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Sherapy

Religion and shame

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Adcox
Can limitations and teachings such as one who is sinful by nature and in need of forgiveness.... as set down by religion encourage shame???

some circles feel this is a global issue this idea that one is so unworthy they aren't fit to question the creator ......

ideas or systems that respond with coldness, indifference, punishment are really just teaching shame.....

is this a valid inquiry , how does one benefit from feeling sinful and unworthy?? what are the positives...

Ok i'm not sure if this was said because i am not prepared to read this whole topic so i'm sorry if it has been said.

Ok i don't fully understand your question but whatever we all believe in we are unworthy, i'll use my religion as a example just to make this post easier to write but my religion (Catholic) says right in communion "I am not worthy to recieve you but only say the word and i shall be healed" so i guess the feeling of being unworthy gives us a feeling of not being in power, sorta. Like there is a higher being.

Really good question very hard to answer i'll think on it and post later

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Radian
Well, as has been noted by Sheri many times, when you post something on UM, it's going to be commented on and questioned. So, if we want to ask "why" something, I would like to ask, sunni, Why should anyone post something on UM if they don't want to talk about it? He could have not posted it, right? He could have posted it with a comment that explains it, knowing that people would be curious and ask about it. joc could have given a brief explanation as to why he goes to a church that he doesn't like, it could have kept people from asking an obvious question out of curiosity ON THIS INTERNATIONAL SPIRITUALITY VS. SKEPTICS DISCUSSION FORUM. Why on earth would someone post something that is no one's business? I understand that joc made the statement and sunni asked why anyone should question it. So, sunni, why should anyone not question it? Don't you ask questions when you are curious about something? Or are only certain people not supposed to ask questions?

I think it's hysterically funny that most people here jump on the chance to say... "Well, you know, God could have done x or y differently.. and it just defies logic and disproves His existence because I have noted that in the vast realm of possibilities, x and/or y could have been gone about in a different manner, you know one that I approve of and makes sense to me, the human. Therefore, I just scientifically disproved God's existence." LOL people we can't even understand why some people do the things they do, given the myriad of possible things to do. We don't keep simple logic from one thread to the next. And then we insist that we have no right to question other humans who post on a discussion forum... and we think we are capable enough to follow God's plan, logic and reasoning? Psssshhhhhtttt. Whatever.

Yeah, humans are INFINITELY wiser than God is. :lol: Anyone who notes that there is more than one way to go about achieving something surely proves that God is wrong for doing it the way He did it. All hail the human intellect in all its glory! It can outwit God (OK not really) It can create life out of nothing (right?) It can answer the unanswerable questions (well it likes to think it can). It can solve the mysteries of human behavior (oh wait that's mostly unproved theories).... well it at least can use its vast scientific knowledge to explain it's own origin (dangit, I forgot about the pig's teeth and one or two bones that most early man examples actually consist of)! Ok maybe we're not doing so well... let's see... It can cure diseases that kill us!!! The intellect holds the keys of life and death and aging, telemeres be damned :( . We are in complete control of AIDS and cancer because we're smart, and that is all you need to be, to be advanced and enlightened!!! :rolleyes::unsure2: We know how to pronounce big words and memorize facts and look through microscopes at all the things that kill us, and we know how to deny that there is anything wrong with human nature and make excuses/talk in circles/psycho-analyze ourselves with textbook disorders that mean we don't do anything wrong on purpose, and also mean everything we can dream of to do is valid in some way!!! We're so intellectual, we can come up with laws that say not to rape kids and no one argues with it or disobeys it or tries to argue their way out of their punishment in court with some ridiculous justification, because we're so fabulously moral and intelligent. Ain't it grand to be human... I'm soooo glad we don't need God for anything :rolleyes:

yeah, I ranted, what are you going to do about it?

:sleepy: Why? what? who? Sorry, this spew has about to put me to sleep.

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Mr Walker
Well Mr. walker i would say this supports my OP.... "I did not tell my parents this, because i knew they would NOT APPROVE of the fact that i was taking a young lady there for the evening." shame is not natural its taught as is guilt .....

your moral code is taught by parenting and society etc....

"after the event, as this reduced both my level of shame and their disappointment in my choices. I don't remember my parents inducing any feeling of shame in me, it was just an appropriate response to the situation.'

thi sis exactly what i am referring too, guilt and shame is taught .... does the little baby feel ashamed for relieving himself in his diapers of course not. does the young man'lady who pleasures themselves feel ashamed and guilty heck no not until they are taught to......

I was not taught to feel shame (or guilt). As others have said, this is an innate biological response. More research has been done on anger to prove this point, but it also applies to other emotional reactions such as shame.

I was taught a moral/ethical code. While i am prepared to accept personal variances to a moral /ethical code, any one who believes it is not necessary to have one, or particularly fails to instal one in children for whom they are responsible, is a natural menace to anyone they or their children interact with.

In 35 years i have taught thousands of children. Apart from genetic sociopaths, the most dangerous future members of society are always those who have not internalised a moral code. without such a code you may as well make decisions based on the throw of a dice, because you will not be making them on any real logical or rational basis.

The best example of this is the simplest. If you see nothing wrong with lying and do not appreciate the personal and social problems this causes, you will lie just as often as you tell the truth. Your actions will be random and unpredictable, partly because you don't see the danger even in self delusion, let alone misleading others. It is not even the lying that is a problem. Society works on the presumption that most people will tell the truth most of the time. Try a conversation with someone where you alternate one true response with one false one.

So,I felt shame as a logical and natural human response to breaking a commonly understood social contract. My parents had taught and illustrated to me at a very young age that any punishment/ criticism was directed at my behaviour, not me as a person, and I knew that my behaviour had disappointed them. How could I fail to have an emotional response to this disappointment.

The two examples you give are not really relevant. a child does not understand pooping its pants. m********ion is a natural human response to sexual tension. No, people should not be taught it is bad. However, a child who is given no guidance in the matter will end up just as psychologically disturbed as well as being in all sorts of trouble, when they act on their instincts.

Thus, some Ethical code should be taught about it eg. Not a good idea to do it in public. Now if one choses to break this moral/ethical code, I believe it is a good idea that they should feel some shame/ guilt about it. Society needs moral /ethical codes to indicate acceptable/unacceptable behaviour., and there is no point in having codes of behaviour, without applicable personal (embarrassment) and societal (legal punishment) sanctions.

Edited by Mr Walker

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MissMelsWell
What church do you belong to?

Quaker. No collection plate, no church to speak of, no clergy.

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eqgumby

Even here on UM, there is info about animals and emotions. If a buffalo can experience joy, is it so far a leap to think humans can experience guilt or shame as a natural rather than learned emotion?

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=96130

The point is not if religion uses or used shame and guilt as a tool for modification of behavior, but rather is it a natural aspect of human behavior. If it IS, as is indicated by science, all these people who make statements that shame is learned and NOT natural, are mistaken. Therefore, to not experience these emotions on some level would be unnatural, and probable harmful to the human psyche, just as never experiencing some level of joy would be harmful.

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Shadow_Hill

Out of interest, which of our emotions are considered natural?

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joc
Quaker. No collection plate, no church to speak of, no clergy.

Very well. I will leave you out of the mix. I can tell you this: every two seconds...2 seconds...a human being dies of starvation. Every two seconds...want to guess how I know this? Because our preacher told us! Why did he tell us? Because it was Mission Drive Week. Did you know that most people in the world don't even own a car? On one hand, the message is...we have enough...which I believe in deeply...Jesus prayed Give us 'this day' our daily bread. In other words don't worry about tomorrow...today is really all we have...and it is enough for today.

The other side of the equation is that it doesn't matter how much you give...Bill Gates could give all of his wealth to missions and guess what...every 2 seconds someone would STILL die of starvation. So, part of the mix is deceitful. The churches are tethered to the dollar. They cannot survive without an invention of man.

Another thing is that we are told...This is NOT a show...but worship...join in the worship...as a fully orchestrated band, complete with horns, guitars, two drum sets, chello and violins, five singers on the stage with wireless microphones and a light show to equal Aerosmiths and words on huge screens all lead us in 'worship'. You can't even hear yourself sing...and when the Not a Show finishes a solo...everyone claps wildly...what hypocrisy! The truth is that it IS a show. The truth is that the majority of people there WANT a show of that magnitude. The people there believe that we really NEED to sacrifice for a new Childrens Building even though we just 'sacrificed' for a 13 million dollar children's building 5 years ago.

And all of this is done in the name of 'spreading the word'...that too is deceitful and hypocritic because: the vast majority of new members are NOT new conversions, rather folks just 'moving their letter' of membership from a different church to that one...so in effect they are 'stealing' away other churches members by virtue of a 'better show'.

I understand that I am alone in sharing this point of view of the church...well, not alone...God himself shares the point of view in Revelations as he judges the churches....I will say it again:

The church is Anti-Christ. Otherwise...it would not hold up for itself treasures here on Earth.

Okay...thank you for listening...my little rant is over...'tis a subject I am passionate about! It does indeed speak to the heart of this thread. Guilt and Shame are tools of the church to garnish their already tax-free surplus of wealth. If this were not the case then why are we told over and over and over...it isn't your money anyway...everything belongs to God! Well, I belong to God...and so does my money...but it sure as hell doesn't belong to an organization that at it's very core is against everything I believe in.

I hope this explains a bit what I am talking about when I speak of Religion...I am not talking about IAMSONS belief system or anyone else's...I am talking about Organized Religion that is deceitful to the core, yet parades itself in fine Christian clothing.

Edited by joc

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eqgumby
I was not taught to feel shame (or guilt). As others have said, this is an innate biological response. More research has been done on anger to prove this point, but it also applies to other emotional reactions such as shame.

I was taught a moral/ethical code. While i am prepared to accept personal variances to a moral /ethical code, any one who believes it is not necessary to have one, or particularly fails to instal one in children for whom they are responsible, is a natural menace to anyone they or their children interact with.

In 35 years i have taught thousands of children. Apart from genetic sociopaths, the most dangerous future members of society are always those who have not internalised a moral code. without such a code you may as well make decisions based on the throw of a dice, because you will not be making them on any real logical or rational basis.

The best example of this is the simplest. If you see nothing wrong with lying and do not appreciate the personal and social problems this causes, you will lie just as often as you tell the truth. Your actions will be random and unpredictable, partly because you don't see the danger even in self delusion, let alone misleading others. It is not even the lying that is a problem. Society works on the presumption that most people will tell the truth most of the time. Try a conversation with someone where you alternate one true response with one false one.

So,I felt shame as a logical and natural human response to breaking a commonly understood social contract. My parents had taught and illustrated to me at a very young age that any punishment/ criticism was directed at my behaviour, not me as a person, and I knew that my behaviour had disappointed them. How could I fail to have an emotional response to this disappointment.

The two examples you give are not really relevant. a child does not understand pooping its pants. m********ion is a natural human response to sexual tension. No, people should not be taught it is bad. However, a child who is given no guidance in the matter will end up just as psychologically disturbed as well as being in all sorts of trouble, when they act on their instincts.

Thus, some Ethical code should be taught about it eg. Not a good idea to do it in public. Now if one choses to break this moral/ethical code, I believe it is a good idea that they should feel some shame/ guilt about it. Society needs moral /ethical codes to indicate acceptable/unacceptable behaviour., and there is no point in having codes of behaviour, without applicable personal (embarrassment) and societal (legal punishment) sanctions.

OK, the very first sentence...I think you may want to expand on that statement. I don't think you were taught NOT to feel shame, but rather to feel it when appropriate, and to learn from your experiences. I mean that makes sense. But being taught not to feel shame is like being taught NOT to feel joy. I'm sure it can be done, but it violates human nature, and I still think would lead to a diagnosable psychological illness/defect. I'm not really contradicting you here, just trying to clarify.

An example would be, my child fails a class in school. I ask him why. We come to the determination that it's because he did not do the homework and complete the projects as directed. Not that he's stupid. Just that he CHOSE not to do the work. He feels bad, because I am disappointed in the poor decision he made. He self corrects along with my encouragement, because he FEELS BAD that I am disappointed. (He finally got a B, and a "Good job, that was easy wasn't it?" from Dad. He bashfully smiled and said "Yes. Sorry." He got back a "No sweat. Lets go fishing!" End of drama.)

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eqgumby
Out of interest, which of our emotions are considered natural?

http://www.drmillslmu.com/Evolpsyc/spr2004...ary-3-11-04.htm

This is a link I posted a few pages back. It explores that question. I think the bottom line is that the jury is still out, but it tries to answer the question.

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Leonardo

eggumby,

I know this might seem pedantic, but I think that it's important to clarify that no-one is taught to feel or not feel shame or guilt. These are emotions we all have and aren't 'taught' (at least, that seems to be the gist of the research you posted in that link). What is taught are the situations when feeling these emotions is appropriate.

Our emotions are a biological response, we just learn when to express that response.

*dons flame-retardant suit*

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truethat
OK, the very first sentence...I think you may want to expand on that statement. I don't think you were taught NOT to feel shame, but rather to feel it when appropriate, and to learn from your experiences. I mean that makes sense. But being taught not to feel shame is like being taught NOT to feel joy. I'm sure it can be done, but it violates human nature, and I still think would lead to a diagnosable psychological illness/defect. I'm not really contradicting you here, just trying to clarify.

An example would be, my child fails a class in school. I ask him why. We come to the determination that it's because he did not do the homework and complete the projects as directed. Not that he's stupid. Just that he CHOSE not to do the work. He feels bad, because I am disappointed in the poor decision he made. He self corrects along with my encouragement, because he FEELS BAD that I am disappointed. (He finally got a B, and a "Good job, that was easy wasn't it?" from Dad. He bashfully smiled and said "Yes. Sorry." He got back a "No sweat. Lets go fishing!" End of drama.)

This is an interesting point.

I would ask the others who say guilt is a learned behavior to consider that guilt isn't a behavior, is an emotion. So is joy.

If you say everything is taught then you'd have to say that you need to teach children to feel happiness which is completely laughable.

What's interesting is how people are willing to accept all of themselves, and others do not want to accept anything bad about their nature. Just other people's nature.

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IamsSon
Very well. I will leave you out of the mix. I can tell you this: every two seconds...2 seconds...a human being dies of starvation. Every two seconds...want to guess how I know this? Because our preacher told us! Why did he tell us? Because it was Mission Drive Week. Did you know that most people in the world don't even own a car? On one hand, the message is...we have enough...which I believe in deeply...Jesus prayed Give us 'this day' our daily bread. In other words don't worry about tomorrow...today is really all we have...and it is enough for today.

The other side of the equation is that it doesn't matter how much you give...Bill Gates could give all of his wealth to missions and guess what...every 2 seconds someone would STILL die of starvation. So, part of the mix is deceitful. The churches are tethered to the dollar. They cannot survive without an invention of man.

Another thing is that we are told...This is NOT a show...but worship...join in the worship...as a fully orchestrated band, complete with horns, guitars, two drum sets, chello and violins, five singers on the stage with wireless microphones and a light show to equal Aerosmiths and words on huge screens all lead us in 'worship'. You can't even hear yourself sing...and when the Not a Show finishes a solo...everyone claps wildly...what hypocrisy! The truth is that it IS a show. The truth is that the majority of people there WANT a show of that magnitude. The people there believe that we really NEED to sacrifice for a new Childrens Building even though we just 'sacrificed' for a 13 million dollar children's building 5 years ago.

And all of this is done in the name of 'spreading the word'...that too is deceitful and hypocritic because: the vast majority of new members are NOT new conversions, rather folks just 'moving their letter' of membership from a different church to that one...so in effect they are 'stealing' away other churches members by virtue of a 'better show'.

I understand that I am alone in sharing this point of view of the church...well, not alone...God himself shares the point of view in Revelations as he judges the churches....I will say it again:

The church is Anti-Christ. Otherwise...it would not hold up for itself treasures here on Earth.

Okay...thank you for listening...my little rant is over...'tis a subject I am passionate about! It does indeed speak to the heart of this thread. Guilt and Shame are tools of the church to garnish their already tax-free surplus of wealth. If this were not the case then why are we told over and over and over...it isn't your money anyway...everything belongs to God! Well, I belong to God...and so does my money...but it sure as hell doesn't belong to an organization that at it's very core is against everything I believe in.

I hope this explains a bit what I am talking about when I speak of Religion...I am not talking about IAMSONS belief system or anyone else's...I am talking about Organized Religion that is deceitful to the core, yet parades itself in fine Christian clothing.

I agree that all churches are corrupt in some way or other, because any activity or organization where imperfect beings are involved will by definition be corrupt. However, since Jesus called us to gather in His name, and since even the earliest Christians gathered as a body of believers, gathering as a "church" is a proper thing to do as a Christian.

As a full-time staff member of a church I can tell you a couple of things you may not be aware of. First of all the electric company, and the water and sewage providers do not exempt churches from having to pay. Typically, as much as 12% of a church budget will go to utilities . Additionally, because of the actions of a few clergy who abused their authority and sexually abused children, property insurance for churches is RIDICULOUSLY high! Currently, this is 6% of our church's budget. Additionally, many churches actually serve as repositories for funds that are distributed to missionaries and selected charitable organizations, and also a budget item for beneficence (helping a member of the congregation pay some bills, etc.). This can be as much as 30% of a church's budget. Salaries and salary-related expenses (Social Security and other taxes, and a modest medical insurance program for the staff) will be approximately 30% of the budget. Notice, we have already taken up 78% of a church budget. The rest of the budget is then taken with regular maintenance, funding of the Children's Ministry, Youth Ministry, Women's Ministry... etc. This is a fairly typical budget breakdown for a medium-sized church (300 - 1,000 members). Yes, I know of churches where the pastor gets a lot of money and drives a Cadillac, and wears Armani suits every day. But for everyone of those guys there are I would bet at least a hundred guys, who although they are full-time pastors of a church also do things on the side to support their families, like teach at the local Bible college or seminary, or engage in speaking engagements. I can tell you that being a pastor full-time is not a fun job. My office is next door to our pastor's and I know he spends great parts of his day listening to the worst problems people are going through, in addition to spending hours poring through different Bible translations, studying sociology texts to understand the culture of the time, and actually putting the message together. It's easy to think that all pastors do is sit around goofing off and trying to figure out ways to guilt people into getting involved and giving up their money, but this is far from the truth for the majority of these guys.

Edited by IamsSon

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Shadow_Hill
http://www.drmillslmu.com/Evolpsyc/spr2004...ary-3-11-04.htm

This is a link I posted a few pages back. It explores that question. I think the bottom line is that the jury is still out, but it tries to answer the question.

Thanks for that... I missed the link before. I imagine, with there being so much to read, that I've missed a fair amount.

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eqgumby
eggumby,

I know this might seem pedantic, but I think that it's important to clarify that no-one is taught to feel or not feel shame or guilt. These are emotions we all have and aren't 'taught' (at least, that seems to be the gist of the research you posted in that link). What is taught are the situations when feeling these emotions is appropriate.

Our emotions are a biological response, we just learn when to express that response.

*dons flame-retardant suit*

He he...

*readies flame thrower* :lol:

I think you're right actually. Actually that pretty much falls in line with what I have been saying, which is contrary to what the OP was implying.

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eqgumby
This is an interesting point.

I would ask the others who say guilt is a learned behavior to consider that guilt isn't a behavior, is an emotion. So is joy.

If you say everything is taught then you'd have to say that you need to teach children to feel happiness which is completely laughable.

What's interesting is how people are willing to accept all of themselves, and others do not want to accept anything bad about their nature. Just other people's nature.

Yup, it may be semantics, but as they say, the devil is in the details...

Again, since it has been shown that guilt/shame is NOT purely learned, it would follow that it can't be unlearned. The natural responses to it can be modified of course. Maybe THAT is where this topic should have gone 1000 posts ago.

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GIDEON MAGE
Additionally, because of the actions of a few clergy who abused their authority and sexually abused children, property taxes for churches are RIDICULOUSLY high! Currently, this is 6% of our church's budget.

since when do churches pay taxes?

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Shadow_Hill
Maybe THAT is where this topic should have gone 1000 posts ago.

That's where I hoped it was going...

It's not the existence of guilt/shame which interests me so much as the use of those emotions, and the possibility that excessive amounts of both can be damaging... as can applying a need for them to actions which should not inspire either emotion.

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IamsSon
since when do churches pay taxes?

I apologize, that should have been property insurance, I will edit my post to reflect this. However, churches do pay payroll taxes.

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truethat
That's where I hoped it was going...

It's not the existence of guilt/shame which interests me so much as the use of those emotions, and the possibility that excessive amounts of both can be damaging... as can applying a need for them to actions which should not inspire either emotion.

Exactly, but some religions don't use shame at all as part of their belief system. I don't think Buddhists do, do they? Or Deists? Do you use shame? Or Wiccans or Pagans?

This thread obviously was an attack on Christianity. And has been stated ages and ages ago, some churches might use the shame aspect of it to galvanize its members but most Christians I know use faith, hope and love not shame to guide people. In fact I would say the public school system and parents use shame a lot more than religion does with children.

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MissMelsWell

My church pays property taxes. We own our building and lot outright, but that tax bill comes up every month to the tune of about $650 a month. We don't have a payroll, so that's a non-issue. The last Wednesday of ever month, we bust out our checkbooks to pay water, sewer, garbage, electicity, insurance, and taxes. We have a small congregation, so this is no trivial $5 here and there in the plate. But we want to keep our meeting house, so we do it.

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Shadow_Hill
Exactly, but some religions don't use shame at all as part of their belief system. I don't think Buddhists do, do they? Or Deists? Do you use shame? Or Wiccans or Pagans?

Deists don't use shame, no. We accept that we don't always get things right, but there's no divine punishment for tripping up... there's no list of things to do or not do. We have no commandments... we just do our best. Personally I think the Wiccan Rede, "An it harm none, do as ye will" is a good code to live by. We don't judge each other or use shame to increase the number of Deists floating about.

What interests me is where we get our ideas from. How many of the things we do, which are considered worthy of feelings of guilt or shame, are labelled as inappropriate in the first place because they have foundations in some religious code? I've been exploring this because I became aware, fairly recently, that some of the actions I considered immoral were perceived as such because I have maintained ideas which were instilled in me by society/family/friends/whatever and have a basis in a religion I am not a member of... they are actions which I have no reason to consider immoral, aside from that instruction received early on in my life. I think that such beliefs, ones which I hadn't even considered letting go of because they are based in religion, are damaging for me personally. I find it fascinating that we don't tend to explore what motivates our feelings and just accept that things are right/wrong without considering our reasons for believing that.

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Isis2200
Can limitations and teachings such as one who is sinful by nature and in need of forgiveness.... as set down by religion encourage shame???

some circles feel this is a global issue this idea that one is so unworthy they aren't fit to question the creator ......

ideas or systems that respond with coldness, indifference, punishment are really just teaching shame.....

is this a valid inquiry , how does one benefit from feeling sinful and unworthy?? what are the positives...

Hi Sheri, I don't think it encourages shame; rather, it encourages humility. According to Wikipedia

"Humility is the state of being humble. A humble person is generally thought to be unpretentious and modest: someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. Humility is not to be confused with humiliation, which is the act of making someone else feel ashamed, and is seen as something completely different. "

I have a deep belief that in our society nowadays we are very much lacking in humility. I've been to another country and there I saw many humble religious people. I have also known people from other countries who are very humble. So I don't believe that religion encourages shame, but it encourages humility not only towards our fellow man but in every area of our life and especially towards God.

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth." (Matthew 5:5)

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Sherapy
Exactly, but some religions don't use shame at all as part of their belief system. I don't think Buddhists do, do they? Or Deists? Do you use shame? Or Wiccans or Pagans?

This thread obviously was an attack on Christianity. And has been stated ages and ages ago, some churches might use the shame aspect of it to galvanize its members but most Christians I know use faith, hope and love not shame to guide people. In fact I would say the public school system and parents use shame a lot more than religion does with children.

Yet the distinctive point here is relgionists tell you to stop listening to yourself using every fear they can think of to get you to see that intuitively knowing and feeling is wrong and the only comfort for you is in their ideas, their thoughts their definitions of right and wrong and their ideas on who they say you are including guilt and shame and the seduction here is all you have to do is agree and in that agreement you are saved..but what are you agreeing too???

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Shadow_Hill
..but what are you agreeing too???

Forced mental/spiritual confinement... from my viewpoint.

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hyperactive
What interests me is where we get our ideas from. How many of the things we do, which are considered worthy of feelings of guilt or shame, are labelled as inappropriate in the first place because they have foundations in some religious code? I've been exploring this because I became aware, fairly recently, that some of the actions I considered immoral were perceived as such because I have maintained ideas which were instilled in me by society/family/friends/whatever and have a basis in a religion I am not a member of... they are actions which I have no reason to consider immoral, aside from that instruction received early on in my life. I think that such beliefs, ones which I hadn't even considered letting go of because they are based in religion, are damaging for me personally. I find it fascinating that we don't tend to explore what motivates our feelings and just accept that things are right/wrong without considering our reasons for believing that.

Exactly. I touched on this pages back. Because of how tightly religions are intertwined into their cultures/societies it can be difficult to separate out exactly where the religious influence begins and ends at times, but it is there - in the codification of behaviour. With regard to why people do not explore what motivates their feelings and accept what they are taught is because this is part of how humans evolved to make learning more efficient. Humans mimic the behaviours of others to learn. In simple cases it works quite well, but it does indeed allow for errant concepts to be passed on.

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