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Eager to Believe

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posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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Why are people so eager to believe?

What is it that scares people so much about not having a religion, or belief system?

I see so many people in today's world just go along with what they're told and never question anything, and it really makes me wonder. They just take what they're told and never search for answers themselves.

I never went with the religion that was surrounding me. What makes me so different?

In school, they always taught us that these things were mysteries that we would never understand, so we shouldn't question them. "Just have faith," they would tell us. I questioned it and it didn't make sense to me, so I don't believe. I want to know why you think so many people obey the command to question nothing.

And why people are so afraid to say that there might not be such a being as God watching over us. We may be alone, on our own. Maybe there is no divine reason for our existence. Maybe it was just a phenomenon of nature that brought all of this about. Why do so many people block these questions out of their minds? Because it's easy and requires no effort on their part?

I just don't understand why this kind of thing is so scary for some people.

Why do you think people feel that they need faith to give their life meaning?

Why do you think that the vast majority of us cannot just simply be?




posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 06:35 PM
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I don't know how many are eager to believe, but I do know that some believers are just paying lip service to the concept. I have met too many religious people who have acted in unethical and dishonest manners to think otherwise. So, why do they? It could be so they have a social safety net, a group of familiars they can count on if something goes bad and they need a helping hand. Or, to make contacts for business purposes. Or to satisfy their craving for answers to questions that science has not yet answered. I bet there are a million reasons.
I have a strong belief myself, not in a specific faith, but in spirit. In my case, the reasons for my current level of belief are cumulative. My whole life has led me to this point. I have seen too much to comfortably and honestly state that I am an atheist.



posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 10:11 PM
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Kits, i think what your problem is that you think people of faith.. belivers CHOOSE to belive. That at some point they figure it out, or get sold on it, and become belivers. That is not the case. they become belivers because of a higher power choosing them.

It is matter of perception. I too was once a person without religion, and it took a long hard talk with a friend beofre I realize that I had the wrong perspective on the issue. I think it has to do with a matter of pride that WE can do it oursleves without help, when in the end we need every bit of help we can get just to be "okay"

To belivers, non-belivers are lost and cannot find thier way. They are the sheep that have gone astray and left the fold. We want them back with us not out of conformity, but because we really do care for their spiritual well being.

There are matters of faith that we cannot explain. Like what happens to still born children.. are they saved? Does God take them to heaven? We don't know nor will we be able to ever figure out until we are in heaven and able to ask God ourselves. Too many people get caught up in Dogma and tradition that even belivers dont want to answer the hard questions for fear of being caught in a contradiction, so instead they cover up ignorance with superficiality.

It isn't that people are afraid there is no God, instead they KNOW there is a God. Like you know that when you flip a lgiht switch it will turn the ligths on, or that when you breath out, you are going to have to breath in again. Or knowing that if you put your hand in a flame it is goign to hurt. Steadfast faith can seem like stubborness, but it is a sign of a strong foundation and saving faith.

You need to understand the differant perspective, and not think of it as a right or wrong opinion.



posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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That's an interesting take, Jeho. And I hadn't thought of the believer's side of the story. Thanks.

See now, what a believer might see as helping, a non-believer is likely to view as harassing. Christians try to convert as many non-Christians as they can, because they believe that they are doing good things. And im many cases, they are. But there will always be the people who feel that they are just being harassed.

You say people believe because a higher power chooses them. What about the matter of free will then?

And what about the non-believers who are ok then. I am ok, and I believe in no God. I am not lost, I see my path in life as clearly as I need to see it for the time being. I thank all believers for your caring and kindness, I understand that you are trying to save me. But I don't want to be saved. Your religion is not mine, and I do not want you to continue forcing it on me. My big problem is that most of the time, they won't leave you alone until you convert.


Too many people get caught up in Dogma and tradition that even belivers dont want to answer the hard questions for fear of being caught in a contradiction, so instead they cover up ignorance with superficiality.


Exactly. Which is a big thing that drives me away from organized religion as a whole. CONTRADICTION. It quite often makes no sense when you think about it, but most people never question it because its too much for their narrow minds to think of. That really bothers me. The level of corruption in churches today.


It isn't that people are afraid there is no God, instead they KNOW there is a God.


See, now to me, that contradicts itself. But I know I must be misinterpreting your statement. Elaborate for me, please?


I wasn't thinking of it as a right or wrong opinion, just asking why it is so easy for people to believe and so hard for people not to believe.

--Kit.



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by Kitsunegari
Why are people so eager to believe?


The answer is pretty simple. People believe because religion panders to the ego. All the successful religions promise that death is not permanent, and not many of us want to be annihilated. The elixer is so intoxicating, that any number of beliefs profoundly absurd to an outsider can be accepted.

The most successful religions are like mental viruses, evolving over time to become more and more infectious. You can learn more about this googling on "memetics" and "Richard Dawkins".



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Kitsunegari
Why are people so eager to believe?

The answer is pretty simple. People believe because religion panders to the ego.

Interesting conclusion regarding belief and ego. I find that most of those who have faith are less egotistical than average. The phrase 'the answer is pretty simple', indicates a far larger ego to me. It may indeed be simple. Or not. Faithful people generally exhibit a humility that proscribes that type of phraseology.
Dawkins is among the authors I have read. I have at least one Dawkins book. Several other views on the topic more closely match my own. In the Buddhist texts I have found answers that I relate more to.
The truth is simple. And also subjective.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 07:07 PM
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Believing something is OK, especially if the something you choose to believe is correct and true. Those who require this proof or evidence are thinkers. Those who do not require evidence are non=thinkers and choose to let others do their thinking for them. This second group are the believers and they will defend their intellectual laxity to the death, preferably, that of the non-believer.
Kitsunegari is correct, believing in that for which there is no evidence is a manifestation of an attempt to fill a psychological need and has nothing whatever to do with truth.
Jehosephat is an example of those who wish others to do the thinking allowing the believer to do the easy past…the believing!
skep



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
Interesting conclusion regarding belief and ego. I find that most of those who have faith are less egotistical than average.


Are they really? Probe believers why they believe. More often than not it comes down to a fear of death, an unwillingness to deal the with permanent loss of loved ones, fear of the unknown, a sense of purposelessness, or fear of moral decay without the perception that morals are absolute. These are all ego driven.

What these people are doing is submitting a portion of their ego to stroke a more important part. The rare individual believes with no concern for themselves whatsoever, now or in the hereafter.


Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The phrase 'the answer is pretty simple', indicates a far larger ego to me.


I'm a horses ass, but I'm not generally a hypocrite.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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Im totally with you on this one Spam, religions are very ego centred and selfish. Take christianity, islam or judaism these are based on what the believer gets when he dies NOT what your fellow man gets or what the world gets. Even the old adage "believe just in case" proves this, that the believer has a fear of nothingness and death. These religions also put these notion of ego and selfishness into the believer while trying to display notions of Selflessness and the world as a whole.

G



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:41 AM
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Of all the contemporary era people who have achieved some level of fame, my personal epitome of selflessness is Mother Teresa. I also admire Isaac Asimov, an athiest. And I admire the Dalai Lama. There is, imo, a lot of truth to what you say. I just feel that the people who choose to follow any religion are generally less selfish.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
I just feel that the people who choose to follow any religion are generally less selfish.


Whether that's true or not, has no bearing on whether religious beliefs are rooted in the ego. I am not claiming that religious people are more overtly selfish than other people, I am claiming that for the vast majority, belief is rooted in the ego.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham
I am claiming that for the vast majority, belief is rooted in the ego.

I don't know. I certainly agree that the actions and attitudes of the majority of those who profess to believe are certainly ego driven. But, then, the same goes for the majority of atheists I know. I do not see a difference, but I know that many atheists consider their position to be on more solid footing than belief. That is true for the most part, but the roots are deep, and once they are traced, I found that there is not a lot of difference. If there were, Einstein, et al, would not have commonly used the word God so often, and in such a positive light. It is true on the surface, from a materialistic perspective, that theism makes little sense. But, that is for each of us to find our own way, as many have had events in their lives that science is still unable to allow as being possible.
'Eager to believe' is about as far removed from my experience as it gets. I had my first inexplicable event when I was about 7, the next 32 years saw dozens more occur. I was open to the possibility of paranormal phenomena, but not until 39 years old did enough of these things happen in short order for me to finally sit down and review. And that was humbling. I just shrugged it all off for 32 years, because it didn't fit. When I felt I had to make it fit, since my concepts of time, space, matter, and reality in general had not meshed with my actual observations all that time. It was not fun, and it was not done 'eagerly'. It was done out of necessity, having been ducked for three decades... for understandable reasons.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 05:59 PM
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On the subject of beliefs rooted in the ego, sort of.

I think that anyone who believes anf practices a certain religion is quite egotistical in saying that their belief is completely correct.

Take the Catholics, for example. They believe, truly believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their religion is the ultimate truth, that it is fact and no one has the right to say any different to them.

Look at their reaction to the Gnostics. They, from what I've been taught, just about persecuted the Gnostics, just because they said something different. The fight against the Gnostics is refered to as a "battle" and "one of the Church's worst struggles to date". The closed mindedness I see in those statements is overwhelming. Just because they said something different, that contradicted what you say, they were automatically your worst enemy? They were, without question, completely wrong, evil, and out for money and power. Not even open to the possibility that they might bew wrong.

And the Atheists as well. They just go right out and say "There is no God, you're all a bunch of fools." Just as much ego in that as there is in anything the Christians say! They are just so convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They think that they are on some higher level of thinking than those with religion, because they don't believe in a God and just "know" that they are right.

I myself am an Agnostic, non-believing personally. But I say that is is IMPOSSIBLE to know ANYTHING. Even that could be an egotistical statement depending on how you look at it. How do we know that its impossible to know? People out there claim that they know.

I guess my point is, yeah, religiousness is rooted in ego, but we're humans. What isn't rooted in ego and selfishness for us? Its not such a big deal. Its instinctive, to want whats best for yourself. I personally don't believe there was ever a human with completely selfless intentions. And that doesn't bother me.


--Kit.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:10 PM
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Kits, Catholics are probly one of the worst examples to use for religion. Don't use them as an example to describe every religion. I did the same thing myself until I started looking for answers myself and educated my self on what the Truth about chrisitanity really was. ONce i found it it was so simple that it HAD to be the truth.

But you need to search for it on your own and look for it yourself. Dont pick up someone elses relgion but find your own.

Bruce Lee spent a lot of time studing philosophies and relgions, at the end he found out that he needed not to use someone elses religion, but find his own.

My faith is under the umbrella of Luthern... but I would be the first one to tell you I havn't memorized the 10 commandments, nor the 7 petetions in the Lords Prayer and their meaning. I know what they are... but if you asked me what the 7th commandment was I would probly have to guess 3 times beofre I found the right one. DOes this make me a bad christian? some people might say it doesn and it shows my weak faith. I say it is a sign of the constant struggle I have as my experaince as an unbeliver.

The simple thing is, Chrisitnatiy teaches us that we are all sinners who have earned eternal punishment in hell. But thanks to the selfless inoccent sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are now clothedi n his righteousness, and can look forward to a future as sinless souls in heaven and look at the face of God himself.

all we have to do is belive that Jesus died for US and to redeem us from our sins. we dont have to do confessional, nor do we have to give 10% at church to earn it.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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I don't know why this is being misunderstood. To say belief is egocentric in no way implies that believers are selfish or egotistical in the ordinary sense of these words.

Let's try it another way. Suppose everything you believe about god is true, except that he never interferes in the here and now in any way, and there were no afterlife of any form.

How many people would still find belief relevant?



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 04:01 PM
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I say no. Buddha was said to have taught something similar. As God is unknowable, undefinable, indescribable, and incomprehensible, do not waste time trying to do so. Instead, just try to help your fellow people.
If God exists, and has a problem with atheists, I would be curious why that is.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 09:28 PM
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Heres a question for all religionites:
If you are so eager to believe in god/jesus/islam or whatever, whats your views on UFO's, ghosts, other mythical heroes such as Hercules, Osirus, Santa and the other so called 'false' gods in the bible. Did/do these people/beings exist?
I ask this because the rational put in to believing in religion is the same in believing in the above. Therefore IF you believe in a god rational would state that these other things should have or do exist.


G



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 03:33 AM
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Originally posted by shihulud
If you are so eager to believe in god/jesus/islam or whatever, whats your views on UFO's, ghosts, other mythical heroes such as Hercules, Osirus, Santa and the other so called 'false' gods in the bible. I ask this because the rational put in to believing in religion is the same in believing in the above. Therefore IF you believe in a god rational would state that these other things should have or do exist.
G

What kind of rationale is that? So then there is no chance that Orion/Hercules/Samson was based on a real person? There is no chance that any of it is real unless Santa Claus is? BTW, there was a St. Nicholas who helped children. I guess I have to believe in Peter Pumpkinhead then, cuz I do believe in the spiritual realm. If that's what you want to believe, go ahead.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 03:48 PM
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Kits,BG, Spamandham,et al,

What you are all missing is that believing in the Christian message and accepting it is contrary to all that the Ego is all about. The message of the Gospel is not "just believe and everything is going to be o.k."; rather it is choosing to deny yourself, ie your ego in deference to the will of God and the love for your Christian brothers and sisters and reaching out to those who either don't understand or have not heard the message.

...And even the message itself is confused and misrepresengted by those who are enemies of the Cross of Christ. But the message is very simple to hear and impossible for the "natural Man" to understand, much less accept. Unless God reveals Himself to the non-believers heart and gives that person the wisdom to understand, they can not. How does God reveal Himself to the sincere seeker of truth? By that person asking that He do so.

But it is such a hard thing to accept the premise that all you have ever believed is wrong and that without God's forgiveness for our sins through the work and grace of Jesus Christ, that many never will and most won't even consider the possibility of the truth of it.

Jesus said that following Him involved sacrifice and discipline and it surely does; even most Christians are far from where they think they should be in the walk with their Lord, including myself. There is no perfection this side of heaven ; there is just forgiveness and the grace of God that picks us up when we fall and carries us when we can no longer stand.

So many people have either been brought up to believe or have come to believe themselves that Christianity is either all about the fear of death
or the adopting of a philosophy that allows them to feel superior to those who deny the existence of God or the need for a Savior. But the Gospel is not about escaping death or moral superiority it is about the surrender of self and the acceptance that we are powerless over sin and death. It is about God actually and literally revealing Himself to the person who says in his heart,"If this is really true then I am in desperate trouble and want what God wants for me;so, God if you are real and the message of the Gospel is true, I ask you to make it real to me."

Grace and peace to you all,

LS



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 04:40 PM
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Lightseeker, in my case, it is not that I missed that, I agree. I admire those who aspire to live as Jesus did. His example of selflessness, unconditional love, wisdom, and kindness is eternal. I was 7 or 8 when I found that Jesus' message was close to my heart. It is too bad that there are many who claim to follow his example while at the same time talking and acting completely at odds with it. It is by no means a Christian trait. Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc. can be just the same. But, I support anyone who is sincere in there search for growth. Possibly the most ego-less people I have ever met happened to be Muslim. They set a sterling example of what a religious person can be. And Gandhi is a hero of mine, whom I consider very selfless.
The Dalai Lama is one more. His self effacing, joyful manner is inspirational. So, I support you in your quest. I too seek growth and a better world.



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