Why do people believe in God?

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

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    It has to do with the philosophy of science, it's standards of evidence, and the burden of proof.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And it has to do with the people who talk about a particular topic, in a particular situation.

    You may have noticed that there are some vital differences when a student at an exam in physics presents an argument for some scientific finding; and when that same argument is used by a husband to convince his wife that she is stupid and that they should therefore go on holidays on the destination he chose.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Yes, we've noticed - some people are full of shit. Some people think they are superior to others. Sometimes they are the same people.

    That's why god gave us an "ignore" option.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The 'chemistry or astrophysics' comment was intended to suggest the possible irrelevance of your #2.

    "Actual person-to-person interactions" are obviously relevant to how individual scientists actually behave. Scientists can have big egos and their funding and reputations are often riding on the success of their hypotheses.

    But that doesn't imply that "actual person-to-person interactions" have any relevance at all to the logic and epistemology of scientific confirmation, to what the scientific community as a whole should ideally accept, in other words. The confirmation process exists, in part, to correct for the personal ideosyncrasies of individual investigators.

    I think that they can be. An example might be the historicity of the Biblical flood myth. The arguments about biological evolution are an obvious example.

    But more broadly, I don't think that science and religion always have the same kind of concerns or that they are making the same kind of ontological claims.

    Yes. I agree that's very often true.

    If your point has been that scientists sometimes also have their own spiritual intuitions, separate from their interests in understanding the causal functionings of the physical world, I certainly agree that's true.

    Scientists often play sports, listen to music, dabble in the arts, fall in love and experience personal religious feelings. They are complete human beings, not just analytical engines, 24-7.
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't think that Sciforums or its participants speak for science. Few (if any) of the people here are actual working scientists. Only a minority of them appear to have even studied science at the university level. This is a group of laypeople, some of whom seem to idealize science. So what Sciforums offers up oftentimes isn't science at all, it's scientism. We often see that illustrated vividly and at times quite aggressively in the religion discussions.

    My point is that I don't think that we should expand the failings and excesses of some of our Sciforums discussions into indictments of science itself.

    The thing is, you can't really beat adolescents (some of our Sciforums participants appear to be teenagers) on their level. If they are going to cede you the high-ground, take it. The way to deal with them is to just continue implacably on as if they hadn't insulted you or called you names at all. Explain your position clearly in simple terms so that everyone can understand what the issues are, and then keep pushing would-be discussion-board bullies towards a place where they HAVE to respond intelligently and in an adult manner... or else lose the argument.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But in religion, the way people interact with eachother directly has to do with the doctrine and with what a person can attain or accomplish on their religious path - what they will come to see as "true".

    Scientists, or rather those who you say are into scientism, however, try to treat religious matters in the same impersonal manner as chemistry or astrophysics.

    Religion essentially investigates matters of oneself and how one relates to the world, religion is personal like that. In religion, essentially, that which considers one's self is what is being tested.
    Yet it seems to be so difficult to explain this to people / for people to accept this ... it's as if they demand that religion be trated on the same impersonal terms as chemistry or astrophysics.

    I never said they did.
    They are categorically different.

    No, that wasn't my point.

    Absolutely! But try to explain that to them!

    My point was that some people treat science as if it were a religion, and they do so in a downright fire-and-brimstone manner.

    As if referring to science or some fancy sciency-sounding word like "evidence" or "logical" would automatically invest the speaker with the supreme authority that everyone is supposed to subject themselves to.


    Ah, youthly delusions of grandeur are so hard to penetrate!
  10. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member


    The reason this is so IMO is that science is pushing past its infancy - it’s become the next greatest thing our species has achieved. The most direct effects of our progress have been felt by individuals and the masses in one thing - technology. Technology has always been our extensions - something extra to make up for the things we lost in the bid for our brains, something to make our life better and something further still. Earlier technologies prevailed in our experience for dozens of thousands of years - these technologies, from simple machines to utensils, from weapons to writing were all practical technologies. They were invented by using things creatively to better fulfill a need.

    On the other hand, since the late 1800s, the effect of modern science really started to be felt - though new inventions helped people do things previously difficult or impossible, it was not yet something that would saturate the daily experience of the individual. Hence, the person lived in a progressive world nevertheless rooted in and composed of things of old times. That familiarity is quickly being lost. Call it future shock if you wish, but this sharp disconnect with both familiar objects and familiar rates of progress and knowledge acquisition is real for a large portion of the masses. And technology is what pushed people into this new and unfamiliar world. The computational revolution was followed by a barrage of objects which really and totally saturated most of the living moments of a massive part of the world's population. VCRs, PCs, Cds, video games, the internet, handheld computational devices like mobiles, PDAs, gameboys, smartphones, tablets, genetically engineered food, new medicines - all of these massively invasive forms of ideas and objects were introduced in the last 50 years. Today, one cannot help but feel this invasion with electronic billboards everywhere, people of subways busy with their cellphones or computers in every major environment - be it the office, the home or the cafeteria.

    This situation elicits 2 main responses from people - they either welcome this change and dig into this world or they retreat to ranches and resorts. Either way there exists a palpably strong effect of science of the daily experience of an individual's life. The appreciation of and attraction towards science is rooted in this feeling more than anything else. And that is why scientism is becoming popular, in education and popular culture, it is a major component of the sleeper curve*. This is what really takes it one step further - the technological invasion of science into our lives is complemented by education and thus pervades our culture - from words like email to sites like youtube and facebook to concepts like memes and demotivational posters - this massive overhaul of the very world we live in is what lies at the root of the desire many people have to be a part of it. The opposite response - that of resort to religion or new age ideologies is fairly complimentary.

    This is how and why the new atheism movement is fairly popular or atleast prevasive in the mass media - for only some people can compartmentalise their religious beliefs and scientific knowledge. However, the acceleration and achievements of science are hard to match up by religion, for now they surely are at crossroads despite the fact that their paths often intertwined in the past. Of this can arise a few excepted outcomes - the win-win would be the retreat of religion to a philisophy and the advance of science to knowledge-gathering. The two other alternatives are the destruction or retardation of science by religion, be it in cuture or in practice; and the collapse of belief in the supernatural once science outstrips religion to its breaking point, where the escalation which boosted science broke the religion's back. Each of these alternatives have its followers, hence the strong and evident confict in the mass medias. The win-win is of course baised, but it is IMO the only realistic and long term maximum gain outcome of out current situation.

    * the sleeper curver is the name given to the general trend towards complexity is popular culture like tv shows, articles, games, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure how what you said relates to the part you quoted from me?
  12. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member


    Reason for belief: Uncertainty, Fear, Need for an existential purpose in life, Desire to belong to a social group, inability to understand science or upbringing without it, a global mass delusion.

    Reasons for my Lack of Faith: I have no need for religion or spirituality in my life, total disbelief towards concepts of an afterlife; find the notion of supreme "supernatural" entity absurd beyond reason. Years of study of religions and their flaws, a questioning nature and finally I just don't give a squirt of piss about any deities; all are as real as Zeus, Gaia Ra, Thor, Loki, Hermes, or any other characters created by humans.
  13. Literphor I is for ignorance Registered Member

    I believe that we're born from the universe. What better example is there of god?

    As I said in a previous post, I believe faith is how we acknowledge our own insignificance. What kind of god is irrelevant, because our personal image of god will fit whatever picture we want it to. I believe even if all modern religion were abolished, people would instinctively migrate towards some idea of a higher power. It's a submission to consequence... a yielding to our ignorance
  14. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Atheists have also the same problems you mentioned they have reason for belief but so do atheists-the main difference is they all don't believe in god, but definitely believe in something else-science, it's all matter of faith.
    Atheists are also afraid of Uncertainty, Fear, Need for an existential purpose in life, Desire to belong to a social group, inability to understand the entire universe or upbringing without it, a global mass delusion-atheists simply believe in something else.

    And let's see if you're not afraid of death or Need for an existential purpose in life, Desire to belong to a social group-let's see if you would be so brave and I have to say this is kind of arrogant position as well.
    And saying you're not spiritual is a lie the same as someone says he/she does not believe in anything. All you have to do is just stand somewhere in the wild nature, let's say some lake, and think about nothing, just relax, that's the moment of spirituality.
    Those who ignore spirituality are not really happy at all, they only think they are happy, unless they are arrogant and think they are smarter than anybody else, or think science knows and can explain everything about everything.
    he problem today is competition and most people have lost their spirituality, but because the science, technology, wrong politics and wrong economics brought us here in this position.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  15. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @Gravage --

    But it's not all a matter of faith. We all know that science works, if it didn't we wouldn't be online having this discussion. Will science answer all of our questions? Who knows? I don't think it will since there are some questions which are outside the current ability of science to answer(however the overwhelming majority of these questions don't have a meaningful impact on our lives), but it stands a better chance and has a better track record than any other method humans have devised for sussing answers from the universe.

    I'm not afraid of death, it's not something I'm looking forward to but my feelings about it are more apathetic than fearful. We all die eventually, no matter our station in life, why fear the inevitable?

    But the rest is simply a part of being human, without those traits we wouldn't be human.

    While I agree that this is a most satisfying spiritual experience, you're using a different definition of spirituality than Saturnine was. Unless I've completely missed my mark Saturnine was using "spirituality" to refer to practices and beliefs that incorporate spirits and the supernatural, not as you used the word, to mean a concern with "higher" things.

    Personally I find great spiritual fulfillment in looking at the stars and the Moon. That sense of awe and wonder as one stares into the inky gulfs of the night, lit by billions and billions of suns...it's truly amazing in the fullest sense of the word. However I fail to see what that has to do with the "spirituality" that Saturnine was talking about.

    Look, don't take a page from Wynn's book and start making grandiose and sweeping claims that can only be wrong. The existence of even one happy person who ignores spirituality is all it would take to prove you wrong. Instead it would be much better to say:

    "Those who ignore spirituality tend to be unhappy."

    This is a statement which I not only feel is true, but also leaves room for the outliers in the data set, and there are always outliers in every data set.

    Maybe it can, maybe it can't. Nobody knows.
  16. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    (Laughs...pauses to read the post again then laughs some more)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    1. I i don't have a fear of death
    2. I have no need nor desire to belive in concepts that to me are pointless

    What you have just said is in itself the essence why i don't trust or even want to consider faith anymore...if we are pointing fingers at who or whom is more arrogant then it would be you good sir, next time read the text back to yourself and say " hmmm...does this make me look like and ass" or “does this properly facilitate the message I’m trying to get across?”
    What I stated is what I believe are the reason for faith and for my lack thereof. For you to judge me based only on the context of post in forum before even considering getting to know me is the nothing but prejudice..Hopefully your god has more patience for your idiocy than I do.. Have blessed day and live a happy life.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Except you, of course. You know that nobody knows.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  18. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @wynn --

    You can see the future?
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    I bet if all modern religion were banned tomorrow their would be a rather large uprising all around the world; Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia. Effectively reserving the ideas we already have.

    I believe in "God," I always have. I believe in his existence, and I believe in what is going on around me. I thought about God quite a bit growing up being raised Catholic. I was enrolled in Sunday school too, I hated that. I never worried about death until I was a little older, I just assumed I would go to Heaven. I knew I couldn't tell for sure that their is a Heaven or not, but I didn't worry about it because the Catholics taught us to be kind.
  20. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Well, that's what you think that you don't have a fear of death and being alone, it really depends on the situation-let's suppose you're stuck in the wildness alone just yourself forced to survive anyway you can, you would have a fear of death, and a fear of being ripped apart by some animal, you would want to pray to god or something else just to survive, you would eat anything that you think is eatable, like vegetables and try to catch animals.
    It's easy not to believe in anything until you are taken away from hedonistic, city life, until you get pushed to upper limits of yourself or you survive clinical death.
    There is no way you don't believe in anything, everyone, even you believe in something, there is no man without faith, you are obviously lying when you say that you don't believe in anything.
    It's easy to be a big boss fearless man in the cities, but go to Rock Mountains and let's see if you would not have a fear of death and a fear of loneliness, it's easy when you have friends and family. business colleagues..., it's easy when you're surrounded with people (alone or not)...
    It also depends on what kinds of concepts, some people say God=energy, so if this is the case it's not that abstract and conceptual as you think it is. There is no way you can prove/disprove God's existence, this is why you can never say belief in God is a garbage.
    But even if God does not exist, what makes you smarter than other people who believe in God? What gives you the right to spit on them and tell them they are goats in the fog, just because the believe in God's existence?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  21. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    See my answer above in the text.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  22. ilija Registered Member

    People believe in god because he exists, I watched this show on discovery where they gathered bunch of smart scientist who said that whole earth is so balanced that it all points out to a creator, god may not exist as religion defines it but there is a creator for sure
  23. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @Gravage --

    Again, you don't know this, unless you can magically see the future....and since you didn't foresee this reply I highly doubt that you can. The bottom line for now is this, science may not answer all of our questions and can't at this time, but every single time in the past that someone has claimed that this or that will forever be beyond the reach of science they have been proven wrong. Every time.

    I think I'll side with precedence over ignorance.

    Nope, I've never had a fear of death in that situation, and it's one I've been in frequently in my life(what with hitchhiking across the country and all).

    It's quite obvious that you don't know anything about me. Not only have I been through wilderness survival training and actually employed it, but I spent a large chunk of my childhood working on my grandfather's farm. Not exactly what one would call a "hedonistic lifestyle", though I've certainly embraced one since moving to the city.

    Been there, done that, got the shirt, went back five other times. Still no fear of death.

    Face it, you're just wrong.

    This has zero relevance to what I said.

    Again there's the question of relevance, however I think I'll stick to rationality right now as it produces far more reliable answers. I don't ignore my intuition, I just don't trust it because intuition is wrong most of the time.

    And this doesn't invalidate my point in any way. The existence of even one individual who has a happy life without spirituality invalidates your claim.

Share This Page