The ethics of challenging the religious - given that they might be neurotic etc.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by greenberg, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Understand: Know and comprehend the nature or meaning of.

    I don't think so, Lori. This term is obviously quite foreign to you.

    Neurotic: Affected with emotional disorder.

    There ya go. Bang on.
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  3. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member


    wow, you're still not done? can you go all night? do it again. insult me and degrade me some more. no, a different way this time. *rolls over ass in air*
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  5. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    You did it again. You KNOW the root of his problem, without knowing him. This kind of psychic diagnosis is a kind of attack.
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Been reading Godless at the workbench again, you naughty boy, you!

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  8. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    And then some.

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  9. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    come on...a psychic diagnosis? it's a blatent observation! listen, if he really wants to know god, then he'll quit talking about him, and start talking to him.

    it's really elementary. maybe that's why it's not obvious to some intellectuals.
  10. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    There probably is no easy solution.

    It seems that no matter what we would do, some -many even- religious people will find it wrong or offensive.

    It seems that there simply can be no harmonious co-existence with some people.

    On the person-to-person level, ignoring and distancing oneself from them seems the best way to go. It might take enormous discipline and strong conviction in one's principles as we might not be used to so far.
  11. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Talking to gods IS psychotic, elementarily speaking.
  12. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    that's your simple and unfounded opinion about something you know nothing about, and you're entitled to it. i wonder though, how many times you will continue to express it in the same exact way, over and over and over again, until even YOU get sick of listening to YOURSELF. we understand it already.
  13. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    It is true I know nothing about your particular neuroses or paranoia, but then no one does, as no one can view or share your personal fantasies and delusions of conversing with imaginary beings.

    Of course, you're always free to demonstrate those conversations.
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Is this necessary? You do know, as a rational person, that continuously degrading a person is psychologically abusive?:bugeye:
  15. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    As an irrational person and a follower of an oppressive cult, you wouldn't see the hypocrisy of your statement?
  16. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    that's a very short-sighted proposition you're making. you're shallow minded?
  17. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

    As the joke goes, "When you talk to god, it's prayer. When god talks to you, it's schizophrenia."
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    That's a poorly thought-out, limp-wristed response.

    So, can you demonstrate those conversations? Or, can we conclude a neurosis?
  19. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    well q, how do you suggest that i demonstrate a telepathic communication of which you are not a part of? the fact is that i have been through something, that i asked to be put through, as a response to inquisitions such as these. i believe that these communications have been demonstrated in some fashion, and that fashion was not a written documentation of it in a discussion forum.
  20. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Are you now claiming to be telepathic? Please do share with us the functional regions of the brain that facilitate telepathy? Was there a language used? How did you respond and with what faculties?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    That's always convenient, but irrelevant. You may certainly believe that what you experienced was of a divine nature, but it is indistinguishable from the imaginative and the neuroses. That has been demonstrated in the flesh.
  21. Turduckin A Fowl Trinity Registered Senior Member

    The flaw in arguing to non-existant particulars is exactly that - 'Who knows?'.
    Or maybe we would have to pray for the blessing of the Goddess before every public meeting. Again, as you say - 'Who knows?'.

    You're willing to speculate positively about a non-existent particular, while bypassing negative speculations with the same validity (none). Interesting.

    Style is about appearances and aesthetic judgements. Religion is about social and cultural affiliations based on beliefs and opinions regarding metaphysical speculations about the emperically unknowable. Style doesn't serve as a useful metaphor because the concept of style is contained within the concept of religion. Religions have different styles of worship. Buildings have different styles of architecture. Concepts, beliefs, ethics, values should reflect something deeper than style. I'll grant that chrisitianity in the U.S. too often identifies with (and is influenced by) culture and style, and not enough by it's own doctrine, which leaves it open to such comparisons. That constitutes a valid criticism, not a particularly useful metaphor. Unless of course, you equate religion with style.

    I didn't say 'things' would not change. I repsonded directly to your point - what wouldn't change that your life wouldn't stop being affected by people with mental illness.

    Regardless of which religion is culturally dominant or if none were, the underlying human brokeness that Greenberg refers to would seek to bend it, whether for social control, or more to his point, as an excuse for bad acting. That is not an "excuse for the current paradigm". It is, however, a suggestion that alternatives would not address the underlying problem. And it cannot be construed as an attempt to 'mitigate perceptions' or 'facilitate harm'.

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    More simply stated, affiliation with a religion, or the human tendancy to be religious aren't criteria for assessing for neurosis or delusion, even if individuals within a religion are neurotic or delusional.

    Sorry - I scanned that portion of your post without digesting it. Then I misconstrued your point and flew way far afield. I apologize for that, and I'm sorry about the tone.

    Neither does christianity condemn you to hell for having good, dirty, fun sex. It does delineate constraints for the believer, but I assert to both christians and non-christians reading this, that if any christian condemns non-christians for anything, they not behaving in accord with the spirit and the teachings of Christ.

    Equality can be oppressive if it constrains individuality, but that's another thread. Suffice it to say that I don't have much tolerance for christians in America who whine about how bad they have it. And your characterization of the particular brand of theism you caricatured is not an accurate representation of christianity as I understand it.

    My point was that your practical issues are, in essence, political/social issues. As I've already stated, belief in religion is not intrinsically delusional. Insofar as non-delusional, non-neurotic people cleave to religious beliefs, and those beliefs inform their opinions, they have a perfect right in a democracy to band together and take political action. Those in opposition neccessarily have a civic obligation to act in opposition, not to just sit on their backsides and complain. And unless some accomodation is reached between those practicing science and those practicing religion, the result is, and always will be zero-sum.

    Greenberg chose to focus his ethical question solely at adult religious converts. Given the tension between the generalized title of the OP and the actual framing the details, it appeared somewhat trollish. I trolled him back.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and that

    I do wonder if you missed the point or dodged it.

    You said that an alternative dominant religion or a lack of dominant religion would not change a certain circumstance. I asserted that a different dominant paradigm would bring a different manifestation of that circumstance.

    Thus, to put the question specifically: If a paradigm other than the Judeo-Christian dominated our society, would the public discourse be focused on Judeo-Christian moral and ethical arguments?

    That is an speculation of a certain validity. To borrow a word, "none".

    Look, it's true that there will always be some sort of mental illness in my sphere of experience, but I do think you're reaching. There is plenty of mental illness to deal with that isn't specifically wished onto children. There is plenty of mental illness out there that has no lobby working to augment the influence of that malady over the workings of society.

    Yeah, well, says you. Right now there are plenty of Christians in society who would consider me hellbound for the shag I had last night. And that's fine. It's their belief. Whatever. But these people are also fighting to make sure that their neighbors should be subject to bigoted discrimination at the hands of the state for having a good shag like that. In other words, if the state doesn't find some way to punish me or diminish my standing in society for having a good lay, those people feel they're somehow being violated.

    I would not dispute that assertion. There are plenty of Christians who would.

    I would only note that, in this case, the "oppression" asserted is that one is not equal unless one is superior.

    Depends on which "Christianity" we refer to. Doctrinal? That's one thing. The institution within society composed of Christians? That's a bit more problematic and, truth told, something of a caricature of its doctrinal foundation.

    As a reference point for perspective, I was raised to believe in God. I was eventually confirmed as a Lutheran and chose to attend a parochial school. Nothing specifically pulled me away from the faith; it would be more accurate to say that Christianity pushed me away. And that's fine with me. Unfortunately, it generally isn't fine with them.

    Well, that's the thing, Turduckin. The social and political issues arise because of certain behavior. That behavior is at the heart of why someone should challenge the religious in the first place. If it's simply a matter of what someone believes, that's nobody's business but the believer's. If that believer makes it someone else's business, however, that belief will be scrutinized. In other words, I could give a damn what a Christian believes except that it the belief seems to require that the believer make a social and political issue out of it.

    The problem is that such a portion of religious belief is largely irrelevant to the current discussion. It's almost as if you're citing the existence of an infinitesimal minority in order to pretend the description applies to the vast majority.

    Where I have a problem with that is the proposition that someone has a perfect right in a democracy to band together and harm other people. And that appears to be the perfect right in a democracy you're defending.

    Do you understand that without that assertion of a perfect right in a democracy to band together and harm other people, I have no reason whatsoever to give a damn what any religious person believes?

    Well, as competent adults, they ought to know better.

    If you say so.

    • • •​

    No. It comes from a few centuries ago. I'm pretty sure it was Aquinas, but I haven't rushed to look it up.

    There is nothing intellectually valid about that passage. Perhaps it feels right. But that's a matter of faith.

    One of the problems I have with this kind of faith is that it exploits the concept of God to make people feel better about themselves. With the Genesis creation myth, the fall at Eden and Christ's redemption, people get to pretend the Universe is all about them. This is, in fact, a very common aspect of religious belief. No creation story tells of how God created someone else. Even the usurped Genesis myth of the Christians eventually leads to Christianity. Even my own outlook gives humanity a certain "special" place in the Universal arrangement, but we're hardly the center of all creation, hardly unique. The outlook does assign us certain moral obligations, but there is no God to know or have a personal relationship with. And there is nothing that says my outlook is or must be correct. It's a lot more flexible inasmuch as the purpose is to learn what is correct instead of demand that it be so simply because I believe it.

    There is no correct answer at such a general level. Some autobiographies are exercises in egotism. Some biographies are more political than informative.

    Well, I won't doubt the notion that you have experienced certain things, but the question remains as to what those certain things are. I could easily say I've been in the presence of Jesus Christ. I could easily say I've been in the presence of the Devil. I could easily say that I've been in the presence of the Goddess in at least two of her forms. But I also think it's important to consider what those experiences were.

    In a dream, the Devil made me certain promises in an effort to strike a bargain. In a dream, Jesus Christ explained to me that nobody involved in the great cosmic psychodrama actually remembers why they're fighting. On hallucinogens the Mother welcomed me home to a familiar place I'd never been. And one night, struggling against white-line fever as I drove a relatively short stretch from Eugene to Salem, the Maiden sat beside me and talked to me for a while in order to keep me awake on the road. She flitted away, as near as I can remember, to attend to some people on the side of the road whose Volkswagen microbus was on fire.

    All of those events have great significance to me. But they are what they are.
  23. Turduckin A Fowl Trinity Registered Senior Member

    I'm not a scientist, I am a consumer of science, and all my life I have been saddened to watch a minority of fundamentalists attack scientific ideas because they appear to conflict with personal dogmatic views. I originally was attracted to this site in order to guage what a rational approach toward reconciliation between science and religion might be. Unfortunately, I found not only religious people shouting personal dogma, but so-called rational scientific types shouting personal dogma back.

    It's a given that you can't have a harmonious existence with everybody. But you've stepped into a larger issue by trying to find accomodation with religious people. Both sides have declared war, and the moderates voices are being drowned out:

    A Moderate viewpoint:

    A more strident view:

    May I suggest that the enormous discipline needed may be to not believe everything we think.

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