Articles

  • Religious Imprinting and Jihadism

    26 Sep 2008, 19:51 by KhaosWolf666

    by Amil Imani *



    1. Religious belief is emotional at its core. And emotions are not governed by logic or reason. Becoming religious is similar to imprinting, most dramatically seen in ducklings. During a critical period of time after hatching the ducklings become imprinted on any moving object—be it the mother duck, a mechanical duck, or a moving human. It doesn’t matter. The ducklings simply follow the initially moving object.

    2. Religion, for most part, is infused into the mind of children from the moment of birth. Early childhood is the time that children are most imprintable. The strength and permanence of this imprinting process depend on a variety of influences. Over time, some people retain the initial imprint and strengthen it, some adopt a middle course, and some might even discard it altogether. A significant number in any religious faith becomes extremely committed to the extent that they are willing to kill others and themselves in the service of their religion.

    3. The human mind is a battleground of contending forces where the two most powerful are reason and emotion: where reason assesses life and produces measures that are adaptive, to the best of its ability; while emotion, by-and-large, operates on feelings. Ordinarily, an uneasy truce prevails between the two generally incompatible powers.

    4. In many situations, the clash between dictates of reason and promptings of emotion result in intra-psychic conflicts. In any given case, the conflict may settle by one party getting its way, reaching a compromise, or a deadlock producing paralysis of inaction.

    5. Beliefs, as is the case with all living and non-living complex systems, are targeted by forces that aim to break them down. In the case of beliefs, any threatening event, particularly when severe, produces great anxiety in the believer.

    6. Anxiety produces aversive reaction. The mind deals with anxiety by a mix of chemical and psychological measures. On the psychological side there are defense mechanisms such as rationalization and denial. Both these measures reduce the debilitating impact of anxiety by the person literally misleading himself. Rationalization supplies faulty reasoning by telling the person that the bad thing, or the threat, is not all that bad; while denial completely refuses to admit it exists. Alcoholism, for instance, is known as the disease of denial since the alcoholic denies that he is an alcoholic even in the face of irrefutable objective evidence.

    7. Religious beliefs’ emotional underpinning spawns fanaticism in some of the adherents, since fanaticism is seen as a reflection of one’s true loyalty and strong faith.

    8. Beliefs, be they religious or otherwise, are tied to a central figure such as a prophet, a philosopher, or a social reformer. Particularly in religion, the central figure and his high disciples occupy a rarefied, nearly superhuman, sphere.

    9. It is a human tendency to find a source or a person to whom he can attribute powers and qualities that he himself yearns for, yet he lacks—a father surrogate. People age, but the insecure child within remains at the core of many. It is the child within that attaches himself to an omnipotent father figure.

    10. The founder of a religion presents to the child within the lost father he no longer has or he never had. It is for this reason that the founder of a religion is held at the highest esteem and his edicts are obeyed wholeheartedly by his followers. The believers’ degree of devotion is in direct proportion to the hierarchy of the religious authorities.

    11. In the case of the 12-Imamate Shi’a Islam, for instance, the Imams filled the void that was created by Muhammad’s death. Hence, the Imams are revered with a degree of devotion only one notch below Muhammad himself. In time, the Imams also died. Yet the need for a tangible father-figure remained. The Shiites filled that void by transferring their attachments to a cadre of religious authorities ranging from the highest-ranking Grand Ayatollahs, followed by Ayatollahs, the Hujat-ul-Islams (Islamic adjudicators), and all the way down to the village mullah.

    12. Attributing special powers and capabilities to the father surrogate not only compels the person to ward off anything that threatens to undermine his belief, but to do what he can to further solidify it. This process of protecting one’s belief and shoring it up frequently results in strong emotional attachment to the leader. In a real sense, people see the person as an omnipotent father figure—their savior—who would guide them and minister to their needs not only in this world, but also in the afterlife.

    13. As is the case in all attachments, a price must be paid. The price is often commensurate with the degree of attachment. A religious fanatic is a rigidly-attached believer who is captive of his own emotional excesses. This emotional excess, given the right context, will overrule the dictates of reason and compels the fanatic to carry out any abhorrent act demanded of him rather than sever his emotional fixation on the righteousness of his belief and the authority of his belief leaders.

    14. Islam is an intensely emotional authoritarian system of belief. Hence, Islam induces powerful emotional imprinting in a large percentage of its adherents. It is from this segment of the Muslims that the fanatic jihadists arise and pose existential threat to the “other.” The jihadists are rigidly-imprinted foot-soldier Islamic automatons that have little choice but to carry out the fatwa and dictates of their high-ranking religious leaders such as the Ayatollahs in the case of the Shi’a and Muftis for the Sunni.

    15. For as long as Muslim high priests retain their stranglehold on the masses of Muslims, generation after generation of father-figure seeking jihadists will turn to them, revere them, and carry out their violent decrees obediently.


    *Amil Imani is an Iranian born, pro-democracy activist who resides in the United States of America. He is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. Amil Imani's Home Page: www.amilimani.com.
  • my personal theory which proves that god doesn't exist

    28 Aug 2007, 22:34 by the_abyss91

    i think you all agree that humans are basically animals.just like the monkeys nowadays.and like you've probably noticed in the animal kingdom,the animals which travel in groups or which live with more of their kind have a pack leader,the alpha male(there are some cases where there's an alpha female but those are exceptions).and the leader has the duty to protect it's members and try to increase the number of members.since humans evolved from monkeys they thought they needed a strong group leader.and since we humans have always thought of ourselves as superior species and the ruler of earth,we had to have the ultimate leader.first people have tried to have a human leader,but he was temporary and he had a lot of flaws.therefore they needed to find a better one.so they tried imagining one.and what better leader to find than one who knows everything,is the strongest being in the world(therefore can offer it's followers protection) and gains more and more followers by the day.and that's how religions appeared.also just like in the animal kingdom,people who go up against the "alpha" male are bashed in most cases.ever thought why a lot of people can't be true atheists because they always believed god might exist?well i think that religion is so old that it imprinted itself in the human subconscious along with the rest of the animal reflexes/thoughts and it took the place of the "group leader need".i know i've had some difficulty being a true atheist when i was younger because i always thought that god might exist.but now i have no doubt in my mind that god is just an imaginary friend who's supposed to make weak will people think there's hope,there's a better life after death etc.but after you'll die you won't go to heaven or hell.you,just like every living being in the univers,will just stop existing.i believe you will be exactly like when you sleep but don't have any dreams.kind of like being in a coma.

    i'm looking forward for somebody to point flaws in what i said above,since i want to perfect my theory.and only reply if you have something to say about it.

    P.S.:sorry for my english.i originally wrote it in romanian and i obviously had to translate it
  • Jehovahs child abusers, allowed in the UK

    24 Aug 2007, 15:59 by metalmicky

    Pop to myspace and click on myspace.com/metalmicky66 and read my latest bulletin. It will explain all, I am so disgusted decided to petition 10 Downing Street to have the Judge sacked BUT HIS was the response
    Hi,

    I'm sorry to inform you that your petition has been rejected.

    Your petition was classed as being in the following categories:

    * Issues for which an e-petition is not the appropriate
    channel

    Your petition reads:

    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: 'Remove
    Judge Tom Crowther'

    I hereby petition for the removal of Judge Tom Crowther for
    gross negligence of his public duty.In allowing paedophile
    Michael Porter to walk free from court, he is endangering the
    safety of children in the United Kingdom.The grounds for not
    jailing Porter,that he is a 'man of faith' and his admittance
    of his crime are not acceptable to the British public in the
    year 2007

    -- the ePetitions team
    SO MUCH FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE UK EH?
  • Saving on seventieth trimester abortion.

    29 Apr 2007, 22:57 by jacky88

    Nobody needs to be reminded about the advantages of abortion. And by nobody, I literally mean no one (that has brains and some common sense). So I'll skip the obvious part and get straight to the point. I'd like to say I wholeheartedly endorse late trimester abortions. And not just the second or third trimester ones. These are pretty much the same as a perfectly understandable first trimester pro-choice action. I mean, come on. Save me your pity for unborn fetuses, people. It's the other abortions that I would like to propose.

    Just think about it. You have a 16-year-old emo kid. It cuts its veins, pours some salt and runs around screaming how much its life sucks. Well, it damn should, you just poured sodium chloride in your circulatory system, retard. Then this fucked up kid decides to put on some make up. Regardless of its sex, it looks like a fucking weeping willow. It does other equally stupid things on a daily basis, you just want to kill it. And judging by the things the kid says, it wants to be killed, too. This is exactly the kind of situation where late abortion should come in.

    Of course this is not the only place where this would come in handy. Probably millions of parents, who should know better, are ashamed of their children. They become lowlifes, rednecks, French, blacks, racists, midgets, gothic metal listeners... You name it. Parents should be able to get rid of their children for the sake of humanity. As in the previous example, abortion could also be combined with euthanasia, with everyone's good in mind. Why waste the work of good Chinese children when the same shirts could be worn and the same toys can be played with by normal people, or by people judged normal by their parents? Your parents are always right, respect that. The only exception for this is when they don't agree with me.

    And here's my part. I would be the ultimate judge for whether a kid should be aborted. One might ask why. This one probably should get killed as well. Of course, there would be so many applications from concerned parents that I would just stamp "yes" or "no" on replies randomly. Kind of like natural selection. Who needs life when you've got no luck? You'd die and I'd spare you the misery of flunking or getting buttraped by Denver Nuggets' supporters.

    Unfortunately, I did not cover the whole topic. If you would like to comment, or add something, direct your thoughts to the nearest wall behind you.

    So, vote Obama.

    War and hate, jacky88.
  • Cosmic insignificance...

    3 Feb 2007, 07:25 by -Reaper-

    Man has pondered about the cosmos ever since he could look up and understand that there is more out there. Philosophers have struggled with with our very existence for millennia, at best coming up with Descartes' claim of "Cogito ergo sum", 'I think, therefore I am'. But in reality all of it doesn't matter. We as humans might understand how we operate, but we will never comprehend the cosmos.

    However, let me illustrate a point, because a picture says a thousand words. You have to view the whole image.

    Remember you have to read this slowly and absorb each step back..


    We start off with our nearest members of stars, only 33 within 12.5 light years.



    We zoom away a little more and we can see within 250 light years, although we're still on the edge of the galactic tail.



    At 5000 light year view, we see that our order of stars was just shading on the tail of the galaxy.



    This is our galaxy, but wait, I'm not done.



    We zoom out even further and 500,000 light years we see that our Galaxy has s few globular galaxy clusters floating around it, drawing them into through gravity.



    This Galaxy system (containing a Galaxy and galaxy clusters} is only one of 3 in our tiny corner of 5 million light years.



    However as we zoom away, we can see that we're only one of many galaxies within the Virgo Supercluster. The Supercluster contains the Virgo Cluster and 2 other clusters. We're only in a lone group of 3 galaxies somewhere cast on the side of the cluster, hanging on to its tail.



    This amazingly huge Virgo Supercluster is but a bump on an endless intertwining of galactic filament that's the texture of the Universe. Connecting like yarn thread to other superclusters.



    WHICH, is but an amazingly tiny portion of yarn on a scale of 14 billion light years. Everything is intertwined and composed of endless possibilities and compositions.



    And where did we start? At a portion so insignificant that you can't even locate without retracing your steps. And you live there.

    We are extremely insignificant beings in a place that is infinite. We will never understand IT, but at least we can realize that we are nothing in comparison.
  • Saving on atheism.

    19 Nov 2006, 11:36 by jacky88

    Why is atheism better than christianity? There are many obvious reasons, but I'd like to point out the one that's being frequently omitted. Money. And Time. But time is money, so I guess I'm not making any sense. Let's get to the point.

    Let's say you're an average christian, go to church every Sunday, donate some money, leave and pray every day before sleep. Here's what you waste:

    1) an average mass (and getting to it) takes about an hour and a half; if you go to church for 60 years straight, you lose 52*1,5*60 = 4680 hours. That's more than half a year you could spend banging chicks in Hawaii or beating up midgets in some third world country.

    2) an average prayer takes five minutes; again, if you do that for 60 years, you lose 365*5*60/60 = 1825 hours. This is more than two months you could use to shoot hundreds of ferrets for fur. Or just for fun, it doesn't really make any difference.

    3) at an average mass one leaves about $1,50 (that's a rough guess, but whatever); the calculations are therefore the same as in point one and you practically throw away 4680 dollars' worth of money. Don't even get me started on what you might do with that.

    I might have pointed out some more advantages, but I don't want to. Bye.
  • What a load of C.R.A.P.

    27 Mar 2006, 07:26 by db0

    Spread the truth about the DRM scheme. Check out this informational video, from the Executive Director of ZDNet no less, about the Content, Restriction, Annulment, and Protection; then insert a link in your signature to the video, or this journal entry, to spread the word.

    Use this fancy button if you wish

    or just make your own and don't forget to use a color relative to c.r.a.p. (993300 is a fine choice)
  • Greek religious fanaticism rears its ugly head once more

    18 Mar 2006, 16:29 by db0

    This is the text that the Panhellenic union for Recreation (or something like that) proposes to send to the Finnish entry to the Eurovision contest.
    direct link

    ‘NO ENTRANCE’ TO THE FINISH MUSIC GROUP!!



    'LORDI' STAY OUT OF HELLAS!!



    Hellenes declare that they do not accept the entrance of the elected Satanic Finish Music Band in Greece during the next EUROVISION SONG CONTEST that is to be organized in Athens, because it has nothing to do with human, Hellenic and Finish civilization.

    We ask all people with common sense to say ‘NO’ to this evil presence and ‘NO’ to all these people that chose this song and music group, as the best to represent Finland.

    We ask the Finish Government, the Leader of Finish Church, the Leader of Finish Parliament to take place and stop the song now, declaring their opposition to the representation of Finland by this evil group of musicians and singers.

    We ask the Finish Commission of Eurovision Song Contest to cancel the procedure and choose another song.

    This evil & satanic Finish band is not welcome in Greece. We welcome all Finish friends that love and respect Hellenic civilization, Hellenic Christian Church and our Orthodox believes.



    HELLENES


    What can I say. I'm left speechless. These things still go on around here and it disgusts and saddens me deeply.

    Religious fanaticism is one thing, but when you try to force your own demented views on everyone else is where I draw the line.

    It seems once again we'll be the laughing stock of europe.

    So, to anyone reading this, especially Greeks. I urge you to send your (hopefully enraged) reactions to their email (info@paskedi.gr) and give them a piece of your mind. I already did.