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Defense of Religion: Is it ultimately just a form of Stockholm Syndrome?

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Even if following a religion was like Stockholm syndrome, why would that be a "defense" of it? Usually we think of stockholm syndrome as a psychological illness that needs to be overcome with therapy, etc.

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Even if following a religion was like Stockholm syndrome, why would that be a "defense" of it?

 

I'm not sure what has caused you to ask this. I was asking specifically about defense, not adherence or following.

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I'm not sure what has caused you to ask this. I was asking specifically about defense, not adherence or following.

 

I don't think the title is clear in that case. Who's using the Stockholm syndrome to defend religious beliefs?

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I don't think the title is clear in that case. Who's using the Stockholm syndrome to defend religious beliefs?

 

I think iNow is implying that people who defend religious beliefs suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, not that Stockholm Syndrome makes religion okay.

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I think iNow is implying that people who defend religious beliefs suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, not that Stockholm Syndrome makes religion okay.

 

:doh:

 

that is all

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While you seem to have come to your belief by your own choice, let me ask you... Do you consider this creative entity to be all powerful... the giver and taker of life? Yes/No? I think that's really where the meat of my point resides, so am curious how you personally think of this creative entity.

 

I agree that this is the actual core of your argument. I will be quite honest and agree to what you have stated. However, I also want to reiterate that, by being unseen, the creative and intelligent entity gives his creation the impression of free will and then creates infinite choices like infinite bus stops each of which follows a different route to the same bus terminus. It is also your choice not to take the bus at all or to turn back. In short, this creative entity shows its power as it wills. However, it is kind and generous in allowing non-belief or belief in other faiths.

 

 

, I have to concede that I've always struggled with that logic... It's a "have your cake and eat it, too" approach, from my perspective. I see it as logically inconsistent... However, I also am not sure how it relates to the idea of defense of a deity being a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

 

Again, if you believe that you are in control of your life and that your choices are paramount and have an impact on other people. If you believe in the presence of a Metaphysical Law that is as immutable as the Law of Gravity, then you can see that the creative intelligence controls by setting Laws in place at the dawn of creation. You would also believe that God does not stick a hand through the clouds and interfere with his creations. The unseen Metaphysical Law(s) exert his control indirectly. His apparent absence reinforces the impression of free will. Man cannot commit a crime through thought, he has to take action as a causative agent where others are affected by his actions. The unseen Law takes care of the justice aspect of control. So the control is not the control and interference of the entity that moves soldiers around on a board but from the laws that allow them to move and interact in the first place with a reward or penalty for each action. A sort of Great Game, if you will.

 

Take this aspect of direct control away from the modified Stockholm model and the creative intelligence feels no joy or pain on his creation's actions. These emotions have no meaning for such an entity. Think of it, if you can create matter, you must be (in my view) different from matter. If you create the Law of Gravity, you must be different from gravity itself.

 

Also... thanks for tossing around ideas with me on this. I appreciate the interaction quite a lot.

 

It has been a genuine pleasure to be able to inject my half -formed ideas with an intelligent person. I only hope I have made some sense.

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I also want to reiterate that, by being unseen, the creative and intelligent entity gives his creation the impression of free will and then creates infinite choices like infinite bus stops each of which follows a different route to the same bus terminus.

So, if I understand your point correctly, you are proposing that it is the perception of free will and the ability to choose which negates the comparison to Stockholm Syndrome (since the prisoner of a captor would never... by definition... perceive having the right to choose or to follow alternate routes and paths). Is that correct?

 

If so, I still see a flaw in the central premise you propose. You acknowledge that the free choice is merely an illusion, and this concession on your part shows how you implicitly know that you are, in fact, not the one in control... Your stance is that free will is merely an "impression," a sort of trick or slight of hand. That mandates a simultaneous acceptance that you are, in fact, aware of your lack of control.

 

For that reason, I suggest the characteristics of Stockholm Syndrome are quite closely parallel to the characteristics of the defense of religious belief. You know (believe/have faith/whatever) both implicitly and explicitly that you are being controlled, and yet you still defend the one controlling you. Further, the vast majority of believers are likely to argue in favor of the goodness of that captor/controller, hence the comparison to Stockholm Syndrome seems even more apt.

 

 

Again, if you believe that you are in control of your life and that your choices are paramount and have an impact on other people.

See, but you've acknowledged above that you DON'T, in fact, believe that. You've acknowledged that your sense of control is just an illusion... an impression... hence my comment that your logic appears inconsistent.

 

 

The unseen Law takes care of the justice aspect of control. So the control is not the control and interference of the entity that moves soldiers around on a board but from the laws that allow them to move and interact in the first place with a reward or penalty for each action. A sort of Great Game, if you will.

While I disagree with your point overall, and personally find the idea of a deity wholly uncompelling, I want to commend you on your choice of words and the eloquence with which you just expressed that point. I don't agree that what you said is valid or accurate, but I loved how you said it.

 

 

Take this aspect of direct control away from the modified Stockholm model and the creative intelligence feels no joy or pain on his creation's actions. These emotions have no meaning for such an entity.

But the emotions of the captor are irrelevant, since the pivotal part of Stockholm Syndrome is the perception of the prisoner. Or... to make this more thread relevant... the emotions of the creator are irrelevant, since the pivotal part of my proposed form of Stockholm Syndrome is the perception of the believer.

 

 

I only hope I have made some sense.

I think that perhaps you've been doing better than I. No worries whatsoever.

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Man cannot commit a crime through thought, he has to take action as a causative agent where others are affected by his actions. The unseen Law takes care of the justice aspect of control.

 

What if you disagree with the unseen Law's sense of justice, and you take actions you feel you have right to, perhaps morally need to, knowing that by your own beliefs you'll be punished because that creator has apparently commanded such actions as unjust?

 

Whatever that sense of "justice" is - that women should not be taught to read and write, or be permitted to become priests, or that animals have no souls / are to be treated as property - all run counter to at least some people who follow religions that hold very strict rules regarding them.

I would suspect everyone who has ever been/is religious has felt that pang of discord between what you feel is right and what you were taught is Right.

 

In addition to the Stockholm characteristics that apply in relation to the deity directly, there is also the entire social structure when organized religion is involved. To reject a commonly held moral teaching for being - of all things - amoral can affect everything from your career options to social connections and general standing (in some to the point of being stoned) within that society. In addition to the fear of the Unseen Law taking care of the "justice" to the end of punishing you (perhaps with eternal damnation) you have all the most prominent and absolute authority figures you grew up with within that society telling you exactly that will happen.

That tags a very real human physical sense of anxiety and stress on top of what is already an extremely tenuous personal (perhaps abstract) dilemma.

 

The value of finding yourself sympathizing with "that sense of justice" at the expense of your own independent sense of morals and justice would alleviate that stress but would cause even more stress if it was done as a conscious abdication of responsibility - hence the subconscious process (characterized as Stockholm Syndrome) allows this to come about without that cost. It comes out when the individual is no longer able to cope with the stresses in play, and has no conscious options that can alleviate it.

 

For the record - I don't think all religious affinity is a result of such a process or anything, but I do think that as one of the mechanisms that result in religious affinity, it can't be ignored.

 

 

 

Out of curiosity, if you had to choose between an act so amoral to your senses personally as to be unthinkable, and being literally eternally "cast out and disconnected" from this creator - knowing you would never again have that sense of connection - how much anxiety would this situation raise in you?

I understand if you feel and/or trust "such a situation would not arise" but if you were to truly consider it hypothetically and put yourself in that moment: that you are without a place in the world, and that all the stars and sunsets and mountains are for others, but not you. When you take any joy in these things, they are more like stolen glaces from over a fence from where you have been clearly told (by God himself) you do not belong... partly a punishment and partly a consequence of rejecting what you were clearly told was required of you. No chance of redemption and peace even in death. It sounds like a fate worse than death to me, and as such I can see how the factors iNow is talking about could come into effect.

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I just listened to this pretty interesting song called Stockholm Syndrome. Check it out:

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_videos/540523?sel_song_id=4256997&autoplay=1

 

 

From the video's chorus:

 

I don't know about you but this looks like

imprisonment

what's worse is that the prisoners don't know

that they're prisoners

even defend the tactics that are used to

imprison them

you're a conquered mind sent to conquer other

minds selling: "Come and hear our truth"

I don't know about you but this looks like

imprisonment

what's worse is that the prisoners don't know

that they're prisoners

even defend the tactics that are used to

imprison them;

another conquered mind trying to conquer

other minds pleading: "Come and hear our truth"

 

 

Religious freedom is an oxymoron

none of them books scare me, not the bible, not

the qu'ran

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Here is a unique way to look at religion. How about looking at religion in the context of evolution. In particular, let look at this uniquely human thing, called religion, as being analogous to a new animal behavior. The question becomes, did this new behavior, unique to only some humans at first (animals don't have religion) create a selective advantage?

 

One way to answer this, is to use the atheist argument that one can not prove god exists via the sensory systems. What that means is, to believe in religion or god, one needs to use aspects of the mind/brain that are not linearly wired into the sensory systems, i.e., the imagination. This is consistent with another atheist argument; god is of the imagination. This means when religion first appears the human imagination expands. Will more use of the imagination give an advantage?

 

As an example, if one's tribe had a a god living in their forest, that god might be in any tree, since this is his forest. This god could be scary or really nice, making all trees in that forest more noticeable (possible fear or reward), even if 99% of the trees offer nothing in terms of any real sensory trigger for action (would be ignored, normally).

 

Someone who was purely sensory, would instinctively be more restricted to those trees that can push a sensory button. The first mind has expanded beyond, in a subjective way. While the second mind remains contracted like it has always been.

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What if you disagree with the unseen Law's sense of justice, and you take actions you feel you have right to, perhaps morally need to, knowing that by your own beliefs you'll be punished because that creator has apparently commanded such actions as unjust?

 

Whatever that sense of "justice" is - that women should not be taught to read and write, or be permitted to become priests, or that animals have no souls / are to be treated as property - all run counter to at least some people who follow religions that hold very strict rules regarding them.

I would suspect everyone who has ever been/is religious has felt that pang of discord between what you feel is right and what you were taught is Right.

 

Dear padren, this is quite moving to read and I am quite sure that we have all been in this situation. My general rules of thumb are to follow scripture, then reason/ logic, then my conscience. It is a huge compromise, but it keeps me grounded and away from people who want to force their uncompromising, narrow-minded views down my throat.

 

In addition to the Stockholm characteristics that apply in relation to the deity directly, there is also the entire social structure when organized religion is involved. To reject a commonly held moral teaching for being - of all things - amoral can affect everything from your career options to social connections and general standing (in some to the point of being stoned) within that society. In addition to the fear of the Unseen Law taking care of the "justice" to the end of punishing you (perhaps with eternal damnation) you have all the most prominent and absolute authority figures you grew up with within that society telling you exactly that will happen.

That tags a very real human physical sense of anxiety and stress on top of what is already an extremely tenuous personal (perhaps abstract) dilemma.

 

It does. However, I think one of the benefits of following a social support system is the immense benefit of being in a caring social gathering where you are unlikely to be alone. In my view loneliness and ostracising individuals, indicate greatly stressful events in our societies. It is a sad indictment of the atomisation of Western civilisation, and ultimately may indicate that our decadence may eventually lead to our downfall in the same way that the Roman Empire fell. However, if your logic or reasoning does not correlate with that of your faith society then I can see the problem. The Unseen Law however, to a Theist may be an absolute form of justice, tempered with mercy that serves as a check and balances to the excesses of the ego/self.

 

The value of finding yourself sympathizing with "that sense of justice" at the expense of your own independent sense of morals and justice would alleviate that stress but would cause even more stress if it was done as a conscious abdication of responsibility - hence the subconscious process (characterized as Stockholm Syndrome) allows this to come about without that cost. It comes out when the individual is no longer able to cope with the stresses in play, and has no conscious options that can alleviate it.

 

I understand your point. However, can you imagine that if there is a God, then It is more wise, more moderate and more just than an individual or a society that is using trial and error as their guide markers? Is it possible that giving yourself to the care of a greater/ perfect entity may be far more fulfilling and engendering a sense of freedom within limits, rather than a virtual prison?

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All the stockholm syndrome parallel to religion can also be applied to political correctness. The difference is the PC captors having more teeth in modern times, compared to western religion, and are able to create a better syndrome.

 

For example, I can dump on religion, blaspheme god or deny anything religions stand for. Do I have the same freedom with the laws of PC? Which one holds its captives tighter to create a better syndrome?

 

I was going write two paragraphs, to push the buttons of the captors of religion and the captors of PC. I was more afraid of the PC captors, since the captors of religion show mercy and won't try to censor me.

 

With religion, one might be captive as a child, but one can leave to be an atheist, change their church to suit changing tastes. With PC you can't leave or the thugs will abuse you. They will throw you a good word as a bone if you don't given them trouble.

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All I can say is awesome correlation!

 

i had never thought of it like that before but it does seem very plausible.

 

many of these people feel that if they dont follow the rules of god (their captor)

they will be punished

 

sounds cultish to me

 

no offence to those people that belive, thats their right as it is mine to not to beleave

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All the stockholm syndrome parallel to religion can also be applied to political correctness. The difference is the PC captors having more teeth in modern times, compared to western religion, and are able to create a better syndrome.

 

For example, I can dump on religion, blaspheme god or deny anything religions stand for. Do I have the same freedom with the laws of PC? Which one holds its captives tighter to create a better syndrome?

 

I was going write two paragraphs, to push the buttons of the captors of religion and the captors of PC. I was more afraid of the PC captors, since the captors of religion show mercy and won't try to censor me.

 

With religion, one might be captive as a child, but one can leave to be an atheist, change their church to suit changing tastes. With PC you can't leave or the thugs will abuse you. They will throw you a good word as a bone if you don't given them trouble.

 

The Stockholm Syndrome as it pertains to religion is with reference to followers, not external parties. Saying you are free to blaspheme freely without consequence is only true if you don't believe, but if you don't believe you aren't exhibiting the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome in the first place.

 

As for political correctness... KKKers and NAMBLA still exist, they get by. Censorship is bad, but it's not nearly as bad as eternal hellfire. I don't think the two are really on parity at all.

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IWhen people defend their religious beliefs, are they actually expressing a form of Stockholm Syndrome?

Are they ultimately prisoners defending their jailers, and isolating themselves solely into their captor's ... or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their god's perspective?

 

Some may be. But you have not shown that theists are captives. This is especially true in the West. It has been 200-300 years since a person's belief in a different religion would result in abuse and capture. People today routinely change churches or even drop theism without any ill effects from any "captor".

 

It's been stock atheistic dogma for a long time that theists are theists simply out of fear. This is just the latest twist on that theme. As Pioneer points out, we as a society are exercising much stricter control of what he calls "political correctness" or decent treatment of ethnic, gender, and social groups. We have far more punishments available that affect a person now than any religion, who can now only call upon some future and undocumented "eternal punishment".


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
I would suspect everyone who has ever been/is religious has felt that pang of discord between what you feel is right and what you were taught is Right.

 

I haven't. The only discord I find myself in is not being able to live up to what is "Right". That is, I feel that some things need to be done -- such as fighting and killing in war -- but I don't delude myself that they are "Right". I also often find myself in conflict between what parts of society think is right and what I was taught is Right. I am facing that right now with respect to the immigration and gay rights issue.

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It has been 200-300 years since a person's belief in a different religion would result in abuse and capture. People today routinely change churches or even drop theism without any ill effects from any "captor".

Yes, but as I already elucidated previously in the thread, the concept extends beyond mere physical captivity. Please let me know if you have questions on what I've said, but I've already addressed your particular criticism.

 

 

It's been stock atheistic dogma for a long time that theists are theists simply out of fear.

First, that's not my point at all. If you are interpreting my posts such that you think I'm arguing that theists are only theists out of fear, then you quite simply fail to comprehend my actual position accurately. As my post history (and my entire thread on the evolution of religion and belief) lays out, that is quite simply not the case.

 

Second, atheism is not a belief system, and hence has no dogma. There is no dogma from my lack of belief in deities in much the same way that there is no dogma in my lack of belief in unicorns or leprechauns, or my lack of belief in astrology and perpetual motion machines.

 

I simply don't believe. I simply don't find the argument for belief to be compelling. I remain open to the possibility of being mistaken, but given the information available, I choose to lean toward non-belief.

 

None of that brings with it dogma. Feel free to try proving me wrong. The only way you can is if you try to redefine atheism in such a way as to make it completely disconnected from reality and common parlance.

 

 

You know what? Never mind. I'd really rather you didn't try showing me that you think atheism is a dogma based position. I don't want this... yet another... thread to go down that path. This thread is to discuss whether or not defense of religion could be considered a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Let's stick with that.

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I haven't. The only discord I find myself in is not being able to live up to what is "Right". That is, I feel that some things need to be done -- such as fighting and killing in war -- but I don't delude myself that they are "Right". I also often find myself in conflict between what parts of society think is right and what I was taught is Right. I am facing that right now with respect to the immigration and gay rights issue.

 

It does depend on your personal take on religion, and what you believe as the highest truth. Some people believe as the highest truth that "God is just, but humans sometimes interpret it wrong" and in that case, it is at least possible to go against the Church without going against your own view of God.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you feel is "wrong" when it comes to reconciling those issues you mentioned: is it that some of your fellow believers are wrong, that your church is wrong, that you are wrong, or that God is wrong?

 

 

 

On a side note: To specifically examine a story fairly widely accepted in old-testament offshoot religions - I have to ask (in the thread generally, not specifically to you lucaspa) about the Abraham and Issac story...

 

So Abraham was asked to sacrifice his firstborn son, and then at the last minute got out of it and it was just a test of faith, and he got to kill something else. I know that society was different then and such, and not fair to judge God entirely by the Old Testament and such, but when we talk about contemporary religion, that story is retold to this day and generally God's actions are considered reasonable.

 

I mean, if I was staying at a friend's house and I owed him everything, and he wanted me to show my appreciation by sacrificing my firstborn in his name, I would say "yeah, he was acting like a bit of a dick" if I retold that story. Most people would say "yeah that guy was being a bit of a dick" in response.

 

So why don't people today, in the Church say that about God? There are a couple different ways to take it too - you could say "Abraham was a bit touched in the head, may have gotten it wrong" or written it off some other way, but no - the story is taught literally. It is taught as God told Abraham to off his son, and that it worked out but God was a pretty alright guy.

 

So really, if you take that story literally, God could at any time ask any follower to off their own kid. Unless he says "psyche!" you're going to have to go through with it.

 

What I want to know is - is there any way to understand that story (which I know is old) and why God is apologized for today in contemporary retelling? It's not like we get an explanation of "he was a jerk back then, there were words, he felt bad and we took him back - he promised it wouldn't happen again" we just get told "no, God had every right to do that, he's an okay guy."

 

I just don't understand what that could be other than Stockholm. The only reason to think that sort of behavior is okay (that I can see), well the guy can send you to hell or do other horrible things.

Again, I am not talking about whether Abraham had Stockholm Syndrome but whether pastors etc telling the story today as if God is an alright guy in the story exhibit Stockholm Syndrome.

 

When you lie tell the guy waving a gun around that "he's an alright guy" that's just survival. When you start to believe it is when Stockholm is kicking in. Since pastors and priests seem to be happy to believe that "God had his reasons" despite the fact that no one would generally be tolerated acting that way - what else can we really contribute this behavior to other than Stockholm?

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When people defend their [religious beliefs], are they actually expressing a form of Stockholm Syndrome?

replace [religious beliefs] with:

[law enforcement system]

[parental upbringing]

Are they ultimately prisoners defending their jailers, and isolating themselves solely into their captor's ... or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their god's perspective?

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their state constitution perspective?

 

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their parents' perspective?

 

:rolleyes:

this whole thing is a joke...

god tells you you do good, you get good, you do bad, you get bad...

that makes people listening to him suffering from the stockholm syndrome?:rolleyes:

same for parents?:rolleyes:

same for the police and judicial system?:rolleyes:

 

but then again, religion was once hijacking us, now it's taking us hostages...:rolleyes:

 

so we get it, no need to keep sending the message with different wording..religion is evil and horrible, and not only that, science is writing it all over the place, and you're the only one with the x-ray sight to warn us about it:-).

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replace [religious beliefs] with:

[law enforcement system]

[parental upbringing]

 

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their state constitution perspective?

 

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their parents' perspective?

 

For this to make sense you'll have to provide the correct religious belief or say that these things cause people to go against their best interests due fear of death or some wort of torture.

 

 

 

:rolleyes:

this whole thing is a joke...

god tells you you do good, you get good, you do bad, you get bad...

 

So bad thing do not happen to good people or good things do not happen to bad people? bullshit....

 

that makes people listening to him suffering from the stockholm syndrome?:rolleyes:

 

Listening to who? Your Pastor? Cleric? Mulla? Preacher? Cult leader?

 

same for parents?:rolleyes:

 

Parents seldom teach their kids they will die if they don't do as they are told much less burn in hell unless of course the parents are already victims of religious Stockholm syndrom...

 

 

 

same for the police and judicial system?:rolleyes:

 

Makes no sense what so ever.

 

but then again, religion was once hijacking us, now it's taking us hostages...:rolleyes:

 

yes, that would be the point

 

so we get it, no need to keep sending the message with different wording..religion is evil and horrible, and not only that, science is writing it all over the place, and you're the only one with the x-ray sight to warn us about it:-).

 

Good to hear you understand, religion is mans interpretation of Gods will, even if god is perfect humans are far from it and always use religion to serve themselves.

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On a side note: To specifically examine a story fairly widely accepted in old-testament offshoot religions - I have to ask (in the thread generally, not specifically to you lucaspa) about the Abraham and Issac story...

 

So Abraham was asked to sacrifice his firstborn son, and then at the last minute got out of it and it was just a test of faith, and he got to kill something else. I know that society was different then and such, and not fair to judge God entirely by the Old Testament and such, but when we talk about contemporary religion, that story is retold to this day and generally God's actions are considered reasonable.

 

I mean, if I was staying at a friend's house and I owed him everything, and he wanted me to show my appreciation by sacrificing my firstborn in his name, I would say "yeah, he was acting like a bit of a dick" if I retold that story. Most people would say "yeah that guy was being a bit of a dick" in response.

 

So why don't people today, in the Church say that about God? There are a couple different ways to take it too - you could say "Abraham was a bit touched in the head, may have gotten it wrong" or written it off some other way, but no - the story is taught literally. It is taught as God told Abraham to off his son, and that it worked out but God was a pretty alright guy.

 

So really, if you take that story literally, God could at any time ask any follower to off their own kid. Unless he says "psyche!" you're going to have to go through with it.

 

What I want to know is - is there any way to understand that story (which I know is old) and why God is apologized for today in contemporary retelling? It's not like we get an explanation of "he was a jerk back then, there were words, he felt bad and we took him back - he promised it wouldn't happen again" we just get told "no, God had every right to do that, he's an okay guy."

 

IMHO, even a thinker like Kierkegaard needed a 'leap of faith' to transcend the irrational and contradictory facets of Christianity. I (almost) read all of Kierkegaard's long and boring commentary about Abraham's sacrifice and came to the independent view that:

 

a) Abraham had a dream that he thought was a revelation - it wasn't. It was just a dream but being a pious and God fearing man, he believed the dream and was willing to sacrifice his son.

b) His first born was also a pious and God fearing boy who loved and revered his father and did not fear death.

c) Both were rewarded for their piety and bravery by God replacing the son.

 

In short, God did not shout 'surprise' but corrected the honourable but wrong intentions of two men in the nicest and kindest way.

 

Regarding justice. Who is to know what is just? You would need to have a 'meta' analytical view to decide on the true justice of an action. I believe that Socrates spent much of his short life trying to test people using elenchus and dialectic on what was just, or morally right, and eventually coming to the conclusion that no-one actually knew anything about anything. And that they knew very little about morality or justice. Ironically he was forced into committing suicide.

 

Back to the thread. If the control issue is central to the modified form of Stockholm Syndrome, then we can substitute other forms of control apart from the Divine (which is invisible and may operate through unseen metaphysical Laws) as others have mentioned. However, I am forced to concede the point that, generally, defence of God may be a very loose form of Stockholm Syndrome. Having said that, surrendering your apparent free will to an absolute intelligence that can build a Universe is a pretty heavy commitment, but also a liberating intellectual and emotional feeling. I don't regret it for a moment having come to this notion in my twenties.

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replace [religious beliefs] with:

[law enforcement system]

[parental upbringing]

 

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their state constitution perspective?

 

or, in this case... isolating themselves solely into their parents' perspective?

 

:rolleyes:

this whole thing is a joke...

god tells you you do good, you get good, you do bad, you get bad...

that makes people listening to him suffering from the stockholm syndrome?:rolleyes:

same for parents?:rolleyes:

same for the police and judicial system?:rolleyes:

 

but then again, religion was once hijacking us, now it's taking us hostages...:rolleyes:

 

so we get it, no need to keep sending the message with different wording..religion is evil and horrible, and not only that, science is writing it all over the place, and you're the only one with the x-ray sight to warn us about it:-).

 

There is nothing wrong with trying to understand the processes at work. I would agree that often the judicial system and even parents can elicit Stockholm Syndrome.

Especially in the Soviet Union and places with heavy propaganda and harsh punishments for failing to buy it. Parents that use physical violence to impart huge degrees of fear in their children may very well elicit the same effect.

Good obsevations :D

 

Also, God does not tell us to do good, he tells us what good is and that we better like it, because while we are free to disagree, it will make him angry, and you won't like him when he's angry.


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IMHO, even a thinker like Kierkegaard needed a 'leap of faith' to transcend the irrational and contradictory facets of Christianity. I (almost) read all of Kierkegaard's long and boring commentary about Abraham's sacrifice and came to the independent view that:

 

a) Abraham had a dream that he thought was a revelation - it wasn't. It was just a dream but being a pious and God fearing man, he believed the dream and was willing to sacrifice his son.

b) His first born was also a pious and God fearing boy who loved and revered his father and did not fear death.

c) Both were rewarded for their piety and bravery by God replacing the son.

 

In short, God did not shout 'surprise' but corrected the honourable but wrong intentions of two men in the nicest and kindest way.

That is a nice interpretation, but do you think it is one that most people adhere to? If someone says "This seems wrong to me, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt" I can understand that, and when you say "I think it was a dream and then..." I understand and appreciate your take on it - I just wonder how most people view it.

 

I guess the dividing line in my mind is, if people say "Yeah, that seems wrong, but I'll trust him" or "I think the bible describes it wrong and this happened" then that is a fair honest account... but when people lie to themselves and say God "was right to do it" when they don't have a reason to believe it that Stockholm is the most viable alternate explanation.

 

Regarding justice. Who is to know what is just? You would need to have a 'meta' analytical view to decide on the true justice of an action. I believe that Socrates spent much of his short life trying to test people using elenchus and dialectic on what was just, or morally right, and eventually coming to the conclusion that no-one actually knew anything about anything. And that they knew very little about morality or justice. Ironically he was forced into committing suicide.

 

I actually agree here. I think the one most fundamental moral conclusion I've come up with for myself, is that (at least for me) we have a moral obligation to try to find out what feels moral to us individually, and live by that. Respecting others is part of that, so understanding and respecting other people's morals is as well, but within the limits of what one personally feels is morally okay.

 

When someone breaks from that sense of what is personally moral to them in deference to "higher" beliefs, or adopts them and convinces themselves they personally hold those morals as a defense mechanism, that something is amiss. The first case is generally survival or convenience, the latter being Stockholm indicative.

 

 

Back to the thread. If the control issue is central to the modified form of Stockholm Syndrome, then we can substitute other forms of control apart from the Divine (which is invisible and may operate through unseen metaphysical Laws) as others have mentioned. However, I am forced to concede the point that, generally, defence of God may be a very loose form of Stockholm Syndrome. Having said that, surrendering your apparent free will to an absolute intelligence that can build a Universe is a pretty heavy commitment, but also a liberating intellectual and emotional feeling. I don't regret it for a moment having come to this notion in my twenties.

 

I've definitely had "religious experiences" and know the feeling, it was just when I was going through a "new age" phase and the framework failed pretty concretely.

 

Btw, I found your post quite interesting and well written - nicely done. I personally don't value that experience as you do, but I definitely respect how you feel about it and especially your honest reflections on the topic.

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Btw, I found your post quite interesting and well written - nicely done. I personally don't value that experience as you do, but I definitely respect how you feel about it and especially your honest reflections on the topic.

+1 for sure.

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IMHO, even a thinker like Kierkegaard needed a 'leap of faith' to transcend the irrational and contradictory facets of Christianity. I (almost) read all of Kierkegaard's long and boring commentary about Abraham's sacrifice and came to the independent view that:

 

a) Abraham had a dream that he thought was a revelation - it wasn't. It was just a dream but being a pious and God fearing man, he believed the dream and was willing to sacrifice his son.

b) His first born was also a pious and God fearing boy who loved and revered his father and did not fear death.

c) Both were rewarded for their piety and bravery by God replacing the son.

 

In short, God did not shout 'surprise' but corrected the honourable but wrong intentions of two men in the nicest and kindest way.

 

You forgot d) the bible was erroneously written to contradict a) and b) above.

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You forgot d) the bible was erroneously written to contradict a) and b) above.

 

Technically he did include that, since Abraham's story about his experience with God was in error, and it was written in the bible as if Abraham's account was correct... and therefore erroneously written.

 

The topic though was pretty much with regards to how to reconcile that story with the bible and that definition of God, without God having to look like a total jerk. Dismissing it outright was already covered earlier.

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