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Is religion used as an opium to the people or as useful means of domination for politicians?

rsabbatini 7 July 14

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Both. Religion both incites unsavory things and is used as a fulcrum for such incitements by other groups, such as the ruling class.

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Religion is just like slavery but we gotta have the fear of GOD

We do not fear any gods here nor are they permitted. Take your gods & go away.

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Have you been paying attention to current politics in the US?

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Plenty of benevolent rich powerful folk out there but yeah, some still play the game. Could think of it as a mental disorder. Pushers get pushed but you gotta be a whale to push a whale.

FynTul Level 6 July 15, 2018
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It goes back before the last global cleansing.
G genetic
O operations
D division

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It has been and it will be until their influence will wear out.....the writing is on the wall

@rsabbatini I didn't say it will happen today

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I see it as both and my reasoning in part follows.

Its easy to see how mamy people use religion to control people. Here in the U.S. there are many historical examples, most of them on the bastardization or abuse of religious principles. Around the globe there are plenty more examples, of which are the attempted extermination of hole religious cultures.

Religion is an opium on multiple fronts. In religion one is constantly told that this being Loves us, made us, etc and so we're conditioned to believing it and we feel good cause we want to be loved, right? So like any drug we become addicted to it, we look for it, we find ways to get more of it, and we want others to share our enjoyment as well, so they pressure others into joining up with the same Love sales pitch and this can lead back to the control over others as well.

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Again a quote out of context. Marx is referring to the malaise and false hope that religion can bring, written in around 1843. Religion is the subject at this time because of its ability to focus the individual away from the troubles of society. This not a criticism of religion per se, but of the myopic nature of the human mind to not face the reality of social dissonance. If we are to correctly take this quote in context for our current era, the term 'religion' would be replaced by celebrity culture, television, Facebook and so on.

Unfortunately it also holds true for the presented context, and as an independent statement relating to the cultural perceptions of a statistically significant and highly vocal subset of the population of the United States, it is still very true.

@rsabbatini I dunno, we're not openly buying and selling other human beings or locking all the different people in the oubliette of horrific mental asylums as a primary cultural behavior model. But the fact that such a huge percentage of our population still prefers a fairy tale that actually HAS scientifically attributable solutions available now to explain many of the events. There is also a Russian scientist or mathematician who has hypothesized and insists he's found data to support, based on the description of astronomical bodies like constellations, that much recorded history from the formation of Christianity until about 1500 has been fabricated or manipulated by religious scholars (who were basically the only scholars during the Dark Ages) after the fact to help sell the narrative.

@geist171 hi Geist. That is interesting. Who is the Russian. Can you please post the reference as I would love to review it. Thanks

@Geoffrey51 the major name behind the idea is Fomenko. I'm still looking for more reliable sources with the information, but:

[en.m.wikipedia.org]

[blackbag.gawker.com]

The scientific and historical communities aren't particularly on-board but it's an interesting idea.

@geist171 thanks for that. It all seems a bit fanciful. Working on this premise there were no Roman, Viking or Normsn invasions of Britain, or if there were ithey would have been stories grafted on to each other. The Medievsl church would have sprung up before Jesus was born and Islan didn't have Greek texts to advance medicine and astronomy. If this is correct perhaps the world is only 6,022 years old ths coming October!

@Geoffrey51 to my understanding it's not about actual age or time. It's about a lack of 'real' records of the past prior to a certain point. But if Christianity and its associated events start in 400AD, there are entire centuries for which no record exists.

It's an interesting idea but it would take an unrealistically thorough effort to scrub archaeological evidence on a massive geographic scale.

That said, on a weekly basis evidence is found or confirmed which points to something from history which may have been patently untrue. The stories of Elizabeth Bathory and Grigori Rasputin, for example, are undergoing HUGE developments right now that could paint them in completely new lights.

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I would say 50/50. People that can't or don't want understand the larger reality or don't want challenge the belief system they were programmed with as a child cling it and are satiated by it. People in power see that fault and exploit it as much as the masses let them get away with. Which is why i find it hross negligance for those that are awake stand idlely by.

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It has become both. Politicians, ever the opportunists, have harnessed religion to right wing ideology. It was Karl Marx who coined the expression....”Religion is the opiate of the masses” It is doubly addictive when combined with politics. It keeps people firmly controlled, their minds unable to think properly. In order to break this hold over the electorate, we must do all we can to oppose politicians who put their religion above their duty to serve us, the people.

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What about all those we consider to be (or to have been) smart and wise, and who were deeply religious? Kepler, Newton, Max Planck, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama....?
If being religious and being wise is mutually exclusive, all these individuals must have been stupid

Matias Level 8 July 15, 2018

Quite agree. It is not appropriate to quote generalised expressions as anything more than the opinion of the speaker. Quite frequently these sound bytes are taken out of context as a rhetoric device to persuade a point, the archaic aspect attempting to reference "the wisdom of the ages". Your examples prove this point perfectly

@rsabbatini - How do you tell an "intelligent" from a not-so-intelligent scientist?
It religiosity the litmus test to distinguish them?

80% is the percentage today. During the early modern period, the "scientific revolution", nearly all scientists - nor "natural philosophers" as they were called in those days - were religious.
And what about the 20% of non-atheists today? Are they dumb?

There are undoubtedly highly intelligent, even eminent people past and present who are able to reconcile their belief in science and a belief in a greater being, this I admit is a paradox. It however does not contradict the assertion that unscrupulous leaders have used religion to control populaces. This goes equally for all religions and communism which in my opinion is religion without a deity.

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Both, just as Seneca said. It's hard to control a questioning, critical thinking society.

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Yes!

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Why must it be one or the other?

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Both at once.

An analogy would be a pimp using heroin to keep an employee sedate and reliant upon them for supply as well as income and security.

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Of course it is. Was there ever a doubt?

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Yes.

Sparks Level 3 July 15, 2018
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Both.

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