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Relious Belief vs Evidence

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posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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This is a question, not an attack or condemnation of any religious belief system.

For those of you who adhere to a religion,

"Has there ever been a time when evidence, scientific or otherwise has caused your belief system to change?"

I am not simply asking if it made you lose ALL faith in your God(s), (though if it did, feel free to say so), I am interested in how someone deals psychologically and philosophically with evidence that conflicts with their existing beliefs, particularly deeply held beliefs such as in a God.

For example, do you interweave the evidence into your belief system, by accepting the evidence and adjusting your belief system a bit? Reject the evidence entirely? Or does it cause a lack of faith?

I know religion is a touchy subject, but please try to keep the discussion philosophical and civil.




posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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Well, I can think of a number of times.
The first thing that I can think of is when I discovered that death occurs slowly, when every single cell that makes up your body dies for one reason or another. Also, comas and things... death is not very clear-cut. I'm not sure exactly why that makes me doubt religion, but it seems like if we die in that manner, and other organisms die in the same manner, then somehow heaven and hell become impossible.



posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


So, and correct me if I am wrong, for you evidence you see causes doubt in the belief as a whole? Or do you modify your belief to incorporate the evidence by saying something like, "Well I still believe in a divine, but maybe it doesnt happen exactly as I was taught?"



posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 09:40 PM
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My god is not knowing...

I dont need to know thats my god..

I cant trust anything other than what i can see.. and think about in that respect..

I deal with 2 aspects of "life.. on is physical.. going the shops for food!

the other is "why do i bother"... ; P

Point in being is that i cant prove or not prove god.. just like the rest of the planet we aint got a clue.. or we would know!! wouldnt we?

anyway

I think both are related in a big way "god" and the "poof" of something els...

we was created.. its kinda that simple by what? " i aint got a clue"...

I like it that way



posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 

My first doubts, at a very young age, had nothing to do with the scientific case against Christian belief. They were engendered by the lyric of a hymn I had to sing as a boy soprano in our school choir

Father of Jesus, love's reward, what rapture it must be
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie and gaze and gaze on thee


Singing that, I found myself thinking, How awful to have to spend Eternity just staring and gazing. Heaven is boring.

Meanwhile, of course, one was being constantly exposed to the moral contradictions of Christianity. Together with the obvious, transparent lies told by priests and other committed religious types to justify and advertise their favourite fairy tale, this had a far more discouraging effect on my faith than any scientific argument.



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Meanwhile, of course, one was being constantly exposed to the moral contradictions of Christianity. Together with the obvious, transparent lies told by priests and other committed religious types to justify and advertise their favourite fairy tale, this had a far more discouraging effect on my faith than any scientific argument.


Interesting. So for you, evidence came in the form of small contradictions adding up over time to a case against what you were told was a literal truth.


Did it stop you from having religious or spiritual beliefs altogether? Or do you retain religious convictions and just reject the dogma?



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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reply to post by theresult
 


So you reject belief altogether. Was this always the case? Or did what you saw in the world over time lead you to the conclusion that truth cannot be known and your comfort with "knowing you dont know?"



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
reply to post by theresult
 


So you reject belief altogether. Was this always the case? Or did what you saw in the world over time lead you to the conclusion that truth cannot be known and your comfort with "knowing you dont know?"


Well i was born in a family of god "ie bible".. i didnt know what god was tho hes was kinda like my dad i guess.. he ruled my bieng "as in human aspects".. but then i found math.. and god and math do not like each other alot...

Im happy not asking the question.. becouse i used math alot i found out the question of god is a patten its infinity.. so why bother asking??

try to understand the next level of this we are in "logical and odd" its both the same thing..

Every time we ask a question it leads to infinity... to understand first is better..

Its like we all know the answer to our question we just never bother to ask.

are we alive... = yes

how = infinity

something made us ... No matter what anyone thinks we was created or put here for whatever reason

Math says "creation" loops. or reflects on itself.. this is true..

Be saying i dont wish to ask a question i will never get the answer to is logical..

1 vs 2

I like being alive and i wish we would all think that way becouse that is the question

Do you wish to be alive...

I do..

NO matter what the cost..



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Did it stop you from having religious or spiritual beliefs altogether? Or do you retain religious convictions and just reject the dogma?

It set me on a curve that is probably followed by many people who move from initially strong religious faith to disbelief. What put me off, at first, was the hypocrisy one could discern in orthodox, worldly religion (Anglicanism in my case). My school had a society known as the Student Christian Movement, which at the time was being slowly taken over by those of an evangelical bent. This seemed to offer a 'purer' version of Christianity, so I had a go. It didn't last long for me: the hypocrisy still seemed to be there, along with a larger helping of self-deception. The greater fervency didn't work for me - I'm not a great one for doing things in crowds, especially hysterical crowds. For that kind of thing I prefer a rock concert. So I'd had it with Christianity, but still proclaimed a belief in a higher power. I investigated Buddhism and Hinduism, both of which flourish in my country. I found a lot of wisdom of an ethical or psychological variety, but neither of them was persuasive in terms of making me into a believer. Islam was a non-starter. For a while I wasn't much of anything, though I find the term 'agnostic' rather meaningless. I finally ended up something of a Taoist, because Taoism seems to me to illustrate a self-evident truth about everything, which can be summed up in a sentence: timing is all. But there's very little faith involved.

Meanwhile, I was getting a scientific education. The more I learned, the more amazing the world and life seemed to me: the idea that a simple set of rules, programmes if you like - the great equations that specify the relations between time, space, matter and energy, with their all-important universal constants; the sublime priniciple of natural selection - could create this magnificent, self-sustaining yet constantly changing, almost infinite variety. Science and scientists get a lot of stick on this forum, portrayed usually as soulless mechanics, but the truth is that any scientist worth his subscription to Nature knows that there is a level beyond which we cannot go in knowing the universe; a fundamental limit to our understanding that is defined by the parameters of humanity itself - because we are the way we are, we can only understand so much, and only in a certain way. Why do we have these laws, these constants, and no others? Why is the world the way it is, and not some other way, or not there at all? What is everything actualy made of? Is there a point to it all, and if so, what is it? These are questions that will probably never be answered. And as long as human beings demand answers to them - answers they can comprehend and embrace - so long will religious doctrines and religious faith hold their fascination for humankind. But for me, the wonder of it all is quite sufficient. I don't need anything else to worship: I worship the universe as it is, and glory in it and embrace it and make love to it, and know myself to be intimately of it as well as in it. You're a philosopher; you'll recognize traces of Spinoza in what I'm telling you. I only wish I had read him better.

Many a Christian (and I speak here of Christians because I used to be one myself) would see the object of my worship as one more deserving of hatred and contempt. They are persuaded to be in the world but not of it, as Jesus himself was according to John 17. Of the three great sources of temptation, it is the first-named: 'the world, the flesh and the Devil'. Renunciation is agreed to be a virtue, though nowadays we make medical excuses rather than religious ones for indulging in it.

Yet to them I would say: don't forget your God is said to love the world too. Love it so much, we're told, he once had himself born into it.



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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I have always been open minded for people from all religions anyway but a few years back i saw a a craft not made by our technology. I dont like using ufo becasue any craft i cant idetify falls into this category.

It moved too fast and stopped sharp and suddenly to be anything remotely like ours.

It just strengthened my hope in humanity

I kindly see every religion as a codec to the physcial plain.

Just like martial arts I wont stop and argue about which style is the best.

whether you do kung fu or Karate the importance is placed on the physical manifestation of a punch. What ever style anyone does its appllication of helping someone smaller that counts.

When someone brings up what the best religion is, same thing.

There is a section is the book of Islam, Judasium and Christianity that says we are alocated 2 angels for our deeds and an extra one for our actions



I have had some past life readings. only secondary information to me but still I was said to have walked with kings and pharoes, been as a knight level as support each time.

To hold unconditional kindness in my time of being in respect to my immediate environment. some thing anyone from anywhere can understand
hehee Im from the U.K. so it fits well,lol



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
For those of you who adhere to a religion,


I don't follow religion, per se. i'm deeply spiritual. I like all religions though, and there basic common message. I've followed 3 different religions in my life, Christianity, Islam & Buddhism. I can relate to your topic though, :-) .



"Has there ever been a time when evidence, scientific or otherwise has caused your belief system to change?"


As i'm not bound by strict concepts, my own beliefs have been challenged recently, and it upset me personally.

I have beleived in Jesus, having lived, and was a very important person. When i watch Zeitgeist, in which the Horus connection was made, it seemed compelling, and it greatly challenged my views. It was a very interesting 72 hours after that, hehe. I challenged the film anyhow, by my own research, and i know part 1 is inaccurate in what it alludes to on many things. It did initially shake me though.



I am not simply asking if it made you lose ALL faith in your God(s), (though if it did, feel free to say so), I am interested in how someone deals psychologically and philosophically with evidence that conflicts with their existing beliefs, particularly deeply held beliefs such as in a God.


At one point, i was took in by the film. I beleived that Jesus never lived. that it was all based on Horus. This never changed my beleif in God, in the divine. This creative force exists independant of religion, or science, or even belief. It was in existence long before we ever came to be.

To answer your question, the way i dealt with it all, was to go find out for myself. To not take anyones word for it, :-) .



For example, do you interweave the evidence into your belief system, by accepting the evidence and adjusting your belief system a bit? Reject the evidence entirely? Or does it cause a lack of faith?


I would interweave it into my own spirituality, if it stood up to scrutiny.


take care
Wayne

[edit on 11-1-2009 by reiki]

[edit on 11-1-2009 by reiki]



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Science and scientists get a lot of stick on this forum, portrayed usually as soulless mechanics, but the truth is that any scientist worth his subscription to Nature knows that there is a level beyond which we cannot go in knowing the universe; a fundamental limit to our understanding that is defined by the parameters of humanity itself - because we are the way we are, we can only understand so much, and only in a certain way.


That is so true. Some scientists and science aficionados overstep this bound, and then the lot of us get lumped in. Philosophy too is this way. All the way back to Plato you hear him complaining that the crappy philosophers gave the true philosophers a bad name.




Originally posted by Astyanax
You're a philosopher; you'll recognize traces of Spinoza in what I'm telling you. I only wish I had read him better.


Yes, and he is one of the philosophers I really enjoy. He does, however, make some formidable reading at times. While his argument is a good one, it is not the most exciting read. Thank you for that answer. It was very thoughtful and helpful.



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by waterboatman
 


So, did your seeing the craft change your feelings about your old belief system? Or did you already have a rather open and unconventional way of viewing things?

If the second, do you come from a family that has very flexible beliefs? Or are your own in sharp contrast to a more conventional family belief system?



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by reiki


To answer your question, the way i dealt with it all, was to go find out for myself. To not take anyones word for it, :-) .


So for you, evidence is an important deciding factor in your belief system, but you are very cautious about what you will consider evidence.



Originally posted by reiki
I would interweave it into my own spirituality, if it stood up to scrutiny.



For the part of your spirituality that is a constant, that part that would be the constant that would hold all the other elements that may or may not change in the face of evidence you might discover, is it something you have concrete materialistic evidence for? Or does it arise from a less tangible, (but not necessarily less valid) internal intuitive knowing that there is something Divine?

And thank you also for taking the time. I am very impressed with the quality of answers you all are giving.



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Illusions - I'm wondering about your question

is it directed specifically towards people who believe in an established religion - or did believe at one time?

I think this is very interesting - I hope you get more responses



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
So for you, evidence is an important deciding factor in your belief system, but you are very cautious about what you will consider evidence.


yeah, this is true, it's not enough to read something, and faith on it's own definitely doesn't come into it. I have to expereince something. Something tangible.



For the part of your spirituality that is a constant, that part that would be the constant that would hold all the other elements that may or may not change in the face of evidence you might discover, is it something you have concrete materialistic evidence for?


I do for sure, :-). And this is the thing with spirituality, (should be with religion also) i can speak about it, even somewhat academically show it, but it can only be truely 'proven' if it's experienced. :-) .

What proved it for me was Reiki. If i placed my hands on another pre-Reiki training, not much would have happened. Immediately after my level 1 initiation, things were much different. This is the kicker....Reiki is not liek faith healing. A persson does isn't required to beleive in anything spiritual, for Reiki to be felt, and work.

This goes deep into Reiki training, but, certain esoteric Japanese symbols are placed within another energetically. One symbol in particular represents, and invokes, our most divine aspect within us. It is this interact of the divine, that materialises as Reiki.

So yeah, every single day i physcially experience the divine. We all have the ability within us, most just need a little kick-start. The concrete materialistic evidence for me, initially, was within 21 days, i had beat a long term, very severe coc aine addiction. This was a major thing, as i was ready for suicide at that point. All my little faults, and silly ways of being, slowly have disappeared. I became more happy daily, and felt much more connected to all.




Or does it arise from a less tangible, (but not necessarily less valid) internal intuitive knowing that there is something Divine?


Through my daily expereinces, and witnessing the way Reiki has enabled others to elevate their own lives, it does follow i also have formed an intuitive knowing. Like any worthwhile thing in spirituality/Religion, it has to be expereinced also though, :-).

This is where much of Religion has went astray, imo. too much academic, or simply going through the motions of worship. This is largely external work. Internallyis where the divine is closest to us, and internal work is what a member of religion needs also.



And thank you also for taking the time. I am very impressed with the quality of answers you all are giving.


It's a pleasure. BTW, are you doing this for some philosophical reason?

take care
Wayne



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:54 AM
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After reading these posts i feel a little sad that it it what MAN says and does that discourages people and weakens thier faith.

Faith should come from a relationship with God and it is on a one to one basis. If you know that God is real don't be discouraged by what others say or do.
Im my church i see so many people who act ungodly, it scares me sometimes, but i know that God is real. I just don't understand sometimes.



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis


is it directed specifically towards people who believe in an established religion - or did believe at one time?


It could be either, those who currently believe in an established religion, or those who used to and gave it up. It could also be those raised atheist and now believe something different.

I am really trying to see how people deal with evidence (scientific or personal observation) that contradicts their established belief system. In truth, it doesnt matter if the established belief is religious or not, but in my experience religious belief is generally rather rigid and heavily reinforced by family and friends and so makes a good subject to examine. It could however be a long standing belief in a political ideology, or in a conspiracy theory, so anyone who fits into the category of believing one thing for a long time and then having to deal with contradictory evidence fits into the category I am hoping to gain insight into.



[edit on 12-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by reiki

It's a pleasure. BTW, are you doing this for some philosophical reason?



Yes, I am trying to understand how belief is formed, and what factors carry the most weight for most people. (I know it will not be the same for everyone)

Most of us believe things, but we are not always sure why we do. I am trying, by targeting people whose belief systems have been challenged, to look at the process itself without taking a stand on either the original belief or the validity of the evidence. I have had beliefs change as well, but it isnt always as easy to see the process objectively in yourself. When it is you, it just makes perfect sense that you did it, otherwise you wouldnt have. I am hoping that by looking at the process in others, where I have no personal investment in the belief or evidence, I can see what factors influence people most, (tradition, evidence, stability, socialization, etc) or, conversely, find out that there may be no real pattern at all but rather that it is very unique to each person.



posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by jon1
After reading these posts i feel a little sad that it it what MAN says and does that discourages people and weakens thier faith.


Actually, what I am hearing so far is NOT that people lose faith because of another persons word, but that the word of another person alone is not sufficient grounds for faith in those that have so far responded.

For instance, in someone who has learned about God (or whatever they choose to call the Divine) in a church, they have learned it from other people, not God himself. So what it seems to me some here are saying is that one persons word that something is true, can be contradicted by another persons word, or (more significantly), by that person saying one thing and doing another.


Originally posted by jon1
Faith should come from a relationship with God and it is on a one to one basis. If you know that God is real don't be discouraged by what others say or do.


So far, it seems to me that this is what many so far are saying, that they want one on one, or first hand knowledge upon which to build their faith. Not merely second hand belief offered by someone whose words and actions are contradictory, (which indicates that their own belief is shaky) I am hearing so far that some will initially accept on faith what someone says, but that in many of the respondents that they continue watching and looking for more evidence to satisfy themselves that their belief is a justified one.

For example, if I tell you I believe that jumping off a tall building will kill you, and you then see me repeatedly jumping off a tall building, you will have grounds for suspecting I do not really believe what I told YOU to believe. But if I, and many others, tell you jumping off a tall building will kill you, and none of us ever DO jump off a tall building, and those who do in fact end up dead, you have grounds for assuming we are telling you the truth, AND that we also believe what we say.

I myself have never jumped off a tall building, nor have I personally seen someone that has, however the fact that many people have told me that doing so will kill me, and the fact that no one who tells me not to then does it themselves lends credibility to the belief I hold. (As do reports and other evidence that those who do jump in fact do die or are gravely injured) Enough so that I do not question that particular belief.



Originally posted by jon1
Im my church i see so many people who act ungodly, it scares me sometimes, but i know that God is real. I just don't understand sometimes.


When you say it scares you sometimes, does it scare you for them? Or does it scare you because it makes you question your own faith? And, when you see someone saying they believe one thing, but doing the opposite, does that make you suspect that they do not really believe what they say?



[edit on 12-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]





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