Is religious belief purely a function of how people were brought up?

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  • All Religions use some transitional afterlife promise to keep their flock in line

    Whether you are Hindu (India), Buddhist (Asia), Muslim (middle Eastern), Christian (Europe, North and South America) the religion you practice promises the next life to be a better one if you stay in line with the beliefs and practice the doctrine. Migrants from different countries bring with them their religion. The United States is a good example of this. In the 50's it was largely Christian but as new immigrants have come the rise of other religious identification has occurred. These people were not born in America they migrated opened mosque and their children born in America practice their parents faith. The difference is we now have the internet and those who question faith have a resource to turn to. It is no coincidence those with high IQ's are most likely to identify as a non-believer. They sought answers and decided that most these religions were a system to keep the status quo in their respective origins. Keep the poor in place by promises the rulers would never be held accountable for as 'fate' would have it you had to die first to be reborn.

  • Yes, imagine raising a child in a controlled setting for the first 12 years of his/her life.

    If you held an experiment where a child was brought up in a controlled setting until he/she was 12 years old, educated thoroughly, and only learned about religion from an objective standpoint as an influence on early human civilization, and then released into society, it would be very hard to believe that this child could be susceptible to conversion. It would be impossible for this child to take orthodox beliefs seriously. All humans have spiritual sides to them, but orthodox religion requires stubborn, willful ignorance that would be nearly impossible for someone to adhere to had they not be conditioned or "trained" to believe that way as a child.

    Posted by: mtj
  • Yes, including secular religions.

    Yes, it is only a function of one's genes and environment interacting. I see a lot of dishonesty on here, where it is claimed that religions that have a god only survive based on being passed down generation to generation. This is true. But all other beliefs, including the moral belief system of secular humanism, is dependent on one's upbringing and experiences in life, whether positive or negative or whatever. All belief systems, theistic or atheistic, are a function of the environment acting on the genes. They are all false, secular ones included.

  • For 95% of people, yes.

    Faith cannot survive without passing it to the next generation. People just like to delude themselves that they had the choice what to believe, and of course they're wrong. That's why some religions have died through history, people just stopped holding those beliefs, so their children didn't hold it as well, and so on.

  • For most people, yes.

    I was raised in an Eastern Orthodox home and was made to attend church with my parents regularly. The discovery that Santa Claus was a fictitious character began the inner dialogue of, What else have my parents bamboozled me about...Let me see: the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, a story about a virgin getting pregnant without intercourse (the Creator, Creation obviously runs on laws) by an entity no one has ever seen and delivers one man whose supposed father lets him die a gruesome death to save all humankind? My parents did impart something valuable, a love of reading, because it didn't take too long for me to discover that like Santa Claus and Thor and Poseidon, the Jesus story is based on ancient mythology. I believe in God, I am a spiritual being. Religion is absolutely unnecessary, not to mention the cause of most worldly conflicts today.

  • If we were never told of god I doubt anyone would ever have faith in a deity.

    If we look at indigenous people in more secluded environments where they are more attached to their environment and separated from outside influence of other societies they tend toward their own spiritual inventions or other ideas much different from the many gods people in developed societies have created. I think religion is a completely taught idea.

  • Religious beliefs are taught not researched and affirmed

    We are products of our upbringing. When believe what we are told as children, we believe that what we are told is the truth - the absolute truth without ever considering the possibilities out there. Most people never take the initiative to find their religious truth they just go with what they were taught.
    I, myself do not believe in 1 and only 1 "correct" or "right" religion. There are too many spread throughout the world with different cultural and religious beliefs. God, Allah, Ja, Yahweh, Ra, whatever you want to call the creator would never create people he loves just to condemn them to hell because they are not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Tao, or Buddhist.
    It is important to remember that every religious book was composed, written, and edited by man, though God's word is in the text, man was the ultimate writer and publisher. Man cannot recreate anything that is not influenced by his hand, his thoughts, his ideologies, and his wants.
    I believe that all religions have good and bad aspects and the 3 main religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all have the same foundations they only differ when Jesus Christ enters the picture. I believe the only "right" religion is one that contains elements of all cultures and religions.

  • Yes.

    The upbringing has the most profound influence on a person's religion. Though there are conversions, they aren't high in number. The human mind is more easily convinced at a younger age, which is why, young minds accept beliefs without questioning them, if they are taught to. I believe religion shouldn't be taught to children at a young age.

  • Definitely.

    If you're raised a Christian, you're a Christian. If you're raised a Muslim, you're a Muslim. If you're raised a Buddhist, you're a Buddhist. If you're raised a Satanist, you're a Satanist. Any changes in beliefs stem from what we've learned or have been taught. If someone was raised to believe in invisible unicorns, they'd believe in invisible unicorns. Religious beliefs are simply what we have been taught to believe.

  • God Hating Parent

    I have a God Hating parent and I met Jesus Christ the Living King!!! I was not raised in a home that was Christian. Why would anyone want to believe in Jesus if He was just made up, especially in our society where it is considered to be a negitive thing to be a Christian. To many non-believers judge Christianity based on the abuse of it and not on the truth of it.

  • Not purely, no.

    While it is true that a person's upbringing has a strong influence over the religion they adopt (or reject) as adults, it doesn't have such a strong influence that it DETERMINES their religion. We know this because there are examples all around us of adults who have rejected the religion of their parents or adopted different religions. Since many adults differ from their parents on religion, obviously religious belief is not PURELY a function of how people were brought up even if it is a big factor.

  • Free will.

    God gave us free will. Religion itself does not teach that you are 'stuck' in religion. Any religious leader will defend freedom of religion. A person's religion is first based on ones freedom to choose that religion. If it wasn't then it is not your religion, it's just someone elses. Your choice of religion is your faith. If you have no faith in your religion than you have no religion. It all starts with your free will.

  • It's Influential But It's Not "Purely"

    If it was purely then everybody would keep the same religious beliefs their parents taught them but people change their religions or abandon religion everyday. People can learn new things and change their minds.
    In fact what ever the original religion was would still be the religion of everybody if this was the case. There would probably be many less religious wars given that even when distant people met each other they'd find the same religion.

  • Predisposition to faith

    Science has shown that humans are born predisposed to believing in a great being. While specific religions are formed by society, the idea to believe is a natural human instinct. If a human were to be raised isolated form all other things they would form a sort of faith even though it will be simplistic and not as complex as religion are now-a-days.

  • No

    We constantly hear this argument but then many people making the argument also say they were brought up in a religious home. Well if they had the knowledge and ability to think for themselves, why not give others the credit for being able to do the same thing?? Older adults who follow religious beliefs of their parents obviously have the same ability to think things through as everyone else does.

  • No.

    It's no more a function of how people were brought up then any other belief is.

  • What an utterly ridiculous notion!

    No, of course not. How do you think religion even started? People seek for answers, in which science can not always answer. People seek for hope, when at times hope seems lost. Religion is a good answer to this, thus people will seek out religion as a safety. Some people were brought up under a religion, and a lot of those people leave. It's situational.

    Posted by: TUF
  • This is blatantly false.

    (1) If religious belief is purely a "function" of how people were brought up, then conversions or abandonment of religious belief would be less common. (2) Numerous religions, including the Catholic Church's confirmation sacrament, have a confirmation ceremony where a believer confirms his adherence to a certain faith. (3) While this is not explicitly related to the topic, the implication of the question is obviously that if religious belief is parentally influenced, religious belief loses verity, and this, of course, is the genetic fallacy: the means by which a belief came to be held does not establish the belief's truth or falsehood.

  • Clear No

    If you answer yes to this you could never account for those that "leave the faith" or become a person of faith later in life.

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