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Are the worlds many religions evidence of God

Benshapiro
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7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?
joetheripper117
Posts: 284
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7/18/2015 10:23:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?


No it does not. If the majority of people believed that I could fly, that would not make it true. The same is true for a deity.

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

It is not evidence of a deity, because as I said earlier, the majority believing in something does not prove that thing.


However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

It seems as though you are correct in your hypothesis that belief in God is the result of ignorant people wanting to explain that which has not yet been explained. The most likely reason that the idea of a deity is so pervasive in many cultures is that earlier on in history, not much was known about the world, and deities were needed to fill in the gaps. Then, due to indoctrination of further generations, religion has survived until today. That is the most likely reason why religion is so common.


Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

If every culture in the world had come to the exact same conclusions with regards to a deity, even without any contact with each other, then an argument could be made regarding the existence of such a deity, but considering the vast variety of religions that have come about through human history, no evidence of a deity is provided by the fact that most people had religions.


So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

I would argue neither of those points. What people believe does not change the way the world works. If everyone believed in the same religion, that would not be proof of that religion. If everyone had their own religion that was completely independent from everyone else's, that would not be evidence against a deity. Human belief does not necessarily correlate with the truth, so it is illogical to assume that what humans believe provides evidence for or against anything.
"By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out."
-Richard Dawkins
"The onus is on you to say why; the onus is not on the rest of us to say why not."
-Richard Dawkins
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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7/18/2015 11:33:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God...

No, they are evidence of our discontent with accepting our own mortality.
bulproof
Posts: 25,226
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7/18/2015 11:35:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

Which ONE?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Pase66
Posts: 775
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7/18/2015 1:50:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

The way I like to think of it is as such; "The truth is independent of the majority". Who know, there might be some ultimate "divinity" that exists, and all the different religions are just manifestations of that. Or their all primitive ways of understanding the world. Emphasis on primitive.
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wsmunit7
Posts: 1,318
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7/18/2015 2:22:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:23:25 AM, joetheripper117 wrote:
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?


No it does not. If the majority of people believed that I could fly, that would not make it true. The same is true for a deity.

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

It is not evidence of a deity, because as I said earlier, the majority believing in something does not prove that thing.


However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

It seems as though you are correct in your hypothesis that belief in God is the result of ignorant people wanting to explain that which has not yet been explained. The most likely reason that the idea of a deity is so pervasive in many cultures is that earlier on in history, not much was known about the world, and deities were needed to fill in the gaps. Then, due to indoctrination of further generations, religion has survived until today. That is the most likely reason why religion is so common.


Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

If every culture in the world had come to the exact same conclusions with regards to a deity, even without any contact with each other, then an argument could be made regarding the existence of such a deity, but considering the vast variety of religions that have come about through human history, no evidence of a deity is provided by the fact that most people had religions.


So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

I would argue neither of those points. What people believe does not change the way the world works. If everyone believed in the same religion, that would not be proof of that religion. If everyone had their own religion that was completely independent from everyone else's, that would not be evidence against a deity. Human belief does not necessarily correlate with the truth, so it is illogical to assume that what humans believe provides evidence for or against anything.

Excellent post and reply. I might just add that I think part of the reason people cling to a religion is that it absolves them from their own responsibility for their actions or lives. They tend to say; "It's God's will", or "The devil made me do it". Then asking for and thinking they receive forgiveness from some imaginary being absolves them from any debt or obligation they might owe to themselves or others. Like a psychological crutch to deny responsibility for themselves. So, in that sense, it is a psychological disorder.
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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7/18/2015 10:12:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

When you understand what God represents, you will understand why these different religions might appear to contradict.

The important thing to know that when you say something like, "God is Truth" it requires the opposite to compare it to. "God is Falsehood".

This is the nature of creation.

God is not creation, and to express The Uncreated with words, which are creation, is absurd. God is beyond these things.

The word "God" falls within the realm of creation, but it points to something beyond words.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/18/2015 11:10:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
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Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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7/21/2015 10:30:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 11:10:27 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

That only follows if you've reached a conclusion. I'm asking if it can be used as evidence.

Take this as an example. A recent poll shows that 95% of people believe that Bob Johnson is guilty of the murder. You haven't been following the story and this is the first thing you hear about it. Can the 95% be used as evidence for inferring his guilt? Surely. Does the 95% mean that one should reach the conclusion that he is guilty? Surely not.
graceofgod
Posts: 5,052
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7/21/2015 10:32:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

I don't think weight of numbers makes something true..

In the same way i don't think all those who claim evolution is true makes it so...
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/21/2015 12:25:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 10:30:00 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 7/18/2015 11:10:27 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

That only follows if you've reached a conclusion. I'm asking if it can be used as evidence.

Take this as an example. A recent poll shows that 95% of people believe that Bob Johnson is guilty of the murder. You haven't been following the story and this is the first thing you hear about it. Can the 95% be used as evidence for inferring his guilt? Surely. Does the 95% mean that one should reach the conclusion that he is guilty? Surely not.

I disagree, and maintain it's fallacious to assert so. It has no evidentiary value, and thus your "surely" is inaccurate.

In the absence of any other evidence whatsoever, if you have a valid piece of evidence to infer, then you can conclude that it appears to be the case. Yet, if you were to do that in the case of Bob, you would be committing the fallacy as noted. If you have a reason to think they have good reason for their belief, that can change. In your Bob example, you could presume that the 95% have been following the case, and therefore have good reason for thinking so. But belief alone is always insufficient.

In the case of the God question, we know what people state as their reason for belief. If we think that reason's bad, then that there's a lot of people is wholly irrelevant. It would be akin to if 95% of people thought Bob was guilty, and the reason given was "Well, he's a black guy". Now, you may think that the comparison is invalid--you may think theists have good cause for their beliefs. But if you take for the sake of discussion that their justification has been looked at and found wanting, the number of believers is just as wholly irrelevant as the fact that 95% of people think Bob must be guilty because of the color of his skin.
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thett3
Posts: 14,344
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7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population. There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

I also remember seeing a survey (could not find it for this post so big grain of salt) showing that in the 60's only about 15% of people reported ever having a religious or spiritual experience. By our own time, that number had risen to almost half despite the US ostensibly becoming a less religious country. What I'm getting at is I think this widespread belief, while not evidence against God in any way, is much greater evidence that the notion of the supernatural is one that is extremely difficult to rid yourself of.
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bladerunner060
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7/21/2015 1:16:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM, thett3 wrote:
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population.

China's relationship to religion is rather complicated, and given that it's ostensibly had freedom of religion since the 70s (but it's also China, so...) I don't think you can really call it a "bastion" of atheism.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

Strictly speaking, that study according to Baylor was ONLY for conservatives--in the same article it says: "The researchers say this shows that it is not religion in general that suppresses such beliefs, but conservative religion."

I wish there was a direct link to their data. Given that they're Baylor, I would like to see the actual evidence rather than just their conclusions about it.

I also remember seeing a survey (could not find it for this post so big grain of salt) showing that in the 60's only about 15% of people reported ever having a religious or spiritual experience. By our own time, that number had risen to almost half despite the US ostensibly becoming a less religious country. What I'm getting at is I think this widespread belief, while not evidence against God in any way, is much greater evidence that the notion of the supernatural is one that is extremely difficult to rid yourself of.
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thett3
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7/21/2015 1:22:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:16:22 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM, thett3 wrote:
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population.

China's relationship to religion is rather complicated, and given that it's ostensibly had freedom of religion since the 70s (but it's also China, so...) I don't think you can really call it a "bastion" of atheism.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

Strictly speaking, that study according to Baylor was ONLY for conservatives--in the same article it says: "The researchers say this shows that it is not religion in general that suppresses such beliefs, but conservative religion."

I wish there was a direct link to their data. Given that they're Baylor, I would like to see the actual evidence rather than just their conclusions about it.

yeah I've been trying to find it, too. But it's certainly a plausible hypothesis...I did find an explanation on the studies criteria from an admittedly biased article (http://www.wsj.com...):

"The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Even among Christians, there were disparities. While 36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal, only 14% of those belonging to the Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin's former denomination, did. In fact, the more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead."


I also remember seeing a survey (could not find it for this post so big grain of salt) showing that in the 60's only about 15% of people reported ever having a religious or spiritual experience. By our own time, that number had risen to almost half despite the US ostensibly becoming a less religious country. What I'm getting at is I think this widespread belief, while not evidence against God in any way, is much greater evidence that the notion of the supernatural is one that is extremely difficult to rid yourself of.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
bladerunner060
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7/21/2015 1:31:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:22:28 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:16:22 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM, thett3 wrote:
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population.

China's relationship to religion is rather complicated, and given that it's ostensibly had freedom of religion since the 70s (but it's also China, so...) I don't think you can really call it a "bastion" of atheism.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

Strictly speaking, that study according to Baylor was ONLY for conservatives--in the same article it says: "The researchers say this shows that it is not religion in general that suppresses such beliefs, but conservative religion."

I wish there was a direct link to their data. Given that they're Baylor, I would like to see the actual evidence rather than just their conclusions about it.

yeah I've been trying to find it, too. But it's certainly a plausible hypothesis...I did find an explanation on the studies criteria from an admittedly biased article (http://www.wsj.com...):

"The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Even among Christians, there were disparities. While 36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal, only 14% of those belonging to the Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin's former denomination, did. In fact, the more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead."

I don't think it's good to conflate conservatism with religiosity, though--in the study it appears the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the less likely respondents would confirm belief in those things. Given that the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the more likely those things to be considered "satanic", I find it plausible too--I just see the link as being with the conservatism/fundamentalism, not "the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious." Of course, we're both going off PR flack summaries of data we can't see. If you do find a source for the data, I'd be interested in it!
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thett3
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7/21/2015 1:38:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:31:05 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:22:28 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:16:22 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM, thett3 wrote:
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population.

China's relationship to religion is rather complicated, and given that it's ostensibly had freedom of religion since the 70s (but it's also China, so...) I don't think you can really call it a "bastion" of atheism.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

Strictly speaking, that study according to Baylor was ONLY for conservatives--in the same article it says: "The researchers say this shows that it is not religion in general that suppresses such beliefs, but conservative religion."

I wish there was a direct link to their data. Given that they're Baylor, I would like to see the actual evidence rather than just their conclusions about it.

yeah I've been trying to find it, too. But it's certainly a plausible hypothesis...I did find an explanation on the studies criteria from an admittedly biased article (http://www.wsj.com...):

"The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Even among Christians, there were disparities. While 36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal, only 14% of those belonging to the Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin's former denomination, did. In fact, the more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead."

I don't think it's good to conflate conservatism with religiosity, though--in the study it appears the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the less likely respondents would confirm belief in those things. Given that the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the more likely those things to be considered "satanic", I find it plausible too--I just see the link as being with the conservatism/fundamentalism, not "the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious." Of course, we're both going off PR flack summaries of data we can't see. If you do find a source for the data, I'd be interested in it!

I think it is fair to treat conservative theology as more religious in general--it certainly takes religion more seriously. But even if it's not, there's still clearly a jump in paranormal belief with those who never go to a house of worship so even discarding the conservative vs. liberal theology aspect the argument holds water.

I also don't see how believing that things like hauntings are satanic would predispose someone to disagree with their existence. It's the more theologically conservative people who are more likely to believe that Satan actually exists as an actor (or even ruler) in this world. This gives us a cause of hauntings....and yet, they're still less likely to believe in this than the irreligious. The WSJ article cites a couple other studies with similar conclusions and when you combine it with the fact that religious belief systems spring up in virtually every society ever...I would definitely argue that it's a human universal even if certain individuals can get away from it.
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
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7/21/2015 1:39:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:34:12 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
This might be at least some of it, I just found it:

http://www.baylor.edu...

Yeah I found that but it didn't include the numbers for irreligious, which is what I was more interested in
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Geogeer
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7/21/2015 1:41:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

I've always liked the way that Tolkien put it:

Because man was made in the very image of God, man is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert the things of God for his own ends, but he can never fully efface the image of God in him. He can never really be satisfied with lies. He can never escape who he really is. And for this reason, even the pagan myths retain a semblance of eternal truth, however corrupted. Ultimately, even in his imaginative creations, man is pulled back to the truths that answer to the call of his own true nature.

Or as Chesterton put in in a public debate with Blatchford:

Mr. Blatchford and his school point out that there are many myths parallel to the Christian story; that there were Pagan Christs, and Red Indian Incarnations, and Patagonian Crucifixions, for all I know or care. But does not Mr. Blatchford see the other side of the fact? If the Christian God really made the human race, would not the human race tend to rumours and perversions of the Christian God? If the centre of our life is a certain fact, would not people far from the centre have a muddled version of that fact? If we are so made that a Son of God must deliver us, is it odd that Patagonians should dream of a Son of God?

The Blatchfordian position really amounts to this"that because a certain thing has impressed millions of different people as likely or necessary, therefore it cannot be true " I like paradox, but I am not prepared to dance and dazzle to the extent of [Blatchford], who points to humanity crying out for a thing, and pointing to it from immemorial ages, as proof that it cannot be there.

The story of a Christ is very common in legend and literature. So is the story of two lovers parted by Fate. So is the story of two friends killing each other for a woman. But will it seriously be maintained that, because these two stories are common as legends, therefore no two friends were ever separated by love or no two lovers by circumstances? It is tolerably plain, surely, that these two stories are common because the situation is an intensely probable and human one, because our nature is so built as to make them almost inevitable.
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7/21/2015 1:43:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:38:15 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:31:05 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:22:28 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:16:22 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 12:44:12 PM, thett3 wrote:
It's evidence either that God/the supernatural does exist and manifests himself in a variety of ways to different cultures, or that the idea of God or the supernatural is essentially a human universal and fulfills some kind of need. Even the latter answer renders atheism as little more than an intellectual position--I doubt that we would ever see, for example, a largely naturalistic society. Even China, a bastion of atheism, has (to my knowledge...I will admit it if I'm proven wrong) a heavily superstitious population.

China's relationship to religion is rather complicated, and given that it's ostensibly had freedom of religion since the 70s (but it's also China, so...) I don't think you can really call it a "bastion" of atheism.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

There's actually a really cool study that showed that in the US the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious.

"However, the ISR researchers found that conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to believe." http://www.baylor.edu...

Strictly speaking, that study according to Baylor was ONLY for conservatives--in the same article it says: "The researchers say this shows that it is not religion in general that suppresses such beliefs, but conservative religion."

I wish there was a direct link to their data. Given that they're Baylor, I would like to see the actual evidence rather than just their conclusions about it.

yeah I've been trying to find it, too. But it's certainly a plausible hypothesis...I did find an explanation on the studies criteria from an admittedly biased article (http://www.wsj.com...):

"The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Even among Christians, there were disparities. While 36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal, only 14% of those belonging to the Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin's former denomination, did. In fact, the more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead."

I don't think it's good to conflate conservatism with religiosity, though--in the study it appears the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the less likely respondents would confirm belief in those things. Given that the more fundamentalist/conservative the church, the more likely those things to be considered "satanic", I find it plausible too--I just see the link as being with the conservatism/fundamentalism, not "the less religious a person was, the more likely they were to be superstitious." Of course, we're both going off PR flack summaries of data we can't see. If you do find a source for the data, I'd be interested in it!

I think it is fair to treat conservative theology as more religious in general--it certainly takes religion more seriously. But even if it's not, there's still clearly a jump in paranormal belief with those who never go to a house of worship so even discarding the conservative vs. liberal theology aspect the argument holds water.

"...31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things"

"..."36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal"

No, there isn't clearly a jump--there's clearly variety, and I'd argue we need to know how the heck they're looking at the data. I mean, you could be right--we just don't know based on what little informational nuggets we're prying out of the press releases.

I also don't see how believing that things like hauntings are satanic would predispose someone to disagree with their existence.

You don't see why they'd answer in the negative to a poll on the subject?

It's the more theologically conservative people who are more likely to believe that Satan actually exists as an actor (or even ruler) in this world. This gives us a cause of hauntings....and yet, they're still less likely to believe in this than the irreligious.

Eh, hauntings are of a different class than possessions, so are less likely I think to be seen as "real" since they're ostensibly neutral. I'd like to know how the stats shook out with that question, or if it was even asked--I mean, if they asked about hauntings but not possessions, and if the stats would essentially swap (I'm not saying they would, just positing it as a possibility), then that one side believes in "hauntings" and the other in "possessions" becomes less meaningful than when it just looks like one side believes in "hauntings".

The WSJ article cites a couple other studies with similar conclusions and when you combine it with the fact that religious belief systems spring up in virtually every society ever...I would definitely argue that it's a human universal even if certain individuals can get away from it.

I don't like the term "universal", but I don't disagree with the spirit of what you're saying.
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bladerunner060
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7/21/2015 1:53:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:39:42 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:34:12 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
This might be at least some of it, I just found it:

http://www.baylor.edu...

Yeah I found that but it didn't include the numbers for irreligious, which is what I was more interested in

Do you have a University login?

https://muse.jhu.edu...
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thett3
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7/21/2015 1:54:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:43:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:38:15 PM, thett3 wrote:

I think it is fair to treat conservative theology as more religious in general--it certainly takes religion more seriously. But even if it's not, there's still clearly a jump in paranormal belief with those who never go to a house of worship so even discarding the conservative vs. liberal theology aspect the argument holds water.

"...31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things"

"..."36% of those belonging to the United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's former denomination, expressed strong beliefs in the paranormal"


No, there isn't clearly a jump--there's clearly variety, and I'd argue we need to know how the heck they're looking at the data. I mean, you could be right--we just don't know based on what little informational nuggets we're prying out of the press releases.

That's true--Christianity itself is too sectarian to really get an accurate reading on anything. That's probably why they lumped things together as fundamentalist, liberal, ect. I think the liberal theology is definitely a part of the disparity. If there truly is, for most people, some internal need for spirituality and something to believe in, evangelical christianity fulfills this desire far more than the more liberal and universalist churches who often don't even take a hardline in the existence of God and opine mostly on worldy issues. There's a world of difference between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Episcopal Church. I mean even if you take irreligion out of the equation entirely, even a link from conservative to liberal explaining this data supports the idea that there is some need for something to believe in.

I'm curious as to why the data is so hard to get. Don't pollsters usually just post it right there?


I also don't see how believing that things like hauntings are satanic would predispose someone to disagree with their existence.

You don't see why they'd answer in the negative to a poll on the subject?

I don't, no. I think believing in an evil being out to get people who has evil powers and an army of demons to aid him would make someone believe more in hauntings than a individual who thinks the devil is just a metaphor for human temptation. The more I think about it the more I agree with the argument I'm making because otherwise it just boggles the mind.

It's the more theologically conservative people who are more likely to believe that Satan actually exists as an actor (or even ruler) in this world. This gives us a cause of hauntings....and yet, they're still less likely to believe in this than the irreligious.

Eh, hauntings are of a different class than possessions, so are less likely I think to be seen as "real" since they're ostensibly neutral. I'd like to know how the stats shook out with that question, or if it was even asked--I mean, if they asked about hauntings but not possessions, and if the stats would essentially swap (I'm not saying they would, just positing it as a possibility), then that one side believes in "hauntings" and the other in "possessions" becomes less meaningful than when it just looks like one side believes in "hauntings".

The WSJ article cites a couple other studies with similar conclusions and when you combine it with the fact that religious belief systems spring up in virtually every society ever...I would definitely argue that it's a human universal even if certain individuals can get away from it.

I don't like the term "universal", but I don't disagree with the spirit of what you're saying.
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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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7/21/2015 1:59:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:53:53 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:39:42 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 7/21/2015 1:34:12 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
This might be at least some of it, I just found it:

http://www.baylor.edu...

Yeah I found that but it didn't include the numbers for irreligious, which is what I was more interested in

Do you have a University login?

https://muse.jhu.edu...

sadly no...I just tried to login using my uni and they said my username and password weren't correct
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
bladerunner060
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7/21/2015 2:21:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 1:54:12 PM, thett3 wrote:

I can't tell if there's any part of that that just contains raw data...I may have a way to get at it but I don't really want to even try if it's going to be a waste of time; each part listed just looks conclusory.
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Skepticalone
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7/21/2015 5:35:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?

No.

It's evidence against any particular deity because religions tend to contradict one another, but it should be taken as evidence that there is some underlying truth that lead so many to believe that God exists.

However belief in God could be the result of an ignorant group of people having a psychological need to explain the unexplained. Social conditioning, culture, and traditions also reinforce religious belief but this is ad-hoc. We'd need to know why God is a part of so many cultures and traditions in the first place.

Some cultures have wildly different conceptions of God. God could mean Chi, boundless energy, rulers, deities, mother nature, etc.

So, are the world's many religions evidence of some underlying truth about God or do they just show that the notion of God is illogical?

The fact that these claims from different cultures conflict establish, at the very least, that they cannot be referring to the same god.
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7/21/2015 6:05:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/18/2015 10:10:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If an overwhelming majority of human beings on the planet are religious, does this lend credence to the notion that God exists?
No, it supports the fact that men invent gods.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin