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Church is not essential
#1

Church is not essential
If god is real, he can be experienced anywhere at anytime. There does not need to be a special place for a theist to be able to experience god. In fact, church is merely a place of socialization, and nothing more.
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#2

Church is not essential
Unless you consider collecting tithes and distributing propaganda to be essential...
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#3

Church is not essential
Which they do!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

Church is not essential
I've been to a church service twice in my life and that was two times too many.
                                                         T4618
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#5

Church is not essential
(05-18-2020, 12:28 PM)Phaedrus Wrote: If god is real, he can be experienced anywhere at anytime. There does not need to be a special place for a theist to be able to experience god. In fact, church is merely a place of socialization, and nothing more.

There is no other place where you get to eat god, that makes it essential.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#6

Church is not essential
Yes one can imagine connection to god anywhere, but that doesn't mean it isn't a lot easier to imagine in an in-person church service, with appropriate music, hectoring and group vibes, and familiar rituals. It's similar to how people only do "ghost hunting" at night with the lights out in creepy old mansions. Yes you can see ghosts anywhere since they emanate from between your own ears, but it's less of an effort with a bunch of like-minded people and in the dark.

As for church, yes one can self-indoctrinate via books, one can participate in ritual via Zoom or whatever. But I think a major reason people go to church is for social connection -- to have, nurture and maintain a shared experience with others. Churches are actually pretty good (assuming you can swallow or ignore the Kool-Aid) at providing belonging and refuge. Those good feels come from in person social connections that can't be completely replicated online and are harder to gin up for yourself.

Mind you in the kinds of churches I was raised in, the "belonging and refuge" bit wasn't really all that great, it was highly conditional and controlling and full of threat. But ... if it's all you know, and all that's on offer / approved of in your small community, it seems crazy to contemplate leaving it, because you will be cut from the herd and will be entirely on your own, which you've been habituated from birth to see as unthinkable and unworkable. You have learned helplessness and it paralyzes you.

In some churches it's less dysfunctional and particularly if you're social and extroverted you might greatly enjoy it. But regardless, for better or worse, it's one of the major sources of getting social needs met and is fairly good at it. You can construct a life that meets those needs without all the pomp and circumstance, but then it's on you to care and feed your circle of friends and interests and it's harder than outsourcing it to an organization that implicitly promises you all that for "free".
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#7

Church is not essential
I suppose it depends on the church?

https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/04/asia/afgh...index.html


Don't play the video if you don't want to be shocked.  But remember, xtians and jews have the same horseshit in their holy books.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#8

Church is not essential
(05-19-2020, 01:10 AM)Minimalist Wrote: I suppose it depends on the church?

https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/04/asia/afgh...index.html


Don't play the video if you don't want to be shocked.  But remember, xtians and jews have the same horseshit in their holy books.

Sure it does. The more authoritarian and dysfunctional, the more they need threats of abandonment and/or violence to keep people in line. And yes, everyone from fundamentalist crays to kum-by-yah liberals cherry pick different things from the same playbook. But even in a rural Muslim village, it's all you know, it's familiar, and so long as you are willing and able to toe the line, the others have your back. Works particularly well for adult men.

I'm not advocating or excusing it, I'm just explaining one of the ways it keeps its hold on people.
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#9

Church is not essential
No argument here.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#10

Church is not essential
(05-18-2020, 12:28 PM)Phaedrus Wrote: If god is real, he can be experienced anywhere at anytime. There does not need to be a special place for a theist to be able to experience god. In fact, church is merely a place of socialization, and nothing more.

Actually I once read some one (not here) who "you can worship God anywhere. But you can only be in church IN CHURCH". I've always considered that the most direct statement about the social value of "church" to some people. I disagree entirely myself, but the quote was very informative.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#11

Church is not essential
It's about as essential as a pyramid scheme.
Don't mistake me for those nice folks from Give-A-Shit county.
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#12

Church is not essential
Without regular top-ups at church, the indoctrination can start to wear off.   Nod
No gods necessary
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#13

Church is not essential
(05-20-2020, 04:33 AM)brunumb Wrote: Without regular top-ups at church, the indoctrination can start to wear off.   Nod

I think you miss the point. For some people "church" is not so much about religion (though they believe). It is more a social gathering of community. I have difficulty understanding that myself, but I have come to grasp the concept by discussions with some non-theists who consider the value of "church-going" as a unity act among the poor and down-trodden to collect themselves together for comfort and mutual support.

We need to provide more rational ways to satisfy that need.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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