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God: more easily found than lost?

  1. Apr 19, 2005 #1
    Why does it seem that more people eventually achieve theism than atheism? Is there any reliable test of religious belief other than the word of the individual? How do we determine the faith of young children regarding whether or not there exists a God?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2005 #2


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    Don't get me going on this. I am very disturbed by the fact that children are exposed to these ideas during formative years. I was, and though I never accepted it (unlike my siblings) the effect on me will last throughout my life. People should investigate religion on their own if they choose, and at a time of their own choosing.

    Even then, one is told to fast and pray in sincere desire to feel the spirit. So following this peer pressure and need to be accepted, one can starve themselves and then put themselves into a meditative trance, and I suppose they will be more predisposed to the suggested feeling. But the bottom line is that it is human nature to seek understanding of the world. Superstition is the result of this desire but when there is no real/known answer.

    Ideas of a God, after-life, and justice to all the people who are bad to us is very appealing. And just as people get into horoscopes, or other similar things, why not pray each day and ask for guidance, and go to church and have others reinforce this further? This is much more reassuring than facing each day on your own in a rational way. You will note a correlation between bad/fearful times (nuclear war, the Depression, terrorism, etc.) and an increase in religion, or for that matter also gambling.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2005
  4. Apr 19, 2005 #3


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    Religion is gambling, just with higher stakes. Excellent analysis, by the way. :smile:
  5. Apr 19, 2005 #4
    I believe that those who can moderate themselves during good times, and practice selflessness during bad times, have a most realistic outlook on God (or the mysteries of the physical universe in general). Personally, I happen to vacillate between pride and shame, with some joy, peace and happiness midway.

    My guess is that those in pious rapture would display a PET scan similar to that of physicists engrossed in an "elegant" theory. Have you heard of a respected scientist who claims to have proved or disproved God?
  6. Apr 19, 2005 #5


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    Studies have shown that humans have some gene that sort makes them believe in a higher power or God.

    You should search for it.

    It was an article in a magazine... called God Genes or something along those line. That's all I can tell you.
  7. Apr 19, 2005 #6
    Descartes claimed to have found a proof for God back in his day, but it was later discredited. Other then that most serious scientists do not go about claiming proving or disproving God because God is a matter of faith, which puts it by definition outside the realms of science.
    As for people converting more heavily towards one or the other, I don't know where you got your original fact but I personally would argue the opposite based on the people I know. But then you tend to associate more with people who share your own worldview (not universal by any means, but in general it's been known to happen) so if you believe in God you're more likely to have friends who do and vice versa.
  8. Apr 19, 2005 #7
    I do recall reading an article about a region of the brain which was more active during devout practice.
  9. Apr 19, 2005 #8
    Some of the inhibitors maybe?
  10. Apr 20, 2005 #9
    If you need a god, you will find one. If you don't, you won't.
    If you don't need one anymore, you will probably keep him around as a conversation piece. :)
  11. Apr 20, 2005 #10
    Hmm, I could use a conversation peice, my friends are getting worried about how I talk to myself all the time. I could talk to god instead, maybe this god thing ain't so bad after all.
  12. Apr 20, 2005 #11


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    You talk to yourself?

    I'm a little worried myself.
  13. Apr 20, 2005 #12
    Yeah, several times a day. not just criticizing myself or thinking outloud either. Just the other night I was laying in bed, thinking about something and then I started talking to myself about it. And before I knew it I was actually pacing back and forth in my room, talking to myself.
  14. Apr 20, 2005 #13
    I usually think that when people become atheist, they are becoming atheist because of a eotionally depressing experience which made those individuals give up the idea of god.

    Well, at least thats how i became atheist.
  15. Apr 20, 2005 #14

    Its not that more people discover theism. Its simply that people who become atheist tend not to make a parade of themselves.
  16. Apr 22, 2005 #15


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    I would say it's the other way around. People in Canada and the US used to be insanely religious. They were so religious that the Beatles were banned on a lot of radio stations after they claimed to be bigger than Jesus.
    Since that time, religion has steadily decreased in Canada and the US in areas where people are not totally retarded.

    FYI, that's not a shot at religion; it's a shot at the south.
  17. Apr 22, 2005 #16


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    Well, God is a very forgiving entity. Were she less tolerant, we would occasionally awaken to find our nose had been replaced by a tail.
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