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3 years ago  ::  Aug 22, 2011 - 11:12PM #271
solfeggio
Posts: 9,123

Dot and Wanderingal: Thank you for your intelligent and sympathetic input, which certainly clarified some of these contentious issues that mylons brought up.  I do appreciate your support more than you could imagine.


But, oh, man, there's no getting through to mylons. 


So, I'm going to quote what is possibly his favourite book, the ever-popular Christian bible:


Matthew 13:13: 'Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.'


Or as the more modern phrase goes: 'There are none so blind as those who will not see.'


I did NOT compare all religious upbringing to the Hitler Youth.  I merely used that as an example of how little children can be brainwashed into believing virtually anything their parents wished.  Little kids are gullible and easily deceived by authority figures. 


When I was a child, I believed all the nonsense my mother insisted was the 'truth' and which included stern warnings against thinking 'bad' thoughts, because, as she averred, if you let evil into your mind, satan would have control over you.


Do other religions teach this sort of thing?  Never having seriously talked about religion with other people, I really don't know.  (What I wrote here about my upbringing is the first time I've discussed it outside of my immediate family.  I never even confronted my mother about these things when I was an adult, although I wish I had.  My counsellor suggested that getting angry and throwing things - pillows - might help release the surpressed anger, and he was right.  But my mother was dead by then.)


But I do know that that sort of teaching made me into a really, really good little girl.  I was the model kid, never getting into trouble.


I suppose there is some virtue in that, although by the time I was a universitiy student and had had enough of religion and holy books and gods and monsters, I wasn't such a good girl anymore.  When you dump all that pretentious and vacuous religious rhetoric, the mental freedom you gain can be intoxicating.


Did other religions teach that you could heal yourself of virtually anything by simply reading the holy books and willing yourself better?  Again, I don't know.  There is probably some kernel of truth to that philosophy, though, much as I hate to admit it, because we do know that our thinking does affect our health to at least some extent.


It goes without saying that plenty of people with a strong religious upbringing turned out to be good, honest, worthy adults, such as Jimmy Carter, although it is true that Carter broke from the Southern Baptist church in recent years.  But others, like President Franklin Roosevelt, and Golda Meier, came from less religious households and turned out very well, too.  And then we have Gandhi, who was raised Hindu and practised the doctrine of Ahimsa, which is probably the best 'religion' of all.


Oh, and getting back to those Nazis:  I am sure everybody knows that the German enlisted men had 'Gott mit uns' (God with us) on their belt buckles.  And Hitler himself was raised as a Catholic and believed in god.  As various scholars have pointed out, Hitler's anti-Semitism was a result of his Christian education.


 


 


 


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 12:39AM #272
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Aug 22, 2011 -- 11:12PM, solfeggio wrote:


Dot and Wanderingal: Thank you for your intelligent and sympathetic input, which certainly clarified some of these contentious issues that mylons brought up.  I do appreciate your support more than you could imagine.


But, oh, man, there's no getting through to mylons. 


So, I'm going to quote what is possibly his favourite book, the ever-popular Christian bible:


Matthew 13:13: 'Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.'


Or as the more modern phrase goes: 'There are none so blind as those who will not see.'


I did NOT compare all religious upbringing to the Hitler Youth.  I merely used that as an example of how little children can be brainwashed into believing virtually anything their parents wished.  Little kids are gullible and easily deceived by authority figures. 


When I was a child, I believed all the nonsense my mother insisted was the 'truth' and which included stern warnings against thinking 'bad' thoughts, because, as she averred, if you let evil into your mind, satan would have control over you.


Do other religions teach this sort of thing?  Never having seriously talked about religion with other people, I really don't know.  (What I wrote here about my upbringing is the first time I've discussed it outside of my immediate family.  I never even confronted my mother about these things when I was an adult, although I wish I had.  My counsellor suggested that getting angry and throwing things - pillows - might help release the surpressed anger, and he was right.  But my mother was dead by then.)


But I do know that that sort of teaching made me into a really, really good little girl.  I was the model kid, never getting into trouble.


I suppose there is some virtue in that, although by the time I was a universitiy student and had had enough of religion and holy books and gods and monsters, I wasn't such a good girl anymore.  When you dump all that pretentious and vacuous religious rhetoric, the mental freedom you gain can be intoxicating.


Did other religions teach that you could heal yourself of virtually anything by simply reading the holy books and willing yourself better?  Again, I don't know.  There is probably some kernel of truth to that philosophy, though, much as I hate to admit it, because we do know that our thinking does affect our health to at least some extent.


It goes without saying that plenty of people with a strong religious upbringing turned out to be good, honest, worthy adults, such as Jimmy Carter, although it is true that Carter broke from the Southern Baptist church in recent years.  But others, like President Franklin Roosevelt, and Golda Meier, came from less religious households and turned out very well, too.  And then we have Gandhi, who was raised Hindu and practised the doctrine of Ahimsa, which is probably the best 'religion' of all.


Oh, and getting back to those Nazis:  I am sure everybody knows that the German enlisted men had 'Gott mit uns' (God with us) on their belt buckles.  And Hitler himself was raised as a Catholic and believed in god.  As various scholars have pointed out, Hitler's anti-Semitism was a result of his Christian education.




Positively outre, Solf.


I learned in theology 101-102  in Catholic college that Christianity came from Judaism. Hitler was a dangerous menace, but I wouldn't accept his thinking.


Jimmy Carter broke from the Southern Baptist Convention because it flew in face of Southern Baptist thought--had a long discussion with this with my Southern Baptist friends, who agreed with him. One of these friends graduated from a Southern Baptist college. Most of conversations were very concerned with what united rather than wha divided us


I did confront my mother when she was doing her toe-the-line routine but I told that story to Mlyon. It was the Religious Sisters of Mercy who told her to stop hitting me.


One went on and on about Theravada Budhhism. She never lived in a Buddhist country. One of my fave stories--when were visited Chaing Mai as guests of Thai friends my husband and I spent the afternoon looking at the wonders of Doi Sutep. On our way down the hill with our Thai hostess she invited us to ring the gongs with her because she had "made merit" for us too. I've never forgotten. (We were civilian sponsors of the Thai General and his wife at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth some years before. We sponsored a Thai officer and his wife for 4 different years in Leavenworth. One wife, who had studied in Boston, told me she thought the mid-west was boring. Our Thai hostess at Doi Sutep was the voie of the Beaver on Thai tv Leave it to Beaver--whata hoot.)


Solf, I normally enjoy your posts even though we disagree often. This post is the exception

Moderated by Merope on Aug 23, 2011 - 12:42PM
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 3:43AM #273
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:47PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:35PM, jane2 wrote:


...Just as an aside, guess who instructed my mom to stop hitting me : the Religious Sisters of Mercy who taught sunday school at my parish church and who later taught me in private Catholic high school. From toddlerhood forward my father taught me to reason and my mom's toe the line because I said so did not work with me. I'm sure I was a thorn in her side. Other than that my mother cared well for me.....







Yup.


Proof positive of the EVIL influences of religion in child rearing.  LOL!





Yep--child abuse as a result of religious beliefs often engenders "laughter."

Moderated by rangerken on Aug 23, 2011 - 10:57AM
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:52AM #274
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:28PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:13PM, DotNotInOz wrote:


It's "the accurate one"? Does that mean "It's obviously the sole reason why she's an atheist"?



Nope That's NOT what I am saying.  You're creating a strawman to beat up.  I'm sure there are other factors.  It would be fair, however, to state that someone's extreme religious upbring might have something to do with her atheistic beliefs



Okay, so I misunderstood you to be saying that you feel the sole cause of Solf's atheism is her extreme religious upbringing. No strawman involved, merely a misunderstanding of what you meant. 


I find it curious indeed if you truly do believe there are other factors and that her upbringing "might have something to do" with her atheism you'd use the phrase, "the accurate one," which tends to mean "the ONLY reason." But I'll concede that you didn't mean that.


Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:13PM, DotNotInOz wrote:

...you persist in misrepresenting what Solfeggio actually said and miscasting her context. You're either quite mistaken or simply dishonest in your misrepresentation. I'd rather believe it's the former but strongly suspect it's the latter.



I'm sorry, but perhaps you best read her own words.


"...I'm thinking of the Hitler youth groups of the 1930s and 1940s.  Very young boys joined up in a passion of patriotism, thinking they were supporting their country in its hour of need, encouraged by their parents who thought it was a good idea.


Looked at now, we can't imagine why those boys could possibly have supported one of the most evil regimes of the 20th century.


I can see where, as children, we might go along with our parents' crackpot, even dangerous, ideologies, but when we grow older we should start gaining perspective and seeing where our parents might have steered us wrong. 


Education certainly helps, but even that doesn't explain why, for example, children of creationists continue to hold those beliefs far into adulthood..."


You think my response malicious?  No more malicious that the tripe I read above.


She chose to post it.  I chose to respond to it.


Get it?



Oh, I get it. And here's where you clearly are misrepresenting her intent: You quoted Solfeggio's saying, "...we might go along with our parents' crackpot, even dangerous, ideologies, but when we grow older we should start...seeing where our parents might have steered us wrong."


Go back to the original and look at her overall context. She was talking at this point about EXTREMIST religious ideas such as she believes her mother's to have been, not everyday religious beliefs which encourage children to treat others well, manifesting, "Do not do to others what you do not wish done to yourself. 



Aug 22, 2011 -- 7:13PM, DotNotInOz wrote:


I'll take the chance that I'm wasting my breath and will say once again, "She did NOT equate ALL religious upbringing with membership in the Hitler Youth."



Show me where she refers to ONLY her upbringing please.  Good luck.



I just did.


Will you please agree to explain that you feel another person is mistaken without little jibes like "Good luck" and labeling another person's view as tripe? Otherwise, it's far too easy to attribute malice to you where none actually is intended. 


I agree that Solfeggio has said she herself feels that all religion is essentially useless and potentially even harmful. She did not, however, say that ALL religion indoctrinates as viciously as the Nazi mindset.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 7:23AM #275
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Aug 22, 2011 -- 11:12PM, solfeggio wrote:

 When I was a child, I believed all the nonsense my mother insisted was the 'truth' and which included stern warnings against thinking 'bad' thoughts, because, as she averred, if you let evil into your mind, satan would have control over you.


Do other religions teach this sort of thing?



No. And "that faith" doesn't teach it either as far as I know having studied it for a couple of years and having read exhaustively the writings of its founder. My former mother-in-law definitely didn't support the idea of a person's becoming controlled by any malign being due to thinking bad thoughts.


In fact, I don't recall that CS even has a concept of Satan as an entity. What the devil is believed to signify within their context is the individual's separation from God, Mind, Health (synonyms as they view them) by thinking in a manner that removes the person from oneness with God, the symptoms of that removal manifesting as illness. That's a rudimentary explanation that's not entirely an accurate representation but close enough for our purposes here.


I could be mistaken, because I certainly don't claim to be any expert on what Christian Science involves.


Did other religions teach that you could heal yourself of virtually anything by simply reading the holy books and willing yourself better?  Again, I don't know.  There is probably some kernel of truth to that philosophy, though, much as I hate to admit it, because we do know that our thinking does affect our health to at least some extent.



Some New Age thinkers teach that sort of thing such as Louise Hay who claims she was cured of cancer by meditation and strongly positive visualizations, essentially "good thoughts." Her book, You Can Heal Your Life, elaborates upon her method of bringing about cures with right thinking.


Other than a few fundamentalist Christian sects, I'm not aware of any other of the mainstream Christian denominations that believe prayer, bible reading and willing oneself cured are entirely sufficient for healing. Several denominations own and operate hospitals and clinics, in fact. Catholics, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians do that in my own metro, St. Louis, and elsewhere around the world along with other major religions such as Judaism. In fact, doctor or lawyer are the two careers Jewish parents traditionally wanted for their sons...and now can foist upon their daughters as well since both are open to either gender anymore.


It goes without saying that plenty of people with a strong religious upbringing turned out to be good, honest, worthy adults, such as Jimmy Carter, although it is true that Carter broke from the Southern Baptist church in recent years.  But others, like President Franklin Roosevelt, and Golda Meier, came from less religious households and turned out very well, too.  And then we have Gandhi, who was raised Hindu and practised the doctrine of Ahimsa, which is probably the best 'religion' of all.



Exactly, Solfeggio, and well said, despite your being a poor representative of Christopher Hitchens' "dogmas" regarding religion. < giggle > You must not be a REAL atheist... hee hee hee.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 8:01AM #276
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

I don't want to get involved in a discussion of CS specifically because my knowledge is extremely rudimentary...and ditto for New Age ideas.


However--in relation to the idea that thoughts can change one's health/phyiscal circumstances--


There is recent research that shows that the kinds of thoughts we think--IE which part of our brain we are using create different metabolic states in the brain--and also sometimes in the body.


For example--and this is a very primitive "explanation"--


Thinking positive hopeful thoughts say about plans one has for the future utilizes a certain part of the brain--and that part of the brain produces certain specific enzymes/hormones which affect the body one way.


While thinking very negative thoughts--for example reviewing something bad that happened to you or to someone you know--uses a different part of the brain--which produces very different hormones etc.


This is relatively new info and I heard it discussed first on one of the PBS documentaries dealing with recent brain research within the past year.


They are not drawing any large/global conclusions about these results which they say they were surprised by as nothing like this had shown up in previous testing. The new results are most likely the result of much more sensitive testing equipment.


 But the different brain areas being activated by different kinds of thoughts could lead one to a possible conclusion that thoughts can/do have an impact on one's physical being. Though of course a lot more research is needed.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:09PM #277
solfeggio
Posts: 9,123

Wanderingal has brought up a good point here when she talks about our thoughts having an impact upon our health.  I was just reading something about the fact that stress really does turn your hair grey:


www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/87...


This shows hows our emotions can, indeed, affect our physical bodies.  I find this very interesting.  And, it's got me to thinking about all the people I know with grey hair and, especially, why I never went grey even though I'm an oldie now. 


We also know that stress can cause high blood pressure.  And when we are stressed, we are often breathless, sometimes even shaking. 


If negative thinking can have a harmful effect, what about the opposite?  Can happy thoughts make us healthy?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:25PM #278
Erey
Posts: 18,594

Aug 23, 2011 -- 6:09PM, solfeggio wrote:


Wanderingal has brought up a good point here when she talks about our thoughts having an impact upon our health.  I was just reading something about the fact that stress really does turn your hair grey:


www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/87...


This shows hows our emotions can, indeed, affect our physical bodies.  I find this very interesting.  And, it's got me to thinking about all the people I know with grey hair and, especially, why I never went grey even though I'm an oldie now. 


We also know that stress can cause high blood pressure.  And when we are stressed, we are often breathless, sometimes even shaking. 


If negative thinking can have a harmful effect, what about the opposite?  Can happy thoughts make us healthy?





absolutely they can!  There are alot of studies out there proving that. 


 


As far as gray hair, alot of that seems genetic.  My mother had a stressfull job but grayed very slowly, nothing noticiable untill she was in her 60's.  I have very easy breezy friends with trust funds who were very gray by the age of 30 - just like their parent.


I do know some identical  twins and one is a stress bunny and the other is relaxed and easy going and the stressed one has more gray than his chilled twin brother.  So you do gray quicker with stress but I think we are all going to gray at a certain rate.


 


I remember when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancern he went gray overnight it seemed and a girlfriend of mine who was floored and very traumatized when her beloved husband threw her over for a much younger woman - her hair started to come in white.   Like Trauma graying.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:28PM #279
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Solf


Can't resist this one : I haven't known what color my hair is in years. I have my stylist high-light it regularly. Now I have a somewhat blond long bob. I like it. Me worry????


Jane


(Ya know I like to make mischief ;).................)


I agree with Erey about genetic input, too.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:29PM #280
solfeggio
Posts: 9,123

Dot -


Whilst I go along with much of what Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and others have to say against traditional religious teachings, I have to part company with them at one point, which is that, unlike most atheists, I do believe in the paranormal. 


That is, I really do think that near-death experiences are valid, that genuine mediums exist, there is such a thing as telepathy, and that synchonicity is in some way meaningful, even if we don't understand how.  As well, I go along with Jung's concept of the archetype.


This has nothing to do with the concept of a personal god - or gods - which I do not believe exists, but rather with a feeling that there is more to the universe than we could possibly understand.  I always think that it is analogous to the relationship between humans and ants. 


If a human, walking along, happens to step on an anthill, the scurrying ants cannot possibly know whether the human has done this on purpose or if it was just happenstance.  If the ants were thinking beings with established ant religions, they might assume that what had happened to them was the result of their god's displeasure.  Therefore, they would pray to their ant god and offer sacrifices to appease him/her.


Assuming that nobody else comes along to step on their rebuilt anthill, the religious ants would assume that their prayers and sacrifices had worked, and they would continue in this practise, hoping to avoid further catastrophe.


Of course, sooner or later, somebody is going to come along and crush the anthill again, so the religious ants would have to figure out some new way of paclifying the deity.


To me, this is exactly how religion works, and why it is so badly flawed.  We humans are the ants in the universe.  We know nothing. 


 


 


 

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