Are people a product of religion, or is religion a product of people?

Topher
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Are people a product of religion, or is religion a product of people?

 

Are people a product of religion, or is religion a product of people?

I see good argument's for both.

Religion can simply be a projection of the believer. If you don't don't have evidence or reason for a belief, base it on religion.

But

I also see people to be products of the religion.

Religion is invented by someone for their specific agenda (or other purpose) and everyone else becomes a product of it. Occasionally you get people who change it for their own agenda or reasons which causes a splinter (e.g. Martin Luther, or the various Islamic sects), but for the most part, it simply people coming from theological conveyer belt.


If religion were a product of the people religion would surely be far more individual than it is, right? Take Christianity... you have the core beliefs about Jesus which Christian follows, so Christians are essentially products of this belief. Then you have the beliefs of the diffrent sects, which are still widespread.

For the most part it’s just like sheep… being fed the same old beliefs, which are then preached, and round it goes again. Sometimes you might get an L Ron Hubbard who has his own agenda and creates something else, but then all you get it products from that new belief and so on.

It seems like religion only becomes a product of the people when it comes down to desires.

I guess what i'm saying is this: are people the problem, or is religion the problem?

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


todangst
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Religion is an expression

Religion is an expression of humanity... to be human is to try to understand the universe, and to do it through analogy to the self...

 

Man is the measurer of all things.... what is hot is what it hot to us.. what is cold, is what is cold to us. But more than that, to understand is to anthropomorphize the universe. And there's no clearer example of this than religion: a being like us made the world, on purpose, and with a goal .

Even more embarrassing, these goals center on his believers, and in particular, YOU, god's absolute favorite.... (all believers are his favorite, no matter their denials)

Even more embarrassing yet: what matters to this god is whatever you, the believer happen to prize, and what doesn't matter, in fact, what is odious to this god, is whatever abilities you lack or, even more likely, whatever abilities your enemies, the ones you are jealous of, possess.

So, if you're not bright, and you're undereducated, then intelligence and knowledge don't matter..... if you're not capable of any great works, then works don't matter, in fact, their sinful, and even moreso, they just lead to 'pride' and of course, considering yourself worthwhile must be the ultimate sin of all.....

Because if you could really feel worthwhile, you'd not need religion.... 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Topher
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Thanks for the reply.So

Thanks for the reply.

So religion, as I thought and agree, is an expression/projection of human needs and desires.

And the fact people unquestionably follow the same belief system en mass (and thus give the appearance that they are the product of that religious system) could actually be down actually the fact that people share the same common human needs and desires, such as comfort and closure etc.

I guess the reason behind my original question was that as religion is used by humans as a vehicle for their desires, I didn't see how millions and millions of people all believe in such specific things, like Jesus, and miracles and detailed creation stories. I would have expected far less unification. For example, people might desire to believe in a creation story, but they can still do so without having to believe in specific details of a specific creation story. That being said, I guess it could be down to the fact people like to belong, and its hard to belong if we all have individual ideas on certain things.

So do you think 'religiously motivated' events/actions are problems of religion, or problems of people? For instance, was/is Christianity and Islam the problems behind the Inquisition and jihad, or is it people?

Thanks.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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I'm not sure it's quite

I'm not sure it's quite that simple.
There is a large amount of projection on but a person is also heavily shaped by their religion. Perhaps it projects some of their values but then the rest clash. Then again, you could argue that such a clash comes from them inheriting someone elses theology and that when they have original thought that it projects their desires.
e.g. A man is promiscuous but ultimately finds it unsatisfying so by his later years he is preaching against it, projecting his disatisfaction. A young man adopts this theology and has to struggle with his own nature as a consequence... when he gradually comes to have original theological thoughts perhaps he will go on to preach the virtue of stuggle...

On the topic of projection, I think it makes an interesting insight on Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza say God as our projection of divine and identified this with the universe. So his materialistic pantheism had God as a projection but he saw it as a necessary projection of human nature.


Topher
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Strafio wrote: There is a

Strafio wrote:
There is a large amount of projection on but a person is also heavily shaped by their religion.

That's my point. It seems to be both! Religion is a projection (product) of people, but also people are a product of religion (i.e. shaped by it). Catch-22. I'm just wondering what is the biggest factor.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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The chicken or the egg?

The chicken or the egg? Smile