The "religion is a crutch" meme.

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deacon blues
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The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by deacon blues » Wed Mar 30, 2022 3:48 pm

One hears the "religion is a crutch" meme from time to time in post Mormon circles; Non-believers sometimes use it as referring to some people (mentally weak believers) who need religion to get through life. Sometimes it is used by religious believers (like BK Packer) to refer to insensitive non-believers who use it, ironically, as a supposed crutch to justify their rejection of religion.
I'm reminded that when my dad got unsteady on his feet he did use a crutch to help his balance, but he sometimes seemed ashamed to use it in public. I found myself wishing he would use it more, because it was definitely made his walking safer.
Is the "religion is a crutch" meme helpful? Is it true? What can we take from this metaphor?
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Red Ryder
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Mar 30, 2022 5:27 pm

I get it and tend to agree with the meme but also understand the limitation of the meme.

If you go back in time long enough before electricity, scientific understandings, and cheap entertainment you quickly can see why Religion was important.

It explained supernatural events, nature, and placated the masses into doing many things to please their version of God.

It also opens the heavens to be the supply of endless grift for those humans who realize or believe in the non-existence of God can be used to control the masses and extrapolate time, talents, and money from a congregation.

Once religion is weaponized and people stop believing, religion easily can be described as a crutch.

What we forget is that there is an inherent goodness to most people and religion can reinforce that goodness. Populations and society can benefit from religion when everyone has the same agenda in mind.

Is religion necessary? Perhaps so. Perhaps not. But it brings people together for goodness, community, and eliminating the need to choose your own underwear.
“I switched baristas” —Lady Gaga

Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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blazerb
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by blazerb » Fri Apr 01, 2022 7:37 am

I can also see the idea of the meme. I have a little different take. Religion is very helpful in creating community that goes beyond family ties. Religion can help organize people to accomplish amazing things. It largely utilizes myths about how the world came to be, both socially and physically, to create the social order. Without religion, it's hard to create those social structures. I've had to make the choice: Is it better to accept the community the church creates along with the toxicity, or should I accept that my social circle is going to be quite small but healthy. I think small but healthy is the way to go for me.

I think Red Ryder hit the nail on the head. Religion gets weaponized. In the absence of larger political reasons, we don't have to endure the abuse. I'm glad we live in a time where leaving the church is a viable social option. 500 years ago, how did people deal with the awful priest in town?

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moksha
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by moksha » Sun Apr 03, 2022 3:04 am

Karl Marx thought of religion as the opiate of the masses, and as you know, opiates can be powerful pain relievers and a blessing for those in pain.

So a meme that "Religion is an Analgesic" would make sense.

TBMs might endorse a meme that said, "Religion is harsh and is meant to beat you about the head, so obey".
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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stealthbishop
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by stealthbishop » Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:51 am

Human beings all need certain things to help them survive and thrive throughout their lives. I like this Ted Talk (Atheism 2.0) by an atheist who says that secularism has done a poor job of meeting people's needs in certain important ways whereas religious rituals and behaviors have met human needs for mellenia. What we call these things whether needs or crutches they still may be very necessary for most humans:

https://youtu.be/2Oe6HUgrRlQ
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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deacon blues
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by deacon blues » Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:16 pm

Thanks, Stealth. :D
That TED talk (atheism 2.0) made some great points. I look for way to build bridges, and so does the speaker, Alain de Botton.
Saying, "I'm an atheist" tends to exclude and scare people who disagree. It can feel as scary and exclusive as saying "my Church is the only true Church."
Religions and their methods should not be abandoned. If you disagree watch the TED talk. ;)

(Revised an hour later) Some religions and some/many of their methods should be abandoned. :roll: :?

what was I thinking. :oops:
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

dogbite
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by dogbite » Thu Apr 07, 2022 8:46 am

Religion is a set of socially and culturally accepted answers to otherwise difficult and thorny concerns about the subjective human experience.

But religion is slow to adapt to new objective data that was earlier in the subjective realm because adaptation dilutes their relevance and casts doubt on their other answers.

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deacon blues
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by deacon blues » Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:19 pm

I agree. Religion is subjective, hence religious truth is subjective. (although few if any religions would agree.) But some methods that religions use are useful, others not so much. :roll: I have this on the authority of Boyd Packer. ;) He would probably disagree with many of us on this board, but gee, I would like to try talking with him sometime. :? Data is objective, but it often is interpreted subjectively.
This may be wishful thinking and/or faith, but I believe the most honest (read Truthful) interpretations will eventually win out, though history teaches us that this is a long, long process.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Hagoth
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Re: The "religion is a crutch" meme.

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:55 am

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:19 pm
I have this on the authority of Boyd Packer. ;) He would probably disagree with many of us on this board, but gee, I would like to try talking with him sometime.
Wouldn't it be fascinating to sit down and have a really honest face-to-face with someone like that if you could catch them in a vulnerable moment when they could reveal their deepest and most personal feelings with the reassurance that it wouldn't be repeated? What were Boyd's insecurities about being a Prophet Seer and Revelator, but never having done any of those things? Being an apostle of Jesus Christ but not actually being able to do anything like healing someone? Being an unpaid minister who had never worked outside of the church but somehow owning three houses and having a luxurious lifestyle? Condemning every expression of human sexuality, but secretly having your own sexual thoughts and impulses?

I think this would make a great short story. The setting is general conference. An apostle is speaking, saying all the right things, but we, the readers, are privy to his internal voice as it builds an inner narrative to patch all of the gaps between what he says and what he actually knows.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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