Why are you religious/not religious?

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Post by Ziggy on Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:33 pm

The one thing I don't understand is why do people even follow a religion? You don't have to be religious to be happy, and none of the heaven and hell shit can be proven, so why potentially restrict yourself with religious moral codes and conduct, when you can live happily without religion? You mention that people don't analyse their own feelings Dud, but have you stopped to realise that you might not need a religion to live your life?
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Post by JB on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:41 pm

Ziggy wrote:The one thing I don't understand is why do people even follow a religion? You don't have to be religious to be happy, and none of the heaven and hell shit can be proven, so why potentially restrict yourself with religious moral codes and conduct, when you can live happily without religion? You mention that people don't analyse their own feelings Dud, but have you stopped to realise that you might not need a religion to live your life?

You sound exactly like this atheist I met one time, I mean aside from a few slight word changes he said THAT exact same thing. >.>

If religion helps you get through the day then how does it hurt? I mean if it helps you with moral standards, and keeping your hopes up regardless, why not practice it?

No I'm not saying that's what you're saying, but most scientific things can't be proven either which makes this debate pretty much useless, pointless, and way to drawn on which is why I still find it baffling as to why people (myself included) continue to ag this thing on.
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Post by Rotaretilbo on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:56 pm

Have you stopped to consider that almost no one's beliefs can be proven and that we don't need any beliefs to get on with life, but that some people find religion of various forms to be fulfilling and to give them purpose in what is otherwise a brief and exceedingly meaningless existence in which we spend all of our time miserable in the hopes that sometime in the future, we won't be miserable, just to find out that the future sucks just as bad, if not worse, than the past, and that we're twice as miserable and wish we could go back to how miserable we were before, and that the addition of some greater hope for a future beyond death, where we can leave this shitty world and move onto something that doesn't suck, has a tendency to increase one's morale, when considering their otherwise bleak life that will ultimately be so inconsequential as to beg the question as to why we fight so vigorously to survive in the first place?

Or have you stopped to consider that atheists have the same vindictive belief that they must cram their beliefs down everyone's throats as theists do, but not because they believe people's lives depend on it, rather simply because everyone else is so insufferably less "intelligent" than they are that somehow by making them wind up drones who all agree with you, they will become enlightened, and that in the end of things, or during the process of things, there is actually no real benefit of atheism, other than that you can look down on all the "ignorant" people while you sip your wine and bang your head against a wall?

Point in case. All faith is illogical: Christianity, Islam, Atheism. It's all the same. The only logical conclusion that anyone can come to on the matter is that there might possibly be a God, maybe, and that we simply don't have enough evidence, or indeed know what evidence to look for, in order to make any further assertion. Meanwhile, agnostics must find some way to deal with the fact that life is a bleak, meaningless existence of ripping out your hair to futilely try and make life for yourself later easier, while indulging in petty things to try and keep your mind off of how your life is a ultimately irrelevant and that a decade after you're gone, no one will mourn your passing and few will remember that you even existed.

tl;dr: If one day, you wake up and find yourself trapped in an existential quandary full of loathing and self-doubt and wracked with the pain and isolation of your pitiful meaningless existence, at least you can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that somewhere out there in this crazy mixed-up universe of ours there's still a little place called Albuquerque.

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Post by Gauz on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:07 pm

Rotaretilbo wrote:Have you stopped to consider that almost no one's beliefs can be proven and that we don't need any beliefs to get on with life, but that some people find religion of various forms to be fulfilling and to give them purpose in what is otherwise a brief and exceedingly meaningless existence in which we spend all of our time miserable in the hopes that sometime in the future, we won't be miserable, just to find out that the future sucks just as bad, if not worse, than the past, and that we're twice as miserable and wish we could go back to how miserable we were before, and that the addition of some greater hope for a future beyond death, where we can leave this shitty world and move onto something that doesn't suck, has a tendency to increase one's morale, when considering their otherwise bleak life that will ultimately be so inconsequential as to beg the question as to why we fight so vigorously to survive in the first place?
Well I don't know about you, but heaven does sound like a nice place.

I suppose it would make for a better outlook on life, but when you can't prove it exists you know, doesn't that make you wonder?

I know many christians, but if I were to go up to them and ask them "What drives your will to live?" I'm sure most of them wouldn't say "To get into heaven." So like Ziggy said, do they really need religion to go on with life? No, not really, so why do they do it? Well i've come to the conclusion that that's how they were raised really, and, why change?

It doesn't hurt, and it doesn't help, so i'm fine with christianity as a coping mechanism for all that then. (All that being a nihilistic view on life)

rot wrote:
Meanwhile, agnostics must find some way to deal with the fact that life is a bleak, meaningless existence of ripping out your hair to futilely try and make life for yourself later easier, while indulging in petty things to try and keep your mind off of how your life is a ultimately irrelevant and that a decade after you're gone, no one will mourn your passing and few will remember that you even existed.
What? Would you kindly explain what you mean by that, I certaintly don't think life is bleak or meaningless, nor do I think people other than nihilists do...
Life isn't meaningless for the agnostic, life is what they make it.

rot wrote:tl;dr: If one day, you wake up and find yourself trapped in an existential quandary full of loathing and self-doubt and wracked with the pain and isolation of your pitiful meaningless existence, at least you can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that somewhere out there in this crazy mixed-up universe of ours there's still a little place called Albuquerque.
I suppose that's one way to cope with that, or you could take anti-depressants. I don't think that Christianity is the only answer to that situation, not that you said it was, but no one still needs religion to survive.
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Post by Rotaretilbo on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:33 pm

Gauz wrote:I suppose it would make for a better outlook on life, but when you can't prove it exists you know, doesn't that make you wonder?

Of course. Doubt is part of life. If we didn't doubt, we wouldn't be human.

Gauz wrote:I know many christians, but if I were to go up to them and ask them "What drives your will to live?" I'm sure most of them wouldn't say "To get into heaven." So like Ziggy said, do they really need religion to go on with life? No, not really, so why do they do it? Well i've come to the conclusion that that's how they were raised really, and, why change?

All you've done is made an assertion that the desire for Heaven is not required to be happy. You have yet to provide evidence in which the desire for Heaven has not played a major role in people's ability to make it through tough times.

Gauz wrote:It doesn't hurt, and it doesn't help, so i'm fine with christianity as a coping mechanism for all that then. (All that being a nihilistic view on life)

Isn't helping someone cope helpful?

Gauz wrote:What? Would you kindly explain what you mean by that, I certaintly don't think life is bleak or meaningless, nor do I think people other than nihilists do...
Life isn't meaningless for the agnostic, life is what they make it.

You should take another look at life, then, because I can assure you, it is generally without purpose, meaning, or true joy. We spend our childhoods going through hell to prepare for adulthood, and our adulthood looking back wishing we hadn't wasted our childhood, because adulthood blows. We exist for less than a century, generally have no lasting impact on anyone, and then are forgotten completely.

Gauz wrote:I suppose that's one way to cope with that, or you could take anti-depressants. I don't think that Christianity is the only answer to that situation, not that you said it was, but no one still needs religion to survive.

I'm not asserting that religion is the only way to cope. I'm simply saying that religion is not this useless thing, even from a purely logical standpoint. I could also go into Pascal's Wager, which is another interesting piece of logic, if you'd like, though I've been told that use of it is fallacious, though I, myself, cannot figure out what fallacy it is supposedly using.

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Post by Ziggy on Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:35 pm

Anti-depressants don't make you happy, hurr.

Anyway, it may be a personal choice, but people should maybe look at their lives and other ways to fix it if they suddenly experience some existential crisis and require a deity and a promise of afterlife to feel happy. Personally, I see a lot of religious practises as cruise control for dealing with personal issues and qualms. I wouldn't go so far as to say that religion is useless for people, but I think that a lot of people just use religion to attain happiness, albeit very superficially.
I'm much more of a self-examining kind of guy. I deal with my own thoughts and issues, instead of turning to a bible. That's my personal preference.
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Post by TNine on Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:42 pm

Rotaretilbo wrote:
at least you can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that somewhere out there in this crazy mixed-up universe of ours there's still a little place called Albuquerque.
With sauerkraut.
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Post by Toaster on Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:29 am

Rot wrote:I'm not asserting that religion is the only way to cope. I'm simply saying that religion is not this useless thing, even from a purely logical standpoint. I could also go into Pascal's Wager, which is another interesting piece of logic, if you'd like, though I've been told that use of it is fallacious, though I, myself, cannot figure out what fallacy it is supposedly using.

The fallacy of Pascal's wager is the same fallacy that permeates everything you're saying. It's the notion that belief is based on personal will. You can't just look at something, like the idea of going to hell, and DECIDE to believe in God. It doesn't work that way, or at least it doesn't work that way for me. I can follow the teachings of Pascal's wager, and I can tell myself every day that I'm Christian. That won't change anything. Deep down, I'll still be agnostic.

Sure, life is sometimes shitty, and it certainly is meaningless and futile. I think it would be nice to believe that there is a heaven, and I'm gonna live forever with the people I love and all that great stuff. However, as much as I like the idea... that has nothing to do with whether or not I believe it. I'd like to think that Carl Sagan was a prophet sent down by some sort of God, to encourage us to continue in our exploration of Universe.

I still don't think it's true...


This is that fundamental difference between religious and non-religious people that I'm getting at. You seem to have the ability to believe in things based on pure will. It's either that, or you don't "believe" it to the same degree that you present yourself as doing so.

I can't believe something because I want to, or because it's a pleasant idea, or because believing in such a thing would be beneficial. That's just not how it works.
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Post by TNine on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:42 am

ReconToaster wrote:
Rot wrote:I'm not asserting that religion is the only way to cope. I'm simply saying that religion is not this useless thing, even from a purely logical standpoint. I could also go into Pascal's Wager, which is another interesting piece of logic, if you'd like, though I've been told that use of it is fallacious, though I, myself, cannot figure out what fallacy it is supposedly using.

The fallacy of Pascal's wager is the same fallacy that permeates everything you're saying. It's the notion that belief is based on personal will. You can't just look at something, like the idea of going to hell, and DECIDE to believe in God. It doesn't work that way, or at least it doesn't work that way for me. I can follow the teachings of Pascal's wager, and I can tell myself every day that I'm Christian. That won't change anything. Deep down, I'll still be agnostic.

Sure, life is sometimes shitty, and it certainly is meaningless and futile. I think it would be nice to believe that there is a heaven, and I'm gonna live forever with the people I love and all that great stuff. However, as much as I like the idea... that has nothing to do with whether or not I believe it. I'd like to think that Carl Sagan was a prophet sent down by some sort of God, to encourage us to continue in our exploration of Universe.

I still don't think it's true...


This is that fundamental difference between religious and non-religious people that I'm getting at. You seem to have the ability to believe in things based on pure will. It's either that, or you don't "believe" it to the same degree that you present yourself as doing so.

I can't believe something because I want to, or because it's a pleasant idea, or because believing in such a thing would be beneficial. That's just not how it works.
Everyone has doubt, nobody is certain. It was said in the Bible that if you believed in God totally, you would have the power to move mountains.

Faith is belief beyond doubt. I personally believe, due to personal experiences, that God exists. If you turned to God, and at least attempted to put faith in him, and looked for a sign, i believe that you would find that you can believe in him, because he has shown himself to you.

The reason religion is such a poor debating subject is because an utter lack of evidence and it simply becomes logic vs. faith to a point, and a lot of delusions. Atheists generally think that all Christians are fucktards and have serious superiority complex issues, while a lot of Christians believe in God just because they have been taught to do so.

Perhaps that's what's so great about religion? It's a personal choice, no amount of persuasion, logic, evidence, or anything i have ever seen sway anybody on the internet, and there never has been an obvious winner unless one side was being an idiot. No amount of outer force can ever choose your religion for you.
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Post by CivBase on Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:49 pm

Ziggy wrote:The one thing I don't understand is why do people even follow a religion? You don't have to be religious to be happy, and none of the heaven and hell shit can be proven, so why potentially restrict yourself with religious moral codes and conduct, when you can live happily without religion? You mention that people don't analyse their own feelings Dud, but have you stopped to realise that you might not need a religion to live your life?
Fear of hell... hope for an eternal life of paradise afterwards... foundation for morals... besides, religion is not near as restricting as you may think.

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Post by KristallNacht on Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:25 pm

CivBase wrote:
Fear of hell... hope for an eternal life of paradise afterwards... foundation for morals... besides, religion is not near as restricting as you may think.

do the main religions support promiscuous sex?
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Post by Ukurse on Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:35 pm

KristallNacht wrote:
CivBase wrote:
Fear of hell... hope for an eternal life of paradise afterwards... foundation for morals... besides, religion is not near as restricting as you may think.

do the main religions support promiscuous sex?
I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.
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Post by Gauz on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:05 pm

Ukurse wrote:
KristallNacht wrote:
CivBase wrote:
Fear of hell... hope for an eternal life of paradise afterwards... foundation for morals... besides, religion is not near as restricting as you may think.

do the main religions support promiscuous sex?
I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.
Hookers?
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Post by TNine on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:13 pm

Gauz wrote:
Ukurse wrote:
KristallNacht wrote:
CivBase wrote:
Fear of hell... hope for an eternal life of paradise afterwards... foundation for morals... besides, religion is not near as restricting as you may think.

do the main religions support promiscuous sex?
I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.
Hookers?
Silly gauz, hookers aren't people.
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Post by KristallNacht on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:48 pm

Ukurse wrote:I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.

plenty of people do.

look at your average college-aged female
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Post by Ukurse on Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:18 pm

KristallNacht wrote:
Ukurse wrote:I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.

plenty of people do.

look at your average college-aged female
Really?
Are you sure you are not mixing media with reality.
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Post by Gauz on Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:27 pm

Ukurse wrote:
KristallNacht wrote:
Ukurse wrote:I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.

plenty of people do.

look at your average college-aged female
Really?
Are you sure you are not mixing media with reality.
You know what it means to be promiscous?

I'm sure there are many females and males alike whom have multiple/many sex partners in their life.
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Post by Ukurse on Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:42 pm

Gauz wrote:
Ukurse wrote:
KristallNacht wrote:
Ukurse wrote:I don't think anybody really does, religious or not.

plenty of people do.

look at your average college-aged female
Really?
Are you sure you are not mixing media with reality.
You know what it means to be promiscous?

I'm sure there are many females and males alike whom have multiple/many sex partners in their life.
Yea I know.
But I though we were talking about supporting it...

KristallNacht wrote:do the main religions support promiscuous sex?

Although people do actually do it.
I don't think many people actually support it?..

Maybe In the '70s
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Post by KristallNacht on Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:45 pm

Ukurse wrote:Really?
Are you sure you are not mixing media with reality.

have you been to college?

hell, even in high school it starts showing.
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Post by Ukurse on Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:21 pm

KristallNacht wrote:
Ukurse wrote:Really?
Are you sure you are not mixing media with reality.

have you been to college?

hell, even in high school it starts showing.
Of coarse I haven't been to university..
And also, in my college, I have only known one person who has ever done so, and he was dump straight away once the girl found out...

Maybe NZ has different standards and stuff? Because I have never ever heard of anyone ever even coming close to openly supporting the idea of having multiple sexual partners.
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Post by KristallNacht on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:48 pm

possibly.


so he got dumped after he CHEATED? or got dumped after she found out he'd had sex before?
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Post by Rotaretilbo on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:45 pm

ReconToaster wrote:The fallacy of Pascal's wager is the same fallacy that permeates everything you're saying. It's the notion that belief is based on personal will. You can't just look at something, like the idea of going to hell, and DECIDE to believe in God. It doesn't work that way, or at least it doesn't work that way for me. I can follow the teachings of Pascal's wager, and I can tell myself every day that I'm Christian. That won't change anything. Deep down, I'll still be agnostic.

I think that's the first time I've seen you use the term agnostic over atheist. I was going to grill you because I know you to be somewhere between agnostic and atheist, which would mean that your current belief was not based purely on logic, since the purely logical belief is that of agnosticism.

But I still can't say that belief is not a choice. I have never had any trouble choosing what I believe. Sometimes I'll doubt what I believe, or I'll believe something that I'm not sure I should believe, but the point stands that I choose what I believe and what I do not believe. If someone says something, I can choose to believe them, or I can choose to not believe them. There isn't some subconscious trigger that forces me to either believe or disbelieve them.

Recon Toaster wrote:Sure, life is sometimes shitty, and it certainly is meaningless and futile. I think it would be nice to believe that there is a heaven, and I'm gonna live forever with the people I love and all that great stuff. However, as much as I like the idea... that has nothing to do with whether or not I believe it. I'd like to think that Carl Sagan was a prophet sent down by some sort of God, to encourage us to continue in our exploration of Universe.

I still don't think it's true...

But that's because there's evidence that Carl Sagan is not a prophet of God sent to encourage us to continue to explore our universe (namely, that he himself is an agnostic, and prophets are generally theists, and that he isn't predicting the future, but rather encouraging our current actions). There is no evidence that God doesn't exist, nor is their evidence that he does exist. You can either believe he does, doesn't, or avoid the question through logic.

Recon Toaster wrote:This is that fundamental difference between religious and non-religious people that I'm getting at. You seem to have the ability to believe in things based on pure will. It's either that, or you don't "believe" it to the same degree that you present yourself as doing so.

As long as we note that atheists have to use the same pure will for their beliefs. It seems to be more of an issue amongst agnostics, who don't want to pick a side. In this sense, the trait isn't the ability to believe, but indecision which comes with making a decision when you cannot look on evidence and just have to go with your gut or go with whichever decision has the best outcomes for you.

Recon Toaster wrote:I can't believe something because I want to, or because it's a pleasant idea, or because believing in such a thing would be beneficial. That's just not how it works.

But it is. People have been convincing themselves of far less logical things than religion for countless decades. I mean, look at the conspiracy theorists! They whole heartedly believe that George W. Bush is the antichrist and that he personally flew those planes into the Pentagon and Twin Towers for no other reason than out of spite for human life. They don't believe it because it is logical, or because there is evidence to suggest this. They believe it because they choose to. And some of them will eventually choose to believe that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by terrorists and move on with their lives.

KristallNacht wrote:do the main religions support promiscuous sex?

No, but Tiger Woods sure does did. Ironically, it appears the media doesn't support promiscuous sex either. Or really, nobody does, except for the people who are so busy drinking their livers to death and smoking as much pot as possible that they wouldn't know a rational decision from an irrational decision if it fucked them up the ass. I mean, God forbid we're asked to make a small sacrifice for the person we intend to spend the rest of our life with!

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Post by Toaster on Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:03 am

Rot wrote:I think that's the first time I've seen you use the term agnostic over atheist. I was going to grill you because I know you to be somewhere between agnostic and atheist, which would mean that your current belief was not based purely on logic, since the purely logical belief is that of agnosticism.

For a while I was hanging on to the whole "doubtfully agnostic" thing, but I've been growing more and more open to the idea of a higher power and all that every day. That's not to say that I believe in one, or ever will, but the more time I spend thinking about how incredible and complicated the universe really is, and how very little we know about it, the more I realize that the idea of there being a god, in context, really isn't all that crazy after all.

Admittedly, I still don't take any religions seriously. I think a higher power is possible, but I highly doubt that Humans are of any importance in the universe, and I very highly doubt that the human race could know anything about such a higher power.

It's possible, but I am doubtful.

Rot wrote:But that's because there's evidence that Carl Sagan is not a prophet of God sent to encourage us to continue to explore our universe (namely, that he himself is an agnostic, and prophets are generally theists, and that he isn't predicting the future, but rather encouraging our current actions). There is no evidence that God doesn't exist, nor is their evidence that he does exist. You can either believe he does, doesn't, or avoid the question through logic.


God works in mysterious ways, though I wouldn't say that Carl Sagan was ever really happy with our "current actions." He was pretty expressive of his disappointment toward the leaders of the world, and the nuclear weapons which they possessed. He also had a lot to say about the American education system.

Perhaps Carl Sagan himself was merely a humble, peaceful god?

Rot wrote:It seems to be more of an issue amongst agnostics, who don't want to pick a side. In this sense, the trait isn't the ability to believe, but indecision which comes with making a decision when you cannot look on evidence and just have to go with your gut or go with whichever decision has the best outcomes for you.

Hmmm... I suppose it does have to do with the acceptance of gut feelings. For me, gut feeling usually doesn't factor into my beliefs. But I suppose that, if they did, I couldn't really call myself agnostic.

Like I said, my gut tells me that human religions are full of shit, but that doesn't really factor in by beliefs.

Rot wrote: If someone says something, I can choose to believe them, or I can choose to not believe them. There isn't some subconscious trigger that forces me to either believe or disbelieve them

Are you choosing whether or not to believe what they say, or are you deciding whether or not to follow their advice based on whether or not logic, or your gut feeling, tells you to believe them?

I just... I still don't think that belief can be a decision.

Rot wrote:But it is. People have been convincing themselves of far less logical things than religion for countless decades. I mean, look at the conspiracy theorists! They whole heartedly believe that George W. Bush is the antichrist and that he personally flew those planes into the Pentagon and Twin Towers for no other reason than out of spite for human life. They don't believe it because it is logical, or because there is evidence to suggest this. They believe it because they choose to. And some of them will eventually choose to believe that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by terrorists and move on with their lives.

I think conspiracy theorists suffer from the same problem as atheists. They are making decisions based on logic, but that logic is incredibly flawed. Trust me, I've seen my fair share of 9/11 conspiracy videos. There's plenty of "evidence" to be had by those who assume that the information being fed to them is accurate.

Now, a predisposition of hatred toward George W. Bush might make the viewer less inclined to doubt 9/11 conspiracy theories, but that's more of a lazy, careless trust toward something that deserves more looking in to.

They're not just deciding that they want to believe in a conspiracy, and therefore believing in one.

Rot wrote:Ironically, it appears the media doesn't support promiscuous sex either.

I wouldn't go that far. I think the media will support just about anything, so long as it gets them plenty of ratings. They supported Michael Jackson and hailed him as the "King of Pop," when he died. And yet, up until that point, they were constantly obsessing over how abnormal he was, and making pretty disgusting accusations about him.

Anyway, a promiscuous person is, by definition, someone who engages in sexual activity with more partners than is generally accepted by society. So... by definition... promiscuity is something that most people do not accept. Obviously, many immature teenage boys aspire to lead promiscuous lifestyles, but that probably has a lot to do with their lack of understanding toward the real world, and the concept of an actual relationship.
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Post by HB on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:52 pm

I'm not someone who goes to church on a regular basis because quite honestly I do not believe in organized worship.

as for beliefs?
There is a God; there has to be
I mean, look out at the universe and with a straight face that there is not some higher force at work

So, there is a God: he knows me, but i really don't know him. Hell, i break at least three of the Ten Commandments on a regular basis

I also know that He makes things happen for a reason. But that reason is never apparent to me. I would ask "why?" so many times, but i never do get an answer

sometimes i wonder if God is just not trying to deliberately screw me over...


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