Reasons to stay religious
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07-06-2011, 03:38 AM
Reasons to stay religious
I always thought it was rather strange for a person to stay religious even after being presented all the counter apologetics. This is especially true for priests, and pastors. I can't imagine that, as the honest person they want to become, they never questioned their believes or dug deeper into the philosophical fallacies. As a believer in 2011, I also can't imagine you've never even been presented to viewpoints that try to prove your religion wrong.

That made my wonder: How CAN you still stay in your religion as a sane, thinking, intelligent and honest person?

I thought up some reasons:

  1. You can't be bothered.
    It takes effort to switch your world-view. You just don't feel the need to dig deeper in the arguments.
  2. You value your religious peers opinions more then your own.
    You are afraid what they will think or say. You risk being expelled from the group.
  3. You are indoctrinated to be scared.
    You pull the "Pascal's wager" card without even knowing it.
  4. It pays your rent.
    After years of being a "professional pastor" you can't just take another job like that.
  5. You feel the need to believe something but you don't know what.
    You are afraid of the philosophical black hole. Religion is to philosophy what mac-Donalds is to cooking. If you've never thought how to cook for yourself you'll starve a spiritual hunger death if you abandon religion. I think this is the main reason why people don't want to abandon their religion.
  6. Your in it too deep.
    Religion is woven into every fibre of your thought tissue.
  7. It hides your secrets.
    Belgium used to have en arch-bishop who I always considered an intelligent and gentle person. Turned out he knew about the paedophilia scandals in the church ever since the 60's. He decided to cover it up under the cloth of "it wasn't all that bad". Turned out it was! I'm pretty sure he just stays into religion to have is ass covered.

Most of this reasons just make you "a hypocrite" yet, being a hypocrite is just a state, not a reason. Can any of you think up more reasons? Since I tend to believe the vast majority of people are not bad, I'd really like to see more non-hypocrite reasons.

Observer

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Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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07-06-2011, 05:09 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
I would say that many of my family Pentecostal members are convinced that their religion is right because they have emotions and feelings they interpret as divine influence in their life. Its hard to question belief when you feel "glory chills" every weekend at church.

I've also hear many of them say that while they can't raise adequate responses to skeptics questions they assume that the experts (apologists, pastors, seminary professors) have them answered. Sort of like saying, I can't work on my car, but I know mechanics can so I don't need to know how. I guess this is closely related to your first point.

Also related to your second point is an appeal to authority, "if it was good enough for grand-ma then it's good enough for me!" Not really fear-based, but just smugly taking comfort in the fact that people they respect believe so it's safe for them to do the same.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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07-06-2011, 06:34 AM
 
RE: Reasons to stay religious
The most frustrating response that is every religious persons' answer, "You just have to have faith." Coming from a very devout Catholic family and 12 years of Catholic school that was all I ever heard. We had to take theology classes every year and in the a class room that was still the answer. When I was young and began to question what I was being taught every one from family, to teachers, to nuns/priests told me that. All I could think of was why? Especially if you are as committed to faith as most of the people in my life are, wouldn't you really want to tear it apart and get into the dirt of it so that you could really say this is why I believe it. I think they know it doesn't make sense and that is the only answer that can still make them feel good about believing.
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07-06-2011, 06:35 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
8. Free wine
9. Free crackers (for Catholics at least)

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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07-06-2011, 06:41 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
My friend at school says his religion is true because it makes him happy.
I try to point out to him to happiness value != truth value but he just goes "lalala, I'm not listening!"

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing". "But," says man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist and so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
-DA
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07-06-2011, 06:52 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
Yes clothing and food are a big plus for being poor and religious.

My actual view on why most people stay religious is that they've not had any experiences traumatic enough to deal with it. Christians proselytize because it's normal to want others to agree with you, but they don't really care about the subjects which religion purports. They just want to live their life without worrying on those ideas which is easy. There are questions I ignore which many spend lifetimes on. There's no real reason to question if you really couldn't care less about the subject.

A big factor in religion also is that whole "relationship" thing. Most people who get contradicting evidence just fill in gaps. You can reform your religion however you like, just don't directly oppose the pastor. I find most christians to be extremely secular, because what works works. They aren't going to seriously deny themselves of actual answers, but they will continue the practice of giving credence to pastors.

I'm aware that having traumas and hard lives often are what causes religion, but I believe that without a major occurrence there is no reason to change your world view. Someone saying something that makes sense just isn't enough to take the extensive trouble of changing yourself. until your views actually fail you it's not very personally important to question them. Most people are willing to take to selfishness in respect to their views of the world. Though they can be shown that their views are detrimental for someone else, it's not the case for them. And when their views are filled with us/them mentality, of course they judge that the oppressed is some sort of them.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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07-06-2011, 07:45 AM
 
RE: Reasons to stay religious
(07-06-2011 06:35 AM)BnW Wrote:  8. Free wine
9. Free crackers (for Catholics at least)
Which on a molecular level have been turned into a 2000 year old dead deity... doesn't the Bible say anything about cannibalism?

10. Social suicide. For many religious people, their church is their main social gathering - whether they made it that important or the church simply is that intrusive into people's lives - if they give that up by losing the faith publicly, all those people might want nothing more to do with them.

11. Embarrassment. When I stopped being religious, I felt really stupid and embarrassed for what I used to believe. Strangely, that felt like a reason to stay in religion even if I didn't buy it anymore.
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07-06-2011, 07:52 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
The bible discusses cannibalism as something god has the Jews do from time to time.'

Not really the view you would be looking toward for refuting eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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07-06-2011, 08:13 AM
 
RE: Reasons to stay religious
(07-06-2011 05:09 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  I would say that many of my family Pentecostal members are convinced that their religion is right because they have emotions and feelings they interpret as divine influence in their life. Its hard to question belief when you feel "glory chills" every weekend at church.

I've also hear many of them say that while they can't raise adequate responses to skeptics questions they assume that the experts (apologists, pastors, seminary professors) have them answered. Sort of like saying, I can't work on my car, but I know mechanics can so I don't need to know how. I guess this is closely related to your first point.

Also related to your second point is an appeal to authority, "if it was good enough for grand-ma then it's good enough for me!" Not really fear-based, but just smugly taking comfort in the fact that people they respect believe so it's safe for them to do the same.
This is something that has always bothered me; people blindly trusting what other people say or blindly trusting their authority. Sure it helps to know someone is an expert on something and save yourself the trouble of figuring out how it works, but when you're actually talking about something big, like a theme for your life as religions are; shouldn't people want to know everything about it? Or at least in more depth than the façade they are usually presented? And sure, people get to screw up themselves as a form of freedom, but people get to vote in many countries and people's life theme will strongly sway their choice which affects all people.

Imagine medical professionals didn't really know what they were doing and just learned some tricks to help people without any background, or deep reasoning behind every step of a protocol. How would you feel if your physician told you "So, let's give you a recipe of Coumadin." and you're like "What's that doc?" to which he replies "I don't know, some anticoagulant, but the book says I should give it to you.".

People who have to care for other people, like parents, voters, medics, teachers, etc. can't rely on what other people tell them. They have to be presented with sound arguments, investigate, ask critical questions, make up their own mind before doing anything which has effect on another human being. Critical thinking is mandatory for anyone who is given care over other people. Which is almost all people if you think about it.
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07-06-2011, 09:33 AM
RE: Reasons to stay religious
(07-06-2011 07:45 AM)Diederick Wrote:  
(07-06-2011 06:35 AM)BnW Wrote:  8. Free wine
9. Free crackers (for Catholics at least)
Which on a molecular level have been turned into a 2000 year old dead deity... doesn't the Bible say anything about cannibalism?

10. Social suicide. For many religious people, their church is their main social gathering - whether they made it that important or the church simply is that intrusive into people's lives - if they give that up by losing the faith publicly, all those people might want nothing more to do with them.

11. Embarrassment. When I stopped being religious, I felt really stupid and embarrassed for what I used to believe. Strangely, that felt like a reason to stay in religion even if I didn't buy it anymore.

The wine was sweet but the crackers are really dry and tend to stick to your mouth ceiling. Smile If I was in charge of the ecumenical service, I'd rather serve the cracker before the wine, so you could rinse your mouth a bit.

I think item 10 is the same as item 2.

11: I know the feeling, but looks like it didn't stop us, did it? Smile

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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