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12 June, 2007

“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think”.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Was he right then?

Is he right now?

Doesn’t organised religion actually, however subtly, train people not to think, or at least, not to think to the fullest extent of their innate capacities?

Isn’t that the problem we are observing amongst fundamentalist groups?

But still, doesn’t that bring us back to animal training?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 June, 2007 1:08 pm

    I work for a large organisation which has invested heavily in corporate ideology. We have purpose, core values, core business processes, strategic themes, strategic priorities and leadership expectations. My boss consistently makes good decisions because he has a thorough grasp of the ideology. I watched a tape of the Dalai Lama speaking to the National Press Club in Australia. The Dalai Lama impresses when speaking and answering questions because his thought is so structured. He extends basic concepts of compassion, dialogue, friendship, tolerance to find solutions in complex situations. The point is that we need to be trained how to think. Edward De Bono would be one of my favourite trainers. There are structures that I want to come naturally in my thought, without slowing down to be aware of them. The mindchangers posted on my site are an example from an organised religion. Nothing wrong with structure, habit and mental discipline as long as they serve your purpose.

  2. 12 July, 2007 10:34 am

    I think I agree.
    But I observe from talking to fundamentalist Christians (and reading a few blogs) that, because they have bought into a certain way of looking at the world, certain thoughts are simply not thinkable for them.

    E.g. it is assumed that every chance event was intended by ‘God’ for some purpose (rather than being just a chance event). Or, the fact th every little thing has to be interpreted in the light of the Bible.

    It’s in this sense that I think some organised religions work *against thinking and *against mental discipline…

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