1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Religious Manipulation?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,519
    Ratings:
    +7,190
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Do you believe there is something in religious teachings, mainly referring to the Abrahamic faiths, which allows their followers to be more susceptible to being manipulated than non-believers?

    I'm talking about what is written. A passage we can look at and say this teaching makes it easier for others to manipulate the followers of this religion to for example commit violent acts.

    Or is it possible the culture that has developed around a particular faith makes a follower more susceptible to manipulation?

    Or nothing about their belief makes them any more susceptible to manipulation than anyone else. For example, an atheist is as likely to be manipulated into committing a violent act as anyone else.

    A fourth possibility is that people who commit violent acts are aberrations. People who by their nature are violent and any violence attributed to them would happen regardless of their religious belief or lack thereof?

    Can religion cause people to act, violently for example, which otherwise, without their religious beliefs, they would not do so?

    I'm asking why you feel that way and what evidence you have, if any, to support your feelings.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    842
    Ratings:
    +631
    Religion:
    Hinduism
    Watched a documentary on relatively well-off, educated, tolerant, "progressive" Americans vs. those poor, badly-educated, often religious, living in rural areas, left behind by economic changes and rampant capitalism. Those feeling left behind often have a basic grudge against the "progressives", feeling angry, and then religion / bigotry comes into play, telling they're right because "God tells them so."

    When I studied in France, I lived in a banlieue , because housing was so expensive. It was just dreadful, but additionally, I was told that your application for a job won't even be considered to be opened when your adress is from one of the banlieues. So you have plenty of Africans and Arabs crowded together with no perspective, so the only thing they can be proud of is Islam.

    However, it doesn't help if the religion in question supports or demands violence against same-faith "hypocrites" and unbelievers.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,765
    Ratings:
    +1,338
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Sam Harris indicates as much in his book End of Faith. That there is no such thing as moderate Islam, only innovative interpretations of what Islam actually is. That at the end of the day, the moderates or more progressives have no recourse for their position other than to cannibalize the very religion they follow.

    I do think this applies to many religions, but I think both theist and non-theist alike don't completely understand the mechanisms at play (including Harris). Sometimes it can lead to violence, and other times it doesn't.

    It depends entirely not just on what is official teaching, but whether it has a mechanism to self-correct when it starts going south.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,767
    Ratings:
    +2,506
    Evolution has given us fight/flight response, see internet, this includes freeze so basically 1/3 of the population is prone to fight if feeling threatened.

    Evolution has given us the need for socialization which allows for us to be manipulated by organizations to benefit said organizations

    Evolution has given us a brain which requires time and concentrated thought to allow us overcome all our deficiencies if people would just learn to use it properly.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2020
    Messages:
    2,703
    Ratings:
    +1,252
    Teach them when they are young, and when they are old, they will not depart [will be unable to change that early programming]
    The majority of the fodder for the psychiatric industry comes from such early programming which runs counter to healthy self development, which is kind of self-evident, so no need to trot out any evidence or proofs... religion is a major source of these early traumas
    57272c130e3b6dd365d11823adcc862c.jpg
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    52,508
    Ratings:
    +22,921
    Religion:
    Love
    Traditionally most Abrahamic traditions have been taught with an authoritarian mind-set: don't question. Historically when we had kings, to question the king was a death sentence. The entire culture was suffused with unquestioning acceptance. And of course, the scriptures were interpreted in a way that emphasized that view.

    From the NT, though, we have "Doubting Thomas" as one of Jesus' disciples and that could be read to enshrine that it's just fine to doubt and want proof .

    Also, Islamic sufis for example expressed a different view of not swallowing doctrine but seeking truth:

    To those who seek truth in conventionalized religion:
    Until college and minaret have crumbled
    This holy work of ours will not be done.
    Until faith becomes rejection
    And rejection becomes belief
    There will be no true believer.

    - Abu Said

    Does Khuda live in the mosque?
    Then who who lives everywhere?
    Is Ram in idols and holy ground?
    Have you looked and found him there?
    Hari in the East, Allah in the West -
    So you like to dream.
    Search in the heart, in the heart alone:
    There live Ram and Karim.

    - Kabir

    Cross and Christians, end to end, i examined. He was not on the Cross. I
    went to the Hindu Temple, to the ancient pagoda. In none of them there was
    any sign. To the heights of Herat I went and to Kandhar, I looked. He was
    not on the elevation not on the low lands.

    Resolutely I went to summit of the fabulous mountain of Ka'af. There was
    only the dwelling of the Anqa bird.I went to Kaaba at Mecca. He was not
    there. I asked him from Avicenna the philosopher. He was beyond the range
    of Avicenna, I looked into my own heart. In that place I saw him.

    He was in no other place.

    - Rumi
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  7. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,519
    Ratings:
    +7,190
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    So do you feel it is more the culture than what is written?
     
  8. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,765
    Ratings:
    +1,338
    Religion:
    Catholic
    With regard to Judaic and Christian, this couldn't be further from the truth. We argue about everything. Councils were held, people were punched, anathemas were touted. There are countless examples of this.
     
  9. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2019
    Messages:
    659
    Ratings:
    +767
    Religion:
    None
    In my personal case, religion had been a manipulating factor for about 30 years of my life. I would attribute that to a combination of my upbringing along with the way I kept myself in check; self deception.

    I do feel there are certain religions and religious sects that are more manipulative than others in the way they try to control what is considered trusted information. In the particular version of christianity I was brought up in, if one gained too much knowledge, they were at risk of losing sight of god much like Solomon did. It's best to keep one's head down and don't think too deeply on things concerning what we disagree with, like evolution or humanism. Kind of culty, in retrospect.

    Now, most folks I've talked to who are ex or current christians (from my denomination and from others) didn't buy into it as heavily as I did, so a lot of that could have just been me. I'm sure psychology on an individual level plays a major role as well.

    With that said, all of this is entirely anecdotal, but it's my take.
     
  10. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,853
    Ratings:
    +1,083
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    That question also apply to some non-religious ideologies and philosophical systems.
     
  11. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    20,991
    Ratings:
    +14,892
    Religion:
    Druidry
    I feel like we need some more context here.

    When you say "manipulated" @Nakosis what, more precisely, do you mean? Not all "manipulations" are equal or have the same context.

    Obviously, all people are "manipulated" (in quotes because I think this is a terrible way to frame it) in favor of ideologies and values they support because of things like confirmation bias. This isn't unique to religion and equally present in irreligion. Equally obviously, all people are less able to be "manipulated" in ways that go against their favored ideologies and values unless they are coerced and blackmailed (also not unique to religion and equally present in irreligion). At the end of the day, all humans are incredibly easy to "manipulate."
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    11,436
    Ratings:
    +10,087
    Religion:
    none
    No.

    Humans are only intermittently rational and are susceptible to being manipulated because of the way our minds work.

    Ideologies of all kinds can do that though.

    The idea that violence is a legitimate method of social change is certainly not unique to religion. Also, the post-Enlightenment 'rationalisation' of violence and warfare gave us total wars and state terror.

    Human history shows it pretty clearly.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    52,508
    Ratings:
    +22,921
    Religion:
    Love
    Culture and the mind-set of the people involved. I'm reminded quite often about Abraham Lincoln's statement about religion and the Civil War and how the South used the Bible to prove that slavery was God's will and the North used the Bible to prove the opposite: Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God and each invokes His aid against the other.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    52,508
    Ratings:
    +22,921
    Religion:
    Love
    Among Jews, that's true. Among Christians we had heretics being burned for quite some time as the worst example. It's true Protestantism broke open the clergy's hold on doctrine and spread multiple ways of looking at the Bible. I was thinking of era before then.
     
  15. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,519
    Ratings:
    +7,190
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    I'm asking if people feel religion plays a part in making believers more susceptible to acting or behaving in ways that would otherwise not be in their nature to do. If so what is it about religion that makes them feel this way?
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  16. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    10,219
    Ratings:
    +6,144
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    All of the above. It's a complex web of reasons why some are more easily taken in, or why they have a particular mindset that makes them vulnerable, etc. I don't think it's necessarily restricted to the Abrahamic traditions though. I think it mostly, in the West in particular, has to do with educational exposure. In limited perceptions of the world, it's easier to sell someone on black and white answers in response to black and white thinking.

    You're seeing a lot in looking at all these factors, but I don't think it can be reduced to any one of them. Together, they all play a part.
     
  17. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,853
    Ratings:
    +1,083
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    Why do you single out religion? What if what you ask is common to some human ideologies including some religions and general human psychology and not just religion as such?
     
  18. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,519
    Ratings:
    +7,190
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Because some people see religion as a problem. I'm asking those that feel this way if they have evidence to back up that feeling.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,765
    Ratings:
    +1,338
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Religion as a whole had harsh applications of laws, including Judaism. Plenty of Councils were held in the era you speak and although harsh punishments were a reality, Councils were like a civil trial where both sides were heard. This wasn't uncommon at all.
     
  20. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,432
    Ratings:
    +477
    Religion:
    Disciple of Jesus
    It is interesting that modern culture Marxism, “climate change” and for example Covid issue are taught similarly. I don’t think it is limited to religions only.
     
Loading...