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Why are People Religious?

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” - Martin Luther King, Jr

For centuries humans have fallen into a repetitive cycle of fallacy. A spiritual rut that has held us back from achieving our full potential. It isn't until now that humans are starting to wake up and shift to higher states of awareness. But as we are beginning to make progress as humans why is it that people still cling on to their 2,000 year old believes. When will people finally give up their materialistic religion and search for something with greater meaning and purpose? I believe that there are 10 main reason why people still hold on to their religious beliefs. Now I know that this doesn't pertain to every religion or every religious person but if you are religious you will most likely find yourself in one of these areas.


1. Childhood Indoctrination

This is the biggest reasons why people are religious. It is very rare for someone to be brought up in a certain religion and get older and not believe it anymore. This can also be one of the hardest reasons to overcome. If you have been told from the day you were born that this was truth and everyone else was wrong then it is extremely hard to even question that it might not be truth and accept that your whole life growing up you have been fed a lie.

Now of course you can't blame your parents or family because they had the best intentions and they thought that they were showing you truth even though they were probably brought up that way too. It's almost like a never ending cycle that gets passed down to each generation until someone has a light bulb flicker in their brain that tells them that something is wrong.

2. Fear

This is another big reason why people are religious and also why they are afraid to question their religion. A lot of people are afraid of death and afraid of what might happen to them after that. They hear about all these crazy religious people telling them that if they don't join and believe what they believe then they will go to hell forever and ever. They start to think that these people just might be right and become fearful that if they die they are going to be punished.

How many people do you think cried out for forgiveness and prayed as they laid on their death bed. How many people do you think would be in church on Sunday if we all knew that the world was going to end next week. Fear is a very strong emotion and if you know how to use it you can get people to do and believe whatever you want and that is exactly what religion has done. If fear was no longer an issue then I think that a lot of people will open their eyes and not be afraid to question what they believe.

3. Times of Desperation and Need

It is much easier to have faith in a religion when you have nothing else. If you are in a time of desperation and need with no hope then you need something to hold on to. If someone is completely satisfied with life then they have no need for a religion because they are content with how they are.

4. Tradition

A lot of people just accept their religion because it is their tradition. Everyone around them follows that religion and no one has done any different for the past 300 years. All the way back to their great great great grandparents their people where following that religion so therefore it feels like they have to follow it too. If you were born in America then you have a great chance that you will be Christian. If your from the middle east then you will most likely be Muslim. If your from Asia then you will be Buddhist. You believe that you know 100% truth but yet the simplest thing like being born with parents that had a different belief or being born in a different area would cause your entire belief system to be different.

5. Searching For Answers

People are tired of the lies and deception and they want answers. There are so many unanswered questions that no one can seem to answer and religion puts a bandage on those questions. The truth is that religion creates much more unanswered questions than the ones you had before they are just able to hide them a lot better. If you are looking for answers to life's greatest questions then religion is the worst thing that you can turn to. You must look much deeper than religion and search from within yourself.

6. Guilty Conscious

Some people have made some bad choices in their lifetime and they begin to get a guilty conscious. They can't forgive themselves and so they turn to religion hoping that they will find a God that will forgive them so that they can feel better about themselves. They are also afraid of their karma coming back to haunt them thinking that when they die they will have to face the punishments for what they did in this lifetime.

7. Socializing

For a lot of people the only time that they get to socialize with anyone other than coworkers is when they go to church. They might not even like church that much but they will go just so that they can socialize with people and get out of the house. People also like to feel that they are a part of something and that they belong somewhere.

8. Comfort and Assurance

People like the comfort and assurance that religion creates for them. It makes them feel safe and that every thing is going to be alright. They are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and they feel that if they don't have a religion then their life will be chaotic.

9. Lack of Responsibility

A lot of religious people do not take responsibility for their actions, choices and the world that they create around them. They need something to blame and they need something to send their problems to. I have seen this so many times and it truly saddens me that religion has brought them down so low that they just give up and hope that God will fix it all. How many people have heard someone that is religious say that they can't do something on their own so they leave it in God's hands. "I can't quit smoking on my own, I can't quit drinking on my own, I can't live a happy life on my own, I can't find a good job on my own or live a satisfied fulfilling life on my own so I just put my faith in God knowing that he will do all these things for me." If you want something in your life then YOU need to take action and pursue it. Don't say you can't do something on your own just because you are lazy and lack any willpower.

10. Spiritual Fulfillment

There is a spiritual void in this world and people can feel it. They want a life with more meaning and more purpose. I think that this is one of the biggest reasons why people turn to a religion hoping that they can satisfy that spiritual void. You go to church and you see all of these people excited for God and you think to yourself, "this must be it, this is what I have been searching for. Just look how happy all these people are." So you join the church and you get excited and on fire for God and your so happy and nothing can ever take you down. But as time goes on you start to realize that the spiritual void is still there and you start feeling the same as you did before if not worse.
 

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i don't think people who look to religion are foolish, i just think they like the idea of a greater being who cares for them. i also don't think religions are part of the 'evil' of the world, religion can be evil when it becomes extremism, though. as long as the balance of religion and science is equal, i see nothing wrong with religion. without some sort of faith, science loses some of its beauty and mystery, and becomes simply facts.

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
-albert einstein
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i don't think people who look to religion are foolish, i just think they like the idea of a greater being who cares for them. i also don't think religions are part of the 'evil' of the world, religion can be evil when it becomes extremism, though. as long as the balance of religion and science is equal, i see nothing wrong with religion. without some sort of faith, science loses some of its beauty and mystery, and becomes simply facts.

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
-albert einstein

Im trying to separate religion from god, they are two different things to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jeff05 is correct.. The spirituality of a faith in a deity seperates itself from religion when the faith is not reinforced continuously by way of rituals, symbolism, doctrine, myths and ethics. Which are self-aggrandized and over-generalized for way of homogeneity.

You took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you!
 

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One of the reasons why people are in religion is they believe which concentrates on two fundamental problems of human endeavor: the origins of morality and the science and foundations of ethics. In answer to the theist's belief that without religion, one cannot have morality. Strong scientific case that morality exists outside the human mind as a human universal trait.
 

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People also get pressured into it. If you lived in a neighborhood where not attending religious ceremonies made you more susceptible to be accused of heresy or witchcraft of some kind for which you would then be likely to get ostracized or even just killed, you would have a lot of incentive to conform.
 

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People also get pressured into it. If you lived in a neighborhood where not attending religious ceremonies made you more susceptible to be accused of heresy or witchcraft of some kind for which you would then be likely to get ostracized or even just killed, you would have a lot of incentive to conform.


That could be another reason why people are involved in religion, because they fear that they will be labled "heathens".
 

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I have concluded that religion was created as a way of explaining natural phenomena, maintaining order, and coping with the absurdity of life. However, science, government, and philosophy are newer supplements for those needs, usually found in more stable societies.
 

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You have named several of my theories I adopted when I went "morally rogue" as a young teen

I came to the conclusion that Religion should be governmentalized and called 'Soul Insurance'

At least the increase in honesty may recruit more followers
 

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Whether you are arguing for or against religion, I see it like this; I'm right, you're wrong, agree with me or you're a fool. Most people who hate religion tend to be just as preachy as those who really love it. Why aren't people allowed to believe what they like? Religion causes no problem, unless, like scientiststudies said taken to extremes. If you want to be different from a religious person treat your thoughts as theories and not facts, if they aren't right just because they think they are, why are you?
 

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I would argue that number 9 is incorrect: that religion makes people more responsible for their actions.
 

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I dislike organized religion.
I think that any religion should be personal, and organized religion just leads to problems.
I'm agnostic, but I think that an organization is unnecessary to have a relationship with anything that may exist, and organized religions are used more (not always) for power and control than actually helping people.
 

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I think I generally agree with the 10 reasons listed, but I don't think I see them as negatively portrayed as they are (well, at least some of them).

I do agree with the points about personal spirituality/finding God not being the same as religion. I also agree that religion is a tool that can and has very often been used for evil.

But I think a big issue here that comes into play is the whole issue of type and temperament. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not saying certain types are going to be religious and others are not. I'm sure there are people of all 16 types that fall into all of the different religions of the world, and I'm sure there are atheists in all 16 of the types. However, I do think that type plays into it.

I'm not an expert on NT's, but I gather that for NT's, objective logical analysis trumps all. It's the reason for their being. They see it as the best way to improve society and themselves. It's what they live for.

(I also believe that INTP's are one of the most, if not the most, individualistic of all 16 types. From my experience, INTP's hate to be boxed in and categorized in any format. That would naturally make the idea of a formal, organized religion absolute torture).

I can't speak for all SJ's, but I will throw out some general points that I believe are true about them for the most part. SJ's tend to live more for routine, structure, and work. It's what drives us, it's what makes us continue to live, it's what makes us happy and satisfied, just as much as logical analysis and investigation does for NT's. It's like you said before about being in a comfort zone.

Now, that doesn't mean that every SJ is going to embrace religion, and like I said, I'm sure there are plenty of atheist SJ's. But I think it's a lot less likely to happen with an SJ than with an NT.

You mentioned the whole idea of not wanting to step out of comfort zones. While I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to do so, I think for almost anybody there are areas in their life they have trouble doing it. For an NT, I would imagine it would be embracing and showing theirs and others emotions, and letting feelings overtake their logic. For an SJ, I think it's more likely that this will be stepping out of their routines and structures that give them peace and harmony. So I think that's something that should be kept in mind when talking about how people do things out of comfort...everyone does it, but what they do it with can be very different.


And I think others have made points in this thread that there can be separation between religion and the objective, political world. Granted, it's not nearly as likely to happen, but it can, and I think I'm an example of that. I'm a Christian and I go to church, but when discussing political issues I step outside of my own beliefs and look at everything objectively, because I know that these issues affect everyone, including those with very different backgrounds and beliefs than my own.


Anyway, I'm not intruding into the INTP forum in search for a debate. (not to stereotype, but I know how NT's love that ;) I just wanted to offer a different perspective on the whole thing.
 
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Something I learned awhile back is that Hell was/is a power tool and most likely a mistranslation in the Bible of "Hades", which meant the Underworld, where ALL souls go. Hell does not exist. (LOL Roman Catholic Church.) Pretty interesting, if you ask me.
 
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Had not the right things happened to me over the years, I would still be a diehard Christian and would never have questioned any of it.

Sometimes people just need a spark.
 
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