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Thread: What is the true reason for looking towards religion?

  1. #1
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    What is the true reason for looking towards religion?

    When I see people dedicating their lives to God, Ailah, Buddah, or what ever their Divine Creater is I wounder if it is purely a relationship of an anwser that satifies them and releives them of the worries of the after life and the soothing comfort of that they are not alone or is it a true love to this Divine intelligence and a respect to its all amazing aw. Where does the majority lie in the releam of true love and honor or in the comfort zone of hopeing that they are not alone. I my self lie on the outer regions where I just look in a except the fact that there is more then likely a Divine Creater but choose not to specify it or to bow my life to it. Where do you lie or do you disagree with me. These are just my opions and I wish all replays to stay philosophical and do not make them concret for there are no true answers to this, which is the reason I enjoy poundering these type of ideas.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by hitchhiker View Post
    When I see people dedicating their lives to God, Ailah, Buddah, or what ever their Divine Creater is I wounder if it is purely a relationship of an anwser that satifies them and releives them of the worries of the after life and the soothing comfort of that they are not alone
    Where did you get this idea? I've said it elsewhere and I'll say it again:

    Atheism is an absolutely risk free proposition. Your emotional or physical joys or travails will all be extinquished anyway. Life in its entirety is risk free, given atheism.

    It is only given atheism that a person would have their "worries" of the afterlife relieved. After choosing to become a theist, a person inherits a number of responsibilities and "worries": the afterlife then takes on a significance.

    I think convincing myself that life has no "afterlife" would be overwhelmingly relaxing. Doing such a thing would be anything but scary; indeed, it would relieve a person of the full gamut of potential hazards associated with existence.
    As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame . . .


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    Why do you feel that being an atheist absolves a person from responsibilities a theist may have? Do you think all theists believe in an afterlife? What do you expect from the afterlife (if it exists)? Do you feel that you'll be rewarded or punished for the actions that you take while you're alive? Do you choose the actions you take today solely on the rewards or punishments you yourself can expect to reap in your version of the afterlife? What about choosing your actions in this life based on the harm or good it will do you and/or others in this life?

    I believe in God because it gives me comfort to believe in God. I'm not a member of any organized religion but I feel many people choose a religion so they can feel validation and camaraderie among others who think and feel in a similar way to themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralles View Post
    I believe in God because it gives me comfort to believe in God.
    So you do believe. But don't you think that if you truely believe you should not believe just becuase it comforts you but you should believe to honor and truely show appreteation for the Creater. It almost seems selfish to look for comfort just for yourself. But I am always just guessing.

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    What makes you think that belief in God can't be it's own way of honoring the creator? I doubt seriously that if God exists, he's really all THAT worried about how, why, or what I or anyone else feels. In fact there have been quite a few instances in my life where I've felt that God has a very nasty, sadistic sense of humor and he's picked a select few to be the butt of his jokes. God, if he/she/it exists, can be cruel, fickle and puerile. Sorry about the little rant. i just don't think God is overly concerned about whether I believe in him/her/it or not. If he was, wouldn't that smack of pride and isn't God supposed to be perfect - whatever that is?

  6. #6
    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    Atheism is an absolutely risk free proposition. Your emotional or physical joys or travails will all be extinquished anyway. Life in its entirety is risk free, given atheism.
    If you're talking only about the wories of an afterlife, this is true (but of course the it's easy to argue that any worries about an afterlife are offset by the comforts of an afterlife).

    On the other hand life itself is still filled with risk as an atheist because the physical and emotional joys from which one takes pleasure are still at risk. Risk is only avoided if one can manage to achieve the detachment called for in Zen practice (at least as I understand Zen practice).

    In this regard theism allows a comfort that atheism does not. All one's joys can be stripped from him in this life leaving a pretty appalling existence. If one is a believer he can believe something better is on the horizon whereas the atheist can only expect the misery to stop - the latter being rather cold comfort in comparison.
    Last edited by trismegistus; 11-25-2006 at 04:34 PM.

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    Kat in a Hat kathycf's Avatar
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    Since I am neither an atheist nor a follower of any organized faith I suppose my belief system could seem murky to others. However, I think any person is not absolved of responsibility simply because they are an atheist. I cannot speak for others but only myself in this matter but I set standards for myself and try hard to live up to them. I believe in the Golden Rule and I feel a sense of duty to others...not to be a "bleeding heart" but as a compassionate and caring person. Do I always succeed in this endeavor? Nope, but trying to is part of my journey.
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    I agree with you. It's important to do what's right in this life for the sake of it being right.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    Why do you feel that being an atheist absolves a person from responsibilities a theist may have?
    I have to presume you are talking specifically about ‘responsibilities’ concerning the afterlife (as this is what I wrote) – if this is the case, however, my reasoning should be quite clear. For the atheist, there is no afterlife. For the theist, there potentially is one (see later comments).

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    Do you think all theists believe in an afterlife?
    Well, perhaps this is a presumptuous belief. Could you please inform me of the theistic religions that do not believe there is an afterlife?

    Should I amend my comment to read, “Theists who believe in an afterlife?” I think it’s considered a given.

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    What do you expect from the afterlife (if it exists)?
    That’s a relatively personal question and not one I’m inclined to answer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    Do you feel that you'll be rewarded or punished for the actions that you take while you're alive?
    I would disagree heavily with your wording. I don’t believe in a God that would “punish” eternally. “Reward” has a tricky connotation as well – I do believe that if the afterlife exists, it takes into account a person’s heart, will, actions, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    Do you choose the actions you take today solely on the rewards or punishments you yourself can expect to reap in your version of the afterlife?
    No, not at all, and I think to do so would be almost completely inhibiting. When I’m hungry, I eat – I don’t consider the afterlife during my daily routine, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    What about choosing your actions in this life based on the harm or good it will do you and/or others in this life?
    This comes into effect far more than the consideration of the afterlife, that’s for sure. What kind of living organism doesn't take into account the good or harm it's actions will cause it? It's an evolutionary trait - I thought that we did what was best for ourselves? Your question has two sides that basically encompass most every action taken by every person, as far as I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    I believe in God because it gives me comfort to believe in God.
    Then I think you may be cheating yourself. The only reason I would ever believe in something I couldn’t understand, quantify, account for, or reason would be if it was made all pervasively real to me – I don’t want God just as a comfort or a blanket, I only want God as the truth, inasmuch as I can ascertain it, of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by “ralles”
    I'm not a member of any organized religion but I feel many people choose a religion so they can feel validation and camaraderie among others who think and feel in a similar way to themselves.
    Do they do this consciously or subconsciously?
    As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame . . .


    Why disqualify the rush? I'm tabled. I'm tabled.



  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus View Post
    If you're talking only about the wories of an afterlife, this is true (but of course the it's easy to argue that any worries about an afterlife are offset by the comforts of an afterlife).
    I'm talking about both the worries of the afterlife and the worries of this life.

    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus View Post
    On the other hand life itself is still filled with risk as an atheist because the physical and emotional joys from which one takes pleasure are still at risk. Risk is only avoided if one can manage to achieve the detachment called for in Zen practice (at least as I understand Zen practice).
    Those physical and emotional joys are temporal, that's my point. When a human dies, given atheism, then it will make no difference to them whether they had the best possible existence or the worst possible existence - it all crashes to black and their existence might as well have never taken place.

    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    In this regard theism allows a comfort that atheism does not. All one's joys can be stripped from him in this life leaving a pretty appalling existence. If one is a believer he can believe something better is on the horizon whereas the atheist can only expect the misery to stop - the latter being rather cold comfort in comparison.
    I'm not entirely sure - the theist doesn't really have guarantees concerning the afterlife - they've got a hunch, a belief about what they think it might be like. Though this can comfort them - I agree - "Sugarcandy Mountain" helps keep the workers in line.

    Where is the risk for the atheist? The misery stops, and everything that you were and knew is extinguished forever - that "cold comfort" may as well have been "uplifting comfort" or may as well have been "utter hopelesness." After death, all is gone and you have no memory or care as to what happened during that horrific "alive" stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by kathycf View Post
    Since I am neither an atheist nor a follower of any organized faith I suppose my belief system could seem murky to others. However, I think any person is not absolved of responsibility simply because they are an atheist.

    Neither do I. Are they absolved from concerns having to do with the afterlife? If they are fully convinced that there is no such thing, should they act in cognizance of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kathycf
    I cannot speak for others but only myself in this matter but I set standards for myself and try hard to live up to them. I believe in the Golden Rule and I feel a sense of duty to others...not to be a "bleeding heart" but as a compassionate and caring person. Do I always succeed in this endeavor? Nope, but trying to is part of my journey.
    And it is honorable, considerate and human. The golden rule is as good a rule as any, I'd say.

    And I don't think there are too many people who actually succeed in that endeavor.
    As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame . . .


    Why disqualify the rush? I'm tabled. I'm tabled.



  11. #11
    Kat in a Hat kathycf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    I'm talking about both the worries of the afterlife and the worries of this life.

    Are they absolved from concerns having to do with the afterlife? If they are fully convinced that there is no such thing, should they act in cognizance of it?
    In that respect no, as it would make no sense for an atheist to worry about the afterlife.
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    My argument for the existence of God is relatively simple. Plainly put: As human beings we all have universal cravings, and always for something that is potentially within our reach. If we crave it, then of necessity it must exist. And just as squirrels crave acorns, and flowers crave sunshine, so Man since time immemorial has desired a God.

    And how does God fit into the equation? Well..Take, for instance, our most basic human needs. We all require food, and food DOES exist on our planet, though (sadly) not always in sufficient quantity everywhere. We all require physical/emotional intimacy, and nearly everyone has at least the POSSIBILITY of finding love. We all appreciate beauty in one form or another...and beauty, however subjective, is certainly a universal concept of which we all can point to various examples. In short, the very fact that we WANT something implies the thing's existence, since Nature is frugal with her gifts and would hardly burden us with instincts for that which is not...

    I would argue that the NEED for God is absolutely intrinsic to human nature; that the majority of us prefer to believe in some sort of Higher Power and, by interpolation, an afterlife. And since this appears to be such a universal human need---spanning time and space, encompassing all countries and cultures and historical eras---then the means of satisfying said need must truly exist.

    Even agnosticism and atheism express this same obsession with God. Because NON BELIEF implies a spiritual odyssey, too...the journey of one who has already considered, debated and refuted metaphysical questions. God is a universal human obsession. WE can't any of us do without God, hence God exists.

  13. #13
    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    I'm talking about both the worries of the afterlife and the worries of this life.

    Those physical and emotional joys are temporal, that's my point.
    Agreed. Thus if you're talking about the risk involved while living, the lack of a concern for an afterlife solves nothing for the atheist. Every day he risks those temporal joys, thus it is erroneous to say that "Life in its entirety is risk free, given atheism."

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    I'm not entirely sure - the theist doesn't really have guarantees concerning the afterlife - they've got a hunch, a belief about what they think it might be like.
    Suggested survey: Go ask 100 theists where they're going when they die. I think you'll find that only about 5%-10% of them are genuinely worried about Hell (or whatever eternal punishment is threatened in their theology). The modern Western view of God has become so human-friendly that the vast majority of theists are pretty certain that by living a decent life, they're going to be just fine in the afterlife. Go to church on Sunday and conduct your life the way any decent atheist would do, and you've passed the Pearly Gates just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    Though this can comfort them - I agree - "Sugarcandy Mountain" helps keep the workers in line.
    Agreed. So can the promise of a raise at the end of every year.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutGrace View Post
    Where is the risk for the atheist? The misery stops, and everything that you were and knew is extinguished forever - that "cold comfort" may as well have been "uplifting comfort" or may as well have been "utter hopelesness."
    This is true after death, of course, but I was talking about the comfort theism gives while one is living as it relates to an afterlife. As I wrote, the theist can believe things will get better - even infinitely better - while the atheist can only believe that the condition of misery will simply stop (at the cost, by the way, of any potential future joys). As a rough analogy let's try this:

    The starving theist can say, "Today sucks but starting tomorrow and for the rest of my life, I'm going to eat whatever I want and it will be served on golden platters with those nifty fingerbowls and a little something to cleanse the palette between each course. And a nice bottle of chianti, of course."

    The starving theist can say: "Today sucks but starting tomorrow I will have bread and water all to my liking; thus I will no longer be hungry and this pain in my belly will desist. Hooray."

  14. #14
    Poor Hobo Artist bella_swan07's Avatar
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    Personally, I hold my own beliefs. Everything is to one's own opinion, basically nurturing makes up a strong part of anyone's beliefs. Everyone, it the back of their mind is thinking about other realms (i.e. heaven, hell etc) and wonder, whether it be Christian, Hindu or Thiest. No type of religion or "un-religion" can save anyone one from the fear of a greater entity and the life after death. Even from a scientist's point of view, there is a need to know how everything is created, was there a creator? I have to say that most people's beliefs come from their raising. My family is devout Christian, there lies my faith. And thus the key word...faith. That is what makes God God and Buddha Buddha...faith, it takes faith to believe it. Wow that was a completely out-there thing...
    Bella
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    hitchhiker: "What is the true reason for looking towards religion?"

    All the things a man does, the driving force, are selfish and they aim their personal wellbeing. Man searched his fruition in different ways... with no result though.

    No metter what he would do, man will remain lonely while he is surrounded by people. And anguish by loneliness, as a cure, he invented an misterious resort, superior to him, which can help him and protect him. Instance that he invested with uncounted attributes. He came up to giving birth to a hole script of the creations of the existent, creation that is arrogated by this misterious resort. No man is enough for himself. He needs more to be fullfield. That's why he invented a God to pray for, a God that would understand him, a God that punishes him, a God to fill the hole inside of him.
    "Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within."

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