Wednesday, September 06, 2006

friend of mine looking out for me

a good friend of mine sent me a link and thought that this post was interesting- and sure to 'make a splash' in the blogging world. i thought that i would do my part to help that happen. :) it is a subject that i feel very passionate about- and seth does a nice job with it. the term 'ideavirus' will appeal to many like me- although i had been thinking more along the lines of 'life stealing parasite.' you tell me.

31 comments:

jovial_cynic said...

Why do so many bald guys think it's clever to take a picture of the top of their head with their eyes looking upwards towards it?

Anyhow, what part of that article do you feel passionate about? Starting a new religion? Zoroastrians? Ideavirii? It's kind of hard to respond because I'm not sure what point you're trying to make...

Taryn said...

Maybe a little context is in order for people who don't recognize Seth Godin as a marketing guru and author of many best-sellers including Unleashing the Ideavirus, which (pardon the less-than-complete-summary) outlines a method of marketing for a (warning: bias ahead) smarter world.

Seth Godin's point (via the NY Times article) is that Zoroastrianism, unlike Christianity, Islam, Judaism et.al, lacks at least some of the properties that make for good fads. The last paragraph makes the bigger point quite clearly.

betmo said...

the point i was making was that organized religion is a parasitic life sucker and i don't find many redeeming things involved in it. i am against organized religion of any stripe.

Anonymous said...

Could be why there are so many nondenominational churches popping up--people are hungry for something they aren't getting in the denominational churches.

betmo said...

i guess my question is- why do you need it? i am not disputing that there is a market for it- but why do people need something supernatural to believe in in the first place? not getting into tradition and indoctrination- there are multi generational families of 'believers'- i mean the converts or people who desperately cling to the belief system. religion is so obviously based on nothing(in my view)but mythology and fairy tales- i am stymied as to why there is still so much of the modernized world that clings to it.

Peacechick Mary said...

I think the reason people go to church is that they feel unfulfilled and that they don't fit in with the rest of the world - so they go there seeking, but if they ever wake up, they find that the work they need to do is on the inside, instead of seeking outer verification. Well, we shall troop along in our own rational way.

taryn said...

Yeah, but in Seth Godin's post and in the NY Times article there's another idea to complement a discussion that's been ongoing on this blog, ie: religion is _____ (you fill in the blank. I'd rather not touch that one).

This other idea addresses the question of why so much of the modern world clings to [religion]" - because it's engineered to spread, much like a fad.

Never mind, for a second, the micro level, ie: why individual people seek religion.

What stuck with me is this: a faith that encourages assimilation is on the verge of extinction precisely because it encourages assimilation, while the divisive warring faction remains and grows in number. For this very reason, it could be suggested that Unitarianism (as a representative of less-strict but basically traditional faith) is destined for a similar fate.

The other thing is this - if religion spreads and thrives the way fads do, then perhaps one of the ways to deal with the "parasitic life sucker" is to start another fad via smart marketing, using smart modern marketing methods like those Godin presents in his many books.

...and rather than (or in addition to?) take the Sam Harris route of attempting to dismantle or dismiss the fad perhaps a better (marketing) tactic is used by Dr. PZ Myers, and his other officially hot science blogging kin.

taryn again... said...

and also...

I was hoping to entice Mr. BetBlue into the Nerd-Off.

Make sure he gives it some careful thought. I already think my home made roof top migrating bird microphone is an ace in the hole.

dawn said...

Betmo,
I don't know if I agree with everything said here because I don't think people go to church because they don't fit in(in the comment). I think people just want to feel connected and believe there has to be something greater than us. Now you know me heres a story for you that fits the article. My brother and his wife are messianic jews,my bro jewish, his wife was christian)They live in georgia (the bible belt)I have never seen or felt more religion then there.The newspaper even has a religious section. Anyway Messianics believe Jesus was the messiah and they are suppose to follow the bible. When my mother who is the typical NY jew which means goes to temple every few yyears on a holiday was in georgia she met there friend and when my mom expressed her jewish opion there answer was it is a shame that she won't be saved. She almost lost it right then and there. I think people can believe what they want to but keep it out of school and gov't. Also I felt the religions down ther were sort of cultish. Sorry so long

dawn said...

sorry about the spelling errors

QUASAR9 said...

betmo, in a nutshell:

Very few organizations have the ability to deliver on all of these opportunities, but in the secular world, many brands do most of them. This works for Harley-Davidson (and certainly the Hells Angels). It works for the latest teenage trends. It works for some politicians. It even works for some computer operating systems and languages.

According to the Times, the Zoroastrians are fading away because they believe being good is just about enough and didn't build enough of the elements of an ideavirus into their culture. As they traveled the world, their attitude and hard work rewarded them with success and the ability to mix with other cultures. As a result, they were successful as a people but a failure as a long-term growing religion. It's a fascinating choice, isn't it?

jovial_cynic said...

Here's a wrench in the gears for you all:

Some believers don't believe in order to fit in. They believe because they think they truly see something that other people don't.

Imagine that you see a pink elephant in the room, and nobody else sees it. But then you find somebody that can see it... and while neither of you knows why you see it, you both do. And then you find others, and you hang out together and talk about this elephant, because you can see it, and you're all aware that other folks don't.

Mass insanity? Maybe. But this paradigm lends to a completely different view of the believing community... or at least a part of them. You can't convince people that something they see doesn't exist, nor can they prove to unbelievers that it does exist. There's no language that bridges the divide.

As for me... I see pink elephants.

betmo said...

i emailed mr. betmo about the nerd- off- inlaws are coming next week- maybe a father/son collaboration? ")

jc- i think that the reason that people see pink elephants is because they want to. i liken it to a psychosomatic illness. i love hostess cupcakes- and sometimes when i think about them my mouth starts to water and i can almost taste them on my tongue. the power of the human brain is amazing. doesn't make the pink elephants real.

jovial_cynic said...

^^^ says the one who doesn't see them.

It's easy to dismiss the existance of something that you can't see.

And for those that often wish that they did not see them, you're left in an interesting situation.

taryn said...

Puzzling and infuriating, this thread.

Here we have a group of religious adherents (Zoroastrians) whose tenets of faith have allowed them to live peacefully in the world for decades, and their religion is nearing extinction. Meanwhile, Christianity and other condemnatory, war-loving religions thrive despite the fact that their very existence has consistently made the world a less safe, less beautiful place.

as for the father-son nerd off collaboration, I couldn't possibly stand a chance at winning! (Or could I? Not sure how I feel about that.)

betmo said...

sounds like a hallucination if you don't want to see them. or withdrawal. anyhoo- obviously you see them and i don't- so we can agree to disagree on religion. my stock reply to religious folks is- as long as you are worshipping without infringing on the constitutional amendment of separation of church and state- and it isn't impinging on my right to not have a religion- more power to ya. i don't have to understand it. it just puzzles me.

Human said...

Weird how me and a close friend(roundearther) was discussing Religion recently and Zoroastrianism was involved in the talk. He's a atheist and I'm a Christian btw.

It is a religion much older than many and its roots are in the fertile crescent. For a history lover like my self I find it interesting.

I think people seek religion for many different reasons. For me, I'm spiritual and know there are aspects of this Universe that lead me to believe in my Religion.

Whatever path one chooses is alright by me, as long as it does no harm.

Peace.

taryn said...

...as long as it does no harm.

Christianity's out, then.

WOW. It can be safely said that most of this thread completely misses the very interesting point raised by Seth Godin and the New York Times article.

I guess this is a perfect illustration of why religion can't be mentioned in most circles - even tangentially to a bigger, far more interesting point. The inclination to talk about specific beliefs (yawn) is too strong, and the discussion is hijacked by the irrelevant and uninteresting.

We non-seers of pink elephants can be dogmatic, too:

Here we have a group of religious adherents (Zoroastrians) whose tenets of faith have allowed them to live peacefully in the world for decades, and their religion is nearing extinction. Meanwhile, Christianity and other condemnatory, war-loving religions thrive despite the fact that their very existence has consistently made the world a less safe, less beautiful place.

Obob said...

great points across the board, but I still like being Catholic, we have the best wedding receptions. Especially the Polish ones with polka bands.

jovial_cynic said...

I dunno -- Jewish weddings are pretty lively.

Human said...

taryn - You obviously have been meeting faux Christians and don't know much about it.

I'm also against orginized religion. That's another reason I'm a Christian.

Peace.

QUASAR9 said...

betmo said:

as long as you are worshipping without infringing on the constitutional amendment of separation of church and state- and it isn't impinging on my right to not have a religion- more power to ya. i don't have to understand it. it just puzzles me.

QUASAR9 said...

betmo. religion is like music
not everyone likes the same music
but everyone loves music
we just hear (like) different tunes

You are a religious zealot about the ammendement. lol!

I won't join your Cult, but I support your Constitutional right not to worship Elvis
or Madonna, or whichever baseball star, or hollywood actor


Of course, I also have to support your constitutional right to worship whichever hero, pop star, rock star, hollywood star, or football or baseball star, ...

betmo said...

human- since i have been here at my blog- i have come into contact with very nice people. i have also come into contact with a few trolls. i like to think that you and trail lady and quaker dave are all "good christians"- because from what i have seen from your writings and your comments here and elsewhere- you all seem to be good people. that doesn't negate the fact that christianity and other organized religions are what they are- and it isn't benevolent. you can do and be everything you are today without believing in a religion. religions are made up by humans for humans and there is no basis in reality for them. that is why i can't figure out why people choose that path. jesus was a jewish rabbi who didn't believe he was the son of god in the divine sense. that was paul's invention and contribution to the world. yes, there are good tenets in religion- but my husband would argue that it is in the common human experience to not kill people, etc in their societies. at this point in america, we can agree to disagree about religion and still be blog pals :) the way things are going and the amount of clout that the christian right has amassed- it may not always be that way.

betmo said...

anyhoo- taryn's original point was that we had all gotten far afield from the original post- which is often the case here. marketing and using religions as control devices is what is happening around the globe. i am going to have to go back and re-read the original post by seth because we have gotten away from the original point. if you take a close look- as objective as you can be- at any of the main religions in the world- they all have common threads and common themes and seth seems to have highlighted them. maybe humans will wake up and see that their organized religions are using them for power and money and decide that they can have a spiritual life without all of the nonsense. probably not in my lifetime but there is always hope.

BZ said...

I don’t think I have the energy to get into a religious discussion here, but I love what I have read. Wow betmo, you and I have very similar thoughts on many different things. It is reassuring to see that. Your later comments were great: they can have a spiritual life without all of the nonsense. I so agree.

I have seen religion ruin my country of birth, Iran, and now I am seeing it ruin my country of “whatever the US is to me.” And for what? Greed? power? Wealth? The exact things religion is mean to protect us from. Opiate of the people that's what i say. I don't need a god to be moral or to follow truth. I see God everywhere I look, except for maybe a church or mosque, there I just see man's impression of (sorry I can't say him, because the idea of a male guy is childish and comical to me.)

Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds…what else is there? It is really simple. If you are a Christian then stop fucking killing people! Isn’t that shall not kill the first one. If you are a Muslim stop fucking killing people. If you are a Jew stop fucking killing people. I don’t understand the confusion.

Sorry I got a little heated. Anyway nice comments people.

In other news I just a great article about plans for the coming wars in the middle east and I would love some dialogue. I know betmo will be there, but I am inviting some of her readers to come over and check out this article and comment. Just follow the BZ profile to IntrepidFlame.

By the way I was always told by my mother that she found my name Jabiz in an old book of Zoroastrian words. It means the essence of the flame. Fire was a big part of the religion. Hence the Intrepid Flame...

BZ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bZ said...

Sorry I just noticed that throughout my my little tirade I was not using Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds...In order to bring about peace we must all create it in ourselves. Sorry my religous brothers and sisters. i just got carried away.

jovial_cynic said...

betmo - side note: you are incorrect in stating that Jesus did not believe he was the son of God in the divine sense. At least, if we're going to allow both the Old Testament and the four accounts of the Gospels (Matt., Mark, Luke, John) speak for themselves.

... of course, if you don't let scripture spreak for itself, there's no real sense in having a discussion about the nature of the Christ anyway - we might as well have a conversation about the real motives of Santa Claus.

But... scripturally speaking, it is evident that Jesus is keenly aware that he functions both as the Son of God (in the relation sense), and in oneness with God (in the divine sense). But this delves into Trinitarian theology, and is probably beyond the scope of this thread.

Other note -- there's a vast difference between Christianity and what the New Testament calls "the church." Yes, historially, Christianity has often been disgraceful and horrible. As an organized and man-made construct (in its current form), it does well to serve the interests of those in charge, much like corporations and governments. However, the structure we have today isn't the structure outlined by Christ or by Paul; the biblical definition of church is simply those who are called out by God to do the work of God, which is to take care of the weak - orphans, widows, the poor, etc., and to preach the good news, which is simply this: Christ was crucified so that we can live. That's it. It's more profound than that, and it's a message that makes no sense to some, and a world of sense to others. And there are believers who see this pink elephant and obey.

If you read through the instructions for the church (again -- church, as defined by Scripture, is simply people who are called out by God), you might find it a TON less offensive than the man-made structure we call "Christianity" today. I abhor modern western Christianity as much as you do. But I'm a part of the church, as outlined in scripture, and there's actually a lot of folks like me out there that are a part of this "real Christianity."

betmo said...

jc- i think that we will have to agree to disagree on this one- as i do with many of the folks here. you are obviously a believer and i am not. we won't change each other's minds and it is really a moot point. i am speaking as a formerly indoctrinated baptist- i grew up going to sunday school. i have also read a great deal and talked to my former pastor on the subject- so i do have a bit of background. i would encourage anyone with interest to read 'the mythmaker: paul and the invention of christianity' by hyam maccoby for some insight into the early church.

i will end on this note: my beef with organized religion is what seth outlined so well. the main reason i am so rabidly speaking out against christianity in particular- is because there is a movement in america to make our republic/democracy or whatever into a theocracy. there is no room for religion in politics period. yes, people bring their own religious or non religious backgrounds to a job- but it should not have official sanction as things are coming about now. religion has its place and it is not in politics. i am not interested in being converted- so religious folks- please worship privately in your own circles and within the framework of the constitution and stop trying to push your beliefs on the masses. it isn't your job to change society to conform to your belief system. as your own saviour said- you all are not of this world- you should strive to get a place in the next.

jovial_cynic said...

haha... your comment reflects exactly what I said in my blog post.

Much of western Christianity today is nonsense, and the marriage between the church and politics (republicans in particular) is, to quote, the Almighty, "an abomination."

Here's a fun fact -- nowhere in scripture is there a call for believers to convert people. None. The get-as-many-people-as-possible mentality of church denominations today is entirely unscriptural. It doesn't work that way.