why Religions?

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Henrik phil
 
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 09:40 am
@benjamin90,
benjamin90 wrote:
Hey I wonder why people have religions ..

like they have got no proof or so that for example god exists or talking about reincarnation and stuff
why they don't want to think further or so and get to the ultimate truth ?


I agree with you! Religion is often a block for the free thought.
How can i say something like this when i consider myself a christian? Well, if you believe in pure science, you'll say that everything just came out of nothing. Thats just as stupid as believing in a god. The only difference between these two is that the last one is a bit more optimistic.

Scientists are telling that in the future, the expansion of the universe will crack everything into pieces, down to the elementary particles. To think of this dark future makes me run to jesus! It might be wrong, but its worth trying. :a-thought:

Wizzy wrote:

I'm not saying that me beeing convinced that there isn't a god is common sense, that's pretty much the opposit. But doubting the exsistance of a god is common sense.


Wise words wizzy, i admire you!
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 11:32 am
@Henrik phil,
Even to the religious, doubt should be essential. Didn't Jesus have doubts in the desert?
 
ratta
 
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 02:54 pm
@benjamin90,
i was a christian for about a 7 years. i suffer from depression and the odd hallucination these days anyway, usually of a satnic nature like a red face with a tounge flying towards me everytime i closed my eyes or the feeling of my skin boilling and snakes eyes staring at me, i thought that there was a god and i was just being persecuted in his name til it got really bad overall it lasted for 8 years so far. now im stronger i believe that we are each our own creaters with own soul mates and will eventually live in our own universe to tell the truth i treat everyone the same as if they were my soul mate friendly etc . because i belive that he is many and i am the one and one day after the past has run its course we will exist in all the dimensions past present and future. in the past i always read about the state of living, these days i and many others dont live that type of life but we all have our own demons which we must conquer. i believe the bible is a good book with a good moral guidelines but dont get too caught up in it
 
AtheistDeity
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 12:17 am
@benjamin90,
The theology of any one person is primarily based on their desire for a truth. A truth of that theology that is.
Those who would believe in deities, or religions are usually searching for an ultimate meaning, and purpose to life. Being the subject, creation of a diety gives them a solid identity in that theology, of who they are, and what their purpose is.
Most religions have books (bibles) of the will, and certain commandments of that deity. Quite a purpose to serve the damands of the creator of the universe, the very essence of life, and existance, huh?
Most would consider it obsurd for someone to suggest that this is not true. Like most Atheists find their meaning for life, through the simple state of existing, and the presence of the world around them, Theists would find it in serving the ultimate will of the universe (i.e.diety). Even if that means resulting in negative outcomes, like war, discrimination, hatred-for to them it is the correct outcome. (the one they were damanded to follow and bring upon.)
That in itself would turn it to a positive for them, and free them from any guilt, or responsibility. Not that I nessesarily judge them- everyone is just looking for their place. An organisms behavior is a chemical response in the body to changes, or the conditional state of their environment. Each environment is different for each organism from birth, predictebly causing differences in reaction to certain environments, or occurences later on.
To judge a person for their actions would be to judge their chemical basis for their reactions. -the things that cause human behavior are unthinking, unliving, supplies of chemical matter. To judge that would be to judge the very state of all existance itself.
Point being, it is not up to you, nor me to deside what the ultimate truth is, let alone for another. We are all the same in that we are all living creatures, and resulting in our different conclusions, and perspectives. Tolerance is a powerful force, in that it can show us this, and bring us closer together.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 01:10 am
@AtheistDeity,
Quote:
Most would consider it obsurd for someone to suggest that this is not true. Like most Atheists find their meaning for life, through the simple state of existing, and the presence of the world around them, Theists would find it in serving the ultimate will of the universe (i.e.diety). Even if that means resulting in negative outcomes, like war, discrimination, hatred-for to them it is the correct outcome. (the one they were damanded to follow and bring upon.)


Let me ask you this: Is there a necessary difference between 1) finding meaning in life from "the simple state of existing, and the presence of the world around them" and 2) "serving the ultimate will of the universe".

Consider some of the Taoist teachings. I know you equivocated "serving the ultimate will of the universe" with 'serving God', but these are not necessarily the same, though they can be depending on one's notion of God.

I think this is the place many conversations about God wind up - where we are struck with the fact that God, and all of religious/spiritual language, is figurative. Symbols represent something, they are not what they represent, and no symbol is perfect. No matter how eloquently I express the pained I felt when I broke my leg the experience is my own and the language I use simply cannot transmit the entirety of the experience.

If the atheist finds "meaning for life, through the simple state of existing, and the presence of the world around them" then the atheist is a spiritual man, and is not religious only in so far as he prefers not to use certain styles of figurative language.
 
AtheistDeity
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 01:22 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Yes, there is a difference. "the ultimate will of the universe" would assumably be that of which it was created, having no actual will of it's oun. (i.e. diety).
An Atheist, usually, finds their meaning in simply being alive. They don't require the commandments, and "teachings" of a supposed all-knowing diety.

"Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and faith, a transcendent reality, or one or more deities. Spiritual matters are thus those matters regarding humankind's ultimate nature and purpose, not only as material biological organisms, but as beings with a unique relationship to that which is perceived to be beyond both time and the material world. Spirituality also implies the mind-body dichotomy, which indicates a separation between the body and soul." -wiki
An Atheist typically doesn't believe in spiritual presence, nor anything that could create such an existance. To say an Atheist "is not religious only in so far as he prefers not to use certain styles of figurative language" would be to assume the same about an individual who WAS religious. I say to the best that I believe, and I do not believe in spiritual theologies, nor diety related theories.
If me saying that I find purpose in being alive through simply existing automatically clicks as a religious statement, it is your oun theological perspective.-not that of the world, nor the truth.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 01:40 am
@AtheistDeity,
Quote:
Yes, there is a difference. "the ultimate will of the universe" would assumably be that of which it was created, having no actual will of it's oun. (i.e. diety).


We have to be sensitive to the variety of religious views. In the opinion of many theists, you are right, there is a difference. But among the religious community at large, theist and otherwise, the difference does not necessarily exist.

Remember, to speak of the universe as having a will is figurative; obviously the universe is not human. For many theists, discussion of God's attributes is equally figurative.

Again, I point to Taoism. There is the Tao, which might be described as "the ultimate will of the universe", but immediately the Taoist points out that this is only language.

Quote:
An Atheist, usually, finds their meaning in simply being alive. They don't require the commandments, and "teachings" of a supposed all-knowing diety.


First, theists do not require commandments and teaching of a supposed all-knowing deity any more than the atheist requires these things.

Second, I see no reason why finding meaning in simply being alive and the use of spiritual teaching are mutually exclusive. In fact, a great deal of spiritual teaching, if not the vast majority of spiritual teaching, is about that very thing - finding meaning in simply being alive.

Quote:
"Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and faith, a transcendent reality, or one or more deities. Spiritual matters are thus those matters regarding humankind's ultimate nature and purpose, not only as material biological organisms, but as beings with a unique relationship to that which is perceived to be beyond both time and the material world. Spirituality also implies the mind-body dichotomy, which indicates a separation between the body and soul." -wiki


Yes, an extremely narrow sense. In a sense so narrow that I, a spiritual person, cannot even squeeze in inside.

Spirituality need not presuppose a distinction between body and soul.

Quote:
An Atheist typically doesn't believe in spiritual presence, nor anything that could create such an existance. To say an Atheist "is not religious only in so far as he prefers not to use certain styles of figurative language" would be to assume the same about an individual who WAS religious. I say to the best that I believe, and I do not believe in spiritual theologies, nor diety related theories.


Well, I have no problem saying that someone is religious in X way if said individual thinks in terms of X style of figurative language. Sounds fair.

Again, the wiki description above is extremely limit. By that definition whole spiritual traditions are reclassified, somehow no longer spiritual traditions.

Also, theology and theism are not prerequisites for being spiritual. Spirituality is experiential. I have no idea if you, personally, are spiritual or not and I'll take your word if you say you are not spiritual (which I imagine is the case). However, you might sum up spirituality as 'the appreciation of life' or 'the practice of loving life'.
 
AtheistDeity
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 01:57 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I get your point, but I wasn't trying to sum up the personal beliefs of all theists. Only in a more general, common sense. Why would someone follow the words, and commandments of a deity if they did need to, or or feel they had to?
The Christian religion for example usually states that if you do not follow the teachings of jesus, and live without sin that you would go to hell, and burn in a lake of fire for all eternity. So, would it not be a requirement to follow the teachings of this diety in order to make to the heaven, and live their lives correctly?
My point was that many [only many] Theists find it important to follow the word, and the will of their particular belief system, or diety. Atheists, typically, do not.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 02:22 am
@AtheistDeity,
Quote:
Why would someone follow the words, and commandments of a deity if they did need to, or or feel they had to?


I think you answered your own question. If someone needs to, or feels the need to follow some precepts, that is precisely why they do so.

Quote:
The Christian religion for example usually states that if you do not follow the teachings of jesus, and live without sin that you would go to hell, and burn in a lake of fire for all eternity.


Even in a very general sense, I'm not sure this captures Christianity as it is usually practiced. Repentance plays a major role in most Christian strains, as does the notion of original sin which dictates that we are all (except Jesus) sinners. If we are all sinners (original sin), and some sinners make it to Heaven (redemption via the repentance of sin), then to sin does not condemn the sinner to Hell.

Quote:
So, would it not be a requirement to follow the teachings of this diety in order to make to the heaven, and live their lives correctly?


Basically, yes. But again, sensitivity to the variety of beliefs is essential. Even if we limit the conversation to Christianity, the plethora of beliefs, even mutually exclusive beliefs, make generalizations extremely difficult. Generalizations are especially difficult when we talk about the requirements for entering Heaven and the requirements for condemnation to Hell. Right off the bat, some Christians take the Scripture literally, believing that Heaven and Hell exist in an objective sense and are the destinations of souls after bodily death. Other Christians will say the Scripture is figurative and that man experiences Heaven and Hell on earth; that Heaven is the psychological state corresponding to right action (refraining from sin, being kind to others) and right belief (having faith in love) and that Hell is the psychological state of negative emotion (the act of sinning being the manifestation of negative emotions like greed or envy).

Quote:
My point was that many [only many] Theists find it important to follow the word, and the will of their particular belief system, or diety. Atheists, typically, do not.


How is it that theists place greater importance upon following belief system than atheists? Even in a very general sense, this does not seem to be true; atheists are no less moral than theists and vice versa.
 
AtheistDeity
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 02:41 am
@Didymos Thomas,
"I think you answered your own question. If someone needs to, or feels the need to follow some precepts, that is precisely why they do so. " Sorry, I meant if they didn't feel those things.

"Even in a very general sense, I'm not sure this captures Christianity as it is usually practiced. Repentance plays a major role in most Christian strains, as does the notion of original sin which dictates that we are all (except Jesus) sinners. If we are all sinners (original sin), and some sinners make it to Heaven (redemption via the repentance of sin), then to sin does not condemn the sinner to Hell. "

My point was that it is typically important for theists, like Christians to live their lives as instructed by their deity- not seeking redemption for their sin could as well be considered living sinfully, and would not typically allow them to get into heaven.

"Basically, yes. But again, sensitivity to the variety of beliefs is essential. Even if we limit the conversation to Christianity, the plethora of beliefs, even mutually exclusive beliefs, make generalizations extremely difficult. Generalizations are especially difficult when we talk about the requirements for entering Heaven and the requirements for condemnation to Hell. Right off the bat, some Christians take the Scripture literally, believing that Heaven and Hell exist in an objective sense and are the destinations of souls after bodily death. Other Christians will say the Scripture is figurative and that man experiences Heaven and Hell on earth; that Heaven is the psychological state corresponding to right action (refraining from sin, being kind to others) and right belief (having faith in love) and that Hell is the psychological state of negative emotion (the act of sinning being the manifestation of negative emotions like greed or envy). "

I have already said I wasn't trying to sum up the personal beliefs of all theists. (that includes Christians). I was only using those who DO believe what I was describing as an example.

"How is it that theists place greater importance upon following belief system than atheists? Even in a very general sense, this does not seem to be true; atheists are no less moral than theists and vice versa."
I was only refurring to the Theist's belief system. (as in a theistic belief system).
Most people find living as a model of their beliefs to be important. Theists, and Atheists- I was only saying that a theistic way of believing is not typically something an Atheist would follow.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 02:49 am
@AtheistDeity,
Well, sure, belief in God is more important to the theist than to the atheist, and following the precepts of any given theistic faith tradition is more important to the theist of said tradition than to an atheist.

Quote:
I have already said I wasn't trying to sum up the personal beliefs of all theists. (that includes Christians). I was only using those who DO believe what I was describing as an example.


I'm not familiar with any Christian theist who thinks that to sin condemns the sinner to Hell. Again, most have some belief in redemption and most also think that all humans (except for Jesus) are sinners.
 
AtheistDeity
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 02:53 am
@Didymos Thomas,
"My point was that it is typically important for theists, like Christians to live their lives as instructed by their deity- not seeking redemption for their sin could as well be considered living sinfully, and would not typically allow them to get into heaven."
I already told you what I meant by that.
 
Ennui phil
 
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 07:52 am
@benjamin90,
Greetings,religions are made initially as the ancient people worshiped God and have faith in Him,but when we are in this hectic metropolis,religions are gradually forgotten.This is an alternative elucidation that can be incorporated.
 
awoelt
 
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 10:23 pm
@Wizzy,
Wizzy wrote:
Hi Benjamin and fellow european

I'm what people call an atheist, which means as you seem to do, I don't belive in any higher supernatural fairytale god or the easterbunny.

The main reason why religion work is simple, fear. Fear of death, fear of hell, fear of gods wrath, fear of what comes after death, fear to be on your own in a evil world and most of all fear of "what if they're right?". Also simple things like to refuse to realize that we aren't here to serve a higher cause or not beeing able to accept how mankind came to from other creatures as evolution have enourmous evidence to prove makes religion go around.

And for why children often stay in the same religion as their parents are simple propaganda (people are gonna hate me now) and brainwashing as they are told from the day that they are born how their religion see the world and how it was created, makes them say grace and pray for new things, then reward them with the thing they prayed for while the parents don't understand that they have been manipulated into manipulating. And if somebody claimed that everything you had ever known, that your picture of the world that makes so much sense with flawed logic and no proof apart from some book, which they see as proof, not as the fantasy novel it is. So simply: parents trick their children into beliving in something just because they belive in it.

This is ofcourse just my conclusions and theorys...
Hope I helped

*Edit
Don't know if I should have answerd in the young people forum, Justin, if I shouldn't have, tell me would you? Smile


It is good to believe in god no matter what. One, it will help in life. I can not name one thing in my religon that will not help you in life, with or without god. Even prayer helps believe it or not. second of all, religon makes you feel alot better. It is good to know there is someone up there. Is it a crime to have that feeling? I do not understand what is wrong with believing in god.
 
Miranda phil
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 11:44 am
@benjamin90,
I personally think that people look to religion to escape reality, people are afraid of the known and the unknown.
 
Kolbe
 
Reply Sun 18 Jan, 2009 07:32 pm
@awoelt,
awoelt wrote:
It is good to believe in god no matter what. One, it will help in life. I can not name one thing in my religon that will not help you in life, with or without god. Even prayer helps believe it or not. second of all, religon makes you feel alot better. It is good to know there is someone up there. Is it a crime to have that feeling? I do not understand what is wrong with believing in god.


There's little wrong with believing in god, but there is also an equal amount of wronglessness with not believing. Pray if you like, follow the gospels, listen to your priest, but don't for one moment believe that good feelings don't exist without religion.
 
PseudonymGeist
 
Reply Sun 18 Jan, 2009 11:58 pm
@benjamin90,
IMO, as if almost everything on this forum couln't be called an opinion, people subscribe to religions to get answers to the very questions those of us on this forum are asking, or at the very least to avoid having to answer these questions themselves. Once you accept a god then you can just say "why should I ask these questions, doG has all the answers I'll just obey doG all my life and then I can ask doG for all the answers when I reach the afterlife"
 
awoelt
 
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 05:24 pm
@Kolbe,
Kolbe wrote:
There's little wrong with believing in god, but there is also an equal amount of wronglessness with not believing. Pray if you like, follow the gospels, listen to your priest, but don't for one moment believe that good feelings don't exist without religion.

you can get more good feelings when you beleive. I think there are two kinds of atheist. The first is the one who dose'nt care and does anything because there is no god to hold him back. The next is the good atheist who tries his best not to do bad things that will ruin his life. However without the knowledge of the punishment of hell he may do some bad things. Maybe more than people who beleive in god. It is safer to beleive in god. One may argue that you still do bad things while beleiving in god. But the thought that you might go to hell stops you from doing bad things to much. While bevieing in god you do not make as many choices that will affect your life as if you did'nt beleive in god. While believing in god, you can have good feelings for most of the time.
 
PseudonymGeist
 
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:48 pm
@awoelt,
awoelt wrote:
you can get more good feelings when you beleive. I think there are two kinds of atheist. The first is the one who dose'nt care and does anything because there is no god to hold him back. The next is the good atheist who tries his best not to do bad things that will ruin his life. However without the knowledge of the punishment of hell he may do some bad things. Maybe more than people who beleive in god. It is safer to beleive in god. One may argue that you still do bad things while beleiving in god. But the thought that you might go to hell stops you from doing bad things to much. While bevieing in god you do not make as many choices that will affect your life as if you did'nt beleive in god. While believing in god, you can have good feelings for most of the time.



I understand that when people belive they will go to Hell if they do wrong and Heaven if they are good, society gets along pretty well, but I think that people should realizes themselves that they should follw laws and be good because it betters society instead of fearing the pit of hell.
 
awoelt
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 08:54 pm
@PseudonymGeist,
PseudonymGeist wrote:
I understand that when people belive they will go to Hell if they do wrong and Heaven if they are good, society gets along pretty well, but I think that people should realizes themselves that they should follw laws and be good because it betters society instead of fearing the pit of hell.

It would show that they are better but it is safer anyway. Even if you beleive you can try and make it so hell is not the only thing keeping you away from sin sometimes. I do it alot. Not all do it though. But I think that in religon if there is a god you will go to heaven if hell is not the only thing keeping you from sin.
 
 

 
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