05-05-06, 04:30 PM #21
05-05-06, 06:25 PM #22
although there were a few interesting article, none of them (or of the 3 I read) fully pertain to this topic.
although, this one would be nice to keep in your bookmarks for fighting nutters:
05-05-06, 07:27 PM #23Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
I couldn't see your 9.35 post - has it been deleted? Anyway... here's my thoughts on the interesting questions you have raised.
Most people are not 100% certain of their beliefs (atheism is a belief), how can any of us be? Therefore, when the chips are down some non-theists will lean into the (probably archaic) X% of them that still believes. A TA explanation might be that the child state holds beliefs that are denied by the adult and parent states. Such a person may try a prayer "in case" it can influence the final outcome - there is nothing to lose and much to gain. My hunch is they are praying to a childhood memory of a concept of God instilled at home or school and developed up to the point they rejected the notion.
As for Dennett's search to explain the desire for God in biological terms, he presumes a lot e.g. a materialistic (physicalist) explanation for consciousness. This brings it's own problems e.g. Davidson's "Swampman", as to what creates the identity we are. My concern to the framing of his quest is that it may result in a triumph of oversimplification by reducing our complex nature to a series of biological processes, much as behaviourism did. The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. Theories resulting from any search for a biological basis for God can only be speculative (ironic) science as I doubt they can be tested. However, it is an interesting question.
My own wish to believe in God comes from a genuine curiosity about the perplexing mystery of our self-aware existence, combined with a dissatisfaction with the transient nature of even the best physical reality, and a consequent desire for a more satisfying transcendent ultimate reality.
Ecclesiastes (1:8) summed it up: "All things are hard, man cannot explain them by word. The eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing."
05-06-06, 02:30 AM #24Originally Posted by cato
05-06-06, 02:48 AM #25Originally Posted by Diogenes' Dog
Myself I believe in God through personal experience and observation and not in religious contexts. I expect this was also the case for others pre religion which reinforced their 'natural' need for a God (as mentioned above) with some kind of personal evidence of something more than they could see or understand, a reassurring interference in their lives, just as the parent was pre 4yrs old.
I think from a science perspective where everything pertaining to humans is about reproduction, it would be inetresting to hear sciences explanation of why it is we are designed to experience the idea of omniopotence, first in ourlseves and then in others. What would be the advantage of this to our 'survival'? I guess believing the parent is omnipotent means we would trust them blindly as children and follow them away from danger instead of resisting? Maybe this would be the argument, who knows, but the need in humans to have 'meaning' in their lives, and desire 'more' than is available is surely unique in the animal world.
Humans have the largest capacity in their brains for learning, learning what?
Why did we evolve with such a HUGE capacity for learning and very little in the way of innate knowledge. Innate knowledge assistsd other species a great deal more than a blank mind when they are born.
Why did our brains evolve to create a greater need for learning and less of a need for innate knowledge, how does learning over innate knowledge enhance our survival rate?
This may seem obvious in that learning enables us to adapt more efficiently to our environment etc, but other species manage to avoid predators and adapt without needing to 'learn' everything from scratch. Humans in the wild without parents would perish. We are inefficient in that respect. We evolved (or were designed) to be in groups and to know and have a need for 'omnipotent ' beings. Why?
Hope that makes sense?
05-06-06, 03:12 AM #26Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
I guess I just don't think hope should be belittled. IMO, it's a truly majestic notion. Humans are humans be they "god fearing" or not.
Hope is optimism, and optimism is good nature. I love good nature.
The optimistic have a reason to care about life, which of course fosters good nature. Of course it doesn't mandate it, but sister... hope is alllllll right.
When sitting exams you merely hope you will do well?
I have asked these questions of atheists before and they have admitted asking God to help, "please God..etc" to which I ask them 'what god, you don't believe', they then look confused. As do I.
What runs through your minds in times of great personal crisis?
In the case of a more broad crisis, I think basically the same thing, with attempts toward reducing the problem to simple choices, which evolves into trying to make the choice.
Please be honest in your responses to this.
Personal examples would be helpful.
PLEASE READ POST MADE BY ME AT 9:38, MAKES MORE SENSE OF WHAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT.
Basically here I am trying to figure out why even when some do not believe in a god they seem to have a 'need' to believe in one.
"I can't accept 'undecided' as an answer because it generates internal strife in the form of a circular loop of reasoning that traps me there if it occurs to me. An answer (I don't know) that doesn't answer anything? Does not compute!!!!" Well, something along those lines wherein the emotional gratification of an answer satiates some obsession, allowing freedom from it which allows growth in areas that were formally tainted by the disdain of forthcoming internal conflict. Like many powerful concepts, "god" can free the mind as well as chain it.
Originally Posted by edit for tangential psychobabble
There is actually a psychological reason for this as I recently found out, hence referring you to the other posting.
Last edited by wesmorris; 05-06-06 at 03:50 AM.
05-06-06, 03:30 AM #27
God was created as a comfort -->(An opiate of the masses -Marx). Although someone may still not believe in God, they still have a subliminal hope that there is a God, and a hope that this god will help them.
05-06-06, 03:39 AM #28
Thank you for that detailed reply Wes, I wasn't meaning to be condescending re the hope thing, just hard for me to imagine what it's like without the element of 'asking for help'? I went through a horrendous ordeal once of prolonged pain and was begging for help, and when it didn't come I was surprised, although one could argue eventually it did? My belief in 'God' was shaken which demonstrates what a fragile relationship it is anyway. What I concluded however (as there were still things in my life that could only lead me to believing in something 'more' than we understand) is that my belief in the nature of God was wrong, but I can still have a belief, it has just altered now. I guess the religious (and I am not one) do this all the time, to suit their agenda. Well it's not so much an agenda with me as changing my view based on recent observations which is the way science alters it's view based on recent observations is it not?
Anyway do take a look at that posting and the one that follows D Dog. Some interesting questions. I'd be grateful for any answers.
Also re honesty thing, I wanted to deter those whipper snappers who think it's cool just to say this NEVER occurs with atheists, this hoping for something more in times of crisis, which they did!
Originally Posted by thedevilsrejectOriginally Posted by fadingCaptain
Last edited by Theoryofrelativity; 05-06-06 at 03:49 AM.
05-06-06, 03:45 AM #29Originally Posted by Possumking
05-06-06, 05:14 AM #30Originally Posted by marv
05-06-06, 06:03 AM #31Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
But to answer your original question: my view is that belief in God is primarily social rather than innate. You raise a good point about our seeing parents as omnipotent and I'd never really connected this with religious belief, but I do think there's a lot in it.
However: I think the main thing that drives religious belief isn't a need for omnipotence but... fear of death. As far as I know, we're unique among species, in that we're able to contemplate our own demise, far in advance of the fact. I think this is what drives us to seek 'more' - an inability to accept that the end is the end, for us and for the ones we love. I wonder how many of the non-believers who say they've never prayed have ever lost, or been in danger of losing, someone close? If they can face that without God then they're stronger than me because, although agnostic, I've prayed before and will probably pray again.
I think it's this kind of fear that drives our belief in God. It's my further belief that religious doctrines have developed in response to this, as a means of social control - what better way to keep the masses in order than to tell them that, if they're bad (ie upset the social order) they'll suffer eternal damnation; but if they're good then, one day, 'the meek shall inherit the earth'?
05-06-06, 06:15 AM #32Originally Posted by redarmy11
Interesting points redarmy.
05-06-06, 09:43 AM #33Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
05-06-06, 09:46 AM #34Originally Posted by (Q)
Apparantly you are NOT going to win any 'great thinker' awards as your thinking appears to be quite limited. Care to offer something useful to this thread?
05-06-06, 09:59 AM #35Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
Get down on your knees and pray for a solution.
05-06-06, 10:01 AM #36Originally Posted by (Q)
05-06-06, 10:35 AM #37Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
"your extreme level of stupidity... Get lost troll"
No problem, I look forward to future "trolling" on your posts.
Athiests praying in times of great distress is not all that different surely to the religious denying God exists when they have a bad day.
Hence my rejection of religion!
"My belief in 'God' was shaken which demonstrates what a fragile relationship it is anyway. What I concluded however (as there were still things in my life that could only lead me to believing in something 'more' than we understand) is that my belief in the nature of God was wrong, but I can still have a belief, it has just altered now."
Your belief in "something more" is merely a result of your inability to think.
05-06-06, 10:38 AM #38Originally Posted by (Q)
You really are stupid aren't you? Where does it say I said I was religious? What religion is spoken of here? Belief in a 'God' does npt automatically sign you up for a religion, oh and atheists here have admitted to praying so read the thread before speaking on behalf of every atheist on the planet. Dumb troll go troll else where..you are not even a clever troll.
05-06-06, 11:03 AM #39Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
One is where information has not been made available yet, and one can learn from it if it is available. The other is where the information has already been provided but one will never learn.
Can you show us which one relates to you?
Religion: a belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny.
Dumb troll go troll else where..you are not even a clever troll.
05-06-06, 11:03 AM #40Where does it say I said I was religious? What religion is spoken of here? Belief in a 'God' does npt automatically sign you up for a religion