Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-22-2019 3:53 PM
36 online now:
dwise1, edge, Faith, JonF, PaulK, RAZD, Stile, Tangle, Theodoric (9 members, 27 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 850,082 Year: 5,119/19,786 Month: 1,241/873 Week: 137/460 Day: 79/58 Hour: 6/6


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
2Next
Author Topic:   Religion and Chain Letters
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4022 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 1 of 19 (429771)
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


There are various aspects to religion - some positive and many negative. The aspect that I wish to discuss here is the common doctrine or teaching that can be paraphrased as:

quote:
Faith or belief in [fill in the blank] is essential to your personal salvation and eternal bliss; failure of faith will result in your personal eternal punishment in the fiery pit of hell

This feature which is common in several major religions and denominations has the same psychological underpinnings of a chain letter or email. Perhaps this is why many chain letters incorporate religious ideas and references to enhance credibility and acceptance.

The intention of a chain letter is to create some psychological distress through a threat and to entice with potential reward, as a means to motivate the recipient to propagate the letter or idea. The net effect is negative, wasteful and harmful.

The question for discussion: Is this aspect of religion equivalent to a chain letter?

Edited by iceage, : No reason given.

Edited by iceage, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Jon, posted 10-22-2007 1:41 AM iceage has responded
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 10-22-2007 5:35 AM iceage has responded
 Message 5 by pelican, posted 10-22-2007 7:40 AM iceage has not yet responded
 Message 8 by arachnophilia, posted 10-26-2007 1:18 AM iceage has not yet responded
 Message 11 by jar, posted 10-26-2007 10:20 AM iceage has not yet responded

  
AdminNem
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 19 (429808)
10-21-2007 8:51 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 19 (429850)
10-22-2007 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iceage
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


Are you asking whether or not if in the end religion is "negative, wasteful and harmful"?

Or, are you simply trying to equate religion to junk mail in general?

Jon


In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist... might come to the conclusion that each species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. - Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

En el mundo hay multitud de idiomas, y cada uno tiene su propio significado. - I Corintios 14:10
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A devout people with its back to the wall can be pushed deeper and deeper into hardening religious nativism, in the end even preferring national suicide to religious compromise. - Colin Wells Sailing from Byzantium


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iceage, posted 10-21-2007 5:52 PM iceage has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by iceage, posted 10-25-2007 6:34 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 4 of 19 (429867)
10-22-2007 5:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iceage
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


I can see what you mean with this but I think you may be forgetting that (I hope) people teaching their kids their religions do it because they honestly think it is the best thing to do. I don't think this is the intent of chain letters.

That said, stripping away the notion of intent and they are both pretty similar in the way they motivate people to transmit themselves.

Bit like a virus co opting cell machinery.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iceage, posted 10-21-2007 5:52 PM iceage has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by iceage, posted 10-25-2007 6:44 PM Larni has responded

    
pelican
Member (Idle past 3093 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 5 of 19 (429877)
10-22-2007 7:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iceage
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


human nature
Iceage writes:

The intention of a chain letter is to create some psychological distress through a threat and to entice with potential reward, as a means to motivate the recipient to propagate the letter or idea. The net effect is negative, wasteful and harmful.

Different versions of the whole concept is rife throughout politics and business too. I think it may just be part of human nature to be led. Unfortunately, some will lead us astray.

Edited by AdminPhat, : fixed quotebox. Use "peek" to see how it was done.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iceage, posted 10-21-2007 5:52 PM iceage has not yet responded

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4022 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 6 of 19 (430487)
10-25-2007 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Jon
10-22-2007 1:41 AM


Jon writes:

Are you asking whether or not if in the end religion is "negative, wasteful and harmful"?

Not quite...

I just realized that Christianity maybe the original, most successful and longest running chain letter in history.

The psychology of the central core doctrine of Christianity is identical to that of a chain letter. Both promise good things if have faith and believe in things without seeing or other confirmation of the senses; and threatens bad things if you don't.

It is a psychology designed to manipulate the subject to get them to help propagate the message. The psychology preys on fear, the human condition and uncertainty.

One has to ask why would God deem believing without seeing as so vitally important?

It is obvious why a mind virus requires such blind faith, but God? It just does not make sense why a being who obviously deals with the material world (creation, flood, stopping sun, miracles, etc) would withhold any real tangible evidence of God existence.

Edited by iceage, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Jon, posted 10-22-2007 1:41 AM Jon has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Taz, posted 10-26-2007 12:38 PM iceage has responded

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4022 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 7 of 19 (430490)
10-25-2007 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Larni
10-22-2007 5:35 AM


Pascal's Wager
Larni writes:

I can see what you mean with this but I think you may be forgetting that (I hope) people teaching their kids their religions do it because they honestly think it is the best thing to do. I don't think this is the intent of chain letters.

That said, stripping away the notion of intent and they are both pretty similar in the way they motivate people to transmit themselves.

Some people also comply and send chain letters because they think they are giving others the chance at blessings.

However you are right, most comply to chain letters because of the manipulation.

Actually thinking about this a little further, most comply to chain letters using the same reasoning for religious faith - Pascal's Wager!

Many users here have provided the essence of Pascal's Wager in defense of there faith such as:

quote:
"If I am right I win big but if you are right I lose nothing"

This is often the same justification that is used when people comply to a chain letter - oh well I am not out much and just maybe it works.

This fact that the human response to the sales pitch is often similar strengthens the comparison between to two.

Edited by iceage, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 10-22-2007 5:35 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Larni, posted 10-26-2007 5:11 AM iceage has not yet responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 85 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 8 of 19 (430571)
10-26-2007 1:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iceage
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


The question for discussion: Is this aspect of religion equivalent to a chain letter?

i've noticed a high degree of overlap between "fundamentalist christians i know" and "people who email me chain letters and other annoying forms of pseudo-spam"


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iceage, posted 10-21-2007 5:52 PM iceage has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Equinox, posted 10-26-2007 11:59 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded
 Message 16 by nator, posted 10-26-2007 5:03 PM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 19 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-20-2007 10:39 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 9 of 19 (430589)
10-26-2007 5:11 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by iceage
10-25-2007 6:44 PM


Re: Pascal's Wager
Yeah, people will always give more weight to what they fear is true rather than risk it. That's the very foundation of anxiety disorder (meta cognitive model). We believe something is true (with no real evidence) and act as if it is true.

So with the chain letter or religion we believe that we will have bad luck or will not go to heaven (no evidence) and act appropriately. In CBT terms it's called an 'over valued idea' and is very resistant to change as it conflicts with the survival instinct.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by iceage, posted 10-25-2007 6:44 PM iceage has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by AdminNosy, posted 10-26-2007 10:19 AM Larni has responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 10 of 19 (430607)
10-26-2007 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Larni
10-26-2007 5:11 AM


post titles
Is the main idea of your post, Larni, really Pascal's Wager?

Perhaps you could help by making more thoughtful titles?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Larni, posted 10-26-2007 5:11 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Larni, posted 10-26-2007 3:42 PM AdminNosy has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 11 of 19 (430608)
10-26-2007 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iceage
10-21-2007 5:52 PM


on checking sources
I think a survey of the religious affiliation of those who pass on the WARNING spam emails might be interesting. What people do not check Snopes before emailing the warning about "Flashing Head Lights Can Get You Killed?"


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iceage, posted 10-21-2007 5:52 PM iceage has not yet responded

  
Equinox
Member (Idle past 3250 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 12 of 19 (430630)
10-26-2007 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by arachnophilia
10-26-2007 1:18 AM


Gullibility of fundamentalists to other groups who use their church's tactics
Arach, I've noticed that too. The scam emails very often come from my fundamentalist relatives, and that happens even after I expose previous scams with sites like snopes.

Then there are plenty of examples like this:

http://www.goldenkeyministry.com/seedmoney4.html

Iceage - good point about the need for *blind* faith. A real God wouldn't require this - quite the opposite - but a chain letter meme complex would require this.

have a fun day-

-Equinox


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by arachnophilia, posted 10-26-2007 1:18 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 13 of 19 (430632)
10-26-2007 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by iceage
10-25-2007 6:34 PM


iceage writes:

I just realized that Christianity maybe the original, most successful and longest running chain letter in history.


I don't think so. Let's not forget that the Jewish religion has been around far longer than christianity.

Perhaps you meant to say western history?


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by iceage, posted 10-25-2007 6:34 PM iceage has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by iceage, posted 10-26-2007 3:08 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4022 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 14 of 19 (430658)
10-26-2007 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Taz
10-26-2007 12:38 PM


Right Mix of Ingredients
iceage writes:

I just realized that Christianity maybe the original, most successful and longest running chain letter in history.

Taz writes:

I don't think so. Let's not forget that the Jewish religion has been around far longer than christianity.

Not quite. Ancient Judaism did not have that same alluring mix of ingredients. The reward/risk feature was not well defined and submission was not easy to implement.

Christianity however hit upon just the right mix of ingredients, which maybe why it is so successful. That is..

  • A promise of great blessings
  • A threat of bad luck and/or damnation
  • Small price to pay for submission (ie faith in the unseeable)
  • Built-in request to replicate the message.
  • These are the exact same ingredients as a chain letter.

    I recently came to this conclusion when the user ICANT, if you remember him, would often exclaim "All you have to do is believe on Jesus to be saved and excuse yourself from hell". And he also frequently used Pascal's wager as a defense which i noticed that a variation of Pascal's wager is often used by people when they replicate a chain letter.

    I was annoyed and irritated by this constant refrain. Suddenly I realized that the annoyance that I experienced was the same annoyance that I experience when I receive a chain letter. With such a promise and dire threat one has to take some time and energy to consider such a proposal (at least at first when encountering the proposal). But then I realized that they both work on the same psychological principle and prey upon fear, the human condition and the residual superstition that is in each of us to some measure.

    I wish some Christian or theist would point out where I am wrong here.

    Edited by iceage, : No reason given.

    Edited by iceage, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by Taz, posted 10-26-2007 12:38 PM Taz has not yet responded

      
    Larni
    Member
    Posts: 3976
    From: Liverpool
    Joined: 09-16-2005


    Message 15 of 19 (430666)
    10-26-2007 3:42 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by AdminNosy
    10-26-2007 10:19 AM


    Re: post titles
    Sorry, I don't normally mess with other peoples titles but I do see your point.
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by AdminNosy, posted 10-26-2007 10:19 AM AdminNosy has not yet responded

        
    1
    2Next
    Newer Topic | Older Topic
    Jump to:


    Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

    ™ Version 4.0 Beta
    Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019