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Why do people still believe in Religion?

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posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 12:51 PM
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When it is so obvious that Religions today are mechanisms of cultural wars instead of paths to liberation and enlightenment or social mechanisms of survival, then why do so many people still believe that their religion or God is true?

Speaking as a mystic who has explored several major religious systems, I find beauty and wonder in the literature and stories. However, this all appears to be lost on the masses. It's no wonder that secret societies were created to guard the real secret teachings people have recevied over the ages. Mainly because humans are largely just meat puppets driven by biological, psychological, and percieved needs.

Why must people believe in some sort of higher good, or evil for that matter in order to deal with their world? Why must there be a God or Devil behind occult or new age experiements? It's as if belief in God was the first "perceived" conspiracy.

"Tom, you see that flash of fire come from the sky?"

"Yeah Bob, wow... there *must* be something behind that"

So instead of saying "let's figure it out, and seperate our own desires of what we would like to find from what is actually there" They say... "Must be a God behind that"

Now I'm not lambasting this natural process of saying "Here there be Dragons" when mapping out ones world and running into the unknown, I'm just saying why do we as mature adults still believe this BS?

When will we learn that God is a cultural identifier we use to describe everything out of our control or mysterious? I'm not saying we should get rid of Santa, just realize what he "represents" and that those who still believe in him are mistaken if they take it too literaly.

[edit on 6-1-2008 by Quazga]




posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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I believe in god... just in case there is a heaven. Only joking.

Faith is very powerful and some people, well most people, need faith just to get through the day.

Religon is just different sets of moral codes. I'm happy with my morals so I don't need some one to tell me whats right or wrong.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by gingern
I believe in god... just in case there is a heaven. Only joking.

Faith is very powerful and some people, well most people, need faith just to get through the day.

Religon is just different sets of moral codes. I'm happy with my morals so I don't need some one to tell me whats right or wrong.



Thanks for the reply.

Thats my point though. Why do people "need faith" to get through the day? That's like "needing Prozac" to get through the day. What kind of society are we if we continue to allow the paranoic to dictate collective reality? If my kid had a dependence on something that he "needed to get through the day" I'd be the first in line to show him how he can rely on himself and the tons of possibilities in this world as a true way to maintain an optimistic view point as opposed to requiring a mythical God to do so.

Now, I'm also the first one to use religious texts as a means to that end. Don't take this as atheistic, I'm well beyond that perspective. I have my beliefs as well, but I realize how non-concrete that which I believe in actually is. I use the religious texts to show my son how others have interpreted the same experiences he has had and what they said about them, and what forces influenced their perspectives.

The best thing is reading Godel, Escher, Bach which shows via logic how all meaning is interpreted. This is by far the most liberating mental experience one could ever have. Primarily because it shows that no one is beholden to anothers interpretation of something. Because in the end... all meaning is subjective.


[edit on 6-1-2008 by Quazga]



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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I think, if we are honest, we all need something to get us throuh the day.

It seems the weaker the mind the more people become dependant and they, I'm affraid, are who the cults work on.

What I can't understand is who are the weak and who are the strong. Now the Pope is quite clearly a very clever man and me, well I'm not not going to remembered for much, so who is right me or him?



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Quazga
 


I think that nearly everyone has a belief system. Whether your god is yourself, science, or the Judeo Christian God, most people have a belief system that defines their world. Too often, people use the word “religion” to describe which ever faction of Christianity to which they are referring.

From aliens to Allah, to pure science, people need to define what is in charge of the world in which they live. I believe that everyone should be allowed to make this journey on their own. Too often, I see people castigating others because they don’t understand what the other person is living.

I refuse to jump on the bandwagon of belittling another’s belief system to justify my own. What you believe is based totally on your own experience. No one’s life is experience is the same as yours.

You ask the question: Why do people still believe in Religion?

My answer: That is where their life journey has taken them.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:38 PM
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I think that some people cope better than others with daily stresses and their lives and some people need something else, something outside to boost them, in order to be happy. A lot of people choose religion as that outside boost. I am not religious by any means...supposedly I'm Catholic but I was never confirmed. Honestly I think religion is a bunch of bull crap. I sit in religion class and listen to the priest ramble on about happenings in the Bible and how God is all powerful, but that stuff just doesn't work for me. It's like people using or addicted to drugs...drugs take you away and make you free even if it is for a limited amount of time. So you can either get high on drugs, or high on Jesus.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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Faith is not necessarily a crutch for the weak. The study of apologetics, for instance, systemically approaches the existence of God (specifically the Judeo-Christian God) on an intellectual level. It provides evidence for the basis of our faith.

As for other religions, I'll hold back my opinion for now but I do believe there was a single primordial belief in the one true God at one time and the facts later became distorted over the ages. It's obvious by my avatar what I believe that one truth is.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 03:58 PM
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I am reminded of the Burt Reynolds film when he is trying to kill himself. He sets off on a swim out in the bay, as he begins to flounder, he states, 'God, I'll give 90 percent of everything if I can make it to shore'. He swims back half the way and says 'God, I'll give back 50 percent of everything I own if I make it', and so forth. He makes it to shore and says 'shoot, I'd have made it anyway'. The things that have happened in peoples lives, including mine, that cannot be explained away as anything but a 'Big Kahuna' is a blessing. My apologies to anyone who has not been touched.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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The real question is why do people still reject God?

well the answer is simple. Our Planet is disconnected from the universe.

Those that believe they fly through the universe are actually just flying through their own minds.

They are just putting their will over the will of the creator.

This is the reason why our planet is disconnected.

It is the responcability for every created being to search out the truth.

If they would rather, by the creation of their will, believe otherwise, well that's on them.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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Although I agree with their right to believe in a God as they understand it, I myself have long given up on the idea of a single, triune God. As I understand it, Paganism was around long before any of the major Religions started appearing. And I am not a perfect pagan by any stretch of the imagination, I am more comfortable with that belief system than I am with the idea of one God as practiced by Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the otherreligions.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 05:25 PM
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That is all good WC. I'm sure God would not be offended in finding ultimate beauty and oness in a tree or in a box with a crucifix. The knowing and thankfullness to the Creator is all he/she/it asks.

[edit on 6-1-2008 by jpm1602]



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 05:42 PM
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Personally, I find the "religion" mankind has built upon the new teachings here on earth to be less helpful. I've not found one religion that was better in understanding of "the truth" then another. Though they'd all like to lay claim to being "the real church".

Really, the only thing anyone has to do is accept that all of everything known and unknown to mankind has a singular source and center and that is Our Fatherly creator of all God.

"God" is really our father. God rejects NONE. However, it is the child of God that rejects the father.

Just like in your family home, if you reject the father of the household, it's time to pack your bags and move out. Unfortunally, there is no "out" to move to, for the household of our father the creator God is all there is.

So therefore, it's likened more to living in a kingdom. If you reject Our Father, you'll no longer be welcome into the kingdom and you'll be put out where you'll quickly meet your demise.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 05:53 PM
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But the Lord will smote his best lamb and cow, and put on an incredible feast for the returning prodigal son. In spite of his 'good' son's continuous faithfulness.
Interesting to say the least.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:09 PM
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I believe in God.

It has little to nothing to do with having a weak mind. It has to do with having a spiritual connection. When a person chooses to accept God as their Lord and Savior, it changes them. It changes their heart and the way they perceive life, other people and the things around them. It's a feeling of connection...a connection we are all born with and what we are/were created for. It changes our soul and reconnects us to God. God did not create us to be mindless meat packages, he created us to be a part of his family. He gives us that choice though to accept him or reject him. When you accept him, you become a part of that family. When you reject him, he can't help you. He can't help someone that refuses to believe in him. He has made our salvation as simple as possible for us. All we have to do is accept and believe. God is perfect, but he knows we are not perfect and he knows we can never be perfect (on this earth) and he doesn't expect us to be. He only expects us to try...even if we fail (which we do, miserably), he still accepts us and loves us as his children...even more so than we love and care for our own children.

Why do people still believe in God?

Love and faith. It's better to die in love and faith than to pass from this world with no hope.

Someday we will all face God (whether you believe it or not) and I know I will not have to try to explain to him why I thought he didn't exist.

Marilyn~



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by gingern
I think, if we are honest, we all need something to get us throuh the day.

It seems the weaker the mind the more people become dependant and they, I'm affraid, are who the cults work on.

What I can't understand is who are the weak and who are the strong. Now the Pope is quite clearly a very clever man and me, well I'm not not going to remembered for much, so who is right me or him?



I have to agree, it is a normal human experience to need something to get one through the night, and to refrain from "teaching men to fish" is how some religions perpetuate themselves.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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You can learn to fish without a god. Can your soul learn flourish without God? I know this is getting deep, I generally attempt to stay out of these discussions.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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I have read alot of threads relating to religion in the last number of months and to be honest im always a little concerned about getting involved because of the deep feelings it brings out in people. However ....

People have always believed in a higher power. This goes back to the earliest pagan cultures and has continued all the way up to the present day Scientology et all.

I dont know if I have an answer for why people need to have a belief in a religion, but I think that subconsciously people need to believe that the infinitesimal spec of time that our lives represent in the grand scheme of history is not the sum total of what we can ever hope to be. Without that belief that death is not the end I believe that apathy would talk a hold of a large portion of society. Belief in a higher power gives people hope that are immortal. That they die but live on in blissful happiness etc...

I was a very religious person in my youth but this was a result of the influences of others, teachers priests parents. The belief was that if you are good you believe in all these things ... and I was a very good boy
It was only in later life when I was no longer blindly believing what I was told and allowed to formulate my own ideas that I changed my perception of things. However it is not easy to unravel years of, what I call, programming and allow yourself the freedom of self expression and thought. There are still many silly things that make me uncomfortable and this stems directly from what I used to believe in. This difficulty in moving away from things that are so deeply ingrained in people is what I believe makes people settle into a comfort zone and go with their theological flow as it were.

I was brought up catholic (live in Ireland so no great surprise there) and there are many things to be admired about religion in the sense of their moral teachings, honor your parents, do not steal / kill etc ... The world would be a very good place if we took religion out of the 10 commandants.

So my ramblings aside to get back to the question at hand, I believe that we will not be able to completely move ourselves away from religion because of the hope it brings people. The alternative of death and VOID is not nearly as appealing to everlasting happiness is it. Maybe if the alternative belief system has 2-4k years to permeate into societies subconscious we might then be able to let go.

[edit on 6-1-2008 by Deitrim]



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by Marilyn
I believe in God.

It has little to nothing to do with having a weak mind. It has to do with having a spiritual connection. When a person chooses to accept God as their Lord and Savior, it changes them. It changes their heart and the way they perceive life, other people and the things around them. It's a feeling of connection...a connection we are all born with and what we are/were created for. It changes our soul and reconnects us to God. God did not create us to be mindless meat packages, he created us to be a part of his family. He gives us that choice though to accept him or reject him. When you accept him, you become a part of that family. When you reject him, he can't help you. He can't help someone that refuses to believe in him. He has made our salvation as simple as possible for us. All we have to do is accept and believe. God is perfect, but he knows we are not perfect and he knows we can never be perfect (on this earth) and he doesn't expect us to be. He only expects us to try...even if we fail (which we do, miserably), he still accepts us and loves us as his children...even more so than we love and care for our own children.

Why do people still believe in God?

Love and faith. It's better to die in love and faith than to pass from this world with no hope.

Someday we will all face God (whether you believe it or not) and I know I will not have to try to explain to him why I thought he didn't exist.

Marilyn~



First I want to thank you for your well thought out response. I would caution though that the title is not "Why do people still believe in God?" But "Why do people still believe in religion". God, as described by religions, is much bigger and mysterious than any one religion. So much so that to attempt to describe God in any specific manner would be as carving out a graven image. Leave the image of God to the one who believes in him, for truly God is many different things to many different people. Which is why I pose my question, and in doing so elaborate, "Why do people still believe in religion, when those who practice it claim to know the truth, yet they all disagree?"

Believing in God, is quite different from Believing in Religion. I have beliefs about God which I am sure are no where near what your beliefs in God are. Yet oddly enough, we could probably agree on general concepts about God. Still, Believing in a Religion is quite a different concept altogether. Now you accept a creed, a political stance and create narratives which convince and inspire Still they are more often used to control and manipulate than they are to enlighten and liberate. Thus, the need for religion is one of spiritual dependence, and obsolete.


[edit on 6-1-2008 by Quazga]

[edit on 6-1-2008 by Quazga]

[edit on 6-1-2008 by Quazga]



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:39 PM
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From one good altar boy to another Deitrim, I concur with your convictions. All religion is not without problem or predjudice. Not losing sight of the prize, priceless.



posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by Deitrim
I have read alot of threads relating to religion in the last number of months and to be honest im always a little concerned about getting involved because of the deep feelings it brings out in people. However ....

People have always believed in a higher power. This goes back to the earliest pagan cultures and has continued all the way up to the present day Scientology et all.

I dont know if I have an answer for why people need to have a belief in a god, but I think that subconsciously people need to believe that the infinitesimal spec of time that our lives represent in the grand scheme of history is not the sum total of what we can ever hope to be. Without that belief that death is not the end I believe that apathy would talk a hold of a large portion of society. Belief in a higher power gives people hope that are immortal. That they die but live on in blissful happiness etc...

I was a very religious person in my youth but this was a result of the influences of others, teachers priests parents. The belief was that if you are good you believe in all these things ... and I was a very good boy
It was only in later life when I was no longer blindly believing what I was told and allowed to formulate my own ideas that I changed my perception of things. However it is not easy to unravel years of, what I call, programming and allow yourself the freedom of self expression and thought. There are still many silly things that make me uncomfortable and this stems directly from what I used to believe in. This difficulty in moving away from things that are so deeply ingrained in people is what I believe makes people settle into a comfort zone and go with their theological flow as it were.

I was brought up catholic (live in Ireland so no great surprise there) and there are many things to be admired about religion in the sense of their moral teachings, honor your parents, do not steal / kill etc ... The world would be a very good place if we took religion out of the 10 commandants.

So my ramblings aside to get back to the question at hand, I believe that we will not be able to completely move ourselves away from the idea of a higher power because of the hope it brings people. The alternative of death and VOID is not nearly as appealing to everlasting happiness is it. Maybe if the alternative belief system has 2-4k years to permeate into societies subconscious we might then be able to let go.



You are quite possibly the closest on this thread that Identify with. I'm right there with you. I've been across the abyss and found Void myself. And the imprinting that religions cause is indeed like programming that has to be redone. Yet there are hacks ;-) My question though is why do people see this as such a dichotomy?

Personally I think it's very easy to say "All meaning is interpreted, yet I'm having a helluva time!" Even when your personal narrative looks bleak, even though you realize your subjective reality is one of pure illusion, predicated on the I as individual, one doesn't really spiritualy mature until you can integrate all of it. Which is the one thing that is so specifically contrary to most Religions. Integration of all truths, is not something they are keen on. There are some which encourage this, to which I applaud. But unfortunately, there are not many.



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