General Question

fireside's avatar

Will we see a cure for Religion in our lifetimes?

Asked by fireside (12275 points ) January 22nd, 2009

Sine I have heard more than a couple times here on Fluther that religious experiences stem from temporal lobe seizures, I was wondering if Medical Science was working on a cure for this terrible affliction?

Will we see some type of Athozac that can reduce those urges to pretend that there is a spirit world? “Got God on the brain? Take two of these and relax.”

Will we weaponize it and find a way to expose the Middle East, India/Pakistan, and other trouble areas that seems to be inflamed over religion.

Just wondering what the collective’s take on this would be…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

79 Answers

tiffyandthewall's avatar

hm. you know, i bet some of the people who think homosexuality should be cured would flip a shit at this one.
GQ, by the way.
i’m not religious, but i do think it wouldn’t be a great idea put into action, because i can’t see many people buying them. but hey, if there are any reluctant religious folks here, i will certainly not stand in your way of this cure. (;

lefteh's avatar

Cure for religion?
I should be in bed.

PupnTaco's avatar

I like the idea of a weaponized religion-fixer, but that won’t stop the puppetmasters who exploit religion as a tool to further a political or territorial agenda… they’ll just find another way to make people hate each other.

Like who makes the better falafel.

asmonet's avatar

Don’t you think that’d be cruel?
At least in weapon form. That seems horrifying.

PupnTaco's avatar

<duplicate, please delete>

PupnTaco's avatar

Cruel in a funny way. Like the Pentagon investigating a “gay bomb.”

fundevogel's avatar

I’ve read a little about the God Seizures, and technically the seizures don’t cause faith, they just give the part of the brain that encourages religious thinking a massive boost. I suppose they could cure the seizures, but that wouldn’t ‘cure religion’, it would just mitigate one of the elements that encourages religious thinking.

As an atheist, the idea of curing religion doesn’t sit well with me. Not because I think there is a god (clearly), but because I became an atheist through rigorously questioning and reading and investigating and it is a part of who I am, just as religion is part of who some other people are. You can’t just change who a person is with a pill and it isn’t the medical communities place to ‘fix’ who a person is.

If anything cures religion its going to be good old fashioned education.

timothykinney's avatar

I think it’s called alcohol.

Elumas's avatar

Being Religious, I find this highly offensive. You’re entitled to your opinion though. It seems as if you’ve only met Christians who are bent on pushing their religion on everyone else. To those of us who are not as pressuring, such as myself, this is very shortsighted and rude.

scamp's avatar

The thought of this is so ridiculous, I am laughing too hard to be offended!! So what are you implying, A God lobotomy? ha ha ha!! Good old fluther and it’s anti – christian attitude never fails to amaze and amuse me.

fireside's avatar

@Elumas – Full Disclosure: I’m a Bahai and do believe in God (though, maybe not the God that everyone seems to picture when they hear the word). Just thought it was an interesting question to ask. Some interesting answers so far.

Ria777's avatar

extreme oversimplification, there. I have temporal lobe epilepsy for fuck’s sake! it hasn’t made me more religious.can’t stand the stuff! though I do have a preoccupation with religion, morality and ethics, metaphysics and mysticism.

okay, back to the point… our temporal lobes, which all humans have, seem to have some relationship to the subjects I mentioned above, amongst them clanning and believing in the same delus—sorry, I meant cherished beliefs.

these ideals work pretty well for small tribal bands, not so well when our world effectively encompasses the whole of the planet. literal-minded doesn’t help with this.

finally, I think Spiral Dynamics (Google it) helps put these things into perspective. the Blue Memes have to do with fundamentalist belief.

and back to how religion got started, read Julian Jaynes’ formidably titled The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. I really think he stumbled upon something.

lastly, despite my mocking tone, I do believe in a spirit world, or the equivalent. I don’t believe we know hardly anything about it, though, and I don’t take hardly anything said about it at face value, other than it seems to exist.

Ria777's avatar

@fireside, well, you know, when you say “you believe in God”, you pretty much you mean in the Bahá’í idea of God as opposed to the other versions. think about that for a second.

fireside's avatar

@Ria777 – I just edited that actually. And you are right, or more correctly, I believe in my own idea of God which the Bahai faith seems to support with everything i have read.

Since I’ve only been a Bahai for 7 months, I would say that my own interpretation still holds the most dominant sway. But I haven’t found much of anything to disagree with yet and have gone through a lot of material and had many lengthy discussions about the Bahai faith.

Sorry to go off topic, just wanted to clarify my position so as not to seem misleading.

Ria777's avatar

@fireside, Bahá’í‘s disapproval of the gayness would serve as a big stumbling block for me. not that the Bible doesn’t say the same thing but you know, I don’t believe in the BIble either.

fireside's avatar

@Ria777 – I can see that as a big issue for many people. As for me, my best friend is gay and he was the one who introduced me to the faith 15 years ago and then reminded me again just in the past year.

The only thing I could say is that the prophets provided both spiritual and cultural messages. The spiritual ones are the timeless ones, not the cultural. I don’t know of any Bahais that i have met who would look down on someone that is in line with the spiritual truths just because they were gay.

Blondesjon's avatar

I am the biggest anti-organized religion fella you folks will probably ever run into. Get me started on the subject while I’m in my cups and you will get way more than your fill of exactly why and how ridiculous it all is.

That said, is religion really that bad?

The central, unbastardized, tenet of nearly every major religion is that people should get along and try to be good to others. Religion doesn’t teach folks how to lie, cheat, steal, shoot heroin, or be dicks. People will pervert and twist loopholes and obscurities in religious texts to manipulate others.

I guess that I’m trying to say that religion isn’t the problem. People are the problem.

I use this same argument to defend Barney the Dinosaur

Bri_L's avatar

I would rather see a cure for closed mindedness, egotism and zeolitry.

scamp's avatar

Yay Bri!!!

wundayatta's avatar

Religion is not a disease. There is so much cultural about it that it goes way beyond the temporal lobe siezures. As an atheist, I can be dispassionate about religions. An anthropologist, shall we say. But also an evolutionary biologist, and an organizational psychologist.

Religions have built some of the longest lasting organizations on the planet. You have to respect that. It’s an amazing achievement.

Religion persists, and one has to think it confers an evolutionary advantage—or at least it has until now. Personally, I think it saves people from freaking out when they don’t know something. I think it takes a very special person to be ok with lack of knowledge and powerlessness. Many folks seem to believe that they are powerless before their god, but I think their belief gives them power to confront things they are afraid of.

Science does the same thing. It provides us with a way to confront things we are afraid of by offering us a method for finding information about those things.

Anyway, playing along, if religion were something to be cured, then the solution has to be cultural and personal, and political, and organizational. Frankly, it ain’t gonna happen. I think curing religion is like curing cancer. There are too many varieties of it, and each require their own solution. And besides which, many aspects of religions are beneficial (like giving an organization longevity, helping people, teaching people how to alter their consciousness without drugs, and giving them a sanctioned doorway to the numinous).

@ria666… uh… I mean 777: (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Ive read small parts of Jaynes book, and other things about his ideas, and I must say, I like his ideas.

Cardinal's avatar

Right on Elumas

Religion is hardly a disease. If it bothers so many of you why not just skip over the question and go to something earth shaking….like looking for a new free ap for your iphone?

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@Blondesjon: “I guess that I’m trying to say that religion isn’t the problem. People are the problem.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

This may or may not be entirely valid to the question, but this got me thinking about the movie Serentiy where people tried to “cure” humans by scientific means. It was one of the greatest sci-fi movies I’ve ever watched and I loved the story. Still, though it made religious references, it left the question of what could be a working “cure” quite open.

Anyways, history has proven time and time again that neither religion or science can “cure” people. It’s gotta be something, or someone, greater and incapable of commiting the sort of follies inherent to our nature. What/who that is, or if it even exists, folks can decide for themselves.

aidje's avatar

@Introverted_Leo
Mal’s speech was the first thought in my head when I read this question.

“A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that.”

laureth's avatar

@Introverted_Leo – You say, “Anyways, history has proven time and time again that neither religion or science can “cure” people.”

Cure them of what? Science has done some wonderful things for people, medical miracles like penicillin and aspirin.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Of the fact that they can’t keep themselves from doing stupid, immoral things such as lying, hurting others verbally or physically, mudering, raping, etc. We’re imperfect beings when it comes to conitnually doing what’s right/good.

I don’t know about you, but I’d love it if I could stop myself from doing immoral things. The fact is doing what I know is wrong affects me negatively no matter how “big” or “small” the wrong is, every single time. It’s about wanting to live in a time and place where people have no reason for inflicting and experiencing guilt, pain, anger, and all the other dreadful things we experience as we are now.

Now, for some other people they may be just fine with who they are now. “I don’t steal, murder and do all that stuff, so I’m fine,” one might say to make light of their faults. Well, I (and millions of other people around the world) am not one of those people.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@aidje: yay, I wasn’t the only one thinkin’ that, lol.

Critter38's avatar

I would much prefer to live in a world where religious fanatics roamed, than one in which a handful of people were in possession of a weapon which could nullify that which was deemed offensive in other people’s thinking.

@Introverted_Leo

“The fact is doing what I know is wrong affects me negatively no matter how “big” or “small” the wrong is, every single time. ”

But what about a world where people weren’t hurting themselves over unnecessary guilt. This is pain too, and one that can be alleviated through perception and action. Seeking to be a better person is fine, but perfection is impossible. Unless your actions are truly inflicting pain on others, you shouldn’t feel disproportionately guilty about them. Proportionality makes sense here.

If you are truly hurting others, then perhaps you need to talk to someone, but the guilt seems kind of pointless.

Admittedly, it’s hard to know what exactly the scale of the wrongdoings are that you’re talking about…for all I know you could have your neighbour buried in your backyard, or alternatively, you might have just yelled too loud when your nephew spilt their coke into your laptop.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Crap, I just lost my whole freakin’ post, lol. Mm, probably the best for you guys, knowing how long mine tend to get…

This could really go on for a ridiculous amount of time, so I’m just gonna skip ahead, make my point and answer the question.

Put simply, religion is all about “belief in a higher power.” Since a higher power has not been revealed to the world through (and I emphasize this) widely acceptable physical, tangible evidence, people are left to keep wondering about whether there is a higher power or not. People develop a faith. People want to believe in a higher power, though, for many reasons, but one major one is because they wish to rise above their current state. They wish to rise above their imperfections and to somehow be made perfect. Of course, there are many, many more beliefs and reasons for these beliefs, and none of us have the time or need to list them all here.

The point is, people have needs which are not being satisfied now in this life. They are not tangible and no devices of man can satisfy them because they imbedded deep within people’s essences; it pertains to an immaterial part of their essence or being. Words cannot even being to describe this need; I cannot even begin to describe this need and do it justice. People may not understand exactly what it is they’re looking for, but they believe it’s out there and that it can change them for the better when they do find it.

My answer to the question (in spite of it’s underlying intention), “Will we see a cure for religion in our lifetimes?” I really don’t think so. If we could find a cure to this unsatiable craving for this intangible need, then there would be no need for religion. But the thing is people all over the world feel some sort of great void in their life and they will continue to look for the filler until they are satisfied, even ‘til death. But there is no such cure immediately available, and the only thing that seems to bring them any closer to it is their faith.

Critter38's avatar

I still wanna know if you’ve got someone buried in your backyard..;)

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@Critter38: gold, lots of gold. I need back-up for this stupid economy, dangit!

Critter38's avatar

in their teeth right?

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Oh, you don’t want to know…

Have you guys been seriously waiting for me to respond all this time? lol

Critter38's avatar

In all seriousness, sorry to hear it. I don’t feel that void (or perhaps I did, and I filled it differently). Perhaps some people would voluntarily take the “cure” that this post is about, if such a feeling could be made to go away.

we’ve been longing for every word :)

LostInParadise's avatar

Religion and spirituality are not going away. As our world is becoming more automated and computerized the need for spirituality is increasing. I have said this before but it bears repeating. There is something very wrong with the world, the current global economic crisis being in my opinion a symptom of a larger crisis. We are using resources at a rate that can not be sustained much longer. We have stopped living communally and instead live in our isolated electronic private worlds. We are destroying nature, which has always been a source of spiritual well being.

I suffer from depression, which has become the most common mental disorder, with some people believing that it has reached epidemic proportions. I believe that we depressives are canaries in the coal mine, the most sensitive parts of a crumbling structure.

During the last election everybody was talking about change. Well change is coming whether we want it or not. Between running out of fossil fuels and global warming, the choice is between taking a proactive stance toward change or being overwhelmed by it. And either way it will be a humbling experience. We will have to learn to get by with less. We will have to live in tighter communities. In this emerging world I see spirituality as becoming an increasing force in how we get along with one another. And I say all this despite being a confirmed atheist.

senmcglinn's avatar

Let’s see: fireside believes in a God which is her own idea of God,
Ria777 does not believe in a God which is his own idea of God,
so it’s possible that the God Ria77 does not believe in, Fireside also does not believe in, and that the the God fireside believes in, Ria777 would believe in, if only he knew what it was.

We should get these two together and see what happens :-)

Introverted_Leo's avatar

When I say “void” I’m not sure how that’s being interpreted, but it’s more like something’s…not here as it should be, at least not entirely. Like a (rather) large piece to the missing puzzle of life. We are incomplete. <__< If that makes any sense, lol.

And yeah, you could do a lot to distract yourself from it or even turn a blind eye to it. But it never seems to go away. But I’m done with metaphors and stuff tonight, so peace out, yalls.

Ugh, this site is not helping me veer away from insomnia. :P

cookieman's avatar

I’m an agnostic and I find this idea ridiculous.

spirituality > religion > organized religion > religious zealots

spirituality and religion (when practiced altruistically) have brought the world many wonderful things.

To not see that is just as close minded as any evangelical bible thumper.

There will always be morons who take things to extremes to further their own narrow minded agenda.

To riff on what was said before, we need a cure for close minded, selfish zealots.

laureth's avatar

For what it’s worth, here is what happened to me last night.

Yesterday my husband went into the hospital. Before I had any idea of how serious it was, I was driving up there to see him and get the news and I was thinking about religion. In a state of semi-shock, panic, and fear, I wished that I could have believed in Something enough to pray to it. I don’t believe in a Something, though, so there was nothing “supernatural” (or spiritual) that I could do to try to improve the situation (“please make him better”), bargain with (“if you let him get better, I’ll never _____ again”) or yell at (“how could you hurt him?”).

Wanting to work with the spiritual world to affect things seems like part of the human condition. Believing that we can is the next step, and not a very big leap. People will often believe things that aren’t true if it makes them feel better or powerful, like “my tinfoil hat protects me from aliens,” or “this is a lucky rabbit foot,” or “if I always step with the right foot first and then touch my ear with my left hand, the other team won’t score a goal on me.”

It’s very hard for people to feel powerless. People need to feel like they can control or change the situation they’re in, or they go a little nuts. If they can’t change it in the material world (like I can’t operate on my husband myself to make him better), they grab at whatever they think will make things better and cling to it (like praying to God or casting a spell) in order to feel like there’s something they can do. It’s hard to be an atheist and not have that step. I can see why religion flourishes.

Critter38's avatar

Reminds me of research that shows a correlation between the number of rituals local fishermen from different cultures go through increases with distance from shore. The further off shore, the more your own skills diminishes as a determinant of your survival. Great sailors die in bad storms. To counter this lack of control, the rituals help to give some feeling that they can control their destiny in situations where they may not be able to.

Similarly batters in professional baseball teams have far more rituals than catchers, because no matter how good you are the difficulty of hitting the ball requires a higher level of luck than catching a ball in an outfield…lack of control, higher myth, ritual, lucky charms etc…to help give that feeling of control.

Also, reminds me of work done by Skinner. He set pigeons in boxes and made the feeder drop food randomly into the container. This caused a form of “superstition” in the pigeons, in which whatever they happened to be doing around the time the food came in, was reinforced (walk in a circle, peck at the corner of the cage, etc…). As such, they thought a specific behaviour somehow influenced the arrival of food. “A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances.” In other words, they assume causality, between unrelated events, even though there is none.

Hence it seems superstition, lucky charms, praying for rain etc…and why rituals and faith often revolve most deeply around those aspects of our lives we don’t feel in control of eg. death..etc..

I agree, many reasons why religion flourishes…also why several studies have shown that the poorest, or those threatened by war, etc…are generally more religious than the wealthiest…less power over their capacity to control their day to day circumstance I guess.

cwilbur's avatar

Only if we also see a cure for music.

Figuring out our place in the universe is a fundamental human concern, and it’s part of every known culture. Just as making music is something that every known culture does.

And it seems equally nonsensical to me to try to cure religion as to cure music.

Grisson's avatar

The cure for religion is faith.

Bri_L's avatar

@Grisson – Funny, I just watched the movie Dogma last night and it said the same thing.

Great movie. Jay of jay and silent Bob is VERY crude so be warned but still good flick.

cookieman's avatar

George Carlin as a priest was priceless in that flick.

Bri_L's avatar

No doubt. Hehe. Buddy Christ!

(In the context of the movie that is not as blasphemous as it seems)

augustlan's avatar

@laureth Is your husband ok? What happened?!?

Ria777's avatar

@Grisson, of course you would say that. whenever (once upon a time) I would debate with street preachers, they would never admit to calling their brand of christianity a religion. Islam yes, Buddhism yes, Catholicism yes. they would never admit to calling their own brand a religion. much as political groups never refer to their hand-outs as propaganda.

Ria777's avatar

@fireside, I don’t see how you can distinguish between spiritual and cultural.

the way I look at it, religion has, in the more educated and secular part of the world, adapted itself to new circumstances the same way products change their marketing strategy.

if, in the u.s., Bahá’í‘ kept to their guns about homosexuality, they would encounter too much resistance for their target audience. in other countries, which have a more different target audience then I suspect that they keep to Bahá’í‘ principles that:

“the only acceptable form of sexual expression is within marriage, and Bahá’í marriage is defined in the religion’s texts as exclusively between one man and one woman”.

cut-and-pasted from WIkipedia. I guess they don’t emphasize the pre-marital sex teachings in the u.s. either.

Ria777's avatar

Ria777 does not believe in a God which is his own idea of God,

you didn’t know what I believe. you guessed and you guessed wrong.

God’s existence or non-existence gets clouded by “God” getting used to describe more than one thing. it could mean Jehovah, it could mean Allah, it could mean something else, it could the Force for Jedi Knights I guess. I never said I didn’t believe in God. in an anthromorphic deity, no, I don’t. I admit I don’t know.

so it’s possible that the God Ria77 does not believe in, Fireside also does not believe in, and that the the God fireside believes in, Ria777 would believe in, if only he knew what it was.

maybe. you didn’t manage to guess my gender correctly, though.

Grisson's avatar

@Ria777
I’m not sure why you say ‘of course you would say that’, since you don’t know me and don’t know what I believe.

Actually, I was referring to the paraphrase “Religion is for people who are afraid of Hell. Faith is for people who have been there.”

Then I went and Googled it and discovered that most people quote it ‘Spirituality’ instead of ‘Faith’. If that was the original, then what a waste of a good quote!

My saying ‘Faith is the cure for religion’ was kind of like saying ‘Literature is the cure for grammar’. Faith takes religion and gives it a purpose. Religion is the basis of faith, but it’s kind of pointless (or at least uninteresting) without it.

benseven's avatar

Suggesting a ‘cure for religion’ is a biased point – it implies that religion itself is flawed and responsible for its abuse at the hands of those who would use it as an excuse to persecute, hate, bomb and kill.

Religion isn’t the problem: ignorance and the wielding of Religion as an excuse or a moral high ground is the problem. So quit tarring everyone with the same brush because it’s a damned tiresome argument.

For a society that tries to promote multi-faith diversity people sure do like bashing anyone who has a faith.

Ria777's avatar

@Grisson, you’d’ve made yourself clearer if you had just done the paraphrase. you can have faith without religion, though and people do join religions because they lack it and want to get it.

Grisson's avatar

@Ria777 Yeah, but it wouldn’t have riled you up as much. :o)

fireside's avatar

sorry just a few quick answers (and one long one)-too tired to do much more tonight.
great responses though!
@laureth – I hope that your husband gets better soon, best wishes!
@senmcfin – you guessed my gender wrong too, but nice try at being funny.
@Bri_L and @cprevite – great movie! I’ve got it on dvd
@Ria777 – you assume that they downplay some aspects here in the states, but i’ve heard both of the issues you mentioned come up one more than one occasion in the past 7 months, so it’s not as hidden as you may think. In every culture, there will be people who are more vocal about sticking to the exact guidelines, but you will find more people who don’t because everyone is on their own journey and many are at different stages.

Also, as far as the spiritual versus the cultural:
sorry this is a bit long, but i’m tired and don’t feel like paraphrasing or editing

the Law of God is divided into two parts. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual things—that is to say, it refers to the spiritual virtues and divine qualities; this does not change nor alter: it is the Holy of Holies, which is the essence of the Law of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá‘u’lláh, and which lasts and is established in all the prophetic cycles. It will never be abrogated, for it is spiritual and not material truth; it is faith, knowledge, certitude, justice, piety, righteousness, trustworthiness, love of God, benevolence, purity, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy. It shows mercy to the poor, defends the oppressed, gives to the wretched and uplifts the fallen.

These divine qualities, these eternal commandments, will never be abolished; nay, they will last and remain established for ever and ever. These virtues of humanity will be renewed in each of the different cycles; for at the end of every cycle the spiritual Law of God—that is to say, the human virtues—disappears, and only the form subsists.

Thus among the Jews, at the end of the cycle of Moses, which coincides with the Christian manifestation, the Law of God disappeared, only a form without spirit remaining. The Holy of Holies departed from among them, but the outer court of Jerusalem—which is the expression used for the form of the religion—fell into the hands of the Gentiles. In the same way, the fundamental principles of the religion of Christ, which are the greatest virtues of humanity, have disappeared; and its form has remained in the hands of the clergy and the priests. Likewise, the foundation of the religion of Muhammad has disappeared, but its form remains in the hands of the official ‘ulama.

These foundations of the Religion of God, which are spiritual and which are the virtues of humanity, cannot be abrogated; they are irremovable and eternal, and are renewed in the cycle of every Prophet.

The second part of the Religion of God, which refers to the material world, and which comprises fasting, prayer, forms of worship, marriage and divorce, the abolition of slavery, legal processes, transactions, indemnities for murder, violence, theft and injuries—this part of the Law of God, which refers to material things, is modified and altered in each prophetic cycle in accordance with the necessities of the times.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 47)

laureth's avatar

He seems to be doing OK, and things are going well. Thanks. :)

Sorceren's avatar

Two of my sig quotes bear directly on this question and reflect certain of my own beliefs:

1) Religions are not revealed: they are evolved. If a religion were revealed
by God, that religion would be perfect in whole and in part, and would be
as perfect at the first moment of its revelation as after ten thousand
years of practice. There has never been a religion that which fulfills
those conditions. — Robert Blatchford

2) Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that
certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him.
Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other
over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything —
anything — be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous
than the world we are living in. — Sam Harris

I don’t think religion is the illness that needs a cure; I think zealotry and GroupThink need to be eliminated the way polio was. I also think that belief is a good thing; faith is a crucial element of hope, and without hope our lives are meaningless. But setting up hierarchy; aspiring to hold power over others’ lives; and appropriating cherished ideals in order to twist them so one entity can take and wield mastery over others — humans of every place and preoccupation display these traits, so they’re arguably in the genes.

Call me paranoid (until you read “Next,” by Dean Koontz), but I think science has already found that gene and is trying to modify, cripple or eliminate it… except in people who can pay to keep it whole in themselves and their descendants.

Asking whether there will ever be a cure for religion is like asking whether there will ever be a cure for democracy. It’s not the tenets that are the problem, it’s the people who pervert those tenets, and who say you can only be “saved” if you follow their path — and who will cheerfully get rid of you if you disagree.

It’s not religion or guns that kill people. By themselves they are inert, until people use them to hurt others. People have perverted a peaceful way of living right, or a necessity of self-defense, into a propaganda tool, a scourge and not just a fundraising source but a lever for legislation.

Off my soapbox :)

Ria777's avatar

@fireside, you said, originally the original teachers got it right and the message got corrupted with time. well, Muhammed led military raid. he and his followers murdered the members of other tribes. the Bible talks about the wrathful nature of Jehovah (for clarity I won’t say God) and the laws he meted out.

you haven’t gotten back to the original teachings, you’ve re-written them and improved them based on more secular humanist values.

fireside's avatar

@Ria777 – I’m not sure what you mean when you use the term “you” in your post above. I don’t think I did any of the things attributed to me.

Muhammed lived for 20+ years after declaring his mission and first receiving his revelation. During that time, he and his people were hunted down and slaughtered. Is there any indication that Jesus wouldn’t have had a darkened outlook if his mission had lasted for more than 3 years? Do you think that some of the foundations of Christianity might have been lost or perverted once his teachings were codified and canonized after years of persecution? It may be a slippery slope, but do you think that justice played any part in the activities you mentioned above?

What is your idea of the original teachings? I like these:
Hindu: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
Mahabrata 5:1517

Judaic: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary
Talmud, Shabbat 31A

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5:18

Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12

Muslim: None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.
Number 13

Baha’i: Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.
Baha’u’llah

And these: faith, knowledge, certitude, justice, piety, righteousness, trustworthiness, love of God, benevolence, purity, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy.

Ria777's avatar

haven’t you heard or read the testimonies of people alive today, like Desmond Tutu, who have gone through as bad or worse than Muhammed for as long and who did not turn to violence. as chosen emissary of Allah, you can hold Muhammed to even greater standards. I mean, he didn’t just say, “I have some good ideas”. he said, “the creator ot the universe has chosen me to lay down his words for you.”

the Abrahamic religions won out not because they have the best teachings. they won out because their followers conquered more lands. believers read into them what they will.I do like Buddhism a lot more than any of the Abrahamic religions. I don’t find anything intrinsically bad there.

I don’t pretend to know what Jesus actually taught and I actually think it doesn’t much matter. I think that a middle easterner living much his lifestyle has a better idea of what he really taught than we would.

fireside's avatar

I would certainly hope that as humanity progresses that we get better at following the same teachings that have been provided many thousands of years. The Dali Lama is another one who remains positive in the face of oppression, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Baha’u’llah, the Bab, etc.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Okay, now religion doesn’t need to be cured, as it isn’t a disease. As for the religions that exempt certain folks, i.e. the Bahai’s and gays, etc, well that’s why I created Evelynism. Evelyn does not exclude anyone. And while you might think that my ten year old religion isn’t to be taken with anything but a chuckle, someday, in a hundred years or so, it might be bigger than Buddhism. And it all started here. The cure for stone-faced fire and brimstone religion is a humorous religion. One that makes you smile.

Bri_L's avatar

@laureth – Very very glad to hear it!

SeventhSense's avatar

@fireside
Until one can say beyond a shadow of a doubt the nature of consciousness after death there will always be wonder. And why shouldn’t there be? Can anyone express the joy of her mother when she sees her baby for the first time? And if you can describe it as a physiological chemical response does that make it any less amazing? Shall I describe the taste of ice cream to you or is it more enjoyable to taste? Can you say what is the source of the electrical impulses that animate the human heart and how this bundle of nerves, tissues, ligaments and fluids which make up the human body sustains life? I think by the time we realize we will have remerged with the source. Meanwhile we will wonder and draw comfort from a power greater than ourselves, who most believe has a collective understanding more than the amoebas of its infinite matrix.

ninjacolin's avatar

conviction isn’t a disease.
the cure for confidence in something that is untenable is education.

bea2345's avatar

Currently members of the Khmer Rouge are on trial for murder. They were, truly, trying to create a new Cambodia. They thought they could do it by destroying the old and building a new. We all know the result. They ‘imposed an extreme form of social engineering on Cambodian society — a radical form of agrarian communism where the whole population had to work in collective farms or forced labor projects. In terms of the number of people killed as a proportion of the population (est. 7.5 million people, as of 1975), it was one of the most lethal regimes of the 20th century.’ (Wikipedia). The project was bound to fail, for reasons which should be familiar to survivors of the Beat Generation: unless a theory is self perpetuating, it will not grab people’s imaginations and loyalty, and command their service. Religion is such. Believers of every stripe have gone to their deaths for the sake of religion.

SeventhSense's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra
Did you get tax exemption yet? That would be great. If so I might create a sub sect of Evelynism. I’ll call it Evelyn Woods

CMaz's avatar

“Will we see a cure for Religion in our lifetimes?” I would not want to call it a cure. More like an answer.

ratboy's avatar

I think that most religious people are religious as a result of indoctrination, rather than as a result of having had a “supernatural” experience. There is a cure for religion that might well prove effective in the not so distant future: extinction.

CMaz's avatar

Ouch! That is harsh…. Just think if you replaced the word religious with “gay”. I believe in not passing judgment till you have all the facts. And, it seems the facts always seem to be replaced with new ones that contradict the previous ones. :-)

jackfright's avatar

I dont think there will ever be a cure for it.

The only consistency in people tends to be diversity of thought. There will always be those who want to believe because they can. People aren’t inherently logical beings after all.

I wouldn’t put too much weight on god seizures unless each and every person saw the same exact thing, which to my knowledge isn’t the case.

fundevogel's avatar

@ChazMaz Gay people are born that way, religious people aren’t, so the terms aren’t interchangeable in that text.

CMaz's avatar

Now that is your opinion. So it does apply. Just as the gays do not appreciate the idea that gays needs a cure, a christian believes there is a god. Then god was always there hence religion.
As much as religion is biased on faith. So is homosexuality for that matter.
There is no solid evidence for either except for faith.

augustlan's avatar

@ChazMaz Um, no. If I saw God down here, I’d believe in him. I see homosexual people everywhere… no faith required.

CMaz's avatar

No, You see people that say they are homosexual and give the impression that it is normal.
Just as you see people down here that say there is a God and belive that.

FutureMemory's avatar

Will we see a cure for Religion in our lifetimes?

God I hope so.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Quantum Physics. Which can also explain why there are so many different religions with opposing beliefs.
waves become particles. you’ll see it when you believe it.

ragingloli's avatar

No. It is like the common cold. There will always be someone who gets infected.

JenniferP's avatar

Revelation says that the governments will turn on religion and eat up her fleshy parts (her wealth) and put an end to most of it.

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