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  1. #121
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I've noticed this. I don't necessarily think that all of those world views are mutually exclusive though.



    The difference is that a lot of world views don't have obvious practical impact. For example conservatives or liberals might have highly elaborate political world views, but I haven't yet seen much benefit from these world views upon the people that hold them. The world views seem to benefit the politcal parties, but I don't see how they benefit individuals who aren't running for office.

    I do know that "faith" is practical, because I've seen it have a practical impact on quite a few people (myself included).



    (Referring to the bolded part) I guess it depends on what you mean by rational or illogical. For me rational is not what is important. What is important is if something is true. There are a lot of logical belief systems that are based on false ideas. (I'm not necessarily talking religion here, just ideas in general.) For example the idea of phlogiston was logical, but it wasn't true.

    I don't believe that something can be useful and based entirely on false ideas. Even if some of the details are wrong, the usefulness comes from the details which are true. Something which is useful must at the very least be partially true. For example which catapult would be more effective, one based on the idea that a projectile travels in a line, or one that assumes a projectile travels in a parabola?

    I was referring, essentially, to the fact that religion makes people happy because closure and certainty make them happy, and therefore it doesn't really matter, for most people's purposes, whether or not it's true...but it does for mine!

    Belief in the flying spaghetti monster might be based on totally false ideas, but if someone really believed in it and it made him happy, what would be wrong with that?

    I set these questions aside, of course, when I participate in a purely rational debate about the logical integrity of religion. I understand that it has its purpose, that it's important to many people, and that it's not going away. I am still curious to hear any supposedly rational justifications people can offer for it, and I'm willing to discuss these in a hypothetical sense, despite the fact that I acknowledge that religion has a use regardless of its inherent truth value (or lack thereof.)
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  2. #122
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    Data is overrated.

  3. #123
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I was referring, essentially, to the fact that religion makes people happy because closure and certainty make them happy, and therefore it doesn't really matter, for most people's purposes, whether or not it's true...but it does for mine!

    Belief in the flying spaghetti monster might be based on totally false ideas, but if someone really believed in it and it made him happy, what would be wrong with that?

    I set these questions aside, of course, when I participate in a purely rational debate about the logical integrity of religion. I understand that it has its purpose, that it's important to many people, and that it's not going away. I am still curious to hear any supposedly rational justifications people can offer for it, and I'm willing to discuss these in a hypothetical sense, despite the fact that I acknowledge that religion has a use regardless of its inherent truth value (or lack thereof.)
    When I have a discussion like this with an atheist, I often get the feeling that we don't quite understand each other. Like when a person says, "You believe because it makes you happy". I'm never sure what they mean by "happy". I mean eating a cupcake can make me happy.

    I believe in God, because the scripture makes good on its claims. One thing it claims is to give an "abundant life". In fact I have a much more abundant life than I would ever have otherwise. Because what it says is true about the abundant life, then I want to believe the rest. I believe the scripture, because it has credibility. I don't even care much if there is life after death. I mean I believe that there is, but if there wasn't, then it wouldn't be a big deal. My faith gives me a good life in the present, and because that is what the scripture claims to give, then I believe the rest.
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  4. #124
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    I initially embraced Christianity because I used to get panic attacks about death and disease. I found comfort in it.

    A few years later, I overcame this teenage angst issue, and adopted something I'd been wanting for a while: a spiritual way of life without God; I recognised the benefits of spirituality, but I was disillusioned by a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being.

    Now, I have no concern with any of it. I've recognised that talk of metaphysics in this sense is entirely meaningless, because nothing can be proved. Hence, I've resorted to pragmatic atheism, while remaining philosophically agnostic.

  5. #125
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    I make a great deal of effort never to embrace religion. Need to keep on my toes, keep my personal cosmology flexible and unhampered by dogma and sentiment. This is also why I prefer not to describe myself as an atheist. I find myself somewhere along the spectrum atheist/agnostic/pantheist/deist.

    My observations, from this thread also, indicate that the by far largest factor determining people's religious beliefs is upbringing. Not to say that people necessarily always follow their parents beliefs, but that their own beliefs is either a continuation of or a reaction against the general leaning of their parents. I honestly have no idea if my parents are religious or not. I suspect my mother is and my father isn't. To me this means that , as a result of a non-religious upbringing, I have never really had a need for reassurance about the existence of a higher power, and in fact I find the idea scary. If the Judeochristian god, as described in the old and new testament, was proven to me to be real, I would not be relieved but mortified, because I find his whole ethic revolting.

    However, I still believe humans are very small, very limited beings grappling with an unimaginably vast, wonderful and capricious universe. What we personally believe doesn't mean much to me, but there definitely is something out there much greater than ourselves - the universe. Sometimes I'm inclined to call it all a wondrous miracle, a vast benevolent healing intelligence uncomprehensible to us small organisms, sometimes I'm more inclined to just think of it as a big explosion of matter that we don't understand. Either way it doesn't matter what I really believe, it's there.

    That said, I think most religions are vicious, cynical, immoral mind-control schemes, but most religious people I know are reasonable, good people.

  6. #126

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    Why did I embrace religion?

    To take over the world

    Seriously, religion is beautiful and the Bible is very symbolical; god is an omnipotence that is love, its the most powerful force on the planet and we should conquer the world with it.
    But most religious people (in my experience anyways) make it into something ugly, so I don't like to join any religious group.

    I'm a preacher type though, so religion has something to do with me
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