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1PeaceMaker
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05 Apr 2005, 3:32 pm

vetivert wrote:
i have a major problem (being a feminist) with the whole "Man" when people mean "humans" (i.e. including women) thing. however, in the true spirit of christianity, i shall forgive you. (and you don't even have to say 10 hail marys).

and postperson - the seven deadlies? good grief - where on earth would i be without lust and gluttony...? have to have some pleasures in life...


We have a strange language to work with. Sorry you didn't like my usage of it. I am not a Biggot, though, I am a woman, but our spirits are gender neutral, so why does it matter?



neotopian
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29 Apr 2005, 11:28 am

Right!

I haven't been around WP for a while and came to this thread after seeing the "should it be locked?" thread.

I think that trying to see religion from a different perspective may be enlightening.

First off I am an atheist (though why I need a special word for not believing in something is beyond me, I mean I dont believe in the tooth fairy either)

Religion (of whatever flavour) is a Meme or more often a collection of interconnected memes, a memeplex.

A meme is perhaps best thought of as a social protocol, a way in which people have (though not conciously) agreed to interact.

Language is one of the easiest to spot. I say "chair" and everyone (who spaeks english) understands what I mean, it saves a lot of time pointing at chairs in an effort to get my meaning accross.
The example given ealier in this thread of the woman who cut the end from the roast is a perfect example of meme transmission.
She copied what her mother did, though didn't see the reason.

Memes are learnt.
We can change our memes, but only by learning new ones.

we learn our language, the way to cook, or to enjoy salsa music and how to behave from the people around us. Our parents speak english so we learn english, the community in which we live all enjoy salsa music, we learn to enjoy salsa.

Memes also help a society to cohere, anyone who disobeys them gets shunned and excluded, those who obey get prasied and rewarded.

If we for one moment see religion as something constucted we can begin to understand its power.

A tribal society needs a language to speak and rules to live by. and these rules need to be understood by everyone.

First off simple rules emerge, "dont kill people" is fairly basic. Other rules emerge, "respect those in Authority" is fairly good for a society in which unrestrained inventiveness can be dangerous. (dont decide to wander off picking flowers if you've been told to stand guard against attack).

But to teach these rules stories develop, they may be true, or stories of spirits, gods, demons, or they may be parables.

These stories teach those of any society how to behave toward one another, the teaching of memes.

But some one has to know all these stories, so we have a preist, vicar, ju-ju man, wise man etc etc.

And yes there is power in being part of that preisthood, you get to make moral descisions whenever something new turns up, some circumstance that simply isn't covered by what has gone before.

And yes sometimes that power can grow too far, and as time goes on the complex of interrelated memes, the memeplex changes, sometimes through adding to it, some times through some things being taken out, or often through a change of emphasis of which parts are given importance., which stories are told.
BUT those that are in the preisthood do honestly belive in the memes, their actions are from that belief, that devotion to the meme and not (in my opinion) from a vast conspiracy in order to maintain the wealth and power.

To try and change a memeplex rather than for it to evolve, can be tricky as each part grows to be dependant on the others, each meme becoming entangled with the others. (the "be good", "obey authourity" and "get to heaven" memes are all linked).

And heres the thing..........

Memes survive!

Memes keep going long after there purpose is no longer needed.

example:

In the UK the descision to go fully metric was taken back in the 60's, but the weather forcasts here often still give the temperature in farenheit, DIY materials are sold by the inch yard and foot, beer by the pint, and road distance given in miles.

Think of all the hassle that has to be gone through when Internet protocols get changed, all the software that has to be updated and changed, and thats after the long period of discussion to even agree the bloody things.

Cutting the end off the roast even when you have a bigger pan.



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14 Aug 2005, 1:13 am

I felt like bringing this thread back, mostly for nostalgia. If anyone wishes to continue the debate, go ahead. I explain somewhere in here the difference between Catholic and Christian too. Hmm, I guess I've always been wary about the two getting mixed up. I still haven't re-read it all yet though, so if you're going to bring back the debate it'll be a while until I reply to anything of mine you quote. I have a busy weekday life, but I might have Monday off. Hmmm...


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rumio
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14 Aug 2005, 7:36 am

I'd not seen this thread as it dates from before my time but I just spent about 2 hours reading through it. Hard to pull together a reply given the ground that's already been covered so this will probably be a selection of thoughts around the subject (which went pretty much away from the original post as far as I can see, which was about AS and fundamentalism rather than religion generally).

It's interesting to me as I've had a longstanding interest in spirituality/religion/faith whatever you want to call it which has taken me from drug-induced psychedelia/Castaneda type stuff, through Buddhism, vague flirtations with what tends to be called 'shamanism' and various other bits and bobs, (not to mention my relationship to Art which at times has been quasi-religious as well), to my current position which is Islam from the traditional perspective of sufism, all this over the course of about 25 years. It's pretty obvious that most of the debates on this sort of subject on WP focus on Christianity and in actual fact I've never been a Christian, not even come close.

It's a very personal thing isn't it but in light of discovering Asperger's I've had cause to ponder about my spiritual bent ie what if it's just an 'obsession' and any spiritual enthusiasms and states of mind I've experienced are just a product of my brain structure and don't really mean anything at the end of the day. There are certainly lots of questions about faith that are very hard to answer, and for sure Islam has it's fair share of those but like I say, it's a personal thing but I actually am very glad that there is stuff that we don't know about. I think it would be horrible to live in a world that was 'logical' and completely explainable by 'science' down to the last particle, I can't think of much worse to be honest, I love mystery, I love imagination, I love the sense that there is far more going on than I can ever hope to be able to 'understand' with my limited faculties. I experience the world, and myself, as very claustrophobic and if there is a path that will take me to a place of freedom where I can let my mind go where it wants and there are no restrictions then that's the path for me. I'm not opposed to rationality, far from it, I'm not opposed to science, I just think they have limitations. There may be no way of proving that but personally that doesn't bother me very much, I've learned to follow my heart and make my own judgements and I'm pretty much okay with where it's got me.

Anyway, on the subject of logic it seems to have been taken for granted on this thread that it is illogical to believe in God. Now I'm going on a bit of a limb maybe as I'm certainly not a great debater when it comes to stuff like this but I'm willing to bet (except I don't gamble either!) that a good theologian could make out a strong case for the opposite being true and showing that actually the only possible answer is that God exists. Buddhism often seems to win a few brownie points with people for being some sort of 'rational' religion but the Buddha never explained where the universe came from. (By the way, I've mentioned this before but if anyone is looking for Famous Religious Figures From the Past Who Might Have Had AS then I reckon the Buddha has to be top of the list). He actually refused to answer that question whenever it was asked of him, he said it was an 'unanawerable question' and recommended that people didn't waste their time thinking about it. Which is odd given that Buddhism is founded on the Buddha's 'discovery' of dependent origination ie everything arises in dependence upon conditions. So what was the first condition? not to mention the one before that, and the one...

which is also a question for the anti-religionists - where did we come from? where did the universe come from? I've never heard anybody answer that question. What is life? will scientists ever be able to create new life? the odds on life happening were so mind-bogglingly small, I mean really, really, really small, not like winning the lottery or something and yet here we are. Which is an important question actually because if we are here because God created us then the only appropriate response is gratitude for the opportunities and gifts we've been given. As to why God would have created the universe and given us all these problems to figure out there's a saying in Islam that God was asked why He'd created the world and He said 'I was a secret treasure and I wished to be known'. That's our purpose, to know God, that's all He wants really, a bit of recognition!


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14 Aug 2005, 10:44 pm

I wish this were a sticky thread, just so people would know what a good debate looks like.


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tokaia
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15 Aug 2005, 6:27 am

I take it as an insult to say that AS and fundie-ism are related. Most of us are the complete opposite of those people. Most (actually, all) fundies that I've met/seen are very sheep-like, closed minded, hypocritical, arrogant, self-righteous, and intolerant.

thechadmaster wrote:
P.S. I believe what the Vatican tells me to believe and i do not question it


What a sad way to go through life, wasting your brain like that... Thats how people stay ignorant/stupid.

thechadmaster wrote:
Saddam Hussein.. they should call him so-dam* insane!


:| :cry: ...Such unnecessary hatred...

thechadmaster wrote:
Wheter any of you accept it or not, Jesus died so that you wouldnt have to.

Can you prove that? Without excuses like "the bible says so" or "the vatican says so"? I mean scientific proof. Cold, hard facts. Not opinions.



thechadmaster wrote:
Bec wrote:
thechadmaster wrote:
God is a forgiving God, never forget that

thechadmaster wrote:
Die as in got to hell, the penalty for sin is death to hell, Christ is life


I'm curious. If God is really forgiving, why does He send people to hell for not believing in Jesus?

You must accept that Jesus died for you, if you deny the Son of God, you will perish.


We must accept, lest we perish? That sounds like a blatant threat to me... Who are YOU to make that call?

:evil: You're spouting rhetoric that reminds me of Hitler and Bush.



TAFKASH wrote:
Sarcastic_Name wrote:
By the way, TAFKASH, not ALL Christian churches demand your money. My church just encourages it if you're a member.


They "encourage" it - I like that :lol:. "Now there's no pressure, really - you don't have to give us your money.... Its strictly your choice.... *cough*youllburninhellifyoudontthough*cough*cough* Like I said... no pressure......." :wink: Listen matey - if the churches, ALL churches, weren't in it for the money and control over your life, there wouldn't be any point in them being there - that simple. They'd all be down the flea market trying to sell you knocked-off watches and mobile phones instead.


It may not be terribly relevant, but I went to a private Baptist school for a year and a half (against my will, let me assure you!) and I noticed the pastor had a Lincoln Town Car, a big, fancy house, and one hell of a hot tub in the back yard just behind the church/school. His wife was always sporting all sorts of gaudy expensive jewelry and he had this little diamond pin on his silk tie that he wore with his expensive looking suits.... And guess who pays for it all? The congregation.



Last edited by tokaia on 15 Aug 2005, 9:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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15 Aug 2005, 8:28 am

I was brought up in a very fundamentalist christian family. It caused a lot of problems in school as well I think cos i took it all so literally.
I finally managed to make my own decision not to believe it aged 17 - it still bothers me now its so hard to let things go.



tokaia
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15 Aug 2005, 9:17 am

TAFKASH wrote:
The only thing you can use the Bible as a reliable foundation for is a wobbly table leg.....


:lol: I actually threw mine in the garbage after ripping it into little pieces to save space in the trash bag. It was taking up space on my bookshelf that could have been used for worthwhile, factual, educational books that didn't make me feel ill to read... Like my field guide collection (I'm a biology nut).



ElfMan wrote:
axelkat wrote:
thechadmaster wrote:
Quote:
teaching sessions for Buddhists, given by the Dalai Lama. Now you may not share his beliefs,
Budda did not die to forgive mankind.


Also, this topic was loked for about a day or so, apparently i pissed alot of people off


Why you talk about buddha like hes nobody, he taught the noble truths. Buddha is my homeboy. You legalists are so full of yourselfs. Your obviously trying to start fights rather accomplish anything whatsoever. Martin Luther was right with his statements as the catholic church looks at the pope as god more then the actual god. i grew up in an irish protestant home. they would rip any nearby catholics to shreds. who do you think your fooling with your nonsense? (edit)
AK


I here buddha calling you to re-sit lessons on right speech right action.
Please refrain from such personally directed profanity...especially while claiming buddha as your homeboy

ElfMan


And while you scold Axelkat for incorrect speech, you can't try not to look bad by checking your spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Sorry, but it is a pet peeve of mine, that one scolds someone else for bad grammar when they, themselves misuse it. Also, I saw no profanity in Axelkat's post. :|

This thread shouldn't be locked. Its good exercise for my debating skills. I enjoy the challenge.



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15 Aug 2005, 11:28 am

OK I don't think I have contributed to this discussion, due to a terrible oversight on my part. I happen to be somewhat of a junkie when it comes to these topics. So here is my two cents. I like to think I have developed a unique perspective that may be helpful to someone.

As Tafkash pointed out, our choices are largely determined by our genetic and cultural circumstances. However someone else noted that we can change the course of our lives, by getting an education for instance. I think these are two very important points.

It seems to me that we find our selves in somewhat of a maze. Or perhaps the self is the maze, or maybe the self is just our guidance system in this maze. We take certain forks in the road based on the dictates of our "self" Some turns are blind alleys or dead ends, and frustrate our efforts.

Religion, or more precisely, dogma purports to know "the way" so if we believe them then we can just follow their directions.
Science on the other hand is like climbing the walls of the maze your self so that you can get a better view of what it really looks like. Thus you can avoid those dead ends. You can also see where you have made mistakes before, and therefore correct for them in the future. In my estimate this comes closer to being what true religions are all about. In the same way that a history of science is not science.

I think on the one hand Aspies are very inquisitive and really want to climb the walls and see for themselves.
On the other hand we can be somewhat rigid at times, and like to have things in black and white. So some people are likely to accept the roadmap given to them if it has proven useful in some way.

Personally, I think that the roadmap must be discarded at some point.
Everyone must "see" for themselves.



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18 Sep 2006, 10:03 am

Hey, It's been over a year since the last comment, i have grown up quite a bit, i failed to realize that there are other beliefs ou there. i was childish to force my beliefs on others. i have since given up catholicism and have gone fundamentalist conservative Christian, i was brainwashed.

I aplogize for offending everyone, please forgive me?



Chad :?:


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18 Sep 2006, 2:41 pm

Frankly, to the body of its adherents, organized religion seems to function as little more than a social club. You have a little "us" to belong to, an outside "them" to vilify and blame, and actually trying to figure out What's Really Going On Here invariably takes a backseat to the tenets of the group... and if you don't go along with these tenets, you are not accepted.

This is why AS people rarely fall into fall into organized religion, I believe. It requires you to deny all logic, in the name of social belongingness. Aspies often have difficulty with the former, and have relatively little concern for the latter.

This makes me wonder what Chad's at... you are an anomaly, you realize this? What do you see in organized religion, Chad? What do you get from it?



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18 Sep 2006, 5:34 pm

The Church isn't necessarily about guilt. It's about realising that no-one is perfect, admitting your mistakes, and being forgiven. This is incredibly supportive and a great help for many people in managing their daily lives.

Christianity CAN provide a good moral framework for people. However, it is also open to a lot of abuse.

The thing that really annoys me is that, apparently, it doesn't matter how good a person you are, you have to "believe" in order to be saved and go to heaven. If there is a God, don't you think he'll be equally happy if you've tried your best to do good, whether you are a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Wiccan or whatever?

Also, who says God will only be concerned with the welfare of people? If He created the planet, he'll be looking at the way you treated every aspect of it, not just your fellow humans. Have you respected his creation? Anyone who really believes themselves to be a Christian should also be an environmentalist.

Two Jehovah's Witnesses once told me that the threat of global warning was a sign of impending Armageddon, but if I Believed I'd be saved. How stupid is that? Ok, so you've screwed up the planet, but if you pledge allegiance you'll be saved. Don't bother insulating your house, buying solar panels, driving a small car, eating free-range food or recycling. No, just stick your head in the sand and hope God will bale you out. GGGRRRRRRR.


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Hazelwudi
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19 Sep 2006, 1:13 am

I feel no guilt. I am precisely as I was designed to be. :P



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19 Sep 2006, 5:11 pm

Hazelwudi wrote:
I feel no guilt. I am precisely as I was designed to be. :P


There is a big difference between feeling no guilt because you're happy with yourself and with your actions, and feeling no guilt because you are egotistical / complacent / unfeeling / very scarily dangerous! "I can do no wrong!" Uh oh! **ALERT**

I think and hope you're the former 8O , otherwise I'm running away now.... :P


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19 Sep 2006, 5:37 pm

Well, since AS is characterized by obsessiveness and knowledge of a certain subject, and fundamentalists tend to be obsessive about their respective religions and know a lot about their respective scriptures, I'd say there's a good chance that a lot of fundamentalists (probably not most of them) have Asperger's Syndrome.



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19 Sep 2006, 9:12 pm

sociable_hermit wrote:
Hazelwudi wrote:
I feel no guilt. I am precisely as I was designed to be. :P


There is a big difference between feeling no guilt because you're happy with yourself and with your actions, and feeling no guilt because you are egotistical / complacent / unfeeling / very scarily dangerous! "I can do no wrong!" Uh oh! **ALERT**

I think and hope you're the former 8O , otherwise I'm running away now.... :P


*laughs* I'm far too aware of the impermanence of things in general for complacency to be a particular flaw of mine. Which one of the others I am is entirely up for debate. Or perhaps I'm a combination of some of the characteristics you've mentioned? They're not mutually exclusive, you know.

Hell, why not? Evil has better taste in clothing, anyway. Perhaps I should start practicing a properly sinister, sadistic cackle, while I am at it? Not that I would need much practice, I've always been told my normal laugh is very much along those lines. ;)

However, I do have a moral code, ideosyncratic though it is. I've also no shortage of willpower.

So don't worry. :)