Author Topic: Why Worship?  (Read 4349 times)

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Offline Truth OT

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Why Worship?
« on: March 01, 2018, 11:53:28 AM »
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

Offline albeto

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 01:24:59 PM »
The answer, as I understood it as a xian, was because the more we focus on the deity, the more we are in tune with its mind and will. If you have kids, you'll recognize that knee-jerk worry that comes when you find one of their friends is a bit farther from your comfort zone than from theirs, and the fear is your kids would emulate those unsavory behaviors. Because we pick up what surrounds us.
/theist hat

The answer as I believe it now is that we're really not in charge of what we believe. We believe what we believe because we conclude what is true about reality from information we extrapolate from the world. We apply our experiences into the equation. We interject theories and predictions into incomplete data and constantly make assumptions. And when our brain finds a particularly compelling argument, it assigns it the value of "truth." For the same reason you can't force yourself to believe in the ancient gods of Southern Africa, a xian can't force themselves to believe the world is the result of billions of years of cause and effect from perfectly natural events. Belief is the consequence of thought.

Religions take this natural process and encourages a cessation of thought. Putting one's time and energy into prayer, for example, takes the focus off analyzing events and puts it on comforting thoughts instead. Worship works to channel positive and negative emotions and assign them values within a religious narrative. These activities suppress critical thinking in order to maintain that cognitive focus on the claims, on the promises, on the hopes and fears rather than on the discrepancy between the claim and reality. Add to that all that intermittent reward stuff opperant conditioning explains, which is like catnip to our brains, and worship functions to keep individuals in the group by reinforcing groupthink in conjunction with emotional manipulation.

So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 01:28:33 PM »
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader. 

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 01:36:15 PM »
So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.

Yeah I think that makes a lot of sense - and the people celebrate at least once a week.  It's also true that you stop thinking about your position when the exact same message is pounded into your brain week after week after week.  I remember thinking that even as a Christian - this is so boring.  It's the same thing every week.  The pastors did their best to remind us that we should never stop being appreciative and the thank yous must never stop.

But - in our lives, if you do an incredible favor(s), even life-changing, for someone, would you want them thanking you incessantly every day or week?  No, it's just overkill and not necessary.  In fact, it comes across as really weird after awhile, maybe even annoying and intrusive. 

Online Fiji

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 02:44:12 PM »
In monotheism, it makes no sense ... unless you assume this one god to be a complete nutcase. Creator deities with mental illnesses ... could be the basis for a kick-ass TV series.

In polytheism is makes perfect sense. There, you have competing gods. And I can imagine that people would think that the god with 10000 worshippers would be more awesome than the god with just 500 followers. And the god with the huge, well decorated temple would be more awesome than the god whose altar is in a shed in the woods somewhere.

Of course, at his core, Yahweh IS a polytheistic god ... and the worship aspect carried over from when the Hebrew still had multiple gods.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 02:48:12 PM »
very good post, albeto.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 04:10:27 PM »
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 06:55:17 PM »
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.
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 jetson

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 08:23:30 PM »
This also goes along with the idea that God is perfection. Perfection would not need worship. In fact, it could be argued that perfection would require nothing, and thus be nothing. What is conceivably more logically perfect than nothing?

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 09:27:47 PM »
The Hebrew God is more about you having to cleanse your sins. When you cleanse your sins, you live a longer life and get free stuff.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline Nick

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 10:23:13 PM »
The Hebrew God is more about you having to cleanse your sins. When you cleanse your sins, you live a longer life and get free stuff.
Why can't I just send it out to the dry cleaners?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline junebug72

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 08:13:33 AM »
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

Without worship preachers/thieves would not have a career and/or control.  >:(

Without worship there would be no hope for mankind.  &) &) &)
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Take a look at yourself, and then make a change...
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 08:29:06 AM »
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.
now I think that has some truth to it.   
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 01:20:05 PM »
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 05:25:05 PM »
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

It depends on whether they lean liberal or conservative.  Money would definitely play in to it either way.
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 Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2018, 11:36:34 PM »
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.

The only reason we exist is to bear witness to His glory. Because.......apparently He thinks He's the greatest thing since before sliced bread but desperately needed to create other beings in order to validate His own self esteem.

Imagine His disappointment with us at this moment.

We were created for a purpose by God!

I just do what I always do, what I have always done. I am me. Take it or leave it.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2018, 11:44:06 PM »
I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Check out my avatar.
I just do what I always do, what I have always done. I am me. Take it or leave it.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2018, 08:42:37 AM »
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

It would look like a vibrator. Good, good, good, good vibrations. OMG!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 08:52:38 AM by junebug72 »
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Online Fiji

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2018, 06:45:11 AM »
I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Check out my avatar.

Your avatar always makes me think of a newer, gentler Big Brother who smiles at you ... right before HAVING YOUR FACE EATEN BY RATS!!!
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Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2018, 12:26:28 PM »
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.

The only reason we exist is to bear witness to His glory. Because.......apparently He thinks He's the greatest thing since before sliced bread but desperately needed to create other beings in order to validate His own self esteem.

Imagine His disappointment with us at this moment.

We were created for a purpose by God!

Agreed, extremely strange concept.  I've gotten a similar response, and then ask why he created dinosaurs, cats, dogs, and so on.  Were they created to worship him too? Doubtful - maybe they were created for his own amusement?  Maybe God liked watching the fighting of dinosaurs for 150 million years?  Like Trump with the opposing views on import tariffs for steel and aluminum, he likes conflict?  I've never gotten a good answer for that.  He created us to worship him - why not stop there?  Why create any other animals that could kill us, if he wants us to worship him?  Why lions bears, snakes, deadly bacteria, etc.?  That's where some further issues really start arising, unless you say those that don't worship him get killed by these beings as punishment?  I dunno.

Then you have the issue of theists saying we worship people like Sam Harris or Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It's silly to say we worship them - we admire them, and their hard work and dedication.  For the most part, I think that admiration has been earned.  We admire people who hone a craft and reach great heights of success.  That is all sensible and rational.

Why should we worship a being that we don't even admire?  Those that claim to worship God - is it out of respect, or fear?  That's not real worship or admiration.  It's a survivalist mentality.  It's like the boss that tells so-so jokes, but you laugh at them because he holds your immediate future in your hands.  You can't really say "that joke was terrible."  Not every boss is like this - but a lot of them are.  I think of that whenever I think of this God that people claim to worship.  Deep inside, are they really thinking he's incredibly unreasonable - like that boss that expects you to fall in line no matter what?




Offline Nick

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2018, 01:51:43 PM »
God has this contract with us.  Kind of like Trump does with his hookers.  Non disclosure.  We worship the God thing or It sends us to a Lake of Fire.  Simple.  Did those of you questioning this not read the fine print?  You have Free Will.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2018, 03:18:18 PM »
God has this contract with us.  Kind of like Trump does with his hookers.  Non disclosure.  We worship the God thing or It sends us to a Lake of Fire.  Simple.  Did those of you questioning this not read the fine print?  You have Free Will.

LOL...yeah the fine print is the stuff in red right? It's weird Jesus's words would be in red - when I think red, I think threats, anger, hell and the devil.  Why not make it green or another color?

On your free will point, I love how Christians say we have free will, then will freely concede, even offer up, points like a person who has been sexually abused is more likely to be an abuser themselves, or a person who is gay has to combat a struggle much like someone with alcoholism, etc.  Where's the free will? 

I'd also wonder if people in North Korea have free will?

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2018, 07:31:59 PM »
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Well, given that the last semi-major religions to come along are probably Mormon and Scientology, there would probably be aliens and not a whole lot of common sense.

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2018, 08:32:01 PM »
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Well, given that the last semi-major religions to come along are probably Mormon and Scientology, there would probably be aliens and not a whole lot of common sense.

Almost certainly true.  You made me think of Heaven's Gate and Marshall Applewhite.  He said there was a spaceship at the end of the Hale-Bopp comet that would take their spirits to another planet after committing suicide. 

Are the ones willing to make the biggest sacrifices for their religion the biggest believers?  The ones truly willing to walk the walk?  The Stephens of Christianity?  I don't see many of those, but more "Great sermon.  OK anybody up for 18 holes?"

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2018, 10:47:25 PM »

Are the ones willing to make the biggest sacrifices for their religion the biggest believers?  The ones truly willing to walk the walk?  The Stephens of Christianity?  I don't see many of those, but more "Great sermon.  OK anybody up for 18 holes?"

That is very telling in reference to those Christians who want to say that the number of people who were supposedly martyred for their belief in Jesus is some sort of proof that makes their story the truthiest .

Offline YRM_DM

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2018, 03:47:13 AM »
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.

Social science was in the stone ages... might made right... leaders needed some non-monetary way to encourage and enforce blind obedience.  If they invented a god that demanded adoration and obedience, and the king or prophet was the mouthpiece of that god?   If you reward blind obedience with god's favor or some imagined door-prize like heaven... then you've got a mass of humanity ready to do your bidding and tell you how great you are while doing it.

How better to get young men to charge into a wall of spears?
How better to get people to peacefully accept being slaves, or being poor?
How better to get poor people to pay over massive taxes to corrupt rich leaders?

Definitely sounds a bit like there were a few Trumps in the initial mix of leaders back in the Holy Book writing days... say whatever the hell will get enough people to fall in line, whether it's true or a non-stop stream of lies.

If Liberals and Democrats could EVER... EVER solve the problem of 100% of the cost of well meaning social programs being 100% dodged  (price gouging, country fleeing, tax dodging, price raising, research cutting, job cutting, budget cutting... while the CEO takes the same bonus or golden parachute) by the rich and major corporations... and 100% of that cost passed along to the middle class, who can't avoid it?

You'd never see another Republican in office again.  We'd be officially free from the tribal level narcissists if that problem could be acknowledged and solved.



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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2018, 03:24:03 PM »

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline Jag

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2018, 03:32:31 PM »
the glory explanation is as good as any other.
So, also crappy. Got it.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2018, 01:08:59 PM »

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.

that's curious since most if not all religions make the creation of humans very central to the mix, when they try to claim just how special believers are.     The "glory" explanation makes for a rather pathetic god, just a human writ large that needs things.   

Your history doesn't speak well about your intentions here, but I can hope  you'll participate in a discussion. 
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