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This is a question God

Tell us your stories of churches and religion (or lack thereof). Let the smiting begin!

Question suggested by Supersonic Electronic

(, Thu 19 Mar 2009, 15:00)
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Toilet-brush based faith
A man trips over a toilet-brush. He falls down and hurts his nose. Much ouchyness ensues. A woman notices this and comes to assist the man. While comforting the fallen man, the two of them start chatting and realise they have a lot in common. They then fall in love and marry. It was the toilet-brush that triggered the whole thing, so they decide to keep it and put it prominently on display. Every time, they notice the toilet-brush, it gives them a reminder of how they were brought together, and thus, it lifts their spirits. However, some new guests come along, see the toilet-brush in all it's pronounced glory and say "Why the blazing gadzunkas have you put a toilet-brush on display? That's just fucking stupid!". This deeply offends the happy couple, as this calls the very thing that brought them together 'fucking stupid'. "If only you were to experience the joy this brush would provide you, you would forever feel damned for what you've just said" was the response. "Look! Let me tell you where to stick the brush!". At this point, all discussion degenerates into physical violence which causes massive injuries for both parties.

What came to pass here is that the toilet-brush had become a metaphor for the inner sanctum of the couple's members - namely, a 'sacred object'. In fact, the couple have created a religion (or cult) based on this toilet-brush. The rituals that they perform when recharging their spirits are really just metaphors for getting in touch with their inner sanctums. In other words, they worship the toilet-brush. But when their beliefs were insulted, instead of trying to brush the remarks aside, the couple tried to force the others to comply with their set of rituals, which they did not see the point in doing. Instead of rationally defusing the situation, it escalated into a fully-blown fight, possibly even leaving the toilet brush somewhere where toilet brushes should never be left in the process.

So we now have a cult followed by two individuals based on a toilet-brush. Scale up the underlying idea by several orders of magnitude, and you have organised religion. However, if more people become in such awe of the couple and their story of how they met, they too will want to join the cult of the toilet-brush (CotTB). They will become so obsessed that they relate to eachother about events in their lives by comparing them to similar stories involving the toilet-brush. So it sort of becomes a Hyperreality. Also, if it spreads to toomany people who didn't know the couple, they may start thinking that the toilet-brush is a magical brush rather than just an accessory that lead to the chatting.

The point of this post is to explain what religion actually is and to show what people see in their religions. Some people seem to think that they are nothing more than conspiracies to eradicate science. While many people throughout the years have attempted to do so in the name of their religion, often, they were abusing the religion as a means of acquiring or maintaining power. Also, some people may also take it too personally when someone contradicts their beliefs. They percieve this as an attack against themselves, and will become upset. They will then end up becoming closed to alternative ideas. That's not what religions are about - that's just fanboy-ism.

When it comes down to it, a religion is really a marriage of a philosophy and a culture. While the cultural rituals are just means of anthropomorphising abstract concepts, they soon become an integral part of the religion. I've often held the belief that everyone should have their own personal religion (afterall, faith is an abstract concept).

So remember, when deciding on whether or not to respect someone else's beliefs, remember that there's a difference between having an imagination and being delusional. Often, that difference is not down to the content of the beliefs, but down to how seriously they are taken.
(, Wed 25 Mar 2009, 3:43, 5 replies)
very well said, *clickity click*
(, Wed 25 Mar 2009, 7:46, closed)
I like this.
It makes a lot of sense.

A slightly more simplistic and graphical explaination:

(, Wed 25 Mar 2009, 9:20, closed)
I really liked the bit where you wrote.........
"instead of trying to brush the remarks aside"

pun intended?
(, Wed 25 Mar 2009, 10:37, closed)
You've been reading Freud's theory of totems
(, Wed 25 Mar 2009, 13:31, closed)
Simply wonderful

(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 16:51, closed)

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