Why do people believe in God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by aaqucnaona, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    That's why science is superior, because it changes as new facts become apparent. In fact, it is responsible for those new facts becoming apparent. You could call it a religion but you would be wrong.
     
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Has either of you noticed that science doesn't somehow take place on its own, apart from people?

    Has either of you noticed that it is people who do the thinking,
    that it is people who do science,
    that it is people who do the talking?
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    So what? Personal observation is only the beginning of knowledge.
     
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Why do people believe in God?

    Anyone who is creative can understand this a little easier. When you generate a new idea, a new song, new art, whatever, the process of creation is inside of you. It might begin fuzzy and slowly comes into clarity.

    Beethoven did not need external proof that he could write a symphony or what it needed to sound like. Something inside is creating the image of the symphony and his drive. If anything, the fear of novelty of people outside tends to create an environment of defensiveness that sets up obstacles. What is driving him, is coming from inside regardless of the fear and uncertainty in the externally generated data that is not helping him. Those who only know the outside are left in the dark and the dark is scary to them.

    Religion and God work sort of the same way. The inner voice of the artist can't be seen, by you or I, but it can be inferred from the various output effects, which may not even have any precedent in the external world. The art may start a new precedent for the external world so the blind can participate.

    The individual who believes in God is like the artist who has this inner image and/or emotional state. The difference is the artist is just someone who can create an output so we can infer there is something inside. The atheists might be empty inside and cannot see this. But the religious sense/feel an inner source of life and flowing creativity. Many don't know how to generate a mirrored output ,or are conditioned to do so only like members of a herd. Religion is often about works, so the inside comes out.

    Symbolically, the light is this inner voice of the spiritual artist. When the light comes outside others can infer the source. God symbolizes certain output that reflects an aspect of the inner creative light as outlined by various religions.

    The way to begin understanding it to think of the artists. I a sort of a science artist that paints both abstractions and real life. I try different media and place them in unique combinations. This is output from an inner light.
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    So religion is a piece of creative fiction? We already knew that.
     
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not talking about personal observation.

    I am saying that science doesn't somehow take place on its own, apart from people, as you seem to think - as if there would be no difference between you and science. As if when talking about things, including scientific findings, it wouldn't be you, a person who does the talking, but some neutral, objective, impersonal entity that is the same as science.
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    What does that have to do with the nature of reliable evidence?
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    A lot, and sometimes, everything.
     
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It sounds like you are repeating a certain kind of postmodern critique. The argument seems to be that since it's people who do philosophy or science, their personal feelings and desires (or race-class-gender "standpoint") should be factored into and included in philosophical or scientific reasoning.

    Feminist philosophy of science in the US is famous for making that move, as is a great deal of contemporary European philosophy.

    I don't follow intellectual fashion any longer and persist (perhaps I'm part of a dying breed) in hanging onto objectivity as an ideal.

    When a person makes a claim that sounds outlandish to me, I stubbornly persist in not being persuaded by that person's insisting "But I like this idea!" or "This idea makes me feel good!"

    Fine, but that's not what I'm interested in. What I want are good reasons why I should agree with the idea and believe in it too. Reasons that are unique to and apply only within another person's perspective have no persuasive power in my perspective. Nor do I expect that my own subjective feelings, desires or personal interests will exert very much force on anyone else. If I want to convince them, I have to do better than that.

    It's true that everyone has a personal perspective and that nobody can escape their own. But that doesn't mean that objectivity needs to be condemned as an illusion and it's no justification for calling for everyone to simply wallow in subjective dreamlands of their own creation.

    That's certainly not what the theistic religions expect us to do. They all seem to think that their various versions of "God" actually exist -- separate, independent and very much prior to what individual human beings desire and how they may imagine things to be.
     
  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    In science, the validity of a claim has nothing to do with it's origin. That's what makes it reliable.
     
  14. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    @wynn --

    The difference between the results of people doing science and the results of people practicing religion, apart from the fact that science produces results while religion doesn't, is that science produces consistent results(within the error bar, of course) while the "results" of religious practice vary literally from person to person.

    In other words, if I input figures into the physics formula F=MA, not only can my work be double checked but a person independently performing the same calculation will come up with the same result. In religion it is entirely subjective as all you have to go on are your experiences(which are subjective) and your interpretation of whatever holy text you follow(which is also subjective). So the results of science are largely uniform while the results of religion are so diverse as to be utterly meaningless when it comes to describing reality.
     
  15. markl323 Registered Senior Member

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    a belief in God is the result of various psychological disorders.

    it's very simple really.

    if a person says that he hears voices in his head, he's clinically crazy. but if those voices happen to come from "God" then he's not really crazy...just religious. what's the difference between the two? nothing.

    when a person is convinced that a non-existent higher power is watching over him, answering his prayers, knowing his future, there's a term for that. it's called Delusional Disorder.

    as for people publicly claiming they had gone to heaven and seen their dead grandparents, it's simply self-induced Hallucinations.

    going to church every Sunday to avoid going to Hell? Paranoia.
     
  16. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    That would be true only if -

    1. There is only a limited group involved in the observation, collection, validation of that evidence.
    2. There are no countermeasures to baises and mistakes.

    Science makes specific efforts to eliminate both of this issues, thats what makes it reliable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  17. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    What you said is IMO likely to be true, but intellectual and well informed debates and conversations with theists that are a usual occurance on this site require a much more level headed and objective approach. Just a heads up - didnt see you around before, so welcome to sciforums.
     
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure how exactly you mean this. Perhaps we can elaborate below.


    Of course. I see nothing wrong with that, and I aspire to it myself. Although we may draw different conclusions from our basic inclination.


    I don't think that refusal to be swayed by another's threats or enthusiasm has anything to do with objectivity.
    Rather, it has to do with having regard for one's own individuality.


    To be blunt, I think this suggests a victim attitude.
    I've mentioned this often. And it is what I dislike the most about the atheists one usually encounters.

    It's that victim attitude that says "I can't be proactive about my life, especially not when it comes to religious or spiritual matters. I must be ready to give in. And since I have to give in, at least I'll try to give in on my terms."

    I think there is something essentially problematic about the desire to convince others, and about the desire to become convinced by others.


    Agreed.


    Again, agreed.


    Yet, again, agreed.

    One of the marks of objectivism is that a person aspiring to be objective cannot put their foot down and claim "This is how it is!" and demand that other people submit to the dictate.

    And yet this is how objectivism, among theists as well as among atheists, is often practiced: "I am objective, and others really owe it to me to think, feel, speak and act as I say or believe they should."

    In practice, objectivism usually comes down to one person desiring to have the upper hand over others, while justifying their own superiority by reference to science or religious doctrine. As if what that person would say would be as good, as authoritative, as obligatory as if science itself or God Himself has said it to the other people involved.


    Yes, theism often comes across like that.

    Again, my solution here is to focus on my present moment, as it is, whatever it is.

    I think fundamental in all this is the overarching belief that in the end, everything will work out fine - that the Universe, with me in it, and everyone else, are guided and looked after by a higher intelligence - and so that if I act according to what I currently deem is the best course of action, I am bound to make spiritual progress.

    However, I think people often operate out of bad faith: the conviction that if one would be left to one's own devices, one would be nothing but a lazy couch potato; the conviction that without being threatened, pushed, tricked, cajoled or seduced, one will not inquire about the possible higher realities of life.
    And this conviction can be found both among some theists as well as some atheists; this conviction people have about themselves, as well as in relation to others. And it is not rare at all.

    "Unless I am threatened, pushed, tricked, cajoled or seduced, I will not inquire about the possible higher realities of life. Therefore, it is allright if others threaten, push, trick, cajole or seduce me."

    "Unless I threaten, push, trick, cajole or seduce you, you will not inquire about the possible higher realities of life. Therefore, it is allright if I threaten, push, trick, cajole or seduce you."

    You can see these convictions implied in many interactions that people have, especially when it comes to topics of advancement, either in science or in religion/spirituality.
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    That is so if you believe that we humans are impostors to reality, alien to reality, not part of reality.
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You are the one making that claim above.

    You, a person, in a very specific situation, here, now, at the forums.

    Science is not making its claims on its own, regardless of people.

    Without people, there would be no science.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    1. If Wynn thinks that the truth or falsity of factual propositions in chemistry or astrophysics depend in some significant part on the personalities and subjective feelings of individual scientists, then she has her work cut out for her defending that seemingly implausible position.

    2. If Wynn agrees that questions of chemistry or astrophysics should turn on logic and on objective evidence, and not on the personalities of individual investigators, then she needs to explain why she's disagreeing so strenuously with Spidergoat when he says essentially that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    We're not talking about chemistry or astrophyiscs.

    We are talking about
    1. religion and spirituality
    and
    2. the philosophy of science as it relates to actual person-to-person interactions.


    The problem with some self-declared scientists (and also some self-declared religionists) is that they take for granted that science and religion are two competing (and mutually exclusive) approaches to the same field of experience, knowledge and practice.
    But they aren't competing like that. They address different fields of experience, knowledge and practice.
     
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    It is by now a stereotype that the social skills of scientists generally aren't that well polished. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to that, and it has to do with their understanding and practice of the philosophy of science. To paraphrase William James - they claim to be scientists or to do science, but when it comes to talking to people, they dogmatize like infallible popes.


    Some atheists here want us to believe them simply because they are declaring themselves to be scientific or pro-science - "Science says so and so, and therefore, I am right, and if you don't agree, you are a troll / intellectually dishonest / insincere."

    It's a psycho power game that has to do with science only nominally.
     

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