Sunday, November 18, 2018

Does religion shackle people?

In what way does it shackle people? Science, for example, allows some beliefs and disallows others. Is it a mental prison? After all, once you start getting into science you can't believe in just any speed as the speed of light. 186,000 miles a second isn't just a good idea, it's the law.

26 comments:

Joe Hinman said...

O imagine a lot people are not past the rule keeping stage themselves and thus imagine that's all religion is.


what's the point of the atonement for example? glad you asked that question:

Metacrock's blog


I've seen atheists make an argument that goes like this: So what if Jesus was crucified? what's the big deal? There re much worse ways to suffer. Crucifixion is bad but it is far from the worst thing that can happen to you. So why was it a sacrifice, I mean after all he is God, what would it matter to him if he dies? And he got to come back."

Legion of Logic said...

I too have asked this question over the years, and the responses come in two broad categories. Either I'm shackled because I'm not free to be sexually promiscuous without guilt, or I'm shackled because I'm not an atheist since...well, since I'm not an atheist!

One Brow said...

I suppose the real question is whether the truth shall set you free, or the truth is just another master to which we can be shackled.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Either I'm shackled because I'm not free to be sexually promiscuous without guilt, ...

I've never known that to be affected by religion.

Starhopper said...

I don't know where this analogy originated (it's certainly not mine), but imagine a stream with well-tended banks. It flows smoothly and efficiently. Next imagine a marshy mess with the same amount of water flowing through it. It doesn't do anywhere in particular and mostly ends up in stagnant pools.

The so-called constrictions of religious dogma are the riverbanks, allowing for productive flowing. The "freedom" of no dogma is the marsh, going nowhere.

Mike Darus said...

The real question is, "What do you want to be free from?"

Romans 6:19 Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

One Brow has a point. You have to serve somebody.

bmiller said...

And the Truth is a master.

Starhopper said...

"You have to serve somebody."

As Bob told us.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I don't know where this analogy originated (it's certainly not mine), but imagine a stream with well-tended banks. It flows smoothly and efficiently. Next imagine a marshy mess with the same amount of water flowing through it. It doesn't do anywhere in particular and mostly ends up in stagnant pools.

When the stream over-runs the banks, it spreads fresh, fertile soil to give better growth.

Legion of Logic said...

When the stream over-runs the banks, it spreads fresh, fertile soil to give better growth.

That's why Christians are supposed to spread the message to others. :)

Starhopper said...

Well, all analogies are imperfect.

Another that I've heard (I take no credit for it) is comparing religion to the rules for a baseball game. With them, you have an amazing sport. Without them, and you have a bunch of guys swinging a bat around at random and to no purpose.

Steve Lovell said...

If rules are always a shackle, then I suppose to be truly free, one has to reject logical rules too.

Starhopper said...

The primeval sin of Mankind was the desire to be God (Genesis 3:5). Now there (at least) two things wrong with that desire.

1. We're not God. (Duh!)
2. That implies that everyone will consider himself to be God, setting up (as history has amply demonstrated) endless grounds for endless war.

True freedom is not synonymous with chaos, but rather with fulfillment of potential.

I happen to be taking classes in how to paint with watercolors right now. If I ignore the rules, then the best I can accomplish is a chaotic mess of childish smears. But if I listen to my instructor and acknowledge that "I don't (yet) know how to paint, it's amazing what I can do.

And therein lies the true irony behind the accusation that religious dogma is somehow stifling. For Christ has promised us that we will be like Him (i.e., "like God"), if only we have faith in Him. The serpent had no ability (or intention) to make good on his empty promises. The resurrected Lord has proven His capability of fulfilling His quite real ones (just observe the lives of the saints).

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
Another that I've heard (I take no credit for it) is comparing religion to the rules for a baseball game. With them, you have an amazing sport. Without them, and you have a bunch of guys swinging a bat around at random and to no purpose.

So, cricket?

Or, is it that cricket is another sport, equally believed by many but one you can't play at the same time as baseball, and there is no good way to determine which sport is better?

Starhopper said...

Ahh... cricket.

Cricket is like Hinduism. I'm sure it gives meaning to millions of people's lives, but if you are not of the cognoscenti, then it is all unintelligible.

(I have huge respect for Hinduism. I am on record as saying that if I were not a Catholic, I would be a Hindu.)

I attended several cricket matches when I lived in England. Although I absolutely loved the extrania that makes up the spectator experience, I never could figure out what was actually going on on the field - even with Brits by my side attempting to explain the action. Hopeless.

Joe Hinman said...


Metacrcock's blog



Every Christmas I used to read this book, The Crucified God (Jurgan Motlmann*). I haven't read it in a few years because in 2007 we had an apartment foold and I haven't seen my copy since. Last a mentioned this and a good friend sent me a new copy! I'm reading it again now. It's one of the best books to read for Christmas because it sets the atonement in context with the incarnation and orients it in Hegelian fashion toward the resurrection as a synthesis of incarnation by the father and rejection by the father.. This book has it all, moving passages that reflect for of and for Christ, and abstruse theological and philosophical points that only a seminarian could love, and a German cultural bias. Hot dog (Wienerschnitzel) it's just made for Christmas.

One Brow said...

Starhopper,

I learned a lot about cricket by watching Lagaan. Give that a try.

Steve Lovell said...

The cricket comments reminded me of this inspired video, "How Cricket Looks to Most People": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYrue4oXCbo

Legion of Logic said...

I thought I was beginning to understand the rules once the grass was fringed under the ring, but the announcer didn't elaborate on the significance of closing off with yellow and then the video ended. Cricket shall remain a mystery.

Hal said...

Baseball, cricket, basketball and football (both kinds) are damn boring. Having to play or watch any of those is indeed like being shackled.

The problem is not rules but what the rules are rules of.

Legion of Logic said...

So you dont enjoy a bunch of overgrown babies in clown suits groping each other while chasing a ball under arbitrary rules? What's wrong with you?

Starhopper said...

Are you sure you didn't mean to write "overpaid" babies?

But be that as it may, I must speak up for baseball, a game of blinding speed and contemplative pauses. No game demands more of its athletes, from the ability to hit a fastball hurtling toward you at 96 mph, to making a diving catch in the deep outfield after running 200 feet after a fly ball coming straight out of the sun, to being able to throw a ball 300 feet with an accuracy NASA would be envious of when aiming for Mars, to a pitcher keeping an eye on the runner at first while throwing an inside curveball that just nicks the strike zone.

And I absolutely love the fact that there is no clock in baseball, an honor shared with tennis and pretty much no other sport. (I don't consider golf to be a sport.) "It ain't over till it's over." You can be in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, a full count, and down by one, and still pull out a win.

And none of that nonsense about a Superbowl, wherein everything depends on the outcome of a single game. No, in baseball you have to prove your stamina, your longevity, and take the best of seven games to triumph.

It just doesn't get any better than that!

Starhopper said...

But every Eden has its serpent, and baseball is no exception. Proof of this is the demonic Designated Hitter rule, surely dreamed up in the very fires of hell. As Our Lord Himself said, "Have I not chosen you, you 12? And yet one of you is a devil." (John 6:70)

(Nine men on the field, plus a right and left handed relief pitcher in the bullpen, plus the DH equals twelve.)

Hal said...

Legion of Logic,
So you dont enjoy a bunch of overgrown babies in clown suits groping each other while chasing a ball under arbitrary rules? What's wrong with you?

Well, I do have to concede, despite my failure to appreciate such activities, that these guys can be credited for coming up with many different ways to play with their balls.

Legion of Logic said...

And I absolutely love the fact that there is no clock in baseball

The downside would be the nearly 8 hour 18 inning game in the World Series, I can't even imagine how draining that would be for players and fans alike haha.

Starhopper said...

If you're looking for long, then look no further than the 1981 game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings (both being triple A minor league teams). It began on April 18th and ended on June 23rd (after an extended intermission) and lasted 33 innings. The final score was 3 to 2, the Red Sox winning. Both Cal Ripken, jr. and Wade Boggs participated (playing on opposite teams).

Rule changes since that time have guaranteed that this record for longest professional baseball game ever will never be surpassed.