Sunday, October 14, 2012

What’s in your B.S. (Belief System)?

Photo credit: joejoe77 / stock.xchng

People all around the world have various belief systems. However, not all belief systems are good for people. Here are some red flags to watch out for.

Does your belief system…

1. Discourage critical thinking, asking followers to have a childlike, trusting mindset?

2. Insist on obedience as a prime virtue?

3. Threaten dire punishments (on earth and in the afterlife) for not obeying the rules?

4. Focus inordinately on sexual behavior, banning certain acts even between consenting adults?

5. Have separate rules for males and females? Does it segregate the sexes?

6. Engage in bizarre and inexplicable rituals (such as pretending wafer and wine are flesh and blood)?

7. Tell followers what they can and cannot wear?

8. Tell followers what they can and cannot eat?

9. Tell followers what they can and cannot read/see/listen to?

10. Encourage or mandate corporal punishment for children and/or adults?

11. Claim that belief system officials have godlike power and perfection?

12. Tell followers that thoughts (not just acts) can be evil?

13. Ban harmless activities (such as dancing)?

14. Say that people who don’t follow the belief system are evil and damned?

15. Forbid followers to associate with non-followers – even family members?

16. Encourage followers to have as many children as possible (in order to create new followers)?

17. Promise a beautiful, fantastic afterlife (which no one has ever seen) in exchange for sacrifice and suffering in this world?

18. Claim that humans are innately evil, and only the belief system can redeem them?

19. Insist on humility and sacrifice on the part of the “average” follower (as opposed to officials), making personal concerns subordinate to the needs of the belief system?

20. Care only about the fate of the belief system, not its individual members, humanity, or the earth itself?

If even one of these characteristics is in your belief system, I advise you to stop and think. Even if your belief system says you shouldn't.(Especially then!)

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