Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dogmatic Amalgam of Thoughts (part II)

Back to this series, what i was trying to do is to boil down all my thoughts regarding religion into age groups, the first one dealt with children in religion. The focus was on some extreme examples. Even though in the average sense it leaves a lasting impression on a person.

As soon as a person starts hitting adult hood those Do's and Don't start hassling him more and more. Also his eyes open up on the world, while he was younger he was always seeing the world through the family filter. Everything in his perception has been shaped based on the opinion of his family. At this stage he starts reviewing and rebelling over everything trying to find his own place in the world and find an opinion that he can claim is his. Try to answer any of the why questions that he hopefully learned to not ask by now and you will be stumped.

Usually one of the first things that he tackles is his religious commitment, depending on his upbringing as a child it sets the limit of how far he can go with it. As a Muslim kid you might have conflicting emotions about simple things such as drawing, why can't I draw ? am not gonna kneel down to my drawing ? so whats the reason i can't draw humans ? If you are Jewish it might be why can't I have some cheeseburgers ? or if your Christian, So..... whats the connection between Santa and JC again ?

So that stage carries on in silence, a few small shifts from the point of origin, and no big steps are taken. Then begins the influence of the outside world taking over and the majority develop a duel standard when dealing with the world. one is the mask they show to their families and one that they show to their friends and society and his individuality gets strained between the two.

So as soon as the attachment from the family starts to weaken and more independence is established (usually around the college age) an introspective scrutiny to their experiences thus far takes place and sets the tone for how he is going to carry himself from then on.

At this point it some get floored by the realities of life and religion offers a secure and happy place for them. It helps them from facing reality and developing on their own, instead they prefer the child's mentality of being told what to do, and how to do it. Religion offers a parent's hand of sorts.

In it is comforting to find other people like you, who are facing similar difficulties in comprehending the world. It offers solidarity, but it takes the "awe" out of experiencing life. Some find the experience it self "awe" inspiring to be absolutely fair.
The danger in that view of the world is that its too simplistic, the world is not a black and white.
So trying to fit everything into those boxes eliminates logic process, you rely less and less on your experiences and more and more on your reference. The more loyal you are to your references the easier it is to accept extreme ideas without questioning.

Every coin has a good and a bad side, to shun one and parade the other just because it lessens the burden of holding to your belief is being biased.
If left unchecked it opens the door to abuse of the masses and cult behavior. It also closes the door on progress since you have a long tally of people who lived in different circumstances that you aspire to be like.

What baffles people the most is they are not able to talk rationally about the subject, the only way they are able to argue the subject at this point is through emotions. In the end they still claim to be more rational and level headed ! That form of escapism is fragile and self destructive in nurturing way, it allows your mentality to be assimilated in the crowd which for a person who finds facing reality to be draining is comforting setting. This is what nurtures the disconnect and creates a xenophobic society, and in turns protects the institutions.

These people are usually the most visible section of the religious community and they are the core propagator of the religious thought in society, and that applies anywhere anytime.
They are also the most zealous in criminalizing and announcing heresy that they are swift tongue in their usage of those terms. The reason for that is that they believe their sacrifices in this life time entails them to acquire a superiority status to the corrupt common that they live among.

Then we have the fence sitters, the religious middle. They are prefer to be conforming to their society. They are practicing or believing religiously, always trying to be politically correct. They candidly have admiration to the previous group since they feel that they are extraordinary in their ability to make the sacrifices that they were not willing to do to their religion.
They really feel that they are the please all crowd, but usually their complacency is what allows extremism to breed amok.
Their journey is much simpler and they find security in their origins. They hold tight to their teaching, but not too tight as to cripple their life style. They are the ones that think praying once a week is not too bad its better than nothing. They are prisoners of their environment, "I go to church because my wife thinks it will instill morals in the kids" kinda people.
In the end they hold on that double faced attitude since they hit puberty, and they never develop beyond that.

These wannabe crowd pleaser are actually loathed by both extremes for being what they are Hypocrites.

Then we have the hedonistic crowd, the fashionably religious crowd. who to them religion is a satisfaction of a hip image they aspire to maintain. They can gown any view depending on the time and place. These are usually brushed of from these arguments since they at least recognize that their ideas are not a central point to their lives more of a complimentary aid in living, and rightfully they don't involve themselves in the tussle. which doesn't make them hypocrites atleast to themselves.

Some unshackle themselves from all the views and look for something more they are usually the free thinkers. Some prefer to describe them as Lucifer's agents, they are the greatest threat to
a religious organization since they actually use logic and reasoning. If they are not convincing they will atleast prompt you to do your own research. They are the ones who really want to be left alone, they are the ones shunned by religion for who they are, they are the ones that tried to find logic in religion but their experience and knowledge came in the way.

and that is where my train wreck of thoughts just stalled. I had a strong Urge to keep this part rotting in the draft bin since i find it pointless and doesn't add anything but i thought its worth adding just for the comics

Since am still at that introspective stage i can't really talk about any experiences beyond that, all I can do is observe, and from what I observed in older people is that they treat religion as a tally book (maybe due to fearing the inevitable more than the youngsters) . They try to collect points like kids collecting trading cards, and it is funny how some conversations devolve to how many "points" such and such can get you ! Also the religious middle tend to move closer to the right as their life goes on.

In the end which ever path is treaded is a personal choice, religion is a choice. No one should be persecuted for the choices they make, they are responsible for those choices. When these choices extend to effect a whole community is when silence is no longer an option and that choice extends beyond the personal realm.

"Faith is often the boast of the man who is too lazy to investigate."
-- F. M. Knowles

cartoons from H.E.R.B

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  • well, the order you wrote here is true, but its true for a person living in a family oriented community, can you create a scene for a person living in europe, africa, far east and imagine how they look at it.. does it have to do with how you are brought up?

    for example if you go to europe or the states, you would find quite a lot of atheists, places were people would think you are stupid to believe in God. or if you come to the middle east you fear to say that you don't etc.. the structure you were raised upon has a hand in shaping your belief. i dont think that people choose their religions or how they think unless someone got them to think of why they think the way they think. and review what they have been doing...

    when they get to this stage and question themselves, even if someone was relying on his instincts,emotions,what has been instilled in him/her. it doesn't mean he was wrong as most of the people here raised to face the new teaching methods that strongly relies on evidence and critical and scientific method. i dont want to see it as THE only way to solve anything.

    the simplest form of it is when you say "i follow my heart on this" why can't one say, " i follow my inner calling that there is a God" and yet taken as credible. its has always been this way for years and years.

    By Blogger Tala, At 5/6/07 02:40  

  • Well in a way yes, this is more of my experience than anything else but it atleast applies to the united states and America in general. that point is interesting tho, might have to dig a bit deeper, am familiar with the Japanese and Chinese side a bit, and they are pretty family oriented and take their Shinto and Buddhism seriously. am clueless about the majority of Africa and Europe.

    atleast in the states it is a big deal if you profess atheism, you might lose a job and be ostracized from the community just for that. its really not as floral as it looks from the outside! when you are a kid you don't really have a choice but later on you do have a choice! you made a choice, i made a choice some other ppl made other choices but it is there !

    after that you kinda lost me, i read the two paragraphs alot of time and still can't understand the point you are making.

    thanks for the comment

    By Blogger No_Angel, At 5/6/07 15:45  

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