No, that's the way most people are. They accept what they are told, and they follow it. Their beliefs are not their own, they are what they have been told from other people. Both theists AND atheists are equally as capable of doing this.
It is an extremely RARE person who is completely open to all evidence, who does not let bias stand in the way of truth. It is an extremely RARE person who gleans all of their beliefs by themselves.
No, this is not the way of the theist, this is the way of humans.
It is much more the way of the theist than it is the way of the atheist.
The majority of atheists are former theists. They did not accept what they are told and then follow it. They challenged their beliefs with an open mind and a desire to learn.
Nearly half of Americans change their religious beliefs. They did the exact same thing the atheist did, but it didn't take them to atheism, it took them to a different religion. Even then I would be doubtful in saying that atheists or theists who change/have changed their beliefs came to that all on their own: I would not say they "gleaned all of their beliefs by themselves".
It's human nature to believe what you are told, but just because you believe in what your parents raised you to believe, or that you have never changed religions, doesn't mean you are thinking for yourself. You could have just come to the same conclusion.
doesn't mean that you aren't* thinking for yourself.
I honestly would love to believe in God. The idea of a higher power, of heaven... it sounds wonderful. Most atheists don't reject the idea of God because they've closed themselves off from it... it's because the idea of believing something based on subjective claims and wishful thinking is ridiculous.
To me believing in a Creator isn't ridiculous because of the base fact that we are here. And I didn't not say that atheists reject that because they close themselves of for it, I'm saying that religious people aren't more likely to close themselves off from truth or new facts. All beliefs are subjective, subjective to the individual's perception. You think believing in God is ridiculous, I look at the world and think it's ridiculous not to.
If you do not believe that theists "challenge their beliefs with an open mind and a desire to learn" just as much as atheists and anyone else for that matter, you really don't know theists at all.
Religion isn't teeny tiny narrow view of the world that people follow blindly like sheep because they can't think for themselves. Religious people can be and often are freethinking intelligent philosophers and mystics that try to make sense of the world for themselves through reason, observation, reflection, and study.
Religious people are constantly changing their perspectives, challenging commonly held believes, coming up with new ideas, and making discoveries. Religion is never something you just follow like a sheep; it's something you ponder, question, and explore your whole life.
So no, I do not believe that atheists are any more questioning or freethinking than relgious people.
‘Often’ ‘Constantly’, ….? I find it rare. It took like three and a half centauries for the Catholic Church to apologize for what they did to Galileo and admit that he was right. I’ve never seen the encouragement of questioning and exploring outside one’s religion when I went to Sunday school. Just accept it, remain and obey. Many born-again religious people are vilified.
Religion is gradually changing because society is changing, individuals change. Not because that the change/progression of certain beliefs is in the nature, a quality, of religion on its own .It’s a reactionary force. It has to update itself or else society will scoot away from it. You do know that in many religions changing your mind about your religion/beliefs is forbidden.
This post relates mostly to the organised religions, especially the Abrahamic ones… which the world would be better without. One can be spiritual without religion.To me you sound like you're describing people who had similar beliefs and ideaologies as Einstein, instead of characteristics that a person in an organized religion would posses. What do you mean by new ideas and discoveries?
Non-religious people our more liberated in a sense that they can make their own decisions where as in religion,your more restricted, that was what I was trying to point out.
I wasn't implying non-religious people being open to 'all' evidence you'd be opening yourself to impossible endless possibilities (depending on how you put it there). There just more ready to hear out different viewpoints.
I do not believe that it is because of religious beliefs. I believe it is because of their levels of open-mindedness. I believe that anyone who is truly looking for the truth, and not a fast answer, will look for it. But saying that religion restricts you is not true, especially if the religion is correct. I believe my religion is correct, I have not yet been confronted with unassailable evidence, in my opinion, but that doesn't mean I don't look up what other people tell me about, or try to understand it to see if it does or should change my beliefs. I've found both atheists and theists to be bigoted and/or set in their ways. I think that is just human nature.
My religion does not restrict my decisions, having a religion is indeed my decision. That's the thing: religion is a choice. Agnosticism, atheism, are also choices. Choices based upon beliefs
It is my opinion that it is completely fallacious to believe that religious people are less likely to be receptive of new evidence. If someone is truly open-minded they will consider all evidence and accept it or reject it as true or false. Just because I don't think your proof is true, doesn't mean I didn't consider it.
Yeah , a persons level of open-mindedness is a factor that can shape their beliefs but I also think one's religion can contribute to how open-minded someone can be. I see it my family , my brother thinks his atheist science teacher is evil for teaching his class about evolution. He just disregards the topic. The word 'Big Bang' pops up and my mother changes the subject. I see it in society too. When I was religious I was scared shitless when I was having doubts,when I had moments where I was questioning my own religion, in fear of being punished.Religion discourages this type of independent thinking.
I do know that there are religious people out there who are open-minded.
Then so does any belief. Someone can be a staunch atheist and never question their beliefs. Religion doesn't discourage independent thinking. You choose your religion. You choose your beliefs. Your independence is this choice. Being apart of a religion just says "these are my beliefs".
It is my opinion that Catholicism (because this is what I know most about) asks you to search for the truth, because it believes you fill find it in Catholicism.
Everyone has doubts, religion just asks that you try to overcome them and answer them, hopefully through that religion. I have doubts, I just don't nurture them, I try to find the answers to them. What I mean is, when I have doubts and don't say, "oh this changes all my beliefs!" I ask, "Does this change my beliefs? Is there some sort of answer to be found? And if there is an answer, does that change my beliefs?"
My whole point is that it's not because religion discourages free thought, doubts, or asking questions, it's because people don't want to have to change their beliefs. Religion believes that you will find the answers through God/through it.
Well then I think that neans I'm extremely rare, I've decided to be agnostic but if someone wants to tell me what they believe in I listen and see if it makes sense but as of right now not one religion I know of doesn't have one major problem with it so I just avoid religion all together.
Congratulations, you have expressed an ill-considered and hackneyed opinion. I'm what you may call an Atheist, but the fact of the matter is this: your description of Religion is disgustingly unsympathetic and misconceived. Anyone who actually cares to look into the matter will discover that the venerated University tradition, the refuge of your much beloved "Science" which has done so much "good" for us all (it's inspired a lot of brilliant writers; I'll say that much at least), stems from the monastic tradition which preceded it, and which produced an enormous corpus of Theological texts comprising analysis whose rigour easily rivals that of any Scientist, despite the absence of mechanical reproduction, popular literacy or media for mass dissemination, much of which corpus survives and is studied to this day - and that's just Europe! Take a sincere look at the depth and extent of exploration in the Vedic tradition - which has continued to the present day since the Iron Age, by the way (for an unbroken discourse spanning about four thousand years) - and tell me it doesn't boggle your tiny Scientific mind.
Don’t you think, even to a small extent, that religions have this effect of discouraging followers or preventing them to have the opportunity to know of notions that don’t accord to their belief system? You know that people have been sentence to death by the Catholic Church because their ideas contradicted their faith. You know that there have been people out there who have considered other possibilities,have been looked down upon , who’ve ended up abandoning the religion that they have been brought up with,and as a result have been disowned by their parents because of it. Superstitious beliefs have existed since the dawn of men. One of the reasons why religions have existed so long is to help people make sense of events which would have otherwise been seen as incomprehensible. Another reason is because people today are still indoctrinated at a young age, when their minds aren’t fully developed. Memes are hard to defeat. (you probably heard that one before) I know Science can’t answer everything, or it is yet to solve the mysteries that astound as today.I know that religion has benefited the world in a lot of ways, like providing us with great moralistic teachings...
But humanity needs more science, not more religion, don’t you think?
Most religious people don't all have identical beliefs. We think and consider and question. Most people don't just take in what they've been told. If everyone did that it would be sad. Some people who were raised as atheists don't question a lot either. We need to think to learn and grow in our spirituality, or else there's no point in believing in what you do or don't.
I know other people are raised differently, but my mom raised me to be open to all religions and I could go to different churches if I wanted and she didn't care. I've spent a lot of time thinking about religion and what I believe. People, theist or atheist, don't always explore beliefs and are set in their ways without knowing why. Religion can accept uncertainties too. I don't know if you've read the bible, Torah, Quran, bhagavad gita, or other holy book but most of them do allow uncertainties or simply fill things in that don't make sense in the world. In my eyes, religion is something you have to make your life better and make yourself a better person. Just guidelines to make yourself think. You should read the book Good Without God. It's basically about atheist morals and values.
That's great you've been raised that way, you're quite lucky.
I meant more that certainty that their religion is right and every other religion or other differing viewpoint is wrong. I'm pretty sure it's implied in most religious text. It's inevitable that religions face uncertainties, with holy texts being incoherent , vague , inconsistent and out-dated.I guess that's why people rely on faith. Seems god's purpose is to confuse and remain hidden, more than anything else.
I'm familiar with the bible and slightly some of those other texts.I did a class called 'Studies of Religion' in high school, that's what initiated me into questioning my religion. I asked myself 'What makes my religion right and every other religion wrong?' Since they all had obvious similarities between one another.
I don't really view other religions as wrong. They're just not for me. If they work for someone else, great. It's like the philosophy of it. I think regardless of what one is told everyone should question things and learn about other religions, even if it is a "sin". There's never anything wrong with more knowledge. (I know not all Christians think so). Also, I don't think God is "hidden". You just have to look and see miracles in everyday things. Everything He gave us is amazing. (Not trying to preach here or be cheesy, just saying my thoughts on things.) ALSO, God hiding reminds me of that scene in Spy Kids 2 where that scientist guy was like "...maybe that's why God stays in heaven, maybe He's just afraid of what He created." Deep stuff in that movie.
Interesing point of view, I wish my family had a similar mindset to yours when it comes to Chrisitianity. I'm wondering why do lean towards Chrisitianty? If you didn't mention it I would've thought you were a pantheist , deist....you know along the lines of that.
I guess it's just how I was raised. It makes sense to me that we have one god who made everything in life. God is someone to lean on to help you through life. God is the force that makes the world happen. I only know a little about pantheism, but I think it's a little like that. The basic concept is interesting and understandable. After all, anything could be true, and honestly it makes more sense than an old guy making a lady out of ribs. I do like the stories in the bible and the lessons they teach us. To me it's like a user's manual to life on how to be a good person and live a full life.
Also, I know a lot of Christians agree with me and that a lot don't. Some are even more open than I am, and some are extremely closed-minded to everything. I don't represent every Christian. I find that Christians with strong opinions who think they're the only ones who are right talk a lot more than people who think like me. I don't say I'm Christian a lot because I know some people assume I'm going to shove it down their throats. I think that's true for atheists too.
I am speechless at how intelligently everyone is talking on this thread and no one has dissolved into mindless shouting. In regards to the topic, my parents raised my brother and I to believe anything we wanted. I believed in God when I was younger and as I grew up my faith slowly depleted, leaving me in sort of in-between area. I try and make the effort though to read about other religions and learn about them because they're honestly fascinating. I also find it helpful to know about certain religious topics because then if someone tries to say something negative about them, or use them in such a way as to hurt other people you can speak from knowledge and correct them. In my opinion I think religious classes should be more readily available so people aren't so closed minded of a huge part of history, and society. With of course a focus that the religion is a choice, because a lot of people would reject those classes as trying to brain wash people or something.
what will people think of your "science" 4000 years from now? they'll call it primitive mumbo jumbo. they'll look back and say, that was what people believed before there was science
What are you talking about? Science is constantly changing and evolving. There is not one set of scientific beliefs that we have set in stone and will be considered stupid later on.
Scientists set up hypotheses and perform experiments in order to disprove these hypotheses. If evidence arises that counters current theories, they welcome it and examine it. Years from now, scientists won't think "look at what people believed before there was science". They will say "look at how far science has come. Look at the discoveries made way back then, some of which have applications here and now, others of which have been contradicted by later evidence."
but the ancient greeks considered there religion to be science. they had their own explanations for why certain things happened and that's what science was
They had no evidence.
insert giant philisophical essay that I spent months perfecting in order argue with a bunch of strangers on the internet about religion as well as try to make myself look smarter and more well-educated than I really actually am
JJust becuase I'm christian I'm close-minded?