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Do you think the religious *really* believe?

Deep down, do you think most religious people really believe what they are peddling? Or, do you think there is a lingering fear or knowledge that they are wrong?

I think people who get "possessed" or the holy rollers that throw themselves onto the ground or those that hear voices... they must know they are acting. Right?

I also hypothesize that the ones most insecure in their beliefs are also the ones that scream it into the hills and wear it on their sleeves. Like, they are looking for confirmation.

These are just my own thoughts on the matter. Yours?

silvereyes 8 Feb 26

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0

I think they want to believe it for various reasons - some have and continue to do horrible things and like to believe they've been forgiven, the "God's will" aspect removes personal responsibility for actions and decisions and rich people believe they're rich because god sees them as superior and poor people are being tested for the ultimate reward that awaits them for knowing their place as inferiors.

19

Yes, for the most part I think the average believer does really believe.

But the loud mouth, hypocritical tel-evangelists, I think are in it for the money and will say whatever they think will help line their pockets. The only thing they believe in, is themselves.

Very valid points!

A”believer” believes by definition!

A better question would be if those who claim and/or ACT like they believe, indeed believe as much as they claim to...

As a person who is employed by the church , I certainly act like I believe, even though I thoroughly DO NOT believe!

As for the rank and file members (even clergy), I think you will be surprised at the range, degree and variations of belief in any church..,

I always like to suggest people google SALVATION by Langston Hughes, for a good personal description of how children can deal with the pressures to believe, or at least “go along with the program” of belief in the church, and the actions you are pressured into taking (and talking!)...

I quickly left the church rather than stay and compromise.
But I know there are adults that shamelessly compromise their beliefs, words and actions, as they see fit!

My pastor father, priding himself on scientific literature and logical thinking, just didn’t share the ignorant fundamentalist beliefs many in his congregation held...

8

I think if they truthfully believed, they would be ready to die. They wouldn't fight so hard to stay alive. Chemo, surgeries, radiation, medications, exercise, eating healthy; they would be ready to go to heaven if they really believed.

I have addressed this many times. Don't allow Death with Dignity because it is unnatural and goes against ( a ) god's plan. But it's okay to take any and all measures to extend life. The religionists say they can't wait to meet Jesus, just not yet!.

It would seem that Billy Graham certainly wouldn't have desperately held on to life for 99 years if he had really believed the BS he was spouting to others

6

Some of them do. The more intelligent, educated, and exposed to different ideas people are, the more likely they are to question their beliefs. Whatever those beliefs might be...

I think the, "possessed", and proselytizers are driven by fear and insecurity. They may not be self aware enough to realize it. So they are looking for acceptance and confirmation. Don't underestimate the power of denial. I learned in grad school that denial means I don't even know I am lying...

6

I agree with you, but I also believe there are many "true believers," who are fully duped.

The ranks of the religious are are filled with hypocrites. My guess is most of the hypocrites are religious leaders who know exactly what they are doing. They are the lowest of the low, manipulating/controlling others to improve their own fortunes. There are many believers who are so indoctrinated, so brainwashed, that they will NEVER question. I have a close friend I have known since HS. Back then, we were both believers, but our paths diverged greatly. This person is no idiot, but in this, he blindly follows and believes. For me, it's frustrating as we will never have common ground in this area and have "agreed to disagree" on the subject of religion/faith. We just don't go there.

4

Some believe some just hope

4

I believe that my best friend completely buys into his Catholicism and it seems to control his life beyond common sense and to the point that it makes him a single issue voter, which to me is the worse kind. It has caused him to vote for people that would violate the Constitution to enact religious laws that he feels should rule the country. It has caused a severe rift in our friendship and I do not know if it will ever be the same.

4

I believe that most Christians are gambling that their religion is true.

balou Level 8 Feb 26, 2018

With odds like las Vegas lottery, that they go to heaven.

4

Yes. It is a delusion

3

Most believers live their life as if there is no god. They commit actions which under their own religious codes of conduct are wrong, yet they do not even realise or care for the most part

3

I think most of them WANT to believe. They have been so brainwashed with the guilt and fear of their actions they are willing to go along with just about any nutty, hair brained idea. Don't put obstacles in their path because it means they will have to think and actually do something but their confusion only adds to their fear of doing the wrong thing.

3

The majority of them do not follow what they preach. They use the bible for convenience. They break all of the commandments that they claim were given by god for all mankind to follow. They pick and choose part of the bible that fits whatever their agenda is at the time, and any part of the bible does not fit their agenda, they change the meaning of it to make it fit.

3

Some of them, definitely yes. Those pastors who knock people over with the power of Jeebus must know they're just pretending, playing on the gullibility of the audience. It's plausible to think that their congregations must know the exact same thing, and are just trying to convince themselves of their magic sky daddy's might.

Deep down, I think all humans have some form of critical thinking skill. Whether or not it's stifled, it's still there.

Even the more moderate believers are partially motivated by fear. I've got two Catholic friends. They're TERRIFIED of not believing. Every time we have a discussion on the issue, they either get aggressive or they plead with me to stop, because they cannot contemplate a world in which there is no god. Suppressed knowledge that it's wrong or open terror that it might be. Which is worse?

@silvereyes Pascal's Wager. No matter how half-arsed it is, it keeps resurfacing.

@JosephHarrison It's a simple idea for the simple minded. Imagine a heaven full of simple minded people.

@Gilda It's not even 50/50, because there are so many gods. That's how I respond; what if you're wrong, and Allah is real? What if you're wrong, and you must actually die a warrior's death to gain access to Valhalla, or Elysium? Until one claim stands out above others, Pascal's Wager isn't even valid.

2

When I believed, I genuinely believed.

2
2

I think you are correct. I found in Pentecostalism people who had to be a center of attention. The religion gave them this as they spoke on tongues and rolled on the floor. Did they really believe what they were taught? Probably not. They had theater and drama. They were taught a way of life. Every now and then they could "sin" and act up. Why not? They could always ask for forgiveness and be a center of attention again. Then if that denomination does not believe something that you do, you can always go on to the next one.

2

I used to believe, and I did actually believe. I can't even remember when I stopped believing but I do remember being afraid of even daring to question if it was all true or not. There was this ever present, all powerful being, reading my every thought, so angry that I would dare to question it's existence. But the more you think about it, the smaller and less powerful it gets.

So yes, I think they do actually believe. The worst part is I think they all believe. They all believe the lies they were told and they all pass on these lies to their children who also believe the lies and in turn pass the lies on the their own children.

The only way out is education through debate. I would love to ask them:

"How strongly do you believe in your religion?"
--"100%"
"When did you first find god?"
--"It's always been with me"
"So you got it from your parents/culture"
--"Yes"
"So you would have a different or no religion had you been born elsewhere?"
--"...Yes"
"How strongly do you believe in your religion now?"

2

I think the human mind can't really do anything completely. Look at how distracted you are. Body needs, idle thoughts, random memories etc.

It's not like they go around every moment of the day believing. They have doubts, confusion, idle thoughts, concerns just like you do. Do you spend every waking second not believing?

2

I think there are those who truly believe, and plenty who are on the fence, but they have been so brainwashed that information contrary to what they have been taught to believe is "the devil" and should be feared, that they are scared to embrace the logic.

The more insecure ones, like you say, are the ones most likely to brashly trumpet their drivel over and over, because they need that reinforcement to remain steadfast in their beliefs.

2

Some do. I've learned to never underestimate a person's capacity for blowing smoke up their own ass.

2

no, I don't.
Well many of them don't.
They believe in a big picture way,
ask and they say they believe.
Pin them down to the detail, no they don't believe this, this, this or this.
They don't actually believe all the little things that make up their belief.
They believe in the Bible "book", just not the actual things written in it.

2

Religion and Religious Beliefs are the Crutch of the Weak and Feeble Minded just as are Placebos to the Hypochondriacs.

2

Whether they believe or not. I can't see why they love God, when they look at the world around them. I personally could not live among them or with God in Heaven. There seems to be a lot of questions about God and religion on this unbelieving website.

2

Maybe similar to the supposedly religious preachers who fervently protest gay rights and are then exposed to be gay themselves, there are people who present themselves as devout believers who don't really believe at all.

2

No they don't. Or they would never visit a hospital. That's why they want so bad for other people to believe as they do. To validate their ignorant beliefs. They want so bad for it to be real I think because most of them are afraid of Dying. Can you imagine the fear people would feel if they knew God to be real. They would never sin or try to own anything. They would live like the lie they are telling us to live. I think part of it may be that the church gives them a sense of belonging because they were raised in that environment so to leave the church would almost be like losing family but to belong they have to play the part. They all know but none of them will be the one to say this is stupid

2

They are conditioned ti believe that they believe in God.....if that makes sense.

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