Religions are supposed to breed happiness. Why do they not do that?

by SpannerintheWorks 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • SpannerintheWorks

    From the JW's to the Catholics, happiness is promised!

    Religions are supposed to breed happiness. Why do they not do that?


  • obiwan

    I think the reason is that they are to busy trying to make everyone conform to there rules and guidelines. Focusing on the orginization not the individual.

  • Francois

    Here's the most complete complaint concerning compliance with religious dogma I think I've ever seen:

    There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to encourage group worship. And all live religions encourage human friendship, conserve morality, promote neighborhood welfare, and facilitate the spread of the essential gospel of their respective messages of eternal salvation.

    But as religion becomes institutionalized, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for evil are greatly multiplied. The dangers of formalized religion are: fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments; accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization; tendency to standardize and fossilize truth; diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church; inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers; tendency to form sects and competitive divisions; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority; creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude; fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness; the routinizing of religion and the petrification of worship; tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands; failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion; entanglement with functions of secular institutions; it creates the evil discrimination of religious castes; it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy; it fails to hold the interest of youth and gradually loses the saving message of the gospel of eternal salvation.

    Formal religion restrains men in their personal spiritual activities instead of releasing them for heightened service as kingdom builders as the Master required.

    Your comments?


  • anti-absolutist

    Interesting thoughts Francois.

    From my personal observation of different people from different religions, it seems that the more ABSOLUTE the religion, the further the people in it are from displaying UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. And people that are unable to love unconditionally do not seem to attract the type of energy that promotes happiness.

    Also, when people are so dogmatic in their thinking, it limits their ability to have an open mind. This leads to judging and condemning, other things that do not promote happiness in their souls. This is the way that I see it, anyway.


  • kls

    Religions mostly breed, money,self appointed prophets,control,lies,the attitude it's their way or no way, and they all swear they are the right religion.I do think there was a time long ago people were happy with a certain faith, then greed took over and being threatened with death or going to hell kinda puts a damper it.

  • mouthy

    Well as we were taught ( & I believe) religion is the opium of the people- but a relationship is not - for me it is comforting.....Just to know I have a friend in Jesus..Dont have to do ought but do unto others as I like them to do to me....

  • rocketman

    I often wondered why I wasn't happy as a jw, but instead felt the reverse. My wife wondered the same thing. I kept thinking "this is supposed to be the true religion; things aren't supposed to be this way" that is, the constant feelings of unworthiness, sadness, fatigue, and frustration.

    Francois, your post was a keeper. Definitely a powerful observation.

  • JamesThomas

    "Religion as practiced today deals in punishments and rewards. In other words, it breeds fear and greed -- the two things most destructive of spirituality." -- Anthony De Mello

  • Scully

    I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. The vast majority of religions practiced in the Western Hemisphere breed mainly one thing: GUILT. As an extension of that, many of them also breed SHAME.

    Who needs that? Doesn't life have enough challenges already??

    Love, Scully

  • JamesThomas

    If guilt and shame are followed to their root, there is fear. Fear of not doing what one is told to do. Fear of doing what one is told not to do. Fear is a cold and dark gem with many facets and faces.

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