Social Question

ASoprano's avatar

Why do people ask Religious questions?

Asked by ASoprano (109points) September 16th, 2009

i mean you know what your going to get.No denomination gives quarter.
It seems to me that Religious beliefs will never alter no matter how many questions get posted.

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27 Answers

Frankie's avatar

Maybe some people like discussing religion? I’m not religious, but it definitely can be fun and enlightening, especially if things stay civil.

Ivan's avatar

Exactly. We should also just stop discussing politics, philosophy, science, or anything else for that matter, because our opinions aren’t going to change.

SundayKittens's avatar

That’s how people’s ideas evolve…from sharing beliefs/experiences with others. And religion is an enoromous part of humanity, good or bad.

AstroChuck's avatar

All true. Also, some are just trolls.

cookieman's avatar

I disagree that beliefs will never change. Many people’s beliefs about religion do and have changed. It may not seem it to you because the change is not instantaneous (or even quick at all). Nor is it usually a wholesale change. But many beliefs and ideas do evolve through discussion (as well as life experience) over long periods of time.

Critter38's avatar

Because we all share the same planet and how we perceive reality impacts on how we treat others.

By discussing religious and other questions we expose our own beliefs to the conscience (empathy and reason) of others and thereby provide at least the opportunity for our beliefs to be swayed by empathy and reason.

This is the basis for moral progress in a democratic secular society, the open conscience.

SundayKittens's avatar

@cprevite absolutely…mine have changed alot, mostly from life experiences and discussions.

Judi's avatar

My beliefs about God have not changed much, but my beliefs about other Christians have. I used to be excited about the whole Evangelical movement and saw other Christians as good people just because they were “part of the club.”
After being burned a few times, and watching how “Evangelicals” have changed from a guy with a heart for humanity (Like Jimmy Carter) to biggots and teabaggers, I realized that God can not always be defined by the people who claim to follow him.

SundayKittens's avatar

oh @Judi…amen amen.

ASoprano's avatar

@AstroChuck What is trollish about the question?You secured your 5 point great comment so justify your comment or take it back.

jrpowell's avatar

@ASoprano :: Astrochuck wasn’t calling you a troll. He was calling the people that you asked your question about trolls.

markyy's avatar

Maybe because atheists (at least in the beginning) feel the need to save people from religion, and religious people are often encouraged to convert people to their religion. Both group think they are the good guys which leads to heated arguments, making the discussion more lively and never ending.

And what about the agnostics who may just ask questions to aid them in their journey to finding answers.

RareDenver's avatar

I do it for three main reasons:

1: Religion fascinates me and I enjoy having discussions about the various aspects of beliefs and doctrines of faiths.

2: As an atheist I struggle to understand the hold it can have on people and sometimes like to explore this area

3: I believe it is retarding our progress as a species both intellectually and socially and sometimes like to discuss these issues, admittedly issues I perceive and others may not (but that’s what makes debate fun, our differences in opinion)

cwilbur's avatar

Some people are genuinely curious about what other people think and why.

Other people are convinced that their beliefs are the only correct ones, and ask leading questions as a way of heckling others.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Didn’t we just talk about this? XD

ESV's avatar

Because seeking through what, where, when, how, why ,who will get you to the truth, if you dilligently seek it as if for silver or gold. Those who seek shall find, those who knock it will be opened to them.

Judi's avatar

@ESV ; I agree. The important thing to do is seek TRUTH not justification for your own belief. The truth will set you free.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because they are interested in what other people think.

Zuma's avatar

I think we are fascinated by religious questions because we are in the process of making up our minds about the role of religion in public life. For the past several years, the Religious Right has had unprecedented influence in politics and people have gotten tired of it. As @Judi has noted above, what started out as loving has turned sour and punitive.

We need to have this national conversation. Some want to kick religion to the curb. Others say just ignore the village idiots. And others are looking for a way to reclaim the love and compassion that is the best part of religion and see if we can shed the baggage of violence and close-mindedness. Every religious question has the potential to clarify some aspect of our humanity.

As seemingly interminable as these debates sometimes get, we still come back for more. And will continue to do so until we’ve reached a national consensus on the role of faith and rationality, and the values that are important in our lives. I don’t know if it is just Fluther, but my experience is that these discussions are becoming less rancorous. So, slowly, almost imperceptibly, I think we are moving toward agreement.

cwilbur's avatar

I don’t think the political movement Religious Right ever started out loving. It has, from its inception, been about condemning other people and taking social control.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zuma – I agree, we should not ignore the dark ages versions of religion such as the Christian Religious Right (like in the US) or Wahhabism (like in Saudi-Arabia). However, it might not be a good idea to pay too much attention, in particular when this means it’s the only form of attention we pay when it comes to religion. In this case those narrow-minded people would succeed in hijacking religion as a whole to spread their ideologies and political agendas. I find it a great pity that almost all atheists show narrow-minded, sometimes ridiculous knee-jerk reflexes when asked about religion and religious topics like it’s ridiculous to believe in a deity, religion is about social control (and even promoting genocide), a deity cannot exist because he allows pain and suffering and so forth.

I had my share of debates with young-earth creationists too. I did this to better understand how their minds work. I also learned that it’s almost impossible for them to change. The level of brainwashing is too strong and even if there are doubts people fear to lose friendships and their community. If people want to be religious what is needed are religious communities capable of tolerance and critical thinking. They already exist mostly in Europe, to a certain extend in the US, but they are a very small minority in most Muslim countries. What can we in the West do to help turning those minorities into majorities? Telling them believing in God is ridiculous?

Zuma's avatar

@mattbrowne If its a positive program, how about simply promoting empathy, reason, compassion, good faith, human dignity and survival and leave deities out of it. That’s where the real common ground lies anyway.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zuma – Yes, this is what every religion in this world should be about: promoting empathy, reason, compassion, good faith, human dignity and survival. Scientifically speaking we don’t know whether a deity exists or not. Therefore to me all interpretations as a consequence of this situation are okay using either theistic, atheistic, or agnostic arguments. When it comes to shaping a better future the aspect of the existence or the non-existence of a deity should be left out. We can promote human dignity whether a God exists or not. We can promote reason whether a God exists or not. But as a result of the latter, it’s also reasonable to give people a choice of what to believe, if it doesn’t contradict reason and science. If it clearly contradicts reason and religious people show at at least a minimum of open-mindedness it makes sense to offer reasonable explanations. For example if Christians want to understand how the resurrection of Jesus and science go together, in particular how several women could have seen Jesus after his death. Ironically, the more advanced modern science gets, the better some of the explanations get, in this case neurobiology. Btw, I still have to get back to you about the articles I printed out including the one written by Tegmark.

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