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Is Religious Worship Sadomasochism?

jat93
Posts: 1,440
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12/22/2011 2:27:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Keep in mind that I'm Jewish, and the following argument was something I wrote out specifically for a believing Jew that I debate with. Terms/things to know: Torah means the Old Testament and Hashem means the Jewish God. Orthodox Judaism holds that you can't refer to God by his "real" name (Yehovah) and must instead refer to him as Adonay (pronounced Ah-don-eye, means my master) or Hashem (means the name). Also, the Old Testament commands all Jews to love God with all their hearts and souls. Though this is obviously meant to apply to Judaism, I think it basically applies to Christianity and Islam as well.

Imagine being forced to fear somebody with all your being, having him in total control of you, being enslaved to him and not even being allowed to call him by his name without him severely punishing you.

Now imagine that same person forced you to love him with all your heart and mind, with all your body and soul. He commands you to genuinely love him with all the essence of your being. Imagine he forced you to enjoy the services that he forces you to either devote your life to, or be given the harshest of punishments that this master can possibly think of.

This situation is clearly a textbook example of sadomasochism - as defined as the receiving of pleasure from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain, humiliation, or abjection. It is also a perfectly accurate description of the relationship between Hashem and each Jewish person as spelled out in the Torah. Think about the relationship between the master and his slave that I described. Now ask yourself the following question: how does that obviously sadomasochistic - assuming the slave does follow through with his commands and genuinely love his/her master - master-slave relationship differ from that of Hashem and you?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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12/22/2011 2:53:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:27:24 PM, jat93 wrote:
Keep in mind that I'm Jewish, and the following argument was something I wrote out specifically for a believing Jew that I debate with. Terms/things to know: Torah means the Old Testament and Hashem means the Jewish God. Orthodox Judaism holds that you can't refer to God by his "real" name (Yehovah) and must instead refer to him as Adonay (pronounced Ah-don-eye, means my master) or Hashem (means the name). Also, the Old Testament commands all Jews to love God with all their hearts and souls. Though this is obviously meant to apply to Judaism, I think it basically applies to Christianity and Islam as well.

Imagine being forced to fear somebody with all your being, having him in total control of you, being enslaved to him and not even being allowed to call him by his name without him severely punishing you.

Wait are Jews supposed to fear God with all their being? I thought they just were supposed to love Him with all their being.

Now imagine that same person forced you to love him with all your heart and mind, with all your body and soul. He commands you to genuinely love him with all the essence of your being. Imagine he forced you to enjoy the services that he forces you to either devote your life to, or be given the harshest of punishments that this master can possibly think of.

Sounds allot like Catholicism to me. Not directly, but still similar. The God I believe in simply commands you to accept Him into your life and repent of your sins to Him, in order to have eternal life. What you just described sounds allot like legalism too me.

This situation is clearly a textbook example of sadomasochism - as defined as the receiving of pleasure from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain, humiliation, or abjection. It is also a perfectly accurate description of the relationship between Hashem and each Jewish person as spelled out in the Torah. Think about the relationship between the master and his slave that I described. Now ask yourself the following question: how does that obviously sadomasochistic - assuming the slave does follow through with his commands and genuinely love his/her master - master-slave relationship differ from that of Hashem and you?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)