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Featured Religious Manipulation?

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

  1. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    No. If anything, it would do the opposite.

    If someone is properly religious about their religion (that is, devoted to it as opposed to it just being a superficial label) it is an anchor for one's entire way of life. It provides a strong set of values, narratives, practices, and a community that defines who one is and who one belongs to. This anchoring makes one far less likely to do something against that well-defined and deeply-held way of life. One would be too conscious and self-aware of identity and belonging to be easily coerced in to betraying one's nature.

    If on the other hand one doesn't have a religion, one has no well-defined sense of who who one is and who one belongs to. There's no strong set of values, narratives, practices, or community to define oneself and one's place in the world. One could be manipulated in pretty much any direction because one lacks any strong identity or sense of belonging to anything.

    At this point it's worth mentioning that very few adult humans lack a religion because of how vital a central anchor is for human functioning as a social, self-aware animal. Humans (mostly) don't reach adulthood without having a good sense of who they are and what they belong to. They have a religion, even if they don't call it their religion. If we look at what religion does in people's lives - addressing big existential questions through stories, practices, values, and community - we all have it (mostly).
     
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  2. Bird123

    Bird123 Well-Known Member

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    You are right. There are many many factors. Let's go over a few.

    Religious people are taught to value Beliefs over all else. They are taught to Accept not question. They are taught to Follow rather than choose their own path. This sets up a condition where thinking is not required. It's easy to manipulate a person that does not think.

    An atheist seems to question more so would be harder to manipulate. On the other hand, they too have been manipulated by religion into valuing their belief that God does not exist which could result in a narrow view.

    Religion and many parents have been teaching people to value beliefs for a very long time. I would say most have been influenced or corrupted in some way.

    Next, religion sets up a we are good: they are bad situation. Many want to be important. Many want to be good. If they are rotten, we are good, special, and loved for it. Some would do anything to sustain that view of goodness. If they recite, follow, and hold onto those beliefs others say make them good, they will feel good about themselves. Would you do anything to be Special??

    This world is about learning and growing as people. Many have not learned that it is not right to hate, kill or hurt others. When one thinks one has God's backing, one can justify anything and will act.

    Some are on a quest for power. Everybody wants to rule the world. What better way to get power than acquire an army of followers willing to follow? What better way than to convince others it's what God wants. Would you do anything for God? All one has to do is be convinced one is really doing goodness. How many armies have been told they are on a mission from God? Wouldn't those on that mission be Special??

    I guess it all comes down to the petty things mankind holds so dear. Things like Judging, Hating, Controlling, Intimidating, Coercing. Manipulating, Greed, Being Self Centered, Selfish, Power Hungry, Uncaring, Heartless, and the list goes on and on.

    Are these petty things really the way to a Higher Level?? In a multilevel classroom, one will see others learning lessons around those petty things that we have already learned. Those petty choices will bring hard lessons that will point them toward a Higher Level.

    For those of us who must watch, it is just a reminder of what the best choices really are. This is no time to hate. It's time to copy God by placing Truth all around them and pointing them in the right direction.

    That's what I see. It's very clear!!
     
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  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    My "religion" would then be family and friends. Helping, supporting, caring. To not cause any unnecessary trouble for other folks. And finally, find peace and happiness. One is free to use whatever ideas/concepts they find helpful in achieving those goals.
     
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  4. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Religion and religious beliefs are primarily responsible for people committing violet acts, because it goes to the core of humanity - the spirit.
    When you can reach a man's spirit, you can manipulate his very thinking, in a direction he is inclined to.

    However, I think the mistake most humans make, is not fully understanding what religion is.
    If we understand what religion is, then it would help us put the picture in proper perspective.

    Religion is a form of worship.
    So what we give reverence and adoration to - what becomes our god - becomes part of our worship.
    Is patriotism a form of religion?

    Hence Atheist would not be exempt from this manipulation.
    Their spirit is affected by the message "preached", which causes them to act in unison with that message.

    Religion can however be a positive force for good, if it is connected to truth.
    Has Religion Betrayed God and Man?

    All that being said, there are "good" people in all religion. They just need to find the acceptable one... and they are doing so.
     
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  5. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I feel I know when someone is trying to manipulate me against what would otherwise be my natural behavior. I also think most people feel this way. I lot of it happen, IMO, on a subconscious level. So maybe I don't always, 100%

    Generally, though, I'm aware of the attempt.

    Also, I realize not all manipulation is bad. Still don't like it but I realize sometimes people are attempting to do so for your benefit.

    Very few times when dealing with religious folks has the attempt at manipulation been good. The best interactions I've had with religious folks have been when there is no attempt at manipulation what so ever.
     
  6. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Adherence to any ideology, or membership of any group, can lay people open to manipulation and violence, especially as part of a crowd of like-minded people. I'm not persuaded that religions are special in that respect.

    Football fans? Proud Boys? Bullingdon Club? Ku Klux Klan?
     
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  7. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I believe in persuasion, as opposed to manipulation. ;)
     
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  8. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Yes. The moment your are told to believe "Our way is the highway" you are manipulated/brainwashed AND spiritual ego is installed; not reversible.
     
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  9. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    I would say a lot of religions indoctrinate children, discouraging both critical thought and questioning authority.
     
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  10. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Some good questions in there.

    Firstly, I’d like to mention that true religion is a call to live, unity and kindness. And true religion, as I understand it, is what the Prophet Himself taught not the priests, ministers, clergy or scholars.

    What the Prophets teach is always to use our own minds not to blindly follow otyers so if we adhere to this principle we are very unlikely to be easily manipulated, if at all.

    Again, religion teaches love, kindness, compassion and kindness only.

    However, once people ceased to follow the Founder and instead followed priests and clergy, then they were blindly led into wars and violence. Had they remained faithful to the Prophet, then none of this war and aggression would have ever eventuated.


    As history has shown, it is the clergy that is against the truth, they are the ones who crucify Prophets and turn the people against Them, against These Essences of Goodness.
     
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  11. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Most definitely.
     
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  12. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Its great that you read.

    But as you probably would agree Sam's scholarship is absolutely poor on this matter. If you study sociology of religion you would see that based on a societies needs they communicate in the protocol of their religion whatever it is. The religion per say does not lead to violence, the people use religion as a protocol to be violent or peaceful depending on their sociological need.

    Let me give you an example. There was a terrorist group called the LTTE and they were by far the most dangerous terrorist group in the world. They murdered 180,000 innocent people, invented the suicide jacket, assassinated the prime minister of India with a suicide bombing, almost invade Maldives, etc, etc.

    How was this done? The leader and his family who ran this were Christian, adherents were Hindus and Christians, the ideology was Leninist. So Christianity was used, Hinduism was used as protocol for the cause. This is a well researched fact.

    But Christianity cannot cause violence or peace. Not Hinduism either. It is the people, and in this case, religion becomes a protocol.
     
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  13. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    This is certainly one possibility. But I don't agree this can all be explained away with sociological factors. Protocols don't run themselves. Words don't run themselves. There either exist a proper reading of a text and body of authority......or there doesn't.

    Say for example someone created a religion that had such simple and perspicuous instructions (book) that it needed no authority to oversee it. But yet somehow, someone managed to misinterpret it anyways (as humans do with ALL texts, not just holy texts) and use it as a means to promote violence. Should we attribute this to the religion?

    Absolutely we should.

    Why? Because it was flawed to begin with. No text can rise up and say you misunderstood me. No society functions this way. No complex system that has humans in it operates this way or can operate this way.

    So if I read the Talmud and I see something that promotes violence for example, it would be incumbent upon me to go to the authoritative body to see if what I have understood is correct. That is at least a self-correcting system even if you don't agree with the authoritative body.

    That's why I said that it depends on how the religion is structured and varying factors.
     
  14. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    The teachings of the religion is not just about the stories of the past, but also both the moral lessons that the stories try to teach by example. These lessons teach us about human nature both the good and the bad. The good and bad is often personified as characters in the stories; Jesus and Devil.

    In terms of manipulation, these lessons of human nature, which do not change over time, makes one less susceptible to manipulation, since one can sense it in the humans, who will do the manipulating.

    Does anyone remember the collusion delusion manipulation? How many atheist were sucked in? You had no lesson ti rely on for this type of manipulation. This type of hate scam, is not new to the bible and many other religious books, since it is part of the dark side of human nature. Hitler created hate for the Jews to blind people to their humanity, so they would willingly bear false witness. The Pharisee did this to Jesus. This is from gar dark side of human nature.

    The violence in America cities come from the Godless. They have convinced themselves, with a little push from the propaganda machine, that the ends justifies the means. A good religion teaches one ways to avoid these pitfalls and not run with the dark side. Religion is why the Trump hater right, was able to adjust faster than the godless left, who has no conscience training.
     
  15. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Brother. I was not making assumptions. Sociology of religion is a huge field of study and many have had Phd's in the field.
     
  16. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Manipulation is subtle. Advertisers know this all too well. An individual may not realise he's been manipulated at all, while a neutral observer can see it clearly.
     
  17. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Nor did I think you were. I've been in some of these courses myself and with some of the very people who have the Phd's. I can tell you with complete certainty that if you don't get the mechanics of the religion right, you can't get the sociology right. It's a tool at best, but it's not complete.
     
  18. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Its actually the other way around.

    You have a point, but that is in theology, not sociology of religion. Since you have studied this subject, what you say is not relevant when it comes to subjects like political religion, religious nationalism, and post secular society. Most prominent writings that examine religion and globalization tend implicitly to conflate the study of global religion and the comparative sociology of religion. If you go through some of the case studies using as you probably know analytical generalisations lets say the Robert Bellah study would show you the exact opposite of what you have just stated. You would know that in your class they probably used Bryan Turner and James Beckford as text books so they are honestly at odds with you.

    I am not gonna go into specific matters but please consider. Have a great day. I appreciate your humility honestly. Its refreshing.
     
  19. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    In Christianity, for example, it depends from the church you're going to.
    Bible says in 1 Thess. 5:21, we should be sceptical.
    But there are many churches that won't teach that, it appears to me.

    But still, if someone wants to manipulate, they can go ahead and open the Bible. You can use the same book to do harm to people... or use it as a blessing, I think.
     
  20. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    And another fact is, that as long as the Master/Prophet is alive, teachings are at its purest. The moment He dies, things get easily corrupted.

    Following others indeed is a sure path to loose yourself. Best and safest is to establish a personal connection with the Divine.
     
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