Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

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Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by NemesisQ on Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:29 am

Religion has been created by man and refined over centuries. It was used for order, to control people, and to validate unknown into known without solid, scientific proof.
It has played a huge role in human psychology throughout history, and it still has, to many people even today.

Considering both external and internal influence, can religion be a choice?

Note: brought this topic from religious forum.




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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Angusm3 on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:05 am

yes it's a choice

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:12 am

Well, this debate stretches more into the territory of whether we make conscious choices or not. Certainly, someone in a very religious family, for instance, will be more likely to become a part of said religion. Yet, exceptions to that rule are alarmingly common, and seem to happen at random. Religion is, in my opinion, a choice which one must take for themselves.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Roach on Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:32 am

Its a obviously a choice i choose not to follow any religion.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by NemesisQ on Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:53 am

It's quite one sided to those that doesn't believe in religion, or have no religious values.



I believe religion is not a choice, For believers that is.

In truth, it's always be it paradise, be it hell. Not to mention pressure given by your own, or other families.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:52 am

I could not disagree more. there are many who are born into believing families who reject the values shown to them - Myself included. In all reality, short of the basic laws of physics, little you do is not your own choice, in my opinion.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Quantum Rain on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:45 pm

I choose my religion every day, this much I am 100% certain, Nemesis.

Do not feign to say someone holds some invisible control over me, do not even think it, I simply wouldn't allow it. Even so, no one forces me, I have had multiple opportunities to quit. I recognize each and every one, and wave as they pass on by.

It is faith by choice, Nemesis. There is nothing wrong with debating said faith to others either, influences are not as powerful as one thinks. And as Agent said, they can reject such influences, such values as easily as accepting them.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by NemesisQ on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:19 pm

Ack, was hoping for this thread to go on a little longer, but no matter how much i look at it, it has already ended. Guess the topic wasn't good enuff...



Anyway thanks for the replies

I apologize for what i wrote might've offended others.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:28 pm

ehhh, it's a friendly debate. If we're intelligent enough to participate, we should be intelligent enough not to be offended if it goes south.

That being said, while you've brought up decent topics so far, you need to bring up something a little more... Not controversial, but something people have their minds less made up about.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Shemuel on Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:43 am

Nononono! Higher thought is very much what this forum needs! Cheers for bringing this up.

Like quite a few others on this forum, I am from a religious family, yet now have an aetheistic stance. I'd certainly say there is choice involved in such metters, but there certainly are compelling factors for sticking to faith. Marx famously called religion the "opium of the people", and I can see why he said that. My belief cushioned me from the hardships and realities of life. Someone does you wrong? 'They'll get punished later, don't worry'. Should I be having sex? 'This book says no, OK no need to think about these complicated things'. What after death, I'm scared! ' You'll go to heaven which is even nicer than life! Yay!'

The last thought, afterlife, is important. Its promises (and threats, in the form of hell) are strong enough to make many fervent atheists leave the door open to religion, or even recant and declare faith on their deathbed.

I agree with Marx's postulation, that religion is the natural reaction to the cruelties of societies, something that the plebs of all ages have known about.
Karl Marx wrote:Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.
It is quite interesting how the conscious rejection of religion generally correlates with increased learning and the loss of stigma attached with not going to church (once it was always noted if you were absent from a Sunday's service). Of course, there are exceptions - I believe the Deep South in the US has high religion levels, and I am not in a position to judge their education standards.

So to sum up, I'd say that social and emotional factors have a very potent fix over many, especially for those under certain conditions.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Quantum Rain on Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:12 am

You do realize that the humanists and philosophers of the Renaissance era were very religious and knowledge, skills, and otherwise culture flourished, as did religion. Religion remained a major part of people's lives, in fact, most criticism-type works bashed the church, not the religion.

I don't see how the two are actually inversely proportional, maybe not directly so either.

As for other factors, yes, there can be things that influence decisions, but that in of itself is a choice in my opinion. You can choose to let what other people say, think, or do to affect you or not, just as easily as they could choose not to do so.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:31 pm

Indeed. One of the myths of the south is that they're uneducated, when the truth is they end up with some of the highest test scores in america more often than not. Many intellectuals are brought up as, and continue to be religious.
That said, those who initially go against something indoctrinated and pursue other ideals instead, in this case, religious beliefs, would likely have to have a certain level of intelligence and freethinking to do so willfully.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Shemuel on Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:08 pm

The renaissance is know for its flourishing of independent thought, not least in respect to religion
Wikipedia wrote:The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of freethought and skeptical inquiry. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation, and opposed arguments from religious authority. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccolò Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Périers, and François Rabelais.
Don't forget that those who spoke out back then were doing so against huge compunction from the church to remain silent. There are many examples of the execution of those thinking undesirably - against the church's teaching - but I'll stick with the fate of such a great thinker as Galileo Galilei.

And that they went against the church, not against religion? The two are always very strongly interwoven (are they the same thing, with faith being the only part divisible from religion and the church?), and the church is a far easier target.
What also must be considered is that atheism as an idea wasn't fully cooked until the 18th century - it was the thought and deed of those of the renaissance who gave birth to such a movement. The people of the renaissance had to bring forth atheism themselves, not build upon previous discourse, so it's not surprising that they lacked strength of argument here and there.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:18 pm

I must disagree with Shemuel there. The church and religion itself are always divisible, particularly in this time period. A religion is merely a belief, whereas a church is a group of people's constructions based on propagating the belief(Though, when they've become corrupt, they can have other purposes as well, such as gaining power over a subject). It's like the difference between a book, and a guy telling you what the book is like, it's meaning, and how it's lessons should be taken into your life, in my opinion.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Shemuel on Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:32 pm

Do you categorise faith and religion and faith as synonymous? Wikipedia defines religion as the projected norms for a group, whereas a belief as a more personal conviction.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by agentaaa on Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:42 am

A religious belief, at least in my opinion, is a common belief people have. A christian, for instance, believes in god. This is the common way I've seen this term used, which is the only reason I believe it so.
Just clearing that up.

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Re: Is Religion a choice? ( friendly debate )

Post by Quantum Rain on Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:27 am

Faith is when one believes in a religion, religion is where one has faith in a god or multiple gods. A church is where one exercises their faith and fulfills their religion.

All three are separate, but play a role in some way. Therefore, it is in my steadfast opinion that you are simply wrong, Shemuel.

Just because someone goes against a church's organization, and everyone had a problem with the corrupt Catholic church at the time, did that mean they hated the religion, or the God they worshiped? Quite the opposite in fact.

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