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Your_Majesty's avatar

Why can't they see the truth about this culture/religion?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212 points ) January 29th, 2010

I’ve been living with these kind of people since I was a kid(unfortunately this included my parent and family),they always try to brainwash me to follow their religion/culture,you know some culture/religion likes Dinamism and Animism,likes “earth is you mother and sky is your father(living beings),cow is a HUMAN,and many more”(I hate to say this,but I became stupid irrational follower at that time). Thank God,after I grew up I begin to realize that this religion/culture is nothing more than useless irrational behavior. I learn the real fact of this world,I’m well educated and open-minded to new facts. The problem is when I told them that what they’ve been doing was just nothing but irrational and unrealistic they got angry and still stick to their mind,even after I explain the fact about this culture/religion(I’ve branded as betrayal for them). I don’t know why they can’t even think about it,to see the truth of this world,and begin to realize what their ‘primitive’ ancestor told them is nothing but just imagination.

I wonder is that because they’ve already known about this thing but just can’t accept/too scare to see the truth?,too fanatic?,or maybe they’re just stubborn?. Nowadays I’ll underestimate people who keep telling unrealistic thing around me,especially if they insist me to follow what they’re doing.

People in this culture/religion love to spread heavy stinky cloud in their houses,it’s so painful,irritates my eyes,and I can’t even breathe if they do that(the only safe zone with fresh air is my own bedroom with locked door and window). I’ll let you to figure it out what the culture/religion I’m talking about. I do not against this culture/religion but I can’t accept if they try to manipulate other healthy-minded people,they never care if they’ve disturbed other people’s comforts if it’s for saint business,and I’m curious why they can’t see the real thing?(maybe they’ve been brainwashed when they’re still young and didn’t get a chance to get out,or something else). Sorry for my language. I really appreciate you answer.

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59 Answers

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cookieman's avatar

Many people (your family included) are desperate to believe in something bigger than themselves. That someone is driving the ship (as it were) because, ultimately, they don’t believe in themselves and the thought that “no one is in charge” and “life is just a series of random occurrences” scares the living shit out of them.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@cprevite if anything, it sounds like the OP is the one with some self-hate and confidence issues going on.

cookieman's avatar

@eponymoushipster: Yeah, I don’t disagree, but I decided to just answer the main question and skip the details (as it was giving me a headache).

La_Perm's avatar

I can’t believe some people still act like that!. I meant they probably haven’t been infected by Modernization and Globalization. Sort of close-minded people.

SophiscatedLady's avatar

I guess I know that culture/religion. It must be *uddhist or *indu,right?. Tell them that you’ve grow up and they can’t force you to accept their culture/religion(it’s your own life after all). I think they’re just wasting their time with unworthy BS,there’s no need to concern about these stubborn people Cuz they think they’re the HOLIEST!and the WISEST!.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a real problem when people try and impose their unsolicited religious beliefs upon me and even a bigger problem when I encounter criticism of ones personal beliefs. You write here how you have voiced your criticisms of their beliefs and that is where conflicts will arise. I believe people are entitled to their religious and spiritual beliefs as long as they keep them to themselves.

stump's avatar

Doctor_D, I think it is great that you have grown beyond what you consider to be a stifling religion. And I think you must be fairly young and still living with your parents, since you talk about taking refuge in your room. Try to be patient with your family. Many people who are middle-aged and older take a great deal of comfort from their religion when they are faced with their own morality. Being young, you have a lot of time ahead of you. But when your time is running out, it helps to have customs and beliefs to guide you toword death, even if they are irrational. And keep an open mind. What seems like nonsense to you now may someday hold meaning for you that you never expected. Even if I am wrong about your age, no matter how old you are, you can always learn. You sound like you think you have it all figured out and your family are all being stupid. The times in my life when I felt like that always preceded some humbling experience when I found I didn’t know as much as I thought.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@stump, do you mean “mortality”? if yes, then I agree, that’s very true.

People hate coming upon the realization that one day, they’ll be dead. Part of religion’s appeal for people, besides explaining the unexplainable in nature and giving them guidance in behaving in a moral manner towards others, is the idea that death doesn’t really mean “death”; that somehow, they will go on past the obsolescence of the physical body.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@SophiscatedLady You’re right(the first one actually).
@stump I’m 20 years old and I’m sceptical. I’m realistic and know the real thing behind that BS *eigion/*ulture. Haven’t you read about its history?.

mattbrowne's avatar

When they drive you up the wall I would ask them: Are you in favor of freedom of religion? Very likely they will answer: yes. Then tell them what you think and ask them to respect it.

stump's avatar

@aprilsimnel Yes, I meant mortality. Crap, I proof-read my answers, and still screw up!
@Doctor_D What religion are you talking about? I was talking about religion in general. And what is with the asterisks?

life_after_2012's avatar

@Cruiser amen brother!!! I like your answer sir, so im just gonna say ” yeah!! what he said ”

nicobanks's avatar

I think you’ve fallen into a trap of thinking you are right.

What we believe about the world is based on our priorities about knowledge. You accept facts because you prioritize science. (I mean science generally; our basic scientific approach to the world, and the knowledge we have from that.) The people you’re talking about seem to prioritize something else. You may well be right about them acting irrationally – but that’s what I’m saying, reason is a scientific tool, and from what you say they don’t prioritize science. I don’t see this as a problem; why do you?

I’m sorry that you’re oppressed there, I do mean that and empathise. But I think you are confusing indignation at being harassed, with indignation at the religion/culture itself. You know first hand how it’s hurtful to be told you’re wrong about life and to be told what you should think and do; don’t do that back to them.

The best you can hope for is silent (if grudging) respect for differences on both sides. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound as though that is a possibility. Can you leave? Visiting with them will be much more pleasant when you have a place of your own and a good way out when you’re overwhelmed.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I think any culture wants to pass on their belief system to the next generation. It’s only when they get obnoxious about it in attempting to force-feed it to others that they need to be told “enough”. As long as they are not engaging in criminal activity, I just ignore them.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Doctor_D asked: “is that because they’ve already known about this thing but just cant accept/too scare to see the truth?,too fanatic?,or maybe they’re just stubborn?”

people do things they enjoy. they stick to things that tickle and honor their memories as well as things that give them new fond memories.

Let’s talk about hell

I’m an atheist, by the way. So you’re “safe” :) But Hell, from a Christian stand point has been described to me as being the furthest point away from God, and an existence in a state of misery as a result. I think this a pretty cool metaphor and I’ll tell ya why: Replace “God” with “Truth.” God is often considered to be one with Truth anyway, and as scientists, Truth and the pursuit therof is something we value.

Now, the further we are away from Truth, the more anxious, restless, and disquieting our existence is in a given situation. For example, imagine waking up in the dark in a room full of obstacles and you had to make your way to the door. Because you don’t have the answers, the truth about where the dangers are, your search for the exit can be painful, frightening, annoying as all hell.

Your situation here sounds a lot like this. You have no answers as to why these crazy people you love so much are so into their stupid religion. And you have no idea why you can’t just simply stop caring about them. You’re fucked. lol. You’re totally in hell right now where concerns all this stuff. You are away from answers, away from Truth.

When you find the answer to a pressing question all that frustration associated with not knowing the answer goes away. You can go back to existing in a state of peace and harmony. And this is all real stuff. Real emotions, real consequences. None of this is wishy-washy, except for the metaphors but they describe real sentiments.

Hopefully you found all that interesting. The reason I told it to you is to give you a sense of how believers come to their conclusions. I used christianity in this case, but all myth and legend pertain to real things. Real emotions, real sentiments the followers are aware of. They don’t have answers for all their feelings, but they have a way to get along with them. The same way the concept of Hell can be explained rationally, and put into a context you can (hopefully) appreciate, so too can their myths be explained rationally. They may not have the words to describe how it makes sense to them, but somehow, it does make sense to them. They get what they are doing.

As for you, while you misinterpret their actions as “irrational” you are casting yourself into hell: Their beliefs are not irrational. They are rational. They may be fallacious, but they are rational. The belief that their beliefs are irrational is a lie, a deviance from Truth and a frustration and stress for you as a result. When you learn the truth that they are victims of fallacy rather than wanton believers of impossible ideas.. you will find it a little easier to deal with them.

Can you imagine a man frustrated over a baby who couldn’t speak english? “Why don’t you just speak english damnit?!” It’s not that the baby wouldn’t, it’s simply that he cannot under current conditions. It takes time to learn new things. When you really get that it will ease your condemned little soul. :) It’s foolish and frustrating to expect things to happen before they possibly can.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Here’s how it goes – you can’t force people to be at a point where you are and yet you can’t go backwards – I get that, I’ve been there with sexuality epiphanies, religion, gender expression, parenting styles and now vegetarianism. You can’t go to your parents and say ‘how could you live with this way?’ without remembering that, not so long ago, you led the kind of life and would probably be defensive if someone told you that you have no clue. New ideas come to us always and we make adjustments (well, some of us do, anyway). You believe you have learned something – that doesn’t mean the same happened to your parents. They may have had questioning moments too, in their life, and decided to stick with whatever they believe. You can only do so much as live your life the way you see fit. Here’s a conversation my husband and I had yesterday – it has to do with all that we’re discussing now.

JeanPaulSartre: like with all things, change has to come from the person, from their inside…like the baby…you can’t make him poop…ideas are like food, can’t force ‘em in, can’t force ‘em out
SimoneDeBeauvoir: yes but you can always stick a q-tip up there
JeanPaulSartre: only when the constipation has gone on for too long
SimoneDeBeauvoir: which is why we can’t use it all the time – you have to choose the people on whom to use the theoretical q-tip or the efficacy will get lost amongst futility.

You have to choose whether or not your new beliefs are important enough to attempt to make others see them, really see them. After all, their truth is theirs, yours is yours – truth is relative.

Nullo's avatar

It is in the nature of mankind to seek God. Some find Him. Some find facsimiles. Some get so wrapped up in the pomp and circumstance of religiosity that they forget what they were seeking. And some decide that they don’t want God, and so turn to humanity and its achievements.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir that was hilarious and awesome.

@Nullo, that’s insulting and unrealistic.

Nullo's avatar

@ninjacolin
I’m sorry that your feelings are hurt, but I stand by my statement.

ninjacolin's avatar

okay, but it’s not realistic. why would you stand behind a statement that doesn’t have any bearing on reality?

Nullo's avatar

@ninjacolin
Explain to me how it isn’t realistic. I’ve re-read it, and can see no problem with it.

ninjacolin's avatar

“And some decide that they don’t want God, and so turn to humanity and its achievements.”

Well, God as you specifically know him. Would belief and service to him bring about positive or negative results?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo wow and all this time I was learning all I could have done about the ‘nature of humanity’ was simply ask you – geez..if you can’t see how mistaken you sound, I can’t help you.

Nullo's avatar

@ninjacolin
Was I not inclusive enough in the last bit?
Positive results, to answer your question. Why?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
I never said that I was posting (or indeed, claiming to know or understand) the entirety of human nature, just one of its parts. I have noticed that nearly everybody has something that they approach as if it were a god, or at least a religion.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo perhaps, but that doesn’t mean it’s because there is a god…it just means we organize ourselves this way, some of us anyway…and it’s interesting to wonder why but not provide reasons as to why as if we know

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
I didn’t say that we seek God because he’s there, though. I said that we seek God, and I believe that there is a God to be sought. (As it happens, I do believe that we seek God because He is there, and that business in Genensis with the garden and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.)
Eternity is a big deal. Interesting wondering sessions aren’t going to do much for you.
I have my answers already, and I don’t see why I need to tiptoe around with them.

The real problem here is that we are using different paradigms. Yours does not permit the existence of God, and mine requires it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo agreed on the different paradigms thing. but I do want to point out that my paradigm does allow for God – I just have no need for it..in that the question of whether or not God (as humans have explained him) exists is irrelevant, to me.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Nullo said: “Positive results, to answer your question. Why?”

it’s just that.. if I believed worshiping your god would bring positive results, i would worship him too… which, defies your earlier statement:

“some decide that they don’t want God”

i mean, don’t you believe i want what’s best for myself? i’m not deciding that i don’t want god. i simply don’t have a reason to believe he exists or is helpful. it has nothing to do with my “wants”.. i certainly don’t “want” to deny reality if God is a part of it. no atheist does.. that’s why your statement is unrealistic.

Nullo's avatar

@ninjacolin
So your beef is that I was not sufficiently specific. I can live with that.

Let me ask you this: would you rather God existed, or not?
Existence requires more than just faith, I know. But if you don’t want God to exist, if there’s no room for Him in your paradigm, that’s going to skew your perception of any evidence to the contrary.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo doesn’t you wanting a god skew yours?

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Most likely. Evidence relies on context, after all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo well not always. if there was sufficient, sudden evidence of God, plenty of people having a different context from yours would change their minds.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Nullo.. my preference is to know the truth about whether or not there is a god.
i don’t have a preference as to whether or not god exists.

how am i to understand your use of the term “god” anyway? what do you mean when you say “God”?

Nullo's avatar

@ninjacolin
A very good question! I shall explain.
When I was talking about God, I was at once referring to the God of the Bible and the more generic kind of God that crops up in philosophical discussions about whether or not God exists.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
In a war of paradigms, the one that wins is the one that produces evidence that the other cannot refute.

* goes to wash dishes *

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo war of paradigms? I don’t look at it this way – I look at it as concurrent realities.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Doctor_D I don’t think it’s our place to convince other people they are wrong about the religious path they have chosen. We can only be responsible for choosing our own path.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
That is a… novel approach. Might you elaborate?

Your_Majesty's avatar

@All,I’ve seen all your good point of views!. I don’t think we can find the ‘absolute truth’(I believe Evolutionary Theory has it,but it’s still controversial).

@stump I did that on purpose. I meant ‘culture/religion’,but I don’t want to insult other who believe in this thing.

@YARNLADY I don’t care whatever they choose as religion as long as they do not trying to manipulate me. I’m just curious about their point of view in reality.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I’m not discounting any or all religions, but to answer your questions I think some people believe/follow religion, because it makes them feel fulfilled and gives them hope of life after death.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ninjacolin – There is a certain truth to what @Nullo said when he was referring to the nature of mankind seeking God. Maybe we can consider a more general view: mankind seeks a meaningful life and a positive sense of belonging, meaning, and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo take you who believes in God and take me who doesn’t. we live in the same world but our realities are different because we believe different things. we can argue that there is one single reality which has the Truth but I don’t buy that, necessarily because in our concurrent realities we believe what we believe to be the truth but we believe two different things…we are parallel dimensions.

ninjacolin's avatar

@mattbrowne (and @Nullo) I think that’s too short-sighted of an interpretation of the issues: It is simply untrue (aka. has no basis in reality) that “all” people want to do all that.

“All” people absolutely need oxygen to live, including new born babies. However, not “All” people seek a meaningful life and a positive sense of belonging, meaning, and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves… for example, new born babies. Similarly, not “All” people seek to get the highest grade in a Harvard Math course.

Consider that last point. The only people that strive for the highest grade in a harvard math course are those whose lives bring them to a moment where achieving that has meaning. This is to say, only those who get asked the question, “Can you get the highest mark in this harvard math course?” either directly or indirectly, will strive for a favorable answer to it.

Compare that principal: The question of belonging is something most of us have been asked either directly in philosophical debate or indirectly through experiences of loneliness. And it’s an answer we long for only once that question is posed to us.

It’s a lot like seeing half of a really really fantastic movie. You will long to know how it ends. It may perplex you for years before you get a chance to see it or maybe you never will see it. The sense of longing for answers is a pretty basic thing. And we only long for an answer to the questions about God and about “where do we fit in” if we memetically meet with those questions at some point in our lives.

However, the phenomenon of longing for the answer to the question of belonging isn’t any more special than the phenomenon of longing for any other answer to any other question.

In brief what we “all” really want is truth. That is all.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Nullo said to me: “So your beef is that I was not sufficiently specific. I can live with that.”

well, my beef was that your position ”[atheists] decide that they don’t want God” was untrue. “atheist” merely defines the fact that i have no reason to believe there is a god. but it doesn’t at all mean that i prefer there not to be a god or that i don’t want him to exist or that i don’t want to serve him if he did exist.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ninjacolin – I’ll clarify a little more: the majority of people seeks a meaningful life and a positive sense of belonging, meaning, and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves. This includes most of the atheists as well.

DrMC's avatar

@Nullo all men seek. Some seek meaning. Others seek love. Some are seeking where they left the damn keys.

It requires cannibus to seek without seeking. To think without thinking.

yes grasshopper. When you can grasp the marble of enlightenment from my hand will you be filled with the ecstasy of enlightenment.

Then I will let you be with the temple cow.

There are memes in here all intertwining, and they are mutually exclusive, therefore they will seek to gain mental territory at the expense of the other. In the end there can be only one. The American freedom and tolerance of religion (atheism, His Name be praised included) allows an uneasy truce, but lately I see failing tolerance of the atheist to the non atheist. We are but ignorant flat earthers after all. This only validates the paranoid views.

candide's avatar

truth is not an absolute, so you can’t expect people to go around in absence of it….

Just ignore them

Nullo's avatar

@candide
How do we know that Truth (not truth) isn’t absolute?

candide's avatar

how should we assume that it is? One person’s truth is not another’s…

Nullo's avatar

@candide
Then how, for the love of Thomas Jefferson, do any of our legal and political documents and conventions have any teeth whatsoever?

candide's avatar

people, of course – how many people believe in them? that’s not rocket science – but it was pretty impressive

Nullo's avatar

@candide
But see, people believe that there is truth – universality, perhaps – to ‘em.

YARNLADY's avatar

Most of society is run not on ‘truth’, but on agreement. As a group, we agree to accept certain conventions as ‘that which is’, and that’s how it works.

kess's avatar

If one pays attention to your questions and responses here,
it is plain to see that you are still in the dark thus no better than the ones you criticize.

mattbrowne's avatar

@kess – Well, Paul Watzlawick once observed that the belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all. So I wonder who’s still in the dark here.

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