What is the deciding factor that influences belief or non belief?
Personality, upbringing, trauma, illness?
What do you think?
Loneliness needing someone who understands exactly what you feel. It is all in the head.
Surely the reason for belief isn't loneliness per se?
For me it was a habit. It was what I'd been brought up to believe. I didn't really question it until (I'm slightly embarrased to admit) my late 30s.
I'm now a confirmed and happy atheist.
lack of education
or as my grandfather used to say: 'anyone who claims to know the truth is not in full possession of the facts'.
I think for some people there is a comfort factor. While I'm not religious, I have seen friends benefit from it when going through tough times. If it helps a few people then I think thats a good thing.
I think it is the fanatics that I can't understand. There is a difference between using religion to help you and following it blindly without using any brains at all.
As a youngster I was sent to Sunday school and went to chapel, so I was brought up to believe in it all. Then when I got to about 10 years old I thought to myself that science explains how we came about, so at that point I stopped believing in religion.
That's not to say that it's not a good thing to believe in. I suppose that it teaches kids moral values, and right from wrong.
Also, I believe that everyone should be free to believe in whatever religion they wish, or to not believe at all. Who's to say that I'm not wrong for not believing, or that a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Hindu or bhuddist is incorrect or correct with their beliefs. It's all about having respect for each others beliefs.
miles 23, 24 and 25 !!!
Bruce C wrote (see)
miles 23, 24 and 25 !!!
I think there are both external and internal factors at play and there is no one thing.
I was brought up by an atheist father and agnostic mother yet I dabbled with religion as a teenager however it didn't stick much to my parents relief!
My oldest used to believe in Jesus but not God but now thinks the Bible is just a storybook and youngest thinks most of the bible stories are rubbish. To quote if my teacher saw me writing that she would tell me to rub it out and start again!
A friend once said the only difference between a 250cc motorcycle (learner legal back then) and a 500cc motorcycle was that you prayed a lot less on the 500.
(If you don't understand you've never riden a bike.)
Hard to understand how anyone still believes in this God nonsense. Where's the evidence? These Johovas who keep bringing that book around insist they have all the answers. So you believe in magic then? no. The super natural then? no. Of course you do, what else could it be? Our bible says.... your bible was written by some agricultural ignorants 2000 years ago. Shit! even 300 years ago people thought lighting was thunderbolts from the gods. Prophets then, hallucinating after being half starved, forced to eat camel shit. As the man said, speak to God, you'rd swear you'd spoken to Elvis after all that.
I honestly think part of it is genetic and in some cultures fed by poverty and a lack of education. This doesn't mean I think that only the uneducated believe in God, just that if you have a hellish life and no education - of course there is a god - otherwise your hard life is meaningless.
In the West where we have more choices and more education (ie lots of things appear to be magic/act of god when you don't understand the science) - then it becomes harder to define where a belief in God comes from which is where I think the 'genetic' part comes in. It would seem (to me) that there is an evolutionary advantage to some sort of belief system that promotes stability - particuarly when it comes to child rearing - most religions fit this bill promoting marriage and rules for societal stability and in days gone by rules for health and hygiene as well.
I also think that as a parent - a belief in god is very difficult to resist - you WANT there to be someone all powerful that you can ask to watch over your children etc and take care of them when you aren't there and the idea that you will be reunited with your loved ones after death is a very nice one.
But the nagging question for me is always "How did it all start?" ... I mean if everything we know is to remain intact, then it HAD to have started at some point ... prior to the big bang, what was there, nothing, a void, but when did that nothing/void get put there ...
my head hurts !!!
2, 3 and 4.
While walking through town the other day the resident bible-thumping crackpot said, "There's absolutely no evidence to prove that there isn't a god." I told him that's not the point, the point being that there's absolutely no evidence that there is one. Apparently, he knew I was going to say that.
A friend's five year-old nephew asking him not long ago, "Do you believe in monkeys or Jesus?" Epic! The response was, of course, "Monkeys", and the five year-old agreed.
I thought National Trust made an epic fuck-up earlier this year when their visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway on;y explained the creationist view of how it was created. Idiots.
Bruce C - before the Bog Bang there was another universe that collapsed under its own massive gravity and exploded. Just forget about time - a concept invented by humans. You did, of course, answer the OP's question quite nicely with "miles 23, 24 and 25", though!
I think that people that have a deep faith are actually very lucky. Years ago I went on an Alpha course that was set within an evangelical church. The people were lovely, but I still didn't get 'it'. Seek and thee shall find. Well not here.
I have a girlfriend who goes to church every Sunday. Her husband died suddenly 11 years ago, and I think they have become her community and family. They live their religion and it is admirable to watch. However, if she invites me to a party, and 70% of her guests are from church I tend to skip it because they are a boring bunch!
It's always interesting how people come into faith.
The classic way is to be brought up with it through your family. There's always a risk that to some extent someone "just goes along with it", until one day just denying it.
That's why I'm always more interested in people who come into faith independently.
Personally I think it's a pretty empty existence to choose to believe that in effect we're here by accident, that a "Big bang" happened, and that we've managed to go from pond life to humans.
Some would think that's fairly fanciful.
At the end of the day though, either side never convinces the other one.
So best hope you chose correctly
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