Do people choose a religion or does a religion choose them?

Jump to Last Post 1-4 of 4 discussions (8 posts)
  1. Readmikenow profile image95
    Readmikenowposted 12 months ago

    Do people choose a religion or does a religion choose them?

    If you're raised in Israel chances are you'll be Jewish.  If you grow up in Saudi Arabia, good chance you'll be Muslim and if you grow up in Rome you have a good chance of being Catholic. Yet, people leave their religions and choose other ones quite often.  I know Catholics who became Jews, Christians who became Muslims and more.  Some stay in their religion for their life time.  So, do people choose a religion or does it choose them?

    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/13704616_f260.jpg

  2. ValKaras profile image85
    ValKarasposted 12 months ago

    In my opinion humans don't have an inherent need for a religious experience, so they have to be heavily exposed to one in order to adopt it. "Believing" in general is a useful function in our survival arsenal, helping us to avoid figuring the same conclusions over and over, but they are also a subject to change.

    All normal people question their beliefs, as they outgrow them being faced with new evidence and learning experiences in life. With religious belief it's different, since one of its basic tenets is that they are NOT to become a subject to change.

    Over time, and with the strong factor of repetitious ritualistic affirmation,  religious belief becomes hypnotically ingrained into the personality makeup, and at that stage we could say that "religion chose them", by flooding their belief system.

    Beliefs work unconsciously directing our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and actions, and in that sense they "have" us for their instruments. 
    I don't think that people ever consciously choose what religious teaching to believe in---without a help from the outside.

    From the standpoint of the science of hypnotism and conditioning, most of the folks are quite suggestible to start with, making good subjects for hypnotic manipulation. That's basically how one becomes a hot-headed republican or democrat, refusing to ever question the true objective value of their belief. They too are the "victims" of outside indoctrination.

    It's interesting that every hypnotized person always rationalizes their irrational actions suggested by the hypnotist. If you give them a suggestion that it's very hot in the room, they will start taking some clothes off. When later, after trance asked why they did that, they won't say "Because I couldn't resist the suggestion" ---but "Don't you think it's quite hot today?"

    And so it is with every strong believer---they rationalize, finding "proofs" for their beliefs all around. Whether religious or political or racial---beliefs have to be triggered from a familial or cultural environment, so, my final answer would be:
    religion chooses them.

    1. Readmikenow profile image95
      Readmikenowposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Very insightful!  You made your argument very well. I would have to say your conclusion would be a bit different if you felt there actually was a spiritual world.  So, when we pass from this earth, do you believe that is the end of us? Is there more?

    2. ValKaras profile image85
      ValKarasposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Readmikenow---I make a strong distinction between spiritual and religious. With spiritual, we look for answers in our own essence through meditation, relaxation and contemplation---and I am in it. Religion seeks answers from outside, god, church.

    3. profile image79
      CyrilSposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      If every strong believer - whether religious, political or racial - rationalizes, finding “proofs” for their beliefs all around, does that mean also that strong believers in secularism, agnosticism and atheism, do the same?

  3. tsmog profile image83
    tsmogposted 12 months ago

    That is a tough question. The answer is it can be both depending on family both immediate & extended and culture. I think initially religion chooses the person. That is considering life is a journey beginning with childhood. The examples given are testament to influences of family both immediate & extended and culture. Yet, today most of those societies do have other religions within them. For instance, Christianity exists in Muslim countries like Iraq and Iran.

    So, we may ask when is the child first faced with choosing a religion. The age of reasoning in Catholicism is seven. That is when a child can freely choose the holy sacrament of communion. At that point with that example the choice is between religion and rejection. I don't think a child is exposed or informed enough about other religions at that point, although there may be questioning if exposed such as at school. Perhaps seeds are planted. We may see that more here in the U.S. where religion is diverse. Yet, with research we also see religion is in decline. So, we may wonder about belief in God rather than the belief systems of religion. 

    I think we may see adults choosing another religion or even a religion when they begin questioning their own spiritual values. That may affect their belief system centered on a religion. That may lead a person to change denominations/sects. For example, Tiantai and Tendai Buddhist sects, Shiites and Sunni sects, and Catholicism and protestant denominations. We even see people changing within protestant denominations like Baptist to Methodist.

    I think this is a very interesting question and worth the time to ponder. Possibly write an article. I am even questioning myself with my life journey as I ponder and give my two cents.

  4. Sean Dragon profile image84
    Sean Dragonposted 12 months ago

    Everything we do is our choice, my friend. All the others are just excuses. So sooner or later we choose the way we live and so our religion.

    1. Readmikenow profile image95
      Readmikenowposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      I would say that is true in a free country.  My Muslim friend was raised in Pakistan.  He told me it was dangerous to not be a Muslim where he lived.  He was lucky as a relative sponsored him into the US to work in his business. Others not so lucky.

 
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)