Joe Nation wrote:
...Eva is one of my muses.
Wow. That is one of the most touching compliments I have ever received. Thank you. That's going in my file.
Portal Star wrote:
Note: I know how you feel, it is very hard for me being a mostly logical person (love philosophy/science), but my career is as an artist and poet! I have to straddle the lines of emotion/thought more than I am comfortable with...
Sounds like the old left brain vs. right brain dichotomy. On every test I've taken, I've scored right down the middle. We have much in common. How do I express my creativity? Lots of ways. I write. I work with groups to make them see their own possibilities. I encourage others. I am a fully involved parent. I'm not sure I understand your question.
Portal Star wrote:
Religion is most often irrational because it is used as a political (tool) for control...
...don't be too soft on religion - it doesn't always and most often doesn't lead to good things...
I don't like religion because of the way it often hinders other progresses of man (such as science, art.) It seems too often to be a method of control and not one of production*.
*not always, you see, religion could be blamed for both the dark ages and the renaissance.
Portal Star, I have a passing acquaintance with history. I will be the first to admit that religion has often been used to justify atrocities. Believers have frequently committed actions that contradict their religion's basic teachings. No debate there. Most often, I attribute that to a failing of the believers -- not the belief.
There is a line from the movie, "Pretty Woman," that comes to mind. "It is easier to believe the bad stuff." How true that is. It is easy to see the bad influences that religion has left on societies. It is immense, and it can seem to overshadow the good. But that is because of our proclivity for dwelling on the negative.
What of all the social agencies, universities and hospitals that have been founded and supported by religious institutions? What of all the good causes that individual believers support because of their faith? What of the myriad of simple, good decisions made daily by millions of people because of their religious beliefs? Those are harder to calculate, and frankly, they don't make the evening news. But they have impacted the lives of millions of people and changed the world for the better.
Portal Star wrote:
But don't discard logic yet - all of the things you said are not necessarily illogical, they just don't follow linear thinking in the style of a proof to arrive at them. It -is- logical to love your fellow man and want to do good in the world. Logic doesn't = coldhearted or other undesirable human characteristics. That is because of biology and we are social creatures, and it makes sense to be nice to people when it gets you places and makes your life better.
Being nice because it is to your advantage is purely a selfish motivation. Being nice even when it isn't to your advantage is a religious teaching. Religion doesn't automatically make us nicer people...but it can inspire us to be better than we would be, left to our own devices.
I have often compared the 'phsycic - horoscopes' angle to the confessional. A sancitified or spiritual couselling session. People with worries, problems or dispare choose a confident and unload. Physic customers, at least repeats, get a sense of comraderie in their lives, a second voice or an opinion. Any good therapist, bartender or palm reader, reads the person first. I guess, it's comforting to believe you are part of a greater cause, or good or experience.
As you have noted, people have a deep-seated need to confide in someone whose judgment they trust. Believers see this need (among others) as capable of being fulfilled through their relationship with a higher power...i.e., prayer...as well as through their relationships with other people. Nonbelievers fulfill this need solely through their relationships with other people. Regardless of the way the need is fulfilled, it does exist...and it is not always fulfilled. But that is another subject.
Whew! I am going to bed now.