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View Diary: Struggle and Faith: How Occupy Has Taught Me To Tolerate Religion (231 comments)

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  •  My 2nd biggest problem with religion (5+ / 0-)

    (behind all the justification for hatred) is that I don't understand why people would want to delude themselves.  Your religion is obviously not extra-ordinary (its a basic truism that the 100's now practices or 1000's ever practiced can't all be true), so what makes people take comfort in an illusion.  Just have the strength of character to interact with the world the way it is and not the way you want it to be.  Reality doesn't give a damn about us and our feelings, its not that hard to come to accept that, it just takes some time.

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

    by Auburn Parks on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:07:13 AM PDT

    •  Religion helps people deal with things they (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beanbagfrog, AgavePup, SilentBrook

      otherwise couldn't deal with.  Some people just don't have the "strength of character" when a loved one dies to just say "that's that and life sucks" and prefer to think of an alternative when they'll be reunited with the people they love.  I know I'm not that strong.  

      I hope that adequately answered your obnoxious question.

    •  Sometimes you hit rock bottom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      Life is full of evil.

    •  Do you derive absolutely no joy nor comfort (5+ / 0-)

      no sense of expansion or transport ever from any type of art, literature, music, poetry, etc? If you do, what makes you "take comfort in an illusion"? People are positively moved by things, in ways that they don't understand; this can happen through experiences of love, friendship, art, religion, spirituality, crisis, emergency all kinds of things. That which is moved, call it "spirit" or "soul" or "heart" or "my true self" or "what makes me human" etc. & so forth--call it even just a concatenation of biochemicophysiological processes--is common to all, in our humanity, and should be the basis of compassion.

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:05:32 AM PDT

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      •  If religion is no better than art (4+ / 0-)

        then it is worthless.  Why have it?  Why not just have art and get rid of the dross that speaks from the pulpit?

        The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

        by not2plato on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:51:11 AM PDT

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        •  Why have art if it is worthless? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hammerhand
          •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rieux

            its tautological that the worthless has no worth, so, there could be no reason to have it.  

            Most people spend most of their day with art: music, drama, sport, text, visual representations.  Its the stuff of every day. So, few would argue that art is worthless.  

            Nonetheless, I agree with your assessment.  But religion is supposedly better than art in that something rides on it that does not ride on art: eternal life, redemption, salvation, holiness, peace of mind, etc.  Very high values.  

            If all that religion has going for it is the stuff we get from art, then we might as well keep the art and toss the dross.  

            The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

            by not2plato on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:33:13 AM PDT

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    •  It's not quite like you think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Satya1, SilentBrook

      It's true that most of us religious people believe that some things are true that we can't prove scientifically. But the part about "your religion is not extraordinary" -- as if we were in a competition to determine the one, true, correct religion -- doesn't generally apply to religious progressives. For one thing, many religious people do not, in fact, believe that their religion is the only "true" one. Many of us are aware that more than one religion has wisdom and helps people connect with God. Many of us interpret parts of our religions as metaphors. I happen to believe that Jesus literally -- not metaphorically -- rose from the dead, but other aspects of Catholic teaching (such as hell) I interpret as metaphor, and I'm not at all unusual in that. (Some believe that the Resurrection is a metaphor too, and at least at this point in the development of Western Civilization, people can hold such views without being burned at the stake.) I have no difficulty believing that all the many religions that have come and gone in the history of humankind have helped people connect with God (though I believe the Christian tradition is unique in some ways). So the whole "Everybody knows Poseidon was just a myth, so why believe in the Christian God" argument doesn't work for me.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:08:06 AM PDT

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      •  If you believe in Jesus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mathGuyNTulsa

        then tolerating other beliefs is inconsistent: all of the other ones have to be false if your belief is true.

        The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

        by not2plato on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:50:59 AM PDT

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        •  Your assertion is not true. (4+ / 0-)

          Belief in Jesus does not mean the rest of the religions are false.

          If nothing else, there is amazing consistency between religions at their core.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:47:46 AM PDT

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          •  No there is not (0+ / 0-)

            Judaism does not mention Jesus.  Inconsistency.  

            Islam denies the divinity of Jesus.  Inconsistency.  

            Hinduism is not consistent with X'nity.  

            Need I go on?  

            You are imagining things.  

            The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

            by not2plato on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:24:52 AM PDT

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        •  That's your interpretation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noisy Democrat, SilentBrook

          People are free to formulate their own. Set down the broad brush.

        •  Jesus never said that all other religions were (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, SilentBrook

          false. I honestly don't know where you're getting the idea that it's somehow a cornerstone of Christianity that all other religions are false. Sure, different Christian denominations have pushed that idea when it was to their political advantage to do so -- but to make it a basic tenet of the faith? Nuh-uh.

          Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

          by Noisy Democrat on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:21:00 AM PDT

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          •  I recall... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rieux

            that Jesus said I am the way and the light, not a way and a light. There is also something biblical about not worshiping false idols. Not my club so make up the rules how you like, but I was under the impression that those were tenets.

            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

            by Tonedevil on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 12:39:01 PM PDT

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            •  Two comments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SilentBrook

              The part about not worshipping false idols is an instruction to the Jewish People and, by extension, to the Christians -- but that isn't the same as saying that we're required to believe that all other religions are actually worshipping false idols, much less that we have to hunt them down and force them to worship our way.

              Yes, we do believe that Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the light," but we also think there is a multitude of ways to take that. To take one, assume it's a simple statement of fact but a very strong claim: He's saying, "I'm here, God incarnate, right in front of you; I am He." Still no instruction there that everyone has to worship him using the name of Jesus, or that anyone who thinks He (God) should be called by a different name or who has a completely different image of Him (God) is somehow bad and wrong. And there are plenty of other ways of interpreting the statement as well.

              Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

              by Noisy Democrat on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 01:53:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  p.s. just in case anyone really wants to dig in (0+ / 0-)

                the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") and pull up quotes about "smash their idols and cut down their sacred groves" -- those were instructions to the Jews for what they should do inside the land of Israel (then Canaan). Those verses are the basis for current dispute over whether Jews should allow Christians to have icons in Jerusalem, but they have absolutely no bearing on anything anyone does anywhere else in the world; they're entirely about how the Jewish People could maintain its purity inside the Land of Israel. This is one of the big differences between Judaism and Islam in terms of doctrine concerning how to deal with outsiders -- Judaism doesn't have a call to subdue the gentiles all over the world, only to occupy the Land of Israel. Christians, on the other hand, do have a charge to bring the Good News to the entire world, but not to kill, torture or in any way coerce anyone. I won't deny that some Christians get confused on that point, but I don't see anywhere in the Bible that Jesus told us to go out and twist arms.

                Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                by Noisy Democrat on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 01:59:00 PM PDT

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              •  As I said... (0+ / 0-)

                it's not my party make up the rules as you see fit. I just remember a very religious fellow I worked with once used that the way not a way line on a "spiritual not religious" woman while they were having a lunchtime debate about God.

                This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                by Tonedevil on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:01:17 PM PDT

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                •  Like I said, there are plenty of interpretations (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  My point is just that any argument "If you believe in Jesus, you must believe that all other religions are wrong" isn't going to hold together unless you build in a whole lot of other assumptions which many Christians don't subscribe to.

                  Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                  by Noisy Democrat on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:03:24 PM PDT

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          •  Its not a matter of what Jesus said (0+ / 0-)

            its a matter of logic.  

            If Jesus is true then the other religions are not.  Simple, eh?

            The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

            by not2plato on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:27:58 AM PDT

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    •  You clearly don't understand the purpose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDsg, cotterperson, SilentBrook

      of religion (and your sig illustrates it perfectly).

      Science answers a lot of the questions that there are about the way the world works. If you want to know why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, science is your goto. If you want to understand how life evolves over time, then again, science is the way to go.

      The problem is, after you mature, you start to realize that:

      1. There is more to science than you could ever know in a thousand lifetimes, and a large percentage of it is irrelevant to daily life.

      2. The sort of questions that science answers aren't of much use when determining how one should live.

      Religion answers the questions of "How should I live? What is my purpose? How should I treat others? What is right conduct?" "How do I cope with obstacles or tragedy?"

      So until you can come up with scientific answers for those fundamental questions (and you can't), there will continue to be religion if one form or another.

    •  To this (0+ / 0-)
      Just have the strength of character to interact with the world the way it is and not the way you want it to be.
      To me the world, the universe are vast places and my limited allotment of time and experience is so miniscule.  My mind and five senses can't comprehend all that is visible, let alone that which is not.  I can't pretend to know "the world the way it is" but only my own tiny piece of experience with it.

      There are literally billions of ways of experiencing reality and many ways I will never learn of during my short life.  I have no standing to claim I know reality and another human doesn't.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:53:28 AM PDT

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