What is Religion About?

Author: Paul ,

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  • Paul
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    Religion is all about you, God and your relationship with God.

    Why do people believe in God?

    Most were trained from birth to believe, others begin to believe later.

    Believers believe because they don't want to go to hell of course, that's one big thing.

    They do want to go to heaven, that's another thing.

    They want to be better more disciplined people, which is an advantage.

    They want to feel better and many report feeling more content as a result.

    They may want to quit drinking or have some other life crisis that can be eased by the adoption of religion.

    There are probably a lot of reasons, but they are all about you and what is going on inside you.

    Religion is an inwardly focused activity and that's what it's about.

  • disgusted
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    --> @Paul
    Religion is an attempt to overcome irrational fears.
  • PGA2.0
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    --> @Paul
    Religion is all about you, God and your relationship with God.
    Religion, for the most part, is a man-made invention (a god created in the image of humans), but the funny and amazing thing is that almost all reasoning people think about God. Our eight-year-old grandson is asking questions about death to his parents who are not Christians. He was profoundly saddened by the death of his dog three years ago. 

    Here you are thinking about God. 

    Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

    Yes, religion can be an examination of yourself, and humanity, and life's ultimate questions. 


    Why do people believe in God?
    Some do so because they look at the vastness and complexity of life and the universe and do not find an adequate answer in evolution and the many competing views of beginnings. Some see intelligence and information in what exists that exists apart from themselves putting it there. As scientists discover formulas and laws that explain some functions of the universe and our world these inquirers question how they could have arisen let alone been sustained by pure. blind, indifferent chance happenstance. It just does not make sense. They question why so much of the world's population has believed and does believe in a God or gods, as opposed to chance happenstance as the answer. They see the need for a necessary being in the explanation.   


    Most were trained from birth to believe, others begin to believe later.
    True, but on the flip side some reason there is an innate human longing for God. They see the need for a necessary Being since they understand they are not it and how can they ever be sure or even make sense of the origins of the universe and life by their limited minds. They see information and meaning in everything they examine (minds find meaning and store information) but can't explain why in a meaningless universe, they should expect to see and understand things about the unexplainable and what ultimately is meaningless. They can't explain the uniformity of nature from a chance happenstance universe. It just does not make sense without intentionality and purpose behind it and they find that in the way things are and the way they operate. 


    Believers believe because they don't want to go to hell of course, that's one big thing.

    They do want to go to heaven, that's another thing.

    They want to be better more disciplined people, which is an advantage.

    They want to feel better and many report feeling more content as a result.

    They may want to quit drinking or have some other life crisis that can be eased by the adoption of religion.

    There are probably a lot of reasons, but they are all about you and what is going on inside you.
    Do you prefer to live an unexamined life? If so, why are you on a religious forum? Why have you thought about such things? If you think and believe there is no God then eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die. Why bother with meaning and purpose? Do whatever you can get away with. That would be consistent with atheism, would it not? Why borrow from the Christian worldview? I contend that you can't live other than borrowing from such a worldview in ultimately making sense of life. And how well do you know the Christian worldview? How many times have you read the Bible?

    Religion is an inwardly focused activity and that's what it's about.
    Explanation - we were created with a longing and desire to know God. Some of us find Him and others go aimlessly through life with no ultimate purpose or meaning to it. 
  • Stronn
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    --> @disgusted
    Religion is an attempt to overcome irrational fears.
    I would not call the fear of death irrational. It seems quite rational to not want to cease to exist.


  • disgusted
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    --> @Stronn
    Of course it's irrational, it is the only thing guaranteed. Accepting it is the only RATIONAL position.
  • Paul
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    Okay, you guys are talking about what it is. What I'm talking about is what it is internally to people that are in it and the fact that it is inwardly focused. What I mean by inwardly focused person is they spend a lot of time thinking about themselves, god and there soul. They don't think that god is separate from them, they believe god is inside of them (and this happens to be true). They don't look at the sky and shout at it when they pray, they close their eyes and bow their heads. They talk to god inside their minds and not out loud.

  • disgusted
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    --> @Paul
    They have to because that is the only place it exists.
  • Stephen
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    --> @Paul
    What is Religion About?

    It is about control. 

    Religion is a very human creation. The word is a relatively modern word and isn't even mentioned in the OT and only 1 or 2 times  in the NT, to my knowledge. 

    I have said here many times that there was never any such thing as religion during the time of the biblical patriarchs or before or even in Jesus time. Priests were only there to do the bidding of the lords, that is, those who today are referred to as "gods". The priests had no contact with the general population whatsoever, they were confined to the temple complex where they were taught all kinds 'magic' such as SPELL -ING, reading, writing, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences i.e. healing and medicine. 

    It was the kings who ruled over the people with the blessing (permission) of the ruling lord of the time and place. And only the high priest conveyed messages to the king from "his lord" and the king would act on those commands along with his own rules , laws and instructions. These kings, were eventually usurped by these priest once these lords had " left like migrating birds" and as today, it is only the priests who are the king makers and not the Lords.

    Thankfully, "religion" doesn't any longer have the grip over the people in the modern develope world that it once had and  people have learned to think for themselves. 



  • Paul
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    --> @disgusted
    Exactly.

  • disgusted
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    --> @Stephen
    Thankfully, "religion" doesn't any longer have the grip over the people in the modern develope world that it once had and  people have learned to think for themselves. 
    Not really.

  • Paul
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    --> @Stephen
    Again, what you are talking about is what it is externally, what I want to talk about is the internal dynamic.

  • Paul
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    What is Religion About? OP Continued...

    The inward focus sets up a paradigm in the mind of the believer through which they view the external world. This modified view of reality can be profoundly distorted to the point where even the laws of physics are no longer applicable. They can't reconcile what they believe with reality so they reject reality or they try to rationalize around it. This leads to some remarkably distorted thinking commonly on display here.

    The inward focus is by nature selfish. Look at the reasons people are religious, because they don't want to go to hell, because they want to go to heaven, because they want to feel better and so on. People are religious for purely selfish reasons. When people pray the one thing all of them ask god for is something for themselves. Even if they pray for one of their children who might be sick they are still praying for something for themselves. If they pray for world peace they are still praying for something for themselves.

  • Stronn
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    --> @disgusted
    You can accept it but still be afraid of it. Calling it irrational is like calling survival instinct irrational. 
  • Stephen
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    --> @Paul
    Again, what you are talking about is what it is externally, what I want to talk about is the internal dynamic.

    Then you didn't make yourself very clear with a question as a title to your thread, did you. No, the title of this thread - your thread - simply asks ;

    " What is Religion About"?  You see, it doesn't even mention "the internal dynamic"

    I have told you what I believe it is about. The internal dynamic (whatever that actually means) or what religion means to the individual, is another matter and  it will all come down to control in one form or another..
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Stephen
    Religion and other tales.

    Internally processed data for sure.

    Obviously dynamic, if you think about it regularly.

    Truisms in themselves.

    But unlikely to be relative to any greater external reality.



  • Paul
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    --> @Stephen
    You responded to the title?

  • Paul
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    --> @zedvictor4
    Truisms inside themselves. Externally it’s all just verbalized imaginings which they try to legitimize by attempting to make it external. The only place god really does exist is in their minds, but I guess that’s not good enough for them.

  • Paul
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    --> @Stephen
    And you’re right I’m not very clear, I do often have that problem.

  • Stephen
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    --> @Paul

    You responded to the title?

    Of course I did. Your title IS a fkn question LOOK>>>>>>>>>>--> @Paul wrote  What is Religion About?<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


    And you’re right I’m not very clear, I do often have that problem.

    The title question is very clear. And I answered it. Then you imply that I am not understanding your question and that I should know that you are actually asking about what religion is about and what it means to the individual internally  " that are in it and the fact that it is inwardly focused".


    Anyway. You have my response to your initial question.  And I belive you may have killed your own thread by unintentionally moving the goalposts.

  • Paul
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    --> @Stephen
    Killed my own thread? That's no great loss, but I appreciate your concern.

  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Paul
    Exactly.
  • Athias
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    --> @Paul
    Religion is all about you, God and your relationship with God.
    That isn't necessarily true. Religion can focus on community and culture. And since Religion is often associated (if not inextricably) with a moral framework, it cannot be "all about" you. Of course, being a moral agent starts with you.

    Why do people believe in God?
    Belief is subjective; therefore, you'd have to be specific about which people. I've frequently repeated on these Religion subjects that I believe God exists because I can.

    Most were trained from birth to believe, others begin to believe later.
    So? Unless you're implying some moral defect in training children, can it not be argued that all children have been and ought to be trained?

    Believers believe because they don't want to go to hell of course, that's one big thing.

    They do want to go to heaven, that's another thing.

    They want to be better more disciplined people, which is an advantage.

    They want to feel better and many report feeling more content as a result.

    They may want to quit drinking or have some other life crisis that can be eased by the adoption of religion.
    Those could be apart of it, yes.

    There are probably a lot of reasons, but they are all about you and what is going on inside you.
    Religion is an inwardly focused activity and that's what it's about.
    I disagree for the reasons I mentioned above.
  • ethang5
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    Religion is an inwardly focused activity and that's what it's about.
    While this may be true of some religions, it certainly untrue of Christianity.

    For Christianity, focusing inwardly is the path to error and exactly what we should not do.
  • Paul
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    --> @Athias
    You're right about the external, I missed that part. There is the thing about wanting to be part of the community, but that comes from an internal evolutionary instinct and subsequent strong desire that humans have for acceptance. People join the community because they don't want to be outsiders and they join the community for themselves, they want to be accepted as a part of a group. It's a survival instinct that they have very little control over. When you talk about community that is indeed a very important dynamic, if there were no community and consensus no one would join.

    You believe god exists because you can? You have a short circuit there which conveniently ignores all the reasons, this is quite typical.

  • Athias
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    --> @Paul
    You're right about the external, I missed that part. There is the thing about wanting to be part of the community, but that comes from an internal evolutionary instinct and subsequent strong desire that humans have for acceptance. People join the community because they don't want to be outsiders and they join the community for themselves, they want to be accepted as a part of a group. It's a survival instinct that they have very little control over.
    The only evidence for this is unsubstantiated teleological claims. But for the sake of argument, let's entertain their veracity, the produced effect is not to the exclusion of others. So while joining or being a part of a community may be primarily about you, it is not at all about you--the point of my contention.

    You believe god exists because you can? You have a short circuit there which conveniently ignores all the reasons, this is quite typical.
    I never said I was religious.