1. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    25 Sep '16 13:471 edit
    Had a visit this afternoon by my local JW (and her 2 sons) and due to sleeping a lot better recently (and as a consequence being decidedly more patient) engaged with her a little on the doorstep.

    The focus for today was on comfort. - The Watchtower pamphlet quotes the apostle Paul describing Jehovah as the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our trials. (2 Cor 1:3)

    Am curious what others thing about this. Is comfort at the core of religion, is that the primary reason people turn to God? And in what manner does God provide this comfort?
  2. SubscriberFMF
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    25 Sep '16 14:21
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Am curious what others thing about this. Is comfort at the core of religion, is that the primary reason people turn to God? And in what manner does God provide this comfort?
    Whether religious people acknowledge it - or are even conscious of it - I think what religion offers them is mostly in the realm of "comfort" ~ whether it be an easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of distress or doubt in the face of the prospect of their own death or grief over the deaths of those around them, and also the comforting sense of structure and purpose that religious beliefs and doctrines give them as they seek to make sense of the world and the bad things that go on in it. The people you spoke to on your doorstep were also probably deriving comfort from the sense of identity and belonging that they feel by being members of their group.
  3. Standard memberKellyJay
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    25 Sep '16 17:41
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Had a visit this afternoon by my local JW (and her 2 sons) and due to sleeping a lot better recently (and as a consequence being decidedly more patient) engaged with her a little on the doorstep.

    The focus for today was on comfort. - The Watchtower pamphlet quotes the apostle Paul describing Jehovah as the God of all comfort who comforts us in al ...[text shortened]... is that the primary reason people turn to God? And in what manner does God provide this comfort?
    God does provide comfort that isn't dependent upon this life and all we go through.
  4. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    25 Sep '16 17:46
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    God does provide comfort that isn't dependent upon this life and all we go through.
    Can you put a little meat on that? (Bearing in mind i'm a vegetarian).
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    25 Sep '16 19:41
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Is comfort at the core of religion, is that the primary reason people turn to God?
    A big factor in religion is release from guilt. I am not so sure that 'comfort' is quite the right word for that, so maybe there are multiple reasons. I wouldn't really want to put one as 'primary'.
  6. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    25 Sep '16 19:51
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    A big factor in religion is release from guilt. I am not so sure that 'comfort' is quite the right word for that, so maybe there are multiple reasons. I wouldn't really want to put one as 'primary'.
    Statistically speaking, I suspect more people have turned to God for comfort than to be 'released from guilt.' (Indeed some religions, Catholicism for example, tends to increase rather than decrease the guilt factor).

    I accept there are multiple reasons, but the search for comfort seems core to the human experience.
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    25 Sep '16 20:052 edits
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Indeed some religions, Catholicism for example, tends to increase rather than decrease the guilt factor.
    And then convinces its followers that it is the release for that guilt. Confession and indulgences are very popular, and do work (in terms of providing some relief from guilt). But even if they only appeared to do so, we all know that alcohol is highly popular as a way to get rid of your worries, yet it, itself is often a major cause.
    Several theists on this forum have expressed the opinion that they feel they are terrible people but that God will take them anyway. Their self loathing is partly a product of the teachings of their religion, but they still feel drawn to the religion as an escape from that problem.

    Religions create their own draw. Most people are not particularly drawn to region unless they are going through a crisis of some kind. But once you are in a religion, people are constantly drawn to it. This suggests the religion creates the conditions that make it attractive to its adherents. These may, in some case, be in the form of creating more fears, guilt etc
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    25 Sep '16 20:12
    I'm pretty certain the JWs in this forum will feel too uncomfortable to get properly involved in this thread.
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    25 Sep '16 20:37
    Before dismissing my arguments out of hand, consider cults. They discourage interaction between outsiders to enhance the sense of community. The reality is that most main stream religions do this too. Cults enhance the members sense of guilt and self loathing makes them feel they can only be welcomed within the cult. Main stream religions do this too.
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
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    25 Sep '16 22:27
    Great topic, in that, so far, 88% of the posts seem to be anti-religionists claiming that the focus of religion is nothing more than "feelgoodism".

    I thought this kind of argument was called "Reductio ad absurdum".
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    25 Sep '16 22:421 edit
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Had a visit this afternoon by my local JW (and her 2 sons) and due to sleeping a lot better recently (and as a consequence being decidedly more patient) engaged with her a little on the doorstep.

    The focus for today was on comfort. - The Watchtower pamphlet quotes the apostle Paul describing Jehovah as the God of all comfort who comforts us in al ...[text shortened]... is that the primary reason people turn to God? And in what manner does God provide this comfort?
    the Bible terms God, 'the God of all comfort', rather interestingly.

    . . . the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God. For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we receive through the Christ also abounds. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

    It has been my experience that trails bring out essentially two responses from people, they either become hardened by them, or they become more empathetic to others as a direct consequence of having suffered themselves in some way.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    25 Sep '16 22:51
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Can you put a little meat on that? (Bearing in mind i'm a vegetarian).
    From experience in my life's greatest joys and heartaches having the Lord in my life has
    given me comfort. I know no matter what happens to me in this life that God is my sure
    foundation and that He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. The question of why
    bad things happen to good people answer is that bad and good things happen to us all.
    None of us escape either just as sun shines on both the good and bad, the rain falls on
    the good and bad. When you find yourself going through hard times and the Lord shows
    you He is there, the hard times are not that hard any more.
  13. SubscriberFMF
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    26 Sep '16 00:07
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Great topic, in that, so far, 88% of the posts seem to be anti-religionists claiming that the focus of religion is nothing more than "feelgoodism".

    I thought this kind of argument was called "Reductio ad absurdum".
    If you are referring to my contribution, for instance, why not discuss it properly and actually make an argument as to why you think it was an "anti-religionist" comment rather than a non-religionist one.
  14. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    26 Sep '16 01:28
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Can you put a little meat on that? (Bearing in mind i'm a vegetarian).
    A vegetarian? I hadn't come across or suspected that you were one (how wrong I was apparently).
    Can I ask sir: What are you're reasons for becoming vegetarian? Health, empathy for the animals, or a combination of these ( possibly some others)?


    genuinely interested 🙂
  15. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    26 Sep '16 01:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    A big factor in religion is release from guilt. I am not so sure that 'comfort' is quite the right word for that, so maybe there are multiple reasons. I wouldn't really want to put one as 'primary'.
    It may be a big factor, but it's just talk and swagger about these issues for the most part.
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