Why do people believe in God?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Write4U, Nov 15, 2023.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I liked the Don Juan books. Peyote is a powerful chemical that seems to affect microtubule function (Hameroff) and induces "uncontrolled hallucination" instead of "controlled hallucinations".
    IMO it is anthropomorphizing God. I consider the claim "in his image"to be nothing but hubris.

    Have you ever visited the Creation Museum?

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It depends what you're trying to understand. If you're trying to understand something that is deemed to be outside of science, then looking to science for the answer isn't going to get you far.
    Similarly, if you're looking to understand why people believe X, you're not going to find it in books that tell you that not-X is the case. E.g. understanding religion, or why people hold the Bible as sacred, for example, is not going to be found in the online skeptics version of the Bible.
    I'm not sure of the point you're trying to make, or what you're referring to. An example might help. Is this to do with when you simply post videos and expect people to watch through them??? Or what?
    It sounds as though you have a grievance. Care to cite an example of what you're talking about? Or am I to guess?
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No, it holds for any claim that is deemed to be outside of science.
    Sure, some specific claims can be. But the principle claim/belief of a theist is that they believe in God. That is what, in essence, defines a theist from someone who is not. Let's stick to that, shall we?
    Again, all you've done here is shown that you're trying to understand how people believe something is true by looking at books that tell you why you should not believe it is true. Your very response makes my point for me. Do you not understand the weakness of your approach to "understanding" in this regard?
    Then don't use scientific jargon. And don't make up words. Simples. Explain yourself clearly.
    Again, you need to provide example for this grievance you have. From my experience people here do read articles that are linked to... IF they are given adequate reason to. If you are finding that people are not reading or watching the links you're posting, the issue, I'd suggest, is that you're not giving them adequate reason to. The reason to would come from the argument that you're making, and the link would be something that supports that argument.
    Lete be clear: noone is asking you simply to regurgitate what you're linking and to summarise it in your own words. If you post a link it should surely be to support the argument you're making. So what you should provide is an explanation, in your own words, of how you think it supports your argument. It's no more difficult than that.
    Just providing a link or a quote is lazy. It doesn't even show that you understand why you're posting it. Noone complained that Einstein used that quote because, well, he had already shown that he fully understood what he was talking about. He wasn't quoting someone else, was he.
    I'm aware of what Gervais has said, on Colbert and elsewhere. So what? How does that help you understand religion, and why people believe? It is, as with the skeptics bible, giving you no view other than the one you already hold. You are not going to understand religion or why people believe by simply listening to views that just reinforce your own. Which is why you linking the skeptic bible site to show that you have learnt something about religion is, frankly, laughable. But, hey ho.

    FYI your syntax suggests you're claiming that you have had not just 4 versions of the bible on your shelf but also all the other scriptures.
    But, ignoring that, what point are you trying to make? How does it counter, for example, that you're not going to understand religion, as you claimed you made an effort to do, by looking at the skeptics bible site? Or even just reading the Bible, for that matter? How do either of those things help you understand why people believe, rather than just help you confirm why you don't believe?
    I'm not sure of the relevance of this to what I've said. Rather it just seems to be you dragging yet another discussion to the subject of a mathematical universe. As JamesR has coined... your "Tegmarkian religion". Shame.
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No. Not to this discussion. It seems to have no bearing on the matter at hand at all. What relevance do you think it has???
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Belief in the existence of God and the relationship of agnosticism to theism?

    If I cannot confirm anything about agnosticism or theism, should I refrain from commenting and thereby silently acquiesce to the concept of God in heaven where He dwells, in spite of a better model advanced by serious scientists?

    And we come full circle.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Naaah... that's pure speculation on your part. And your example is based on a false premise.

    I am not looking at why some people are bad. I am looking at why some religions are really bad!
    The "Skeptics Annotated Bible, Quran, and Book of Mormons" is full of proofs of all kinds of benefits and detriments that religons offer and that certain religions are so exclusive as to want to impose their will on the rest of the world because it was by Divine grace. IMO, that is very dangerous talk.

    But I always try to be objective and I try to read all sides whenever alerted to a different perspective. I am an atheist and do not believe that the unproven claim of a God is true.
    And I certainly do not rule out a fundamental mathematical essence to spacetime. It's elegant.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Your POV is flawed in this regard. I see that JamesR has provide what I consider adequate reasoning that hopefully explains that to you. But in case you need it further explained: your assumption that "there is no heaven when under anesthesia" is not accepted, nor demonstrated by your argument.
    Your argument seems to rest on the notion that one should be able to experience or recognise the existence of heaven, should it exist, when under anesthesia. Perhaps you can provide some papers that attest to this?
    Whether one can experience heaven or not when under anesthesia has no bearing on the relationship of agnosticism to theism. It may, if it was a reasonable argument (which it is not, as has been explained to you) provide justification for one's agnosticism, or gnosticism, or theism etc. But it doesn't actually speak to the relationship between them.
    You seem to be missing the point of the discussion. It is not "I believe / don't believe for the following reasons" but rather a discussion on the relationship between two philosophical positions: agnosticism to a/theism. Any argument you therefore put forth as to why you're an agnostic, or an atheist, or a theist, is frankly irrelevant... unless you can explain how it relates to the relationship between agnosticism and a/theism.
    So don't get worked up, or feel aggreived, when people point out that you're not addressing the issue.
    I'm not going to dictate to you whether you want to be logical or not, but all claims outside of science are potentially possible, as long as they are also logically possible. Anything that can not be proven to be wrong (either empirically or logically) has the potential to be right. That is not to say you need give it any credence, however. The existence of invisible pink unicorns is the classic example: you can not disprove their existence. They are a possibility. But do we need to give their existence any credence?
    Don't confuse the subject matter with the nature of the fervour with which one pushes it. The subject matter does not, itself, need to be a religion for the adherent to treat it as such. By referring to the "Tegmarkian religion" is to refer to your religious fervour about it: your constant pushing for its acceptance, your desire to turn almost every thread you can toward discussion of it etc.
    Hope that helps clarifies.
    And this is your basis for calling what I said to be based on a false premise? If so, do you not know what an analogy is??? If there is some other premise of mine you think is false, please explain.
    As I explained in my analogy, it is a book by non-believers that won't help you understand why people believe. Yet you claim that this is something you use to help you understand religion. As I have said, repeatedly now, you are only reading one side of the argument, the side that you already hold, and all you're doing is reconfirming your own position. That will not help you understand why people believe. It will not help you understand what religion is.
    As said, if you only read books about how bad someone is, you won't ever understand how some people can conside them to be good. Oh, sorry, is that too much of an analogy for you.

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    That's the point, though: you don't read all sides. The fact that you linked to the Skeptics Annotated... website as apparent evidence that you like to know about religion speaks to the fact that you don't. You only seem to read one side of the story. I'm not for one minute suggesting you should change your own position, only that you should be honest with how "objective" your research into the matter really is. Because, as far as I can tell, based on everything you have thus far said, it isn't.
    And no, this thread is not yet another excuse for you to wheel out your obsession with Tegmark's position. This thread is about the relationship of agnosticism to a/theism. Stick with that, please, or go elsewhere.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What makes you think I have not read both sides and choosen that which I find the most persuasive?
    I am an Atheist... I don't believe in heaven, but I do believe religions have been causal to untold horror.

    p.s. In addition the SAB, I also have 4 different versions of the Bible in my library.
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You have yet to offer anything that suggests you have an understanding of why people believe what they do. Everything you have offered, none of it actually relevant to the purpose of this thread, is you trying to explain why you're an atheist, your views on the existence of God / heaven and why you don't believe, about microtubules and Tegmark. None of that is relevant, because you haven't actually addressed the thread's issue.
    That's irrelevant to this discussion, though.
    This reminds me of people saying "I'm not racist: I have black friends!". To wit: having books, even ones you have read, doesn't mean you understand other people's views of them. And the SAB is only going to give you the side you already follow, so that's also not going to help.
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Sure, and that therefore speaks to one's agnosticism - i.e. the "how can we possibly know". It is not an excuse to go on and on about why you're an atheist, why religion is man-made and evil, etc.
    It is a thread discussing the relationship between agnosticism and a/theism. It doesn't assume a priori the existence of any god, as that would remove the concept of agnositicsm from the table (because knowledge would be superceded for purposes of debate by assumption of existence). It assumes that there are people who believe in such a scriptural God, and people who don't (the a/theist divide) and then raises the question of how one can know whether a God actually exists. Some claim to know, others claim it is not knowable.
    Which is irrelevant to this thread. It can fuel your personal position but it doesn't address the actual topic of this discussion.
    It's simply not relevant, and yet you have tried to push the discussion to that, as you have done in numerous other threads.
    Stick to the topic of the thread, or don't post. It's that simple.

    So, to help you address the topic:
    You have said you are an atheist (you don't have belief that God exists). Do you go further and claim that you know, or that it is knowable, that God does not exist? Or are you an agnostic with regard the scriptural God? Note, I don't care what your personal alternative to the scriptural God is at this stage. I also don't care about your views on consciousness.

    Once you have answered this question, answer this, please: what is the relationship between your atheism and your a/gnosticism? Mine is that I consider God to be outside of science, and at present I can not see how it can be known. I certainly have nothing I would call knowledge. So I am an agnostic. Since I don't know whether God exists or not, I don't see that I can conclude that God does exist, or "believe in God" as some would suggest theism is. Thus I am an atheist. But since I don't know that God doesn't exist, I also can't bring myself to conclude that God does not exist. So a "weak atheist" rather than a "strong atheist", if you're into that distinction. To me (and here we get to the purpose of the discussion) agnosticism is about what we can know, and a/theism is about what we believe.

    Note: at no point do I need to offer alternatives to a scriptural God. At no point do I need to go on about consciousness, about microtubules. Those would not be relevant.
    Can you do the same?
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    As atheist, I expressed my relationship with agnostics and believers. Make of it what you will.
    It also doesn't mean that I do not understand people's views. If you cite my perspective as prejudicial, you just presented an example of your own bias.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I have.
    My point is not that your perspective is prejudicial (although everything you've said thus far suggests that you're not open to a reasonable discussion on this matter) it is that claiming to "understand religion" by referencing the Skeptics Annotated Bible is no better than someone trying to show how they're not racist because they have black friends. Again, do you not grasp analogy???
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    At what point does objective critiquing religion become prejudicial? Note that the SAB addresses the purported "divine" messages in the scripture. The facts speak for themselves.

    So, I must disagree with you on this. It is religions that are exclusive and prejudiced against "apostates".

    To call a murderer a murderer is not prejudicial. To say that advancing mathematics is religious is prejudicial.

    It is clear that Religion enjoys a privileged status, not as a non-profit (the church is clearly capitalist), but as part of the Establishment Clause, separation of church and state. Cosmology doesn't enjoy that privilege.

    Are churches exempt from the IRS?
    Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations - IRS

    I cannot start an atheist church to take advantage of the tax-laws. Prejudicial?
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Blah blah blah.
    You once again fail to realise that you're not being relevant to the thread. Come back when you decide to be.
    Here's a hint: this thread is not about all the issues and grievances one might have with religion. Why can you not grasp this? Is sticking to the actual thread topic really too hard for you?
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    • Do not make false, unfounded accusations against other members.
    If you are going to quote me, please quote in full, so that the reader can see what it is we are talking about and judge for themselves what you are feeding them about me!

    So, if you can identify exactly what's wrong other than yelling "foul" from the rooftops, then what is your interpretation of the relationship of Agnosticism to Theism/Atheism that I cannot find in the definitions of each term?

    If I have misunderstood the OP question, give me an example. Just 1 will be sufficient to steer me in the right direction.

    Still no facts other than ad hominem.
    Are you saying that religious wars are not relevant to "relationships between agnostics, theists, and atheists?
    Is that more blah blah blah? Are you still going to play nice to theists like jihadists and Islamists who will kill you if you say anything that offends their relationship with God.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    There is the little arrow next to the name of the person quoted that takes anyone who is interested to the actual post that is being quoted. So there is no need to quote you in full. Or at all, for that matter. Everything you said was simply not relevant to this thread. It wouldn't matter if I quoted you in full, in part, or not at all... it still wouldn't be relevant.
    I have identified, Write4U, and explained it to you: it's not relevant. Your issues with religion is neither the topic of this discussion nor relevant to it.
    You probably can find all you need to know in the dictionary, or at least in Wikipedia, or failing that on some online philosophy site.

    So let's start with what you think the definitions of these terms are: what do you think a/theism and agnosticism mean? What do you think the relationship between them is. Note, I couldn't care less about your personal religious beliefs or absence thereof.
    And if you have read this thread you will already find my interpretations and views.
    You have seemed to misunderstand. It is not about personal grievances with religion. It is not about how religions start wars. Or all the contradictory things you might find in the Bible, or other scriptures. It is about the relationship between agnosticism and a/theism. Your issues may fuel your personal atheism. They may fuel your agnosticism. But that's not an excuse to go on and on about them, and to argue for an alternative to the scriptural God (to which matters of agnosticism and a/theism relate). People have already told you this, yet you still don't seem to grasp it.

    There are facts, Write4U: you're not being relevant! That is a fact. Telling you that is not an ad hominem, as it speaks directly to the argument... and its irrelevancy!
    Yes, Write4U. That is what I am saying. They are not relevant. They may inform your personal atheism, or agnosticism, but they are not relevant to the actual relationship, between the two.

    So, again: what is your understanding of the terms a/theism?
    What is your understanding of the term agnosticism?
    What do you think is the relationship between the two?

    For example, if you don't know that Bob is wearing a hat, would you then believe that he is wearing a hat?
    See, there's a relationship between agnosticism and belief.
    Can you discuss along those lines, without simply trying to air your grievances with religion?
    I've reported this part. Totally unnecessary, over the top, and still misunderstands the issue I'm having with your posts.
    exchemist likes this.
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Spot-on of course, but it will be completely lost on Write4U, I'm afraid.
  21. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Communist regimes and other atheist societies and people can still be lunatics.

    Again this is about the terms we use and what we understand by them.

    The Religious are not stupid angry murderers, stupid angry murderers are.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    You are missing the point.
    Indeed, but that also depends on your understanding of the facts.
    And that is where you are wrong.
    The Crusades wasn't about stupid angry murderers. Or "lebensraum".
    It was about a God-sanctioned holy quest, a very serious business.
    And absolutely unnecessary as an existential preoccupation.
    https://oceanhero.today/web?q=existential preoccupation



    Dig a little deeper, ok?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


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