily.
I don't think it's necessary to add a God, and all the unwritten/written rules he has made for those who believe in him.
That doesn't mean there is only science one should believe in. All of human emotion and activity can be godless, and have all the goodness and nuance that christians say theirs have, and most of is it not scientific, but not religious either.

But the point is that when critical thinking and evidence is a part of your fundamental view of reality, you are much more susceptible to new ideas, and seeing the truth.
I believe the truth is incredibly important especially now that there's so much evidence in science.

As for atheism being lowbrow.. I'm not an active atheist I keep it to myself, but as Dawkins once said, if he had used the same language about football or politics, it would be considered rather mild, but once its about religion it immediately becomes harsh and shrill sounding.

There's probably varying degrees of truth to that.. But I'm pretty sure the outspoken atheists are basing it on proof and not slander.
 
  • #28
Pythagorean
Gold Member
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octelcogopod, apeiron:

With regards to "group think" I think you're somewhat playing on the words. "Groupthink" is a phrase that doesn't necessarily mean "thinking as a group". Furthermore, the whole phrase used is "nebulous group think", which is explicitly not the kind of "thinking as a group" that science performs.

In science, we are trained to understand and interpret results so that we can verify for ourselves the statements that other scientists are making. The evidence is always available to us, regardless of whether we exercise our right to verify it or not.

In religion, you simply take the word of your minister or the thousands-of-years-old scriptures that accompany religions. Ministers can claim to have special access to religious principles that you do not. In this way, science is much more dynamic and willing to change in light of new evidence than is religion.

I was raised into religion, myself, and the largest influencing factor was what some people call the "McNugget Factor". When your young and growing up, the prospect of going to hell is somewhat discouraging. Simply stated, we don't want to burn in hell like a chicken mcnugget, so out of fear, we accept the words of our religious leaders and parents.

The Catholic church was well known for playing on this behavior. Mere plebs weren't even allowed to read at the time, so they couldn't read the bible. But the Catholic Church was very helpful in relaying points through images. Namely, with pictures of sinners being torn apart by demons, and believers ascending the clouds with angels. This is the kind of set-up that leads to "groupthink", not "thinking as a group".
 
  • #29
mheslep
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Steve, the author of This, That, and the The Other Thing for "Smart People" says, about Steve:
"Steve has become one of the most intensely growth-oriented individuals you'll ever know"

Jeez. All hail Steve. He probably has his own http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bays1tdQoZY".

I've seen some research suggesting that humans are hard wired to tend towards worshipping something. Perhaps that explains why, in my limited observation, that dumping all religion far too frequently ends up with the default of worshipping oneself. There's an allegory along those lines about a man, a woman, a snake, and a tree of knowledge.
 
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  • #30
My understanding of religion has been that it seeks to provide an allegedly sound framework from which to explore ones personal spirituality often focusing on prayer/meditation/(prayer/meditation through)ritual as the only truly powerful medium for spiritual growth. Some may get lost in dogma while others may realize it for the scaffolding of a spirituality that can only be realized through individual experience. The realization of a personal spirituality through religion may also be further frustrated by the use of religion by the church/temple/ect as a tool for social and political manipulation, drowning spirituality under dogma for nonreligious motives.

I think that C.S. Lewis' satire The Screwtape Letters rather aptly illustrates the seeming dichotomy between spirituality and institutionalized religion.
 
  • #31
37
2
Steve, the author This That and the The Other Thing for "Smart People" says, about Steve:
"Steve has become one of the most intensely growth-oriented individuals you'll ever know"

Jeez. All hail Steve. He probably has his own http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bays1tdQoZY".

I've seen some research suggesting that humans are hard wired to tend towards worshipping something. Perhaps that explains why, in my limited observation, that dumping all religion far too frequently ends up with the default of worshipping oneself. There's an allegory along those lines about a man, a woman, a snake, and a tree of knowledge.
Indeed this has been suggested, I tend to think that this behaviour is an unavoidable artifact of our societal evolution.

This means that while humans do tend to worship something 'greater than themselves' it's not because they NEED to but because some other aspect of our societal evolution led to it and now we just continue on a basis of 'tradition' and the strong beliefs that rose out of it.
 
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  • #32
mheslep
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728
My understanding of religion has been that it seeks to provide an allegedly sound framework from which to explore ones personal spirituality often focusing on prayer/meditation/(prayer/meditation through)ritual as the only truly powerful medium for spiritual growth. Some may get lost in dogma while others may realize it for the scaffolding of a spirituality that can only be realized through individual experience. The realization of a personal spirituality through religion may also be further frustrated by the use of religion by the church/temple/ect as a tool for social and political manipulation, drowning spirituality under dogma for nonreligious motives.

I think that C.S. Lewis' satire The Screwtape Letters rather aptly illustrates the seeming dichotomy between spirituality and institutionalized religion.
Well said and great illustration w/ Screwtape. I recommend the Screwtape play currently circulating.
 

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