The odds of any single religion being correct is 1/(# of the religions) assuming one religion is correct. There are so many religions which were quite clearly designed by humans, such as scientology, for political and social power. Even if there was a true religion at one point, religion typically changes over the course of millenia and its morality/ethics adapt to the current society, as well as the various traditions. Religions are also modified by opportunistic religious leaders to advance their own agendas--the catholic church is a primary example.
Furthermore, people's visions or experiences or hallucinations almost never indicate a particular faith. Some people, like the great scientist francis collins of the human genome project, saw three frozen rivers one day and lept to the conclusion that therefore the trinity must be correct. Or people experience feelings or whatever, but that is hardly compelling since humans are highly unreliable and subject to a variety of influences.
The only reasonable position to take is undetermined agnosticism--which is to claim that you don't even have the knowledge required to say what the probabilities of the truth of God (s) are. Its simply complete ingorance because of a complete lack of necessary knowledge to take such a position. Even strong atheism, where people know there is no God, is just as false because no one has any special knowledge which would prove God one way or the other.
Therefore, I think most people are religious purely for social reasons--they're trying to fit into the community better or are appeasing their friends and family by trying to fit in. Deism is the only position you could reasonably take (the belief that there is a God but you don't know what his intentions are). However, even then you have no proof; but to go from this to God cares about whether we masturbate or whether we accept homosexuals is preposterous. People need to embrace ignorance because nobodyknows the truth or has special info
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Hi! I think this is an interesting viewpoint you have there. I deal with things through a scientific mind too, so I don't totally believe in gods (allow me to explain that later). My religion is Buddhism, and from what I know about it, the idea of Buddhism isn't quite about worshipping a god, cos Buddha was a human too, just that he understood the world very much and hence was revered as enlightened. So in that sense Buddha is a role model to look up to, and Buddhism kind of teaches us to accept that life's full of suffering, and you've got to deal with it using calmness and compassion. Something like that.
Anyway back to your question, I believe in Buddhism because it provides me with a framework to deal with life's problems. I do feel that with Catholicism and Christianity (I studied in a Catholic school previously), the praying to Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary can help psychologically soothe a person's mind. It helps sometimes to imagine that you are a part of something bigger, and that life goes beyond what you know consciously, and perhaps if you face troubles, you're not in it alone and there's someone to fall back on (your god). I'm not very familiar with Islam but I believe they do rely on theirs too.
Along ethical lines, it also helps to have a consolidated approach to impart morals. In the past it was probably very difficult to justify why you shouldn't kill a person, and hence religion comes into play. The idea of gods suggests a higher power, and if someone more powerful tells you something is wrong, you don't do it. I think this is a common factor across all religions, the laying down of what is right and wrong. Most mainstream religions: Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Chirstianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, etc, teach us to be kind and compassionate to others.
In essence as you so succinctly pointed out, it is our desire to fit into society. Being social creatures, there needs to be ethical rules and guidelines to abide by, and a common cause to believe in. Being sentient beings with intelligence, early humans would've wanted an explanation for the way the world worked, and so believed in a higher power. Today, religion unites people across borders and places of worship are where social events like weddings take place. Religion still serves a purpose for us, and many find meaning in life with religion as a guide. Therefore, people still do believe in religions.
What do you think?0
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