Why So Many People Become Defensive and/or Evasive When Asked To PROVE Their Religious Beliefs/Faith

Many people have strong religious faiths &/or beliefs regarding their respective Gods & articles of faith.They base their particular beliefs on what they have been taught by religious authorities, parents &/or other family members.
Many people have strong religious faiths &/or beliefs regarding their respective Gods & articles of faith.They base their particular beliefs on what they have been taught by religious authorities, parents &/or other family members.
Many believe that their religious inculcations from priests, nuns, rabbis, and/or ministers are legitimate. After all such people in their opinion are God's representatives on earth. They contend that they are taught what God has intended.
Many believe that their religious inculcations from priests, nuns, rabbis, and/or ministers are legitimate. After all such people in their opinion are God's representatives on earth. They contend that they are taught what God has intended.
It goes without saying that many people are in the religions of their parents/family.Many accept this matter of factly. It is their contention what is good enough for their parents, is good enough for them.
It goes without saying that many people are in the religions of their parents/family.Many accept this matter of factly. It is their contention what is good enough for their parents, is good enough for them.
Many people go along with the prescribed religions of their family for fear of disapproval, ostracization, even being disowned. They find it easier to go along with the prescribed religion, not making an effort to question their prescribed religions.
Many people go along with the prescribed religions of their family for fear of disapproval, ostracization, even being disowned. They find it easier to go along with the prescribed religion, not making an effort to question their prescribed religions.
There are those in a religion because of fear-fear of being considered a sinner &/or a disgrace in God/s eyes.They are also fearful of burning in hell for an eternity.Religion, to them, is an afterlife insurance policy more or less.
There are those in a religion because of fear-fear of being considered a sinner &/or a disgrace in God/s eyes.They are also fearful of burning in hell for an eternity.Religion, to them, is an afterlife insurance policy more or less.
There are many people who are religious because it garners them community &/or social approval.  Such people believe that if theyhave a religion/faith, they would appear more upstanding &/or moral in the eyes of others.
There are many people who are religious because it garners them community &/or social approval. Such people believe that if theyhave a religion/faith, they would appear more upstanding &/or moral in the eyes of others.
Some people view religion as a bulwark &/or protection against the outside world.They often view religion as the pure &/or ideal existence while the outside world is seen as utterly corrupt, sinful, &or depraved. Religion is their ULTIMATE escape.
Some people view religion as a bulwark &/or protection against the outside world.They often view religion as the pure &/or ideal existence while the outside world is seen as utterly corrupt, sinful, &or depraved. Religion is their ULTIMATE escape.
Others are fearful of the outside world.They see the religious world as the only authentic world. Religion is their psychological womb/cocoon.They prefer to block out the world as it is unessential& unimportant to them.Religion is EVERYTHING to them.
Others are fearful of the outside world.They see the religious world as the only authentic world. Religion is their psychological womb/cocoon.They prefer to block out the world as it is unessential& unimportant to them.Religion is EVERYTHING to them.
There are people who use their religion as a psychological barrier.They have NOTHING but their religion.They hold on to their religion for dear life although that religion may be harmful to them.Religion is a proverbial lifeboat to them.
There are people who use their religion as a psychological barrier.They have NOTHING but their religion.They hold on to their religion for dear life although that religion may be harmful to them.Religion is a proverbial lifeboat to them.
Many religious people become discombobulated when questioned re: their beliefs.They take it as an affront.They contend that religion/religious matters are sacrosanct, preordained by God & beyond questioning. They see such questioning as blasphemous.
Many religious people become discombobulated when questioned re: their beliefs.They take it as an affront.They contend that religion/religious matters are sacrosanct, preordained by God & beyond questioning. They see such questioning as blasphemous.
Others are quite unsure where they stand religiously.They are in religious purgatory so to speak.They really have a question of faith but WON'T admit it. So they displace their inner & subconscious angst onto the critic &/or questioning person.
Others are quite unsure where they stand religiously.They are in religious purgatory so to speak.They really have a question of faith but WON'T admit it. So they displace their inner & subconscious angst onto the critic &/or questioning person.
Some are totally indoctrinated regarding their religious beliefs/faith.They see NO OTHER way. If they are questioned/critiqued as to why the reason for their belief/faith, they will refer to religious authorities, not having an independent thought.
Some are totally indoctrinated regarding their religious beliefs/faith.They see NO OTHER way. If they are questioned/critiqued as to why the reason for their belief/faith, they will refer to religious authorities, not having an independent thought.
There are those who  take it as a sign of disrespect that others DARE to question their religious beliefs/faith. They contend that their religious belief/faith is legitimate and others should accept &/or respect it.
There are those who take it as a sign of disrespect that others DARE to question their religious beliefs/faith. They contend that their religious belief/faith is legitimate and others should accept &/or respect it.
Many religious people believe that THEIR religious beliefs/faith is a private &/or personal matter between them & their respective Gods. They find it too intrusive & invasive for others to question &/or criticize them regarding such.
Many religious people believe that THEIR religious beliefs/faith is a private &/or personal matter between them & their respective Gods. They find it too intrusive & invasive for others to question &/or criticize them regarding such.
Some are quite fearful that others questioning &/or critiquing their religious beliefs/faith will open their minds to new &different avenues outside their religious purview. This makes them QUITE UNCOMFORTABLE to say the very least.
Some are quite fearful that others questioning &/or critiquing their religious beliefs/faith will open their minds to new &different avenues outside their religious purview. This makes them QUITE UNCOMFORTABLE to say the very least.
Religion is a source of contention for many people.They feel that their religious beliefs &/or faith are very sacred &/or holy to them. They further contend that others questioning them is an affront to what is considered their sacred cows.
Religion is a source of contention for many people.They feel that their religious beliefs &/or faith are very sacred &/or holy to them. They further contend that others questioning them is an affront to what is considered their sacred cows.

YOU Want ME to Explain WHY I Believe THE WAY I Do? Well Because..........

Many people have strong religious faith and/or beliefs regarding their particular God and articles of faith. They often based their respective beliefs on what they have been taught by particular religious authorities whether it is priests, nuns, rabbis, and/or ministers. They contend that what religious teaching they have received at their hands is legitimate and correct. After all, it is strongly argued that such people are representatives of God on earth, teaching them what God have intended.

Also people are inculcated in the respective religions of their parents. Many do not question this religious principle, ascertaining if it is relevant or logical to them. They blindly accept this religious indoctrination as this is what their parents and other ancestors believe. They assert that if it was good enough and/or acceptable to their parents then it is such to them. Then there are those who question their religious doctrines; however, they dare not leave the religion for fear of family disapproval and ostracization, even being disowned by said family members.

It goes without saying that most people accept and/or practice the religions of their parents and/or family. In their eye view, that is the way it is done. However, there are exceptions, when some women marry someone of a different religion, they convert to their husband's respective religion. Very few people really think about and/or make a concerted, conscious effort to understand their respective religions. Many people contend that it is easier and/or more social acceptable to go through the motions regarding the belief of their respective religions.

In my last job as an investigator, a co-worker was complaining about Pope John Paul II's position regarding feminism and women's supposed place in society. She indicated that she found Roman Catholicism to be totally out of touch with modern society. However, she explained that she knew no other religion and that is what she was all of her life.

This co-worker revealed that it was much easier to remain a Roman Catholic although she thought the religion to be totally irrelevant. Another person I knew, asserted that she was a Roman Catholic because it was tradition, without giving deep analytical thought regarding the religion. She simply and plainly had a perfunctory attitude towards the religion.

There are many people indoctrinated that if they do not have a religion, they are considered to be sinners, a disgrace to God, and will burn in hell. So they have a religion as a sort of insurance policy for the afterlife. They contend that if there is no God, okay, but IF there IS, they are protected. There others are in a religion because of community and/or social approval. They contend that to have a religion makes them seem more upstanding and moral than those who do not have a religion.

Some people view their respective religion and/or faith as a bulwark and protection against the outside world. Many religious people often see the outside, so called secular world as corrupt, debauched, sinful, and/or generally imperfect. To them, religion is ever so perfect, ideal, and pure in its quintessential essence. They believe that their religion offers the solace and escape they need from what they deem to be this horrible world. They regard religion as the ULTIMATE escape.

Many religious people are fearful of the outside world. They believe that the religious world is the only true authentic world. Their religion is akin to being in a proverbial womb and/or cocoon. They would rather remain in their religious world where they are happy and have peace of mind than to face their particular problems and/or the world. They view the world as totally unimportant and/or unessential in their lives. Religion is the be and end all, those people put religion before everything even the essential of their day to day lives and their families.

There are religious people use their religion as a psychological barrier. They feel that they have nothing but their religion. These are the people who hold on to their religion even though their respective religion may be irrelevant or even detrimental to them emotionally and/or psychologically. These people consider their religion a psychological lifeboat to hold on for dear, dear life. For without their religion, where would THEY be.

A few religious people are so entrenched in their religious beliefs that they become quite unhinged if someone critiques or question their respective beliefs. They feel that it is affront to them. Often they attack the person who is only making an intelligent inquiry. They were strongly inculcated in the premise that religion and/or religious matters are sacrosanct and preordained by God thus are divine in nature. These are the people who assert that no religion is man made and to believe so is total and/or utter blasphemy.

There are religious people who are unsure of their beliefs and/or faith. They really do not know where they are religiously. They are quite threatened by those who critique and/or question them because they do not have any clear cut answers as to why they believe as they do. They are metaphorically in religious purgatory. They have psychological angst regarding the issue at hand but are loathe to admit this. They are betwixt and in between regarding the religion. They really have a question of faith. If they do not know where they stand with themselves, they are not about to give a logical answer regarding their faith. So they displace their inner and/or subconscious angst onto the critic and/or questioner.

Others are thoroughly and totally brainwashed regarding their religious beliefs and/or faith. They simply know no other way but their particular religious purview. If asked why they believe in their respective and/or particular religion &/or faith, they will give quite a simplistic answer. There is no analytical thought to their answers. They will refer to their respective God, religious leader, and their religious source i.e. the Bible, Talmud, and/or other prime religious book. They will repeat verbatim their religious programming, but never an independent analysis so to speak.

Many people are loathe and/or dislike to have their religious beliefs/faith questioned and/or criticized. They contend that their religious beliefs/faith are totally legitimate and clearly do not appreciate such things to be questioned and/or critiqued. They also see such behavior on the part of the inquirer and/or critic as a sign of rebuke and/or utter disrespect. They contend that others should accept and/or respect their particular religious beliefs/faith and if the latter did, they would not think of questioning and/or criticizing it.

A few people feel that they do not have to defend and/or explain their religious beliefs and/or/faith. They feel that such matters are between them and their respective God, not anyone else. They argue that they have the unmitigated right to their beliefs and/or faith, what it is to others. They contend that it is totally intrusive for other people to either question or critique their particular religious beliefs and/or faith. They assert that their religion is their business and no one else's.

Some are fearful that their particular religion belief and/or faith is NOT WORKING. They become upset when questioned and/or critiqued because they actually are fearful that such questioning and/or critiquing will open new and different ways of viewing their religious beliefs and/or faith. The prospect of this makes them quite uncomfortable so they prefer to be in religious hell and then to be open to questions and criticisms that could make them question the validity and/or logic of those beliefs and/or faith.

In conclusion, there are those with strong religious beliefs and/or faith. For many, this religious belief was passed from one generation to another. Many are quite ensconced in their particular belief and/or faith for many reasons ranging from familial tradtition to social and/or family disapproval. Some people view religious beliefs and/or faith as psychological comfor. Others approach and/or treat their religious beliefs and/or faith as an afterlife insurance policy.

People react to questioning and/or critiquing their religious beliefs and/or faith. Some contend that such behavior by others verge on blasphemy. They argue that religious beliefs and/or matters of faith are totally sacrosanct and beyond human understanding. To others, questioning and/or critiquing their religious belefs and/or faith bring up their subconsious issues of their religious uncertainty. Many vehemently argue that such is an utter invasion of their religious privacy while some are threatened that such questions will open up new avenues unconsidered before. Religion is oftentimes a source of contention with many people and they want their sacred cows to be left as is.

© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams

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Comments 18 comments

tsmog profile image

tsmog 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello GM Williams. Walking this morning over yesterday's events I came across this response for RealityTalk's question. I am empathetic of the cause for a hub seeking answering a complex question. I say this hub does justice to offering an answer.

I say done well and not well done. Offering seeing a constant thread tying all together with the subject of religion and beliefs of or within religion as the focus. A perspective seen of this 'self' is the beliefs of a or the religion is of question and not the deity. I tend to agree beliefs of religion is not the same as beliefs of a deity.

The summary statements offered with the last paragraph lean toward eloquence with most as being common with today's world view, I ponder. Agreed many today only desire tomorrow and that is a chore enough with all the influences of sources and resources such as the economy, advertisements, media, and etc.

Viewed with little ones in hand, new moms and many single too, dads tired and may be unaware, and etc. 'tis easier offering authority of above as accepted gracefully. Leadership may be the question of religion more so than other than, especially with the rapid growth of a world view as new to many with understanding.

Thank you GM Williams for taking the time and offering an effort of both eloquence and meaning seeking answering a question and then sharing. I learned . . . and remember too. The world view as an economy really began about the time the tower of Babel fell, maybe, with perspective . . . Highly recommended read to all and especially those who did see the question of which this is a response. Nice!

tim


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for your response, it is greatly appreciated.


RealityTalk profile image

RealityTalk 3 years ago from Planet Earth

I'm glad you sent me here. This is a well thought out Hub. I do not believe there is one point you made that I have not thought of or agree with. Our approaches to religious discourse may be extremely different, but our thoughts are more alike than you may guess. lol.

I understand the various reasons people have for believing in a loving and nurturing god. You covered just about all of it. My arguably "antagonistic" approach is with purpose however; I do it to elicit a specific reaction. I am not angry or defensive or judgmental as readers may interpret my approach. If anything, I am sad. Sad that so many people refuse to use their minds. Sad that so many people give in to fear, cultural & economic pressure. Historically, there have been many famous men & women who have publicly lied about religion; claiming they are devote Christians or whatnot, when in truth they are not. Why did, and do so many such people lie about their beliefs? Because it will hurt them socially & economically to espouse their true beliefs. It is not very brave of them, but I understand their reasons.

As a side note, you probably noticed in most of my Hub's of a religious topic, I use the term "man god." I specifically use the phrase "man god," because that is the most common manifestation of the religious-minded's hopes & dreams; a god in their image who favors them over all creatures & who will not let them continue existence after death. One Hubber said it best in a few sentences. The religious define "Heaven & their god" as a continuation of an Earthly Kingdom; King sitting on a throne ruling over all faithful unquestioning subjects. My question to this thought. Was not this Country created as a government devoid of kingdom and King? Do we believe in freedom here on Earth, but not in "Heaven?" As a possibly interesting read on the topic of god made in man's image refer to my Hub entitled "Many Religions Claim Man is Made in god's Image."

In my religious questions & Hubs, I am trying to evoke thought within the minds of those who have merely accepted what they have been told all their life. Sometimes the only way to shock someone out of their normal way of thinking is to evoke a strong emotion from them. In my experience, the religious minded tend to think no further than the box they were birthed within. They become defensive, as you pointed out, when asked to rationalize or prove their beliefs. "Faith" is always the pat answer. But "faith" is no answer; the religious have just convinced themselves it is the answer. If one is strong in their religious or any beliefs, they should not be so defensive about their convictions. If they cannot prove their beliefs, then they should just admit they cannot prove their beliefs. They should admit that they could be wrong, but the religious rarely do that; that would be blasphemy. Science & medicine are willing to admit if they are wrong. Why not religion?

I find it interesting that the "faithful" lose all faith when sick, injured or dying. When the religious find themselves in a disparate situation, many claim prayer has or will save them. Yet, they look to science & medicine for cures. Then thank god for what the doctor did to save them. Yet, they hide in engineered designed safe houses to protect themselves from natural storms. Then thank god for what man's ingenuity did to save them. Yet, they run from situations that could cause their death. And they use all science & medicine has to offer to prolong their life, despite believing "Heaven" is the ultimate goal. Heaven which can only be realized in death. If prayer & god & heaven are the goal, then science & medicine should be left out of the mix. And death should be sought after, not run from.

I believe more people should be searching for truth. Searching for discoveries. Searching for answers. Modern medicine, which nearly every religious sect takes advantage of despite their claim that "Heaven" is better than Earth, has historically been retarded because of religious dogma. Great thinkers have been put to death because of religious dogma. Science has been retarded because of religious dogma. Education has been retarded because of religious dogma. The religious run to science when needed, but scoff at it when they are out of harm's way.

Interestingly, a Hubber remarked to me how people believe religion to be the cradle of morality. Historically, morality & religion are two different things. I and my children belong to no religious organization. Yet, we live by a good & moral philosophy and that philosophy puts the family first. My wife & I teach our children to treat others kindly. We teach morals; not to lie, not to steal, to be respectful, to help others in need. My wife & I have been faithfully married & in love for 20 years this July. More than half of all other families we know are divorced with split households & claim to be religious. A devote "new-born Christian" friend of mine just announced to me he has a girlfriend along with his wife of 30 years; he's comfortable with that, but I am not. Morals are not the exclusive domain of the religious.

I apologize that I have rambled somewhat. Bottom line. I love your Hub. You are very intuitive and, at least in mind, see the whole picture. Thank you for an interesting read.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

I LOVE your eloquent response. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

You're right that many people are afraid to question their faith. They were raised to believe doing so is blasphemy. However, refusing to question what you've been told can make you vulnerable to joining a cult. That's the way I was raised, and that's what happened to me.

If what you've been taught is Absolute Truth, it can stand questioning. Any deity that can't handle that isn't worthy of the title.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

To Say Yes To Life, could not agree with you. I read your posts and answers and you are indeed a PRODIGIOUSLY INTELLIGENT WOMAN. Preach on and thank you for stopping by!


Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

Hi Ms. Williams of New Yawk.

Your beautiful article thoughtfully surveys the wide range of less than ideal reasons many if not most people maintain their religious ties. It reveals a life-time of actual observation and careful thought about the real-life religious experiences of real people. William James would be proud of you! And assuming he now resides in an eternal heaven, he is!

One would wish churches everywhere, and all other religious and philosophical organizations, would take these syndromes more seriously when evaluating their work and making plans for the future.

It is, of course, much easier to criticize the church than to put something better in its place (which I first heard from history professor Ralph L. Lynn at Baylor in 1955; thank you Dr. Lynn!).

My own observations of such things coincide pretty much with yours, but I have also found that almost every church has an honorable worthy core of one or more persons sincerely and honestly dedicated to a faith and practice that is historically, sociologically, psychologically, and theologically legitimate.

For the good of us all, I think we must encourage, as well as teach and enlighten, these good people, because the Christian churches are not likely to fade away from our midst in any near time frame.

Meanwhile, we keep our eyes on the spiritual horizon where patient, careful, searching thought, if not divine revelation, may present us at the proper time with new possibilities for organizing and enhancing human life on earth.

Meanwhile, best wishes to you, Ms. Williams, as you continue to contribute, it seems to me, to that noble quest.

Max, Thurs. 9 a.m., Sept. 19, 2013, The Max Havlick School


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Mr. Havick, you are quite welcome indeed.


MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

So glad you suggested that I read this, GM. I agree with so much that you say here and with that in the forum topic that I posted as well. I see so much of myself at one time in your words... it truly gives me much to reflect on and think about in realizing how far I've come since those days. Thanks so much :)


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

THANK YOU for stopping by and for your insightful response. It is GREATLY appreciated in kind.


WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago

Interesting article. Myself I think of religion as a good thing overall for those who choose it, but I have seen signs of such types of thinking in some people, mainly in fundamentalism in religions that try to insist there is 'one right way'.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Wiccan Sage, thank YOU for stopping by and for your eloquent response. It is appreciated in kind.


Kukata Kali profile image

Kukata Kali 3 years ago

Great read. Valid well expressed perspectives riddled with confidence. Nicely done~


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for stopping by and for responding. Many religious people become quite unhinged when question about their beliefs. That means that they are quite unsure......hmmm..........


Kukata Kali profile image

Kukata Kali 3 years ago

Well, I don't think it's possible to speak very logically and in detail confidently about something you didn't create and haven't done extensive research on. Believing is saying, "I'm done researching, and I give in to whatever it said." It becomes a fight because there is no proof for a belief. They almost feel like it's an attack on their character. Ever seen the movie "Dogma"? Something Chris Rock says; humans should have ideas not beliefs as they are much easier to change. It's a paraphrase but you get the idea.


Traci Ruffner profile image

Traci Ruffner 2 years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina

This comment, "So they have a religion as a sort of insurance policy for the afterlife." It always kind of makes me laugh. When I hear the whole "better safe than sorry" argument I will ask,"If God does exist...don't you think he is on to you? I don't think you will be able to fool him."


The Sun Lady profile image

The Sun Lady 21 months ago from Planet Earth

Interesting article because you did portray many of the negative aspects of thinking that some people find themselves within when blindly following a religion, or any other systematic and institutionalized way of life. I'm curious as to why you represented only negativity from the stance of people of faiths; sometimes people who believe in a religious system for their lifestyles become defensive due to the defensiveness, criticisms, or bullying with which they are questioned. Still other, many others, are willing to discuss their faiths openly, to share what it is about the religious and the spiritual that they believe, why they believe it, and why it works for them. I have devoted many years of my life to studying religions and spiritualities both academically and personally, I myself was raised Catholic, I found myself atheistic for awhile, and I'm now Muslim and I still have greatest respect for all forms of religious faith when practiced in peace and goodwill, and I have greatest respect for my friends and all others who are atheistic and choose not to include specific religious beliefs or practices in their lives. I know what I believe, and I also understand that I, like everybody else, don't know the ultimate truth about existence, whether God is or isn't, what happens to our energy upon the transition of death, whether afterlife is real, and so on. I know only that I exist under impossible circumstances that I can't explain, and I know that religious discipline resonates personally with me. What I don't understand is why people choose every little difference to ridicule one another over, why we must criticize each other for believing in religion or not believing in religion. The world functions so much better when people learn to support and protect each other, not nitpick and seek out superiority. Many people choose religions for healthy reasons just as many people choose not to follow religions also for healthy reasons. Peace to you. http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/10-Concept...


The Sun Lady profile image

The Sun Lady 21 months ago from Planet Earth

I should add that I don't view this article as an argument or mockery against those with religious beliefs, it carries truth, just wondering what your perspective is on the positive aspects of belief or the understandable reasons that some people react with defensiveness that have nothing to with religion but more so with communication deficiencies between those discussing. Thank you.

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