Observations about attitudes toward religion

 
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20 August 2018 11:03
 

Having interacted here and on other fora for 11 years, I have a few comments about what I’ve noticed with regard to attitudes toward religion in general. The attitude with which one approaches the subject seems to be a big factor in how one will end up judging it.  I’ve encountered four different attitudes - these are very general and not intended to be exclusive, by any means.

1. People who have no religious background/experience:  Generally, these folks often just seem to not get at all why people would ever be religious at any level.  It seems irrational to them and they approach it with skepticism, but anger generally isn’t a big part of that.

2. People who have a religious background, but had a bad experience: A lot of lapsed Catholics in this group, although others religions are also represented.  This is the group that seems to be most bitter about religion, and often approach it with disgust or hatred.  Their experience looms so large that it’s difficult to get past it.

3. People who have a religious background, but left it - not because of a problem, but because it simply did not meet their criteria for a valid world view.  Hannah is sort of representative of this group.  They understand the religious sentiment, but for them its ceased to be a force in their lives, perhaps because of pure irrelevance or perhaps because it simply started not making sense to them.  There are other reasons, as well.  Folks in this category can talk about religion fairly objectively and can see some good in it, although it’s no longer important to them.

4. People who have generally had a positive religious experience.  This is where I fit in.  I acknowledge the problems with religion and am not blind to Christianity’s shortcomings, but the overall experience is still meaningful and real to me. 

The general category one falls in seems to direct their interaction with the subject matter.  I’m sure there are exceptions - these are simply my observations.  I liken it to relationships with have with people. If you’ve had a good relationship with a person, you overlook the person’s faults, generally.  You know they are there, but you like them anyway.  If you’ve had a bad relationship, you may even inflate the person’s bad traits, and not see the good.

Just simply observations - nothing earth-shattering.

 
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20 August 2018 13:03
 

That is a reasonable observation.  I would like to add that among the infidels there is another bone of contention, which is being called an infidel as though it is a bad thing.  I would not care about religion if it didn’t care about my disbelief and pillory me for it.  So although I fall into the group who has experience with religion but it does not fit with me, I resent, and am defensive of, labels which disqualify me as a good person due to one, optional trait.

 
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20 August 2018 13:46
 
Skipshot - 20 August 2018 01:03 PM

That is a reasonable observation.  I would like to add that among the infidels there is another bone of contention, which is being called an infidel as though it is a bad thing.  I would not care about religion if it didn’t care about my disbelief and pillory me for it.  So although I fall into the group who has experience with religion but it does not fit with me, I resent, and am defensive of, labels which disqualify me as a good person due to one, optional trait.

I don’t think of you as a bad person, just an amiable degenerate and drunk.  Is that OK?

 
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20 August 2018 14:46
 

It looks to me that your observations are quite accurate, although as you say “not intended to be exclusive”.

I seem to fit into Attitude #3.  I was raised in a liberal Christian church by kind parents so don’t have the negative experiences with religion that some may have had, in say a more fundamentalist religion.  I cannot, and wouldn’t want to, entirely separate myself and my values from this upbringing.  Although I no longer believe in God for various reasons, I can see the benefits it has for some people.  I choose to save criticism for any religious beliefs that result in backward or harmful actions, including using religion beliefs to judge others.

As I don’t live in an overly religious community, religion doesn’t come up in conversation all that often.  When it has, I usually describe myself as a ‘Humanist’ as it sounds more like a positive thing and ‘atheist’ sometimes has a (inaccurate) connotation as being anti-religion.  (However, on occasion I’ve called myself a ‘devout atheist’ to take a stronger position when a religious person is intolerant.)

 
 
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20 August 2018 18:47
 
EN - 20 August 2018 01:46 PM
Skipshot - 20 August 2018 01:03 PM

That is a reasonable observation.  I would like to add that among the infidels there is another bone of contention, which is being called an infidel as though it is a bad thing.  I would not care about religion if it didn’t care about my disbelief and pillory me for it.  So although I fall into the group who has experience with religion but it does not fit with me, I resent, and am defensive of, labels which disqualify me as a good person due to one, optional trait.

I don’t think of you as a bad person, just an amiable degenerate and drunk.  Is that OK?

Of course it’s OK, because it’s true.

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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21 August 2018 04:51
 

To suggest a category I would fit in:

5. Someone as indifferent to supernatural religion as one could possibly be but even more religious than most who profess supernatural belief.  He sees in them an aspiration that could—and should—be phrased in another way, a way purged of all appeal to and conformity with supernatural dictates.

 
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21 August 2018 06:47
 
EN - 20 August 2018 11:03 AM

Having interacted here and on other fora for 11 years, I have a few comments about what I’ve noticed with regard to attitudes toward religion in general. The attitude with which one approaches the subject seems to be a big factor in how one will end up judging it.  I’ve encountered four different attitudes - these are very general and not intended to be exclusive, by any means.

1. People who have no religious background/experience:  Generally, these folks often just seem to not get at all why people would ever be religious at any level.  It seems irrational to them and they approach it with skepticism, but anger generally isn’t a big part of that.

2. People who have a religious background, but had a bad experience: A lot of lapsed Catholics in this group, although others religions are also represented.  This is the group that seems to be most bitter about religion, and often approach it with disgust or hatred.  Their experience looms so large that it’s difficult to get past it.

3. People who have a religious background, but left it - not because of a problem, but because it simply did not meet their criteria for a valid world view.  Hannah is sort of representative of this group.  They understand the religious sentiment, but for them its ceased to be a force in their lives, perhaps because of pure irrelevance or perhaps because it simply started not making sense to them.  There are other reasons, as well.  Folks in this category can talk about religion fairly objectively and can see some good in it, although it’s no longer important to them.

4. People who have generally had a positive religious experience.  This is where I fit in.  I acknowledge the problems with religion and am not blind to Christianity’s shortcomings, but the overall experience is still meaningful and real to me. 

The general category one falls in seems to direct their interaction with the subject matter.  I’m sure there are exceptions - these are simply my observations.  I liken it to relationships with have with people. If you’ve had a good relationship with a person, you overlook the person’s faults, generally.  You know they are there, but you like them anyway.  If you’ve had a bad relationship, you may even inflate the person’s bad traits, and not see the good.

Just simply observations - nothing earth-shattering.

Regarding #2, seeing as how church-inspired abuse is so often a major news story, you might include some mention of people who’ve been damaged as a direct result of religious life.
Or maybe that would constitute a new category.

 
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22 August 2018 17:30
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 21 August 2018 04:51 AM

To suggest a category I would fit in:

5. Someone as indifferent to supernatural religion as one could possibly be but even more religious than most who profess supernatural belief.  He sees in them an aspiration that could—and should—be phrased in another way, a way purged of all appeal to and conformity with supernatural dictates.

In what ways do you see yourself as religious?

 
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23 August 2018 02:34
 
EN - 20 August 2018 11:03 AM

Having interacted here and on other fora for 11 years, I have a few comments about what I’ve noticed with regard to attitudes toward religion in general. The attitude with which one approaches the subject seems to be a big factor in how one will end up judging it.  I’ve encountered four different attitudes - these are very general and not intended to be exclusive, by any means.

1. People who have no religious background/experience:  Generally, these folks often just seem to not get at all why people would ever be religious at any level.  It seems irrational to them and they approach it with skepticism, but anger generally isn’t a big part of that.

2. People who have a religious background, but had a bad experience: A lot of lapsed Catholics in this group, although others religions are also represented.  This is the group that seems to be most bitter about religion, and often approach it with disgust or hatred.  Their experience looms so large that it’s difficult to get past it.

3. People who have a religious background, but left it - not because of a problem, but because it simply did not meet their criteria for a valid world view.  Hannah is sort of representative of this group.  They understand the religious sentiment, but for them its ceased to be a force in their lives, perhaps because of pure irrelevance or perhaps because it simply started not making sense to them.  There are other reasons, as well.  Folks in this category can talk about religion fairly objectively and can see some good in it, although it’s no longer important to them.

4. People who have generally had a positive religious experience.  This is where I fit in.  I acknowledge the problems with religion and am not blind to Christianity’s shortcomings, but the overall experience is still meaningful and real to me. 

The general category one falls in seems to direct their interaction with the subject matter.  I’m sure there are exceptions - these are simply my observations.  I liken it to relationships with have with people. If you’ve had a good relationship with a person, you overlook the person’s faults, generally.  You know they are there, but you like them anyway.  If you’ve had a bad relationship, you may even inflate the person’s bad traits, and not see the good.

Just simply observations - nothing earth-shattering.

Background or not - one cannot chose the culture one is born into anyway - but there at some point of time one will be grown up and one may decide to do away with all that irrational thinking that is dominating all religions. Merely a rational decision incompatible with emotions, not more and not less