Religion

Bryan Hellard (@xyver) 11 years, 5 months ago

Ok, I hope to make this as minimally controversial as possible. Looking at the most recent poll, I see that more then a few people are listed as "very religious". So, to those people, I pose the question "Why?"

What got you started in religion?
Why do you stick with your religion, and not a different one?
How do you stick to your religion, when there are so many things in this world that tell you not to, or why you shouldn’t?

February 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I spoke to soon.. on I’m the other side of the argument.. my thoughts have concluded that our creation either comes from rational/reason .. or it is some random event.. which is statistically impossible in my mind.. I don’t practice my ‘faith’ tho so it doesn’t do much for me to be honest.. And the best lessons I’ve seen out there now in religion are in love and how that is where you find your true self.. That was the pitch anyway coming from a catholic priest (I don’t have much exposure to other religions, almost none actually), but it’s better than ‘your going to hell’ and other irrational things easily spouted..

My thoughts and experiences haven’t led me to know about the creator, they have just led me to know there is one.. I in fact am stuck with ‘faith’ much of the time.. there is no bridge to know what is next expect faith.. for me, knowing there is a creator, doesn’t with conviction let me know I am ‘saved’, or everything is perfect, or the creator isn’t mean for that matter… those are all matters of faith for me, which I try to not to entertain to be honest.. What I’m learning (from this site I might add) is that the answers lie within.. and ultimately, believing in a creator or not does not change your existence..

however, statistically, I still argue it’s either random or rational (remember this from before?? lol), and the a random cosmic lottery is just impossible, I’m still working on proving it with words… tho again I’m starting to think that either realization is irrelevant in the fact that your existence isn’t altered, at least significantly, for starters it’s so hard to get in agreement on this topic, and 2nd if we do agree there is a god, so what, it’s not like we can figure out what it is, or what it thinks, ect, it’s all imagination from there.. then again that’s coming from someone who doesn’t ‘practice faith’.. I actually have been repeating ‘God is love’ whenever my ‘faith’ (that god is good) is tested…

if that is choppy I apologize

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

My line of thinking tells me that faith is the absence of logic, once you give yourself up to faith in a creator I don’t see how you can claim to be a logical being. (speaking as you in a universal sense, not directly at you)
Like Ms. Rand says: “Something exists, something is right and you say no, I don’t like it because I want to believe something else.” The whole cosmic lottery thing may not seem likely to some, but that’s what our evidence tells us. Big bang, our solar system, goldilocks planet, life forms, evolution, us. Until some evidence is given to the contrary that is what reason/logic tells us.

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I agree with the line of thought Mike.. in fact I think we agree on just about everything, except that we were created through reason.. And I think the best way, and surly most reasonable way to find out the answers to our existence comes from within, I see faith much the same way you do.. and I would think the more ppl that did look within to find the answers to our existence, the better off we would be..

I’m not completely motivated to try and disprove the cosmic lottery with words but here is my 2nd attempt.. I still need to put thought into this…

That fact that you exist, is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 event.. I am assuming we can agree on that.. so.. the fact that a tree exists is the same statical chance, the same random anomaly .. now the chances of that tree, having an apple, that tastes good to our taste buds, is at the perfect height to be plucked from the tree, fit perfectly in our hand and come back to our mouth, and be good for us… is just way to many 1 in 1,000,000,000 alignments, then there is the orange for good measure, the banana, and all the other things that mother nature provides for us, it can’t be random lotteries because their relevance is based on the other existence… 1 and a billion, lined up, over and over and over again… I don’t buy it, and further more discredit it by saying it’s statistically impossible for these lotteries to have provided harmony in our existence..

**last line edited

[Hidden]
Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I don’t believe faith is the absence of logic. There are always things that are correct that we cannot prove. God could be one of those things. I think people use faith incorrectly. It shouldn’t be a blind faith. We know already that we just cannot know if god exists or not, so faith becomes crucial there. Faith is complete trust. It’s like confidence in a way. I think your personal logic can bring you into faith, and belief.

@Matt
. I completely agree with the random thing. It’s too random for me to believe it. If everything were random and we were just machines what would have to take place? Nature would have had to create the machines, the power supply, and code the program. Even further nature would have had to ‘start’ that program. It’s too coincidental for me to attribute it to randomness.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

This will be twice in 1 day that I’ve thrown down the Law of Truly Large Numbers
The Law of Truly Large Numbers states that with a sample size large enough, any outrageous thing is likely to happen. Because we never find it notable when likely events occur, we highlight unlikely events and notice them more. The law seeks to debunk one element of supposed supernatural phenomenology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Truly_Large_Numbers
For a simplified example of the law, assume that a given event happens with a probability of 0.1% in one trial. Then the probability that this unlikely event does not happen in a single trial is 99.9% = 0.999.
In a sample of 1000 independent trials, the probability that the event does not happen in any of them is 0.999 to the 1000th power, or 36.8%. The probability that the event happens at least once in 1000 trials is then 1 − 0.368 = 0.632 or 63.2%. The probability that it happens at least once in 10,000 trials is 1 − 0.99910000 = 0.99995 = 99.995%.
This means that this “unlikely event” has a probability of 63.2% of happening if 1000 chances are given, or over 99.9% for 10,000 chances. In other words, a highly unlikely event, given enough tries, is even more unlikely to not occur.

I think the line of reasoning that you are using stems from the fact that we are so insignificant in our universe, we have a hard time understanding how truly vast everything around us is. So we look and say the odds that this all lined up in one shot is just mind blowing. But in such an enormous (possibly infinite) universe or set of universes, with all of the different galaxies, solar systems, and planets, you begin to understand that we didn’t just happen, we almost had to happen eventually. Given enough attempts the odds will certainly approach 100% likely to happen.

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I see what both of you are saying.. but I tend to lean toward’s Mike’s view on ‘faith’ as I have a similar view…..

It’s like me saying God is an all powerful wizard and can grant me anything he so chooses… that is pure imagination… and unfortunately for me, what my faith is worth to me..

My faith is simply the golden rule.. I am not perfect tho.. which i didn’t even need to say lol.. but that’s as close to religion as I have come back to I should say.. Catholicism was very drab and a turn off for me.. as for many others I’ve seen in this community.. religion has bloody hands and irrational claims.. I will agree with them there is a creator tho..

Also Alex I’m glad you saw the random thing the same way I did.. I’m willing to say with conviction that is the only possible conclusion based on reality and statistics.. that THERE IS A GOD!!!! lol… so….

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

@Alex Faith absolutely is the absence of logic, it’s belief without proof, not based on fact. That’s just what it is.

I agree that there are things out there that are true that we cannot prove [yet], but that is a failure in our capacity to understand them, and to believe in them at that point would be illogical. I’m not saying God doesn’t or can’t exist, but to believe in him/her/it at this point IS illogical. If at some point science can prove the existence of a God/s then I will have no choice but to believe it, but I would still be correct at this point in time for not believing, because it is illogical to believe something you cannot prove, and we are logical beings [or at least meant to be].

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

Mike what I’m not allowing for your argument is one single event… our existence is and alignment of many of these events! It’s these giant number random statistics happening over and over again to create our existence… and that VASTNESS is where this line of thinking is coming from.. I think Alex might agree with me there as I’m pretty sure he sees the random to reason thing the same way I do.. The random thing just doesn’t add up because our reality is so vast, and considering things are separate, it’s just impossible for me to see the harmony I do by taking the vast number theory into account, that number would be to dam big (just like the rent is to dam high).. I haven’t even begun to think of the universe yet lol… except that all the cool life wouldn’t be in an elliptical galaxy.. as we are.. go figure (random)

And all that line of thought does for me is make me open minded.. tho you have conviction with your opposing believe I still see you as a very open minded person.. so again, I’m not convinced that acknowledging god is as powerful as acknowledging our inner workings.. the contrary actually..

*edited

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I’d like to add a footnote here, I’m not trying to say that the science we have should just be accepted as undeniable truth and that is that. If that were true we would still be on a flat planet with the galaxy rotating around us. I understand the need to make ‘guesses’ based off the things we see, but then the importance becomes offering proof, working towards a logical reason as to why that is true. It’s not enough for Newton to say “There’s gravity” “How? Why?” “I don’t have to know why, there just is.” It doesn’t work that way, he observed something, formulated a hypothesis and then worked to prove it. If you want to make the statement that there is a God I’m fine with that, especially if there is something in your history that has made you draw that conclusion… but then you have to work to prove it, it can’t just be left at that, or that because the alternative is too unlilkely.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

@Matt The reason I don’t buy that line of thinking, with the apples and oranges and how it all fits together is because that is simply the way this “trial” ended up, the way we came to be. It seems so perfect because we are here to observe it, but if that apple had ended up 20 times larger and orange I believe you’d be making the same argument but saying why is an orange large enough to feed a family of four? Just an example, but that’s my opinion. For every apple there is also a poisonous berry, which also fits into my hand that can draw it towards my mouth which, upon ingesting it, will undoubtedly kill me. There are animals that can kill us and other animals and ones that kill those, and foods that are desirable to some and not to others, that’s just biodiversity, that is the equilibrium that has formed that has allowed us to come to this point and be able to look at it all and even ponder these questions.

**It’s very late, I’m not even sure if what I’m writing is even coherent anymore, but please trust that it all made sense in my head.

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

Well we are back to faith my friend.. and God is wizard that lives in the billionth dimension.. faith says we should try and go straight to him, and avoid all the hardships along the way, and have faith that he is a nice wizard in the sky….. just as good as any religion in my mind… to be perfectly honest

Now back to our disagreement… I am liking Alex’s words at bit better, in creating the program, the code, starting it.. all that.. how are you saying that all of those separate things are one event… then your big number theory applies perfectly… but when a tree requires that number theory, a man, the apple, the sun, the earth, the ocean, every fish, all that harmony, the fact that they all depend and compliment each other… to me each of those events require the big number theory, so the it deteriorates to zero, leaving me with one explanation… we oppose views when combine all those things into ONE event… one random.. ‘oops’ .. to me it’s a billion ‘oops’ happening for this existence.. which is simply impossible, which I might think you would agree with if you viewed it that way… so I’m assuming your lumping everything into one single event to give the big number theory it’s credibility..

Do we agree that the best answers lie within??

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

that made sense, now I get it… I’ll admit I have trouble differentiating each event as it’s own 1 in one billion… but I think it’s clear that IF you see it that way the odds are in my favor.. however if you lump that into a ‘trial’ the odds are in your favor.. interesting

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

Ok here goes, and I’m not sure we’ll ever see eye to eye on this, but this is how I see things.

So we have the big bang, that event happened, now it’s done and out of the way. Now there are a trillion billion galaxies out there, now you have the odds of one of those containing a solar system with a ‘goldilocks’ planet [Earth], now that has happened then there are the odds of life coming about on such a planet. From there, for me, it’s like a random number generator, with each number being a possible way for our planet to turn out, a 743 came up and that is what we see. I can’t imagine a 64 coming up, because that’s not what I see, that’s not what happened. I see the evolution of Earth as 1 event, to me that’s how it is. The way early Earth formed and the events that surrounded it set evolution in motion and that is what we see today. I can’t look at it as, “ok roll the 1 trillion sided di for a tree, come on 7.” The way our Earth came about, the way it formed, the atmosphere that came to be, the building blocks that set it all in motion were an event that was subject to the odds, everything else that came after that the way it did was because of that event.

Man I hope that made sense even a little, because I am exhausted. I’m also not quite sure what you mean by the best answers lie within, could you elaborate on that further please. I think I’m inclined to side with you on that one though if I’m thinking correctly about what you’re saying.

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I’ll agree that is sound.. lol and that is EXACTLY how I see it lol :)… to me it’s like trying to roll the 7 on the 1 trillion sided di for the tree.. followed by the 12059 for the man, than the 1038437 for the apple, ect, yet they all fit perfectly together.. You have made my own point better than I did lol… but that’s what I don’t get.. although, I can’t say why it’s not just one roll of the di.. except to say I don’t see how so much harmony of different factors, separate from each other, came about if there is a random component… (can’t seem to say WHY I see them as separate, last time we talked about this your pov wasn’t clear to me) I get it now! I’d have to really think about where to go from there tho, I don’t even know where to start to be honest…

but my point on the answers lie within.. is that we will get much more out of examining ourselves and what we are capable of, opposed to trying to figure out if there is a god or not..

**Edit.. and yea it’s late.. my threads are deteriorated fast…

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I see where we differ now, I kinda did before but… I see the situations leading up to life on earth as separate events, but then that trillion sided di was rolled for how life on Earth would start and from there it was evolution that brought us here. I can understand the other ways of thinking, or at least that there are other ways. I accept that other people have them but at the same time that this is how I see it and I’m not sure there’s anything out there that could possibly change my mind to another way, I’ll welcome it if it happens.

But I certainly agree with you on the self examination part, we’re on the same page on that one.

**Edit, I’m out, have a good one man. I look forward to reading my posts again in the morning and laughing at how incoherent I probably sound.

[Hidden]
Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I think another valuable part would be understanding the traits of the person that led them to think that way.. our opposing views in our case.. however that might require us getting to know each other.. feel like I do a little bit at least :) .. cheers buddy

** me too hahahahah

[Hidden]
1.61803399 (247) (@drunkmonkmeth) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

As an atheist you should recognize that the chances there is some type of god out there is just as outrageous as anything else sciences has theorized.

[Hidden]
Heather (0) (@mrsgalouzis) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I am a christian, but my family is not. I had a horrific childhood, one that could be lifetime movie special lol. I found comfort in having someone to talk to, someone who understood me, someone who loved me. At that time I didn’t know what religion was I just knew that God was there to take care of me. As I got older and I began to learn about it I will admit that I was angry at my “imaginary friend” for not protecting me. So I turned away. But I came back when I began to study about God and the everlasting peace that Christ can provide. He saved me from a life I didn’t want to live, He saved me from myself.

As far as other religions go, I think they are interesting and I think they are valid. I have no problems with other religions and would never tell someone to their face they are going to hell. But if someone asked me to help them understand my faith I would do my best to help.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

@Anon If that was directed at me I absolutely agree, there are near limitless possibilities, but to believe in any of them with out some sort of proof or evidence is illogical.


@Heather
I respect your right to believe whatever you want, but I don’t approve of it, and it actually scares me a little.

**Edit** I didn’t mean that as in you specifically were/should be seeking my approval, I just meant that I don’t like to see it in anyone.

[Hidden]
Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

@ Mike. If faith was belief without proof, then we are all guilty of this. Definition of faith is complete trust in something. Math has already proven that there will always be things that we cannot prove. You can’t have proof in this situation, and if you believe one side or another you are already practicing faith. Further, we cannot know ourselves fully either. A system cannot know itself, without help from something outside its system. It goes back to bike logic. haha. If you draw a circle around a bike, it has no way to explain itself without outside sources.

Also, no matter how random all the events and situations on earth are, there are connections between each one. You could logically look at it as winning the lottery (wouldn’t that make humans exceptional, at least in the way we perceive ourselves) As random as it was that I somehow evolved body parts exactly at the times I should, in correspondence to the way the earth evolved and other animals in this galaxy, there are still very simple connections present. Certain math, and geometry is there. To me it just screams intelligence at me, rather than randomness.
How much proof do any of us actually have about the roots of the universe? Absolutely 0. In fact most the proof we have is based on someone else’s theorized proofs. Sure, I can say the desk i’m at is brown, and a solid. But that just raises more questions then answers. It’s an endless learning cycle. I feel like the only way around the questions is to actually discover, or perceive things outside our perception, which isn’t logical right now. In order to answer these questions we need a new consciousness. A higher consciousness or existence.
It’s completely reasonable to believe in science, but its limited like any other thought process. Religious people use a different thought process. Intuition vs Rationality. Induction vs Deduction. Science looks for facts, and then theorizes laws accordingly. Religion looks at laws and deduces facts based from that. One side isn’t more right than the other. In fact if you have a more rational brain, then everything from the other side with come off as choppy, illogical, etc. And if you are on the other side, then everything from the rational will seem “besides the point” Neither is right, neither is wrong.

I personally have theorized many ideas about god, and most of them are pretty probable..But I realize the limitations of mankind, and its impossible to prove. I have a belief that all matter contains consciousness..no matter how primitive..take that with the understanding that all things are interconnected then I look at the universe like a very magnified particle or atom or whatever. We are a small part of the whole, and our consciousness is large enough for us to notice this. I then theorize that if we are all connected, and all there is is consciousness then there must be a heiarchy of consciousness in the universe. in fact, I believe the ‘goal’ of the universe is to attain the highest consciousness it can. I believe the connection of all consciousness gives the universe its own consciousness. The conscious universe to me= god. I can’t prove that, but my own logic tells me, that yes, this is probable, and it works for me. I have other theories too, it isnt always confined to the same thought, but I always come back to the conclusion that there is a higher intelligence then us.
Really logically thinking about it, anyone with supreme intellect to us, should be able to rightfully create us. It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch really.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

@alex Where are you getting your definition? Because the definition of faith is belief without proof. You said if you believe one side or the other you’re already practicing faith, but I would quote “don’t tell me you can’t know that there isn’t. I would say yes I know there isn’t because I have been given no evidence.” Unless I’m misunderstanding that statement, if so, could you please clarify.
I understand that you like math but it’s just another language to describe the universe, if there’s an inconsistency in math, if there’s a contradiction or an inability to prove something that is not a fault in the universe, it’s a failing of the language.
I completely agree that humans are exceptional because of that, I think that makes it all the more special. I also understand the limitations of science, but it is still the best thing we have because we are rational, logical beings. I don’t think that limitation should lead us to throw logic to the wind and accept a higher power as the answer. I think that should drive us to want to understand further, and if in that digging we uncover evidence of a creator or higher power, awesome! But until that time comes I have to accept science as what it is, and that is it’s our best guess based on our current capacity to understand the world around us.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I just posted this in another but I think it fits very well here too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_naQhynOg0

The first part of the video coincided with my points of view, what really struck me was from about 6:30 on.

[Hidden]
Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

We just have the impression that we are simply logical beings. Our experiences stretches much further than logic. Logic is only one half our dichotomy.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith Faith definition is complete trust. There’s many definitions for each word, and I throw out the one that says belief without proof. That is not how I perceive faith. Of course though, we all have meanings for each word. No one thinks of the word apple the same way.

And it wasn’t an inconsistency in math. It was that math proved the inconsistency in our logic.
If you have no evidence to one side of the argument, I’d ask you to present evidence for the other side? It comes down to the fact that there is no evidence for either side.

I agree with you with you that it’s not a fault of the universe but failed language though. However the only way we can think is through language. It is one of our many limitations, but if its what we have, we have to work with it.
I see why you take a side against a higher power for lack of evidence, but at the same time there is no evidence to suggest we were just created by ‘natural’ means or anything like that. Like I said, there is a lack of evidence on both sides..and I personally feel like there will always be a lack of evidence.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (194) (@) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

But there is evidence, there may not be absolute proof, but logically speaking the best evidence we have is that we came about naturally. Nobody was there at the moment our universe came to be so we have to use what we see to formulate a hypothesis, the big bang. Then material came together to form stars and through gravity planets orbit around them, in some of those instances the situations were right to support life and in some of those cases life came to the planet (some say ours may have come from Mars, maybe asteroids). Then evolution took hold and brought us here. I’ll admit it’s a stretch, the odds seem unbelievable unlikely (again back to the law of large numbers) but that’s all based on things we can see and currently have the capacity to understand. But there is still 0 evidence of a creator or higher power. But I do understand that other people come to their views in different ways because of their past experiences, I’ve had many different beliefs and views in my lifetime and I’m still fairly young, It’s a moving target. I just have to go with what makes sense to me at the time. But seeing as we don’t seem to be offering anything new this conversation has started to circle, meeting adjourned.

[Hidden]
Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 11 months ago ago

I still have much to say, however I’m headed to work, and like you said we are starting to circle. I’m sure I’ll have more to say when I get back. I like to ponder this stuff while I work. It’s sort of meditative in a way. :D

Meeting adjourned indeed.

[Hidden]
Viewing 24 reply threads
load more