Why Do You Believe … Or Not?

Just came across a rather provocative article on LiveScience.com entitled,  “What Drives Religious Belief? It’s Not Intuition”

Couple of interesting quotes:

“We know from twin studies that, at least in the American population, genes tend to have a greater influence than (shared) environment on whether someone becomes religious as an adult,”

“… people’s spirituality or religiousness likely develops based on their upbringing, culture and education”

” … atheists are generally smarter than religious people, according to studies done in the United States.”

” … analytical thinking may inhibit supernatural beliefs.”

There are several “linked” articles throughout the page which you may also want to read. There is also a link to the actual study. Interesting stuff.

NOTE: When I visited the site, it took awhile for it to “settle down” — apparently because there are several ads on the page. But it’s worth the wait.

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Quaker Wisdom

I was cleaning off my computer “desktop” today by removing various unused program icons and came across a text file I had named “Quaker.” Hmm, I thought. I wonder what this is.

To my surprise, I discovered a couple of quotes from the “UK Quaker Faith and Practice” book. I have no idea when or where I came across these, but after a quick read, I knew right away why I had saved them. 🙂

Here, for your Sunday reading pleasure, is some Quaker wisdom …

2.28: There is little point in praying to be enabled to overcome some temptation, and then putting oneself in the very position in which the temptation can exert all its fascination. There is little point in praying that the sorrowing may be comforted and the lonely cheered, unless we ourselves set out to bring comfort and cheer to the sad and neglected in our own surroundings. There is little point in praying for our home and for our loved ones, and in going on being as selfish and inconsiderate as we have been. Prayer would be an evil rather than a blessing if it were only a way of getting God to do what we ourselves will not make the effort to do. God does not do things for us – he enables us to do them for ourselves.
(Elisabeth Holmgaard, 1984)

2.29: The sick and those caring for them have need of our prayers. But let us not imagine … that a few sentimental good wishes from a distance are all that is needed. Whenever we intercede in prayer we must be prepared for an answer which places a practical obligation upon us. A prayer is always a commitment.
(Thomas F Green, 1952)

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More Quaker wisdom …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart people, those Quakers.

 

Superb Book! “Love Over Religion”

I just finished reading an outstanding book called, “Love Over Religion: Why I Left Christianity”.

Now I know there are tons of books, articles, blogs, etc. that revolve around this topic but in my humble opinion, this book stands head and shoulders above pretty much all of them.

The author, Danica Allen, describes herself as a lifelong student of religion and an active churchgoer for 10 years. She journeyed out of Christianity in favor of, as she puts it, “loving others, myself, and the earth without the confines of religion”.

I wish I could convey the impact her book had on me. There was so much I agreed with! In fact, I feared I might get a headache from vigorously nodding my head as I read. 😉

Just to give you an idea of the contents, here are a couple of chapter titles:

  • God Murders Children … and he thinks you should too
  • God Encourages Slavery and Rape … but don’t go to church without a hat
  • The Negative Impact of Prayer … try this at home
  • My Journey into Christianity … why?

Throughout the book, she offers numerous scriptures, examples, and personal experiences so readers will harbor no doubt as to why she left Christianity behind.

The book is very easy reading and I urge every reader/follower of my blog to visit Amazon and click on “Add to Cart.” It’s published in hardcopy and ebook format.

Science … Faith — What’s The Answer?

This post is for an open discussion on the merits of faith vs. science as related to human existence.

On another post, one individual has indicated he believes humans are here (exist) because they were put here by a “Designer” (i.e., “God”). Others strongly disagree.

What do you think? If you’re new to the subject, I suggest you read some of the comments on the other post. If you have an opinion — whether you agree or disagree with what someone else has said — don’t hesitate! Jump right in. The more the merrier!

NOTE: Please follow the blog rules. 

Why Do We Exist?

The following comment was made by a Christian blogger to an individual who disagreed with him:

 But you will fail because you will never be able to answer the most important questions of all—why we exist, why are we here at all? Your “I don’t know” answers will always be found wanting.

I found this comment a bit condescending, but mostly, it’s simply not true.

To say that an “I don’t know” answer will always be found “wanting” reveals an obvious bias since NO ONE can definitively say why humans exist.

Even though multitudes of people attribute our presence on this earth to a supernatural entity (and not always the biblical god), there are scores of others who support a more “scientific” view. Still others simply shrug their shoulders and say, “Who knows? Who cares?”

I would say I lean towards the last point of view.

This is not to say I never ponder the heavy question of “why?” … but if/when I do, I admit my tendency is to accept the answers provided by science. However, having said that, I also recognize that science is not … and cannot be … the final answer.

But then neither is the answer found in a book written many thousands of years ago. Nor is it hidden in the numerous legends, myths, and fables that have been passed down though the centuries.

Simply put … we don’t know why we exist.

Therefore, when someone asks, Why we exist, why are we here at all, the most honest answer has to be “I don’t know.”