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What separates the religious from the non-religious?

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:35 pm
What is it that causes some people to believe in a "god" and others to be able to never accept that as being true? And what about the ones who have some "great religious experience" and then walk away from it all?

Is it life circumstances like has been said before? Someone has such a bad life experience they become so desperate and alone feeling that they create this thing in their mind? At first I thought that, and that may be the case for some... but is that the case for all people from all religions? I'm not sure I can believe that.

And what about the non-religious? What is it about them that has persevered them from relying on a "God" to take care of them? It's been said (not here necessarily) that it is because they are just so hard hearted and stubborn that they will not "surrender" their life to anything because "they are their own god". I'm not buying that either, but obviously there's something that that separates the two.

Any ideas?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,994 • Replies: 77
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:40 pm
I believe some people are not made in such a way they can reject religion. I believe the non religious have a less wishful mindset.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:45 pm
Most people who believe in religion learned from their parents and peers. I call this result an accident of birth; you become the religion of your culture/parents most of the time.

Some of us who are non-religious came to the conclusion that religion is the figment of one's imagination. When there is no proof of god, and science continually answers the questions about evolution and how matter and life came into existence, the belief that "god created the heavens and the earth" becomes more myth than reality.

Only the bible is able to verify the bible. One must ignore logic totally to believe it.

My siblings and I grew up in a "christian" home. I'm the only atheist.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:49 pm
I would guess that in many cases it would be that the non-religious see no good evidence that a God exists. Some evidence that a God exists would be minimum pre-requisite for being religious.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:51 pm
religion.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:59 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
I believe some people are not made in such a way they can reject religion. I believe the non religious have a less wishful mindset.


What do you mean by that edgar? Are you talking about physically made or mentally and emotionally?

cicerone imposter wrote:
Most people who believe in religion learned from their parents and peers. I call this result an accident of birth; you become the religion of your culture/parents most of the time.

Some of us who are non-religious came to the conclusion that religion is the figment of one's imagination. When there is no proof of god, and science continually answers the questions about evolution and how matter and life came into existence, the belief that "god created the heavens and the earth" becomes more myth than reality.

Only the bible is able to verify the bible. One must ignore logic totally to believe it.

My siblings and I grew up in a "christian" home. I'm the only atheist.


I never thought about that before that only the bible can verify itself. That's interesting. So, then you spent time questioning the things that were being taught to you while your siblings did not then? See... that's what I don't get. What was the difference between you and them that you would question and they would not?


Brandon9000 wrote:
I would guess that in many cases it would be that the non-religious see no good evidence that a God exists. Some evidence that a God exists would be minimum pre-requisite for being religious.


Hmm... but what is it that causes them not to see it while others "think" they do?


Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
religion.


Shhhhhhhh bear! Don't talk so much! You're tying up the thread here!

Heh....
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:11 pm
Treya wrote: I never thought about that before that only the bible can verify itself. That's interesting. So, then you spent time questioning the things that were being taught to you while your siblings did not then? See... that's what I don't get. What was the difference between you and them that you would question and they would not?

That's the mystery of all mysteries of life. What I saw was the difference between what they were teaching, and how they were acting.

e.g., "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Simple enough, but there are too many contradictions in the bible and how those who supposedly "learned" that lesson really acted. The bible has many verses where god smite innocent children, men and women out of anger.
I see christians saying one thing, and doing another. Take the issue of gays and lesbians. They claim they love all of "those" people, but they would go to the polls and deny them equal rights. They don't want them to have a "marriage" in their union. I can only see that as small-minded homophobes.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:13 pm
Treya wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
I would guess that in many cases it would be that the non-religious see no good evidence that a God exists. Some evidence that a God exists would be minimum pre-requisite for being religious.


Hmm... but what is it that causes them not to see it while others "think" they do?

The ability to separate evaluation of evidence from one's hopes and fears, and evaluate such evidence objectively, rather than emotionally.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:26 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
Treya wrote: I never thought about that before that only the bible can verify itself. That's interesting. So, then you spent time questioning the things that were being taught to you while your siblings did not then? See... that's what I don't get. What was the difference between you and them that you would question and they would not?

That's the mystery of all mysteries of life. What I saw was the difference between what they were teaching, and how they were acting.

e.g., "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Simple enough, but there are too many contradictions in the bible and how those who supposedly "learned" that lesson really acted. The bible has many verses where god smite innocent children, men and women out of anger.
I see christians saying one thing, and doing another. Take the issue of gays and lesbians. They claim they love all of "those" people, but they would go to the polls and deny them equal rights. They don't want them to have a "marriage" in their union. I can only see that as small-minded homophobes.


Agreed. Ultimately that is what pushed me off on this side of the fence too. Hearing so much talking without seeing any walking.

How about this though... What do you think the chances are of it being scientific? Like a chemical imbalance in the brain or something? Is that too far of a stretch?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:31 pm
To the religious, it is self evident that a god of some sort exists. I don't know any more than anybody else does why that is. The atheist has to be with Brandon, when he suggests a bit evidence should be a minimum requirement to believe.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 05:48 pm
Yeah, evidence should be required probably. But for some it seems to not be. I'm just curious and wondering what other people think, that's all. The more I think about it though, a chemical imbalance wouldn't make sense actually. Because that would exclude an explanation for those who have believed at one time and then chosen not to believe at some point.

Hmmm...

I saw a program once on TLC about endorphins and their effects on the body and mind. They labeled people who jumped from partner to partner "Endorphin junkies" always looking for the next high. In a way... that kind of parallels the "religious experience". It's a "feel good" kind of thing where all our mistakes are thrown into the "sea of forgetfulness", we no longer have to worry about anything because there's a god looking out for us... and so on.

I really wonder if this has something to do with the chemical reactions those "feel good" experiences give us. If it's linked somehow.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 06:18 pm
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
religion.



You took the word right out of my mouth. THanks.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 08:21 pm
Treya, I do not believe it has anything to do with endorphins, but man's need for something that's superior to us. That's the reason many cultures before christianity created gods of all kinds including the sun, animals, and stone images. Many sacrificed humans and animals to appease their gods, because man never felt that he was king of the heap.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 09:12 pm
Re: What separates the religious from the non-religious?
Treya wrote:
What separates the religious from the non-religious?


Certain thought processes are more comfortable for some people than others. I believe that all people will eventually settle on a way of thinking that is most comfortable for them.

The particular thoughts that a person finds most attractive are the result of a combination of nature and nurture, biology and experience.

I haven't found anyone yet who dislikes their own viewpoint.

To be specific, some people prefer logical construction and analysis, and are uncomfortable with subjective emotional motivations. Other people are drawn to the warmth of emotional feeling and trust them even though they are subjective and frequently in conflict with logic.

I have always asked the question differently: Why do some people belive in magic and others don't? Avoiding the intricacies of religious dogma, the root of the question comes down to whether you believe you are capable of understanding the world around you (naturalism), or whether you believe the world exceeds your ability to understand (supernatural). Religious and non-religious beliefs aline along those basic lines.
0 Replies
 
Mills75
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 09:18 pm
Treya wrote:
What do you think the chances are of it being scientific? Like a chemical imbalance in the brain or something? Is that too far of a stretch?

Actually, I read an article in the New York Times some months ago that discussed scientific findings suggesting a biological basis for religious/spiritual experience. Apparently, humans are hard-wired to have these experiences. I was unable to find that article quickly, but this link briefly mentions similar research:
http://www.upenn.edu/researchatpenn/article.php?323&soc
(It would be best to c & p this url--clicking on it doesn't seem to work properly.)
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 12:10 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
Most people who believe in religion learned from their parents and peers. I call this result an accident of birth; you become the religion of your culture/parents most of the time.

Some of us who are non-religious came to the conclusion that religion is the figment of one's imagination. When there is no proof of god, and science continually answers the questions about evolution and how matter and life came into existence, the belief that "god created the heavens and the earth" becomes more myth than reality.

Only the bible is able to verify the bible. One must ignore logic totally to believe it.

My siblings and I grew up in a "christian" home. I'm the only atheist.


Yes, we know.

You've often told us that most of your friends and family are Christians and that they are smarter than you.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 01:04 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
. . .
Only the bible is able to verify the bible. One must ignore logic totally to believe it. . .
So, you're saying the bible is consistent?
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 01:30 am
neologist wrote:
cicerone imposter wrote:
. . .
Only the bible is able to verify the bible. One must ignore logic totally to believe it. . .
So, you're saying the bible is consistent?


Consistently insane
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 06:15 am
neo, You stepped into that one with your eyes wide open? LOL
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 06:45 am
Re: What separates the religious from the non-religious?
Treya wrote:
What is it that causes some people to believe in a "god" and others to be able to never accept that as being true?

I don't think the difference really is this big. If you're a Christian, you're already an atheist about Vishnu, Mithras, Zeus, emperor Hirohito, and almost every other god that anyone has ever believed in. Some of us just take it one god farther.

In my opinion, that's all there is to it. In my opinion, the difference is too small to be worth looking for its cause.
0 Replies
 
 

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