This is a hypothetical question. If in fact whatever religion you happen to believe in was not true, what would it take to persuade you? Obviously, the more severe the charge, the more evidence we demand in order to accept it. For example, if your buddy told you he had Chinese for dinner last night, you might require no evidence to accept that claim. If a contractor told you he was finished with your upgrades, you might take a walk-through, and look it over before writing a check. If your neighbor claimed your kid was stealing from them, you might want to see security camera footage, or search the kid's room for the missing items. If somebody claimed your spouse was cheating on you, you might want to see phone, text, and email records; credit card charges, eye-witnesses, or an actual confession. If someone you love was accused of murder, you'd want to see forensic and ballistic reports, and thoroughly cross-examine any witnesses. Though none of these theoretical scenarios are palatable, we can all agree that there is an eventual point where the amount of evidence for the claim would finally convince us that it was true, despite our wishes for it to be otherwise. So, what is that point with regards to religion? IF your religion was false, what would it take to convince you?
considering that the indoctrination starts with most at childhood and is continualy re-enforced for life, that you believe by faith, it would not matter about proof at all as it would be re-inforced in the brain until death.
The Proof has been available for a very long time. "The adict has to want the help"
I think that depends on your definition of religion. There is no reason to believe that atheism is correct. Any belief, no matter what it is, that assumes purpose to the universe, or believes in anything spiritual is religious, by definition; even if you think it alone. I can't imagine many people who label themselves atheist as having no spiritual bent, at all.
I would be interested in the proof you speak of.
and will say there is a difference between Religion and God, so I have learned.
Probably....seeing someone other than the God I believe in stretch out his/her hand and create trees and seas and other things instantly out nothing. And I don't mean an illusion or computer images.
So...I believe I'm secure in the knowledge of the true God.
There are no illusions Brenda, so called miracles can be false also. It depends on whom is creating it or shaping it for you, believe me, this I have learned!
God is God, and Religion is not God, I have learned there is a difference. To me, nothing needs to be proven.
I do question and ask about things I see, but i have no doubt in my head that as complex as this Universe is and how it is in constant evolvment, takes a far greater power than that, that sience can harness alone.
as Crazy as this sounds, I sometimes feel like we are a cell in a living and breathing Body we will never understand fully.
Constant evolvement how? I dunno what you mean.
For me, just seeing the creation, both human and inanimate and animal and plant life, tells me those had to have been made by God.
all of it, here on earth thats visable, the Universe as we see it through aTellascope, all of it reminds me of a living breathing Body, complete and evolving, moving, alive...is what I mean
a functioning Body, each tree, earth people, planets etc, all with purpose
and science alone does not explain it, or capture its meaning. A far greater force than we know. If you actualy stop and just be still you can sense it sort of. a being or presence.....God?....if you think about it it is possible.,
Brenda, your two comments here are kind of an eye opener. At least for me.
You indicate that you have only to look around you at the world and nature and come to the inescapable belief (to you) in God. To disbelieve, however, would require actual, hard solid evidence, presented to your very eyes, that the belief is wrong.
The non-believer, on the other hand requires hard solid evidence of God to believe. Any inconsistency at all, no matter how minor, produces a chink in that belief, and It takes only a few small chinks until the belief is no longer belief.
The two methods of thought, of reason, are almost exact opposites of each other, and while either believer or non-believer can listen to and understand the words of the other, neither is likely to understand, deep down, how the other can think that way.
I hear (see) your words and understand them, but cannot truly imagine any rational person thinking and reasoning in that manner. You just have to know that your comments make no sense; that your conclusions don't follow at all!
And yet I'm sure you feel the same way when I say that looking around me at nature has absolutely nothing to do with belief in God. I just have to see God in all the beauty and perfection around me; it's as plain as the nose on my face (and I have the original pinocchio nose!).
Is it any wonder that there is such discord in the religious forum? We not only disagree, we do not even understand the process whereby the other side comes to their conclusions. Instead of trying to teach each other to believe or disbelieve, perhaps we'd be better off trying to teach each other how to think and reason.
I see what you mean.
But I think you leave out Faith.
However, then, we can still "reason".
I will ask you---
If all things came from nothing, then how is that even possible?
And where DID we come from? Where did the first "thing" come from?
There had to be a beginning.
If one thinks that "beginning" was a tiny fragment of something or a tiny fragment of "life", then where did IT come from?
Faith is not a part of reason - it can only happen after sufficient data has been gathered to produce a viable theory, which can then be taken on faith without absolutely compelling evidence as long as one recognizes that it MAY be wrong. Otherwise it is only the voice of desire and therefore worthless. Thus speaks the "reason" of the unbeliever.
All things did not come from nothing; they came from the energy contained in the singularity that produced the big bang.
The first "thing" came from that energy being converted to mass, the opposite of a nuclear reaction such as the sun uses to produce energy. Here we see our first causal relationship in this current time frame; the indescribable temperatures and pressures of the big bang resulted in an energy consuming nuclear reaction, producing mass.
There did not have to be a beginning; we both agree that time may continue eternally in the forward direction and there is no reason it cannot have come from eternity in the other direction as well. Never ending both directions. If you disagree, support your claim that there had to be a beginning while keeping the idea there does not have to be an end.
Energy, whether in form of mass or otherwise, is indestructible. All energy, in whatever form it is in, has always existed and will always exist.
Now. I have given possible answers to all your questions. I have offered no proof, and hardly any evidence, that they are true and I may be entirely wrong. But my ignorance of the correct answers, or yours, does not in any manner provide any evidence of God. On the contrary, occams razor indicates that my answers, far simpler and less complex than the assumption of an entire new universe, populated by a single omnipotent, omniscient, eternal (both directions) living creature that is immune to all physical laws of our universe, are much more likely to be true than the unsupported concept of God.
Am I teaching you to reason yet? No? Then ask yourself the exact same questions about God. Where did He begin? From what? How? Caused by what? Are you as ignorant of these questions as I am? (And an opinion unsupported by hard facts is insufficient.) If so, then the same answer must apply here - that the concept of God is not reasonable - and a third possibility must be found.
wilderness, I have to say that I have thought something along similar lines for a while now. Believers and non-believers don't speak the same language of how to determine what is "real." Some philosopher or other, maybe it was Popper (I really don't remember), said that truth should be defined as whatever most closely resembled reality. I don't recall if he/she mentioned anything about how to define "reality," but the point I'm getting at is that on either side of the discussions here there are few people who can mediate between the skeptical/empirical basis of determining Truth and the more emotionally rationalizing basis of trusting in Faith to determine Truth. Apples and Oranges, as I've said in several other places. I agree with you 100%.
Yes. The methodology used to get from here to there is just sooo different that even if the debaters realize there is something wrong both can only think "He/she can't really think like that, so what do they really mean. communication is nearly impossible.
Brenda's comments for some reason brought it home to me in a way that I had never felt before. They were in total conflict with one completely refuting the other; complete nonsense to me. To her they were obviously in complete harmony and fit well together. One almost demands the other as a logical continuation. A different view of reality, a different way of thinking.
A different worldview, a different spiritual view, indeed.
If we all thought alike, no one would have choices to make, would they? This type of conflicting views will continue 'til the end of time. It's simply part of the spiritual battle that goes on.
Although, strangely enough, it didn't take a similar scenario to cause you to believe the way you already do... unless of course you claim to have seen the God you believe in stretch out his hand and create trees and life and things instantly out of nothing?
Other than that, what is there to go on but believing what others have said? And in that case, you don't have anything more solid than the Cherokee or the ancient Greeks, etc. In summary, it isn't right or fair to hold a double-standard for evidence (I shouldn't ask for visual evidence of something to believe in it IF I am willing to accept anything else for belief in something else; make sense?). Therefore, the only alternative is to have more suitable evidence for your belief than the other guy's. Lacking that, your belief can't be consider any more "provable" than said other guy's. That's my opinion on the matter, anyhow. I'd be interested in anybody else's evaluation of it.
Since you don't know what the God you believe in looks like, what would constitute evidence in your mind of seeing a god you don't believe in creating something out of nothing? Your answer doesn't make a lot of sense, as you're claiming that the only way your belief in the supernatural could be changed is if you witnessed something supernatural (that you didn't recognize)
So does everyone else in every competing religion.
You seen "God" stretch out his hand and create everything that we see today? And you seen this being created out of nothing?
No amount of evidence is going to sway a believer away from his beliefs unless they acknowledge their indoctrinations first.
There is plenty of hard evidence to refute the supernatural aspects of religions, which in many cases would nullify most of them. Of course, believers will override any evidence by invoking magic and that their gods are so powerful they can do anything.
Hence, fantasy ensues for the believer and the discussion is over.
It just occurred to me after about a day of following this thread that I hadn't actually answered the question yet, so here goes. I could be pretty easily (well, assuming that the evidence DID exist) converted to any religion other than my own current beliefs if that religion could provide some certitude about its claims. For example, I believed that the Bible was 100% infallible truth for a long time, until I discovered that there were certain irreconcilable contradictions, logical inconsistencies, etc. throughout its pages. I still believe that there are a lot of really great teachings in the Bible that to this day I would defend the "rightness" of. But, it is still, in my opinion, the work of man.
All any religion has to do for me is to be able to give me some irrefutable rationale as to its "correctness." Even in science, if something is shown to be untrue, we don't just keep on believing it to be true anyway.
Four days late, but I'll take a stab at it anyway:
Sigmund Freud had some interesting ideas on the nature of religion. He believed that many religions were the results of extremely strong desires for both purpose in life and continuation after death. But he also believed that these feelings led to suppression and had fundamentally subconscious roots.
Assuming this conjecture were true, NO amount of logical evidence could sway a true believer. Logic can only affect our conscious decisions and beliefs; once religion has rooted itself in the subconscious, logic can have no affect whatsoever.
This could possibly explain why so many religions remain hold out against overwhelming logical evidence.
Dying and proof that I don't have a soul, or any type of spirit, would probably count as evidence enough for me.
Obviously, if you were dead and without a soul, you wouldn't be able to consider this fact. The question was for while you're alive and have the ability to think about it.
And that remains the answer. Sans proof, I'll assume purpose to the universe. It isn't a lack of thought that causes anyone to believe in more. It's the abundance of thought that leads to that conclusion.
Unless your question was geared toward organized religion. In which case I couldn't answer. I consider them trifling and infantile, for the most part.
The question was obviously geared toward organized religion, as it was situated plainly in the title to this thread.
You said "sans proof," but then didn't say anything further about what kind of proof you'd require, which was the whole point of this thread. Assuming there WAS proof out there that could change your mind, what would that proof have to entail? (and don't say death, because if you're oblivious after you die, you can't change your mind.)
I'm afraid you weren't clear at all. Religion, by definition, is a philosophy and/or set of beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the universe. So, unless you see no purpose, you are religious. Even if it entails nothing more than a personal philosophy.
And I did answer your question. We have no proof either way, nor any way of attaining it at this particular moment. It's all speculation. That may change but for now, although your guess is as good as mine; I'll stick with mine.
I don't care WHICH religion you ascribe to: Christianity, Jedi, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (How is this confusing?).
You did offer an answer, but not to the question I asked. I did not ask if we have proof now, I asked you what kind of proof it would take to convince you.
That's perfect, as this is a speculative thread.
That fact that you are dissatisfied does not mean your question wasn't answered.
To restate: There is no proof available because we don't yet understand the question. We have to learn more about the physical nature of the universe. Rule nothing out until you have all the answers.
Granted. And the fact that you posted a thought at the end of a question doesn't mean it was either.
Preaching to the choir, but still not answering the question. Assuming that proof could be MADE AVAILABLE, what would that proof look like to you? (Where did everyone's imagination go?)
I have a vivid imagination, but that's a tough one. Maybe, if we could see outside of the universe and find answers to the origin? Or, better yet, if another species evolved and developed the ability to speak and showed an ability to generate and assimilate culture, as we have. Can't think of anything else.
I have a question. How can you explain that there are several species of every creature on earth. The birds are different colors, the butterflies and most importantly the flowers too. How can you explain when someone dies for 3 minutes and then comes back and confesses to seeing God? When people stand up for one another and we all stand together, this is God. When a woman gives birth sucessfully, there is my God. So there will never be any evidence like this, to try and prove to me, that my faith in God is false. I had a period in my life when I turned away from God. My life became worse. As soon as I went back home, I have received so many blessings. Peace is at the top. Acceptance would be second, and forgiveness would be third. Pluse he restored my heart from biterness to love. Now, I think that my dear, is a true Miracle, from God!
evolution explains all the different species of plants & animals. How did millions of different species fit on the ark?
As for colours, I've written hubs about colours of animals & plants. I've also written a hub about death which addresses those 'near death experiences'.
Amen -Thankyou for your testimony.
No amount of evidence is going to sway a believer away from his beliefs unless they acknowledge their indoctrinations first.
= - = -
No amount of evidence is going to sway ANYBODY away from his beliefs unless they acknowledge their indoctrinations first.
Seems nonsensical to me, since most no-believers were indoctrinated to believe in the same nonsense that believers believe in...
And, the non-believer has faced his indoctrination, and moved away from the fear that was perpetrated by long dead charlatans.
Is that right? Not everyone is raised in Neo Nazi style religions. For many, the nature of the experience would be better identified as socialization.
I believe the point made was a valid one. The average atheist makes valid points in a discussion; but many times, the militant atheist argument appears to lack any depth of thought and resembles rote memory.
In the absence of intelligent debate, it does tend to lead one to wonder about the possibility of indoctrination.
I never implied that they were.
Of course socialization is one component of religions. What exactly is your point?
And I still believe the point made was absurd.
Funny, that seems to be exactly what you are doing...with these militant, irrelevant insults.
Of course your debating style is uber-intelligent...that's why you believe things that someone in authority tells you to believe---very intelligent indeed.
Interesting rejoinder. I could not have been responding in a militant manner, since I was unacquainted with the fact that you categorize yourself a militant atheist. I had not obtained enough information to draw that conclusion; however your response (even without the admission) would have lent credence (had I been previously inclined to formulate such a theory).
And I thank you for the compliment as to my debating skills. I was not aware of the fact that I possessed any. I am inclined to endeavor to find a common ground through discussion, rather than debate.
This being said; it appears you have drawn a conclusion without sufficient evidence. Had you taken the time and exerted any effort (simply by reading through this thread, if nothing more), you would have been able to quickly surmise I was not attached to organized religion, nor am I a Christian. I am not aware of any indoctrinated beliefs I currently embrace.
I can conclude, by your response, that there is ample reason to suspect a level of indoctrination. No information was used in the attempt to understand this situation and formulate a response, other than the assumption that I am not an atheist.
So you are here, simply, to cause conflict, I see.
Have a good day.
Your answer sounded like nonsense to me !
What ever your beliefs are ? They are yours due to a life long indoctrination brought about by environment and circumstance.
Indoctrination comes in ALL colors and lavors; concerning all subject matter.
I am in my own nitch that is confortable for me and you are in yours.
As your question is hypothetical, here's one for you....
Which is harder to do - prove a religion or disprove a religion?
Or how hard is it to prove or disprove anything for that matter? Like your innocence in a court of law? Heh! Bet that will bake your noodle!
Since you brought up a court of law, let's stick with that analogy (because it's a great one). It doesn't matter whether or not it's harder to prove or disprove an argument, but to whom the burden of proof falls. In a courtroom, this would be the prosecution, or whomever is claiming something to be true. If someone says you stole their dog, it's up to them to provide proof or evidence of this before you're required to provide any to the contrary. (And no, that's not difficult at all. If you have pictures of yourself at Disney World the day the dog went missing, you've just provided proof that you didn't do it)
As far as religion goes, the burden of proof SHOULD fall with the believer since they're the one claiming it's true. But since they usually CAN'T provide any evidence for this, they throw the ball back into the skeptics court and ask them to provide proof or evidence that it ISN'T true (which is intellectually dishonest). If this method were valid, I could say, "my neighbor turned into a werewolf and ate my dog...prove to me that didn't happen."
You probably should have chosen a different analogy. It depends on who is the plaintiff and who is the defendent. I'm sure both sides would argue that point.
And, of course, is this a criminal or civil matter? This makes a difference, and most likely could not be agreed upon between the parties involved. Yet it would need to be to determined in order to decide what type of evidence would be admissible.
Circumstantial evidence is quite often a deciding factor in civil law. Plenty of that in religion.
Bad analogy actually; if you are arguing against religion.
While that is true, the circumstantial evidence must still be evidence. For example, skid marks of a car after an accident would be circumstantial evidence, which would be used along with other evidence to corroborate.
There are nothing but scriptures to back up any religion. That is not really circumstantial evidence because there is not to corroborate the evidence.
Yes and no. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence which creates an inference from which a main fact may be concluded.
We can't put religion on trial here on Hub Pages, but I'm certain many can point to references in whatever scripture they use that are considered corroborated by different archeologists. You, of course, would provide witnesses attempting to refute the claims.
And then we'd have to deal with each eye witness account to determine it's veracity.
Who would be the judge? Who the jury? The individual and we'd never come to a uniform conclusion.
In a court of law, the Prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant is guilty of wrong doing or thinking. So, it is generally a thing here on HP that religion is often put on trial, or even treated as its own hostile defense witness. So, when one who says NOT TRUE or OBJECTION to a theistic defense --and believe me, they are always on the defensive-- the burden still rests on the former.
The judgment then is left to a jury of their peers. Which is odd, since a non-theist would not qualify as their peer, but an immediate rival and so be dismissed from jury duty --which is kind of their goal anyway. ejeje.
Religionists were the ones to first posit that their respective religions were correct, so they're the ones who need to provide the evidence. If a Christian missionary went to an indigenous tribe and shared their religious views, it would be perfectly reasonable for the tribe to ask for evidence of the claims, but it would be unreasonable for the missionary to expect the tribe to prove him wrong.
To draw the (perfectly good) courtroom analogy, the religionist claim to the truth is like a legal claim to an original patent or copyright. If you're going to claim you own the patent, you have to provide evidence that you do before expecting the defense to provide evidence that you don't.
Legally-speaking, a "jury of peers" doesn't refer to a group of philosophically-minded individuals, it means a collective group of fellow citizens.
I do think you are one of the very few in this conversation that seems to make sense. I may not agree with you or others but I can respect your opinion. You question has me thinking. I am a Christian. I believe by faith. If it is imagination you are looking for = the only thing I can come up with is evolution (ie)- If monkeys, apes, gorillas still "evolved" into man. Either that or if spaghetti started dancing on my plate. We are all human and we are all here for some reason. Perhaps yours is make me think. I will always believe - it doesn't make me perfect by any means - just forgiven. You really do have me thinking because you're not just talking about Christianity. What would it take for a Satanic worshiper, a money lover, a gold digger, Arab, Jewish, Witch, and Oprah junkie, etc. to believe their "religion" was false? I gotta get off of here - my brain is starting to hurt!
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