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Why do people practice/not practice religion?

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:00 pm
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Cole says...

Azalea, evolution isn't just an aspect of atheism. I understand your point, but let's be careful. I am a Christian (as I just said above : P) but I accept evolution.
My heart holds all secrets; my heart tells no lies.

~Hosea 6:3~
ונדעה נרדפה לדעת את יהוה כשחר נכון מצאו ויבוא כגשם לנו כמלקוש יורה ארץ׃

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:49 am
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PenguinAttack says...

Zealea didn't mention that as a Christian you wouldn't believe in evolution.

Other than that though, I think the cause to follow a religion is, for many people, an ingrained habit, attending mass on Sunday by rote. This is something parents give to their children and the like. Beyond this, there is the choice to follow a religion, whichever one it may be. Choosing to believe in something, regardless of what it is, will always involve a mixture of causes and needs. Whether it is the need to be accepted, loved, understood, to belong or to feel powerful.

To choose to have no religion, I think, is to say "I need nothing more that who I am to be who I am." Which is similar to having a religion of course, for all the same reasons. It's finding the need in something, despite what the location of that resolution is.

Faith is different to religion, yes, and some people are searching for faith when they join a religion, or when they leave that religion. I don't think that saying "I no longer believe in God" means you have lost all your faith, but instead that your faith changed and what you used to need, you no longer do, and what you used to accept, you no longer do. Change is important and if your chosen beliefs don't suit your changes, one or the other has to go.

All people have faith in something.
I like you as an enemy, but I love you as a friend.

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:10 am
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Snoink says...

I am pretty sure Lava was talking about Hinduism's contested idea of evolution! Many Hindus are open to the idea of evolution nowadays, and they even find that Hinduism and modern scientific theories roughly go hand in hand (the idea of multiple creations, for one) but there are a few Hindus who are creationists and believe that modern science has it wrong. But I digress. ^^

In any case, I practice religion because it makes me happy, and when I don't practice it, I'm not happy. It also is one of the few things on this Earth that actually makes sense in its irrelevancy (which is probably why it makes me happy) so I love to practice it.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:59 pm
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writerwithacause says...

I remember having discussed this two years ago in highschool in my philosophy classes.

The thing is, there is no such thing as "not believing in anything at all". Atheists find their solace in other beleifs. Some people are driven by material values, and they value money, others find comfort in religion because they haven't been given the chance to think for themselves and take The Bible or any other textbook as granted, and there are also these who believe in their own ideas and philosophies about the world.

Everybody believes in something, be it religion or not, Those more intellectual (not in the sense of smart), the thinkers and people who are inclined towards philosophy do not usually take religion in its basic sense, they have a mind of their own. I think this is how we all should see the world in the end. These people will also never quarrel with others on discussions based on religion, they'll understand other religions and not ignore the others. So, mind you, I'm speaking in general terms, not in the religion itself you believe in. I am not saying these men do not have a god to which they pray every night, but they don't see it from the idolatrical point of view as others might.

Simple, but good people (who perhaps didn't have the chance to be given a proper, and deeper education) are most likely to believe in gods, in religion. They are also inclined towards a self-centred view of religion: I believe in my god, others who don't are not religious people.

And those who haven't had an education either, and their behaviour has been affected by violence in family and wrong moral values that have been imposed to them (directly or indirectly) will perhaps become immoral persons who might even commit crimes, so they certainly do not believe in religion as it is, and did not have the chance to think themselves about philosophical matters, so they obviously see "money" and other material goods as their god.
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Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:13 pm
hopeispeace says...

Hayden said " I felt like I could feel Him in my life"

Religion isn't really about any specific thing (well, at least not Christianity), it's just the incredible feeling of God existing within you. I don't necessarily back up every aspect of the church's specific opinions, but, honestly, I don't care. I don't need to be part of a church group to be Christian. I believe that it is something within me personally.
That's why I practice religion.

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Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:14 am
PiesAreSquared says...

I have not been sufficiently convinced that this article is "fundamentally flawed".
And as I has quoted in previous posts elsewhere, Rickard Dawkins said, "An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."
-- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6

Putting two and two together...this is my two cents worth
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. C. S. Lewis

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Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:50 am
Stori says...

Since you all seem to have answered for the masses, I'll just say what I think.

To me, it makes more sense to believe in a loving, all-seeing God than in blind, uncaring chance. Who knows, maybe I share this belief with your friendly neighborhood dog.

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Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:29 am
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ongoeslife says...

This is Stori's dad, StormDrummer, on his mom's account, making a guest post. Late to the party, I know, but...

I've really enjoyed this discussion. The Christians made many beautiful and important points, especially the one about Job, and the one about the difference between faith and religion. From the outside, they may look the same and be hard to tell apart. But to many believers, there is a crucial difference. (I also appreciated the sincere comments of the atheists, and the point about how people may join or leave a religion in search of faith is very thought-provoking and really brings out that difference.)

It's perfectly possible to have a good education and a keen and critical mind and still have faith in God (in fact, that's how some people get there.) Simplicity doesn't always arise out of ignorance; it can be an informed and intelligent choice (and a very rewarding one.) And I have seen "stupid" or ignorant reasoning and anti-intellectualism or emotionalism masquerading as intelligence used to support atheism, as well as positions that were truly based on reason.
No, I'm not knocking anyone for being an atheist, just saying that neither side is more "intellectual" or "ignorant" than the other.

I don't think I could take any comfort in "religion" either. But my faith is actually a wonderful, two-way relationship with an amazing Person--God. (In the same way, you can talk about "the institution of marriage" all you want, and it just leaves me cold. But I've been head over heels in love with the same wonderful woman for over half my life, and nothing on Earth is more precious to me. It's a very similar thing.)

I was always a "Christian"--or so I thought. Then one day I met Him in person, and everything changed. The real (maybe the only) difference between the atheist and the Christian is that one knows Him personally; the other has only heard of Him; to the atheist He's a concept; to the believer, a Person. When I pray, He not only listens but talks back. I've seen Him do amazing things; even raise a woman from the dead once. He is a constant presence in my life; our relationship ebbs and flows, has rough spots as well as good ones, like any other.
And yet, He is the one Person in my life who will be there even when every other is gone, who will never fail me even when every other person has (though of course that doesn't mean everything will go the way I want it to. I've had my own "Job" times.) So for me to question His existence would be completely illogical, like questioning my wife's existence. There's just no remoteness or unreality there. And I believe His Word not because someone told me to, or because I've never questioned it, but because I know and have confidence in the Author. If I have any questions, about that or anything, I can ask Him, and usually He'll tell me.

Why do people turn to religion? The answers here are as good as any. But to me, other things are much more relevant, more immediate. For millions of people, this is what it's like to be a Christian, and we turn to our God as you would to, say, a husband or wife. He loves you, and He'll walk with you too if you ask Him.

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Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:05 pm
youngwolf1105 says...

I believe people practice religion because they need to feel that there's something bigger then us. That's my persoal outlook on it all.
We were made to corageous,
We're taking back the fight.
We were made to be corageous,
And it starts with us tonight.

And the only way we'll stand,
Is on our knees with lifted hands.
Make us corageous,
Lord make us corageous. - Casting Crowns