Is religious belief innate to our brains?

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steveg144

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That's fine. That's an unoffensive position to take.

What I find offensive is:

belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking

You're welcome to be offended by whatever you feel the need to find offensive. As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking. But take comfort from the fact that such unreasonable thinking isn't your fault; if the article I originally posted is correct, then you can't help it, belief in god(s) is down to nothing more than brain chemicals.
 

GeorgeK

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You're welcome to be offended by whatever you feel the need to find offensive. As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking. But take comfort from the fact that such unreasonable thinking isn't your fault; if the article I originally posted is correct, then you can't help it, belief in god(s) is down to nothing more than brain chemicals.

If your religion likes to say that all other religions are false...then join the club.
 

Susan Gable

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I believe God created our brains to be hardwired to believe in Him.

:)

How could something as amazingly complex as the human brain have originated by absolute chance? Take a look at a single strand of DNA. The complexity will blow your mind.

Does a tornado in a junkyard create order and complexity? Can you pile a bunch of junk on top of explosives, blow it up, and have a house form when the junk comes down? (Big Bang theory of creation - maybe there WAS a big bang - but Someone guided things into ORDER.)

Poo-poo God all you like.

He believes in you. Which is why He wired your brain the way He did -- to give you a shot at a relationship with Him.

I'm not a crazy fanatic. I don't even go to church on Sundays. I'm not going to condemn or kill people who don't agree with my beliefs. I'm not going to berate, or bash, or force my ideas on them.

I'm not a hard-time only believer. I talk to God on a daily basis. We have nice little chats. (No, He doesn't talk back to me like THAT. I'm a crazy writer, but I'm not that crazy. <G>)

I think you'd find that there are a lot of folks out here like me. And maybe when times get tough, they will go to church -- but that may be more about seeking the support and fellowship of other like-minded people than seeking God. Although some may seek and find Him in a nearby church.



:)

Susan G. - wondering how much bashing she will take for this post, but hitting submit anyway.
 

steveg144

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Scientifically, the article is utter tripe and rife with non-sequitors. It is blatant religious opinion disguised as science and is another false prophet in an of itself.

Hmmm ... seems to me that as soon as you used the phrase "false prophet," you revealed your own "blatant religious opinion."
 

Plot Device

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You're welcome to be offended by whatever you feel the need to find offensive. As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking. But take comfort from the fact that such unreasonable thinking isn't your fault; if the article I originally posted is correct, then you can't help it, belief in god(s) is down to nothing more than brain chemicals.


Well in THAT case, I guess that means your brian chemicals must be inferior to mine.

Oh no wait! Could it be that you actually take the OPPOSITE position?
 

James81

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You're welcome to be offended by whatever you feel the need to find offensive. As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking. But take comfort from the fact that such unreasonable thinking isn't your fault; if the article I originally posted is correct, then you can't help it, belief in god(s) is down to nothing more than brain chemicals.

There is logic behind the belief in a deity. I urge you to check out Aristotle's "First Cause" arguement for a logical approach at "proving" the existence of a higher power.

And, actually, all beliefs come down to brain chemicals don't they? All thought processes are, at the root, brain chemicals. So I find it funny that you use that arguement in such a derogatory way because even your DISBELIEF in a deity is due to the same chemcial process.
 

GeorgeK

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Hmmm ... seems to me that as soon as you used the phrase "false prophet," you revealed your own "blatant religious opinion."

I laugh at the bait on your hook and swim away. Atheism is just another religion.
 

Cranky

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I believe God created our brains to be hardwired to believe in Him.

:)

How could something as amazingly complex as the human brain have originated by absolute chance? Take a look at a single strand of DNA. The complexity will blow your mind.

Does a tornado in a junkyard create order and complexity? Can you pile a bunch of junk on top of explosives, blow it up, and have a house form when the junk comes down? (Big Bang theory of creation - maybe there WAS a big bang - but Someone guided things into ORDER.)

Poo-poo God all you like.

He believes in you. Which is why He wired your brain the way He did -- to give you a shot at a relationship with Him.

I'm not a crazy fanatic. I don't even go to church on Sundays. I'm not going to condemn or kill people who don't agree with my beliefs. I'm not going to berate, or bash, or force my ideas on them.

I'm not a hard-time only believer. I talk to God on a daily basis. We have nice little chats. (No, He doesn't talk back to me like THAT. I'm a crazy writer, but I'm not that crazy. <G>)

I think you'd find that there are a lot of folks out here like me. And maybe when times get tough, they will go to church -- but that may be more about seeking the support and fellowship of other like-minded people than seeking God. Although some may seek and find Him in a nearby church.



:)

Susan G. - wondering how much bashing she will take for this post, but hitting submit anyway.

WRT the bolded: dead on. :)
 

Plot Device

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Hmmm ... seems to me that as soon as you used the phrase "false prophet," you revealed your own "blatant religious opinion."


I took his phrase as being the deliberate employment of irony and allusiveness. But since this is a writer's forum, I guess it would be foolish of me to imagine than the particiapnts here would bother with poetry, irony, allusion, or other such literary tools.
 

steveg144

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Well in THAT case, I guess that means your brian chemicals must be inferior to mine.

Oh no wait! Could it be that you actually take the OPPOSITE position?

Actually, I don't buy his "it's all brain chemicals" argument. To me, this whole recent societal emphasis on "it's all the fault of your brain chemicals" reeks of an earlier generation's "it's all the fault of how your mother nurtured you and potty-trained you." If it were true then it would be quite literally impossible for any human being to not believe in gods. When as we know, there are millions of otherwise sensible human beings, the sort of people you'd see at work and in the neighborhood and in the checkout line at the supermarket, who -- GASP!! -- do not believe in any gods. So no, at the end of the day, the writer is off-base, I think. You are a free moral agent, as am I. You are free to believe in gods or not, as am I. Blaming religious belief (or lack thereof, for that matter) on "brain chemicals" relieves the individual of the moral responsibility for accepting the consequences of their belief (or lack thereof).
 
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Lyv

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Poo-poo God all you like.
I'm not the poster you're addressing, but I'd like to chime in. I don't "poo poo" God. I simply don't believe in him or any deities. And I do believe that all gods, all deities, are the result of man trying to understand the unknown. All creation myths have the same source and they're all simply man's way of trying to deal with the natural world. I hope that doesn't offend believers, but it's what I believe, so in a discussion like this, it seems appropriate to share it. Just as you have shared what you believe.
 

James81

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Actually, I don't buy his "it's all brain chemicals" argument. To me, this whole recent societal emphasis on "it's all the fault of your brain chemicals" reeks of an earlier generation's "it's all the fault of how your mother nurtured you and potty-trained you." If it were true then it would be quite literally impossible for any human being to not believe in gods. When as we know, there are millions of otherwise sensible human beings, the sort of people you'd see at work and in the neighborhood and in the checkout line at the supermarket, who -- GASP!! -- do not believe in any gods. So no, at the end of the day, the writer is off-base, I think. You are a free moral agent, as am I. You are free to believe in gods or not, as am I. Blaming religious belief (or lack thereof, for that matter) on "brain chemicals" relieves the individual of the moral responsibility for accepting the consequences of their belief (or lack thereof).

This reminds me of a quote:

“In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.”
-- Jonathon Miller

The trouble is that you are looking at a pattern of behavior and extrapolating beliefs based on that pattern of behavior, rather than looking at the evidence and allowing the beliefs to form on their own.

Or, rather, you assume that because a majority of people use religion as a crutch for their lack of moral responsibility, that that must mean that religion itself is a crutch for a lack of moral repsonsibility.

It's akin to people who hate the Muslim religion because it was Muslim extremists who attacked us on 9/11.

It's not the religion that's bad, it's the way people USE religion. Religion is most tainted by the religious, but that does not inherently make religion flawed.
 

Plot Device

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Actually, I don't buy his "it's all brain chemicals" argument. To me, this whole recent societal emphasis on "it's all the fault of your brain chemicals" reeks of an earlier generation's "it's all the fault of how your mother nurtured you and potty-trained you." If it were true then it would be quite literally impossible for any human being to not believe in gods. When as we know, there are millions of otherwise sensible human beings, the sort of people you'd see at work and in the neighborhood and in the checkout line at the supermarket, who -- GASP!! -- do not believe in any gods. So no, at the end of the day, the writer is off-base, I think. You are a free moral agent, as am I. You are free to believe in gods or not, as am I. Blaming religious belief (or lack thereof, for that matter) on "brain chemicals" relieves the individual of the moral responsibility for accepting the consequences of their belief (or lack thereof).


This back-peddling post of your does NOT expunge the statement you made earlier where you said:

"As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking."

So, by the transitive power:

unreasonable thinking = unreasonable person = I don't like that person, I don't trust that person, I don't want that person taking public office, I don't want that person anywhere near children, that person and all persons like him/her are a scourge on society
 

Susan Gable

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I'm not the poster you're addressing, but I'd like to chime in. I don't "poo poo" God. I simply don't believe in him or any deities.

Sorry. That's how I define "poo-poo"ing something. Poo-pooing a thing simply means dismissing it, to me.

No offense intended, I assure you.

Susan G.
 

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I'm not the poster you're addressing, but I'd like to chime in. I don't "poo poo" God. I simply don't believe in him or any deities. And I do believe that all gods, all deities, are the result of man trying to understand the unknown. All creation myths have the same source and they're all simply man's way of trying to deal with the natural world. I hope that doesn't offend believers, but it's what I believe, so in a discussion like this, it seems appropriate to share it. Just as you have shared what you believe.


Wow!

Now what I want to know is: How come THIS non-deist-subscribing poster is capable of NOT using the words "unreasonable" and "irrational"??? How come THIS poster is not being insulting??
 

Lyv

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Sorry. That's how I define "poo-poo"ing something. Poo-pooing a thing simply means dismissing it, to me.

No offense intended, I assure you.

Susan G.
I didn't dismiss anything. I studied. I considered. I do not believe. Maybe you also have a different definition of "dismiss" than I do, but to me that means rejecting without thoughtful consideration.
 

James81

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This back-peddling post of your does NOT expunge the statement you made earlier where you said:

"As it happens, I do think that belief in a deity = unreasonable thinking."

So, by the transitive power:

unreasonable thinking = unreasonable person = I don't like that person, I don't trust that person, I don't want that person taking public office, I don't want that person anywhere near children, that person and all persons like him/her are a scourge on society

To be fair, I think you are making a lot of assumptions that last part of your quote.

Personally, I find a lot of the stuff you post here to be "unreasonable" but that doesn't mean I don't like you or trust you. In fact, I get a kick out of you and think this place wouldn't be quite the same without you. I wouldn't consider you to be a scourge on society (lol).

In other words, I think you have a lot of unreasonable beliefs, but I still <3 you.
 

Lyv

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and what are you calling that source?
Sorry, I thought I'd explained it--those myths arise from man's desire to understand the natural world and cope with the unknown. That's what I have come to believe after much thought and study.
 

Plot Device

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To be fair, I think you are making a lot of assumptions that last part of your quote.

Personally, I find a lot of the stuff you post here to be "unreasonable" but that doesn't mean I don't like you or trust you. In fact, I get a kick out of you and think this place wouldn't be quite the same without you. I wouldn't consider you to be a scourge on society (lol).

In other words, I think you have a lot of unreasonable beliefs, but I still <3 you.

I do NOT mind if an individual person is deemed irrational and/or unreasonable on the basis of their individual conduct or words. If you want to call me irrational based upon your thoughtful assessment of my words, THAT is an acceptable criterion for such a judgement call.

But I do mind when an entire group is lumped together as being irrational or unresonable on the basis of what amounts to a civil right, specifically their civil right to believe in a deity (or even to NOT believe in a deity).
 

GeorgeK

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those myths arise from man's desire to understand the natural world and cope with the unknown.

That's the same origin as scientific theories.
 

Plot Device

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Sorry, I thought I'd explained it--those myths arise from man's desire to understand the natural world and cope with the unknown. That's what I have come to believe after much thought and study.


I personally don't mind when the word "myth" gets used in a purely scholarly fashion, even in regard to my own religion. I have heard people say "creation myth" and "apocalyptic myth" and even take a side step into the sister word of "mythos." But some deists take offense at the word, feeling it's employment when speaking of religion has the additional connotation of suggesting that a story is patantly false on all levels.

But I am probably in the minority there.
 

James81

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Sorry, I thought I'd explained it--those myths arise from man's desire to understand the natural world and cope with the unknown. That's what I have come to believe after much thought and study.

They call that "God of the gaps" if I remember right.

To which I would say that God by any other name is still God.

Or to put it another way (using an example):

If one person says: "Things fall to the earth because God made it that way."

And another person says: "Things fall to the earth because of gravity."

Neither statement is contradictory to each other. One is a more educated, scientific statement than the other, but the two statements do not contradict each other.
 

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I didn't dismiss anything. I studied. I considered. I do not believe.

Can you respond, then, to my tornado in a junkyard/explosions-creating chaos-not-order questions?

How did randomness create order?

(I'm not being cheeky, I'm seriously curious as to the answer.)

thanks!

Susan G.
 
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