How does one rationalize religion?

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  1. profile image0
    kimberlyslyricsposted 12 years ago

    man made text

    lucrative chapels and churches

    pedophile priests

    no proof

    based on faith?

    I am not trying to be disrespectful to anyones belief but please explain how you rationalize the truth in religion, any religion?

    Is it as simple as a need?

    1. KK Trainor profile image60
      KK Trainorposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's just faith, and if you don't have it then you will never understand. It's not my place to try to convince you, you just have it or you don't. Some people think proof is everything, but people with faith don't require that.

    2. OutWest profile image57
      OutWestposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Religion is an institution like marriage.  To talk about pedophiles and such has nothing to do with faith.  Just like statistics of divorce have nothing to do with ones individual marriage.

      1. profile image51
        paarsurreyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you.

    3. Mikio profile image73
      Mikioposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      There's nothing to rationalize.  Religion is all about one's feeling of absolute dependence.  When you feel as if your whole existence is sustained by something much greater than your own power, you feel a sense of deep gratitude.  In essence, religion is this feeling of gratitude.  If you haven't felt gratitude, you can't find religion meaningful.

  2. MelissaBarrett profile image57
    MelissaBarrettposted 12 years ago

    A further question...

    Why should anyone need to?

    1. Evolution Guy profile image59
      Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I watched you try - perhaps you could answer your own question?

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
        MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        *Smiles* You know, I honestly really really like you.

        I didn't need to, but I did for a learning experience and -quite honestly-because I felt like something to stimulate my brain. I enjoy debate.

        You won. smile

        But honestly, the question was aimed at believers and non-believers.  As I've said, I get it from both sides.  Both are equally trying at times.

        1. Evolution Guy profile image59
          Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I will answer the question in that case. smile

          After 2,000 years of wars, continuing conflicts both in the Middle East and other places - religion needs to be looked at critically. This is why you need to rationalize it. Have you seen teh frenzy some people get into over this?

          You want to stand up and sing songs to a mythical dead person who could walk on water? And then admit this is wholly irrational and not pay taxes on your income?  This is insanity. Institutionalized insanity?

          If I was to go round knocking on doors to try and convince you to sacrifice a goat once a month to the Invisible Star Goat that vomited the Universe, and Star Goat Followers used to burn people who refused to do this at the stake, and the Star Goat priests had a long history of forcing sex on children, and my excuse was - "No, no - they were not real Star Goat Followers - I am different," -  I have a feeling you would see what I see. wink

          1. KK Trainor profile image60
            KK Trainorposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Gee, that sounds a lot like the excuse muslims always make for the "extremists"

            You talk about a frenzy, it seems like those who have no faith are the most frenzied any chance they get to refute the beliefs of others. Why not just leave us ignorant types to believe? I'm not hurting you. And not all wars have been associated with religion, that argument has no merit.

            1. Evolution Guy profile image59
              Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Gee - it sounds exactly like the excuse Christians use for the last 2,000 years and ongoing child abuse cases.

              Not all wars have been associated with religion so therefore it is OK that religion has caused them? lol

              I agree that there are other causes of wars. Not getting the logic though. Perhaps you could explain in more detail. Perhaps you could rationalize that statement?

              Refute the beliefs of others? Why not point out that they are irrational?

          2. MelissaBarrett profile image57
            MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Because I have already debated with you, to avoid problems I'll call and respond.

            Of course the causes of war need to be looked at critically.  And if I was the leader of one of those countries and was claiming that my actions were the result of my religion-then yes, my personal viewpoints would need to be explained in relationship to what I was doing.  As I'm not, that need has yet to arise.  Yes I've seen the frenzy, its horrible.  But I've also seen the frenzy over heavy metal concerts and such that also result in death.  I've yet to see anyone force a fan to rationalize their choice of music.

            I have to pay taxes. And one day, the government will be forced to rationalize spending that money on useless scientific studies like these: … vious.aspx

            Beyond that, Churches may need to explain their tax-free status, I don't have one though.

            Wow, it's hard to break this down one by one, so I'll hit the highlights and you tell me if I've missed one.

            I don't rationalize knocking on doors, because I don't do it.  If I knocked on your door and tried to convert you, then yes, I better have a damn good rationalization, and I would expect that same from someone knocking on my door.  For any reason, including political pollsters.

            Yes, I would need someone to rationalize sacrificing a goat to me too, or I wouldn't do it.  I don't try to sacrifice goats though, so I don't need to rationalize it.  I've never burned anyone at the stake either, so no need there.  Never forced sex on a child.

            In short, I personally have never forced anything on anyone, sacrificed anything, started a war, received a tax break or molested a child.  I don't feel I need to rationalize the things that other people, who happen to share the belief in the same deity as me, have done.  Just as a botanist doesn't have to explain the moral actions of every other botanist in the world.

            1. Evolution Guy profile image59
              Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              And once again you are attempting to rationalize your religion by comparing it to science and musical preferences. This is irrational behavior. Not as extreme as burning people at the stake - admittedly - just a lesser version. You have just defended your religion based on the "they were not real christians," defense. So what if people get into a frenzy over music? What bearing does that have on religious frenzy? None at all.

              So what if the government wastes money on useless scientific studies? What bearing does that have on religious institutions being tax free? None at all.

              Your religion claims to offer moral guidance and a code of ethics.

              Botany does not. wink

              See how they are not the same at all?

              Interesting that you would need to rationalize some one else's religion (Star Goat) in order to practice it, but not your own. Why is that? Especially seeing as you are still trying to rationalize your own while - at the same time - admitting there is no rational basis.

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
                MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                No, I am saying that I don't have to rationalize my beliefs to anyone unless it affects them. 

                I wasn't rationalizing my beliefs, just the lack of need to rationalize them.

                I'll refrain from picturesque language, as it seems to muddy the waters. smile

                So basically:  Its none of your business unless it's your business.

                1. Evolution Guy profile image59
                  Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  It became my business the moment you expressed it. You don't think millions of people wandering around believing fairy tales about the earth being ours to have dominion over and nutcases crashing planes into buildings and fighting over Invisible Super Beings is my business?

                  If it is not my business - why discuss it? You made it my business by opening it up for discussion. See how you are behaving irrationally because of this belief?

                  Use as much picturesque language as you like, but comparing your religion to botany was a poor analogy - not muddied waters.

                  1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
                    MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    LOL, discussing why I don't have to discuss something is not the same as discussing the belief itself.

                    Sorry if my analogy disturbed you, how about this... One member of a group does not have to answer for the actions of every member of a group. Wait, that's still too broad. 

                    I don't have to answer for every christian.  Individuals have different viewpoints and beliefs even within a group.  I am not responsible for those variations.

                    My beliefs are not responsible for terrorism.  I have never blown up anything.  I've burned a couple meatloafs, but I don't think that was related to my religion.

                    If you want an explanation on why someone's religion made them blow up a plane, ask them.  But honestly, if their explanation is anything other than "I'm an ass" then they are doing a little TOO much rationalization.

                    If I am being irrational (which I don't think so in this particular case) I honestly don't care.  Rationality doesn't hold the same "be all and end all" appeal for me that it does for you.

  3. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 12 years ago

    KK is right.  Rational and Religion share the first letter, but that's where the similarity ends.

    Religion is not based on rational thought and reason - it is based on faith.  One believes because s/he wants to believe.

    It is why the atheist and religious cannot convince the other.  One believes that truth and understanding comes from rational thought, evidence and logic while the other understands just as fully that truth comes from whatever they have decided to have faith in.  They do not speak the same language.

  4. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
    schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years ago

    Yep it's faith and personal experience like if you feel moved by prayer or have had good examples in your life like a good priest or someone who really inspired you and you wanted to imitate their example..stuff like that

  5. Jonathan Janco profile image61
    Jonathan Jancoposted 12 years ago

    I thought the Star Goat sneezed out the Universe.

    1. Evolution Guy profile image59
      Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      There are many different interpretations of the Scriptures and Holy Books. I have the correct one. wink

      1. Jonathan Janco profile image61
        Jonathan Jancoposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Oh yeah, it was the Great Green Arkle Seizure that sneezed out the Universe. I get my holy books mixed up with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sometimes.

        1. Evolution Guy profile image59
          Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          RAmen. big_smile

        2. profile image0
          klarawieckposted 12 years agoin reply to this


    2. profile image0
      klarawieckposted 12 years agoin reply to this


  6. RockerGinger profile image68
    RockerGingerposted 12 years ago

    Religion is all about faith. No proof is needed, just belief ini what you think is out there: faith.

    1. lone77star profile image75
      lone77starposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Nice answer, Ms. Ginger. But could faith be a bit different from belief?

      Consider belief as imperfect. Some people "believed" the world was flat. Others believed that it was round. Astronauts "know" it's round, because they've seen it with their own eyes. But "faith" goes beyond all of this.

      I think you're right that "proof" is not needed. Faith precedes proof, and once the miracle is done, then proof is inconsequential. So, proof becomes a non-issue.

      For me, "faith" is that state of mind held by Moses when he lifted his arms above the sea, creating a path for his people to cross over. "Faith" is that state of mind of the man born blind when, with dust and spittle on his eyes, he was told to go wash in the pool of Siloam; and he saw.

      Faith is transcendent. Belief is tainted with varying degrees of doubt.

    2. profile image51
      paarsurreyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Religion is to naturally believe in what one finds in the society; till such time one finds it to be incorrect on a issue or a problem.

  7. Just For Fun profile image85
    Just For Funposted 12 years ago

    I think mostly fear of death and coping with the loss of loved ones. Maybe also for a yearning of justice. Hmmm, actually those would explain more just a belief in God. Religion? Probably mostly a sense of community.

    1. Just For Fun profile image85
      Just For Funposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Oops, I think I went for the "why" and not the "how". I won't attempt the latter smile

  8. MelissaBarrett profile image57
    MelissaBarrettposted 12 years ago

    And here, my reasons for not rationalizing my religion would be "Not my job to change someone else's opinions"

    1. Evolution Guy profile image59
      Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Oh - you could never rationalize it for some one else. You are rationalizing it to yourself. I just watched you do it. wink I think we must be speaking at cross purposes. We agree it is irrational. We both know it causes people to do things they would not other wise rationally do and has caused conflicts and wars. Still is the cause of conflicts - none of which is your concern.

      I just listened to you rationalize all that away as having nothing to do with you. That is the question. Not how you rationalize it to others, but how you rationalize it to yourself.

      I do find it fascinating the lengths people will go to in order to do so. At least you are not arguing that Noah's Ark has been found in Turkey. lol

      This is one of my issues with religion. It teaches selfishness under the guise of caring. It should be your concern as to the society we build for ourselves and religion is certainly a driving force - or it was in the past.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
        MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this


        I don't need to but I've done it before so here it is again:

        I like rainbows but I hate refraction.

        Link that to the fall of civilization however you like.

  9. lone77star profile image75
    lone77starposted 12 years ago

    There are two basic realms of existence. Science studies the realm of continuity (physical reality). Religion and spirituality study the realm of discontinuity (creation, forgiveness, spiritual awakening).

    Religion collects the wisdom of its efforts and allows people of like mind to come together to study and work on their spiritual growth.

    Like science, religion can get side-tracked. The key source of such diversion from the original purpose is ego.

    Guys like Evolution Guy like to pin the problems on religion, but he misses the mark by a mile. Any group, including religion, is made of individuals. Each individual has their own ego, and may do good or bad, regardless of their affiliation.

    The problem is not religion or science, but the egos of the individuals.

    Man made texts?

    All of them, yes, but some inspired by spirit. But then man interprets these spiritual texts and frequently mucks it up. It takes humility (the opposite of ego) to discover the truth behind the writing, just as a scientist has to use humility (restraint) to discover things in the physical realm.

    Lucrative Chapels and Churches?

    It takes money to build a chapel, temple, synagog, or church. It takes money to handle the necessities of the people who work in the religious organization (you know, food, clothing, etc). Have some gone overboard and greedy? Yes, but just because a few individuals have become greedy doesn't mean we can condemn an entire group?

    Using that kind of logic, if one human murders, kill the lot of them? That would spell the end of humanity. Not very logical.

    Pedophile Priests?

    They betrayed their sacred responsibility and should be held accountable. The Catholic Church betrayed their sacred responsibility in mishandling pedophile priests, and should be held accountable. But hey, we're talking about individuals who did something bad. Not the entire religion and its members.

    No Proof?

    That's a broad and empty claim! No proof of what? If you're talking proof of Jesus, then read the New Testament. I wouldn't say that is "no" proof. If there was no proof that Jesus existed, then we would never have heard of him.

    Proof of miracles? I've seen proof of miracles. But the uncomfortable thing for scientists about proof in any paranormal or supernatural area is that the demand for proof is non-sequitur. You don't understand creation and miracles if you ask for proof in advance of belief. And, contrary to popular myth, "belief" is not the same thing as "faith." Faith comes before a miracle, and then the so-called proof exists. To put proof first before faith (or even belief) is putting the cart before the horse. And such carts do not pull horses.

    Proof of God? I have indirect proof of God, so there is proof. Perhaps it's not the kind of proof a laboratory scientist would look for, but it is proof.

    What is this proof of God? Many of my religious hubs talk about it. But some of it may be found in a question asked by fellow-hubber, atheist CoolDad, "If there is a God, who or what created him?" At: … eated-him.

    Based on Faith?

    If you had asked, "based on belief," then this item would have been more closely aligned with the others. But "faith" is not equivalent to "belief."

    I like to use the definition of "faith" which describes the state of mind of Peter when he stepped out of his storm-tossed boat onto the choppy Sea of Galilee. Such faith is transcendent; i.e. superior to physical law. It comes from the realm of discontinuity from whence all space-time-energy-matter originated. Hmmm-m-m, but you won't find this definition in the dictionary. Here, "faith" means perfect or 100% confidence. If you have only 99.9999999999999999% confidence, then you sink. Even the tiniest spec of doubt spoils the pot. Just as you cannot be 99.999% pregnant. Either you're there or you're not.

    Any activity based on faith has the power to "knock" your figurative "socks" off! To move mountains. The change the course of galaxies. What's stopping us? Ego and doubt.

    But (and this is vitally important), it's not the body or the ego that can be the source of such faith or miracles. A cartoon cannot draw itself. A computer program cannot design and alter the IC-chip on which it runs. Only a non-physical (spiritual) source of creation can do such things (looks like God; must be a child of God... simple!).

    Imagine for a moment, you're standing on the edge of the roof of a 60-story building. I did this once; one of the construction crew of Metropolitan Structures, downtown Los Angeles invited me to see how it was all put together, before all the walls and glass went into place. Now, imagine someone bumping into you! Ooops! Could you maintain your cool all the way to the ground? I thought not. That's how difficult it is for anyone to attain the proper state of mind to walk on water. It's not impossible, but we're too well practiced at fear and doubt. So, the next time you flippantly ask (if you ever do flippantly ask) for proof from someone who is just beginning on such a quest, think of this challenge.

    Is it as simple as a need?

    Yes! A need to wake up spiritually -- to stop being a cog in the machine, and to become one with the Father of it all. And that's a very good reason.

    1. Evolution Guy profile image59
      Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No - there is only one basic realm of existence. Reality. Your desire to have another, majikal realm is the problem. This irrational belief in individuals that then expresses itself as religion is the problem. Too many times you point at "religion" as being the problem. Believing nonsense as fact is the problem.

      Your ego will not allow you to accept that one day you will cease to be. Imagining that you can do miracles and expecting other people to accept this and them arguing with people who do not is the problem.

      Religion does not study anything. Spirituality is a wholly internal, subjective experience. I can be as "spiritual" as the next guy. I just know it is an internal experience. When I meet my spirit guide - I know I am using my subconscious mind. I am not actually talking with an animal in reality. Expecting you to believe me when I tell you I did majik would be silly. lol

  10. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 12 years ago

    Religion can't be rationalized. The only rational defense is that you should have the right to follow any religion you want.

    I'm with you though. Your examples are clear indicators to me that religion isn't a path to any understanding of anything I'd be drawn to.


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