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.
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.
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.
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.
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?