Why we are born to believe in God

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Belindi » July 27th, 2018, 6:22 am

LuckyR wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 12:39 pm
Belindi wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 12:25 pm
Were not the earliest gods the ancestors of the family or tribe?
I wasn't there at the time, but I bet you are correct.
Me, I still worship my ancestors albeit they are all now mythologised as dead people tend to be.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » July 27th, 2018, 9:10 am

Spectrum Wrote:
Hindus believe in reincarnation, SOME Buddhists believe in rebirth which is not a core Buddhist doctrine.
Hindus have statues of their gods and Buddhists have many statues of the Buddha which in many ways may represent a god substitute as a focus of religious thought.
If individuals twist the religious texts at least we still have the actual texts as a ground to find what is really written on the texts.
Many “Religious” texts amount to the political texts of their day exhorting “Believers” to certain codes of behaviour as a means of controlling a population and justifying punishment of those that would dare to oppose their religious and political leaders. Religious texts are all from the thoughts of men (no women as far as I know) and not the thoughts or will of God. The thoughts come in the main from the Instincts and conscious of those making up the texts, hence the appearance of deities within them.
If Jesus commanded Christians to 'love their enemies' as an overriding pacifist maxim, there is no two ways on Judgment Day, Jesus will accept those who killed their enemies. The most he can do is to mitigate hell punishment for those who have ethically justified reasons.


You are right the message from Jesus was that we should love our enemy; this countered the previous religious doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Revenge and a dislike of an enemy is part of human instinct resulting from evolution as the result of reproductive natural selection. The concept of loving your enemy represents a human evolutionary step resulting from the application of the intellect and using it to override conscience and instinct, as such, although the idea of loving an enemy seems simple it is one of the most important ideas that has governed human behaviour over the last two millennia, although it is perhaps, one of the hardest to adhere to.
Regarding Judgement Day, there is no such thing, when you are dead you are dead and no more.
I am quite sure you have not read the Quran thoroughly.
I have read at most a few pages of the Koran and didn’t find it very inspiring, perhaps I should have continued, however I know a number of people that purport to be Muslim and they have all been decent and respectable people I wish I could say the same for all the non-Moslems I have encountered.
1. Because you are disbelievers
"We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers;
you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices."

It reads:
2. "What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred,
this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list.

"The fact is,
even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to HATE you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam."
These are political statements and not religious ones they may use a religion to excuse their unacceptable and evil ideas but that does not condemn the Islamic religion as evil or unacceptable. The political ideology expressed is that of a minority it may even be a sizable minority but certainly does not amount to all Muslems.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists ... n-God.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politi ... study.html

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by LuckyR » July 27th, 2018, 4:25 pm

Belindi wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 6:22 am
LuckyR wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 12:39 pm


I wasn't there at the time, but I bet you are correct.
Me, I still worship my ancestors albeit they are all now mythologised as dead people tend to be.
Heck, some of my personal exploits from my younger days are reaching mythic proportions currently.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 28th, 2018, 3:18 am

Gordon975 wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 9:10 am
Spectrum Wrote:
Hindus believe in reincarnation, SOME Buddhists believe in rebirth which is not a core Buddhist doctrine.
Hindus have statues of their gods and Buddhists have many statues of the Buddha which in many ways may represent a god substitute as a focus of religious thought.
I dare claim to be very verse with Buddhism in correspondence in the effort I have put it to study the religion.
The core of Buddhism do not allow for idol worship.
Where Buddhists build statues and pray to them, that is a compromised by the various Buddhist organization to cater for the lay Buddhists who continued to pray to idols from past traditions.

At the higher levels of Buddhism, note Lin Chi's,
"Kill the Buddha if you see him on the road"
which present the ultimate detachment and clinging to objects even the Buddha itself.
If individuals twist the religious texts at least we still have the actual texts as a ground to find what is really written on the texts.
Many “Religious” texts amount to the political texts of their day exhorting “Believers” to certain codes of behaviour as a means of controlling a population and justifying punishment of those that would dare to oppose their religious and political leaders. Religious texts are all from the thoughts of men (no women as far as I know) and not the thoughts or will of God. The thoughts come in the main from the Instincts and conscious of those making up the texts, hence the appearance of deities within them.
True but the problem is Islam insist the Quran is the verbatim immutable words of God, word for word in Arabic.
So we must convince Muslims their holy texts is not from God but rather I believe it was from a 'mad' person or group of 'mad' people.
If Jesus commanded Christians to 'love their enemies' as an overriding pacifist maxim, there is no two ways on Judgment Day, Jesus will accept those who killed their enemies. The most he can do is to mitigate hell punishment for those who have ethically justified reasons.

You are right the message from Jesus was that we should love our enemy; this countered the previous religious doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Revenge and a dislike of an enemy is part of human instinct resulting from evolution as the result of reproductive natural selection. The concept of loving your enemy represents a human evolutionary step resulting from the application of the intellect and using it to override conscience and instinct, as such, although the idea of loving an enemy seems simple it is one of the most important ideas that has governed human behaviour over the last two millennia, although it is perhaps, one of the hardest to adhere to.
Regarding Judgement Day, there is no such thing, when you are dead you are dead and no more.
As I had stated most or majority of Christians believe in Judgment Day regardless of your views and act accordingly to such beliefs.
If they believe in Judgment Day they have to accept the overriding maxim of 'Love your enemies' to qualify them to heaven. Therefore they will not kill their enemies.
On the other hand, Muslims will kill non-Muslims in compliance with Allah's command to gain his favor to enter Paradise.
I am quite sure you have not read the Quran thoroughly.
I have read at most a few pages of the Koran and didn’t find it very inspiring, perhaps I should have continued, however I know a number of people that purport to be Muslim and they have all been decent and respectable people I wish I could say the same for all the non-Moslems I have encountered.
If you have not read the whole of the Quran, then it is recommended you read it as many time as possible.
Even if you have read it, you will need to read the Quran in Chronological order.
You will also need to find its central theme which is not an easy task.
I have read the Quran many time [>30 to 50 times] in various approaches and have understood its central theme and ethos.
1. Because you are disbelievers
"We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers;
you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices."

It reads:
2. "What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred,
this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list.

"The fact is,
even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to HATE you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam."
These are political statements and not religious ones they may use a religion to excuse their unacceptable and evil ideas but that does not condemn the Islamic religion as evil or unacceptable. The political ideology expressed is that of a minority it may even be a sizable minority but certainly does not amount to all Muslems.
Islam as it claim for itself is both religious and political ideology.
The above statements are based on verses from the Quran.
The point is no Muslims would dare to twist Allah's words in the Quran for fear they go to hell.
The words in the Quran in Arabic are very straight forward, i.e. the main theme being 'fight and kill non-Muslims'.
It is only the moderates [more humane] who ignorantly or force themselves to twist Allah words from its literal meaning to avoid the harsh and evil reality demanded in the Quran.
I agree with the main points of the above.
The problem is none of the above authors and researchers venture to understand the propensity to believe in God is relative to the changes phases of evolution.
The belief in God will be weaned off as humans continue to evolve progressively, just like the eroded belief in Chattel Slavery which once indisputable.
Our concern is that we need to intervene to expedite the change given the serious threat posed by the associated evils and violence from theistic religion especially from Islam.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 28th, 2018, 3:21 am

Pls excuse my uncorrected grammar above.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » July 28th, 2018, 6:07 am

Spectrum Wrote:
The core of Buddhism do not allow for idol worship.
I’m sure you are right and that the Buda himself would not have seen himself as a God and his teachings I am sure would almost certainly reject a divine status for himself, however as the majority of his followers would (According to the arguments being expressed here) need to believe in God the Buda’s role in Buddhism would become divine and God like in their eyes.
I have read the Quran many time [>30 to 50 times] in various approaches and have understood its central theme and ethos.
To read the Quran than many times is quite an achievement and one that I would be unable to emulate. However I have read the 4 books of the New Testament just once and marked the passages where Jesus is directly quoted, if you ignore the references to God within the resulting text (And there are not that many) the philosophy that emerges is (At least for me) the most inspiring available. I urge you and everyone to do the same, just do it once; it won’t take anywhere near as long as reading the whole Quran.
True but the problem is Islam insist the Quran is the verbatim immutable words of God, word for word in Arabic.
So we must convince Muslims their holy texts are not from God but rather I believe it was from a 'mad' person or group of 'mad' people.
Sadly I believe what you say could be applied to most religious writings that are usually skewed to deliver a political or moral message of the authors own design. I’m not sure that the word mad applies it infers a possible clinical condition, perhaps they should be thought of as just odd.
The words in the Quran in Arabic are very straight forward, i.e. the main theme being 'fight and kill non-Muslims'.
It is only the moderates [more humane] who ignorantly or force themselves to twist Allah words from its literal meaning to avoid the harsh and evil reality demanded in the Quran.
You are probably right but no Muslim has ever tried to kill me, or anyone I personally know. What is your experience ?.
The belief in God will be weaned off as humans continue to evolve progressively, just like the eroded belief in Chattel Slavery which once indisputable.
If as is being suggested in this topic a belief in god is part of our genetic make up and perhaps needed to enable the Intellectual development of our species, then, it is unlikely that an underling belief in god and the supernatural will disappear any time soon.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 28th, 2018, 7:07 am

Spectrum wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 12:30 am
Greta wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 6:31 pm

Really? So it's not about group selection and environment?

Which are the "God genes"? I was not aware of their discovery.
There are no specific God genes.
The DNA is responsible for certain primary functions in the brain and body such that when the RNA activates, certain eddies create existence turbulence [zombie parasites] that compel the majority to believe in a God.

Thus for some where the RNAs activate differently some are not compel to cling to a God, i.e. the non-theists which is on an increasing trend.
Your zombie parasite line is fanciful, even if you seem to have convinced yourself. I suspect that a billion Chinese might not feel born to believe in God, so I'll stick with the advantages of group selected religion as a much more likely scenario.

What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to cowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way. Some people worship sporting heroes and popular culture stars.

This too, has a ready, non-controversial explanation - maintaining good relationships with the powerful is a good survival strategy. Thus, worship is the dynamic that tends to most ingratiate the weak to the very most powerful and influential players. The Big Kahuna monotheistic deity was specifically designed to be the ultimate conception, to be invincible. This was surely important around the Middle East 2,000 years ago with various competing religions.

It was in essence an "adult" game of "My Daddy is stronger than your Daddy". Those who were vanquished by Abrahamic theists no doubt agreed that the Christian Daddy (or at least His "children") had indeed kicked their behinds, and thus their deity lost. If your greatest god is vanquished, then the god loses respect and the victor deity wins new followers (no doubt many changed over at the point of a sword).

The monotheistic UltraDeity has now held inordinate influence in many societies for two millennia, seemingly the benefit of the clever double bind designed to prevent people sensibly doubting the superstitions they were being told to believe. That is, if you don't believe in God (or x claim) then you are either not trying hard enough, not sincere enough, not deep enough, not strong enough, not loving enough, or simply a faulty human being.

It has taken courage for people throughout history to stand up to this manipulation, so I am one of the few on philosophy forums who is a fan of Richard Dawkins, both as an observer of nature and as an advocate to break the grip of illogic. (Sure, he's not a philosopher, but hardly anyone is).

Despite the current western fashion for style over substance (complacency), there have been serious cracks forming in monotheism even as it rises again amongst the angry and desperate. So many theist claims have been conclusively disproved over the centuries that God now has a split personality - the war deity of the OT embraced by the uneducated and over and undermedicated, and the "ground of being" deity posited by educated believers.

The literalist and fundamentalist war god, I suspect, will be around as long as there are large groups of poor people huddling together to concoct memes as respite from their difficult lives and as a reason to carry on. Meanwhile, the deity of educated and wealthy society - being/the ground of being - will surely throw off all hints of anthropomorphism and masculinisation. That is, there will probably come an acceptance that whatever interactions we may have with nature, any personal aspects will logically be generated by the person/s involved in the interaction.

Thus, belief will increasingly disappear in some portions of population who will be, clearly, not "born to believe in God", along with a billion Chinese and numerous others who try to eschew superstition.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 28th, 2018, 10:40 pm

Gordon975 wrote:
July 28th, 2018, 6:07 am
Spectrum Wrote:
The core of Buddhism do not allow for idol worship.
I’m sure you are right and that the Buda himself would not have seen himself as a God and his teachings I am sure would almost certainly reject a divine status for himself, however as the majority of his followers would (According to the arguments being expressed here) need to believe in God the Buda’s role in Buddhism would become divine and God like in their eyes.
Agree.

The majority of Buddhists [including even some monks] would need to believe in some higher ups other than any human being in various forms.
Buddhism recognizes this fundamental need cannot be eliminated immediately. Thus in practice Buddhism provide a graduated approach of different paths from kindergarten to PhD for people of various states of spiritual competences and inclinations.
Some will progress along the various stages but the majority of lay Buddhists will likely to pray to statues their whole life.
I have read the Quran many time [>30 to 50 times] in various approaches and have understood its central theme and ethos.
To read the Quran than many times is quite an achievement and one that I would be unable to emulate. However I have read the 4 books of the New Testament just once and marked the passages where Jesus is directly quoted, if you ignore the references to God within the resulting text (And there are not that many) the philosophy that emerges is (At least for me) the most inspiring available. I urge you and everyone to do the same, just do it once; it won’t take anywhere near as long as reading the whole Quran.
I have read the Bible in details and analysis once long time ago.
Which 4 books of the NT are you referring to. I will take another look at it. Can you summarize the main points of that philosophy?
True but the problem is Islam insist the Quran is the verbatim immutable words of God, word for word in Arabic.
So we must convince Muslims their holy texts are not from God but rather I believe it was from a 'mad' person or group of 'mad' people.
Sadly I believe what you say could be applied to most religious writings that are usually skewed to deliver a political or moral message of the authors own design. I’m not sure that the word mad applies it infers a possible clinical condition, perhaps they should be thought of as just odd.
Islam is the only religion that insists the Arabic Quran is the verbatim [word for word] of the message that Allah communicated to Muhammad and had remained unchanged and uncorrupted. The original copy is somewhere in Paradise.

There are loads of people who had claimed they are God or are messenger/prophet of God. In our modern time, most these people are referred to psychiatrists to be cured.
Note;

Ramachandran: the Temporal Lobes [Temporal Epilepsy] and God -
Thousands of years ago, there were no studies and expert in psychiatry to assess the true associated mental problems of these so called god-man and they got away with it as founders of mainstream religions and cults which serve the need re the OP.
The words in the Quran in Arabic are very straight forward, i.e. the main theme being 'fight and kill non-Muslims'.
It is only the moderates [more humane] who ignorantly or force themselves to twist Allah words from its literal meaning to avoid the harsh and evil reality demanded in the Quran.
You are probably right but no Muslim has ever tried to kill me, or anyone I personally know. What is your experience ?.
Based on facts of evil deeds by Muslims all over the world, you cannot be too over confident, complacent and indifferent of your safety on this matter.

Note in the recent Toronto Greektown shootings, a 10 year old girl was killed while eating icecream, another was killed and many were injured. It could have been you or me [being a non-Muslim]. Fact is such incidents are happening everywhere.
The glaring and evident facts reported regularly has already proven, the slightest perceived offense to Islam or Muhammad will end up with killings or violence. Note even drawing of cartoons of Muhammad which happened in one place but there was killing all over the world.

I have received threats while discussing Islam is certain Muslim oriented forums.
The belief in God will be weaned off as humans continue to evolve progressively, just like the eroded belief in Chattel Slavery which once indisputable.
If as is being suggested in this topic a belief in god is part of our genetic make up and perhaps needed to enable the Intellectual development of our species, then, it is unlikely that an underling belief in god and the supernatural will disappear any time soon.
The truth is the underlying impulse to believe in God, the supernatural or whatever it takes to relieve the existential pains will not disappear, perhaps at all.

The evolution of the brain [human and others] works in such a way that improvements and progress are based on gradual introduction of new parts of the brain and neural circuits are cultivated to inhibit and modulate the impulses of the older brain.
It is not a case of destroying the existing and rebuilding a new brain from scratch.
The slightest change in the brain and make very significant difference, note the difference between the brain of the higher primates and humans. The human brain still have remnants of the basic reptillian brain intact in the lower brain.

So yes, the underlying DNA, brain structure and impulses to believe in God or a higher up [deity] will not disappear and perhaps never at all.
What humanity need to do [in view of serious threat posed by Islam] is to expedite the growth of stronger inhibitors [that do not atrophize easily] to modulate those primal impulses.
This is what Buddhism in practice does, i.e. introduce practices that strengthen the relevant inhibitors to regulate and modulate [not get rid of] the theistic [negative prone] tendencies.

Here is one clue to the above;
Across the world, people have varying levels of belief (and disbelief) in God, with some nations being more devout than others. But new research reveals one constant across parts of the globe: As people age, their belief in God seems to increase.
https://www.livescience.com/19971-belie ... m-age.html
Why?
Because the natural and newer neural inhibitors [LIFO - last in first] atrophized and the primal impulse is unhibited and thus pushes through to increase the older person's inclination towards a belief in God.

Note the same primal inherent unavoidable impulse that drive humans to believe in God also drive others to drugs and all sorts of deeds [good and evil] to suppress or deny its impulses.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 28th, 2018, 11:06 pm

More Islamophobia from Spectrum - just what we need in a thread about a different topic (not).

Hopeless.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 29th, 2018, 12:29 am

Greta wrote:
July 28th, 2018, 7:07 am
Spectrum wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 12:30 am
There are no specific God genes.
The DNA is responsible for certain primary functions in the brain and body such that when the RNA activates, certain eddies create existence turbulence [zombie parasites] that compel the majority to believe in a God.

Thus for some where the RNAs activate differently some are not compel to cling to a God, i.e. the non-theists which is on an increasing trend.
Your zombie parasite line is fanciful, even if you seem to have convinced yourself. I suspect that a billion Chinese might not feel born to believe in God, so I'll stick with the advantages of group selected religion as a much more likely scenario.

What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to cowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way. Some people worship sporting heroes and popular culture stars.

This too, has a ready, non-controversial explanation - maintaining good relationships with the powerful is a good survival strategy. Thus, worship is the dynamic that tends to most ingratiate the weak to the very most powerful and influential players. The Big Kahuna monotheistic deity was specifically designed to be the ultimate conception, to be invincible. This was surely important around the Middle East 2,000 years ago with various competing religions.

It was in essence an "adult" game of "My Daddy is stronger than your Daddy". Those who were vanquished by Abrahamic theists no doubt agreed that the Christian Daddy (or at least His "children") had indeed kicked their behinds, and thus their deity lost. If your greatest god is vanquished, then the god loses respect and the victor deity wins new followers (no doubt many changed over at the point of a sword).

The monotheistic UltraDeity has now held inordinate influence in many societies for two millennia, seemingly the benefit of the clever double bind designed to prevent people sensibly doubting the superstitions they were being told to believe. That is, if you don't believe in God (or x claim) then you are either not trying hard enough, not sincere enough, not deep enough, not strong enough, not loving enough, or simply a faulty human being.

It has taken courage for people throughout history to stand up to this manipulation, so I am one of the few on philosophy forums who is a fan of Richard Dawkins, both as an observer of nature and as an advocate to break the grip of illogic. (Sure, he's not a philosopher, but hardly anyone is).

Despite the current western fashion for style over substance (complacency), there have been serious cracks forming in monotheism even as it rises again amongst the angry and desperate. So many theist claims have been conclusively disproved over the centuries that God now has a split personality - the war deity of the OT embraced by the uneducated and over and undermedicated, and the "ground of being" deity posited by educated believers.

The literalist and fundamentalist war god, I suspect, will be around as long as there are large groups of poor people huddling together to concoct memes as respite from their difficult lives and as a reason to carry on. Meanwhile, the deity of educated and wealthy society - being/the ground of being - will surely throw off all hints of anthropomorphism and masculinisation. That is, there will probably come an acceptance that whatever interactions we may have with nature, any personal aspects will logically be generated by the person/s involved in the interaction.

Thus, belief will increasingly disappear in some portions of population who will be, clearly, not "born to believe in God", along with a billion Chinese and numerous others who try to eschew superstition.
I have introduced the 'zombie parasite' here which is the same impulse that drives the majority to believe in God but at the same time it also drives and compels other humans to seek some other higher-up [than oneself] deities to deal with the existential crisis.

Where those who are not driven by the "zombie parasite" to believe in God or superstitions, some unfortunate ones will resort of drugs and other escapism strategies to suppress the existential pains generated by the 'zombie parasite'.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 29th, 2018, 3:16 am

Spectrum, you have completely failed to counter my rebuttal of your mythological zombie parasite.

The notion of a "parasite", I can work with - there are many memes, institutions, groups and individuals whose nature tends to be selfish and exploitative, either predatory or parasitic. That is the game of life. I have no complaints about that aside from the usual grizzles about being exploited made by little people since the dawn of civilisation.

However, the "zombie" aspect is simply a reckless ad hom. Theists are no more zombies than you are, given your obsessions. People can be obsessive without being "zombies".

I already explained about the ape and human history of deceit and exploitation. If you disagree, where is the counter?

In the meantime, what do you say to the billions of people who are NOT born to believe in God? Do we not count?

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 29th, 2018, 5:03 am

Spectrum wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 12:29 am
Where those who are not driven by the "zombie parasite" to believe in God or superstitions, some unfortunate ones will resort of drugs and other escapism strategies to suppress the existential pains generated by the 'zombie parasite'.
And how do you explain all the atheists who don't do drugs?

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » July 29th, 2018, 8:05 am

Greta Wrote:
I suspect that a billion Chinese might not feel born to believe in God
There is evidence that just as everywhere else the Chinese people have religious beliefs and therefore believe in a god
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/religion-china
What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to kowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way. Some people worship sporting heroes and popular culture stars.
A life form has to survive in a real world and has to know to the best of its ability what is real or what is false to enable it to best achieve that survival. A creature with intellect then takes the extra step of knowing what they would like to be real and what they would prefer to be false. Moe, Kim, Stalin and the like are real and perceived to be real, the supernatural and a belief in god is part of what a creature would like to be real and what they would prefer to be false, With intellect comes the need to believe that death is a false ending and that God is real and is the way to evade a death of the intellect. Politics and Religion have human leaders for the one and God as leader for the other, politics and religion often combine to control populations often to maintain a privileged elite who may or may not have good intentions behind their doctrines.
The monotheistic Ultra Deity has now held inordinate influence in many societies for two millennia
What you say is true but in our modern world with its new found knowledge resulting in an explanation for how the universe exists God still remains in peoples lives. We know that there is no scientific justification for a belief in a deity, however perhaps understanding why we believe in something that clearly does not exist may bring some measure of sanity between the competing religions in their competition for converts. The existing mainstream religions are old and still cling to their outdated philosophies and practices to entertain their congregations, this only works because those congregations believe in a God but don't understand why they believe.

Spectrum Wrote:
Which 4 books of the NT are you referring to. I will take another look at it. Can you summarize the main points of that philosophy?
Just Matthew Mark Luke and John, the rest of the bible is in so many ways for politicians and population control. In the past I have tried to summarise the main points and have just tried again, but given the age of the text and its sometimes obscure use of language for our modern interpretation it is best to read all the text within its own context.
Islam is the only religion that insists the Arabic Quran is the verbatim [word for word] of the message that Allah communicated to Muhammad and had remained unchanged and uncorrupted
Muhammad could neither read nor write and all that is written down was done by others, not that it matters, a religious text is what it is and it is in the human mind with its natural predisposition to a belief in the supernatural, as with all religous ideologies, that means that it becomes revered by its adherents sometimes to the extreme and with results that are often impossible to comprehend.
Based on facts of evil deeds by Muslims all over the world
Moslem never do good deeds?
Non Moslems never do bad deeds?
The truth is the underlying impulse to believe in God, the supernatural or whatever it takes to relieve the existential pains will not disappear, perhaps at all
I agree but understanding the impulse to believe in God is, is the first step to healing its more extreme consequences.

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Greta
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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 29th, 2018, 6:03 pm

Gordon975 wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 8:05 am
Greta Wrote:
I suspect that a billion Chinese might not feel born to believe in God
There is evidence that just as everywhere else the Chinese people have religious beliefs and therefore believe in a god
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/religion-china
Gordon, you can't just dismiss all those atheists as theists-in-waiting just because China is importing more from the west with globalisation than money. There will logically still be many, many non religious people in the world who very much not born to believe.
Gordon975 wrote:
What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to kowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way. Some people worship sporting heroes and popular culture stars.
A life form has to survive in a real world and has to know to the best of its ability what is real or what is false to enable it to best achieve that survival. A creature with intellect then takes the extra step of knowing what they would like to be real and what they would prefer to be false. Moe, Kim, Stalin and the like are real and perceived to be real, the supernatural and a belief in god is part of what a creature would like to be real and what they would prefer to be false, With intellect comes the need to believe that death is a false ending and that God is real and is the way to evade a death of the intellect. Politics and Religion have human leaders for the one and God as leader for the other, politics and religion often combine to control populations often to maintain a privileged elite who may or may not have good intentions behind their doctrines.
Indeed, there is a survival mechanism involved but - and this is very much my point - people are not uniform in this. Some operate as if they don't care about eternal life, and I only as "as if" because they may feel differently when confronted by The Reaper.
Gordon975 wrote:
The monotheistic Ultra Deity has now held inordinate influence in many societies for two millennia
What you say is true but in our modern world with its new found knowledge resulting in an explanation for how the universe exists God still remains in peoples lives. We know that there is no scientific justification for a belief in a deity, however perhaps understanding why we believe in something that clearly does not exist may bring some measure of sanity between the competing religions in their competition for converts. The existing mainstream religions are old and still cling to their outdated philosophies and practices to entertain their congregations, this only works because those congregations believe in a God but don't understand why they believe.
Fair point. You seem to have already addressed the reason well above, though, with the survival instinct extending beyond the grave.

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Felix
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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Felix » July 29th, 2018, 6:13 pm

What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to kowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way.
Not even in the same ballpark: veneration out of fear and reverence out of love have nothing in common.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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