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Hushmychild

If I believe in life without question, without man made religion, embrace the living world then why does anyone feel the need to judge me?

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Most people don't think about their beliefs, they just go along with the herd. It is a mental shortcut that works more often than not -- if most people are doing it, it is probably right.

This is especially powerful when it comes to religion because religion promises all the answers, the truth, what is right. When somebody decides to break away from the herd, it is worse than saying the Emperor has not clothes, it is screaming that everybody is naked regardless of who is right and who is wrong. regardless of how they rationalize it, it makes them extremely uncomfortable because it puts doubt in their minds.

Religions build on this mechanism. While they tell themselves they are non-judgmental and forgiving, this only really applies to the in-group, outsiders are of the devil, and god will judge them. They are taught hatred of the anyone outside the group, this is called 'othering' and helps build an us-and-them mentality which keeps them supporting the team and separate from the enemy.

And for anybody in the in-group who cares about you, religion promises them you will burn forever in lakes of fire, so they will worry for your soul and put you under pressure to re-join the herd.

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I strongly believe that whatever evolutionary benefit religious belief had is long gone by now.
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I don't think the kind of organized religion we are familiar with ever had any evolutionary benefit. Instead, I think religions take advantage of all inadequacies that evolution has left us with. Religions really do use every trick in the book, every art of persuasion, every art of manipulation, poking at every one of our weaknesses.

It is religion that has evolved to be highly efficient. It is pretty obvious who gets the real benefits of all this -- despite all their recent trouble, the Vatican isn't short of a few bob. Evangelists fly from gig to gig on private jets. It is a highly evolved system of parting people from their money. I'm sure some people will argue that their preacher drives a Datsun... but even if the the money is used for good, it is still a great system for gaining wealth and power.
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The private jet-flying evangelists have nothing to do with the evolution I'm talking about. No doubt, evolution led to their attitudes and behaviors (selfish, advantage-taking of simpler folk), but what I mean is that being part of a group and pledging allegiance to a bunch of crap used to be the difference between warm, fuzzy, well-fed; and cold, starving, and dead.
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oh but it didn't. This kind of religion is only 2500 years old -- it has far more to do with the switch for living in small farming communities to living in towns and cities. Religion was about the tribe, the weather, the harvest. It is only when people started living in cities that the idea of a personal relationship with god came about, and personal salvation.. and a single god all powerful good that could grant divine rights to kings and political power to priests.

This is evolution of religion.

The funny thing is that what science is, is a method to help us overcome the weaknesses that evolution left us with. It's a method for sidestepping bias and the heuristic quirks that religion takes advantage of.
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Sorry, i could have described that better..

What i am getting at is that the heuristics that we evolved to help us, such as ascribing agency to any animated object, is still useful... we don't now think a god tows the sun across the sky on a chariot. But maybe a little sympathy and affection for our car may make us take care of it better. I think that what we have evolved is still useful, especially in conjunction with other tools we have developed like logic and science.

And knowing logic and reason is kinda like an anti-virus for us, where as religion is a virus which has evolved to take advantage of all our evolutionary weaknesses.
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Hushmychild
So, evolution of religion is not a natural evolution of man but made up as time moved forward to compliment his own needs and desires. I so long search through it all for the original purity of the true spirit of it all.
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Yes. I don't disagree with you VC. (heh, toilet...)... But the kinds of attitudes most of us have that allow us to completely fall in with these crazy ideas are a gift to us from evolution. And I don't mean the evolution of religion. I mean the evolution of man out of Africa.
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Unfortunately, it isn't just religion that takes advantage of us, it's just that religions are so artificial, they can weave a story and a system that hits every mark. Corporations do it with advertising, political parties do it too...

My biggest problem with religion is that it primes people to be susceptible to trickery. We could prepare and teach our children to know when they are being manipulated, but schools couldn't do that without exposing religion for what it is.

As Martin Luther said, “Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has." I'd say that reason protects us from parasites like religion which try and trick us into thinking that faith is a virtue. Faith is a trojan horse.
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Excellent, my reply got deleted because i used a word that is too colourful for Americans. Ironically i was quoting Martin Luther!
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They must have held it for review. It passed!
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Because the natural thing to do in society is to boot out or reject anything that doesn't go along with it or it could just be a moral thing around where you are

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no you are in your own utopian world

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Hushmychild
Aren't we all.
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yea to certain extent
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Because people judge other people.

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DonQuixote

In real life no one will judge you. Depending on where you hail from the faithful might think you are one of them. People will bow at you and say things like: 1; Shalom 2; Salam aleik 3; Excuse me you are Pastor who?

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Some people would. To them their creeds are infinitely higher than good deeds. As long as a people deems a certain belief compulsive to salvation, just so long they will persecute and judge to the fullest extent of their power.

When a religion teaches such contemptible filth that no man can tell a truth, or be moral or good, unless he is frightened by god, most followers lose their all senses of proportion and rationality. It is claimed that God had founded Christianity, and that to deny its authority is to be a traitor to God, and thus an ally of satan. To torture and destroy one of the soldiers of satan is a duty most "good" Christian doesn't care to neglect. Nothing can he sweeter than to earn the gratitude of God by persecuting his enemies, is a delight that most Christian never resists.

Why should a Christian be better than his God? Christ taught that unbelief was the blackest of crimes, punishable by eternal torture. Why should the Christian love a man whom her God hates? Why should he show compassion to a kind and noble unbeliever whom his God will burn in eternal hell? Under such benign conviction the Christian judge a living unbeliever unto death in this world, and handover the dead to his god for finishing the "holy hatred in hell".

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People who are confident in their beliefs will not judge you; it's only those who have doubts who need to justify themselves by attacking the beliefs or philosophy of others. It's human. Don't worry about it.

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DonQuixote
I know of a character just like the one described by askfrogman. He was fed-up of people asking him " Excuse me are you a Christian?" " How comes we don't see you in our Church?"
I advised him to answer, " I find it difficult to answer your question" If they insisted then say, "I am a sinner just like you". apparently it worked. No body asked him again and in fact they shunned him. I mean why not ask "What is religion" "Do you mind coming for a fund raising dinner for our Church?" But never "are you animist?" even though we know Jesus Christ was human and an animal.
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It can be annoying, Don. I was once approached by a couple of young guys who invited me to a revival meeting and, when I declined, the more aggressive said, "If you gave your heart to Jesus you wouldn't be having trouble with your wife."

It was too much for me and I burst out laughing. I said, "It's a great statistical argument, but you've picked the wrong man." When I got home and told Lynne about it she laughed too.
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DonQuixote
Thanks
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Dodgy put it well. Yes, you are highlighting they insecurities of some of these people by showing that you are NOT being punished, are not evil, or "sinful" by not following their particular party line. Don't worry about haters, be true to yourself.

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Hushmychild
Thank you. And yes I will remain true to myself, that of which I know well.
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