Social Question

zensky's avatar

In this day and age - how can someone still believe in something that professes that...

Asked by zensky (13294 points ) February 18th, 2013

Women are inferior.
Women must dress a certain way and cover up their faces and bodies?
Gay men should be killed/jailed/outlawed.
Gay women are a myth/mistake/against the law
Women cannot be in charge of the religion/drive/do anything
Kissing in public will get you jail time
Stealing will get an arm lopped off

Etcetera…

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44 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

one word: religion.

cookieman's avatar

The foundation of their reality is how they want life to be (often based on their beliefs), not how life really is.

JLeslie's avatar

Absloutely agree with @ragingloli.—Religion

I was just talking to a man yesterday about licing in Memphis, benign conversation and he went off onto a tangent about polictics and launched into how he can’t be a Democrat because of the gays. They need to be fixed, it is against God…blah blah blah. Made me pretty sick.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Religious people might say something like “it was a different time then” or “most/all of that was in the Old Testament” (which doesn’t matter?). I call it picking and choosing what to believe based on what’s convenient. Or making excuses when the “truth” is pretty clearly written. It’s all BS.

Pachy's avatar

Religious beliefs are one reason, but others on the list include cultural differences, lack of education, inherited prejudice, lack of exposure to the larger world, and fear of change in thinking.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I TOTALLY agree with @ragingloli ! It is RELIGION.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I will speak for myself by saying that God gave me a brain to think with, and while I do believe in God, I form my own moral code based on said religion/ teachings. I try very hard not to presume my opinion is more correct or better in any way than anyone else’s, and I also try to not judge my fellow humans, who are fallible.

zenvelo's avatar

@ragingloli has it right. It is all based on various ancient texts that proclaim an understanding of how an agreed upon God views the world. What is troubling is that it extends beyond the three branches of the Abrahamic religions, but also in other religions, such as Hindi and various African animist beliefs.

So, without having done any real studying of this, I wonder if it is because of the continuation of patriarchal systems that impose a masculine framework onto cultures.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL What does that have to do with the Q? Maybe I am missing something.

bookish1's avatar

@zenvelo: Hindi is a language, not a religion.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie The Q is asking how someone can believe and I answered the Q. Am I not allowed to answer since I’m a Christian? I would assume this is directed at believers more than non-believers.

wundayatta's avatar

Tradition. Culture. Religion is a subset of these things.

bookish1's avatar

All of these kinds of oppression are a manifestation of patriarchal concern for OVA and PROPERTY.
Religion is a frequent justification. It is not the source of this bullshit.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Their parents told them so, that’s how. And they’re not very bright.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I don’t believe religion is the sole reason. Religion is a reason or an excuse that these so called leaders use to force their ways onto people by using that so called religion in conjunction with fear and intimidation, opression, power, relationship control, information control, time control..

It’s almost the common cult.

thorninmud's avatar

I agree that this goes way beyond religion. These ideas favor the entrenched power structure, and religion is just one manifestation of that power structure.

It’s like the matter of how America’s political campaigns are financed. Anyone who looks at the matter objectively acknowledges that the current system sucks, but those who are already in power—and therefore have the say in deciding how things get done—are the ones who have benefited from the current way of doing things. Why would they change a system that gives them an advantage?

ucme's avatar

Extreme backwards thinking, so much so, even the amish think those types are behind with the times.

bkcunningham's avatar

Some people just have to have somebody to hate, look down upon, lord over, make fun of, feel superior to, etc. Just look around Fluther.

blueiiznh's avatar

Yes. You also have a choice to not believe in that and those organizations.

burntbonez's avatar

I think if you grow up with family, school, and church reinforcing certain messages, then you will have a hard time seeing through them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez Perhaps you see through them, resolve it in your own heart and mind, and believe anyway because it makes you a better person and/ or brings you peace.

We all choose what we believe or don’t believe to a degree. Trust me, Jesus would have to look me in my eye balls and tell me that in order to love him, I must hate gays or something equally offensive before I would even consider giving up on Him.

Harold's avatar

Although no one can argue that many religions teach the kind of stupidity that you refer to, it is very narrow to say that it is religion that is the sole reason. Like anything in this world, there are good and bad in religions. This question is obviously mainly referring to Islam (although other religions have elements of these things too), but there are good people in Islam. However, I believe that it is despite the teachings, not because of them.

So, to answer the question, I believe that people adhere to these things because of tradition, family and social pressure, and in some cases, fear of their own lives.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Limited, Rigid Thinking.

flutherother's avatar

They’re not living in this day and age.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Of course you can answer, I don’t think who answers this Q has anything to do with whether someone believes in God or not, or is religious or not. The Q asks how people still hold onto the ideas that women are inferior, gay men should be jailed, theifs should have a hand chopped off, etc. Are you saying religion is why some people still believe these things are correct?

KNOWITALL's avatar

The question appears to be referencing the Bible, so yes I am saying that religion is the reason why some people still believe these things. They take the Bible literally, even when it contradicts itself. I do not.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I started thinking about this question more.

If you have an hour you should watch the link I post below.

I started wondering what a billion muslims must really think.

This answers a lot as to why we think the way we do about muslims, which I believe is who the question is about. We know virtually nothing about muslims, the media portrays them to us and it is usually negative.

rooeytoo's avatar

All religions have some strange traditions, beliefs and practices. Some however are much more controlling, abusive and violent than others. The particular one referenced by the question happens to be one of the worst. They appear to hate everyone except those who believe exactly as they do. And if you don’t we can always throw in a suicide bomber to take care of you. The media may dwell on the negative but it is not completely contrived, it happens and the evidence is there for all to see.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@rooeytoo I have to politely disagree with your statement that: “The particular one referenced by the question happens to be one of the worst. They appear to hate everyone except those who believe exactly as they do. And if you don’t we can always throw in a suicide bomber to take care of you.”

If you watched that video I referenced above you would see the statistics and that the media does in fact dwell on the negative. I cannot remember the stats but I remember it was alarming. Watch the video and know the facts first. If I have misinterpreted anything you wrote or about who you are referring to I apologize now beforehand :)

rooeytoo's avatar

I didn’t watch the video, you tell me, which one is worse? But based on your answer I must ask the question why is it any more factual than what you call the negativity of the media?

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@rooeytoo Why? Because it’s based on facts straight from source. The media is a second hand source or maybe even 9th at best!

wundayatta's avatar

I watched the video. Gallup says that only7% of the Muslim population both hates the US and things violence is justifiable. They further say that there is a small portion of this 7% who are radicals, and they behave more like revolutionaries than fundamentalist believers. In fact, they do not use Islam to justify their behavior. They use political reasoning. They see themselves as fighting for a better world against the main enemy.

The whole point of the Gallup documentary is that Islam, for the most part, is just like any other religion. Most people are not violent. Most just want to do better in their own lives. The radicals in the religion are like radicals in Christianity, such as the Ku Klux Klan. It’s not the religion. It’s the revolution that motivates them.

It makes sense to me, although because it is Gallup, I mistrust them. They have been bought by a private group. The branch that does the research on the Muslim world is sponsored by a lot of Islamic organizations. They make a big deal about how they are scientists just gathering the data, but they don’t explain enough about methodology to make me feel comfortable.

Having said that, what they say makes sense and passes the smell test. It makes sense that people who are into violence are more likely to be pursuing political gains above anything else. Religion and politics are all mixed together, of course, but terrorism is about power and control, not religion, and I believe that the vast majority of Muslims are not supportive of terrorism.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@wundayatta thanks for that ;) you explained it way better than I ever could and saves some people the 55min to watch it. I appreciate you and your thoughts on it. I had no clue who “Gallup” was. So you even clarified it some for me :)

zenvelo's avatar

@bookish1 Thank our for correcting me, but what word would one use to describe the general Hindu belief systems?

rooeytoo's avatar

So whether you believe the big bad media or a doco paid for by those about whom the doco is being made is a coin toss! Whatever the percentage of the extremists is, there are a lot of dead bodies because of them.

rojo's avatar

Blinders, and a fanatical devotion to indoctrination to a thought process that began in their youth and in many cases continues to this day.

bookish1's avatar

You know, upon first reading this question, I didn’t even realize that it was flamebait about Islam. Excuse me, flamebait which conflates Islamic fundamentalism with all of Islam.

If I posted a question asking why all Christians bomb abortion clinics and support putting gays in concentration camps, I would get myself in deep trouble. But that is essentially the same logical maneuver employed in the OP.

@zenvelo: the word used by Westerners to describe the immense diversity of belief/philosophy and practice (from monotheism to nondualism to polytheism, from incredibly strict vegetarianism to animal sacrifice…etc.) is Hinduism.

JLeslie's avatar

@bookish1 Where does it say or imply all. I think most Americans are thinking Christian, right wing, fundamentalist. Although, the hand chopped off part is obviously about laws in some Muslim countries. The OP does live in the Middle East, but most of the jellies who answered don’t. Most Americans don’t know in Saudi they will chop off your hand for stealing (unless that has changed?). Anyway, the OP is talking about those people who still think like that, he is not saying all religious people do nor all Muslims, and the answers here also that blame religion are not saying all religious people either. Religion is just an explanation for why those who think like that do. In fact there was room for other answers regarding culture, men wanting to maintain power, fear of change, belief it benefits society, etc.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@rooeytoo I beg to differ. I am really sad for all that they have done to make their country look bad. But I am not the type of person who hates or dislikes someone based on culture, religion, color, etc. People do bad things. There is no sense segregating. There are a lot of non islamic extremists to and some while maybe not reaching the same death toll in one day they have caused pain in the hearts of many. These are examples of non islamic extremists: Timothy McVeigh, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Heavens Gate, Charles Manson, Claude Vorilhon, Branch Davidians, Order of the solar temple, Jonestown, Warren Jeffs and his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church).
The act of extremism can be pretty sick itself, all of these examples including the islamic ones are sick. I think my only point here is that the only people who condone this is the sick people rather than an entire country or religion.

But wait, I suppose I do agree that there are a lot of dead because of “extremists.” Just not because of a particular islamic only type.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@nofurbelowsbatgirl I understand that there is a huge Christian conversion happening in the Middle East but Islam supporters are desperately trying to keep it on the down low so it doesn’t continue to spread. Church houses are being raided and Bibles smuggled in.

I would also never hate an entire country or group of people, or generalize. We should see people for who and what they are, religion is a part of that but certainly not the most important, to me anyway.

zensky's avatar

@bookish1 I don’t mention Islam. Funny it makes you think of it.

zenvelo's avatar

When I first read the list from @zensky I read a criticism of all three Abrahamic religions, not just Islam, and not just Levitican Christians, but also a criticism of ultra Orthodox Jews, which seem to have an out-sized place in Israeli politics and daily life.

The invidious nature of religious patriarchy and hatred of women is widespread.

zensky's avatar

Good thing someone reads sensibly. Orthodox Judaism has a small (20%) place in Israel – but even that is far too much. All extremists – Christian, Jewish and Muslim – are horribly wrong and don’t deserve to walk amongst us. Sadly, they are the majority on the planet.

bahamamama's avatar

its good ole fashioned male dominance with a “religious twist.”

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