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Grandpa Greenman

Scam or Religion

59 posts in this topic

How do you know what is religion or a scam. To me most religions seem like scams. A while back, 1979, Issac Bonewits (RIP), one of the great leaders of the Pagan religions wrote a paper on how to tell the difference.

I will say it is little long so, here is the link to it. http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html

Events in the last several decades have clearly indicated just how dangerous some religious and secular groups (usually called “cults” by those opposed to them) can be to their own members as well as to anyone else whom they can influence. “Brainwashing,” beatings, child abuse, rapes, murders, mass suicides, military drilling and gunrunning, meddling in civil governments, international terrorism, and other crimes have been charged against leaders and members of many groups, and in far too many cases those accusations have been correct. None of this has been very surprising to historians of religion or to other scholars of what are usually labled “new” religions (no matter how old they may be in their cultures of origin). Minority groups, especially religious ones, are often accused of crimes by members of the current majority. In many ways, for example, the “Mormons” were the “Moonies” of the 19th century — at least in terms of being an unusual minority belief system that many found “shocking” at the time — and the members of the Unification Church could be just as “respectable” a hundred years from now as the Latter Day Saints are today.

Nonetheless, despite all the historical and philosophical warnings that could be issued, ordinary people faced with friends or loved ones joining an “unusual” group, or perhaps contemplating joining one themselves, need a relatively simple way to evaluate just how dangerous or harmless a given group is liable to be, without either subjecting themselves to its power or judging it solely on theological or ideological grounds (the usual method used by anti-cult groups)

He put little test at the bottom, How does your religion or belief system stack up. I haven't done it yet so I'll get back with y'all.

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Posted (edited)

If you have to be told what to believe, and if you are asked/told/demanded/commanded to "donate" funds, then in my opinion, it is a scam. It is my belief that if you follow a preacher/priest, what have you, you are not following god; you are following one individuals idea of god. God, however you define the word, does not need a middleman or spokesperson.

What need does god have for money? "Oh, but we need to build churches/temples/cathedrals, so that god will be pleased!" or "Well, ya know that the reverend/pastor/priest/rabbi/imam needs to be paid" or "But, we have these charities, and we help the less fortunate."

If I choose to help the less fortunate, I will give money and or time directly to an orgazization that I trust. NOT to a church or other religious outfit.

So to answer the post, I belief that 'religion' is a scam, and priests are the conmen. Just my two cents worth.

Corrected for typos

Edited by JMPD1
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It's a charade, a mask, to present to the world a false interpretation of themselves. For very selfish reasons, money, fame, power.

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If someone belongs to a parish, coven, temple, etc., and they worship there and take part, then to be asked to leave a stipen is ok, to be asked to give everything, or to be threatened over it, then it is time to move on. Religion is a good thing if there is deep spritruality that goes with it, without that, religions becomes rigid and lifeless. Spriturality without a community can tend towards shallowness and self delusion. I believe it is hard to find the middle ground, I still sturggle with it.

peace

Mark

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If someone belongs to a parish, coven, temple, etc., and they worship there and take part, then to be asked to leave a stipen is ok, to be asked to give everything, or to be threatened over it, then it is time to move on. Religion is a good thing if there is deep spritruality that goes with it, without that, religions becomes rigid and lifeless. Spriturality without a community can tend towards shallowness and self delusion. I believe it is hard to find the middle ground, I still sturggle with it.

peace

Mark

Some of the items in the test I could honestly rate zero but gave a one. On rigidity of dogma I gave a ten. On acceptance of sexual preferences I gave an 8. Totalled out at 36. I was looking at MY individual Baptist church family. For me the issue here is less about a person's faith and more about the fellowship he/she has chosen to be a part of. No doubt many "churches" are led by people who I would never choose to follow. Bottom line for me is that if any man or woman stands in a pulpit and says ANYTHING that does not line up closely with God's word as I am able to understand it then I'm out the door. It isn't about the society of people, it's about trying to follow God's word. In the end I will have some "splainin' to do if I've followed some nut job instead of trying my best to do what I'm instructed in the word of the Creator.
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hmmmm this is a pretty deep and hard hitting post

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Not quite on topic, but like the old saying goes (with a little rewording):

"If you find the perfect religion, once you join, it is no longer perfect."

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Another question on the test could be, "Would you buy a used car from these people?"

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I came up with a 19 for Reformed Druids, but the guy who wrote that was one of the founding members.

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I wouldn't trust a pagan to decide what makes a good religion for a christian, jew, catholic or even an atheist.

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I wouldn't trust a pagan to decide what makes a good religion for a christian, jew, catholic or even an atheist.

What would be a good religion for an atheist?

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What would be a good religion for an atheist?

You just know what the answer will be lol

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To me, 'scam' only comes into it when there is money involved and that giving money is mandatory to be 'saved' or participate or anything.

I have no problem at all with preachers etc. being paid money. They impart knowledge they studied to get just like teachers and provide services for people who wish to take part in those services.

It's a scam when the group uses subterfuge to convince people that they must give money or that they must do a particular thing for the benefit of the group or the leader without real benefit for themselves.

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I wouldn't trust a pagan to decide what makes a good religion for a christian, jew, catholic or even an atheist.

Because they are a Pagan or is there another reason? One thing about Pagans, they don't actually care what Path you follow as long as you play nice in the sand box and scoop your poop.

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I wouldn't trust a pagan to decide what makes a good religion for a christian, jew, catholic or even an atheist.

Why should a pagan be less trustworthy than anyone else, hmm?

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Most personal belief systems are harmless. If you believe it and it's your belief, great keep believing it as long is it isn't harmful to you or others. In that respect believe anything you like. Most the time when a belief shifts over into a cult it's because of a power structure or hierarchy within that belief that begins to harm members and attempts to control it's believers. Once a "belief" says you must cut off family, give large sums of money to that belief, basically give up all personal freedom to that belief, it's a cult. I think sadly some people are looking for something to tell them how to live, they find comfort in being controlled.

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Most personal belief systems are harmless. If you believe it and it's your belief, great keep believing it as long is it isn't harmful to you or others. In that respect believe anything you like. Most the time when a belief shifts over into a cult it's because of a power structure or hierarchy within that belief that begins to harm members and attempts to control it's believers. Once a "belief" says you must cut off family, give large sums of money to that belief, basically give up all personal freedom to that belief, it's a cult. I think sadly some people are looking for something to tell them how to live, they find comfort in being controlled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency

Although the only thing most serve is "god's" desire for constant insatiable desire for adulation.

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A religion is what you make of it. If you think of it as a scam it will be to you. If you think of it as a social institution created for the betterment of all then it will be to you.

If a religion gives you what you need and desire, then it is not a scam to you. If it costs you and gives you no benefits in return, then it is a scam to you.

If you find it "good value" for money or time invested it is not a scam to you. If you do not, it is.

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Posted (edited)

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Codependency

Although the only thing most serve is "god's" desire for constant insatiable desire for adulation.

But if god does not exist, then this must be a characteristic trait of humanity To create and give such adultation. In that case it cannot be a characteristic of god to desire service but one of humanity, to offer it. Many people find a life of service tobe extremely fullfilling and empowering.

In a sense it meets one of humanity's basic questions. "Why am I here and what purpose do I have?" One answer is, "To serve." it is a noble and worthwhile contribution to serve others.

Edited by Mr Walker

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But if god does not exist, then this must be a characteristic trait of humanity To create and give such adultation. In that case it cannot be a characteristic of god to desire service but one of humanity, to offer it. Many people find a life of service tobe extremely fullfilling and empowering.

In a sense it meets one of humanity's basic questions. "Why am I here and what purpose do I have?" One answer is, "To serve." it is a noble and worthwhile contribution to serve others.

It could be people grew up under narcissistic parents, they where abused and broken into a servile role, to meet the parents desires and to sacrifice their own, later on in life, once they move on from their parents, they seek to recreate their childhood feelings, and they use "god" as the crutch (in a sense they are lost), since there is no greater narcissist than him (a lying hypocrite who declared himself god millenniums ago) .

3 things I think of, Co-dependency, P.T.S.D., and Stockholm syndrome.

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I was really hoping more of would take put their religion up for the test. Even in Pagan paths it is good to be aware of pitfalls of covens which can turn into a nightmare of control and abuse. Not just money but sex can be used as a form of abuse in religion. I have witness first hand how bad things can get had to help put a stop to it by desolving the coven and ousting an idiot out of the community. If I had been able to prove what was going on somebody would have ended up in jail. It was not pretty, but a good learning experience.

This can happen with any religion, as shown by child abuse from priest and Al Qaeda training camps, etc.

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I took the test and came up with the answer of 32 as a result for the church I belong to. Not bad I think. I note that the questions are mostly centered on our perception of the leader in the church. It deosn't respond to questions on peoples personal view of the religion they belong to. Some being more intolerant and strict than others in the same church.

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It could be people grew up under narcissistic parents, they where abused and broken into a servile role, to meet the parents desires and to sacrifice their own, later on in life, once they move on from their parents, they seek to recreate their childhood feelings, and they use "god" as the crutch (in a sense they are lost), since there is no greater narcissist than him (a lying hypocrite who declared himself god millenniums ago) .

3 things I think of, Co-dependency, P.T.S.D., and Stockholm syndrome.

No you see you speak in negative biased terms. To serve is not to be servile. Every humans role in the interconnected web of humanity is to serve humanity and to serve to the best of their skills and ability. That is not servile it is a proud noble duty which strengthens empowers and enhances both the individual and the society. God is not a crutch any more than a parent is a crutch. God empowers liberates and allows a human being to be all they can be. PArents educate, strenghten, empower and finally liberate their children. Both serve a similar positive role There is s ense of co depndency but tha tis a positive and essential part of human life. we are all co dependent on each otherl PTSD? Where is the trauma or stress in a life lived with god God removes all fear anger stress and trauma. There is nothing to fear or be stressed about, when one is one with god.

And stockholm syndrome doesnt apply, because any relationship with a god is based on the choice of both to connect and relate to another. No one is a prisoner of god or held in unwilling captivity and so no one can develop the sort of transference which occurs with hostages towards the hostage takers. God asks us in, but we have to enter freely, and if we want god we have to ask him in There is no comparison to a hostage situation.

God is what we make him to be, and what we make him to be is a reflection of who and what we are.

Finally, given that narcissists make up only about 1% of the adult population (although significantly more among young people) very few children will be affected by that sort of narcissism, although I agree it would be sad limiting and damaging to be the child of a person who loved them selves more than their children.

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I did the test for the church my wife belongs to. Most of the questions didn't apply and i had to give zero to them (in fact they were quite amusing) A couple scored 1 to 3 and one 5. So a total of less than 10 Her church does put some significance in one prophet and it does follow biblical principals but it requires every person first to read and study the bible for them selves and to always check that any doctrine dogma or leaders words are biblical.

In other words it encourages people to think for them selves and that reading and study are the way to find truth but it does believe tha the bible gives humans a better way to live, and a way to connect to god and find eternal life. But if the bible doesnt convince you in itself of these things, then you can just walk away.

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Finally, given that narcissists make up only about 1% of the adult population (although significantly more among young people) very few children will be affected by that sort of narcissism, although I agree it would be sad limiting and damaging to be the child of a person who loved them selves more than their children.

Like abraham and his son issac?

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