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Religious Insanities

steve_bank

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People bathe amidst toxic foam covering the Yamuna river on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India November 8, 2021.
(CNN)A layer of toxic foam coated parts of a sacred river near India's capital on Wednesday as Hindus gathered on its banks to celebrate a religious festival and some devotees bathed in the waters.
 

Thomas II

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They look so happy...in the toxic foam...

yamuna-pollution-india-07-gty-rc-180925_hpEmbed_3x2_992.jpg
 

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Religious insanities? What’s more insane? That some people would want to bathe in what they regard as a sacred river according to their ancient religious traditions, or that we are compelled to live in a world of late-stage global hyper-capitalism that turns rivers into toxin foam and turns everything it touches into shit?

We are destroying the world through climate change, population overshoot and resource depletion. This is not because of religious belief, though various religious leaders are complicit in this catastrophe.

To me the insane people are those who put toxic foam into that river specifically, and more broadly those who are destroying the world for profit. The people who are pursuing ancient religious rituals in the face of this calamity are perfectly sane and even noble. When the United States collapses I hope the original natives reclaim it along with their belief that the land is sacred and imbued with spirits, and not to be pillaged and plundered by capitalist sociopaths, those vicious freaks wearing suits and ties and staring at balance sheets on computer monitors.
 

steve_bank

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Religious insanities? What’s more insane? That some people would want to bathe in what they regard as a sacred river according to their ancient religious traditions, or that we are compelled to live in a world of late-stage global hyper-capitalism that turns rivers into toxin foam and turns everything it touches into shit?

We are destroying the world through climate change, population overshoot and resource depletion. This is not because of religious belief, though various religious leaders are complicit in this catastrophe.

To me the insane people are those who put toxic foam into that river specifically, and more broadly those who are destroying the world for profit. The people who are pursuing ancient religious rituals in the face of this calamity are perfectly sane and even noble. When the United States collapses I hope the original natives reclaim it along with their belief that the land is sacred and imbued with spirits, and not to be pillaged and plundered by capitalist sociopaths, those vicious freaks wearing suits and ties and staring at balance sheets on computer monitors.
As the Pogo cartoon said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us' Meaning both you and I together. How many computrrs, video games. wilrelss devices and other electronic junk do you have?

In our old western cowboy stereotype mythology, 'Injuns' as the ignorant but noble savages.

In the PNW on a regular basis Native Americans declare some new geological feature or area as sacred acting like it is he end of the world. On reservations NA cling to what they believe as traditional ways while getting deeper into poverty, drugs, and alcoholism.

PNW Native Americans on reservations think they are going to live in perpetuity fishing for salmon and living apart from the greater world.

The world has changed. Modern science has displaced superstition to a large degree. Those who do not change and adapt pass into history.

Bathing in toxic waste because the river is holy is plain ignorance and stupidity. Clinging to 'old ways' and culture is fine. I grew up around Irish and Italians. Clinging to rituals while you starve is stupdi and self destructive.
 

pood

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My basic point is that the real insanity, ignorance and stupidity is shitting your bed — destroying the environment that sustains you and all other living things. That is what capitalism is doing, and that sure ain’t the fault of Hindus or Native Americans.
 

none

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My basic point is that the real insanity, ignorance and stupidity is shitting your bed — destroying the environment that sustains you and all other living things. That is what capitalism is doing, and that sure ain’t the fault of Hindus or Native Americans.
[removed]
come on now.... are you, @pood , serious that supplanting real world.... you know for brevity... real world observations supplanted with religious markers is not a problem greater than a secular democratic system or republic of equity??
I am giving you an out here...
call it generosity, you know... the gift of gab...
surely fiat money is worthless 'cept for the few who are willing to hide that fact in exchange for mass slavery.... eeck "mass slavery"
 
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pood

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I think you have already been suspended once for trolling, insults, and, oh, changing peoples’ user names. The rest of your post can barely be parsed.
 

pood

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As to NAs getting deeper into poverty, drugs, and alcoholism, well, what a big surprise! Given that the NAs occupied this continent for some 20,000 years before the white man showed up with his greed for gold, his crosses, his diseases and his guns and horses, and went about systematically committing genocide against the natives or, at best, forcing them into small reservations, I’m not too surprised at their cultural despair. Give it a little time, though. We’ll see who gets the last laugh when the whole shit house collapses from population overshoot, resource depletion and global warming.
 

none

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I think you have already been suspended once for trolling, insults, and, oh, changing peoples’ user names. The rest of your post can barely be parsed.
it was either say poop or shit you know because I realized 13 year olds can register for this forum... so if you are mature enough to consider the text bring it if not poo poo some more @pood
 

none

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As to NAs getting deeper into poverty, drugs, and alcoholism, well, what a big surprise! Given that the NAs occupied this continent for some 20,000 years before the white man showed up with his greed for gold, his crosses, his diseases and his guns and horses, and went about systematically committing genocide against the natives or, at best, forcing them into small reservations, I’m not too surprised at their cultural despair. Give it a little time, though. We’ll see who gets the last laugh when the whole shit house collapses from population overshoot, resource depletion and global warming.
you got no clue. you recite yet not live.
 

none

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point the finger some more at the poor poor NAs... sure it makes a good example for your text book answers.
 

none

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good
next you will self identify, and mention to your fabulous bud Marvin why I laughed at him when he completely ignored and continued to bloviate after I asked him about proto life.
 

none

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yep, we humans say those types of things. it is what binds us.
 

steve_bank

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My basic point is that the real insanity, ignorance and stupidity is shitting your bed — destroying the environment that sustains you and all other living things. That is what capitalism is doing, and that sure ain’t the fault of Hindus or Native Americans.
A bit off topic. Start an anti system thread on social science or politics. And that was the Pogo point, find it online 'we have met the enemy...'. We are all hopelessly entangled in the economy as it has evolved. It is impossible to just stop the global economies.

The problem is that the anti free market crowd never have workable solutions to offer. Any system has to work with us humans as we are, corruptible and greedy.

The hypocrisies on the self styled environmentalists is they demand environmental protections yet are glutonous consumers like the majority.

Demand clean energy yet buy more and more gadgets that increase the demand for energy.

Do you really need a smart phone and net movies? Server farms are a major emery demand driver.

Do you enjoy wine or food from Europe that may have come over on a jet spewing pollutants?

Modern free market capitalism has been wildly successful. Who does not have a cell phone and computer with global communications?
 

pood

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Yes, I’m well aware of Pogo and the enemy quote. And in fact that is just my point: we are the enemy.

You say capitalism has been wildly successful. Successful at what? Yes, at providing cellphones and computers and global communications and many other things besides, though I suppose much of this could have been developed by non-capitalist economies.

It has also been successful at driving population growth, which is threatening our survival; depletion of finite resources, which is threatening our survival; and climate change, which is threatening our survival. All the good stuff, the comforts, brought by capitalism, or perhaps I should say brought by the modernist perspective in general, come associated with sometimes steep costs and costs that may even prove to be ultimately fatal, perhaps to human civilization and perhaps to human life itself.


Yet the indigenous people of America had no such problems. No, they didn’t have high tech. They also never faced, for some 20,000 years, threats to their very existence until the guys with the gunpowder and the horses and the crosses sailed over from abroad. They lived sustainably, not exploitatively, and bequeathed the land, air and water unscathed to their descendants.

I was just struck by the irony of the title of your thread, that the people bathing in that river were guilty of “religious insanities.” Inanities, maybe, but insanities? As I contended, to me, the real insanity is to despoil a living river. I have subsequently read about that river. It is dead, just dead, and has been for years, according to those who have studied it.

To keep more or less on topic, in the late 90s Coney Island was in bad shape. The beach and the Pacific around it were heavily polluted to the point where it was considered unsafe to go on the beach or into the water. Somehow people managed to clean it up, temporarily reversing the broader trend of worldwide entropy toward environmental destruction.


A couple of summers ago I was there with friends and we witnessed people visiting from Africa in native and religious garb conducting a baptism ceremony. Perhaps it would have been insane, or at least inane, for them to do this if the beach and ocean were still in bad shape. But it was all incredibly moving and people applauded. One need not believe in a nonexistent sky daddy to appreciate human bonding rituals, which I think may be said to be sacred even in a secular sense.

But then a few months ago, reflecting on the revival of Coney Island, I happened across a news article about scientific studies forecasting our fate. The island’s revival, alas, is to be short lived, because it, and about half of Brooklyn (where Coney Island is) will be either partly or totally submerged because of climate change, possibly as early as the turn of the century or sooner. So Coney’s days are numbered.

As all of our days are numbered too, I fear. But at least we have cellphones and computers. As Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we can text while the world burns.
 

steve_bank

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Try the politics and science forums on climate issues.

Yes insanity, like believing a god will protect you from a virus without getting vaccinated. Insanity like denying medical treatment for your kids believing their fate is in a god's hands.

Cultural sensitivity is important, but sometimes you have to call it what it is, ignorance and insanity.

Aspects of what people say they experience as religion in a non religious context would be called mental illness. Hearing voices telling them what to do.
 

pood

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Your reply is not on point to your OP, in my opinion. My point is that destroying a river and the world, which is what we are doing, is the true ignorance and insanity. Yes, believing god will protect you from a virus without getting vaccinated is really bad, as is denying medical treatment for your kids based on false religious beliefs. But that is not what your OP was about, so it seems you are changing the subject. Baptizing your fellows in the Pacific, my example, is a lovely and human thing. And you can believe this without believing in any god. But it strikes me as peculiar that we should assail those who refuse to be vaccinated for religious reasons, without, by parity of reasoning, recoiling in horror at the ongoing destruction of our shared climate for the benefit of the rapacious few. Again, to me, that is the true insanity, and it has nothing to do with religious belief.
 

pood

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I recognize, of course, that the ongoing destruction of our climate benefits more than just the rapacious few. But those beneifts look to have a very short shelf life. Worrying about what some small subset of humanity does in bathing in rivers for religious reasons or even refusing to vaccinate for religious reasons strikes me as not seeing the forest for the trees. Or maybe a better metaphor for attacking certain forms of religious inanity is that doing so is tantamount to fretting over the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic.
 

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Aspects of what people say they experience as religion in a non religious context would be called mental illness.

I don't think it's as black and white as that. More like a spectrum. The same crazy idea expressed by the manifestly insane person screaming on the street corner, can garner murmurs of assent, and even huge numbers of "amen"s if held out to huge crowds by a preacher. The acceptability of an idea, no matter how fantastic or ridiculous, can only be measured by the number of people accepting it.

cult.jpg
 

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Aspects of what people say they experience as religion in a non religious context would be called mental illness.

I don't think it's as black and white as that. More like a spectrum. The same crazy idea expressed by the manifestly insane person screaming on the street corner, can garner murmurs of assent, and even huge numbers of "amen"s if held out to huge crowds by a preacher. The acceptability of an idea, no matter how fantastic or ridiculous, can only be measured by the number of people accepting it.
I think that's his point. If it wasn't religion, it'd be somewhere on the spectrum.

I read a memoir of somenoe suffering 'religiosity.' It's a form of OCD where the patient creates a number of involved behaviors that must be followed in order to appease God. Feed the dog 25 times a day or my family will die, turn the light switch on and off when entering a room or God will destroy the crops, that sort of thing.
It appears to present quite often in young women of Jewish heritage. Sadly, this means it often goes undiagnosed because her parents just figure she went orthodox.
Read this and then read through Leviticus. It's an abomination to God to trim your beard? Eating baby goats is okay unless you used it's mom's milk to cook it? God cares about mixing wool and cotton clothes?
 

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I read a memoir of someone suffering 'religiosity.' It's a form of OCD where the patient creates a number of involved behaviors that must be followed in order to appease God. Feed the dog 25 times a day or my family will die, turn the light switch on and off when entering a room or God will destroy the crops, that sort of thing.
It appears to present quite often in young women of Jewish heritage. Sadly, this means it often goes undiagnosed because her parents just figure she went orthodox.
Read this and then read through Leviticus. It's an abomination to God to trim your beard? Eating baby goats is okay unless you used it's mom's milk to cook it?

I'm having a hard time understanding that post. Each line rings a bell but doesn't all comport with my experience with young women from Jewish families. It could be that such experience would be from some half century back... but if you're talking about some culturally inbred habit pattern, that shouldn't matter, right?

God cares about mixing wool and cotton clothes?

I think that's only after labor day.
 

Elixir

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Also:
Eating baby goats is okay unless you used it's mom's milk

Its is a possessive form of the pronoun it, meaning belonging to it. It's is a contraction of the words it is or it has
goddammit!
 

Keith&Co.

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I'm having a hard time understanding that post. Each line rings a bell but doesn't all comport with my experience with young women from Jewish families. It could be that such experience would be from some half century back... but if you're talking about some culturally inbred habit pattern, that shouldn't matter, right?
I have no experience with Jewish families, i'm pretty much quoting the author of the memoirs.
It's a very rare form of OCD, but of the very few people that it does show up in, tend to be among a specific demographic.
...
I read a memoir of someone suffering 'religiosity.' It's a form of OCD where the patient creates a number of involved behaviors that must be followed in order to appease God. Feed the dog 25 times a day or my family will die, turn the light switch on and off when entering a room or God will destroy the crops, that sort of thing.
It appears to present quite often in young women of Jewish heritage. Sadly, this means it often goes undiagnosed because her parents just figure she went orthodox.
Read this and then read through Leviticus. It's an abomination to God to trim your beard? Eating baby goats is okay unless you used it's mom's milk to cook it?

I'm having a hard time understanding that post. Each line rings a bell but doesn't all comport with my experience with young women from Jewish families. I
I dunno, i have no experience with Jewish families. I was pretty much just quoting the memoirs. I guess it's a very rare condition, but of the sufferers, they're mostly within a certain group.

And your write, of course, I'm sorry.
 

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They look so happy...in the toxic foam...

yamuna-pollution-india-07-gty-rc-180925_hpEmbed_3x2_992.jpg

Makes me think of Prince ...

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
In the toxic foam

Toxic foam toxic foam,
Toxic foam toxic foam,
Toxic foam toxic foam,
I only want to see you
Bathing in the toxic foam
 

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I don't find it even remotely creditable to suppose that adopting or rejecting a label can either instigate or cure mental illness. Rather, what I would expect is that mental challenges are experienced by religious and non-religious persons in roughly similar proportions by population, but that religious people are much more likely to interpret ecstatic experiences as being supernatural in character.

Is it good or bad for mental "illness" to be interpreted as a religious experience? I see both pros and cons here. If this belief leads people to eschew clinical psychiatric care, this could be a very bad thing, particularly in the case of illnesses on the schizoid or paranoid spectra that are easily controlled by medication. On the other hand, mental illness is often associated with heavy stigma in secular society, whereas religion can provide context and narrative to "abnormal" experiences, giving someone a strong sense of understanding what is happening to them and what to do about it (however much you might disagree with the scientifiic accuracy of this framing, a factor which does not affect the efficacy of such a belief) while also reducing the likelihood that others in the community will reject or isolate the sufferer. In cases of more common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety-spectrum disorders, there is strong evidence that participation in religious communities can greatly benefit treatment, especially in cases where both modern medicines and religious counseling are being employed. People place a strong degree of trust in religious leaders, and this could conceivably have a net positive effect if it makes them more likely to seek care in the first place. Even if it is through pastoral counseling rather than professional care, therapeutic conversations are beneficial, and in the modern world most religious professionals will urge a seriously challenged individual to seek out formal psychiatric care where needed.
 

rousseau

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Aspects of what people say they experience as religion in a non religious context would be called mental illness. Hearing voices telling them what to do.

Is it mental illness, or people performing normative aspects of their culture like they do with everything else?
 

steve_bank

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In the news, another killing over blasphemy in Pakistan. Pakistan where people proving vaccination have been killed.

Someone from Sri Lanka workng in Pakistan killed for a perceived insult to Mohamed.
 

steve_bank

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Ooops. Somedbody already hd a thread on baptism.
 
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