Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
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14-06-2013, 06:16 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2013 07:51 AM by Stephen Charchuk.)
Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
Here is a passage out of one of my favourite novels which I think explains perfectly why people want to believe that there is a god. What do you think of it?

Quote:" The Court of the TwiceBorn 3:
The Absent Referent

"Every child is born into a universe ruled by a just and particular god, the
center of whose universe in turn that child is. None of us ever truly recovers
from the first great betrayal: that the universe is not that which the
evidence of our hearts and minds and senses has proclaimed it to be.

There is more magnanimity in human nature than is popularly supposed. If we
cannot claim a personal universe for ourselves, enfolded by a god who knows
our name, we will create it for others. A cosmos which notices, for good or
ill, is far preferable to one which simply ignores us.

Thus, one of the seductions of power. It begins, always, as an intent to
redress the wrong discovered in childhood---that one is not the center of the
of the universe, that in fact the universe, being no spectator, cannot possess
a center.

Against this, rather than for anything at all, we go to war and die, set up
gods and avatars, or declare that the universe indeed dances to some measure
if disinterested pattern which may now discover and invoke.

There is no escape. Life was made to hope; to believe, in the face of all
evidence, that something may yet be so because it is *nicer* than the reality
experienced daily.

It is true that in a continuum of random change, some change may be perceived
as for the better.

It is even possible, in an infinity of change, that the universe may come to
hold meaning at last."

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15-06-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
First, welcome to the forum. Smile

Regarding the excerpt, honestly I think it's too simple. I agree everyone comes into the world with the perception that they are the center of the "universe", but I don't agree with " ruled by a just and particular god". I put "universe" in quotes because to an infant that simply means "all that there is" while they have no real concept of the actual universe in the way they eventually will learn. For the god part, they have no concept of that at all. That's something they learn from those around them and exactly which god they learn about depends on where and in what family they are born.

I think the reasons people want to believe in god comes from a variety of sources including, but not limited to emotional needs, fear of death, wanting a concrete answer to life's meaning, a source of hope in any situation where that's needed, and simply because it's the way it always has been for them. By that last one, I mean people are taught about a god or gods from their social contexts and accept this on the authority of those who teach them about it. Their lives are built around that and, later, when they are old enough to think for themselves, it's far easier not to rock the boat within themselves or within their social surroundings. So they don't really want to know anymore that what they were told is just nonsense. They would rather keep believing (or convincing themselves that the do).

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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15-06-2013, 11:49 AM
Re: RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 11:26 AM)Impulse Wrote:  First, welcome to the forum. Smile

Regarding the excerpt, honestly I think it's too simple. I agree everyone comes into the world with the perception that they are the center of the "universe", but I don't agree with " ruled by a just and particular god". I put "universe" in quotes because to an infant that simply means "all that there is" while they have no real concept of the actual universe in the way they eventually will learn. For the god part, they have no concept of that at all. That's something they learn from those around them and exactly which god they learn about depends on where and in what family they are born.

I think the reasons people want to believe in god comes from a variety of sources including, but not limited to emotional needs, fear of death, wanting a concrete answer to life's meaning, a source of hope in any situation where that's needed, and simply because it's the way it always has been for them. By that last one, I mean people are taught about a god or gods from their social contexts and accept this on the authority of those who teach them about it. Their lives are built around that and, later, when they are old enough to think for themselves, it's far easier not to rock the boat within themselves or within their social surroundings. So they don't really want to know anymore that what they were told is just nonsense. They would rather keep believing (or convincing themselves that the do).

In this case I feel that Occum's Razor is appropriate. All that you mentioned is in the passage.

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15-06-2013, 01:20 PM
RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(14-06-2013 06:16 PM)Stephen Charchuk Wrote:  Here is a passage out of one of my favourite novels which I think explains perfectly why people want to believe that there is a god. What do you think of it?

Quote:" The Court of the TwiceBorn 3:
The Absent Referent

"Every child is born into a universe ruled by a just and particular god, the
center of whose universe in turn that child is. None of us ever truly recovers
from the first great betrayal: that the universe is not that which the
evidence of our hearts and minds and senses has proclaimed it to be.

There is more magnanimity in human nature than is popularly supposed. If we
cannot claim a personal universe for ourselves, enfolded by a god who knows
our name, we will create it for others. A cosmos which notices, for good or
ill, is far preferable to one which simply ignores us.

Thus, one of the seductions of power. It begins, always, as an intent to
redress the wrong discovered in childhood---that one is not the center of the
of the universe, that in fact the universe, being no spectator, cannot possess
a center.

Against this, rather than for anything at all, we go to war and die, set up
gods and avatars, or declare that the universe indeed dances to some measure
if disinterested pattern which may now discover and invoke.

There is no escape. Life was made to hope; to believe, in the face of all
evidence, that something may yet be so because it is *nicer* than the reality
experienced daily.

It is true that in a continuum of random change, some change may be perceived
as for the better.

It is even possible, in an infinity of change, that the universe may come to
hold meaning at last."

I personally find it annoying. The author is abusing anthropomorphism, and animism.

He shifts the blame for indoctrination onto the universe, claims that god was invented out of a need for power, and finally goes onto we somehow add meaning to the universe.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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15-06-2013, 01:34 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2013 01:44 PM by Stephen Charchuk.)
Re: RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 01:20 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I personally find it annoying. The author is abusing anthropomorphism, and animism.

He shifts the blame for indoctrination onto the universe, claims that god was invented out of a need for power, and finally goes onto we somehow add meaning to the universe.

It is our perception of a universe which we believe that we should be the center of that we invent gods, and the like, for when we finally realize that we're not. Everything IS about power and sex eventually.

You guys seem to be hung up on the term universe in this context. What it means is everything around one, not the literal universe for the most part. God was mainly invented to have someone to love us above all else, because to not be loved as such was unbearable to them. They believed that they deserved this outright like any spoiled child.

What is truly annoying are those who try to force their god on others to further their delusion. Confused

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15-06-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 01:34 PM)Stephen Charchuk Wrote:  What is truly annoying are those who try to force their god on others to further their delusion. Confused

Deity rape
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15-06-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 01:34 PM)Stephen Charchuk Wrote:  
(15-06-2013 01:20 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I personally find it annoying. The author is abusing anthropomorphism, and animism.

He shifts the blame for indoctrination onto the universe, claims that god was invented out of a need for power, and finally goes onto we somehow add meaning to the universe.

It is our perception of a universe which we believe that we should be the center of that we invent gods, and the like, for when we finally realize that we're not. Everything IS about power and sex eventually.

You guys seem to be hung up on the term universe in this context. What it means is everything around one, not the literal universe for the most part. God was mainly invented to have someone to love us above all else, because to not be loved as such was unbearable to them. They believed that they deserved this outright like any spoiled child.

What is truly annoying are those who try to force their god on others to further their delusion. Confused

I'm one person? I know you are trying to soften the blow, but that's what I think about that particular reference.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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15-06-2013, 02:31 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2013 02:52 PM by Stephen Charchuk.)
Re: RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 02:07 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I'm one person? I know you are trying to soften the blow, but that's what I think about that particular reference.

That's why I asked. It's really not as complicated as we would like it to be. Its the same with the question of what the purpose of life is. The answer is so simple yet many have made it much more complex than it actually is. The purpose of life is..... Life. It's that simple, really. All else is just smoke and mirrors to get the money, or admiration, out of the rubes.

Since I offer this without expection it must be suspect. I must want something? Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is why I keep using Occum's Razor. The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

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15-06-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
I like the passage. It connotes a sense of self empowerment and the ridiculous frustration of the ego taking control of everything and everyone else, rather than being satisfied with getting a grip on the self. I think our big fat brains have trouble dealing with the fact that we are after all, just a bunch of fucking monkeys. Shy

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15-06-2013, 03:27 PM
Re: RE: Why People Want To Believe That There Is A God.
(15-06-2013 03:18 PM)kim Wrote:  I like the passage. It connotes a sense of self empowerment and the ridiculous frustration of the ego taking control of everything and everyone else, rather than being satisfied with getting a grip on the self. I think our big fat brains have trouble dealing with the fact that we are after all, just a bunch of fucking monkeys. Shy

Exactly. I miss our tail. Big Grin

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