Another question, if I may...

by AGuest 97 Replies latest jw friends

  • AGuest

    And may you all have peace! This is another general question for the board and I ask your indulgence because I am trying to understand how others think. Thank you!

    If there truly is no God/god... what is wrong with the existence of religion? Now, I absolutely do NOT condone religion - I do believe it is a "snare and a racket". But can't we say the same thing about, say, the beauty... or pharmaceutical... industries? What about the junk food industry? The fast food industry? I mean, sans God... religion really isn't anything more than another industry selling its "goods", right? Just like the others (beauty, drugs, junk food, etc.), they are in the "business" of "selling" such things as hope, comfort, dreams, etc. Just like these others, they make promises of "better times", but are actually tricking you... if not killing you... in the long run. Which you pay for.

    The beauty industry promises the ILLUSION of beauty, youth, and health (looking).

    The drug industry... beyond those drugs that actually correct/cure/allow one to bear illness... promises that you WILL feel better, if not GET better... even though you may have to go through a buttload of them to "get there"... and very often you don't. Or... you must take them the rest of your life... and the side effects end up killing you if the drug itself doesn't.

    What about junk/fast food? The "hope" that you WILL be cool... you WILL have more money to spend... you CAN and so WILL do more. Oh, and your kids will absolutely LOVE you!

    Someone might say, yeah, well, people CHOOSE these things. But they CHOOSE religion, also (excluding the kids, of course). Someone might say, "Yeah, but they don't kill you, actually... or at least, not right away." Excluding the drugs, I would agree. But then I would ask, what about the tobacco and alcohol industries? Those absolutely kill... and not just the user. They are responsible for the death of millions... including those who NEVER drank (via auto and other accidents) or smoked (via second-hand smoke). And what of war-mongering... regardless of whether we "approve" of the particular government or not? That kills people, too... and not always on the basis of religion, but power, land, ethnicity, and more.

    If there is NO God/god, then... I would like to know what some of you think it any different from all of the other commerical enterprises out there. If some of the leaders are just taking advantage of people who perhaps have a spiritual need... how is that different from those who take other kinds of advantages of people? If there is no God/god... shouldn't they be allowed to exist, too, simply because of "law" of supply and demand? People WANT religion - why shouldn't they HAVE it?

    If there is no God/god, what "crime" are they actually committing... and why is it worse than that of certain other industries, if it is.

    I look forward to your comments/responses.

    Again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,

    SA, who isn't trying to argue FOR religion, but just don't see why it's any more of a "monster" than some other industries. My personal position is that it is the crimes against God... due to the crimes against their fellowman in the NAME of God... that makes them different...


    Good Morning Shelby!..

    Good Question..

    If I think about looking at Religion as a Business..

    My conclusion is..

    The other business`s don`t Threaten My Life,if I don`t use their Products or Services..

    I`m not a Big Fan of Extortion..

    Would you Like to Join our Religion or..

    Would you Like to Die?..

    ....................... ...OUTLAW

  • PSacramento

    I think the issue is NOT religion but ORGANIZED relgion.

    There isn't even a standard and agreed up definition of religion:

    ^ While religion is difficult to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who simply called it a "cultural system" (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973). A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." (Talal Asad, The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category, 1982.)

    as such:

    Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values. [ 1 ] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.

    The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviors, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture.

    Any ideology can be viewed as a religion, even a personal one, if it has a public aspect to it.

  • PSacramento

    a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

  • journey-on

    Interesting point of view, Shelby. I definitely see your point. But, shouldn't religion come with some kind of WARNING! label similar to what is on a pack of cigs or bottle of alcohol? Or, perhaps a Disclaimer

    I don't know about other parts of the country, but the churches around here are heavily involved in charitable endeavors. Even if someone does not believe in God, association with a church that focuses on community and altruistic acts rather than burdensome doctrine is rewarding. One in particular has a huge sign out front that reads, Free Produce for the Needy. They distribute fresh veggies and fruit and if you have a surplus from your garden, you can drop it off there and they will make sure someone in need will get it.

  • PSacramento

    I have seen the good in almost every religion ( I say almost because I have NOT expereinced every religion) and I have seen the bad in alsmot every religion.

    It is quite amazing how the good and the bad are almost identical regardless of religion.

    The common element? People.

    Those that take the good from a religion will be good and those that take the bad will be bad.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Along with Outlaw's excellent answer, I have to say the terms being discussed are disconnected.

    "Murder is bad, but so is Kentucky Fried Chicken. You tolerate KFC, so why not tolerate murder?"

    In the sentences above, one has nothing to do with the other. So it goes with saying religion is bad, but so are other things. There's nothing wrong with saying that, but implying that we should tolerate it's existence because we tolerate industries that are bad is a non sequitur.

    Sure, the beauty industry wastes money and promotes false happiness, so there is that comparision. Or similarly with the others mentioned.
    But it doesn't get us to your inquiry: "If there is NO God/god, then... I would like to know what some of you think it any different from all of the other commerical enterprises out there." Those are strawmen thrown in.

    Those are not the windmills of the atheist Don Quixotes out there.

  • sabastious
    I mean, sans God... religion really isn't anything more than another industry selling its "goods", right?

    Religion is a narcotic and drugs are supposed to be "illegal."


  • sabastious
    If there is no God/god, what "crime" are they actually committing... and why is it worse than that of certain other industries, if it is.

    Only when religion infringes upon our freedom of speech, or any other recognized human right, does it become a "crime" in my book.


  • Mr. Falcon
    Mr. Falcon

    Hey Shelby, (reese's pieces to you! haha get it? huh?....... oh nevermind)

    Anywho, I am actually reading some information right now on different hypothesis' concerning the origins of religion. If there is no God, then just where did religion originate? Fascinating question when you look at it from a scientific standpoint, regardless of whether you are an athiest or a believer. I believe that if (IF) there is no God, religion is essentially a by-product of some sort of social evolution. If that is the case, then any other industry or culture would be the product of similiar social conditioning and natural selection.

    Now if there is a God, then surely man was created with a need to worship Him. But then you could also ask the question (depending on which part of the world you live in) just WHO is God? Is he Yahweh? Allah? Budda? James Woods?

    Who's to say?

    I would agree with Outlaw in that I have a special vehemance against any organization which would extort a person using fear and guilt. And in particular I am referring to the WTBS. However, when you look at how industries and corporations rape and decimate 3rd World cultures, it's easy to see that A LOT of what man has set up, God or no God, is pretty nasty. But so as not to sound like a pessimist (of which I am) I also think that if you look at things realistically, man has accomplished much good.

    I hope all is well,


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