Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

Religion as a Fashion Accessory


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1    AtlantisRises

AtlantisRises

    Oderint dum metuant

  • Member
  • 2,396 posts
  • Joined:08 Feb 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Australia

  • My time has not yet come either, Some are born post humously

    Ecce homo
    Nietszche

Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:50 AM

Over a drink with a bunch of friends a little while ago we got into a deep and meaningful discussion aided by quite a few ales and ended up discussing religion and a lady who we were all trying to impress with our worldly wisdom came out and told us that she wasn't that interested as she was actually a Buddhist... Now aided by a large amount of liquid curiosity I asked her a couple of questions and quickly realised that she actually had no idea about Buddhism whatsoever. It seemed that she had said it more as a talking point or to appear newage and interesting.

After a considerable amount of sleep, black coffee and a good healthy plate full of greasy things for breakfast I started reflecting and it seemed that it wasn't such and uncommon thing she had done. I recall from a few years ago when being Wiccan was fashionable. I know plenty of people who will call themselves Christian because they grew up in a Christian family but haven't been to Church since their parents stopped making them go and have no intention of going, yet will call themselves Christian because of how their parents or friends would react if they called themselves anything else.

How many people describe themselves as belonging to a religion for no reason other then to save an argument. How many people buy into the more 'new age' religions just to show everyone else how progressive and interesting they are.  How many people wouldd change or abandon or just ignore their proclaimed beliefs if they weren't worried about other peoples reactions to the change. How many people on this very site are more interested in how other posters view their beliefs then they are interested in their beliefs themselves.


Dale.

Posted Image

#2    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,634 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:59 AM

That's a good set of questions, AR.

Do you really think, though, that it's all the same whether somebody is posting on a board where people discuss their beliefs in some depth, or in a bar where she is as interested in how you size her up as you were how she sized you up? Maybe brevity is the soul of hit?

Besides, last I heard, I am overqualified to call myself Buddhist: I've read the Sermon in the Deer Park more than once, and think that Gautama made some good points. Catholic, too (as is anybody who has ever received an intended water baptism with a spoken Trinitarian formula - the required intent being on the part of the sprinkler, not the sprinkled).

Catholic-Buddhist is a way cool combo. What's your sign, sailor?

Posted Image

#3    Norbert Dentressangle

Norbert Dentressangle

    Convoi exceptionnel

  • Member
  • 26,086 posts
  • Joined:09 May 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tanybwlch

  • Vampires are people too.

Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:36 AM

I think a lot of that is true, particularly with the "cool" Eastern religions. And also a lot of people certainly would put "Christian" if they were asked in like a census or something, just because everyone else does or that's what they've always put, And in some places, it may be true that saying that one is Christian might make it easier to be accepted and might give one an advantage. However, that's by no means the case everywhere, or in every profession; for instance, in the Scientific field it could often be a positive liability.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


:cat:


#4    AtlantisRises

AtlantisRises

    Oderint dum metuant

  • Member
  • 2,396 posts
  • Joined:08 Feb 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Australia

  • My time has not yet come either, Some are born post humously

    Ecce homo
    Nietszche

Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:42 AM

I'm in the Agnostic/Aethiest camp, I guess I've never considered it important enough to really bother with an opinion.

And I realise that there is a big difference between a bar and more or less any other setting. Though to be honest the setting was irrelevant it just happened to be the setting that made got me thinking about it. Wether you call it peer pressure or social expectations or plain showing off it seems that what should be such an internal and personal decision seems to be based partly or at least expressed for reasons that are related more to the ego then to any real belief.

And a forum is the perfect place for someone to go to present a face that really has little relation to themselves. Anonymity allows for a much more egocentric expression of yourself. For instance I am of Rroma Gypsy blood, in real life it has no major bearing on my life apart from a couple of interesting relatives and an awesome variety of culinary styles. Yet online, particularly this site I have accentuated my Rroma heritage far more then I would bother with in real life. It is  very important to me, and I have some great memories from when I was quite young and my grandparents who were more traditional were still alive, but I'm well aware that in real life most people couldn't really care less. Online however it adds a bit of color and particularly on a site relating to magic and the supernatural it makes for a hell of a talking point.
That is me personally. How many other people do similar things wether because it's easier to talk to a stranger or simply for an ego boost.


Dale

Posted Image

#5    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,634 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

But another way of saying that is that when you are in a safe setting where personal background is often salient, you found that your Roma heritage was more important to you than you are usually aware. And setting does matter, I have some friends IRL around whom you wouldn't mention Roma heritage twice. I'll bet you've met some people like that, too.

Anyway, "role playing" does happen here now and then, but it really isn't a role playing site. There was a "voodoo" troll here one time, who fielded questions by rapid googlebingery. It didn't last long, though. It's hard to be an active poster and a total fake - different personality or speech style, sure.

On another aspect of the topic. though, we have had discussions here about people being entitled to deference when they say what religion they follow. One time, it came up in connection with census questions (the US doesn't ask, but Australia and some other Englsih-speaking countries do). A credibly Christian poster was aghast that a woman of his acquaintance ticked the "Catholic" box when she didn't go to church and didn't believe much of the doctrine.

The funny thing is, though, the Church would count her as a member. For her part, she considers herself a member. Who else has any say in it? If she says she's Catholic, and the Catholics say she's Catholic, then who resigned and made me Pope?

Posted Image

#6    Leonardo

Leonardo

    Awake

  • Member
  • 16,500 posts
  • Joined:20 Oct 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

  • Hell is a guilty conscience

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

It's a nice argument, but it could also be argued that those who exhibit such "superficial religiousity" are, in fact, attempting to promote tolerance. Religion is, after all, a deeply cultural behaviour, and Buddhism developed in the context of a specific culture. There is valid argument that, outside of this culture no-one can be truly Buddhist. And the same could be argued for any religion/culture combination.

So what, then, is the purpose or point of a person from one culture adopting the religion of another? Could it be an attempt to understand that other culture, to bridge the gap between them? Or is it merely the ego and curiousity which drives people to undertake this cross-over?

Edited by Leonardo, 25 August 2013 - 09:32 AM.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."  - J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project

"talking bull**** is not a victimless crime" - Marina Hyde, author.

#7    brlesq1

brlesq1

    Fan Dancer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,156 posts
  • Joined:22 Feb 2009
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The Music Box

  • Reality is highly overrated.

Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:19 AM

I, too, am in the atheist/agnostic camp. If pressed, I say I'm a member of the New Reformed Druidic Church--we've branched out from oak trees and are into shrubbery and crabgrass. No, really. I think some people wear their religion like the latest fashion accessory. I remember when it was fashionable to be "New Age." Seemed like everyone was into crystals and whatnot. As for me, I'm one of those what you see is what you get types. Nothing interesting about me to hype. Unless you count my past life as an alien directing the building of the pyramids... :lol:

Forget what they told you. You want the truth, follow the money.
In this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life, you're on your own.--Prince

#8    Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android

    ????????

  • 26,873 posts
  • Joined:17 Apr 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney

  • Paranoid Android... Gorram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Make it so!

Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:42 AM

Eastern philosophies are currently "cool", at least in my culture. I've had conversations with people who believe that "meditation and stuff" (paraphrase of their beliefs) is great, but I daresay that Siddhartha would turn in his grave if he heard this as a synopsis of buddhist philosophy.

I think there are a lot of people who say things just because it's popular to say. I am not qualified to give statistics, but it's certainly a process I have observed.

Btw, a big hello to you, AR. It's been a long time, glad to see you again. Maybe see you elsewhere around the forums :tu:

~ Regards, PA

Posted Image

My blog is now taking a new direction.  Dedicated to my father who was a great inspiration in my life, I wish to honour his memory (RIP, dad) by sharing with the world what he had always kept to himself.  More details, http://www.unexplain...showentry=27811

#9    StarMountainKid

StarMountainKid

    Cheese

  • Member
  • 4,491 posts
  • Joined:17 Feb 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Star Mountain, Corporate States of America

  • We have problems because we stray from what is innocent and pure.

Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:38 PM

Here in the South U.S. if the subject comes up I usually say I'm Catholic (My father's people were Catholic), which always annoys and even scares people around here. I do this just for fun.

Sometimes I say I'm Buddhist (I've been interested in Zen since I was 14), which mystifies the locals. They don't know what to make of it, and usually withdraw a few paces, I suppose considering me a follower of Satan. This is also fun.

The acceptance of authority does not lead to intelligence.
A mind untouched by thought...the end of knowledge.
To see reality loose your opinions.

#10    Michelle

Michelle

    Forum Divinity

  • Member
  • 15,735 posts
  • Joined:03 Jan 2004
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Tennessee

  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:43 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 25 August 2013 - 03:38 PM, said:

Here in the South U.S. if the subject comes up I usually say I'm Catholic (My father's people were Catholic), which always annoys and even scares people around here. I do this just for fun..

It's funny when people equate the town they live in to the entire South. My best friends of 35 years are Arabs, who happen to be Catholic, and I worked for them in their very successful restaurant for 20 years. I rarely saw anyone bat an eye as to their ethnicity or religion. People would often ask me about them, out of curiosity, after they had a discussion with someone about where my friends came from in the Middle East. They simply wanted to know who won the argument. lol

On topic, as for me, I lost my faith at a very early age, if I ever had it at all. Looking back on it I doubt I ever did believe. I was an Atheist/Agnostic long before it was "cool". Until I moved out of my parent's house I would tick the Christian box, but after that it was always "other". To this day, I could never be accused of wearing it as a fashion accessory, because I don't discuss religion with strangers or acquaintances. Come to think of it, some of our friends probably don't know I'm not a Christian since religion rarely comes up in conversation. I know most of our friends don't go to church, but that doesn't mean they don't consider themselves to be Christian either.


#11    spacecowboy342

spacecowboy342

    Traveler of both time and space

  • Member
  • 4,128 posts
  • Joined:22 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

  • I shall now proceed to entangle the entire area

Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

I, too have been guilty of claiming Buddhism as my religion, not so much as a fashion statement, but it seems to have fewer negative connotations in certain circumstances than claiming atheism. Mostly to avoid the seemingly unavoidable comment, "well you must believe in something", and my claim of believing in "lawyers guns and money" doesn't seem to satisfy other people. I did however learn a little about Buddhism and memorised a few Buddha quotes to get by


#12    calaf

calaf

    Ectoplasmic Residue

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 191 posts
  • Joined:03 Apr 2012
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:25 PM

View Postbrlesq1, on 25 August 2013 - 10:19 AM, said:

I, too, am in the atheist/agnostic camp. If pressed, I say I'm a member of the New Reformed Druidic Church--we've branched out from oak trees and are into shrubbery and crabgrass. No, really. I think some people wear their religion like the latest fashion accessory. I remember when it was fashionable to be "New Age." Seemed like everyone was into crystals and whatnot. As for me, I'm one of those what you see is what you get types. Nothing interesting about me to hype. Unless you count my past life as an alien directing the building of the pyramids... :lol:

So how did you do it? Fess up. It was the internal ramp wasn't it?


#13    StarMountainKid

StarMountainKid

    Cheese

  • Member
  • 4,491 posts
  • Joined:17 Feb 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Star Mountain, Corporate States of America

  • We have problems because we stray from what is innocent and pure.

Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:31 PM

From my experience, lots of people I've known consider religion as a fashion accessory.  I say this because of their superficial knowledge of their religion and their behavior.  I think these people's claim to be religious (or at least claim to some religion's affiliation) is just a social convenience. These don't take their religion seriously. I think this is a good idea, because...

...on the other hand, some of those who I've known who do take their religion seriously have been difficult for me to get along with, or impossible. However, I've known some seriously religious people who were some of the best people to know and to be friends with.

All in all, taking into consideration and thusly ignoring the hypocrisy of using religion as a fashion statement, it's easier to have a superficial relationship with these kinds of people. And as we all know, superficial relationships are what make the world go 'round.

If everyone were sincere and honest all the time, civilization would soon descend into chaos. Truth is not something to bandy about recklessly. Telling the truth will get you in trouble quicker than anything.

The acceptance of authority does not lead to intelligence.
A mind untouched by thought...the end of knowledge.
To see reality loose your opinions.

#14    flbrnt

flbrnt

    Alien Embryo

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 109 posts
  • Joined:16 Feb 2013

Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:11 AM

I just put panentheist on forms. By the time people research it or figure it out I am long gone.


#15    SpiritWriter

SpiritWriter

  • Member
  • 3,990 posts
  • Joined:21 Jun 2012
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:in the ground

  • How is it that you can hear me, when indeed I am not speaking, nor am I standing there?

Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:31 AM

Thanks for posting this, I think its a good thing for people to think about. I know that I do have reasons for claiming to be who I am and for me it is not about what I look like to others but actually attempting to express what I believe and practice. I am indeed more interested in what I believe and practice than what others believe or think of me, but still, I do like discussing these matters for some reason. I think because I feel that I have tapped into some sort of truth, or that I understand why certain groups do what they do and what the benefit is for them I like to portray that in conversation especially when talking to one with opposing views, thinking that a certain way is nonsense for example. I like to show that there are reasons that these beliefs are in existance as well as understand them better from people who practice differently from myself. I also want to know the ultimate benefit for any of it at all, I think its something we are just prone to do, to have faith of one kind or another, because who we are are advancing people of the spirit and mind. These pursuits aid in the quest for that advancement but hardly do any of them lead to ultimate fulfillment because not only do they deal with the afterlife but they deal with the human spirit of discipline, which hardly is there a master... and so, because of the lack of discipline for any of the disciplines, I agree with you, it is fun to shout out what path we think sounds good, maybe. But I don't fault anyone for this. I say if you say you are Buddhist but you don't know much about it, you better get to it! :)

But I will say this:

Before I became a Christian I still considered myself a Christian and the sole reason for this was because I believed in God. I would pray sometimes etc, I never went to church, I didn't know anything about scripture or the teachings of the church but I felt very strongly about the fact that there was a God looking out for me etc... Once someone told me that I wasn't Christian because I didn't go to church and I will tell you that it was one of the most offensive things I have heard. Now, I understand what they meant, but at that time I was very upset about it. I knew I was Christian simply by believing in God and didn't feel I needed to do anything else about it. At that time, that was fine for me. So I don't think we should tell people what they are or what they're not, even if they may not know much about the "religion" etc... there is a lot of info about all the religions out there, and really we don't need to know all that stuff.... really we don't. We can title ourselves something and have our own reasons for doing so. Personally I think its good to understand what these things mean, study can help us, see what perhaps we don't agree with that is traditionally taught or practiced, but ultimately faith can be a very simple thing.

Edited by SpiritWriter, 26 August 2013 - 02:42 AM.

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users