Attitudes towards "losing faith"

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Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#1  Postby zulumoose » Mar 09, 2017 2:01 pm

It seems to be a common theme among the religious, particularly modern christians, that you only have to open yourself up to god, or Jesus, or seek the truth, and he will "reveal himself" to you, such that you will have a relationship with him, and love him. Proof, or at least evidence for god is "all around you", etc, etc, etc.

Basically if this were true I reckon it would be a one way street, you could not stop believing no matter what happened to you after you had reached that point, unless you suspected that the feelings may not be real.

Yet - christians seem to have no problem at all accepting as fact that their peers can "lose faith" at any time, particularly during something tragic, but usually regain it as circumstances change.

How can this be so, if it is real? Why don't they find it ridiculous that someone can stop believing, if what they insist they experience is actually true? How is someone who they accepted as a peer, who then lost faith, and regained it, accepted as truthful? If the experiences were real the first time they couldn't stop believing, and if they were real the second time, everyone would realise the first time was false, and nobody seems to be talking about this or asking how this can be so?

So we are left with:- either they suspect the experience may not be real all along, and accept that others are the same (which would be dishonest) or they are prepared to completely ignore the obvious dishonesty in everyone who claims to have lost faith and regained the same faith.

What other options are there?

How do theists tackle this?
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#2  Postby Sendraks » Mar 09, 2017 3:33 pm

zulumoose wrote:It seems to be a common theme among the religious, particularly modern christians, that you only have to open yourself up to god, or Jesus, or seek the truth, and he will "reveal himself" to you, such that you will have a relationship with him, and love him. Proof, or at least evidence for god is "all around you", etc, etc, etc.

Basically if this were true I reckon it would be a one way street, you could not stop believing no matter what happened to you after you had reached that point, unless you suspected that the feelings may not be real


This is simply post-hoc bollocks on their part. They're claiming a process involving some sort of bar in behaviour of belief that one has to pass in order to be able to "believe" in god. Almost none of them went through any such experience, they just got indoctrinated, never questioned it and now come up with nonsenses like this to explain away the lack of belief in others.

As one guy famously said to Aron Ra about what it took for him to believe in god "you just keep telling yourself it is real until you accept it."

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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#3  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 09, 2017 3:53 pm

I attend church these days, as my interpretation of Christianity is compatible with my world view. If somebody's world view changes, and it is no longer compatible with their interpretation of their religion, they would have a crisis of faith. Cognitive dissonance is the cause of revised, conciliatory experience.
Arthur : All my life I've had this strange feeling that there's something big and sinister going on in the world. Slartibartfast : No, that's perfectly normal paranoia.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#4  Postby laklak » Mar 09, 2017 6:20 pm

Expecting anything resembling coherence or logic from religion is doomed to failure. The whole shitpile is based on illogic and incoherence.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#5  Postby TopCat » Mar 09, 2017 9:24 pm

As an ex-Christian, I can confirm that it had nothing to do with logic. The usual exhortation from the church was to "doubt your doubts". In other words, if you can doubt your faith, why can't you also doubt the reason for the doubt. With this dishonest psychological trick of equating one doubt (probably well-founded) with another (stated without justification), the brainwashing was maintained.

It was invariably combined with further exhortations to spend time with other believers in order to gain 'encouragement' (read, more brainwashing), and in reading the Bible (through which God will speak to you; read, yet more brainwashing).

Yuck.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#6  Postby zulumoose » Mar 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Yup

An "inspirational" image from a Christian I know, their whatsapp pic at the moment, is a picture of a lion with the words:-

"Let your FAITH roar so loud that you can't hear what doubt is saying"

To me this is identical to saying, put your fingers in your ears and say "La La La I can't hear you"

If you actively have to suppress doubt, isn't that admitting that you don't have good enough reasons to believe?
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#7  Postby TopCat » Mar 10, 2017 11:46 pm

zulumoose wrote:If you actively have to suppress doubt, isn't that admitting that you don't have good enough reasons to believe?

Clearly this is not only true, it's bleedin' obvious. Yet for quite a few years, I and other young people I knew, smarter than most, were utterly fooled, and not only that (shameful though I still find it), we did most of the fooling to ourselves.

It's staggeringly self-perpetuating, once it gets a hold, and the mistake made by people that have never fallen into the trap is to simply make rational arguments.

In doing so, they fail to truly understand the power of a visceral mixture of confirmation bias, peer-pressure, fear, and ambition, that creates a virtually impenetrable wall. The mocking and ridicule we read here, no matter how justified, just builds the wall thicker and higher.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#8  Postby Agrippina » Mar 13, 2017 12:28 pm

Last week, there was a dedication of some memorial in London, by the queen, with all of her family there to support her. I watched it, with the clerics intoning all the religious platitudes and choirs singing, bands playing, and thought "do these people actually believe all this, or is it merely for the pomp and ceremony." I think to a degree it's tradition, and clinging to rituals that keeps people attending church, or adhering to nonsense like Lent. What happens in a society where the queen is the "defender of the faith" if that society gives up the faith? What happens with the permission of God to make war on the enemies of that world, and the religion surrounding the honouring of the people who've fallen in a war that they've gone into despite knowing that they're giving up the only life they have?
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#9  Postby zulumoose » Mar 13, 2017 2:14 pm

Even worse at Hindu weddings, there are hours and hours of rituals with flowers and burning things, and dabbing and painting all sorts of stuff and prayers etc etc etc. I spoke to several old work colleagues about the process they had been through, and none of them had the slightest clue what all of it was for, but went along with it anyway.

England and probably most of the U.K. are de-facto atheist societies, people have cultural and social connections to the religion but the actual literal belief and attendance levels at institutions are very low. I think the average regular churchgoer in the U.K. was 65 a few years ago, and has probably aged since then, since there hasn't been any revival that I am aware of.

It's odd, England can be overwhelmingly atheist but formally religious, wheras America is formally secular, but overwhelmingly religious.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#10  Postby laklak » Mar 13, 2017 2:38 pm

There are plenty of religious nutters here, the last stats I read said about 26% of the population described themselves as "evangelical". But OTOH most people most assuredly do NOT live by those precepts. Basically they're lying hypocrites. That used car salesman who just sold the junker with a radiator full of oatmeal to the little old lady will be holding his hands up In Praise at the megachurch this Sunday. Fucking assholes. I really do not trust anyone who calls themselves "Christian", because in my experience the single biggest indicator of a pervert or conman is public Christianity. If you want to see Christians in all their malignant, misogynistic, racist, murderous best just sign on to Fox News and read the comments. They are, for the most part, utterly vile.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#11  Postby Agrippina » Mar 13, 2017 2:53 pm

I absolutely agree with you lak. :thumbup:
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#12  Postby John Platko » Mar 14, 2017 5:44 pm

zulumoose wrote:It seems to be a common theme among the religious, particularly modern christians, that you only have to open yourself up to god, or Jesus, or seek the truth, and he will "reveal himself" to you, such that you will have a relationship with him, and love him. Proof, or at least evidence for god is "all around you", etc, etc, etc.

Basically if this were true I reckon it would be a one way street, you could not stop believing no matter what happened to you after you had reached that point, unless you suspected that the feelings may not be real.

Yet - christians seem to have no problem at all accepting as fact that their peers can "lose faith" at any time, particularly during something tragic, but usually regain it as circumstances change.

How can this be so, if it is real? Why don't they find it ridiculous that someone can stop believing, if what they insist they experience is actually true? How is someone who they accepted as a peer, who then lost faith, and regained it, accepted as truthful? If the experiences were real the first time they couldn't stop believing, and if they were real the second time, everyone would realise the first time was false, and nobody seems to be talking about this or asking how this can be so?

So we are left with:- either they suspect the experience may not be real all along, and accept that others are the same (which would be dishonest) or they are prepared to completely ignore the obvious dishonesty in everyone who claims to have lost faith and regained the same faith.

What other options are there?

How do theists tackle this?


I think for many, the process is similar to how you fall in love and then out of love with someone.

In the beginning there's a lot of projection about who this other person is, you're imagining much of who you think they are and what they are like - over time you see that what you imagined doesn't really reflect who you thought they were, and those initial feelings that kept you in the game wear off - before you know it, you're dusting your broom.

The way that seems to play out for the Christian lover affair a lot of the time is, people, either slowly or in a big jump, buy into a complex paradigm which they literally believe to be true. That is, they believe in the reality of places like heaven and hell. A conscious God giving cryptic messages in a certain book. Rules this God commands them to follow. And this God has the power to control the laws of nature itself. Dead bodies rise from the dead in this alternate reality -and all the rest. How adults can literally believe all of this is a :scratch: - especially since here are so many contradictions in the system- but human brains can do just that. For these people, their religious belief is a lot like literally believing in the Easter bunny. And if everybody around you believes in the Easter bunny, your belief gets a lot of reinforcement. And there are social consequences for changing those beliefs. Not to mention the cognitive difficulties of changing a whole paradigm of belief - that's not easy to do.

There are all kinds of ways that cracks can appear in that belief system over time. Maybe you study science and that helps you scrub some of these idea. Maybe God lets you down - someone gets very sick or dies. The best description of an adult falling in and out of a system like this that I've ever heard is the interview Jason Beghe gave about his experience with Scientology. I think much of religious process goes like that - it's long but if you want to understand this kind of process ...:



Of course, real religious experience is nothing like that. :no: ;)
I like to imagine ...
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#13  Postby Agrippina » Mar 15, 2017 9:52 am

John Platko wrote:
zulumoose wrote:It seems to be a common theme among the religious, particularly modern christians, that you only have to open yourself up to god, or Jesus, or seek the truth, and he will "reveal himself" to you, such that you will have a relationship with him, and love him. Proof, or at least evidence for god is "all around you", etc, etc, etc.

Basically if this were true I reckon it would be a one way street, you could not stop believing no matter what happened to you after you had reached that point, unless you suspected that the feelings may not be real.

Yet - christians seem to have no problem at all accepting as fact that their peers can "lose faith" at any time, particularly during something tragic, but usually regain it as circumstances change.

How can this be so, if it is real? Why don't they find it ridiculous that someone can stop believing, if what they insist they experience is actually true? How is someone who they accepted as a peer, who then lost faith, and regained it, accepted as truthful? If the experiences were real the first time they couldn't stop believing, and if they were real the second time, everyone would realise the first time was false, and nobody seems to be talking about this or asking how this can be so?

So we are left with:- either they suspect the experience may not be real all along, and accept that others are the same (which would be dishonest) or they are prepared to completely ignore the obvious dishonesty in everyone who claims to have lost faith and regained the same faith.

What other options are there?

How do theists tackle this?


I think for many, the process is similar to how you fall in love and then out of love with someone.


You brought this into the discussion, so I'm going to ask the question: do actual adults "fall in love". Being "in love" is a highly personal experience, so is religion, so it's not a terrible comparison. Don't you think that being "in love" is really more attraction, when it's a sexual relationship, rather than a cognitive, conscious decision? Isn't the initial attraction to religion, in an adult who has life experience, and can reason what they're feeling, just an emotional response to something that triggers emotional responses. I say this because in my emotional relationships I've never felt "in love". It was different with my children/grandchildren, I felt awe and deep emotion the first time I saw them: a feeling of an overwhelming need to protect them, to want to be with them, to look forward to seeing them, and to want to make the time with them as pleasant as possible. I still feel a deep sense of disappointment when they don't react to me the way I feel about them.

With partners, with whom I'm expected to have felt that, it hasn't been the same, except for when I was very young with the first relationship, and I suspect it had more to do with the undivided attention of someone who wanted to be with me, without telling me off, telling me I was wrong, a disappointment, "stupid" etc., the sort of things family do to you. Over the years, becoming an adult, I found fulfilment in other relationships, in academic and career achievement, so the personal relationship didn't occupy my mind as much. Not until I had the first child. That was my experience of being "in love".

So to relate that to a religious experience. I cannot imagine how people who haven't lived their lives within a tradition of religious social interactions, find the social interactions required to believe in the reasons for the social interactions not only attractive, but willingly will pay over money for the benefits, which I still can't see. But then I have serious problems with regimented social interactions so it would take a lot of belief to make me attend a religious service on a regular basis.

In the beginning there's a lot of projection about who this other person is, you're imagining much of who you think they are and what they are like - over time you see that what you imagined doesn't really reflect who you thought they were, and those initial feelings that kept you in the game wear off - before you know it, you're dusting your broom.


This in adult sexual relationships perhaps, but not with children and grandchildren, personally for me that is. It doesn't matter how many times they reflect that they're not what I imagined them to be, how they disappoint me, there is nothing they can do that will make me leave them.

Is this what you mean? That the believer will continue the "relationship" with their god, no matter what the evidence is for their non-existence, or how disappointed they are by what they learn about them. Thinking about the OT "God" here, a particularly nasty character who thinks nothing of wiping out the entire planet, on a whim, or destroying a follower's family, making them go through horrible experiences, just to prove a point, is it what I feel about my children?

The way that seems to play out for the Christian lover affair a lot of the time is, people, either slowly or in a big jump, buy into a complex paradigm which they literally believe to be true. That is, they believe in the reality of places like heaven and hell. A conscious God giving cryptic messages in a certain book. Rules this God commands them to follow. And this God has the power to control the laws of nature itself. Dead bodies rise from the dead in this alternate reality -and all the rest. How adults can literally believe all of this is a :scratch: - especially since here are so many contradictions in the system- but human brains can do just that. For these people, their religious belief is a lot like literally believing in the Easter bunny. And if everybody around you believes in the Easter bunny, your belief gets a lot of reinforcement. And there are social consequences for changing those beliefs. Not to mention the cognitive difficulties of changing a whole paradigm of belief - that's not easy to do.


If I use your example of "falling in love" and compare it with the way I feel about my kids, I can understand the adherence. What puzzles me is how powerful the initial experience has to be for someone to be that committed, that, no matter what, they will adhere to the religion.
There are all kinds of ways that cracks can appear in that belief system over time. Maybe you study science and that helps you scrub some of these idea. Maybe God lets you down - someone gets very sick or dies. The best description of an adult falling in and out of a system like this that I've ever heard is the interview Jason Beghe gave about his experience with Scientology. I think much of religious process goes like that - it's long but if you want to understand this kind of process ...:

Relating religious experience to my personal feelings about the kids/grandkids, I can relate to religious beliefs, but as I said above, I'm puzzled by how the attraction first has the effect. I can understand it if you grow up with it from childhood, and in the throes of teenage angst become committed, but not how adults are converted from not having it to becoming deeply committed. The relationship with a child begins from the moment of first becoming aware of the expected event, then the instinct to protect and nurture that develops into deep emotional attachment, so it's not a "falling in love" as it is with a sexual partner, that I think happens on attraction, not over time. What happens over time, is a shared life of overcoming hardships, disappointments, celebrating successes, that is "love" not being "in love".

Of course, real religious experience is nothing like that. :no: ;)


So I understand people leaving religion because they're disappointed, and I can even understand people remaining within a religion they've developed a habitual adherence to as their cultural norm. I can't understand conversion. Especially if the person is leading a fulfilling life otherwise, not in trouble, not ill, not needing a crutch. If they are needing those things, then religion can provide them, but once the initial comfort is no longer needed, wouldn't they possibly walk away? Or if remaining, remain through a feeling of gratitude, or indebtedness? There has to be psychological reason for people becoming committed to religion more than merely "being in love". I'm committed to my family, would absolutely rip my heart out for them, but not for any person I've been in a relationship not connected by my direct bloodline. I've walked away from a few of those. I also walked away from religion without a second thought.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#14  Postby zulumoose » Mar 15, 2017 10:38 am

I think the main point here is that if leaving religion is comparable to falling out of love, then it is an emotional connection.

Love in a way does require you to believe things about the other person that may or may not be true, and you can stop believing them, but that is not really the point.

Love is entirely subjective, religion is based on truth claims. To the extent that love is comparable to religious belief it completely discredits religion in terms of claimed truth value.

When a religious person accepts without question that their peers can lose faith, just as they can fall out of love, then it means that they recognise the subjective nature of belief, and admit to themselves that both the factual claims at the root of religion and the claims that believers are privy to real proof through experience are not convincing.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#15  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Mar 15, 2017 10:45 am

Keep It Real wrote:as my interpretation of Christianity is compatible with my world view.

Is a square a square?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#16  Postby Agrippina » Mar 15, 2017 1:00 pm

zulumoose wrote:I think the main point here is that if leaving religion is comparable to falling out of love, then it is an emotional connection.


I think that's what I was trying to say. My relationship with my kids/grandkids is not logical, it's not dependent on "truth" or even being told the truth all the time. What I think about them is completely subjective. Whether or not they are true is immaterial.

Love in a way does require you to believe things about the other person that may or may not be true, and you can stop believing them, but that is not really the point.

Love is entirely subjective, religion is based on truth claims. To the extent that love is comparable to religious belief it completely discredits religion in terms of claimed truth value.

Yes, which is why I said falling in love with a child/grandchild, is completely different to the emotional attachment one has for a partner. I never even thought about it as "falling in love" because for me it was a given. When I knew the child was on the way, I was committed, and still am, no matter what.

When a religious person accepts without question that their peers can lose faith, just as they can fall out of love, then it means that they recognise the subjective nature of belief, and admit to themselves that both the factual claims at the root of religion and the claims that believers are privy to real proof through experience are not convincing.


Which is why I don't see romantic, adult "love" (or religion) as the same thing as that towards your children. In the same way you can ditch a partner for lying, you can ditch religion when you understand that it's based on fantasy, and lies. With your kids, I think for most parents that doesn't happen, no matter how many times they lie.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#17  Postby John Platko » Mar 15, 2017 5:16 pm

Agrippina wrote:
John Platko wrote:
zulumoose wrote:It seems to be a common theme among the religious, particularly modern christians, that you only have to open yourself up to god, or Jesus, or seek the truth, and he will "reveal himself" to you, such that you will have a relationship with him, and love him. Proof, or at least evidence for god is "all around you", etc, etc, etc.

Basically if this were true I reckon it would be a one way street, you could not stop believing no matter what happened to you after you had reached that point, unless you suspected that the feelings may not be real.

Yet - christians seem to have no problem at all accepting as fact that their peers can "lose faith" at any time, particularly during something tragic, but usually regain it as circumstances change.

How can this be so, if it is real? Why don't they find it ridiculous that someone can stop believing, if what they insist they experience is actually true? How is someone who they accepted as a peer, who then lost faith, and regained it, accepted as truthful? If the experiences were real the first time they couldn't stop believing, and if they were real the second time, everyone would realise the first time was false, and nobody seems to be talking about this or asking how this can be so?

So we are left with:- either they suspect the experience may not be real all along, and accept that others are the same (which would be dishonest) or they are prepared to completely ignore the obvious dishonesty in everyone who claims to have lost faith and regained the same faith.

What other options are there?

How do theists tackle this?


I think for many, the process is similar to how you fall in love and then out of love with someone.


You brought this into the discussion, so I'm going to ask the question: do actual adults "fall in love". Being "in love" is a highly personal experience, so is religion, so it's not a terrible comparison. Don't you think that being "in love" is really more attraction, when it's a sexual relationship, rather than a cognitive, conscious decision? Isn't the initial attraction to religion, in an adult who has life experience, and can reason what they're feeling, just an emotional response to something that triggers emotional responses. I say this because in my emotional relationships I've never felt "in love". It was different with my children/grandchildren, I felt awe and deep emotion the first time I saw them: a feeling of an overwhelming need to protect them, to want to be with them, to look forward to seeing them, and to want to make the time with them as pleasant as possible. I still feel a deep sense of disappointment when they don't react to me the way I feel about them.

With partners, with whom I'm expected to have felt that, it hasn't been the same, except for when I was very young with the first relationship, and I suspect it had more to do with the undivided attention of someone who wanted to be with me, without telling me off, telling me I was wrong, a disappointment, "stupid" etc., the sort of things family do to you. Over the years, becoming an adult, I found fulfilment in other relationships, in academic and career achievement, so the personal relationship didn't occupy my mind as much. Not until I had the first child. That was my experience of being "in love".

So to relate that to a religious experience. I cannot imagine how people who haven't lived their lives within a tradition of religious social interactions, find the social interactions required to believe in the reasons for the social interactions not only attractive, but willingly will pay over money for the benefits, which I still can't see. But then I have serious problems with regimented social interactions so it would take a lot of belief to make me attend a religious service on a regular basis.

In the beginning there's a lot of projection about who this other person is, you're imagining much of who you think they are and what they are like - over time you see that what you imagined doesn't really reflect who you thought they were, and those initial feelings that kept you in the game wear off - before you know it, you're dusting your broom.


This in adult sexual relationships perhaps, but not with children and grandchildren, personally for me that is. It doesn't matter how many times they reflect that they're not what I imagined them to be, how they disappoint me, there is nothing they can do that will make me leave them.

Is this what you mean? That the believer will continue the "relationship" with their god, no matter what the evidence is for their non-existence, or how disappointed they are by what they learn about them. Thinking about the OT "God" here, a particularly nasty character who thinks nothing of wiping out the entire planet, on a whim, or destroying a follower's family, making them go through horrible experiences, just to prove a point, is it what I feel about my children?

The way that seems to play out for the Christian lover affair a lot of the time is, people, either slowly or in a big jump, buy into a complex paradigm which they literally believe to be true. That is, they believe in the reality of places like heaven and hell. A conscious God giving cryptic messages in a certain book. Rules this God commands them to follow. And this God has the power to control the laws of nature itself. Dead bodies rise from the dead in this alternate reality -and all the rest. How adults can literally believe all of this is a :scratch: - especially since here are so many contradictions in the system- but human brains can do just that. For these people, their religious belief is a lot like literally believing in the Easter bunny. And if everybody around you believes in the Easter bunny, your belief gets a lot of reinforcement. And there are social consequences for changing those beliefs. Not to mention the cognitive difficulties of changing a whole paradigm of belief - that's not easy to do.


If I use your example of "falling in love" and compare it with the way I feel about my kids, I can understand the adherence. What puzzles me is how powerful the initial experience has to be for someone to be that committed, that, no matter what, they will adhere to the religion.
There are all kinds of ways that cracks can appear in that belief system over time. Maybe you study science and that helps you scrub some of these idea. Maybe God lets you down - someone gets very sick or dies. The best description of an adult falling in and out of a system like this that I've ever heard is the interview Jason Beghe gave about his experience with Scientology. I think much of religious process goes like that - it's long but if you want to understand this kind of process ...:

Relating religious experience to my personal feelings about the kids/grandkids, I can relate to religious beliefs, but as I said above, I'm puzzled by how the attraction first has the effect. I can understand it if you grow up with it from childhood, and in the throes of teenage angst become committed, but not how adults are converted from not having it to becoming deeply committed. The relationship with a child begins from the moment of first becoming aware of the expected event, then the instinct to protect and nurture that develops into deep emotional attachment, so it's not a "falling in love" as it is with a sexual partner, that I think happens on attraction, not over time. What happens over time, is a shared life of overcoming hardships, disappointments, celebrating successes, that is "love" not being "in love".

Of course, real religious experience is nothing like that. :no: ;)


So I understand people leaving religion because they're disappointed, and I can even understand people remaining within a religion they've developed a habitual adherence to as their cultural norm. I can't understand conversion. Especially if the person is leading a fulfilling life otherwise, not in trouble, not ill, not needing a crutch. If they are needing those things, then religion can provide them, but once the initial comfort is no longer needed, wouldn't they possibly walk away? Or if remaining, remain through a feeling of gratitude, or indebtedness? There has to be psychological reason for people becoming committed to religion more than merely "being in love". I'm committed to my family, would absolutely rip my heart out for them, but not for any person I've been in a relationship not connected by my direct bloodline. I've walked away from a few of those. I also walked away from religion without a second thought.


Hi Agrippina,

I think that many different types of love, and ways of expressing love, are in play in religion. For example, when I read your example about grandchildren I was reminded about an uncle whose love for the church was very much like a love one might have for a grandchild. He was born into a family where the church was an essential element, it was very much a part of the family, the thought of separating himself from it was unthinkable. He did what he could to help take care of it, very much like a grandparent would look after a grandchild, he got involved in the maintenance of the building, helped with the service. Even when it let him down he still loved it.

Sometimes, it's more of an intellectual love, the way a student might get hooked on science. I recall seeing a video (I'd post a link but I remember that you have bandwidth limitations where you are.) where a priest (now a bishop) talked about how hearing St. Thomas Aquinas's proofs of God made a bell go off in him and he got a sense of the reality of God. The way he talks about his experience sounds like falling in love. Many very intelligent people have since tried to show that priest the problems with those St. Thomas arguments but he's blinded by his love.

And sometimes this religious love is full of feeling and passion. For example, St. Teresa. from

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.


or

Image

That the believer will continue the "relationship" with their god, no matter what the evidence is for their non-existence, or how disappointed they are by what they learn about them. Thinking about the OT "God" here, a particularly nasty character who thinks nothing of wiping out the entire planet, on a whim, or destroying a follower's family, making them go through horrible experiences, just to prove a point, is it what I feel about my children?


We humans seem to have mechanisms that let us live through cognitive dissonance. You focus on the facts that causes the least overall pain. For many, leaving their religion is as unimaginable as disowning their grandchildren. And it's not just because of the betrayal to a set of ideas but also to the family tradition, and the family, that often introduced the religion. In that sense, abandoning their religion is like disowning their parents and grandparents.
I like to imagine ...
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#18  Postby Agrippina » Mar 16, 2017 12:31 pm

I can understand that. I don't have a problem with people having a commitment to their religion, to their place of worship, and how it regulates their lives with their families. I do have a problem with the religion is used to decide policy, or used as a whip to beat people who think differently. I would prefer it if people didn't teach it to children, but I understand that we teach our culture and values to our kids, and if those are connected to our religion, the children will learn the religion as well. I'm ok with that even, as long as it's kept out of school, particularly out of science classes, and out of politics. I would go so far as to say that there should be no religious ceremony at all within politics: no prayers, no prayer breakfast, no interaction with religious factions, no teaching of it in public schools. Then I'm fine with it.
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#19  Postby laklak » Mar 17, 2017 2:12 am

Yeah, pretty much my take on it, Aggie. Treat religion like a penis. Do whatever you want with it in private, but don't wave it around in public.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
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Re: Attitudes towards "losing faith"

#20  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 17, 2017 4:37 am

laklak wrote:Yeah, pretty much my take on it, Aggie. Treat religion like a penis. Do whatever you want with it in private, but don't wave it around in public.


But... but... religion cannot flourish under those conditions. At least, it cannot flourish its dangly bits.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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