Why do you believe?

Text-only Version: Click HERE to see this thread with all of the graphics, features, and links.



Damborgson
Whether it be purely spiritual, a major religion, or anything else in this wacky world, why do you believe in it?

Second question: What would it take for you to stop believing?

Patient_Leech
Evidence and rational conversation should be the basis of belief.

Major religions don't have that sort of solid foundation, which is unfortunate.

MythLord
The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

riv6672

Mindship
1. I believe what I believe cuz of evidence and/or utility.
2. To challenge that: stronger counter-evidence and/or faded utility.

Damborgson
Interesting responses thumb up out of curiosity, are you guys atheists, spiritual, devoted religious people, anything else ?

Rockydonovang
Lal, saying you need the hope of something you have no reason to think exists to have a optimistic outlook on life is the highest form of pessimism.

riv6672
Originally posted by Damborgson
Interesting responses thumb up out of curiosity, are you guys atheists, spiritual, devoted religious people, anything else ?
Asatru.

gauntlet o doom
Religion was one of humanity's first attempts at explaining the world around us. Due to traditions and our basic humanity, we don't want to completely discard what was taught to us in the past.

Science is the latest and most developed system of explaining the world. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to get on board with this system.

Flyattractor
And To many are willing to treat Science as a New Religion and use it in improper ways just like the Religious Types are accused of.

Because Humanity is Humanity.

gauntlet o doom
Originally posted by Flyattractor
And To many are willing to treat Science as a New Religion and use it in improper ways just like the Religious Types are accused of.


Not sure I completely agree with this. Science is based on theories and hypothesis; if something doesn't hold up to scrutiny it's discarded. Not a lot of scientists hold onto disproven papers and build a following around it.

bluewaterrider
Originally posted by gauntlet o doom
Not sure I completely agree with this. Science is based on theories and hypothesis; if something doesn't hold up to scrutiny it's discarded.


Perhaps, but sometimes it takes SO long for this to happen that, from the point of view of an individual man living his life, it makes little sense to wait around for the scientific community to "catch up" to what even laymen often know.

Ignaz Semmelweis is a good and tragic example of this.

Rockydonovang
It takes so long because scientists put their theories through a rigorous process, unlike say, religion, or whatever "laymen knowledge" you're referring to.

Also, it's pretty telling the best example you came up with was back in 1865 and again, while it was slow, this notion that "laymen"would have done more is absurd since semmelweis's work only ever did anything because he became a scientist.

Overall, equating religion, unsubstantiated belief that can't meet any standard of proof. with science which goes out of it's way to make all it finds as reliable as possible is utterly. Finally, unlike different religions, the scientific community consists of different scientists who are independent of each other who can't force each other to do things. The "scientific community" isn't some kind of sect, it's just people across the world who also happen to base their beliefs on evidence rather than their personal whims and upbringing and simultaneously are open minded to what other qualified people say, hence the "community" bit.

bluewaterrider
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
It takes so long because scientists put their theories through a rigorous process, unlike say, religion, or whatever "laymen knowledge" you're referring to.



Unfortunately that's NOT the only reason, or even necessarily the primary one.
In Semmelweis' case, a lot had to do with the fact that he was relatively shy, was not particularly good at presenting ideas, and had to face a lot of discrimination because of his ethnicity.

There's also the fact that, if the doctors who were delivering babies at the time accepted his ideas, they'd have to face the fact that they unwittingly murdered hundreds of their patients. That's not easy knowledge to deal with.

bluewaterrider
Originally posted by Rockydonovang

it's pretty telling the best example you came up with was back in 1865 ...


Perhaps, but it's probably not telling you what you think it's telling you.
Semmelweis happens to relate to my field of study and what I actually do in real life.


Originally posted by Rockydonovang

while it was slow, this notion that "laymen"would have done more is absurd since semmelweis's work only ever did anything because he became a scientist.


Actually, laymen DID do better. Semmelweis began his investigation because he noticed that a hospital staffed by midwives (laypeople) had less than 1/3rd the mortality rate of a hospital staffed by doctors.
Moreover, Semmelweis' failure to understand what we now call "germ theory" means the world had to wait for Pasteur.

But Semmelweis' simple, common sense handwashing practice could have saved many thousands before then.

bluewaterrider
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
Overall, equating religion, unsubstantiated belief that can't meet any standard of proof. with science which goes out of it's way to make all it finds as reliable as possible is utterly. Finally, unlike different religions, the scientific community consists of different scientists who are independent of each other who can't force each other to do things. The "scientific community" isn't some kind of sect, it's just people across the world who also happen to base their beliefs on evidence rather than their personal whims and upbringing and simultaneously are open minded to what other qualified people say, hence the "community" bit.


I suspect we're talking in different languages, which unfortunately look similar but don't have the same meanings ascribed to words. I would not, for instance, consider the teachings of a place like, say, the 7th Day Adventists as "unsubstantiated", which offers evidence that following Biblically inspired diets and practices lead to good Heath and longevity. Note that I am NOT Adventist myself. Even so ...

http://www.pbs.org/video/religion-ethics-newsweekly-seventh-day-adventists-and-health/

Bentley
1) Why do I believe?

It makes me more generous with others and with myself. It also keeps we wondering on thing around me, finding reasons and ways to reinvent what I leave and where I stand. Since I see creation as a continuous process I also believe I'm able to recreate myself and what I live.

So pretty much out of convenience.


2) What would it take you to stop believing?

For specific things I think proof will always slightly shift my beliefs, which is good because understanding is to be challenged, belief is to be enriched. For big stuff, ultimately I don't think it matters whether I believe or not, truth will be or it won't, I live for the day as I'd live for eternity.

Originally posted by gauntlet o doom
Religion was one of humanity's first attempts at explaining the world around us.

To say Religion was just meant to be an explanation for human experience is downright false though.

Wonder Man
I like your siggy Bentley but men are quite comfortable with love.
Suffering occurs because of the Jelously Satan spoke of though.

Emperordmb
Originally posted by Wonder Man
I like your siggy Bentley but men are quite comfortable with love.
Suffering occurs because of the Jelously Satan spoke of though.
Suffering occurs regardless of your moral character, even Jesus suffered, but it's the suffering of a kind that makes you feel twisted and rotten on the inside that is rooted in evil IMO

Wonder Man
Opression is only the illusion of power.
Don't flee oppression my friend it will never survive.

Emperordmb
I'm a Christian because the multifaceted identity and nature of the Christian God presented in Christian theology tie both into the natures I've observed in the world that have helped to advance individuals and humanity as a whole and into the nature underpinning the existence of the universe and the arguments for God's existence.

Additionally, what I have managed to glean from both the Bible and prayer honestly stagger me, I could look over the same story in Genesis for example and notice a bunch of profound shit in there, and then look at it again and have my mind blown by something else, leading me to believe it's a resource I doubt I'll ever truly hit the bottom of in my life. It's like an ongoing dialogue where I find wisdom from my life experiences reflected in Christianity and get expanded by it, and wisdom from Christianity reflected in my life experiences and expanded by that.

One of the most profound things is the elucidation of the greatest dilemma faced by humanity and the solution to it. Genesis sets the claim that with the emergence of self-consciousness we became aware of good and evil, vulnerability, suffering and tragedy, etc. and became ashamed of our own vulnerability and shortcomings and hid, refusing to live authentically and instead developed arrogance, arrogance pulling us into the sinful patterns of things like resentfulness, covetousness, and irresponsibility. Christ demonstrated the proper response to vulnerability and tragedy which was to honestly confront it and take voluntarily accept that burden, moving forward with love and humility, and in doing so we transform ourselves into more heroic individuals willing to atone for our mistakes, forgive others for theirs, sacrifice on behalf of what is good, and adopt proper responsibility in our lives. By doing this we attain meaning in our lives to set against the challenges of the world and become more equipped to help ourselves and other people against them. In this respect I not only believe Christ to be the cosmic savior for the eternal afterlife, but for this life as well as he presents the proper path to confronting our vulnerability and limitations as well as the suffering of the world.

In my practice of Christianity I have found myself continually granted new insight, and transformed into a better person. I'm not perfect, I still find myself possessed by arrogance at times, feeling resentment towards people I come into conflict with, and being irresponsible towards things I know I should be dealing with, but my beliefs motivate me to try and be less and less like that with each passing day, and I have a lot more genuine appreciation for myself and for other people as a consequence of that pursuit and feel much more at peace with myself.

In respect to everything I just said, if I die and it turns out there is no God and no afterlife, I have no regrets about the pursuit I've given myself over to in life.

As for what it would take for me to stop believing, one of two things. The first is evidence that I'm wrong, since the reasons that have earned my faith are more compelling than skeptical doubt. The second would be a complete moral collapse of my character, which I would likely rationalize by abandoning my faith to justify doing whatever I wanted. What it won't be that makes me stop believing is snark on an internet forum from someone with a hateboner for religion.

Rockydonovang
Good to see you've finally accepted that religion can't meet any burden of proof.

Wonder Man
I feel that to God religion serves a purpose. Jesus came here to set an example we could all follow.
Try to let doubt go and feel joy every day and you will already be doing what he said to do upon his return.
As for what you will do when the Son rises to His former position?
Remember all your life and what you have said here in the forums and explain love to Himself so you will see Him smile.

NemeBro
Originally posted by Emperordmb
The first is evidence that I'm wrong, since the reasons that have earned my faith are more compelling than skeptical doubt.

Mental gymnastics to justify a worldview you already have because you don't have empirical evidence to justify it isn't very compelling IMO.

You're trying to use thought and "reason" to validate the existence of something you believe to be tangible. Something with tangible effects on the world (indeed, if God exists they have had the most tangible effect on the world above all things) requires tangible evidence to prove.

I'm glad that your faith has helped you and brought you some measure of happiness, but to say it is more compelling than the principles that underpin pretty much all scientific fields is farcical IMHO.

Wonder Man
God said friendship. He explained to the world all about friendship.

Rockydonovang
Originally posted by NemeBro
Mental gymnastics to justify a worldview you already have because you don't have empirical evidence to justify it isn't very compelling IMO.

You're trying to use thought and "reason" to validate the existence of something you believe to be tangible. Something with tangible effects on the world (indeed, if God exists they have had the most tangible effect on the world above all things) requires tangible evidence to prove.

I'm glad that your faith has helped you and brought you some measure of happiness, but to say it is more compelling than the principles that underpin pretty much all scientific fields is farcical IMHO.
I think he means compelling as it makes it easier for him morally. I'm gonna be generous and take him saying he wants us to disprove something he never proved as admitting there's no proof and that his faith is for personal convenience.

NemeBro
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
I think he means compelling as it makes it easier for him morally. I'm gonna be generous and take him saying he wants us to disprove something he never proved as admitting there's no proof and that his faith is for personal convenience. Please don't piggyback off my post for the sake of bullying him for his religion. That was not my intention.

Rockydonovang
Lal, your post was harsher than mine, but okay.

NemeBro
I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.

Rockydonovang
Originally posted by NemeBro
I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.
It's nice to be recognized.

Emperordmb
@Nemebro, you seem like you're taking a more level conversational approach than... let's say other people... might be, so I'll give you a response at some point when I'm less tired, it's been a rather long day and I've been on a pretty intensive dose of antibiotics so I'm pretty worn out.

Rockydonovang
Originally posted by NemeBro
I'm harsh but fair. You're a big mean condescending bully.
We said the exact same thing, but hey man, enjoy your high ground.

I'm sure DMB appreciates your "pc ideology".

Text-only Version: Click HERE to see this thread with all of the graphics, features, and links.