Do We Choose What We Believe?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Coloradomtnman, Jun 1, 2009.

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Is Religious Faith A Choice?

Poll closed Jun 22, 2009.
  1. Yes, without a doubt.

    20.0%
  2. In some cases one chooses, but for others it isn't a matter of choice.

    20.0%
  3. No, you either believe based upon your experiences, or you don't.

    60.0%
  1. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    I've started many threads criticizing religion, and have come to a tentative conclusion.

    I'm an agnostic and have never had a religious experience. And, were Christ, Mohammed, etc. to appear before me and tell me that He/She/It truly does exist I would doubt still. I would wonder if I weren't going crazy or having some sort of hallucination. I can't simply unlearn what I have learned nor disbelieve my own experiences in regards to what I have learned. Nothing that I have ever experienced nor ever learned suggests that there is a supernatural creator or god and almost everything I have experienced and learned suggests that there is a natural cause for everything that I have experienced and learned: i.e. there isn't a supernatural creator or god. I can't choose to have faith in a god.

    At the same time I have communicated with members of USMB who couldn't choose to stop believing. For them it would be impossible not to believe in a god.

    One doesn't choose to have faith in their particular god or creator and one doesn't choose not to. You either believe or you don't: almost as if you are chosen to believe. Do you agree with this?
     
  2. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    I agree. You can't make yourself believe in something.
     
  3. Gurdari
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    Gurdari Egaliterra

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    We're a highly socialized animal... with the right upbringing, we can believe anything.
    Even that we're actually a dog (though you need to start early, and being raised by dogs helps).
     
  4. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    Ok, but is that a choice?
     
  5. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    That is not your choice, though.
     
  6. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    It is and it isn't a choice. Conundrum really. However there is a subconscious choice involved, weighing what you see, feel, and hear with what questions you have. However, when you force someone to believe in something (like kids) then you are not only taking their choice away, you are setting them up for hatred and teaching them how to hate, resulting in that hatred being turned to other beliefs or the one they are forced to, depending on the personality.
     

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