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Pursue Happiness, Please


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Initial post: Feb 16, 2013 11:44:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 12:05:05 PM PST
If believing ludicrously magical religious stories aids you in your pursuit of happiness then continue with it. But if your religion stimulates hatred, or attempts to block the happiness pursuits of others, then you are on the wrong track. Regulate yes, influence yes, but hate, no. Hatred is a symptom of sociopathy, a mental illness.

"Each day has troubles enough of its own. "

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 11:59:02 AM PST
IFeelFree says:
BM: If believing ludicrously magical religious stories aids you in your pursuit of happiness then continue with it.

IFF: While I agree with the general tone of your post, I have to take an exception here. If someone willingly remains naive and persists in magical thinking, taking on faith things that are false, in the end it can only detract from his happiness.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 12:12:48 PM PST
Astrocat says:
The Agni Yoga teachings have this to say about happiness. From the book, 'Agni Yoga', paragraph 65.

"If a very simple man should ask you the purpose of the Teaching, say, "That you may live happily." He should not be overwhelmed by too complicated considerations. Let his entire being be filled with the realization that the whole Teaching is concerned with improving his life. The understanding of responsibility will come later. First - proclaim the joy and betterment of life."

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 12:13:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 12:26:32 PM PST
IFeelFree says: " If someone willingly remains naive and persists in magical thinking, taking on faith things that are false, in the end it can only detract from his happiness."

Reply: People do as people do. The choice, I feel freely, is up to the individual. I oppose interference with private human activities that don't harm others. Regulate but do not hate.

I come from the land of reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 12:27:21 PM PST
Bubba says:
Bill McLean says: ... "Regulate yes, influence yes, but hate, no."

I will agree with you if you are speaking of them allowing religion to regulate and influence their OWN lives, but they should in NO WAY attempt to regulate or influence OTHER peoples' lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 12:39:40 PM PST
Nice try Bill but even without religion humans would find someone/something to hate and the pursuit of happiness (as far as religion goes) seems to go hand in hand with the bliss of ignorance.

The pursuit of happiness seems pretty hedonistic anyway and probably is responsible for a lot of the hate flying about.

How about stop pursuing anything, shut up, sit down get on with your own life oh and try to stop inflicting your POV on others. If you can be nice and if you cant manage that try not to do anything at all.

Now that might be worthwhile.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 12:52:41 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
Nancy,

That's a good "rule of thumb". I should probably follow it more often.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 1:22:13 PM PST
Astrocat says:
It's an interesting lesson, allowing others to remain at their current level of understanding and not try to jerk them up onto a higher one - even when we think we're at that level!! I wonder if that desire to bring "enlightenment" to others, according to our own understanding might not be - just possibly - a sign that we're not as evolved as we think we are.....:)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 2:15:29 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
ND: I wonder if that desire to bring "enlightenment" to others, according to our own understanding might not be - just possibly - a sign that we're not as evolved as we think we are.....:)

IFF: Probably. It's just that I enjoy talking about this stuff sometimes. It helps to clarify things in my own mind as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 2:17:10 PM PST
Bill McLean

Hatred is not sociopathy. Hatred is within the the normal emotional spectrum.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 2:45:00 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Oh, me, too, just talking off the top of my head.....:)

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 2:46:42 PM PST
Better to seek to flourish.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 3:26:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 3:27:22 PM PST
"if your religion stimulates hatred, or attempts to block the happiness pursuits of others, then you are on the wrong track."

My religion teaches me to agree with that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 7:17:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 7:26:01 PM PST
Shakespeares Dog says: "How about stop pursuing anything, shut up, sit down get on with your own life oh and try to stop inflicting your POV on others."

Reply: I do understand that some people love to hate. They have a perfect right to this choice so long as they don"t damage people or property. They have their own lives and I have mine.

As for you, Shakespeares Dog, maybe you should take your own advise.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 7:25:17 PM PST
Mark R. Allen says: "Hatred is not sociopathy. Hatred is within the the normal emotional spectrum."

You are right. I knew this. One does not make a diagnosis on the basis of one symptom. However, It is well known that a sociopath is selfish and hateful. Many selfish and hateful people are careful to obey the law, ergo, not diagnosable as sociopathic - I think.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 8:04:36 PM PST
Nancy Davison says: "just possibly - a sign that we're not as evolved as we think we are.....:)"

Reply: The difficulty with evolution is that it seems to favors breeders. The more aggressive the creature is at mating, the more likely that that creatures genes will be passed on to the next generation.

There is the factor of intelligence, but human intelligence thus far has caused the extinction of many many plants and animals. And intelligent technology currently threatens all of mankind.

Seek happiness. Life is precious and now is the only reality that actually exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 8:07:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2013 8:08:09 PM PST
Mark R. Allen says: "Better to seek to flourish."

Reply: You seek to flourish and this is noit your idea of happiness?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 4:22:19 AM PST
Bill McLean - " But if your religion stimulates hatred, or attempts to block the happiness pursuits of others, then you are on the wrong track."

Ah, but what if your happiness depends at least in part in there being an enemy to fight against, to give one a sense of purpose and significance and meaning? I don't think many humans are content for long to sit in a field smelling the flowers and strumming guitars. People get purpose and vitality from conflict and crusades. I'm not saying it's a good thing, just that it's something we can't ignore in the hopes it'll just go away.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 4:40:28 AM PST
I do....but the response was not personal and not aimed at you. It was aimed at those who foist their religious POV on others and obviously not anyone who is on a forum where the whole point is to argue/discuss POVs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 6:33:16 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Bill McLean says:

[If believing ludicrously magical religious stories aids you in your pursuit of happiness then continue with it.]

You stupid hypocrite. You tell people to stop hating and yet you include a hateful, ignorant statement directly in your meaningless request.

I hate people like you.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 3:34:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2013 3:55:17 PM PST
Jeff Marzano Says: "I hate people like you."

Reply: My statement was not meant to be hateful, just honest. It appears that many people are either hurt or insulted when a truth is stated that deflates someone's ego or challenges a cherished myth. They don't care about true truth, they have their own version of truth and call non-believers s t u p i d. Sorry about that.

An example of my s t u p i d i t y as a non-believer follows:

Consider the flood story: The sons of god saw that the daughters of man were beautiful. So the story goes that they mated with earthly women and their offspring were monstrously large and evil fighters. So god couldn't just make them vanish, he had to have Noah spend forty years building a boat large enough to hold and provide for two of every kind of animal for a year or so. Then, when this boat found dry land (possibly on some mountain top) all the animals successfully found the ecological nitch needed for each of their individual needs - even though for many their nitch existed thousands of miles away. And none of these animals died until successfully producing offspring. And only two of a kind was sufficient as a gene pool to produce the variety needed to avoid future extinction.

There are other odd and unlikely conditions and events described in this myth. The fairly recent sighting of the ark turned out to be a fraud. Cartographic satellites circling the earth detect no sign of such an ark. Nothing is found in the fossil record as any kind of evidence that this fantastic story contains a single ounce of truth. The story goes against everything known to science.

But, if this Biblical story seems true to you, okay.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2013 7:40:25 AM PST
"Hatred is a symptom of sociopathy, a mental illness."
Hatred stinks, for sure.

And here's a cool thing: We don't have to wait for other people to love us, to express love to them. And we don't have to wait for other people to be somehow "deserving" of our love. Every single one of God's creations is deserving of love. No exceptions. And no matter what label people have stamped on themselves, or had stamped on them by others, everyone - young, old, monied, homeless, jobless, corporate executive, conservative, liberal, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, pagan, Muslim, Jew - was born deserving of love.

In his wonderful book,The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry Drummond writes: "God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon your equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all. There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure."

And in the book of Matthew, Jesus admonishes us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to do good to those who hate us, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt 6: 45)

Of course, this ain't always easy.

I remember, for instance, that the first time I saw the movie Gandhi I was so inspired by the love Gandhi expressed to everyone around him that I decided to be just like him - I was determined that I'd go through the whole next day without feeling animosity or ill will towards anyone else - in the same way that Gandhi did. This lasted about twenty minutes. As soon as the guy in the blue truck cut right in front of me and then proceeded to go under the speed limit, I completely forgot about the pact I'd made with myself. Afterwards, I felt terribly remorseful and discouraged with myself.

But here's a cool thing: If sometimes we mess up, worry not - Life provides us with limitless opportunities to love. Every moment we have a new opportunity to discover and feel and prove the power of love. Isn't that awesome?!!!

Drummond writes: "The test of religion, the final test of religion, is not religiousness, but Love... For the withholding of love is the negation of the spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him, that for us He lived in vain. It means that He suggested nothing in all our thoughts, that He inspired nothing in all our lives, that we were once near enough to Him to be seized with the spell of His compassion for the world."

***

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love. - Henry Drummond

Bill writes: "Pursue happiness, please."
Okie dokie. And back to you! :)

Posted on Feb 18, 2013 9:51:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2013 9:52:56 AM PST
The problem with some believers and religion in general is their insistence upon imposing it on other adults. It is akin to the non-thinking inconsiderate neighbor on a quiet Sunday afternoon who is blaring their music so the whole street can hear it. The immediate assumption that everyone should enjoy his/her choice of music.

Another problem is the young children. They are not given the choice in not believing in the rather extraordinary claims of Christianity. In most cases it is being poured into their brains and the notion that it is the truth is ingrained into them. Obviously, this is the case of the fever pitch faithful who never miss a Sunday at church in their life and even go during the week. It is unfortunate that these children have their parent's faith and superstitions being thrust upon them. It is not an education as some believers propose. Far from it. The children should be allowed to be in another room in the church without any theistic teaching and let the child decide when they are 18 if they want to believe in gods, Jesus Christ etc.... When it is put into their brains at age 3, the poor child doesn't stand a chance.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 3:08:14 AM PST
Scientific Mind - " In most cases it is being poured into their brains and the notion that it is the truth is ingrained into them. "

What I find most repugnant about this is how their love for their parents gets bound up in not questioning the truth of the supernatural claims. Any questioning or moving away from the beliefs elicits a wounded, pained look from Mom, and a dour "you've hurt your mother--I hope you're happy, after all she's done for you" look from Dad. I worked with a very sweet lady, a young earth creationist, who told me outright that if she "came home a Darwinist" her parents wouldn't trust her anymore. What a wonderful family dynamic.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 3:35:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 3:35:32 AM PST
All families have expectations. To single out Christian families for theirs is to ignore the equally strong dynamics going on in other homes.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  44
Initial post:  Feb 16, 2013
Latest post:  Feb 26, 2013

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