Some of the reasons that people are religious are
-God of the Gaps. I don't how this happens therefore God.
-Ignorance. You can't prove God doesn't exist therefore he does.
Personal incredulity- I can't believe it has all arrises by chance therefore God.
Fear- Fear of death or fear of hell.
Indoctrination- You were born into the religion
Of course people have the right to believe in something, but they shouldn't deny that there is little to no evidence for their beliefs.
Other than their Holy Books, there is no real evidence for their beliefs.
In their holy books God would intervene often, yet he never does in modern day. Gods in their stories would destroy sinful cities, yet it never happens today. There are no devout religious people performing miracles, or a saviour being sent out to save people. Science has proved itself to be both effective and logical, but people will continue to deny it in favor of religion.
Larry Iannaccone and his co-author Rodney Stark once wrote that the belief that society is getting less religious says "less about empirical fact than it does about secularization faith – a faith that, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, sustains the conviction of many social scientists that religious institutions must soon decay..." In short, belief in secularization is just a religion.
Larry's critics were, unsurprisingly, not pleased. To tell people that their non-religious beliefs are just a religion is an insult. Why is it an insult? There isn't any nice way to answer, so I'll be blunt. It is an insult because the way that people form religious beliefs is so intellectually irresponsible that their conclusions are almost guaranteed to be false. People:
· accept their religious beliefs with little or no evidence
· accept religious beliefs that are contrary to the evidence
· accept religious beliefs without studying competing views
· are certain about religious beliefs that are dubious at best, and
· accept their religious beliefs not because they are intellectually compelling, but because they are emotionally comforting.
Forming non-religious beliefs in a religious way is irrational because forming any beliefs in a religious way is irrational. Now I am not one of those people who says that modern science has disproven religion. If I said that, it would imply that two thousand years ago, there was not solid evidence against the claims that Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. But the counter-evidence has always been overwhelming. Everyone else is born of a non-virgin and stays dead. It is absurd to recognize an exception without overwhelming evidence, but all we have is the testimony of a few of his disciples. And yet not only do Christians believe these things; they often claim to know them with certainty, and get angry if you disagree. Christianity has always been irrational, and of course the same goes for Judaism, Islam, Greek mythology, Satanism, and belief in Santa Claus.
Larry has won a great deal of attention for his rational choice theory of religion. But if you look closely, he doesn't really have a rational choice theory of religion; he has a rational choice theory of group membership. As Larry occasionally admits, virtually everything that he says about religion applies just as well to fraternities, chess clubs, and football teams. Yes, belonging to a fraternity has costs and benefits; yes, competition between fraternities leads to more efficient outcomes. And both religions and fraternities have been known to use what Larry calls "bizarre" rules – such as "You can't drink any alcohol," or "You can only drink alcohol," to exclude half-hearted members.
What Larry's research strangely neglects – or, to use his word, "sidesteps" - is the differences between religions and fraternities. The most obvious of these, the 800-pound gorilla in the room, is doctrine. Fraternities don't have much of a doctrine; religions do.
There are two statements in this debate, not one. First, I think belief in god is a choice based on both emotion and logic, so to the first statement I say no. To the second statement, I think it is discontinuous with the first but I agree with it. So I'd like to explain why I think it is irrational by nature.
As much as anyone would love to base their argument for god on a presupposition that favors the existence of their deity of choice, the fact remains that the only valid premise is that no matter what argument you come up with, absolutely everything we transmit from person to person in the form of written or spoken language is inherently man-made. So anything described in that language that is incompatible with the physical nature of the universe that we reside in, is inherently supernatural and therefore does not exist in any meaningful way or sense. In other words, if it did exist, not only would it not be able to have any awareness of what I was doing, but it wouldn't even have a way to interact with me if it did.
So that means there is no god - in the same way that there is no Santa Clause that can travel faster than the speed of sound using reindeer - just as supernatural as god - and in the same way that there is no real magic (not including the illusion stuff) - real magic is just as supernatural as god.
There is no reason to resort to mysticism for explanation and answers about life and the nature of reality. Just have a look around. To do so is inherently illogical and is irrational by nature. Despite this, humans have a tendency towards supernatural explanations because we are likely to automatically believe what other people tell us - whilst retaining a level of skepticism.
The problem is that when you're raised to believe something from birth - and it doesn't need to be religion necessarily - you will automatically believe that unless you are prompted somehow to question it. For example - ghosts or magic. If you never conclude that magic and ghosts cannot possibly be real then you've never learned enough about the Universe to understand WHY they cannot be real. This is what is irrational.
I will however vote yes, because it is the answer that most closely aligns with my views.
To believe things on faith is irrational by definition, as it rejects reason for what a person believes, subjectively and without any hope of confirmation, in their heart.
Important to note (hence the tag line) that belief is not a choice. I know a great many people who wish they could still believe, would make that choice if they could. But you are either convinced or not. You can make the choice of what you want for dinner, but a belief is a complex construct that requires convincing, not active choice.
One of the primary laws of logic is that you cannot prove a negative, which by trying to prove the non-existence of God, is exactly what atheism is doing. Thus trying to disprove God's existence is illogical.
This along with the fact that there is more evidence to support the Bible's historical accuracy than there is to support the belief that Plato was even a real person (40 pieces of historical/archaeological evidence compared to 24,000 and growing annually) ,makes belief in God fairly intellectually acceptable actually, and proves that while the foundations of someone's belief may be built upon personal experience, it is not by any means an irrational choice at all.
Belief in a Monolithic creator makes the only logical sense in reality. Whether you look at archeology, cosmology,history,geology you cannot help but know that there is a God who created this universe. It takes more faith to think that the universe either came from a literal nothing or that the universe created itself, thats something greater than magic and the pure definition of illogical. Truth is atheism is based purely on faith and emotion. Some of the reasons that people are atheist are
-Science of the Gaps. I don't how this happens but one day science will find out.
-Ignorance. You can't prove God does exist therefore he doesn't.
Personal incredulity- I can't believe that God can be eternal so God doesn't exist .
Fear- Fear of being accountable to a Almighty God.
Indoctrination- You were born into the atheism
It is true that a big reason some people are religious is because they were born to a family of faith. However, that does not make the faith that they have less real. There are thing that have been historically proven. You can look up on the Internet things that have been proven historically correct form the Bible that were written before they actually happened.
As far as I can tell, the problem with Aquinas' "unmoved mover" is not that it's an irrational position, it's that the position has a sort of naive epistemology.
Everything we observe has a beginning. Everything we observe is contingent. I observe existence, therefore, existence is probably contingent. So far, this is perfectly good inductive logic.
But if something is contingent, it must depend on something else for its existence. Since the chain of causality can't possible stretch back infinitely, there must be some non-contingent thing, some "ground of being" whence all existence comes. That thing is God. Now this could be true (just like all Swans could be white), but to present it as a deductive conclusion is misleading. It's inductive and I don't know enough about the structure of existence to say with any authority that it is true. And even if we knew everything about the structure of existence, we would still have to ask where that came from. Perhaps existence is a brute fact. Perhaps there is some non-contingent entity that grounds existence. Either are possible. Where modern atheists differ from the medieval philosopher is in what constitutes an acceptable belief. I don't just assume that existence itself has the same nature of all things that exist. But I don't believe that it's unreasonable. To accept the argument you have to accept something you cannot prove about the nature of existence. But to accept something you cannot prove isn't irrational. For example, I cannot prove that gravity will work throughout my life. I have good reason to believe so, but I cannot prove it. I cannot prove that it will work tomorrow. So, in this sense, a belief in the contingency of existence is reasonable to accept but poorly warranted. The way modern epistemologies tend to work, it's the sort of thing that we suspend judgment on pending the discovery of better evidence or arguments (if they ever arrive.).
That does not inherently conflict with using logic. The average person expresses both emotion and logic their preferred line of reasoning. Whether someone is atheist, agnostic or theist, they use both elements for reasoning. Not every atheist strictly uses logic to define their reasoning, similarly, not every theist uses strictly emotion to define their reasoning.
God has answered my prayers, as He did for many other people and that is an absolute fact. When I asked, I recieved. What happened for me and the other people is not like the hallucination of some mentally unstable person. It is fact and it is real. Miracles do indeed happen very often around the world. Explain that. No one deserves amazing things unless they've worked hard for it. That requires prayer, which has perfectly legitimate results.