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Anonymous

Positive effects of Religion
    #1205846 - 01/10/03 03:20 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

After hearing Swami carp on the subject that religion produces no positive effect regarding morals in people's lives I decided to do some research.

I turned up some interesting stuff.

The following can be found by typing in the words "Revival Crime Restitution" in Google.

The Spirit, Revival, and change in society.

Labors in Western and in Rome

Memoirs of Revival of Religion

Revival at Utica New York

I am not trying to make an argument in the other direction, i.e. religion is a panacea for mankind's ills.  But I am looking honestly, as any honest skeptic would, for evidence to the contrary of Swami's assumption.  I found it within 5 minutes.

Swam, use Google!  It works! (shameless plug)

A lot of people claim to be 'religious' but I suppose whether they are or not is whether their actions show it.  Swami has always maintained that is the proper litmus test for faith.

He is right.

"You will know the tree by the fruit it bears."  Jesus of Nazareth

Enjoy! :wink: 


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Posts: 928
Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1205856 - 01/10/03 03:37 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

i always thought all of swami's claims about the world were simply beautiful reflections of his own mind and enjoyed them as such.

Quote:

A lot of people claim to be 'religious' but I suppose whether they are or not is whether their actions show it




james 2:17
in the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

if anyone cares to read on from that point, they will find some interesting information.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1206320 - 01/10/03 08:38 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

link: The Spirit, Revival, and change in society.
Sporadic anecdotal evidence that religion can have some positive superficial effects on certain herds.

link: Labors in Western and in Rome
Tells a tale of a criminal who turns to the church to avoid prosecution.
Heartwarming, really.
So, religion is a "get out of jail free" card for jackasses.

links: Memoirs of Revival of Religion &
Revival at Utica New York

More anecdotes... sorry, I have better things to do than read ALL of that.

There is little evidence that religion (as preached) is helpful for anything other than irrational motivation or focusing technique.  In fact, religion (as preached) encourages people to not think for themselves.  Until each religious person adopts a Kierkegaardian approach to their religion, I will continue to question their spiritual practices for them. :wink: 


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


Edited by Sclorch (01/10/03 08:41 AM)


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Offlineshaggy101
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Sclorch]
    #1206373 - 01/10/03 08:59 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

The basis of belief is to find that belief on your own.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: shaggy101]
    #1206379 - 01/10/03 09:02 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Tell that to the flocks of clones.

They'll nod their heads in unison.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflineEarth_Droid
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1206385 - 01/10/03 09:04 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I think it is best to not ride on beleive, and only ride on faith. That way you can just stick every event into a cetegory of high probability or low probability.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Earth_Droid]
    #1206400 - 01/10/03 09:10 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

That way you can just stick every event into a cetegory of high probability or low probability.

I'm pretty sure this is how most people look at things (disregarding dogma)... ever since fallibilism showed up.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Offlineshaggy101
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Sclorch]
    #1206426 - 01/10/03 09:18 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

weve taken care of everything
the words you read
the songs you sing
th pictures that give pleasure to you eye
one for all, and all for one
work toghether common sons
never need to wonder or why


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1206430 - 01/10/03 09:20 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Well, religion is great for making one rich (if you are at the top of the food chain - see "Benny Hill Faith-Healing Expose").

A lot of people claim to be 'religious' but I suppose whether they are or not is whether their actions show it. Swami has always maintained that is the proper litmus test for faith.

When I talk to my Christian friends about this who are trying to convert me and point out the blatant hypocracy among Christians, they have two standardized replies:

1. Those people of whom you speak are not TRUE Christians. (Of course I reply that Atheists that do bad things are not TRUE Atheists - natch.)

2. Christians aren't perfect, merely forgiven. They still sin. Belief is what counts. (Of course I point out Mr. M's Bible quote "You will know the tree by the fruit it bears." And reiterate, if one truly believed, their actions would reflect their love and spiritual understanding.)

Again, NO ONE tackled my physical exercise post earlier because NO ONE can rationally deny that it works. With spiritual exercise, the results are so nebulous that a believer must do mental gymnastics and statistical manipulation to attempt to show ANY affect.

The few small effects noted are from peer pressure of the religo-social group rather than arising from insight and communion with a deity.

I have strongly suggested that we have a large enough membership here to do our own study on prayer. Of course, the believers would rather jabber endlessly than put this technique to a rigorous test. ("I know it works Swami, I don't have to prove it to you!" - uh huh - or better yet "God doesn't like to be tested!" No he is a cowering, fearful deity.)



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


Edited by Swami (01/10/03 03:08 PM)


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Sclorch]
    #1206586 - 01/10/03 10:40 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Thanks Sclorch. I was eventually going to post something similar to your reply to Mr Mushrooms, but you beat me to it.


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Swami]
    #1206590 - 01/10/03 10:42 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I reply that Atheists that do bad things are not TRUE Atheists

That's a hilarious reply. I'm going to use that myself!

And I agree, I don't think religion has proven to make the world a better place.


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1206851 - 01/10/03 12:08 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I see religion as a possible first step to a person spirituality nowadays . It really is positive regarding moral because it creates a conduct, i'm not saying it's good as a whole but it "helps" you until you can come up with your own spiritual framework, if you ever come. I "quit" religion at the age of 16 because i started answering my spiritual questions using my ideas and explanations by that time. With time, i created my view of reality using what i've learned, now it has become a circular and evolutive process which helps me understand and explain that reality. IMHO, religion holds this process to the ground, the early conduct must be perfect and the only person that can do it is yourself, the so called dogmas must be resolved and forgot, i see it as the only way out of religion and into a real spiritual life.
If you ask me "wouldn't be better to have started earlier ?" , perhaps but how should i know ? We are all different, we realize things differently, at different times and at the end we're all a product of this social ego we call society, who's to blame ?

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


Edited by MAIA (01/10/03 12:11 PM)


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1206888 - 01/10/03 12:23 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Are you guys narrowing this thread to the 'big' religions here, or are we talking about any particular spiritual system of beliefs(You know the nice cozy unfalsifiable kind.)?

(Keep in mind MAIA's post when you read this.)I think the only reason the religions are mostly failing on efficiently controlling the experience and actions of people to today(They look like their failing to me, i dunno.), is because of their inability to convince the average civilised mind and heart. Im not saying religions are completely incapable of doing this. I'm saying it takes a lot more work on the part of the worshiper.

After all if you could get me to believe alot of mumbo jumbo it would only be a matter of time before I started incorporating it into my actions. Especially if I was surrounded by social enforcement and encouragement! That would be a nice life in a small package right there.



--------------------
focusing
Flow
The Enneagram


Edited by David_Scape (01/10/03 12:24 PM)


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Anonymous

Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Swami]
    #1207093 - 01/10/03 01:59 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

When I talk to my Christian friends about this who are trying to convert me and point out the blatant hypocracy among Christians, they have two standardized replies:

1. Those people of whom you speak are not TRUE Christians. (Of course I reply that Atheists that do bad things are not TRUE Atheists - natch.)


And of course your retort while cute has little to nothing to do with the subject.  There is no moral code for Atheists, no orthopraxy, if you will (or won't for that matter :tongue: ).  The Bible is very clear that the ones who hear the Master's voice and obey are the True Believers.

2. Christians aren't perfect, merely forgiven. They still sin. Belief is what counts. (Of course I point out Mr. M's Bible quote "You will know the tree by the fruit it bears." And reiterate, if one truly believed, their actions would reflect their love and spiritual understanding.)

I have heard this excuse.  From what I know it is a cop-out.  This is a portion of Christianity known as "Easy Believism".  The sections of scripture that I have read show it to be nonsense.  Evidently these "believers" aren't what they claim to be.  Antinomianism has been with us since the 1st century.  Markos, if you are out there I will not debate this with you.

Please do not misconstrue this as a Sunday School lesson.  There are many interpretations for the evidence, anecdotal though it may be, and one of them is correct.

This is not a defense for Christianity any more than it is a defense for Spirituality.  As far as I am concerned the Truth (damnable capital "T") needs no defending.

The primary reason I created this thread was because you have stated repeatedly that 'faith' or whatever it is you call it does not change behavior.  I suggest that your perception is askew.

In the case of alcohol addiction A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) and the use of LSD has broken the addiction to alcohol and changed lives.  In both instances there is a spiritual component.

Here is a list of the famous "Twelve Steps" of A.A.

THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol; that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


This is an example of faith in action and it changes lives.  There are statistics available for the recidivism rate and if you are as interested as you claim to be look them up.

As far as the prayer journal is concerned once again I encourage you to start your own and do not rely on the others.  As Robert Ringer said in his book, "Looking Out for Number One", it's "one to a box".  That's a coffin for those of you unfamiliar with the book.  Similiarly, the path of Truth is "one to a box".  You have work to do.  I suggest you get at it. :wink:

Just trying to help, Bro.

Much love,


 


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1207164 - 01/10/03 02:47 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Swami: (Of course I reply that Atheists that do bad things are not TRUE Atheists - natch.)
Mr_Mushroooms: There is no moral code for Atheists, no orthopraxy

Mr_mushrooms is right on this one... at least part of his post is something I can agree with.

Mr_Mushrooms: The Bible is very clear that the ones who hear the Master's voice and obey are the True Believers.

Y'know... the heteroabsolutist takes issue with your interpretation of that concept.
Can it not be said that "the Master's voice" is zen's "the way"?
Another example of how "god's word" (or "the master's voice") ends up being a guiding principle rather than a command "from on high". At least, that's how I understand it.

There are many interpretations for the evidence, anecdotal though it may be, and one of them is correct.

One of them is correct? How do YOU know? Maybe NONE of them are correct.
I like your selective use of logic... it just always seems to work out in your favor.
Hmmm....

The primary reason I created this thread was because you have stated repeatedly that 'faith' or whatever it is you call it does not change behavior. I suggest that your perception is askew.

(I hope you don't mind me cutting in here, Swami.)
Yeah, Swami often points at "faith"... but I imagine he's just using that term as a shortcut.
And as long as you're dishing out anecdotal evidence... I'm stating right here, right now that in my experience, MOST (~99%... probably more, but I have no way of really knowing) of such born-again effects have been entirely due to peer pressure of the religo-social group rather than arising from insight and communion with a deity. [/Swami]


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: ]
    #1207214 - 01/10/03 03:23 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

And of course your retort while cute...
Thank you! *giggles*

There is no moral code for Atheists...
Hence, we can do NO wrong! Cool, eh?

no orthopraxy
Liar, I had my teeth fixed!

As far as the prayer journal is concerned once again I encourage you to start your own and do not rely on the others.
I have had two basic prayers for over 20 years and have had zero success. So I could write down in my log book:

Jan 1, 1983: No success
Jan 2, 1983: No success
Jan 3, 1983: No success
Jan 4, 1983: No success
Jan 5, 1983: No success
Jan 6, 1983: No success...

Jan 1, 2003: No success
Jan 2, 2003: No success
Jan 3, 2003: No success
Jan 4, 2003: No success
Jan 5, 2003: No success
Jan 6, 2003: No success


(No, these prayers are not for a million dollars or a new Ferrari!)

I don't see how that would be helpful. Which is why I suggested a group that believes in it's power outlining a methodology and a measure of success.

You have work to do. I suggest you get at it.
Fine, but after reading thousands of spiritual books (most of which contain absoultely useless phrases like "When you are enlightened the world will appear fresh and new and you will recognize the underlying unity. - blah, blah, blah"), I am clueless how to GET THERE or even if a THERE exists.

Even a powerful mushroom vision does not convince me that a THERE exists.

(Here is where Adamist or shroomism or some other knowledgable and compassionate soul sez:"Gee, Swami, don't you understand that you already are there?" - NO, I don't.)




--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Sclorch]
    #1207226 - 01/10/03 03:26 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Cut in any time, my brother. And my quotes are in the public domain and as they are God-Inspired, I cannot claim credit for them anyway. :wink: 


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Anonymous

Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Swami]
    #1207594 - 01/10/03 06:06 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

[throws hands up in the air, goes out for a beer, looks back over shoulder at Swami and Sclorch and says, "Hey, are you guys coming or not?"]


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Anonymous

Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Sclorch]
    #1208317 - 01/11/03 02:16 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

One last serious answer for Swami and you and then I am backing out of this conversation.

I am really glad to see you post, Sclorch.  I miss your ugly face when you aren't around.

Mr_mushrooms is right on this one... at least part of his post is something I can agree with.

Thanks for posting this.  Many times agreement isn't posted ever when it is there.  Oftentimes that makes for bad dialogue.

Y'know... the heteroabsolutist takes issue with your interpretation of that concept.
Can it not be said that "the Master's voice" is zen's "the way"?
Another example of how "god's word" (or "the master's voice") ends up being a guiding principle rather than a command "from on high". At least, that's how I understand it.


I love the idea of this heteroabsolutist thing you came up with.  I'd love it more if I understood it.  Let me be quite clear on my declaration that the Sheep know and obey the Master's voice.  I am speaking from inside a severely limited paradigm, the grammatico-historical hermeneutic.  I am not saying that it is valid.  I am just making their case.  But to me it makes sense.  Similiarly, if I ask you what you are and you tell me a plumber and then I ask you when you do plumbing and you tell me you don't do any I am going to wonder if you really are a plumber, especially if you don't seem to understand what are some fundamental principles of plumbing.

Muddy syntax but I hope that is clear.


One of them is correct? How do YOU know? Maybe NONE of them are correct.
I like your selective use of logic... it just always seems to work out in your favor.
Hmmm....


Some other time you can explain what you mean by a "selective use of logic".  There is always at least one interpretation that is correct about everything.  The Law of Contradiction is one of the very few certitudes we have, and it is absolute. :tongue:  I know you just love to hear that.

And as long as you're dishing out anecdotal evidence... I'm stating right here, right now that in my experience, MOST (~99%... probably more, but I have no way of really knowing) of such born-again effects have been entirely due to peer pressure of the religo-social group rather than arising from insight and communion with a deity.

Your perception may vary but it does not negate my point.  As far as how the mechanism works is also beside the point.  These things do seem to work inside a "religio-social group" but the Body of Christ is just that.  Perhaps that is the way God intended it to work?

*sigh*  Where is your blessed pragmatism when you need it? :wink:

Lastly please do not misconstrue what I have said to be a defense of Christianity or Spirituality.  Swami wanted evidence that a spiritual component changes a person's behavior.  At the moment he wants to ignore it and that is his perogative.  I am not saying that these things are true.  But neither am I saying that they are false either.  Each of us will have to find out in our own way whether they are true or not.

Cheers 


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Anonymous

Re: Positive effects of Religion [Re: Swami]
    #1208326 - 01/11/03 02:44 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I have had two basic prayers for over 20 years and have had zero success.

If (and that's a big if) the principles of prayer are absolute then there are only a few options:

A. You do not understand the principles.
B. You understand them but are not applying them.

Markos and I have both kept prayer journals and have sufficiently proved to ourselves that prayer works. I cannot speak for him but I didn't need to do a lot of convoluting to interpret the results and I have seen miracles that were the direct result of my prayers.

Personally I think you have this assbackwards. You seem to be saying that you'll believe in God when He answers a prayer of yours. Perhaps, and I am just spittballing here, you need to figure out whether He exists first and then see if there are any requirements for successful prayer.

Fine, but after reading thousands of spiritual books (most of which contain absoultely useless phrases like "When you are enlightened the world will appear fresh and new and you will recognize the underlying unity. - blah, blah, blah"), I am clueless how to GET THERE or even if a THERE exists.

Interesting thing about books like these. It is not enough to own them, you have to read them. It is not enough to read them, you have to understand them. It is not enough to understand them, you have to practice what they teach.

Are you saying that you understood and practiced every principle in every one of the "thousands of spiritual books" you have read? I am sensing hyperbole here. If you deftly swept aside the things you read in those books as quickly as you dismissed my evidence that religion can have a positive impact on a person's behavior no wonder you are still clueless.

You know and I know that there is one book you haven't read. I am going to be quite bold here and say that until you read that one you might not get anywhere.

I have taken quite a bit of time to help you and will continue to be your supportive friend. That is the case whether you make decisions that destroy you or not.

Your book will be in the mail shortly.

For the others:

Do not misinterpret my post to Swami. We are friends outside the Shroomery and some of the things I say can only be interpreted inside a context which none of you have.

I will not post again in this thread except in my capacity as Moderator.


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