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thinkinginpictures
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10 Aug 2019, 9:21 am

I've read a lot on this forum about how Christianity fits perfetly well with having Aspergers.

But I don't understand why. Religion is all about conforming to a set of ideas regardless of your own original thoughts on the matter.

I've had a great interest in Christianity and early Judaism for the past 15 years, but my interest always centered around the true origins of the so-called "holy scripture", which is why I've found archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein and theologians like Robert Beckford the most trustworthy scholars of the old and new testament, respectively, compared to biased Christian archaeologists/theologians.

But the science of the bible contradicts what Christians believe in. They claim that Jesus literally rise from the dead and that the stories of the old testament are literally true.

I would have guessed aspies with a special interest in the Bible would be much more sceptical about it than NT's, due to the acquired knowledge of scientific research into the studies of the actual texts and origins.

Why am I wrong?



Fnord
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10 Aug 2019, 9:38 am

Disclaimer: I hate religion. Faith-based beliefs I understand. Morality I understand. Certain forms of religious doctrine and expression seem stupid to me. Maybe I am not supposed to try to analyze and understand religion, but only to believe whatever they teach me and do whatever they tell me -- all without quarrel or question.

I go to church to have some limited contact with a community, and to discuss Gospels and Scripture. I sit at the end of the pew near a door so I can leave discretely when I need to. The part I like best is Sunday School. Since I actually read the Bible, I know at least as much as most of the teachers, but because my interpretations of what the Bible says often do not match the church's official interpretations, they haven't asked me to teach Sunday School in over a decade.

I also tend to place what Jesus said in precedence over what anyone else says, including the apostles -- James and Paul in particular. They seem to add things that Jesus did not say, so I tend to look at their writings with a more critical mind-set than I would (for example) the Sermon On The Mount.

But if you're bothered by crowds, loud noises, and obnoxious smells, a large and modern church service may not be for you. Smaller, more traditional services (i.e., evening mass) might be more to your liking.


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kraftiekortie
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10 Aug 2019, 11:37 am

Of course, over 2,000 years or so......or even 50 years or so.....Christianity deviated from purely the ideas of Jesus himself.

Many, many people had their own “take” upon what Jesus meant in his preaching. Jesus would have agreed with some, vociferously disagreed with others.

I believe if one is a Christian.....or of any religion (or any philosophical notion), one should come up with one’s own theology.....which, hopefully is in essential agreement with at least a few other people.

Christian scholarship is something which I am in essential accord with—though I am not a Christian. I believe it just might have helped Western Europe emerge from the “Dark Ages” which were ongoing soon after the demise of the western Roman Empire.

I believe a Christian church, ideally, is a place for a communal expression of Christian beliefs, a place to socialize with other people, and a headquarters for serving people in need. And, also, a sanctuary against the essential “roughness” of the “real,” secular world.



naturalplastic
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10 Aug 2019, 12:38 pm

Have not noticed great numbers of posts about how "Christianity fits perfectly with aspergers", on this site. I don't know where you see that. But I havent seen the opposite opinion expressed either.

Stereotypically aspies like things structured. Fundamentalism, with its strict adherence to scripture, might attract many aspies for that reason. But so would militant atheism (with a similar strict adherence to logic and evidence). In contrast Pentacostalism, with its histrionic and emotion charged group participation type of worship might alienate aspies.

But aspies seem to vary as much as NTs do in religious belief.



Have always been into history, and I have recently gotten into a "special interest" in the Bible as history and do read things by skeptical secular scholars.



samuraivader
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10 Aug 2019, 9:54 pm

I'd like to add that the religious phenomena in aspies frequently comes marked/confused by a special interest on the religion or some aspects of it.

And well, this confusion can bring troubles to more than one aspects of life, including religion itself, which is often seen as a weird in aspies when compared to NT's religiousness.


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timf
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12 Aug 2019, 9:31 am

I once asked a gal in Japan what she thought about religion. Her answer was that she had felt bad occasionally in life, but never bad enough to consider religion. I think this is a fair assessment of most people about religion in general, that it is a coping mechanism for those who experience difficulty.

There is a book called Radical Christianity ( http://christianpioneer.com/videos/eboo ... nityv2.pdf ) that describes the difficulty many Christians can face trying to sift out authentic Christianity from the many forms it has morphed into over the centuries.

At its core, Christianity is supposed to be about truth. While some Greek philosophers speculated about what truth might be, by and large, most people (sadly many who claim to be Christian) have no interest in it. A further complication arises from the Christian perspective that without the help of God, people are not going to be interested.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18

I do not so much see an advantage or handicap for those with Aspergers as it relates to basic Christianity. Some of the ways it is presented can be puzzling, taxing, or even cause anxiety. If someone who has Aspergers and feels led to seek truth in Christianity, he may be able to find it, but it may take some searching.



aghogday
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12 Aug 2019, 6:57 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftdZ363R9kQ

The Catholic Church is a Bit Like Government Institutions; Rules Are Made to Be Enforced; Structure is the Rule of the Day; God is Systemized into a Formula; And Program for the Congregation; God Is told What to do, and so is the Main Teacher, Jesus; even to how precisely he might have to come back; that's common even among Muslims too.

On the other Hand, the Story of Jesus is an Outsider; not one to Follow Rules overall, if you get; yes, an Overall Gyst of the Story. He was a 'Flaming Liberal', who Even was a 'Luke Hot Socialist' too; emptying His Pockets Living off the Kindness of Love Provided by others for Free too; Not a Republican Kind of Guy; or An Organized Religion going Dude according to the Story at least this way for sure.

Jesus Died with less than a Handful of Friends on a Cross. His Teachings Were not enough; he had to come back from the Dead according to the Myths of the Story for Enough Hyperbole to even get a Decent Following of 12 or so then; they were not really friends, for if they were, His Death Would not have been Necessary for them to Believe in His Teachings; Hmm, stuff Has Not Changed Much Over 2000 Years Later; as True Human Nature Stays Relatively the Same too; surely, since at least 12,000 Years ago; before Humans Started Hoarding Stuff in Agricultural Ways of Storing 'Conservative Church Going Republican' Grains of Wheat Spiked With Chaff of Fear and Hate against 'the different'.

The Story of Jesus, really Simplifies all the Rules Down to Loving Others Even Enemies Consuming them With Least Harm; A Common Golden Rule through the ages with minor Variations in Form of Essence; Bonobos in Small Groups without
Competing Tribes are as successful with No Words or Books; as Humans Are With all Their Collected Intelligence and
Technology today; Altruism Rules When Nature Does in these Cases, without too Many Cultural Clothes to confuse.

A Tricky Part is consuming others with the Least Harm; That is a Lifelong Art that will Never Be a Structured Concrete Systemized Science Project Alone; As Human Emotions are not in Purview of what Science Will Reliably Observe, Replicate, and Measure. Complex Abstract Concepts Put a Real 'Monkey Wrench' into what might other wise be a much simpler Life, with Fewer Cultural Clothes, as Bonobos keep having Fun that/this Way in Homogenous Small Groups, Still today.

Boston University Already Studied the Issue Here in the Peak of Militant Atheism Activity on the 'Wrong Planet';
in the 'Philosophy, Politics, and Religion Forum'; Where there was even a Sub Group Named 'Strident Atheists' by their own design.

"HFA individuals were more likely to be Atheist than were NT individuals. The "own construction" belief category was also found to be proportionally greater in the HFA population than in the NT population."

Only 26 Percent of Individuals Reported they were actually Atheist; Some Kind of Belief System is Hard for any Human to get away from; it's the way Human Social Animals 'Normally' do the Business of Life; Bonds for Common Binds of Culture In Symbols; those who cannot or will not do it, are often not accepted by the Mainstream of Doing Life; Vital for A Social Human Animal; but Technological Advances now Provide other Human Social Animal Options more alone and separated from any Group too.

I do the 'Own Construction' of Belief Category; Take the Positive Parts that makes Sense in Every Thing in Life
And Write my Own Bible; yes, a Longest Long Form Bible Poem Fully Illustrated with over 100,000 Photos i took;
Along, Yes, Very Long with 7.2 Million Words of Free Verse Shaping Free Stream of Consciousness Flowing Free
Writing Poetry in 72 Months; as the 6th Anniversary of the "SonG oF mY SoUL" is coming up this Sunday on 8.18.19;
Additionally, it is a accompanied by over 10,000 You Tube Videos to Bring the Wind of Spirit up instead of down.

I Also Public Dance In Public in Moving Meditation, A Free Mix of Martial Arts and Ballet, 11,766 Miles in the
Last 71 Months; i do it to Regulate Emotions and Integrate Senses and stay mostly in a Transient Hypo-Frontality
Flow State of Being With Plateaus continuing to Exist at Peak Creative Performance And Productivity. The Audience
in my Metro Trump State Panhandle of Florida Area Assess me as a Folk Hero and Legend; i did not plan that part
but it comes all Naturally too when you are either Brave Enough or Crazy Enough to do something that
no one else is Willing to Do in the Space of around 500 Miles around You. i Stand out and i ain't scared;
The no Fear Part developed from the Practice of Free Public Dance Flow is a Biggest Reward of all plus
the Autotelic Continuous State of Bio-Feedback In Continuous Heaven Within of Bliss and Nirvana Real.

Science Measures this too; verily no figment of my imagination as Science Has
somewhat of a Handle on Heaven Within now too; as i do in the Panhandle of Florida too For Sure, too.
One of the Most Interesting Comments i receive from the Metro Audience is 'the Belief' that 'He is Everywhere'
Yes me; as Social Media Greatly Multiples that Effect these days at least, too. Science also assesses Regular
Moving Meditation as a Real Fountain of Youth; no Different than Regular 'Sitting' Meditation, too. True;
A Fifty-Year Old Brain Dissected may resemble the Health of a Twenty-Five Year Old Brain as Grey
Matter is Regenerated in Positive Areas of the Brain; except for the Fear Producing Amygdala
as Meditation actually decreases Grey Matter that way too; and of course fear too.

Three Weeks in a Row i was carded by the Dance Hall Audience
to Prove that i will Be 60 Years-Old Next June; let's just say the
Fringe Benefits of Youth Still do Remain as far as Female Smiles;
Pecks on the Cheek; Bootie Dances Down below and Stuff like that;
Yes, Proof on Demand as i keep empirical Evidence in my Bible True;

Leg Pressing 1340 Pounds 12 Reps at 90 Degrees in 100 Seconds on YouTube too.
It's amazing the Look on the Local Farm Boy Young Men at Super Walmart When they get the proof.
i also do 1520 Pounds at 8 Reps; but i really do not want to be accused of Being A Real Superman; hehe;
Someone might want to dissect me like a Real ET; hAha. People are Strange; Very Very Strange take it from me; heHe.

It's Like The Old Movie 'Field of Dreams';
If 'You Build It' do not expect anyone else
to come Back to Save You; Whoever You come to be Now
It Will Be You; It's a Win/Win Proposition; i Cannot Possibly Lose my Own
Culture and Religion to someone else who has not tried it and or liked it.

https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2011/pap ... er0782.pdf


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AprilR
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13 Aug 2019, 2:27 pm

Maybe it's because i was raised by atheists (deists maybe?) but i have no interest in science and despite not being a religious person i don't agree with the materialistic world view either. I believe religions do have truth to them.



wowiexist
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14 Aug 2019, 11:22 am

I am not sure why you think this. I am religious but from what I have seen I am in the minority on this site.



TheOther
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20 Aug 2019, 10:34 am

There is evidence to suggest that certain disorders (such as Parkinson's disease) are significantly correlated with a lack of religiosity.

I would actually argue that autistic people would be less likely to be religious, as they are seemingly not as affected by social pressures to conform and have a hard time going along with rule-sets which are beyond question and criticism.



timf
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20 Aug 2019, 2:05 pm

rule-sets which are beyond question and criticism.

Sadly this is all too true of many (perhaps most) presentations of Christianity.

It took me many years and frustrating and painful encounters to get past those who present Christianity as a religious system and seek to bend others to their will.

In looking at many of the Christian testimonies on Youtube, I found that most have at their core a search for truth. I think there is that in unadulterated Christianity of truth which Aspergers people might find attractive.



AnneOleson
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21 Aug 2019, 1:17 am

TheOther wrote:
There is evidence to suggest that certain disorders (such as Parkinson's disease) are significantly correlated with a lack of religiosity.

I would actually argue that autistic people would be less likely to be religious, as they are seemingly not as affected by social pressures to conform and have a hard time going along with rule-sets which are beyond question and criticism.

Where would one find this evidence?



TheOther
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03 Sep 2019, 12:03 pm

AnneOleson wrote:
TheOther wrote:
There is evidence to suggest that certain disorders (such as Parkinson's disease) are significantly correlated with a lack of religiosity.

I would actually argue that autistic people would be less likely to be religious, as they are seemingly not as affected by social pressures to conform and have a hard time going along with rule-sets which are beyond question and criticism.

Where would one find this evidence?


Here is one study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671825/



tensordyne
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04 Sep 2019, 1:49 pm

Don't agree with the OP.

Quote:
I've read a lot on this forum about how Christianity fits perfetly well with having Aspergers.


Where are you reading this? Looking through websearches on the topic, it seems like there is more of a skew towards not being religious or believing in Christianity, rather than any fit being "perfect". The closest religion I have found that speaks to me would be some kind of made up Vulcan religion.

Religions continue on because of the need for NT's to be groupy. The intellectual debate was lost long ago with Darwin. Christians make up for this by talking about "Faith" alot. Unfortunately, they have redefined the word so they don't have to say what they really mean: Blind Faith.

Check out Ralph Ellis if you want your so-called 'faith' tested. And being a person of faith in the modern world, how do you not feel like a hypocrite using the proceeds of scientific thinking (your car, tv, modern medicine, etc...), but not adopting, or even demonizing the philosophy that helped to create those results in the first place? Seems duplicitous to me.


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06 Sep 2019, 11:35 am

Fnord wrote:
Disclaimer: I hate religion. Faith-based beliefs I understand. Morality I understand. Certain forms of religious doctrine and expression seem stupid to me. Maybe I am not supposed to try to analyze and understand religion, but only to believe whatever they teach me and do whatever they tell me -- all without quarrel or question.

I go to church to have some limited contact with a community, and to discuss Gospels and Scripture. I sit at the end of the pew near a door so I can leave discretely when I need to. The part I like best is Sunday School. Since I actually read the Bible, I know at least as much as most of the teachers, but because my interpretations of what the Bible says often do not match the church's official interpretations, they haven't asked me to teach Sunday School in over a decade.

I also tend to place what Jesus said in precedence over what anyone else says, including the apostles -- James and Paul in particular. They seem to add things that Jesus did not say, so I tend to look at their writings with a more critical mind-set than I would (for example) the Sermon On The Mount.

But if you're bothered by crowds, loud noises, and obnoxious smells, a large and modern church service may not be for you. Smaller, more traditional services (i.e., evening mass) might be more to your liking.

I feel the same way about "religion." And it also bothers me when I hear pastors (usually Evangelicals) say they hate the term "religion." The origin of the word "religion" has to do with restoring a bond, or "re-tying" something--in our case our relationship with our Creator. So as long as that's what religion means, I'm all for it. What offends people is the association of religion with rites and traditions that place God in a sort of lamp to be manipulated in some wishful-thinking kind of way. For those kinds of Christians, religion is nothing more than ritual magic, like pagans performing a rain dance or something. I don't consider that kind of thing to be true religion because it distorts the relationship between man and God such that man is above God. It's an arrogant way to approach spirituality. It works out great for all the self-haters out there, though, because they imagine in all their false humility that they are being good little boys and girls and are going to earn their spot next to the throne. Jesus explicitly stated this kind of thinking is a problem ("Who is the greatest in heaven? Who will sit at Your right hand?" etc.).

As far as the epistles go, I see them as practical extensions of Jesus's words. I feel like we've lost a lot of the idiomatic features of Aramaic and Greek. That makes it difficult to understand Paul a lot of the time. I start from understanding that Paul cannot contradict Jesus. So if Paul isn't contradicting Jesus when he says _____, then what does the apparently contradictory passage mean? He wrote a lot addressing what seems to me a lack of discipline and order in the individual congregation. People take some passages to be anti-women, for instance, but I don't read it that way. Inclusive congregations admitted the wealthy side-by-side with the poor. Instructions for women to cut their hair or cover their heads seems to be in line with toning down their headdresses and ornaments so as to not look any more important than anyone else. Expensive ornaments might require too much effort to remove for a single worship service, so simply covering it would have been enough. It's not about hatred or oppression, but rather taking into consideration the feelings of others and supporting the needs of ALL women. I see a lot of Paul's writing following a very similar pattern.

I think sometimes Paul could be "anti-religion," too. As to the dogma you referred to...I'll save that for a later post.



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06 Sep 2019, 12:22 pm

timf wrote:
rule-sets which are beyond question and criticism.

Sadly this is all too true of many (perhaps most) presentations of Christianity.

It took me many years and frustrating and painful encounters to get past those who present Christianity as a religious system and seek to bend others to their will.

In looking at many of the Christian testimonies on Youtube, I found that most have at their core a search for truth. I think there is that in unadulterated Christianity of truth which Aspergers people might find attractive.

Yeah, you're referring to dogma. I think there are as many conflicting teachings about Mary as there are Catholic priests. I love my Catholic neighbors, don't get me wrong. The Catholic mass is beautiful and serene. I might even learn to tolerate the idea of transubstantiation.

The problem is not what they teach. I hear things from the pulpit at my own church I don't agree with. The difference is that if you don't accept ALL of the catechism, all of the traditions as the definitive path to the Almighty, you are not saved. I can accept transubstantiation as an IDEA, or even a metaphor. I can look at Mary as a metaphor for the Church--the Church is our mother in the same sense that Mary took care of Jesus while He walked the earth. If the name "Mary" embodies a group of spiritual brothers and sisters who will pray to God on my behalf, I have no problem with that. But is that what they teach? No. They expect you to actually BELIEVE that Mary has special power behind the throne of the risen Savior. This I cannot do. They expect me to believe that Mary was somehow born without a sin nature and thus her immaculate birth is a necessary precondition for the birth of Jesus. This I also cannot do. I cannot believe that church tradition trumps scripture--what Jesus and the apostles actually SAID and did. Do I think the Catholic church is demonic or evil from the core, and that all Catholics are destined for hell? No. But I do think there are a lot of things going on that new believers will find confusing. Those kinds of things obscure what the whole point of Jesus was--that being the saving work on the cross. Catholics prefer their savior to stay nailed, bleeding on the cross.

I prefer a strong Savior, one whose last breath is not a victim's acceptance of death, but rather a bold statement of victory over it. The cross is empty. The tomb is empty. THAT is the God I worship!

Jesus didn't teach that you had to have catechism to be saved. Jesus only said to worship God. Jesus said for us to come to Him. Not to Mary, but Christ. God gave us minds so we could think for ourselves, even at the risk we might come to the conclusion that there is no God. I believe one of the greatest sins is the surrender of the mind to anyone else other than the God who created it. If you tell me I can't think about whether a teaching is right or wrong, or that I'm required to BELIEVE in something without question, my first instinct is to assume that the teaching is immoral. "Thou shalt not kill." Why not? "Because we said so." Ummmm...no. I believe that if I just go along with that, I'm committing a sin. Yeah, don't kill sounds good and all. But you're not telling me to believe it based on what bearing it has in reality. You're telling me to believe it as an extension of your authority to the detriment of my agency. So as long as you're not God and I still have a choice, "I said so" isn't going to cut it. I'm afraid "I said so" is frequently the rationale for a lot of things, and not just dealing with religion and faith.