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Is the belief of a god important? does it really matter if a person believes in a higher power or not? How does that belief impact our world? Why should people debate whether or not god exists, can't it be a simple case of 'live and let live'?

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One phenomena that might explain it is Attitude Polarization. Look at all the 9000+ sects of Christianity. Each is exposed to the same documents and history of their main religion, yet each takes this

Yet another meaningless appeal to authority that is nothing but what someone else believes, belief does not equal knowledge...

And what would your point be dude?

Is the belief of a god important?

 

Not to some people.

 

does it really matter if a person believes in a higher power or not?

 

Not to some people.

 

How does that belief impact our world?

 

The list is endless.

 

Why should people debate whether or not god exists, can't it be a simple case of 'live and let live'?

 

Are you saying, "Let everyone believe what they will" or are you saying, "Stop treating people badly if they don't believe the way you do"?

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.

 

 

Are you saying, "Let everyone believe what they will" or are you saying, "Stop treating people badly if they don't believe the way you do"?

a bit of both, i don't see the harm, (ignorance is bliss?). And yeah, you shouldn't treat people badly based on what they believe in (why treat people badly at all?)

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a bit of both, i don't see the harm, (ignorance is bliss?). And yeah, you shouldn't treat people badly based on what they believe in (why treat people badly at all?)

 

Is anyone treating them bad? It's one thing to disagree with them, but that is not to treat them bad.

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Is the belief of a god important? does it really matter if a person believes in a higher power or not? How does that belief impact our world? Why should people debate whether or not god exists, can't it be a simple case of 'live and let live'?

 

I will give an ignostic point of view.

It depends on the individual's own idea of what "believing in God" means. If they think "God" is necessarily the intelligence that coauthored The Bible or The Quran, it's totally important. If belief in God is more of a sentiment, as in "I believe there is something that can be called God, but I don't know what it is," that might not be problematic at all.

 

Aside from fundamentalism, another possible problem is that "believing in God" is a powerful cultural meme. Sometimes, people want to convince you to believe or not believe by pointing out the follies of various believers or nonbelievers. That's a bad reason to accept any claim, it's superficial, yet religious officials may try to use this to their advantage to attract children to their faith. I would argue that, in doing so, they encourage bad thought patterns involving System 1 processing (see upcoming link). The finding (by Norenzayan and Gervais) that analytical thought tends to decrease belief that there is* a god was based on dual process theory.

 

*It should be noted that the experiment's questionnaire didn't ask "Do you believe there isn't a god?"

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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a bit of both, i don't see the harm, (ignorance is bliss?).

 

I don't espouse the "Ignorance is bliss" approach. I'm more of an "Informed decisions require knowledge" kind of guy.

 

Is anyone treating them bad? It's one thing to disagree with them, but that is not to treat them bad.

 

Virtually every religion has its fundamentalists, and they often treat those of other religions, even those from different sects of their own, very badly. Even fatally. And it's very often those fundamentalists that have the devotion and fanaticism to rise into power within their own hierarchies and their secular governments.

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Is the belief of a god important? does it really matter if a person believes in a higher power or not? How does that belief impact our world? Why should people debate whether or not god exists, can't it be a simple case of 'live and let live'?

 

Since your topic is called...The Concept of a GOD...I will concentrate on that.

 

The vast majority of the religious believe in a GOD that is specific to a single individual higher being. What is interesting...and funny as far as I am concerned...is that most think that this GOD made man in his own image. Now I ask why would a GOD have gender or exist in a body designed specific for Earth's enviroment?

 

Perhaps if the is a GOD...it is nothing like anyone has ever even dreamed it would be.

 

Split Infinity

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a bit of both, i don't see the harm, (ignorance is bliss?). And yeah, you shouldn't treat people badly based on what they believe in (why treat people badly at all?)

 

Well then you should start your own religion because you will find that with out laws to geld the religions we have now we would almost certainly go back to killing each other over who believes in god the right way... hell we do it now in some places and we certainly do judge people on what religion or what sub set of what religion they think is true...

 

Is anyone treating them bad? It's one thing to disagree with them, but that is not to treat them bad.

 

Again, religion, given real power, always results in conflict over who is worshiping the right way or the right god, often that conflict is violent and deadly.

 

These things ignore the black hole of money that religion is, begging for many to help the poor while the leaders live in palatial splendor and very little if any of the money does anything but promote the religion...

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Again, religion, given real power, always results in conflict over who is worshiping the right way or the right god, often that conflict is violent and deadly.

 

Does a religion become intolerant because it's powerful, or does it become powerful because it's intolerant?

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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Virtually every religion has its fundamentalists, and they often treat those of other religions, even those from different sects of their own, very badly. Even fatally. And it's very often those fundamentalists that have the devotion and fanaticism to rise into power within their own hierarchies and their secular governments.

 

I thought this thread was talking about atheists/secularists stopping other people worshipping god(s). How many militant atheists are there (i mean real ones that kill people, not just say some harsh, but often true, things)?

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I thought this thread was talking about atheists/secularists stopping other people worshipping god(s). How many militant atheists are there (i mean real ones that kill people, not just say some harsh, but often true, things)?

 

Well, you were the one who asked if anyone was being treated badly because of their beliefs. Many are, but not by atheists, only their fellow theists.

 

AFAIK, no atheists are trying to stop anyone from believing what they want to, they just want religious beliefs to stop spilling over into secular life where it affects everyone in the culture.

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Again, religion, given real power, always results in conflict over who is worshiping the right way or the right god, often that conflict is violent and deadly.

A right God? A proper definition of God can't be reached in the first place, then how on earth could there be a 'right way' to worship or a 'right' god when no one has any proof that there is a god to begin with? (when I say proper defination i mean one everyone can agree on).

The reason I want to know if these beliefs really matter is because i don't see why people give these things 'real power'

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A right God? A proper definition of God can't be reached in the first place, then how on earth could there be a 'right way' to worship or a 'right' god when no one has any proof that there is a god to begin with? (when I say proper defination i mean one everyone can agree on).

 

You'll get no argument from me on that, there is no evidence any god is real much less any specific god. Yet people all over the world are willing to not only assert their god is the only real god but they are the on,y ones who know the proper way to worship said god..

 

The reason I want to know if these beliefs really matter is because i don't see why people give these things 'real power'

 

 

It would appear they matter to the people who believe... That gives those people reason to do what ever they want in the name of their god and In that way the concept of god does have real power...

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The reason I want to know if these beliefs really matter is because i don't see why people give these things 'real power'

 

One phenomena that might explain it is Attitude Polarization. Look at all the 9000+ sects of Christianity. Each is exposed to the same documents and history of their main religion, yet each takes this ambiguous evidence as supporting their own way of believing in their god. And further, they become angry when their own interpretation isn't shared by another sect.

 

Old joke, but appropriate here:

 

I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump.

Me: "Don't do it!"

Him: "Nobody loves me."

Me: "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"

Him: "A Christian."

Me: "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?"

Him: "Protestant."

Me: "Me, too! What franchise?"

Him: "Baptist."

Me: "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"

Him: "Northern Baptist."

Me: "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

Him: "Northern Conservative Baptist."

Me: "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."

Me: "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"

Him: "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."

Me: "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

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Perhaps if the is a GOD...it is nothing like anyone has ever even dreamed it would be.

 

Cool. Would you mind if we call this thing, the thing noone has ever dreamed of, by another name that is derived from meaningful word roots? Etymologically, "God" just means that which is called or invoked, or, alternatively, burial mound spirit (etymonline.com). I don't see how someone can invoke something they've never dreamed of, and I find it funny to think noone has ever dreamed of a burial mound spirit before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theological_noncognitivism

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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Does a religion become intolerant because it's powerful, or does it become powerful because it's intolerant?

Most of the time it boils down to 'the ends justify the means'. If you truly believe you are killing/torturing/etc. a group of people for a short period in their lives to allow them peace and happiness for eternity you are helping them. That is the inherent problem when acting upon a belief such as an monarchic god in control of an afterlife. Any atrocity can be justified in life if it saves their immortal soul.
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Most of the time it boils down to 'the ends justify the means'. If you truly believe you are killing/torturing/etc. a group of people for a short period in their lives to allow them peace and happiness for eternity you are helping them. That is the inherent problem when acting upon a belief such as an monarchic god in control of an afterlife. Any atrocity can be justified in life if it saves their immortal soul.

What ever happen to freedom of choice? What happens when you don't want 'to be saved'? Assuming that there is a god, he won't come down and save you in a court of law, and I doubt your lawyer could represent you in the afterlife....

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What ever happen to freedom of choice? What happens when you don't want 'to be saved'? Assuming that there is a god, he won't come down and save you in a court of law, and I doubt your lawyer could represent you in the afterlife....

Then you get the wonderfully circular logic of these types of things. If you don't want to be saved you are being misguided, thus you have to be saved. The thought process is similar to a parent making a child get a flu shot. A little hurt so it won't be as bad later on. If you truly believe in an afterlife that lasts forever, and religious authorities consider themselves parents, which is either permanent torture or eternal bliss (purgatory is for losers) then that little bit of torture is justified. Not saying it's right, just saying that it almost makes sense.
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Monday's Assignment Die,

 

Read the link on dual process thought. The intuitive and and rational mind. I am not so sure the two are as separate as depicted in the article. They seem to be looking at it, as if there are two separate minds at work in our brains. Maybe it seems so, but I don't think it makes sense to think the two processes are as much separate, as two aspects of consciousness that are intermingled in too many different ways to be so symbolically divided. Not completely a different idea as the Id and the Superego with the Ego as the moderator as Freud suggested. But why not accept both the immediate reality, and our rememberance and processing of it as being parts of the same deal.

 

As you might have noticed, I like to look at things sideways and see things so that they are true, in more than one way.

For example, if you think about it, the immediate noticing of reality, the "quick" and automatic mind in the dual process theory, is actually more "real" than the theoretical afterthoughts about it. The afterthoughts of the rational mind, rely on symbols, one thing standing for another, where the intuitive mind just knows, just takes the thing for what it appears to be. This take, is actually more likely to "fit" with reality than the analogies and the maps and models we take and make from it.

 

Consider this. As cosmologists and physicists and mathematicians were putting together the standand model, 25 years ago, they "thought" they knew the universe, as it really was, and discounted what their senses and intuition told them about it. It was all very clear and fit together nicely in their rational minds. Then somebody was surprised at the data graph of the output of a type 1a supernova, that suggested things were farther away than they "thought", and there would have to be some large amount, some 70 percent of the universe that we did not "know" about before.

 

What strikes me, about the "finding", is that if that 70 percent is "out there" we must have missed what it "looks like" around here, as well. That is if the universe is homogenous and operates under the same laws, as "thought". Either that, or that 70 percent "looks" different from millions of lightyears away, than it does up close, or we are already calling it something else, when it is experienced locally.

 

In this light, we may just "hope" that our rational mind transcends our intuitions and feelings and "animal" truths. We may just "hope" we are a "ghost in the machine" and not tied completely to our mortal heart/body/mind. We may be "spinning" ourselves a transcendent web of lies, that places our rationality in a superior position, to that which is actually the case. We might have a "concept" of God, automatically, intuitively, which we "talk" ourselves out of, as we "think" we have achieved a "model" of the thing, that is superior to the thing in itself.

 

Then some are skeptical of the skepticism which makes them right, and some believe the skepticism makes them right.

 

Which would sort of explain everybody, because we all figure that we "get it", and everybody else is missing the point, or misleading themselves. Might also explain why half of us believe in God, and half of us don't.

 

Regards, TAR2

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As you might have noticed, I like to look at things sideways and see things so that they are true, in more than one way.

For example, if you think about it, the immediate noticing of reality, the "quick" and automatic mind in the dual process theory, is actually more "real" than the theoretical afterthoughts about it. The afterthoughts of the rational mind, rely on symbols, one thing standing for another, where the intuitive mind just knows, just takes the thing for what it appears to be. This take, is actually more likely to "fit" with reality than the analogies and the maps and models we take and make from it.

 

On Dual Process Theory:

Both system 1 and system 2 are attempting to rationalize incoming perceptual information. The difference is that System 1 moves quickly and takes shortcuts (see heuristics); it doesn't waste too much time or expend too much energy. While heuristics may lead you to the correct answer often enough, system 2 is much better at arriving at the correct answer. The problem is that we take in so much information, we don't have time to give everything an in depth analysis. However, psychologists can trigger system 2 processing by various means. A person is more likely to use system 2 processing if they aren't being rushed to complete the task quickly, or if the importance of their answer has been emphasized. System 2 is like the person that, rather than passively viewing the nice people in the commercial, is paying close attention and crunching all the numbers.

 

I was suggesting that religious belief is usually spread by bad arguments that appeal to system 1. For example, arguing that a particular atheist is mysogynistic to make the case that atheism leads to mysogyny. That's a bad argument that preys upon at least one fallacious way of thinking people are prone to, namely, focusing on individual cases rather than overall statistics.

 

Consider this. As cosmologists and physicists and mathematicians were putting together the standand model, 25 years ago, they "thought" they knew the universe, as it really was, and discounted what their senses and intuition told them about it. It was all very clear and fit together nicely in their rational minds. Then somebody was surprised at the data graph of the output of a type 1a supernova, that suggested things were farther away than they "thought", and there would have to be some large amount, some 70 percent of the universe that we did not "know" about before.

 

This is another example where the speaker seems to be focusing on a single instance rather than an overall trend.

 

 

Regarding the studies on analytic thought and religious disbelief:

Those studies hardly suggest that there is no God, and they weren't meant to. In the introduction, it states that the goal is to give

sociological insight by showing that analytical thought is a contributing factor in people turning away from religion.

In the experiments, the experimenters only measured religious belief after the participants were exposed to the independent variable (which, for the experimental group, was a manipulation designed to trigger analytical thought). Overall, the experimental group showed less belief that there is a god, and less intrinsic religiosity (an inclination to carry religion over into one's life). You could argue that, if certain individuals in the experimental group became more religious, it wouldn't have shown because belief wasn't measured both before and after, i.e. the experiment didn't track individuals, it only measured the net difference in the end. However, this gap is significantly filled by the earlier studies, which showed that analytical tendencies are correlated with disbelief.

But an important point is that they mostly measured the belief that there is a god (except maybe the survey item: "When people pray they are only talking to themselves."). This raises an interesting question. What if you did a similar experiment on a group of strong atheists, and asked them "Is there no God?" We might see the strong atheists become hesitant to assert their position as well. Maybe analytical thinkers are just less likely to make premature assertions.

 

Personally, I'm concerned about how people come to believe things, not what they happen to believe. I have this concern for myself as well, and rightly so. Furthermore, I don't want to ingrain into anyone the idea that, if they believe in God, they're somehow mentally deficient. That would only promote bad thought patterns, and, well, that would be mean...

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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Cool. Would you mind if we call this thing, the thing noone has ever dreamed of, by another name that is derived from meaningful word roots? Etymologically, "God" just means that which is called or invoked, or, alternatively, burial mound spirit (etymonline.com). I don't see how someone can invoke something they've never dreamed of, and I find it funny to think noone has ever dreamed of a burial mound spirit before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theological_noncognitivism

 

As far as someone not being able to invoke something they never even dreamed of...that takes on the supposition that possibly might exist and at the very least be associated with what could be considered a GOD...is something that COULD be invoked.

 

What I am saying is that even the definitions that we use to determine what is a GOD may not even apply to the REALITY.

 

Hey...I would absolutely LOVE IT if a GOD existed just like we were always taught it would but from experience I can tell you that is highly unlikely. When terrible and horrific things happen people tend to answer others questions of...If there is a GOD...how could a GOD allow things like this to happen?

 

The standard answer for such questions is...It is all apart of GOD'S PLAN! When one asks...Then what is GOD'S PLAN? Answer...Who are you or anyone to ask or think you can know or judge GOD'S PLAN?!?

 

Well...I can tell you I absolutely reserve the RIGHT to to ask and what to know what such a GOD'S PLAN might be after seeing some of the things I have seen and been a part of in my experiences. As far as I am concerned...THERE IS NO PLAN...just random events and cause and effect based CHAOS.

 

Now this doesn't mean I don't at least hold out the possibility that something exists as far as a possible afterlife or perhaps our Biologically created consciousness might exist and be apart of some larger or greater plain of existance. But the thing is...when one dies...and let's just say a person has a soul or becomes an Entity of Pure Energy or Consciousness....such a state would no longer force a person to need, want or be a part of or even associated with the physical reality as we exist while alive.

 

This is why I get a big chuckle when I listen to the religious state...Because I was a Righteous Person I will receive my Heavenly Reward of a Large Mansion in the sky. Or the even more rediculous claims that at the time of judgement...440,000 people will be taken up in the Rapture as their bodies will be transfered to a Heavenly Estate.

 

Why in the world do people even think they will have or even need a BODY? Why do people associate Heavenly Rewards as they would Earthly Luxuries? As if my possible existing soul would need a nice bed to lay in.

 

Split Infinity

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None of that rules out a malevolent god or a god that is limited in its power.

 

It doesn't rule in favor of any type or form of GOD either.

 

It also doesn't rule out the possibility that what ancient man believed was the acts of a GOD...might have been the acts of some Highly Developed Alien Species.

 

Split Infinity

 

None of that rules out a malevolent god or a god that is limited in its power.

One thing I would like to touch upon is how most religions pecieve and talk about Heavenly Rewards as they would be given that are specific and benificial only to a Human Body. Such religions go on and on about such rewards and these rewards could only be beneficial to a person with a living biological body.

 

Now this makes absolutely no sense as such religions also state after death it is the soul that remains. The soul is not corporeal and as such is neither constrained or subject to desires of the flesh.

 

Perhaps if such religions offered my soul I nice Ion Bath and a Gravitic Lensing Massage I might be interested.

 

Split Infinity

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