http://gamingtrend.com
October 23, 2014, 01:15:46 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Question of Faith vs. Fact & Why We Believe  (Read 1478 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Orgull
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 615


View Profile
« on: August 13, 2008, 02:47:00 AM »

I have a serious three part question. Why do so many people believe things that they have not taken the time to prove for themselves? Why do so many people believe things that are not supported by observable fact? Why are people content to live this way?

To expand, for the past few years I've been questioning the religious beliefs I was brought up with. I did so truly wanting to find a basis for my faith. Instead I found that my faith was logically unsupportable. So I left my religion.

One thing our religion taught was that evolution was a lie created by the devil and spread by people who fought against God. I wish I were making it up, I really do. One day I asked the question that must never be asked. "If evolution is a false teaching, why would it be so bad to study evolution? If it's false, upon study it should fall apart, right?" I asked the same question in terms of other things my former religion called "false beliefs" and I couldn't help but wonder, "What doesn't my religion want me to know? How can knowing the truth be dangerous?" So I started examining all the evidence about evolution I could get my hands on and discovered something really scary.

My former religion told me there was no evidence, that it was all lies. But I found mountains of evidence. Just recently I read a beautiful paper on E Coli evolving a new, beneficial trait in the lab. Now I am not saying that either Creation or Evolution is right. That's a separate discussion. My point is this.

I had never taken the time to examine the evidence myself.

Now that I have, I've taken it one step further. I've begun question my entire belief set as a human being. Instead of blindly believing what I'm told by religious leaders, politicians, the media, my family, etc. I make the effort to prove things to myself before I believe them. I have to tell you, this is a wonderfully awake and interesting way to live.

So now I  wonder. How many of mankinds beliefs exist only because of faith? Is it possible that the vast majority of people on this planet live and die in a state of borrowed faith? That they believe only what their parents taught them, or what they "heard", without ever doing the work to back up the very beliefs by which they live and sometimes even die?

If so, is then next step in cognitive evoution the ability to step outside mere credulity and live lives based on logical, observable fact? Or are we doomed as a species by our need to believe in things we can't prove?
Logged

Knightshade Dragon
Administrator
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 21075



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 01:12:54 PM »

First off, you know I really don't tread the waters of the R&PN forums very often.  Hell, you can tell my general view of it just by what I decided to name the forum.  That said, I felt like weighing in on this particular topic.

Quote
To expand, for the past few years I've been questioning the religious beliefs I was brought up with. I did so truly wanting to find a basis for my faith. Instead I found that my faith was logically unsupportable. So I left my religion.
The very nature of faith is that you can't question it.  The fact that you broke out of this fallacy trap is already points in your favor. If you are religious you should know that God doesn't have anything to hide.  If you are not religious, who are you to take orders from the church?  In the end, faith isn't logical, but that is what makes it faith.  You choose to believe something that defies logic in the belief that a higher power exists and wants to guide you to enlightenment.


Quote
One thing our religion taught was that evolution was a lie created by the devil and spread by people who fought against God. I wish I were making it up, I really do. One day I asked the question that must never be asked. "If evolution is a false teaching, why would it be so bad to study evolution? If it's false, upon study it should fall apart, right?" I asked the same question in terms of other things my former religion called "false beliefs" and I couldn't help but wonder, "What doesn't my religion want me to know? How can knowing the truth be dangerous?" So I started examining all the evidence about evolution I could get my hands on and discovered something really scary.
Ding ding ding!!! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!  The second religious starts blaming things on the Devil you should tune out.  This is where religion shirks their responsibility most - they lack personal accountability.  Good deeds?  Yep, God guided me.  I did something wrong?  The Devil made me do it.  Try this on for size - you likely made a choice (one you likely knew was wrong but you did it anyway) which resulted in 'negative karma'.  (Trying to be religion neutral here)  That is YOUR fault as it was YOUR choice.  There are no invisible strings making you do things, that's just a sad excuse.  As to your wondering about Darwinism, I'll get to that in a minute.

Quote
My former religion told me there was no evidence, that it was all lies. But I found mountains of evidence. Just recently I read a beautiful paper on E Coli evolving a new, beneficial trait in the lab. Now I am not saying that either Creation or Evolution is right. That's a separate discussion. My point is this.

I had never taken the time to examine the evidence myself.
Lemme guess.  The Devil wrote that evidence, right?

Quote
Now that I have, I've taken it one step further. I've begun question my entire belief set as a human being. Instead of blindly believing what I'm told by religious leaders, politicians, the media, my family, etc. I make the effort to prove things to myself before I believe them. I have to tell you, this is a wonderfully awake and interesting way to live.
  Skepticism is a healthy thing.  Anyone telling you differently is trying to suppress information.

Quote
So now I  wonder. How many of mankinds beliefs exist only because of faith? Is it possible that the vast majority of people on this planet live and die in a state of borrowed faith? That they believe only what their parents taught them, or what they "heard", without ever doing the work to back up the very beliefs by which they live and sometimes even die?
  Bingo.  This is exactly how things like war in the middle east has gone on for 1000s of years.  "I'm going to kill xyz group because my great great great great great grandfather hated them - I should hate them too."  Wait, what?  The same goes for racism.  The same goes for religion.  The eternal "My God is better than your God" fight just makes people angry because they can't put their two Gods in a one-legged sack race to determine a winner.  The pointless religious fight spawns war.  Try this on for size - Why do I give a shit about your God?  You want to believe that the Sun is a giant eye that watches over us?  Why should I care?  Believe what you want - why should I try to change your beliefs?  As long as you aren't hurting anyone, go nuts.

Quote
If so, is then next step in cognitive evoution the ability to step outside mere credulity and live lives based on logical, observable fact? Or are we doomed as a species by our need to believe in things we can't prove?
  Unfortunately I think you've just put yourself in the 'outsider' list.  Religions will shun you because you "don't have faith".  I personally believe in God, but I absolutely do NOT believe in religion. That said, I don't wear a cross - I wear a yin yang pendant as a symbol of my faith.  I believe in balance and the eternal struggle to achieve it. I believe in a higher power, but I don't think I'll find it on TV or standing at a podium telling me what to believe.  I applaud you for stepping back to try to find your place in the swirling miasma of this universe.  I think that you'll likely eventually find what I did - the answer is far closer to home than you'd ever believe.

Just my 2 cents. 
Logged

Ron Burke
EiC, Director of Gaming Trend
Gamertag:
Gaming Trend
PS3 Tag: GamingTrend
Orgull
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 615


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 04:31:21 PM »

Wow Ron, I knew I liked you, but I had no idea you were a kindred spirit!

I agree with everything you said there.

My bottom line. God? Yes. Religion? No. Never again.
Logged

Victoria Raverna
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1091


Auspiciousness, prosperity, and good fortune


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 03:33:01 AM »

About middle east, their god is the same one. They only disagree about whose version is right.
Logged
Jeff
Special Project Group
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3278



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 02:17:17 PM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on August 14, 2008, 03:33:01 AM

About middle east, their god is the same one. They only disagree about whose version is right.


I hear that a lot, but I strongly disagree. Their god is not the same as the Christian god. They can't possibly be the same. The Islamic god is a derivative of the Abrahamic god, but has fundamentally different characteristics. First and foremost, the Islamic "version" isn't a trinity. If you want to claim that the debate is only over the correct version, the same could said of the Mormon Jesus and the Protestant Jesus. Christianity has many, many variations and subsets.

I've been passing over this forum due mostly to a lack of activity, but also because - like OO's R&P forum, I thought it should be re-named "Politics & More Politics". Religious discussion, and especially religious scrutiny has seemed to be off-limits, not according to the rules, but due to social pressure. A lot of folks take the questioning of their religion as direct personal "attack".

Orgull, I salute you for willingness to sit down and truly evaluate your world view. It can be jarring to have your entire world-view upended, but it's a bold and brave step to take.

Quote
I have a serious three part question. Why do so many people believe things that they have not taken the time to prove for themselves?

I think this is primarily due to, but not limited to, childhood indoctrination. As children we are sponges, and absorb and conform to what we see, and what our parents teach us. It's not always carved in stone for life, but it's a hard thing to deprogram the human mind.

One can ask: why is religious distribution so heavily based on geography? I believe it's because of indoctrination and societal pressure. Religions seem to be national, and probably serve an evolutionary purpose for societal bonding in the interest of survival. Middle-Eastern children grow up Islamic, American children grow up protestant Christian, Brazilian children become Catholics, and Indian children become Hindu and so on.

Quote
Why do so many people believe things that are not supported by observable fact?


I believe it's because the true underlying reasons for religious belief are evolutionary and societal, as opposed to logical. Social bonding, parental approval and personal security I think all play a role. I often think about my existence, and what a bizarre thing it is. It's strange for me to think that I exist today, and one day I will not. (But then I remember that I didn't exist for the eons of time before I was born!). Religions (most of them) are heavily based on reward & punishment, and the strong & natural human desire to continue existing. Further we are creatures that seek pleasure and avoid pain ... voila ... heaven is introduced and a religion is born.


Quote
Why are people content to live this way?

I think the answers to your 3 questions are pretty much tied together. People are content because they are getting something out of it, be it security or other positive feelings. Humans tend to do a lot of things that aren't logical.

Quote
My bottom line. God? Yes. Religion? No. Never again.

This isn't meant with even a shred of hostility or aggression, but can you define God? The reason is I ask is that I would go a step further and state that gods are useless. Is the god to be all-powerful & all-knowing? then why allow evil and immense human suffering? (about 26,000 children starve to death on this earth daily). I don't see the point of a god that takes no part in his "creation", and I find a personal god who allows conditions such as we see, to be morally reprehensible.

In other words, there could be a god ... but so what? If he/she/it is completely hands-off, the idea becomes the same as non-existence. They serve no practical purpose to our universe, and can be trimmed away with Occam's Razor.

I find it beyond bizarre for a god to wish to create a system in which the process is for creatures to need to kill and eat each other in order to survive, all the while instilling an overwhelming survival urge. This leads to ... well, what we see on earth.

Lastly, what would an all-powerful (i.e. completely fulfilled) god gain from such a creation?


« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 01:34:00 AM by Jeff Jones » Logged
Purge
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 18582



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 02:34:52 PM »

I have faith in something more powerful than us; we cannot possibly be the pinnacle of all creation.

Are we just a bubble in a boiling pot of soup? No, I don't think so. Even if we started that way doesn't mean it will end that way; we just need to make sure we don't tip the darwinian scales against ourselves.

The evidence of religion being (generally) a tool used to control the masses is staggering; it's more than just about accountability, it's also about misogyny. Point me to a popular religion where it hasn't been used as the staple to hold women down in a patriarchy for thousands of years. That is just the overt evidence.

I don't want to get all into this right now as I've got a shit-ton of work to do, but let me just say that Religion, not Science, almost killed God.
Logged

"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners." - Johnny Carson
Blackadar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3458



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 02:45:10 PM »

Quote from: Orgull on August 13, 2008, 02:47:00 AM

I have a serious three part question. Why do so many people believe things that they have not taken the time to prove for themselves? Why do so many people believe things that are not supported by observable fact? Why are people content to live this way?

To expand, for the past few years I've been questioning the religious beliefs I was brought up with. I did so truly wanting to find a basis for my faith. Instead I found that my faith was logically unsupportable. So I left my religion.

One thing our religion taught was that evolution was a lie created by the devil and spread by people who fought against God. I wish I were making it up, I really do. One day I asked the question that must never be asked. "If evolution is a false teaching, why would it be so bad to study evolution? If it's false, upon study it should fall apart, right?" I asked the same question in terms of other things my former religion called "false beliefs" and I couldn't help but wonder, "What doesn't my religion want me to know? How can knowing the truth be dangerous?" So I started examining all the evidence about evolution I could get my hands on and discovered something really scary.

My former religion told me there was no evidence, that it was all lies. But I found mountains of evidence. Just recently I read a beautiful paper on E Coli evolving a new, beneficial trait in the lab. Now I am not saying that either Creation or Evolution is right. That's a separate discussion. My point is this.

I had never taken the time to examine the evidence myself.

Now that I have, I've taken it one step further. I've begun question my entire belief set as a human being. Instead of blindly believing what I'm told by religious leaders, politicians, the media, my family, etc. I make the effort to prove things to myself before I believe them. I have to tell you, this is a wonderfully awake and interesting way to live.

So now I  wonder. How many of mankinds beliefs exist only because of faith? Is it possible that the vast majority of people on this planet live and die in a state of borrowed faith? That they believe only what their parents taught them, or what they "heard", without ever doing the work to back up the very beliefs by which they live and sometimes even die?

If so, is then next step in cognitive evoution the ability to step outside mere credulity and live lives based on logical, observable fact? Or are we doomed as a species by our need to believe in things we can't prove?

That's an excellent post.  Actually, most people's beliefs exist because of faith and presumption.  People generally don't take the time to research something to make an informed judgement.  They presume to know the answer (based on environment variables like religion, family upbringing, geographic location as well as personality variables) and then do just enough research to support that conclusion.  It's very much like the Matrix - "You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."  Most people take the blue pill.  And there's a good reason why.  Ignorance is bliss.

It's pretty shocking when you actually break away from those constraints and do your own truth-seeking.  For many, the truth is so soul-shaking and scary that they immediately retreat back to the cocoon of "belief predisposition".  It's much, much easier.  Not only can you avoid the heavy mental lifting that real analysis requires, but your social circle of friends and relatives very likely share most of the same beliefs.  To go down that path often results in interpersonal conflict and can be pretty ostracizing.  That's why excommunication was such a powerful tool by the Church.  While we don't have to deal with such an official condemnation tactic, society still has its ways of shunning "truth seekers".
Logged

Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
Jeff
Special Project Group
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3278



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 02:59:30 PM »

Quote from: Purge on August 18, 2008, 02:34:52 PM

I have faith in something more powerful than us; we cannot possibly be the pinnacle of all creation.

This introduces the problem of infinite regression.

When you introduce a god to solve a problem, does the same problem apply to the god?

e.g. "The universe can't 'just exist'" --> "God can just exist". Why?

Logged
Purge
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 18582



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 06:47:00 PM »

I'm not using god as creator. I'm using god as a placeholder for being(s) far beyond our measure and something that would dwarf our capacity to reason.
Logged

"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners." - Johnny Carson
Jeff
Special Project Group
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3278



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 01:30:41 AM »

Quote from: Purge on August 18, 2008, 06:47:00 PM

I'm not using god as creator. I'm using god as a placeholder for being(s) far beyond our measure and something that would dwarf our capacity to reason.

I can handle that smile

For all I know we could be a highly advanced computer simulation.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.234 seconds with 43 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.135s, 2q)