Author Topic: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me  (Read 972 times)

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Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2013, 10:02:02 AM »
Skeptic, my point is that the thread shouldn't become this type of debate because its been done to death recently. Its possible for others to discuss the OP concept without this type of discussion, its just not possible for me to do it (or you).
Thank you for that - it's not meant to be a provocative thread (I have way better options for topics if that were my intent), I'm genuinely interested in this subject - it's not a secret that I'm very interested in the psychology of religion and the soft sciences in general. I am more interested in non-theist opinion on this topic for exactly the reasons you gave. And I'm really bored with skepdude in general by now.
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Also, Jag is a she. (Just a Girl) She chose that user name at a forum which discussed sports as an experiment to see whether a gender neutral name would be treated differently than a gender obvious name. It was.
And I'm impressed, perhaps even a wee bit flattered, that you remembered this detail.
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Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2013, 10:18:35 AM »
I'm not making a sales pitch, I'm observing a flaw that I think is significant and worth discussion.

Hmm, no. I was not saying that its your sale's pitch. I was saying that the flaw you pointed out is actually the sale's pitch for Christianity.

And out of interest, while the concept of Eve sinning is there in the Abrahamic religions, isn't Christianity the only one that considers the new born to inherit the sins?

We are talking about a Christian being born a sinner, right? (Sin == Bad?)
Ok, I see what you were getting at - apologies for my mistake. I realize that your point is valid. I'm interested in the persuasion method being used.

My understanding of Judaism (actually talked this over with a Jewish friend yesterday) is that they do not buy into the original sin idea, but they fully embrace the same message of sinful wretched human. Ditto for Muslims. I'm not talking about anything specific to the bible (given that three major religions all claim the same book for their own history but "interpret" it differently) I'm talking about the message of "you suck". THAT appears to be the same across all three.

I'm not really talking about theology, in as far as I'm able to yank this concept free from it's tenticles. I get that it's a sales pitch - I don't actually believe that they would lose followers, people go to therapists to be validated as worthwhile all the time. The message is the same.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2013, 10:23:18 AM »
I'm not making a sales pitch, I'm observing a flaw that I think is significant and worth discussion.

Hmm, no. I was not saying that its your sale's pitch. I was saying that the flaw you pointed out is actually the sale's pitch for Christianity.

And out of interest, while the concept of Eve sinning is there in the Abrahamic religions, isn't Christianity the only one that considers the new born to inherit the sins?

We are talking about a Christian being born a sinner, right? (Sin == Bad?)

Exactly right! One only has to read Paul's letters to see that it was a sale pitch from the start of Christianity and any change to it would, in all likelihood, remove the need foe the church at all. After all, if we haven't sinned we have no need of a church. Note, though, that lots of things are sins which, in a secular society would not be so regarded, sex, diet 9in some religions) etc mean that these religions are really needed to help the 'poor sinful' people.

Jag's point is excellent, though, as freeing people from supposed sin - see babies and children as free of anything wrong (apart from keep the parents up half the night)  makes sense to us. There's nothing like telling people they are good, right etc, etc to encourage them to do better and, most likely, to be more moral as well. (More moral, anyway than being told one is bad all the time by priests!)
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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2013, 10:27:19 AM »

What if the message from the pulpits mirrored this? What if every person in front of every congregation in America changed their focus and reminded people at every opportunity that yes, life is full of challenges, but you are good just because you are here and alive and part of the whole that makes up humanity?

Getting back to the OP - this part in particular really resonated with me.  Actually kind of put an emotional "pang" in my heart.  I do not remember feeling bad about myself until 6th grade - when I began attending a baptist school.  I remember my cheeks burning hot when they - the teachers, the preacher at chapel services - made sure to remind us at every turn that we were no-good, dirty rotten sinners.  That even our good deeds were like "filthy rags" to god (this from Isaiah 64:6). 

This hurt me deeply and made me feel so ashamed.  Begging god to forgive me was a huge part of my life once I found out I was headed to hell in handbasket if I didn't admit I was a scumbag sinner and allow "the blood of the lamb" to make me clean.

I do wonder how I might have felt about myself if I hadn't been told all of that.  I really envy those people who instantly called bullshit on it.  I don't know why, but I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

So take this concept to a broad audience and watch what happens.  So many people believing not only the worst about themselves, but also about humanity in general - believing that people are rotten unless "saved."  This makes for a very ugly populace indeed. Lots of bitter, judgmental people.

Like Jag, I wonder, if this were reversed, what would the outcome be? I can't help but think it would make an astounding difference on a grand scale.  No, the world wouldn't be perfect, no big group of people holding hands and singing "I'd like to teach the world to sing" (I'm giving away my age here) - but I think the level of judgement and/or hatred (of self and others) would drop significantly.

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2013, 10:35:20 AM »
I see a clear connection between "sinful nature" and "salvation through God". I see a clear connection between conditioning and outcomes.

I'm honestly not convinced that people wouldn't be RUNNING to whomever is telling them that they ARE worthwhile, that they DO have value, that they ARE deserving of respect simply for being alive and among us. Who wouldn't prefer that message? Who wouldn't prefer those outcomes?

Sociopaths and psychopaths come to mind. People with a very strong need for control. Authoritarian people. Dogmatic adherents. Given enough time. the rigid ones will die off and eventually we'll figure out how to deal with socio- and psychopaths.

The comfort believers are seeking in their god might actually manifest in a way that's beneficial. For everyone.
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Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2013, 10:40:21 AM »
<snip>
So many people believing not only the worst about themselves, but also about humanity in general - believing that people are rotten unless "saved."  This makes for a very ugly populace indeed. Lots of bitter, judgmental people.

Like Jag, I wonder, if this were reversed, what would the outcome be? I can't help but think it would make an astounding difference on a grand scale.  No, the world wouldn't be perfect, no big group of people holding hands and singing "I'd like to teach the world to sing" (I'm giving away my age here) - but I think the level of judgement and/or hatred (of self and others) would drop significantly.
RubyLeo, you nailed it. Self and others both stand to benefit greatly.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2013, 10:41:53 AM »

An atheist wants to kill every old person that lives in a nursing home because it's a waste of space that could be used for more productive things. Old people are just stuck in nursing homes contributing nothing to society, so why should they be allowed to live?


Skeptic54768,

I think you have little idea as to how many reported posts you generate with your failure to address the points put to you and your apparent inability to think in a straight line.

This example above is also the perfect example of your inability to debate reasonably and is an example of your not reading what was said but simply assuming what the writer meant.

Yours is a perfect example of"The Strawman Fallacy." This is where someone (you) put up an obviously weak but dramatic argument and then destroy it easily. Here's an example:

Senator A: "In the circumstances, we will have to cut $100,000 from the USAF budget."
Senator B: "Cuts! That's all I hear! What if we cut the entire budget of the USAF?! We would be at the mercy of flying terrorists from every corner of the globe! Senator A wants you to be killed in your beds!"


Please do not annoy people by using this type of rhetoric and, more importantly, please up your game and start addressing points made by other members with some supporting evidence of your own.

GB MOD

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline sun_king

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2013, 11:09:32 AM »
RubyLeo, you nailed it. Self and others both stand to benefit greatly.

Jag and RubyLeo, this was my original point. You don't have to wonder when it is happening around you. I checked, Islam doesn't consider a new born to be laden with sin of his/her ancestors. I am a Hindu, so I know that we are born sinless  ;D. You have two major religions that doesnt declare that you are worthless at birth, probably 3 if I can confirm about Judaism.

I won't say that there is a big difference for a Hindu or Muslim kid in this context. The zero or positive begining doesnt give a Hindu or a Muslim any noticeable advantage. Ironically, it may prove that the Christian children are better in recovering from childhood trauma.

I would always support positive reinforcement, but strictly in this context I would say it won't make any difference. Once you are old enough to be told about hell, the fear sets in. Avoiding hell is the next priority, does it matter if you are already worthless or awesomely phenomenal. I present an average Hindu or Muslim against your average Christian as the evidence. You won't find much difference between these three.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2013, 11:18:29 AM »
But I'm not talking about original sin. You are. I'm talking about positive reinforcement of a negative message, and the harm I see it doing. I'm talking about what positive outcomes might occur from a change to the message.


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Offline sun_king

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2013, 11:25:13 AM »
But I'm not talking about original sin. You are. I'm talking about positive reinforcement of a negative message, and the harm I see it doing. I'm talking about what positive outcomes might occur from a change to the message.

Me too. (Assuming that the inherited sin and associated worthlessness is what you mean by the negative message)

I was saying that the negative message in Christianity is there on purpose. And I identified two religions which doesn't have that negative message.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2013, 11:51:46 AM »
Old people are just stuck in nursing homes contributing nothing to society, so why should they be allowed to live?

"Allowed" to live?  I think this says more about your morals than ours, Skeptic.

I have a relative in a nursing home.  If you raised a finger to harm her, you would be in for the fight of your life.

As someone who worked in Long Term Care for 10 years both as an aide and as a Registered Nurse and as a Nurse Manager, also as someone whose mother and father were in "Nursing Homes" I think I have a bunch of dogs in this fight.  But this fight would have to be a whole different thread so I won't ignite it.  Suffice it to say Skeptic's term "Allowed" to live is major douchebaggery.

It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2013, 11:56:38 AM »
But I'm not talking about original sin. You are. I'm talking about positive reinforcement of a negative message, and the harm I see it doing. I'm talking about what positive outcomes might occur from a change to the message.

Me too. (Assuming that the inherited sin and associated worthlessness is what you mean by the negative message)
No, not really. I never actually said anything about original sin in the OP - you made an understandable leap to it, but it's really not what I was talking about, then or now. You re' reading more into my words than I put there.
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I was saying that the negative message in Christianity is there on purpose. And I identified two religions which doesn't have that negative message.
Fine. I've made it clear that I understand your point that it's intentional. The drum has been beaten and I've agreed.

But holding up Hinduism as an alternative message really isn't valid is it? How is the message of Hinduism - you are exactly as you were born, and stuck there for this life cycle - any different? Either you are granted privileges you didn't earn, or you are subject to challenges that are only there due to the status of your parents - your destiny is out of your hands due to the circumstances of your birth. Not much practical difference than what I've been saying through this entire thread.

I've also indicated that I don't accept your position that changing the message would end religious participation. Given that THAT is an actual source of dispute in this chat between you and I, we could possibly have a productive discussion about that.

Hinduism appears to me (in my very limited experience) to suffer from the same problem on an institutional level, so it's not the exception you're trying to portray it as. In fact the first half of the post is specifically excluding religion to make the concept clear - apparently not clear enough though.

For the last time and to any who are still unclear about this: I'm not talking about original sin, I'm talking about the implications of the perpetuation of a negative message of worthlessness. Frankly I had some loose associations with Confucius and Buddhism in mind when I wrote this post.
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2013, 12:01:57 PM »
What if the message from the pulpits mirrored this? What if every person in front of every congregation in America changed their focus and reminded people at every opportunity that yes, life is full of challenges, but you are good just because you are here and alive and part of the whole that makes up humanity?

What if? This doesn’t yield a perfect world – there’s more involved than simple positive reinforcement in curing that which ails us, but why in the hell do people keep using so much reinforcement of such a negative message while still expecting a positive outcome?

Hear hear.

Consider this: the headmaster has a troubled and troublesome boy brought in front of her.  What approach is more likely to lead to the boy turning himself around?

1) You are a bad and wicked boy - you're useless, you'll never amount to anything.

2) You have so much potential, and I know that really you are a good person.


There is a 7 year age difference between me and my sister, I am older.  When she was a todddler and I was a teenager she would act out to try to get my attention and I would be annoyed and call her a brat.  My grandmother always intervened saying "Stop that! If you call her a brat she will become a brat!"
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2013, 12:09:46 PM »
Exactly. Basic psychology, and so obvious that people with no education in psychology are perfectly capable of either figuring it out for themselves, or understanding it quickly when it's explained. The concept of reinforcement is not a difficult one.
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2013, 12:13:29 PM »
Exactly. Basic psychology, and so obvious that people with no education in psychology are perfectly capable of either figuring it out for themselves, or understanding it quickly when it's explained. The concept of reinforcement is not a difficult one.

Well, grandma had a Master's degree in Education, pretty badass for those days...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2013, 12:27:51 PM »
Rock on Grandma!

Reinforcement theory is so widely accepted (from an overwhelming amount of evidence from studies) it's not really even subject to debate anymore, by and large. Which isn't to say that it couldn't be improved on, just that we have plenty of rational reasons to keep it's principles in mind.

Religion shouldn't be the exception any more than media advertising should. I didn't choose to major in Communications on a whim; these are things I think are really important. Messages matter.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 12:33:35 PM by Jag »
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Offline sun_king

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2013, 01:05:30 PM »
Fine. I've made it clear that I understand your point that it's intentional. The drum has been beaten and I've agreed.
My bad, that was indeed redundant. Sorry for that. Moving on...
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But holding up Hinduism as an alternative message really isn't valid is it? How is the message of Hinduism - you are exactly as you were born, and stuck there for this life cycle - any different? Either you are granted privileges you didn't earn, or you are subject to challenges that are only there due to the status of your parents - your destiny is out of your hands due to the circumstances of your birth. Not much practical difference than what I've been saying through this entire thread.
May be not. In Hinduism (not the caste endorsed variant promoted by the Brahmins), each person has the option of elevating his life and rejoining with god. He is not really stuck in a life cycle, he has the option to 'progress'. Salvation, Nirvana- you name it, its pretty similar to heaven in Christianity. I would say that it is an example of a positive message. This is why I stated that we have an example of what is the outcome of a positive message in this context.

I cannot talk with surety on Islam. That is why I brought the subject of inherited sin, with Islam not having that concept, it is logical to assume that they do not have this particular negative message. I thought you would pick that up, my apologies for not being clear enough. That makes it the second example.

The "Original Sin" is mentioned only for logical purposes. That is why I used the term 'inherited'. Its the same negative message you are talking about, I don't understand why you got riled by that. For this thread, only the message and the manner in which it is delivered is relevant.
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I've also indicated that I don't accept your position that changing the message would end religious participation. Given that THAT is an actual source of dispute in this chat between you and I, we could possibly have a productive discussion about that.
We still can. I understood the purpose of this thread to be an investigation on how it would turn out if Christianity turned out the message in the other sense. My reply was that its been already tried and found to be pretty much the same. The mentioning of other religions was to show you live examples of your suggested alternative.

And my belief is that in this particular context  the imminent prospects of hell will negate the manner (positive/negative) the message is delivered. Positive, zero or Negative bias, in the end, comparable believers will end up similar.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2013, 01:19:41 PM »
I understood the purpose of this thread to be an investigation on how it would turn out if Christianity turned out the message in the other sense.
It's an observation of a self-defeating message and the role of repetition of such.
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My reply was that its been already tried and found to be pretty much the same. The mentioning of other religions was to show you live examples of your suggested alternative.
If you believe that, we're still not talking about the same thing.
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And my belief is that in this particular context  the imminent prospects of hell will negate the manner (positive/negative) the message is delivered. Positive, zero or Negative bias, in the end, comparable believers will end up similar.
Ok, how about we just agree that you think I'm wrong? I'm fine with that and you don't appear to have anything else to say.
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Offline sun_king

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2013, 01:27:53 PM »
Ok, how about we just agree that you think I'm wrong? I'm fine with that and you don't appear to have anything else to say.

No, you are right, you too don't have anything else to say.

I am done!

Offline Tero

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2013, 01:36:02 PM »
The terms of religion have been confusing to me. Looked up grace in Eng Fin dictionary. The stupidity! God forgives you, for creating a weak willed critter.

Christians: I forgive you. Now go home and love your family. Leave me alone.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2013, 02:03:18 PM »
I am done!
Gosh, thanks bunches.

I stand by my original point: why expect a positive outcome from such a negative message?

In case anyone else is unclear about this: I wasn't suggesting an experiment. I thought my repeated use of the word "imagine"in the broad scenario I laid out in the OP made that obvious. I don't believe that I've come across as placing all the blame for this on religion, in fact I've made it a point to mention media at least twice.

I also wasn't implying that all religions do this exact thing. This kind of messaging is certainly not limited to religion, but that's generally the way we approach things on this site.

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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2013, 02:45:45 PM »
Rock on Grandma!

Reinforcement theory is so widely accepted (from an overwhelming amount of evidence from studies) it's not really even subject to debate anymore, by and large. Which isn't to say that it couldn't be improved on, just that we have plenty of rational reasons to keep it's principles in mind.

Religion shouldn't be the exception any more than media advertising should. I didn't choose to major in Communications on a whim; these are things I think are really important. Messages matter.

This is such a huge duh.  Don't treat people like crap and maybe, just maybe they won't turn around and crap on you.  Religion does not have to be a factor.  Just basic human decency.  Just be fricken decent to each other.  When then hell did that become the exception in interaction instead of the rule?  Accept each other instead of looking for reasons to exclude each other or find offense.  Find the good that exists in people instead of pointing out and ridiculing every bad detail.  Be willing to share with people who have less rather than the fucking greedy "I earned mine and am not opening my grubby hands to let go of one dime for your lazy ass" philosophy that seems to prevail now.  I am so sick of the vicious attitudes I see.  I don't imagine it will ever get any better.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2013, 02:53:05 PM »
I agree with everything you said and I think it has to start with actually believing that the good is there.
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2013, 03:00:56 PM »
When I was at my SPAG  and Cherry Picking stage I came across this site.  They are the Ultimate Cherry Pickers to hang on to Christianity while spitting out or revising all the bad stuff in the Bible.  But they really seem like nice people.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/about-unfundamentalist-christians/
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2013, 03:02:53 PM »
I agree with everything you said and I think it has to start with actually believing that the good is there.


That's my own personal hang up right now.  I have a long road to travel before I see the overall good again.  Not sure if I will make it.  I may be permanently jaded by what I am going through.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 03:04:31 PM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2013, 03:22:23 PM »
More than anyone else I know Lori, you have earned the right to think that most people suck right now. I hope you have reason to believe otherwise someday, I really do.

You're too far away for a real one, so please take an internet one in it's place: {{{hug}}}
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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2013, 04:08:45 PM »
I am done!
Gosh, thanks bunches.

I stand by my original point: why expect a positive outcome from such a negative message?

In case anyone else is unclear about this: I wasn't suggesting an experiment. I thought my repeated use of the word "imagine"in the broad scenario I laid out in the OP made that obvious. I don't believe that I've come across as placing all the blame for this on religion, in fact I've made it a point to mention media at least twice.

I also wasn't implying that all religions do this exact thing. This kind of messaging is certainly not limited to religion, but that's generally the way we approach things on this site.

I think your point was perfectly clear, your ideas were not confusing. Sometimes, people make things much, much harder than necessary. ;D

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline jdawg70

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2013, 04:48:22 PM »
This is such a huge duh.  Don't treat people like crap and maybe, just maybe they won't turn around and crap on you.  Religion does not have to be a factor.  Just basic human decency.  Just be fricken decent to each other.  When then hell did that become the exception in interaction instead of the rule?  Accept each other instead of looking for reasons to exclude each other or find offense.  Find the good that exists in people instead of pointing out and ridiculing every bad detail.  Be willing to share with people who have less rather than the fucking greedy "I earned mine and am not opening my grubby hands to let go of one dime for your lazy ass" philosophy that seems to prevail now.  I am so sick of the vicious attitudes I see.
Not to be that guy, but if you look at the entirety of human history, I think it's pretty clear that "Be excellent to each other" has always been the exception rather than the rule.  For one reason or another, be it instinctual tribalism (you're not part of our community, GTFO), irrational fear of the unknown (eek-a-brown-person!), rational fear of the unscrupulousness of others (is that charity fund for Katrina really legit?[1]), or whatever other reason you can come up with for why we distrust our fellow man, we as a society have not gotten our heads out of our collective asses and decided to make it the rule.

Quote
I don't imagine it will ever get any better.
Start with imagining what it would look like if it gets better.  Then start imagining in what ways it could get better.  Then start convincing others to play the same game.  Eventually, that game will spread.  Some people playing the game will then turn around and do things like write stories, blog posts, make films, write music, or do other things to try to inspire others to work towards that same goal.  Eventually some smart and/or compassionate people will figure out how to translate those imaginings into something actionable.  Some actions will conflict with other actions, and society will have to take some steps back and retry other actions, but hopefully society will do it's best to pull it's head out of it's ass and real progress will eventually happen.

This is the stuff of dreams that play out over generations.  Perhaps you or I will not see any real progress in our lifetimes.  But we're the stepping stones to that realizable future, right now.

That's the hope anyway.  Take it as you will.
 1. http://www.scambusters.org/hurricanekatrinascams.html

Online Jag

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Re: The fundamental flaw seems obvious to me
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2013, 05:08:50 PM »
Not to be that guy, but if you look at the entirety of human history, I think it's pretty clear that "Be excellent to each other" has always been the exception rather than the rule.  For one reason or another, be it instinctual tribalism (you're not part of our community, GTFO), irrational fear of the unknown (eek-a-brown-person!), rational fear of the unscrupulousness of others (is that charity fund for Katrina really legit?[1]), or whatever other reason you can come up with for why we distrust our fellow man, we as a society have not gotten our heads out of our collective asses and decided to make it the rule.
 1. http://www.scambusters.org/hurricanekatrinascams.html

Oooooh! I know you're actually talking to LPA, but I want to grab hold of this: if you look at the entirety of human history, I think it's pretty clear that "Be excellent to each other" has always been the exception rather than the rule.

I completely agree. The only difference between then and now is this: we have access to the full body of information on human motivations and behaviors that has been gathered to date, almost literally at our fingertips. We KNOW that reinforcement is a real phenomenon, we KNOW that conditioning is effective, and we allow institutions to use that knowledge in the most abusive ways possible.

To an extent, we're ALL indoctrinated - it's virtually impossible to avoid all the negative images of self we're faced with every day. That religion, promoting itself as the solution to life's problems, uses this same tactic that we (I?) find so offensive when we (I?) see it in marketing is a matter of endless fascination to me.

I can't parse it as anything but abusive and vile, and counterproductive to their stated aims - but there's no denying it works. So why not apply the same energy to actually giving people some REAL hope - by reminding them of their innate value rather than their innate worthlessness? What possible harm could be done by simply using the power of suggestion to promote "good", routinely and with some fricking sincerity?

***sorry for the rant-y tone as the post progressed. General rant, not specific or targeted at anyone, in any way!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 05:12:05 PM by Jag »
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.