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Non-Hypocritical Religion

Confession is good for the soul
  (+9, -7)
(+9, -7)
  [vote for,

There's nothing wrong with religion. For once, though, I'd like to see a religion that encouraged its followers to be honest about their motivation. One where people could openly proclaim things like:

"Yes, I believe I'm icky just because I'm a human being. I want to transcend my shame over not being born, say, a platypus."

"Yes, I want God to like me, the way I always wanted my parents to like me when I was a kid."

"Yes, I want to be chummy with God so I can ask Her for special favors."

"Yes, I'm afraid to die. I want to strike a deal with God and live forever (though I'm not really sure what I'll do forever---maybe take up more hobbies?)."

And it would be okay to admit these things! None of the usual pseudo-noble, "I'm not in it for myself" posturing would be required. After all, isn't honesty something we associate with spirituality?

(Of course this might undermine the drama and intrigue essential to any show-biz-type enterprise, and thus be impractical.)

Ander, Aug 04 2007

A great place to continue this discussion http://groups.yahoo.com/group/overbaked/
[jutta, Aug 07 2007]

The Church of No-pants The_20Church_20of_20No-Pants
Keep it simple! [DrBob, Aug 07 2007]

deciderata? http://dneiwert.blo.../05/deciderata.html
[the dog's breakfast, Aug 07 2007]

Mmmm! Scrummy! http://www.mcah.col...el2/htm/group4.html
The pillar, not the pillow. [theleopard, Aug 08 2007]

(?) The antithesis! http://en.wikipedia...ki/Consequentialism
Sort of. [theleopard, Aug 08 2007]


       Being serious for a moment here - I don't see religion has having a motivation - Due to the limits of human perception, the construction of a world view, any world view, has to at some point, take some leap of faith.   

       Much of this faith is based on experience, children for example develop the belief that when they close their eyes, the world, and its contents, will persist until such time as they open them again - but this takes some time.   

       Other developmental skills, such as developing a theory of mind, follow a similar path - it seems reasonable to assume that the development of religious belief follows a similar pattern. i.e. It doesn't really have a 'motive' as such, but is instead more of a process that the brain goes through in order to make sense of the data it's being asked to assimilate.
zen_tom, Aug 04 2007

       Non-Hypocritical Religion?   

       Isn't that an oxymoron?
nuclear hobo, Aug 04 2007

       God is cool, it's the religions that mess everything up.
xandram, Aug 04 2007

       There's a very sterile argument waiting to happen here around the theme of 'altruism is just a specialized form of self-indulgence', but before that breaks out I'm going to give this a bun for the title. [+]
pertinax, Aug 04 2007

       Altruism is just a very specialized form of self-indulgence. You're disingenuously trying to imbue it with a sense of shame. Hypocrite.
nomocrow, Aug 04 2007

       You've all got it wrong. Self indulgence is just a very specialised form of altruism.
zen_tom, Aug 04 2007

       Religion is a reflection of humanity. Just as God was created in Man's image, if we are hypocritical, then our religions will be hypocritical. We are firmly bound by the limitations of our imaginations.
DrCurry, Aug 04 2007

       What you describe is not a religion, it's group therapy.
(Which, arguably, is a religion to some.)
jutta, Aug 04 2007

       I believe it is.   

       I think a lot of people have mixed motives, which may be hard to untangle. But it would be insightful and honest to look for them.   

       A religion needs as many possible motivations for joining it, to get as many possible people to join. A religion that can attract both, say, peaceful vegetarians and blood-and-fire fanatics is going to be more successful than a religion that attracts only people who have accidentally filled their left boot with blue paint on a Tuesday during Lent.
baconbrain, Aug 04 2007

       I've got groundbreaking news for you.... 2+2=4.... If it's objectively logical, and not subjective, then it requires no faith whatsoever to believe in. This makes you wonder if God is logical or not since God requires faith to believe in.   

       As an atheist, I meditate on things that are objectively logical as opposed to things that are subjectively illogical in order to make the good things in life happen.   

       All I'm saying is that you can't count on miracles to happen in your life, because they won't happen, but you have to take control of your own life in order to make things happen. No rule book is going to help you achieve in the real world, rules are meant to be broken, and all religions are basically rule books on how to live your life (and an impossible promise is thrown in here and there for good measure).
quantum_flux, Aug 05 2007


       Not if you're talking about beads of mercury.
nomocrow, Aug 05 2007

       //All I'm saying is that you can't count on miracles to happen in your life,//

       // because they won't happen//
Well...not with that attitude.

       Once we breed hypocrasy-resistant humans, all religions will be non-hypocritical.   

       Until then... My friend the card carrying member of the church of Satan will continue to pray for Bush to get impeached,   

       And I, sitting in my private christian college's Dorm room will continue to look at Porn, and work out ways to cheat the government more.
ye_river_xiv, Aug 05 2007

       I'm with [2 fries]
" I need a miracle every day.."
Grateful Dead lyrics
xandram, Aug 05 2007

       I've got groundbreaking news for you [quantum_flux] - Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, which states that any consistent axiom system is necessarily incomplete in that there will be true statements that can't be deduced from the axioms. In other words, mathematics, like all else in life, needs a little faith.
zen_tom, Aug 06 2007

       I dunno, [zen]. The way you wrote that, it seems that mathematics GIVES you a little faith, not requires it. In other words, we know that there are things that are true, even though we have no evidence. Which would keep me going on a bad day.   

       Religion, on the other hand, requires that we believe things despite all evidence to the contrary, or at best with no evidence at all. At least the religions that I've met do that, which is why I don't subscribe.   

       Religions, which require faith, have elevated their weakness to a virtue.
baconbrain, Aug 06 2007

       why can't an individual seek non-hypocrisy regardless of his/her brand of religion? I think that's just called 'seeking the truth,' and as such this is a "let's all" for seeking the truth and being honest with ourselves. May we mark for deletion?
k_sra, Aug 06 2007

       I believe you can.
baconbrain, Aug 07 2007

       I think that religion now is outdated. It was useful once upon a time to make sense of what the people of that time could not make sense of (rain, thunder, wind, etc for the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc). In this age though, it is no longer necessary to have religion at all, seeing that science now has the capabilities to find out the cause of things such as lightning, and banish the need for a god(s).   

       As for altruism, after having read, analyzed, and dissertated about Ayn Rand's book "The Fountainhead", I have come to the conclusion that I really don't want to try and explain my version of her philosophy (which happens to have a good dose of Camus and a little bit of Schiller mixed in)(as well as my own unique philosophy which is really really hard to explain).   

       Perhaps by reading her book what I just said will make more sense.   

       Anyways, a bun for the title, as well as the idea. Its good, I just am unsure as to how many would be able to adhere to it for very long.
Seoman, Aug 07 2007

       [baconbrain] maybe you're right - here's a further quote that I think is quite apt in regards the whole mathematics/God/Gödel/proof thing, it's from French mathematician André Weil, who says
"God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it."

       In light of such things I guess I just don't have much time for the argument; 2+2=No God.
zen_tom, Aug 07 2007

       Hmmm. I suspect any of the existing religions can be practised non-hypocritically. The problem is they're practised by humans, instead. Certainly in Christianity, for example, I am aware that there is no stipulation for becoming a Christian for good motives - the whole point is that good motives come as the follower grows in the faith, if they do.   

       In my opinion, people in general live their lives hypocritically - I know I do. Life is so big that we shut our minds to the bits we can't cope with. I think that we're messing up the planet, but that doesn't seem to stop me commuting 30 miles to work and back every day. I would like to iron out the hypocrisies in my life, but that seems to require more thinking and planning time than I can commit to it. A religion practised non-hypocritically has to be a better thing.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 07 2007

       // extreme science   

       Is that like extreme ironing?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 07 2007

       When I ask a question, such as, "what are the rules for calculus?" I'm going to get the same answer from any credible source (perhaps multiple derivations for the rules, but the same conclusion that is consistent).   

       However, when I ask "what are the rules for religion?" I'm going to get a mixed bag that varies from each and every individual person. Getting 2 people to agree on every little point in religion is like getting 2 people who have identical DNA, it just won't happen (except in the case of identical twins of which there really is no religious analogue here, I don't think, perhaps I should have gone with snowflakes instead).   

       1 religion book=> many different interpretations=> subjectivity, massive confusion of language   

       But that's what they get for trying to build a "tower/temple" to heaven! Nobody can trust anybody else when it comes to religion. Um, I think that we should learn a thing or two from our chimpanzee ancestors about love instead.   

       many math books=> one generally accepted interpretation=> objective truth, universal language   

       That's what being of 1 accord is like, we really can do anything that we have set out to do, and that's what makes mankind invincible. But in order for survival, perhaps we should spread out through the universe to increase our chances instead of building vertically here on earth as the population continues to increase.
quantum_flux, Aug 07 2007

       many math books=> one generally accepted interpretation=> objective truth, universal language => universal agreement on ethics, politics, spirituality, the unknown => 42.   

       This is an old, old argument, but 2+2=4, whilst being fairly universally true, doesn't help me figure out what to do when my loved one dies. Life is too complex for maths, even science has more than one conflicting running theories for explaining fairly well established phenomena. To presume that maths can provide a "objective truth, universal language" that deals with all sins misses the point that humans are ultimately local, subjective, and untrue (hypocritical). But I like them anyway, or at least some of them.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 07 2007

       As a practising Galavantalised Inconsequentialist my viewpoint on all this religion gumbo is that, inevitably, it doesn't really matter. Best to get on with what life serves you and try your best to have a nice time in the process.   

       That's just me of course, one chooses their own way (or are given their way by their parents), and a good GI doesn't preach.   

       2+2=A good game of golf today I think. Yes, that would be nice.   

       Brother leopard.
theleopard, Aug 07 2007

       gotta do it... [marked-for-deletion] let's all or philosophy, take your pick.
k_sra, Aug 07 2007

       //many math books=> one generally accepted interpretation=> objective truth, universal language//   

       You've obviously never had a korean immigrant teach your statistics class.   

       I learned that there are apostivy and anectivy numbers, that auk fruit is OK with anectivy, and how to write numbers using sietipie lopation.   

       However, by the time it came to learning about Z scores and the Ogive, I was completely lost.
ye_river_xiv, Aug 08 2007

       I concur, k_sra.   

       What I was trying to say before I got distracted is that you can have either hypocritical or non-hypocritical religion, just as you can have hypocritical or non-hypocritical atheism. This is effectively a "flavour" invention, or: "A car, that is blue".
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 08 2007

       Well, [theleopard], the internet is keeping shtum about "Galavantalised Inconsequentialist". Tell me more.   

       Also, [yrx], Wikipedia can help you with z scores and Ogive, but it seems to get stuck with apostivy and anectivy numbers, auk fruit and its relation to anectivy, and how to write numbers using sietipie lopation.   

       I feel a gaping hole opening in the middle of my mathematical education.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 08 2007

       Sheesh. Geeks and religion - it's like shotgun-toting rednecks and traffic signs.
moomintroll, Aug 08 2007

       So what DO shotgun-toting rednecks do to traffic signs?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 08 2007

       Certainly [Lights], I would be delighted.   

       Galavantalised Inconsequentialism was formed in a small flat in Leicester, England, over 4 entire years ago. Its numbers at present are far in excess of 52 and the word is spreading amongst the internet community (though apparently not quite enough to be Googlable).   

       First there was Inconsequentialism and it was good. The Inconsequentialist lives his or her (or its) life by three words, and three words alone:   

"Doesn't." And

       Because it doesn't matter, Inconsequentialists are not necessarily bound by the order of these words (and in some cases not even the spelling, or indeed meaning) for these things are mere trifles and don't really matter, but swapping the words around makes you sound either like you're asking a question (Doesn't it matter?), or like Yoda (Matter it doesn't). Either way, the Inconsequentialist doesn't really mind.   

       With this dogma one can adopt an entirely care free perspective on life. If nothing can upset you, you will find a new freedom within your soul and float upon the waves of life like a personified piece of broadly grinning driftwood.   

       However, it was discovered that, despite the fact that nothing really matters, a great deal of things do actually matter. Like for instance the life or death of Mike Reid; Being raped; The ability to breathe; Decapitation; etc. With this in mind Galavantalised Inconsequentialism was born.   

       The Galavantalised Inconsequentialist attempts to live life to the full; to brush off those woes and wearies that don't really matter by telling tales of their misfortune to an encapsulated audience, with a twist of humour, in order to both modestly ridicule themselves, entertain others and in doing so, lighten everyone's heart. Often this act is essential in the Inconsequentialist's release of an anxiety. The ability to realise that, despite the misfortune, they had fun, so all in all, it doesn't really matter.   

       When I missed a flight a few weeks ago, for example, the idea of having to wait in a foreign airport for 14 more hours was greatly distressing. However, when I spoke to my brother about it on the phone, we being able to twist the unfortunate circumstance into a relatively amusing tale, I was completely absolved of distress. I was then able to relax for the ensuing 14 hours and calmly read a book without anger wrenching my attention from the pages.   

       Galavantalisation is merely the interjection of 'having fun' into the care free nature. It's the addition of 'really' into the central dogma ie "It doesn't REALLY matter, when all's said and done."   

       The average GI Joe will never force their beliefs on others, as many people will not take to them easily, nor will they appreciate, in times of woe, having someone belittle their grief with abject dismissals of emotional distress. Thusly:   

       "My cat died."
"It doesn't matter."
"Yes it does."
"Not to me."
"C*nt face."

       That's not what it's about. Compassion towards others is paramount, for if they're not having fun, the likelihood is, neither will you be. Their adoption of GI would certainly make it easier to handle many grievances, but it should never be preached. Simply informed when asked is enough.   

       In the end, the GI is willing to risk greater misfortune for an escalation of fun, safe in the knowledge that it doesn't really matter, as long as no one ends up blind.   

       Well... you asked.
theleopard, Aug 08 2007

       //far in excess of 52//   

       sp: 53
Jinbish, Aug 08 2007

       Wow, [theleopard].   

       You should add an article to Wikipedia, that was quite fun to read. I'm sorely tempted to join, except that I'm not sure whether my membership matters. This is, of course, Fatalistic Inconsequentialism.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 08 2007

       //Wikipedia// I think I will...   

       As to Fatalistic Inconsequentialism, I'm all for new denominations. They haven't worked for other religions but an Inconsequentialist doesn't mind what other people believe. The line is drawn at Murderous Inconsequentialism of course, but I think that's fair enough.   

       Another one is Inconsequentialist Panicism. A friend of mine, when encountering an awkward, emotional or distressing situation panics uncontrollably until, some time later, everything seems OK again.
theleopard, Aug 08 2007

       //This is, of course, Fatalistic Inconsequentialism.// - splitter!

[theleopard] I like the sound of GI - I think though you could add clarity by explaining the difference between GI and other beliefs, such as Stoicism and Fatalism.
hippo, Aug 08 2007

       They dont matter
miasere, Aug 08 2007

       Glad you like it [hippo]. Of course, [miasere] is right, but I'll briefly outline the differences anyway. Be aware that this is all plagiarised from the dubious pages of Wikipedia.   

       Stoicism and GI both have the same primary tenet: that of improving the individual’s spiritual well-being. However, where the Stoics seeked "to avoid emotional troubles by developing clear judgment and inner calm through diligent practice of logic, reflection, and concentration," the GI seeks to avoid emotional troubles through humility, good humour, and the pursuit of stories. The "removal of desire" for instance is far from the GI's motivation.   

       Fatalism decrees that all things that will happen will happen, despite yourself. GI on the other hand doesn't adhere to determinism; misfortune can be both avoided and approached depending on what you think might be the most fun, or make the funniest story.   

       When reading up on these I found links to about 1billion more philosophies, including Epicureanism, Defeatism, Platonism and a whole bunch more. However, I really aught to be doing some work right now. There is a group on Facebook for the GIs - if you're on there, please join. (I admit this isn't the right place to be discussing this stuff.)   

       Most religions are full of "pillar-biters" by the way.
theleopard, Aug 08 2007

       But pillars tast so good!
miasere, Aug 08 2007

       I'm surprised there's been no Galahvantalised Extinguisher idea posted yet...
theleopard, Aug 08 2007

       They all spontaneously combusted
miasere, Aug 08 2007

       theleopard, you forgot to mention the significant numbers of Catholic GIs. Those who hold exactly the same beliefs as mainstream Galavantalised Inconsequentialists but who still say their prayers every night and go to confession once a month "just in case it really does matter after all".
DrBob, Aug 08 2007

       // Of course, [miasere] is right, but I'll briefly outline the differences anyway.   

       Well, it makes a good story, right?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Aug 08 2007

       ...and of course there's the Galvanised Inconsequentialists - the charred, but shiny remains of former Galavantalised Inconsequentialists who thought "it wouldn't matter" if they stepped into a metal-plating machine.
hippo, Aug 08 2007

       And there's the entire body of literature of the period between the world wars to explain why they chose to jump into a tank of molten zinc...
Ned_Ludd, Aug 09 2007

       One pastime that does suit GI rather well is stuntmongery. Especially incorporating the elevated risk : fun ratio.
theleopard, Aug 09 2007

       If god wanted his church to be popular to attract more members he should have said nay to the commandments and stuck with the "eat, drink and be merry, for tommorow we will die" or something like that can't really remember but it was catchy yes? Maybe it was translated wrong. Maybe it should have said: eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow's hangover will feel like hell.
twitch, Aug 10 2007

       Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol? That doesn't matter really, does it?
theleopard, Aug 10 2007

       Why would God 'want' anything!? He can have anything he wants because he's magical.... i.e. 5fish +2loaves =5000stomachfuls +12Remainingbasketfuls.... conservation laws don't even apply to this guy do they!? Unless they were either really big fish/loaves or really small stomachfuls/basketfuls there is a clearcut violation of conservation laws going on here, i.e. white magic.   

       In order to believe this story, you must first accept the existance of magic which is hard to do unless you've actually seen something that looks like magic before.... since everybody has been fooled by at least 1 magic trick at one time or another, then this story is very believable, except for the skeptics who demand repeatable experiments with precise and accurate data measurements for verificational purposes.
quantum_flux, Aug 10 2007

       Thats a lot of kids. GI as well as stoicism appear to me to be much like existensialism. Stuff happens, just get on with your life. Someone dies, feel sad that you can no longer learn from them (although I am still learning from Shakespeare), but don't mourn forever or anything. Its a bit harsh on the outside, since you don't show much emotion, but there isn't that much emotion to show, since the grief is something that is irrelevant to your life as it is, and thus may be discarded. If people were to take their learning and their knowledge to/past college level, everyone would be able to understand at least the basics of technology, and religion (in the widest sense) would be useless. I do not understand much of the current science, but I have an understanding of enough of the different sciences to make sense out of everything except the forefront of technology and research.   

       And did the poor Galvanised Inconsequentialists go live by the sea, safe in their rust-proof coatings?
Seoman, Aug 12 2007

       //And did the poor Galvanised Inconsequentialists go live by the sea, safe in their rust-proof coatings?//   

       They all had to visit the wizard to get a heart
miasere, Aug 13 2007

       Ah, but Tinman already had a heart [miasere].
theleopard, Aug 13 2007

       //If people were to take their learning and their knowledge to/past college level, everyone would be able to understand at least the basics of technology, and religion (in the widest sense) would be useless.//   

       Ha Ha ha ha ha ha! Good one. = )   

       technology + knowledge = [m-f-d]religion ?
k_sra, Aug 13 2007

       //In my opinion, people in general live their lives hypocritically - I know I do. Life is so big that we shut our minds to the bits we can't cope with. I think that we're messing up the planet, but that doesn't seem to stop me commuting 30 miles to work and back every day. I would like to iron out the hypocrisies in my life, but that seems to require more thinking and planning time than I can commit to it. A religion practised non-hypocritically has to be a better thing. //   

       Thank you for that, [Lights]. Well said.
RayfordSteele, Aug 13 2007

       Looks like you're describing non-hypocritical people, not the religion itself.
Noexit, Aug 13 2007


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