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Re: the description of the board

Posted by RH on August 28, 2004, at 18:48:49

In reply to Re: the description of the board RH, posted by Simus on August 28, 2004, at 2:44:52


Thank you for your interest in my post.

I look at the psychological side of religion,as well as it's history, as I am very intereseted in it but as I have said I do not have that thing called faith.

I have examined the religious and political backgrounds of nations where Christians are persecuted today, and I find psychological reasons are a better explanation of the persecutions, and thus the relevance to this website.

Here is a link to an insightful history of Islam, which helps to understand it not so much as a religion but as another episode in the ongoing drama called mankind.

But if you condsider the Sudan, where southerners who are mostly Christian are being chased off their land, and killed if they don't leave, it should be apparent that they are not being persecuted for being Christian, but for occupying land that is desired by the dominant northern group, which happens to be Muslim, and the land is wanted for its natural resources, namely oil, not to mention water. So any group standing in the way of the oil exploration and developement would come under the same oppression. And if the southern area was occupied by Muslims, the northerners would most likely have to refrain from the drastic tactics they use against non-muslims, simply to avoid seeming hypocritical and simply to remain in power. But if the southern group was Muslim, they would have to obey their ruler's commands to get out of the way of the oil companies, and they would probably oblige obediently.

Anyone, of any belief or non-belief, who stands in the way of oil exploration in the Sudan, will be persecuted. The force behind this is not Islam, it is greed, a much more powerful force than religion, in so far as religions that teach against greed have largely failed in getting the world to listen to them on this matter.

On the psychological side, the question is simply why do people even accept the idea of being antagonistic towards one another. If you look at the history of men who rule men, it can be seen that most rulers have been absoutley immoral, and I have a hunch this creates intergenerational nastiness in family lines, for instance in the royal families of Europe. So my thesis is basically that a kind of self-hate and self-loathing permeates rulers and ruling families, and this makes them indifferent to killing, maiming and doing whatever to aquire the material possesions they need to feel good each day.

One thing that puzzles me is why members of a religion accept the various interpretations of their teachers, preachers, imams and rulers.

I found a clue in this:

I Greco/Judeo/Christian belief systems: "The gods love the pious because they are pious".

In the Islamic tradition: "What the gods love, is pious."

(the above is from this link:

In the former, for instance, Jews and Christians have a book to follow and no preacher can deviate too far from the book lest his followers call him on it (unless they are afraid to speak out under penalty of heresy, as in the Middle Ages of Europe)

In the latter, Muslims must submit to the teachings of the imams, since is is they "know better", even if the teachings seem to go against the Koran in some way. Speaking out is not encouraged in Islam.

So though there may not be anything fundamentally wrong with Islam, it may just be that the current interpretation is wrong. But why would it be misinterpreted. Again, only a psychological analysis can answer that, and it usually has to do with power and greed, which I think are caused by immoral behavior and all kinds of internalized guilt and other nasty things, all of which should be avoidable but apparently are not. As you can read in the above link, there was much immmorality amoung Islamic rulers of the past, and that indicates to me various pyschological weaknesses, pressures, stress.

And regardless of anything, the persecuted always record in their history that they were "in the right". So even in Medievil and late Medievil Europe, we have Protestant Christians suffering at the hands of Catholics, and the Protestants recorded it as persecution, but the Catholics recorded it as dealing with heretics (of course for centuries now the Catholics have admitted it was persecution).

Anyway, if one faith is better than another, or more right in some way, then it will become predominant over time, won't it?

In keeping with the tone of this website, a tone of therapy and healing and psychology, I suggest that there should be psychological limits to work within religious frameworks, that is to say, it would make sense to me if the relgious did not violate any of the obvious and well accepted ethics that come out of psychology. For example, religions should be held to a standard of not doing things to people that cause harm or might create bitterness in people that will weaken their will and lead them to harm others, creating a ripple effect. That is the basis of religious tolerance, which is a secular concept, specifically one that does not abhor religion but requires constraints.

ok, I'm running out of gas.

Have a nice day





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