Why do people believe in religion?

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I have not seen anything in any holly book including (Bible & Quran) that bears any evidence of a super being’s writing , secretes of the universe or even a plausible reason for creation, other then things like worship me for I am your lord (medieval kings like attitudes) … I am not saying that there is no creator or GOD of laws, but religion what’s up with religion/s? And why would GOD even create religions when he can just give us a self judging ever evolving brain?
 
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  • #2
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I've done a lot of thinking and speaking to other people asking them why they believe in their religion and really digging deep to see if I can find the root cause. I've come to the conclusion that most people who believe in some sort of God that they pray to, etc. think fundamentally different than I do. They have some extra feeling or some way of thinking that makes them believe which I don't possess. Whether they were born thinking this way or it was caused by their upbringing I've yet to determine.
 
  • #3
PerennialII
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The question often arising is whether the rationalization of belief & faith is overall the way to go, and if we choose to do so, do people (myself included) really act rationally by arriving at a negative result concerning the existence of some higher entity by using 'simple' logic. Good arguments do exist both ways but for the individual that is all there is (if we let some of the worst "fairytales" go at least).
 
  • #4
Icebreaker
Biologists say that our genes compels us to believe, in one for or another, of the supernatual (according to TIME). We are the only species that are aware of our inevitable death. To adapt, we've evolved to be spiritually inclined, i.e. believe in a God and afterlife. Makes sense to me.
 
  • #5
A sense of meaning

In most cases, religion gives a human a sense of meaning. People who are very scientific by nature might believe we are just spontaneous cases of entropy doing what it does, and we have no soul or exterior meaning. People who choose to be religious, or just believe in some type of creator, are seeking meaning. they would not be able to accept being without purpose or importance.
 
  • #6
arildno
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Icebreaker said:
Biologists say that our genes compels us to believe, in one for or another, of the supernatual (according to TIME). We are the only species that are aware of our inevitable death. To adapt, we've evolved to be spiritually inclined, i.e. believe in a God and afterlife. Makes sense to me.
Oh, really?
So I haven't got any genes, or what?
Or possibly, I'm not human.

In most cases, religion gives a human a sense of meaning. People who are very scientific by nature might believe we are just spontaneous cases of entropy doing what it does, and we have no soul or exterior meaning. People who choose to be religious, or just believe in some type of creator, are seeking meaning. they would not be able to accept being without purpose or importance.
Or perhaps, religiously inclined individuals are so conceited that they can't bear the thought that the universe couldn't care less about their existence.
 
  • #7
"Or perhaps, religiously inclined individuals are so conceited that they can't bear the thought that the universe couldn't care less about their existence."

These are the exact words that i was thinking, i just did not know how to say it.

i think some people just need religion to be able to carry on with their lives. if they had no strong belief, they would always be inquiring to the meaning of their existence, and would never get anything done. would you want a lawyer who is constantly wondering why they exist,and why their even defending you? In some ways religion just holds society together. the scientific community exists for this purpose. not everyone can be a scientist.
 
  • #8
Icebreaker
arildno said:
Oh, really?
So I haven't got any genes, or what?
Or possibly, I'm not human.

No, it's called supression and choice. Just like the fact that your genes compels you to have sex, whether you choose to, capable of, or not to.
 
  • #9
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This is a science forum, so let's go with the evolutionary response:

Some form of morality is necessary for any society to survive, prosper, and grow, but many societies fail to provide equitable morality for all of their citizens. This is a void that can lead to revolution and the violent overthrow of a government, or to the growth of religion, which is typically more peaceful. Religion is a different form of structure, a set of moral rules that tends to grow where individuals reject an unfair social system. It commonly tells individuals that justice will come in an afterlife, and tends to fill any void in a social structures' rules. It seeks to change an unfair system to a more equitable one, at least for the people it represents.
In evolutionary terms, it appears to be a reaction to unacceptable social pressures.

Please note that I am not judging the ethics or morality of any particular society.
 
  • #10
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Syncline said:
Some form of morality is necessary for any society to survive, prosper, and grow, but many societies fail to provide equitable morality for all of their citizens. This is a void that can lead to revolution and the violent overthrow of a government, or to the growth of religion, which is typically more peaceful. Religion is a different form of structure, a set of moral rules that tends to grow where individuals reject an unfair social system. It commonly tells individuals that justice will come in an afterlife, and tends to fill any void in a social structures' rules. It seeks to change an unfair system to a more equitable one, at least for the people it represents.
In evolutionary terms, it appears to be a reaction to unacceptable social pressures.
But religion, throughout history, is what usually caused the unfair social system, that caused wars, that caused oppression, that created hatred of anyone that didn't agree to "conform" to the religious beliefs and practices.
 
  • #11
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People with strong religion tend to band together and help each other. People without that religion can be elbowed out of the community. To avoid becoming a pariah, you had to adopt a mainstream religion. So people who were more amenable to adopting a religion tended to survive and produce more offspring. It's about social networking.
 
  • #12
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Bartholomew said:
People with strong religion tend to band together and help each other. People without that religion can be elbowed out of the community. To avoid becoming a pariah, you had to adopt a mainstream religion. So people who were more amenable to adopting a religion tended to survive and produce more offspring. It's about social networking.
and the fear of being killed off by the religious group if you don't conform.
 
  • #13
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We sense the energies of the Universe as we can, as we have evolved. Before there was Science, there was only us and the natural world. We, as a species were, and still are, incredibly inclined to project our needs, fears, desires, onto others. In the case of religion, we projected them onto the Universe at large. Clever and unscrupulous humans made whole societies out of these anthropomorphisms. I think the more we understand about how the Universe works, the closer we will be to a reasonable understanding of how we came to be, and how we will be. I think that until we learn to comfort and sustain each other, because it is how we choose to be; we will lean on these mythic identities to threaten and cajole us into proper actions, that are seemingly improper in many cases. There may come some comfort from what we learn about the Universe. Until we start being better conservators as a whole, we will only attract from the Universe, the worst of our own tendencies.
 
  • #14
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I know a middle-aged professional man who suffered from chronic depression. He "tried God," and he claims the salvation experience lifted him out of depression. I think I still can see some signs when our paths happen to cross that he still has some depression, though I never bring the subject up with him.
 
  • #15
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Dayle Record said:
We sense the energies of the Universe as we can, as we have evolved. Before there was Science, there was only us and the natural world. We, as a species were, and still are, incredibly inclined to project our needs, fears, desires, onto others. In the case of religion, we projected them onto the Universe at large. Clever and unscrupulous humans made whole societies out of these anthropomorphisms. I think the more we understand about how the Universe works, the closer we will be to a reasonable understanding of how we came to be, and how we will be. I think that until we learn to comfort and sustain each other, because it is how we choose to be; we will lean on these mythic identities to threaten and cajole us into proper actions, that are seemingly improper in many cases. There may come some comfort from what we learn about the Universe. Until we start being better conservators as a whole, we will only attract from the Universe, the worst of our own tendencies.
Dayle, you always have great posts.
 
  • #16
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Janitor said:
I know a middle-aged professional man who suffered from chronic depression. He "tried God," and he claims the salvation experience lifted him out of depression. I think I still can see some signs when our paths happen to cross that he still has some depression, though I never bring the subject up with him.


Hope is a powerful thing! ~The placebo effect~



EVO: A picture is worth thousand words :rofl:


One of the most potent tools of religions happens to be “ fear”, fear of unknown and infinite (whoever came up with this 1st was a genius) . It may be, that religions start out as social revolutions to escape the terrene and ignorance of the time but then itself mutates to same terrene and ignorance …. I have found a pattern in religion, it starts out with a powerful tone at 1st then it gives hope/justice/belonging (the hook) to people while injecting extreme fear (the detainment) at the same time,….. now try and think differently and you will always have that incertitude of hell bind. Notice how all the hapless & socio-economically challenged country have the most religious people.

Is religion the best ideology to overcome social , moral and spiritual demons?
 
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  • #17
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arildno said:
Oh, really?
So I haven't got any genes, or what?
Or possibly, I'm not human.


Or perhaps, religiously inclined individuals are so conceited that they can't bear the thought that the universe couldn't care less about their existence.

Interesting article references at the bottom ....

Hardwired for God

Temporal-lobe-epilepsy (TLE) patients, who suffer from seizures of the brain's frontal lobe, frequently experience intense mystical episodes. Neurologists at the University of California in San Diego have noticed that about 25% of patients with TLE become obsessed with religion.

Researchers believe that the seizures experienced by TLE patients may affect a pathway that connects two areas of the brain: one that takes in sensory information, and another that gives that information emotional context. This could explain why these patients often find exaggerated significance in every small thing that occurs. To test their theory, the scientists hooked up both TLE patients and healthy controls to electrical monitors capable of detecting activity in the brain's temporal lobes. Then, they showed both groups neutral words, sexually evocative words, curses, and religious words.

In healthy volunteers, even the religiously devout, there was no increase in brain activity in response to neutral or religious words. The curses and the sexual words, however, did set off a reaction in their temporal lobes. When TLE patients were given the test, their brains did not react to either the curses or sexual words, but did respond to the religious words.

It seems that the temporal lobes of human beings are naturally hardwired for religious experience, and an individual's potential for religiousity may depend on the genetic predisposition or the health of that area of their brain. What we see in some epileptics is probably a disease-induced exaggeration of a capacity that we may all have to a greater or lesser degree.

A belief in God is found in all societies worldwide and throughout history. Some scientists believe that this capacity may be designed into the brain's circuitry through evolution to facilitate altruism and cooperation between individuals, and bring order and stability to society. Based on information in: Skeptic, Vol 5 #4, 1997; Psychology Today, Mar/Apr 1998
 
  • #18
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I don't mean this to offend anyone, but there are some who think from reading of the vision of Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus that he in fact had T.L.E. That condition could also have been the unexplained "thorn in the flesh" that he complained about in writing.
 
  • #19
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In Islamic tradition prophet Mohammed’s witnesses have stated that every time prophet received a message from GOD, he went in a seizure like state.
 
  • #20
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Microburst said:
In Islamic tradition prophet Mohammed’s witnesses have stated that every time prophet received a message from GOD, he went in a seizure like state.

Yeah, but that still doesn't explain how his body flew off into the upper atmosphere. :biggrin:
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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Yeah, but that still doesn't explain how his body flew off into the upper atmosphere. :biggrin:

One thing at a time... :rofl:
 
  • #22
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Janitor said:
Yeah, but that still doesn't explain how his body flew off into the upper atmosphere. :biggrin:


:rofl: Lord will strike you down! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :tongue:
 
  • #23
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fear
fear of death
fear of the unknown
fear of others

all religions are EVIL and based on fear
 
  • #24
Kerrie
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I think people choose a religious way for a sense of community and direction. Some need another to give them that, others can find it on their own.
 
  • #25
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ray b said:
all religions are EVIL and based on fear

I don't subscribe to this idea. Some look to religion for comfort, others not, you can't use absolutes. Also, religion is very important to the human race. Throughout time, religion and man has gone hand in hand, even back to the stone age. You take away religion and you take away our nature.
 

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