Divine intervention? New research looks at beliefs about God's influence in everyday life

Most Americans believe God is concerned with their personal well-being and is directly involved in their personal affairs, according to new research out of the University of Toronto.

Using data from two recent national surveys of Americans, UofT Sociology Professor Scott Schieman examined peoples' beliefs about God's involvement and influence in everyday life. His research discovers new patterns about these beliefs and the ways they differ across education and income levels.

Schieman's study, published in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, also highlights the following findings:

Overall, most people believe that God is highly influential in the events and outcomes in their lives. Specifically:

  • 82 per cent say they depend on God for help and guidance in making decisions;
  • 71 per cent believe that when good or bad things happen, these occurrences are simply part of God's plan for them;
  • 61 per cent believe that God has determined the direction and course of their lives;
  • 32 per cent agree with the statement: "There is no sense in planning a lot because ultimately my fate is in God's hands."
  • Overall, people who have more education and higher income are less likely to report beliefs in divine intervention.
  • However, among the well-educated and higher earners, those who are more involved in share similar levels of beliefs about divine intervention as their less-educated and less financially well-off peers.
According to Schieman: "Many of us might assume that people of higher social class standing tend to reject beliefs about divine intervention. However, my findings indicate that while this is true among those less committed to religious life, it is not the case for people who are more committed to religious participation and rituals."

He adds: "This study extends into the ways that people of different social strata think about God's influence in everyday life. Given the frequency of God talk in American culture, especially in some areas of political discourse, this is an increasingly important area for researchers to document, describe, and interpret."


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Mar 10, 2010
This is hard to believe. I can't believe the superstition is still this strong with most people. Have we really advanced at all?

Mar 11, 2010
Interesting that the results of this study are so different from the one Wikipedia has used:
http://en.wikiped...n_adults
which originates with the ARIS self-identification survey:
http://b27.cc.tri...2008.pdf
5.7% difference isn't explainable at that high of a percentage (82%).

Still pretty frightening results. Looks like there is a lot more work to do than just proving religionists wrong.

Mar 11, 2010
AGW has statistical and analytical proof, Marjon. I've shown you that in how many threads that you've run away from? Your religion has what proof of viability? Nothing, nada, you have no proof that it is the right religion (as if there was one), nor that anything it says is anything other than pure bunk.

If you look at the trends, christianity is slowly fading away in America. Go ahead, take a look. Look at the emptying pews, the shrinking amounts in the tin begging cup they pass around. Look at the statistics, marjon, and tell me that evangelistic views aren't on the way out, and then tell me that is anything but good for humanity.

Mar 12, 2010
To marjon, "Leave It To Beaver" is a documentary of the average household of the 1950's, full of fun and hijinks. Ignorance of the reality of the time must be bliss, though. Heroin, cocaine and other drugs were already available. Lynchings were still a real fear in the south and the schools were still not completely desegregated. Women were still treated more as possessions rather than with any equality. The Vatican was actively shuffling priests around for maximum alter-boy effectiveness.

But lets talk about Africa. Right now the church is actively sanctioning killing homosexuals and anyone associated with them. Thats just progress, right there.

Mar 12, 2010
I'm not arguing with a Muslim and I don't have to deal with their stupidity on a daily basis. They're just as pig ignorant as people like yourself, marjon, but they're at least a little more honest and forthright about it. Maybe you should try that honesty thing, it might add to the minuscule credibility you have.

Mar 12, 2010
Surprisingly I've never found gross ignorance funny. I have a higher standard of expectation of my fellow man, I guess.

Mar 12, 2010
I'm not an atheist.

That being said, your arguements are usually quite logically flawed which is the main reason you get people so fired up. You often take single examples of things that have happened in the past and apply them to all situations in the present and future (for example that everyone that disagrees with what you say is an abortion supporting atheist liberal). I can tell you I often disagree with what you write and I am none of those things.

Please stop generalizing because it makes you look ridiculous and, whenever you actually do have a good argument (yes, sometimes there are actually some good points in there) it gets lost in the way you present it.

Mar 12, 2010
"82 per cent say they depend on God for help and guidance in making decisions; "

I think this one should be looked at more closely ... who are they surveying? What kind of national survey was this - designed by Benny Hinn?

Methinks the results are awfully unique.

Unique to the United States, last bastion of Christianity. Even Italy doesn't have the penetration of believers in dogma that the US does.
I also note that these atheists attack Christianity most viciously but are afraid to do the same for Islam. It couldn't have anything to do with Christians turning the other cheek while Islam would condemn them to death?

Your education in Islam and Christianity is appallingly incorrect. Especially that statistical masturbation you put up about Africa.

You do realize that the majority of Northern Africa is already muslim, don't you? Or that the Christian missionaries sent to southern africa took such great control through the explotation of apartheid?

Mar 12, 2010
Re-reading the comments above it's interesting to note Dunning-Krueger in full effect.

Those who are at the higher end of the curve are surprised that so many people believe something so foolish while those in the bottom of the curve think the survey is dead on the money.

Let that be of note to all you "heathens".

Now we'll see how many people actually understand my comment (JayK excluded).

Mar 12, 2010
I don't 'attack' anything. I know plenty of atheists who don't as well.

Don't take the words of the loudest, most outspoken against you and translate it to "all atheists being arrogant baby killers that think they know everything".

Of course, there are plenty of people on the other side of the arguement that go more than a little over the top as well with their extremism as well.

The golden rule is universal. It's not religious at all.

Mar 12, 2010
The people that have the most babies will 'win'.


Natural selection.

Mar 12, 2010
Does that make you feel more superior?

Certainly makes me feel superior compared to someone touting
Christianity is growing quite rapidly in Africa...Ever wonder that western Europe is dying because they lost their faith. The people that have the most babies will 'win'.

Seriously, you're stating that the promotion of an ignorance based ideology is advancing in the third world and will overtake the developed world.

The reason why Christianity isn't in vogue in developed nations is because we don't think "God" hurls lightning down on us from on high.

Crazy bible stories only make sense to people who haven't been exposed to the logic and reasoning involved in science. Your arguments prove the very point that you refuse to acknowledge.

Perhaps Revelations was written to inform Christians of the end of Christianity, not the end of the world.

And Marjon, I don't attack religion, I attack ignorance. Islam included.

Mar 12, 2010
@mjc: Perhaps you are correct and I take this a little too seriously. I really do find ignorance to be distressing as I just find it so difficult to understand or be empathetic towards individuals that just aren't capable of maintaining a high level of interaction.

I'd like to see PhysOrg become a site for peers, not trolls like marjon. If you can't even read the article PhysOrg presents,which usually aren't very well written, then it would be preferable that you not waste people's time with inane blatherings that produce nothing but misinformation.

Mar 12, 2010
There are some very intelligent individuals who have chosen to believe.
None of which are contemporary.
You many call them ignorant, but they they examined your arguments and found them wanting.

I wouldn't say ignorant but perhaps afraid of the repercussions. You know, because Christians are so tolerant.

People like CS Lewis come to mind and there are of course many others including physicists, engineers and many others more intelligent than you or I.
Even those amongst us who are divine in their brilliance may be ignorant in that which is considered divine.

I suggest it is arrogance that prevents you from accepting that intelligent people do have faith in God.

I think you need to pick your audience.

Marjon, I know that nothing I can say will shake your faith, but if you want to bring him up here, on a science forum, and assert that he is real, then make sure your logic isn't completely full of horse shit, like your free will argument.

Mar 12, 2010
There are some very intelligent individuals who have chosen to believe.
None of which are contemporary.

How ignorant!
http://news.googl...9,389572

Because Reverend Father Uncle Ruckus Graham can be taken at his word when it comes to divinity and the belief within.

He doesn't name a single person and you ASSUME that he isn't completely full of lies and fallacy.

Mr. Graham is a known anti-semite, and typically takes 100% of his non-profit organization's coffers as a paycheck.

He's certainly a stately resource to use when calling out devout Christians. Your argument is laughable and your sources even more humorous. If it wasn't so entertaining to see what you'll say next I'd stop replying.

Some of us with a little more experience choose to respond in kind by pointing these facts out.

Yes we do.

Mar 12, 2010
Yes we do.
And we also choose not to engage with trolls because engaging is what they want dont we?

I know I shouldn't. It's just so tempting on occasion.

Mar 12, 2010
Faith is belief without proof, therefore, by definition, proof is immaterial to those with faith.


That's not exactly right... faith is belief in the absence of proof. Faith is not belief in the face of it.

Mar 12, 2010

By publishing such articles, Physorg INVITES such comments.
No, the TOS clearly states it is against pseudoscience and junk science.
My question is still out there. How can science be used to disprove faith? Faith is belief without proof, therefore, by definition, proof is immaterial to those with faith.

Science isn't used to disprove faith. Evidence is. The evidence, regardless of what science say, is contrary to Christian metaphysical beliefs. As another said, you believe in spite of the evidence otherwise. It has nothing to do with science of proof.

Read this:http://www.amazon...27406883

Writing a physics review book does not make one a scientist, it makes one a writer, however, if you had actually read that book, you'd realize that there is nothing in regards to faith within it's pages. It's a discussion of quantum entropy. "Demon" does not denote Christian faith.

Mar 12, 2010
Faith is belief without proof, therefore, by definition, proof is immaterial to those with faith.


That's not exactly right... faith is belief in the absence of proof. Faith is not belief in the face of it.

A 'real' scientist must not have faith, in anything, as he must always have proof to support his knowledge.
How limiting!


Well that's not what I said at all, but sure.

Scientists must always have faith. Faith/belief in a theory leads to experiments. Experiments give evidence. With enough evidence you get proof. Proof is what leads to knowledge.

Proof doesn't "support" knowledge, it grants it. "Knowledge" without proof isn't knowledge at all.

I'm also not saying there's "proof" that there is or isn't a God, I'm merely challenging your definitions of faith, proof, and knowledge.

Mar 13, 2010

You did not read it. How do you make a intelligent comment about a book you did not read?

Actually it's on my bookshelf as I type this.

Those who are interested in the sciences do read and keep science books. Much like those interested in religion keep and read religious books, or book rather in the case of Chrtistianity.

That whole little Christianity speech probably isn't legit, and your link is "File not found"

Buy the book, give ti a read and then you can tell me whether he's faithful or not. FYI: I've commonly used the term "God's Universe" when describing creation. It was no more religious when I used it than when the above author used it.

Mar 13, 2010
Scientist believe they are correct -may I ask about what? The religious believe they are correct -again about what? I think what everyone in this debate forgets is the fact that NEITHER are correct, but ALSO neither are wrong. I implore you to spend some time and try to tear-down the walls of your 'ego' and realize that:

'All one understands is the possibility of this reality, and NOT the totality of this reality'

Mar 13, 2010

'All one understands is the possibility of this reality, and NOT the totality of this reality'

That is my objective.


That should be everyones objective. Most people look for totality in the details. The religious will tell you that a 2x4 is 2 inches by 4 inches because they have faith in what is written. The scientist will try and tell you that it is 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches because they seek the truth with a measuring tape. I tell you the truth ~both are wrong! No matter what measuring device is used or how many times one might measure the object both will always be wrong. That is until both realize that 2X4's don't actually exist.

Mar 13, 2010
Lots of Christians sinning today. You can't use electricity on the Sabbath.

Mar 13, 2010
IMHO, religion is for those weak, frightened individuals who are unable or unwilling to recognise that the universe is a place that doesn't acknowledge us- or our putative "significance"- in any way, shape or form, and doesn't give a Tinker's damn what our thoughts are concerning it, or our place in it.
Science, on the other hand, allows us to understand the universe in an empirical, quantitive way, and thus provides the tools with which to make and keep a place for ourselves in it.
Once you come to the rational understanding of your own fear, the conclusion is obvious: your actual freedom, and freedom of action in the universe demands that you work in cooperation with others to achieve the common good. This is the essence of the Golden Rule, and is sufficient, and supercedes ALL religions.
Religion is for the weak, the fearful, the ignorant and for those who choose to justify and rationalize their selfishness.

Embrace your Freedom and reject quaint, divisive superstition

Mar 13, 2010
Science, on the other hand, allows us to understand the universe in an empirical, quantitive way, and thus provides the tools with which to make and keep a place for ourselves in it....

....Religion is for the weak, the fearful, the ignorant and for those who choose to justify and rationalize their selfishness.


Those who think science will give them answers are weak, fearful, ignorant, and irrational. Those that think religion will give them the answers are just as weak, fearful, ignorant, and irrational. Your arrogance Caliban will be the assurance that you will never find true peace. I feel sorry for you.

Mar 13, 2010
@croghan27,
That's part of my point. You could be martyred for your(just as strong)belief in the principle of the Golden Rule. However, in that case, you would think that everyone would react with: "why'd you kill him? He was just trying to help"- which would more likely serve to bring people together in the face of such injustice- as opposed to saying: "That damned Heretic/Infidel/Jew/Muslim, et c. -deserved to be stoned!"

Mar 13, 2010
So the book says, marjon- but I will point out that anyone could have done the same, and subscription to religion is not NECESSARY OR ESSENTIAL to do so.

Mar 13, 2010
Hence my assertion that religion is not necessary for an individual to do what is in accordance with the Golden Rule- religions, by their very nature introduce an additional layer of divisiveness, as evidenced, prima facie, in their multiplicity.

Mar 13, 2010
Boy Scouts have been doing just that for quite some time now. With less predation upon their constituents, too.

Mar 13, 2010
No- just the Cubs-but then all that religion stuff got in the way. But you get my point- plenty of civic, cultural, political, professional, social, arts, science, et c. organizations around to promote the advancement of humankind individually and collectively.

Mar 13, 2010

So people of faith join together into churches, and collectively decide the basis of their beliefs and how to promote and support those beliefs. Some may call this religion. But you are opposed to this? That contradicts what you said earlier.
No, I do not get your point.

No surprise there.
People of faithalso band together to decide upon common goals- including the Inquisition, the Crusades, expunging the Cathars, to declare Jihad agaist Jews and Christians, et c.
As I said- religion is neither necessary nor prerequisite for action in accordance with the Golden Rule.

Mar 13, 2010
Ever heard of UNICEF? The Red Cross? The American Cancer Society? The ACLU? The Peace Corps? The PTA?

Again- religion is neither necessary nor prerequisite for action in accordance with the Golden Rule.

Mar 14, 2010

And I would say the source of the cross in the Red Cross is Christian.

The Red Cross doesn't profess any religious affiliation, and you would need to find a citation to prove christian derivation for their symbol. It is a very recognizable symbol, simply put.

And how does a Government organization differ from any other organization or collective of people working to achhieve a common goal?

And just how did I "dis" faith-based groups? I said that religion is neither necessary nor prerequisite for acting in accordance with the Golden Rule.

I also said that religion adds another layer of diviseness between the individual or group and their acting in accord with the Golden Rule.

Mar 14, 2010
Red Cross doesn't profess any religious affiliation,

Their cross is the Christian cross, like it or not.
The Muslim equivalent is the Red Crescent.


Bring on that citation, then.

Mar 14, 2010
John Winthrop has exactly zero to do with the International Red Cross humanitarian organization, Marjon.

Mar 14, 2010
As I mentioned in this article: http://www.physor...19.html, I think Marjon has demonstrated well the reasons why religion is actually a harmful concept in culture in the modern world. It served it's purposes in the past of providing some reasons for people to organize and work together, however there is nothing good that exists that only religion can give us, any social or societal benefits it confers can be conferred just as well by people who do it for it's benefits, not because god told them to. Case in point: the bible tells us not to steal, and served well in dissuading that behavior, but we accomplish the same thing today through understanding that stealing destabilizes our social interactions and we police against it.

Mar 14, 2010
You mentioned several times Marjon that faith is believing in something without proof. That means you are choosing arbitrarily to believe something that you just made-up, or are believing something that someone else told you and choosing to take them at their word and never question it. The first one is just delusional and akin to hallucination, the second is absolute unquestioning acceptance of authority. Teaching children ideas that they cant prove means that they will have to accept them either on delusion or through absolute acceptance of your authority. So you are training them to subject themselves to despotism. That is in my opinion child abuse. Therefor in my opinion, teaching religion (or any harmful lies) to children is child-abuse and should be taken very seriously.

Mar 14, 2010
I simply wish there was still some frontier that intelligent secular, scientifically minded individuals could go to in order to establish our own nation, free from religion, where education and knowledge is paramount and the pursuit of development and technology. A place where anyone would be free to live so long as they could make their own way, value logical reasoning, and reject superstitions on the basis of their irrelevance to understanding the world around us. Maybe when we start colonizing space such places may come to be eventually!

Mar 14, 2010
Red Cross doesn't profess any religious affiliation,

Their cross is the Christian cross, like it or not.
The Muslim equivalent is the Red Crescent.


Bring on that citation, then.


Hopefully, the links I am providing can bring a little to this specific point. I do this only because I have worked for the American Red Cross in my home town and a great friend of mine works there.

Through looking at these articles I think (note I said think not KNOW) that the Red Cross is 'based' on a Christian symbol - the cross.

You may well disagree and I will have no hard feelings if you do.

The links should help a bit. (both are needed to get the full impact of the 'source of the Red Cross emblem' and that it was a cross to indicate 'protector of Christianity'.)

http://www.icrc.o...-history

http://flagspot.n...tml#hist

Hope this is informational learning.

Have a good day all.

Mar 14, 2010
Lots of Christians sinning today. You can't use electricity on the Sabbath.

Who says Christians can't use electricity on the sabbath?

You Christians have to obey the word of God, don't you? You're doing work on the holy day of rest. You're to be stoned to death out front of the village.

And FYI: the box cross is pagan and has been around longer than Christianity. The obtuse cross is your symbol.


Mar 14, 2010

You Christians have to obey the word of God, don't you? You're doing work on the holy day of rest. You're to be stoned to death out front of the village.

You tell me. You claim to be the expert even after I pointed out your errors.
You've done no such thing. Where are my errors in having you adhere to your own faith?

The Swiss cross has a Christian origin.
The cross on the swiss flag has papl origins but the box cross itself was usurped by Christianity. Catholicism adopted the crucifixion cross, not christianity as the box cross was the symbol until the Papal order consuming the Roman cross.

Mar 14, 2010

Excuses, excuses.
What atheists were doing in the mid 1800s were promoting their vision of Utopia, Marxism.

Perhaps a small subset of say, a thousand people. The other few million atheists were quietly practicing science.

Mar 14, 2010
Apparently, margin thinks that proselytizing here, in this forum, will be rewarded with a heavenward journey and everlasting bliss in the seet bye-n-bye.
Why are we not surprised that this is margin's preferred path one to our father's many mansions, as opposed to getting off it's arse, and actually risking it to ACTUAL martyrdom out there in the savage hinterlands? I would think that Beatification would be the only goal lofty enough in purpose for one possessed of such towering gifts as you, margin!
Why don't you do something we can all truly appreciate, and turn our tapwarter into a nice Cabernet for the rest of your Sabbath?

Mar 14, 2010
Apparently, margin thinks that proselytizing here, in this forum, will be rewarded with a heavenward journey and everlasting bliss in the seet bye-n-bye.
Why are we not surprised that this is margin's preferred path one to our father's many mansions, as opposed to getting off it's arse, and actually risking it to ACTUAL martyrdom out there in the savage hinterlands? I would think that Beatification would be the only goal lofty enough in purpose for one possessed of such towering gifts as you, margin!
Why don't you do something we can all truly appreciate, and turn our tapwarter into a nice Cabernet for the rest of your Sabbath?

Thanks. More data points for the pettiness of pseudo-intellectuals.


Happy to be of Service, margin.

Mar 14, 2010
Apparently, margin thinks that proselytizing here, in this forum, will be rewarded with a heavenward journey and everlasting bliss in the seet bye-n-bye.
Why are we not surprised that this is margin's preferred path one to our father's many mansions, as opposed to getting off it's arse, and actually risking it to ACTUAL martyrdom out there in the savage hinterlands? I would think that Beatification would be the only goal lofty enough in purpose for one possessed of such towering gifts as you, margin!
Why don't you do something we can all truly appreciate, and turn our tapwarter into a nice Cabernet for the rest of your Sabbath?

Thanks. More data points for the pettiness of pseudo-intellectuals.


Happy to be of Service, margin.

How rational and scientific of you!


Ditto.

Mar 14, 2010
Evidence? That is what science is all about, data to support your hypothesis. Show me.

Sure, Marxists numbered in the thousands. Books say so, that isn't good enough for you to have faith in?

Mar 14, 2010
Especially like the electric levitating skull logo, otto!
Gotta say, though- as black metal goes- I prefered the Gaahl(did I spell that right?)-Did you see that interview that vbs tv did?
Song title/sentiment noted. Crackin' me up!

Mar 14, 2010
[q
This is proselytizing? I seem to be the only tolerant person here who has some respect for people's faith. Self proclaimed 'elite intellectuals' can only ridicule. Maybe this is why science has so little respect today.

By my count, margin, that's three direct, deliberate insults levelled at me specifically, and indirectly at any other posters here that might share my views.

Tolerant, indeed.

Yes
Mar 14, 2010
A 'real' scientist must not have faith, in anything, as he must always have proof to support his knowledge.
How limiting!

Note that when faithgroups do (objective) research they always seem to be able to proof that faith has influence.
Also note that when secular people repeat the test, they find that faith has no influence.
That is because the secular (objective) scientists have faith that it should not have influence, and their faith is stronger than the faith of the people they are testing.
Therefore the faith of the secular objective scientist interfere with the test as much as the faith of the faithgroup scientist.
How to test faith issues?
The test should be done by an objective robot computer that was programmed and the scientist who programmed the robot must be deceased. The robot must do the test in secret at an unknown moment, without knowledge of anybody that the test is performed.
Then the test was objectively done. .....uhh... maybe

Mar 15, 2010
Still did not answer the question.

Rational, intelligent people claim to be tolerant, but I have not observed such tolerance. So are they rational and intelligent when they practice such intolerance toward my opinions?

Like most other rational people we don't hand over whatever Christianity requests.

You request tolerance, we request intellectual honesty. When you hold up your end of the bargain, we'll fulfill ours.

Yes
Mar 15, 2010
Maybe the old testament is a prophecy?:)

Yes
Mar 15, 2010
Babylon is science, and the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar....... is..... Medicine.
Hold on to your seats here comes the flood that was predicted 4K years ago.
Well ehh hundreds of sects predicted the end of the world before me. We all know the fate of their faith.

Mar 15, 2010
Who is lying? Eyewitness accounts of the Exodus have been documented and passed on for generations.

Get 15 people in a room and play telephone with a story that long. I'm sure you'll find a quite different result from what the truth is over 5 minutes let alone 20 centuries.

Mar 15, 2010
There is another Anvil ot there, bigger and older than your Church, marjon. It is called ignorance and superstition. Many hammers have been worn out in an attempt to destroy it. And yet it still remains. It is so, in large part, because the weak, lazy and fearful turn to religion because they lack the backbone to face the Truth, and/or because they desire justification for their selfish actions.
Religion attempts to answer the unknown by calling it god, when the unknown is just that- unknown.
Understand, accept, learn, and move on.

Mar 15, 2010
Otto, you're arguing with what has to be one of the finest trolls on the internet tubes. I think that last comment by marjon gave it away, though.

Mar 15, 2010
There is another Anvil ot there, bigger and older than your Church, marjon. It is called ignorance and superstition. Many hammers have been worn out in an attempt to destroy it. And yet it still remains. It is so, in large part, because the weak, lazy and fearful turn to religion because they lack the backbone to face the Truth, and/or because they desire justification for their selfish actions.
Religion attempts to answer the unknown by calling it god, when the unknown is just that- unknown.
Understand, accept, learn, and move on.

No one has answered this: What is 'the Truth'?


Try checking a little earlier in the thread-ABOUT WHERE YOU CHIMED IN on my posts. There is the "TRUTH". Let it sink in. And then you can go right back to your utterly predictable blather, deluding yourself that you are "right" and "justified" by virtue of your religiosity, and that that is somehow a substitute for acting in accord with the Golden Rule.

Yes
Mar 15, 2010
Divine intervention must be very constant.
'cause d(divine intervention)/dt = 0. ie not measurable. We measure something by looking at how it changes. We would not be looking at the temperature of water or anything if the temperature of anything never changed.
So divine intervention it can be there or maybe it is not. And if it there and if it is constant, then we will never know, unless it changes or disappears.

Yes
Mar 15, 2010
The truth is that what remains because it is useful.
Nobody would use the fact that our planet is flat while we took a picture and saw it was a globe.
So a flat planet is obsolete. And we discard the obsolete.
We hold on to what we think is the truth, until a new truth proofs our old truth false, and from then on we will hold fast to the new truth, this will repeat until the real truth has been found or will never be found.
For now the truth is what we believe is the truth.

Mar 15, 2010
Perhaps Schieman's polling sample was taken from the enrollment at a religious school, or at church? It would be sad if that great a portion of citizens really felt so inept about their lives that they had to outsource their judgment to such an uncommunicative entity. So it goes.

Mar 15, 2010
Try checking a little earlier in the thread-ABOUT WHERE YOU CHIMED IN on my posts. There is the "TRUTH". Let it sink in. And then you can go right back to your utterly predictable blather, deluding yourself that you are "right" and "justified" by virtue of your religiosity, and that that is somehow a substitute for acting in accord with the Golden Rule.

Where is your "TRUTH"? What is it again?


We are born, someone like you wastes our time with a bunch of self-serving fiction, and then we die.

TRUTH


Yes
Mar 15, 2010
We are born, , and then we die.

There is the truth.

Mar 17, 2010
My truth is simple.

Pirahna are killing machines. They've been known to eat in roving packs of deadly teeth.

Christians demand that all morality comes from God's word, but what of the pirahna? In the midst of a feeding frenzy, they don't kill each other. If they don't have a supernatural being giving them direction, how do they know not to kill each other?

It's simply genetic hardwiring, just like the concept of God. A delusion born of fear of the unknown and a need to create artificial attachment to prevent self extinction. Why not just accept things without the dogma?

Mar 17, 2010
Self-fulfilling prophecy is self-fulling, duh! The bible says you can't question the bible, so the bible is infallible, duh! You can't know God's mind, so he doesn't have to prove he exists, wham bam yeah! In your face, libs.

Also, angels and women getting it on to create dinosaurs. It is more likely than you might like to like.

Mar 17, 2010
Yeah! Can you prove a teapot isn't orbiting Jupiter? How deep is that, man? And I didn't ask about just any teapot, I'm talking fine china, the kind that resonates with a true E and none of that cheap malachite infused stuff, only the real kind.

So who decides if there is a fine china teapot orbiting Jupiter that rings with a true E, and don't answer, because I've got yer answer right here!

Mar 17, 2010
So therefore "Truth" and truthiness are useless measures of anything, and pointless to discuss on a scientific website, except by christianist's when they need an excuse to make something up, or to avoid ever apologizing for being wrong. Handy thing, that "Truth". You can use it to deny anything that makes you remotely uncomfortable, like facts, data and rainbows when they crawl up your leg.

Take your truthiness somewhere else, marjon.

Yes
Mar 17, 2010
I will try to explain, to piraƱas it is difficult to explain but here I go.
First off, if you do not perceive spirituality, then you do not believe it is there, because you don't "see" it.
If you would perceive spirituality, and you would tell it to somebody who does not perceive it, then there are two possibilities.
1. You perceive spirituality and somebody else does not, or does not recognize it.
2. You are sheer crazy and hallucinating.

Just for now suppose that 1 is the truth. In that case the person that does not perceive spirituality can do two things. Note that he perceives nothing and the only reference is his self.
1- This person rejects the others perception.
2- This person accepts that the other might be perceiving something.

In the first case he says to himself: This man should not be perceiving what I don't. So this man is different. He is crazy.
In the second case he must admit that he is lacking something.

Yes
Mar 17, 2010
And what you guys call proof is that result that the group who accepts the proof can collectively agree that it was sensed with their senses.

And spirituality is one of those things that most groups cannot agree on.

And I think that this is hard, because the group who cannot perceive spirituality calls the other group liars or crazy.

So indeed it is a good thing to stop arguing here calling each other a liar and say yes no yes no yes no.


Yes
Mar 18, 2010
What are heads related to crowns. You don't know.
This is spiritual. God says something and you think something else.
Of course you deny that.
What is the sea. You don't know that. God created the sea and when he said that in genesis you interpreted something else and decided that this is that big amount of salt water surrounding dry land.
What is blood? You read this and say, well that is that red stuff that flows through your veins. Miss.
God uses all these comparisons to worldly things to explain spiritual things.
Once you understand they call you crazy.:)
But I don't care. I just tell you this, because if you study this, you will find that there is a logic.

And after a long time, this strange logic maybe useful, for now it is worth 1/5. :)

Mar 18, 2010
Face it. Atheists are dying. Whining won't change that.
Survival of the fittest. That's what you support, no?
What irony!
Atheism isn't genetic, you twit. Atheism is the natural and inevitable product of natural curiosity and critical thought, absent active brainwashing from cradle to grave.

Thought is evolving alongside with human knowledge, and you can't kill that, nor can you shove it under the carpet. The truth will out, and it will continue to out. It is the truth that sets us free.

Truth killed Communism, it has discredited economic neo-liberalism, and truth is killing religion in Europe.

It is no longer a capital offense, in the West, to call BS on religion. You can't murder and burn people for it any longer. You can't ostracize or exile or enslave people for it. Those days are gone, and they're not coming back.

All religions world-wide are on a slow death march to nowhere, even as this lingering death will take centuries. Nothing lasts forever.

Yes
Mar 19, 2010
So you're not a literalist like many xians. Which leaves you free to interpret scripture in your own unique, poetic, way. I say that, any way you may wish to interpret it, this passage is god punishing people for being your enemies.

If my unique way of interpretation leads to results, like resurrection or cures than it makes sense to you, even only when I am able to explain to you that the results were coming from my way of explaining these words.
Even Jesus said:
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


Yes
Mar 19, 2010
You see, Jesus knew about science. He stressed the word one. One is always maybe coincidence.
We want repeatability.
What if God would rise 10 persons from the dead.

Mar 19, 2010
@Yes,

If it's miracles you're after, I suggest you switch over into Hinduism. The number of miracles performed by Indian gurus every day vastly exceeds the number attributed to Christian saints and prophets in all of recorded history.

And if you want divine intervention on demand, perhaps Wicca or Santaria will be a better fit: more rituals and magic than you can shake a severed chicken's head at...

Seriously pal, you need to broaden your horizons. This single-minded laser focus on Christianity almost makes you sound like a brainwashed sock puppet...

Maybe you ought to take a leaf from Buddha's page, realize that everything's an illusion, and just wash your hands of the whole mess. What could be more poetic?

Mar 19, 2010
Marjon, perhaps you don't understand where we are comming from.

Religion was necessary in the past to help bring more people into civilization. Now that the vast majority of people are born into civilization, religion is not necessary. The organism that is society evolves. Now religion has become a vestigal appendage. Sure it still has some use, but it typically becomes infected and causes problems. No one is saying that spirituality is a bad thing, but an unchanging dogma that seeks to slow technological progress is attempting to kill the organism of society. By refusing to walk on land life could have quite possibly been extinguished millions of years ago. Luckily our ancestors crawled out of the swamp. Can you help us do the same as a society, or do you doom us to extinction?

Yes
Mar 19, 2010
"What's love but a second hand emotion?"
Of what use are any emotions that make people feel?
How about scientists who crave attention from their peers or Auto who keeps criticizing but responding to those he calls 'trolls'. What craving does that satisfy?

Job style:)
We need another 40 chapters still in this thread to match the size of this book.

Yes
Mar 19, 2010
Seriously pal, you need to broaden your horizons. This single-minded laser focus on Christianity almost makes you sound like a brainwashed sock puppet...

Not almost. In the light of what you know and think.
I totally sound like a brainwashed sock puppet... Totally.
I know. So how can I bear this? :)

Because I know what I do and why I do it. I know what I think and why I think this.

Despite many Christians, who have to bear with faith and belief, I have much faith, but do not belief nothing.

So I hear your hollow words in the light of what I know and I laugh my head off, and enjoy.

Mar 19, 2010
Atheists are having fewer babies than Muslims, Mormons and Catholics. Don't count too heavily on converting these people or their children to your belief.
If it's breeding you're after, marjie, then I suggest you convert to Hinduism. Nobody, but NOBODY, can shake a sperm at the Hindus when it comes to excessive reproduction. They even invented the Kama Sutra.

As for "converting to my belief", that's rich, considering I don't have a belief. I'm in the default state of mind, with which we're all born with. Then some of us get their head filled with paleolithic garbage, while some of us get an education instead. I'm betting that going forward, more and more people will opt for education over garbage. After all, it has been the established historical pattern over the last several centuries.

Mar 19, 2010
Atheism is a belief. You are not atheist?
Atheism is a LACK of belief. By definition. And yes, I'm an atheist.
You don't dispute the point that people of faith have more children than hedonistic atheists.
I can't speak for *hedonistic* atheists, as I'm not a member of that club, and not privy to their activities or statistics.

And I won't dispute the point that the poor and the ignorant have more children, which also happens to coincide with more superstition and more religion. But -- and I hate to break it to you -- unbridled reproduction is NOT a good thing.

Mar 19, 2010
And I won't dispute the point that the poor and the ignorant have more children

Always with the insults.
It's only an insult if it isn't true.
More people, more genetic diversity, more ideas, more innovation, more opportunity, more....
Well, that explains Bangladesh. And the entire Indian subcontinent, for that matter.

I've always wondered why they are the leaders of the world's innovation and opportunity, while U.S.A. remains a distant nobody, by comparison:

http://en.wikiped...sity.svg

Mar 19, 2010
@otto,

Ease up on that absinthe, or whatever it is. There's no dark cabal planning out the world's genocides. Healthy paranoia is one thing, but you're off the deep end.

The main reason 20th century saw such obscene death tolls, is that the world's population exploded. In terms of total numbers, the figures sound awful. However, as a percentage of surviving individuals, the death tolls probably weren't much worse than back in prehistory.

Of course, technology has also made us much more efficient at murdering each other, as well as covering large distances quickly. That, plus the good old invariant of dreck always floating to the top within human institutions and societies, explains everything well enough without needing to conjure up some sinister global society of evil geniuses.

Mar 19, 2010
And if the only alternative is TOTAL loss, TOTAL ruin, and the loss of hard-won knowledge, which are always the threat of unplanned war...
But that's not the reason for most wars. Most wars are waged with conquest in mind. What's the point of conquering a country, if you intend to wipe out its population, infrastructure, and productivity in the process?

No. Save for the Vikings and similar itinerant raiders, any war that involved a state against another state, was always about takeover of wealth and projection of power. Thus, the goal was always to do only the minimal necessary damage to one's own future assimilated assets.
I would say however that the human condition makes war absolutely inevitable.
But I agree with this.
We have been Shepherded, domesticated, for 1000s of years.
This, however, is irrational.

Mar 19, 2010
Yes, it explains how governments stifle such innovation.
Compare that with Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. All with higher population densities, but with an entirely different culture.
Oh, so NOW culture is more important than population density? Hallelujah, U.S.A. can lead the world again!

Mar 19, 2010
@otto,
In Europe, all major dynastic leaders were related. All were direct decendents of Charlemagne.
So why would Elizabeth do that to her own first cousin? Related or not, backstabbing and intrigue have always run rampant among the powerful. They routinely murdered their own parents, siblings, and children. It's not part of some grand strategy: it's just the prosaic struggle for power among megalomaniac sociopaths.
Hell, it explains these designer religions perfectly.
Christianity was indeed designed by a deliberative body, but what other religions were designed? Judaism fermented organically within its historical (and religious) context over many centuries. Islam was written by just a single prolific poet. Buddhism doesn't even have intrinsic design (though its various branches do.) Of Hinduism, there are so many splinters that one has difficulty calling it a single religion. Shintoism: designed? Those are the big ones...

Mar 19, 2010
You asserted population was destroying the world.
Quote me.
I pointed out that population is NOT the problem. Government is.
No, poverty is. Too much population + lack of education + out-of-control reproduction + subjugation of women + inadequate resources = perpetuation of poverty = perpetuation of all the addends in the above sum.

Mar 19, 2010
This has always been about saving the world- nothing less.
Nah. It was always about fulfilling the dreams of the rich and powerful. Megalomaniacal royalty, and their ever-ravenous courtiers. Keep in mind, too, that until recently there was no practical long-distance transport or communication. The "world" these hegemons were consumed with, was just their own immediate backyard. And if they were ever trying to save anything at all, it most frequently was their own neck. Basically, you can't survive in a pit of vipers, without being one yourself.
if German Jews hadn't been killed for instance
What difference do 6 million make in a world populated by 2+ billion?
, or if communism hadn't allowed for the 1 BILLION postwar abortions
Yet the same Communists post-war were encouraging high birth rates, and even awarding state medals and money prizes to mothers with large broods, so as to replace the culled population.

And look at the world head count now... success?

Mar 19, 2010
Could the disparate 'gentiles' of Europe been united (culturally) without xianism?
Who says they were EVER united? There are few places in the world (with exception of Africa), where ethnic hatreds and naked tribalism have been more persistent and vibrant both before and after Rome, than in the Old World.
Could jewish proselytism have been prevented from swamping Rome without it?
I already agreed that Christianity was indeed designed and instituted deliberately as a convenient and subservient state religion. That's well-documented. Of course, then the monster ate its own creator, mutated, and went on a global rampage, but that's another story.
Could the southern Mediterranean have been secured without Islam?
Secured by whom? For whom? How was North Africa "insecure" prior to Islam?

Mar 19, 2010
The brilliant jewish monotheism was just the start- probably concocted by greek philosophers.
No doubt brilliant (for its time), but was it DESIGNED?

I think you're missing a vital aspect, otto: religions evolve, just like biological organisms. The more virulent and tenacious replace the weaker or less aggressive competitors. Parallel to the evolution of genes, we have an evolution of memes.

Just like no intelligent design is needed to explain the modern sophistication and ubiquity of life -- so no intelligent design is needed to explain the modern sophistication and ubiquity of the surviving religions.

Mar 19, 2010
We want our offspring to survive- so do they.
With one important qualification: our offspring usually isn't apt to bump us off so as to gain our unique possessions and privileges. With royalty, things are different: the stakes are infinitely higher, and any little familial feud has the potential to end in treason. Monarchs are either paranoid and murderous, or naive and dead. There is no compromise, and no middle ground.
perhaps the Red Front would have succeeded.
But it did: beyond Stalin's wildest ambitions pre-war.
Their orthodox prewar culture was capable of explosive growth. It was destroyed.
Oh please. Are you forgetting the gypsies, the homosexuals, the communists, and all the rest who made up another 10+ million Holocaust victims, in addition to the Jews? Orthodox Judaism in the modern world is not virulent. On the contrary: it is reclusive, and exclusionary.

Mar 19, 2010
This is described in the Book of Enoch. They accepted the obvious, that war was inevitable.
I think it's described far better in Machiavelli's "The Prince".

Mar 19, 2010
@otto,

So how do you square your "population control" thesis with the Catholic opposition to abortion, contraception, and family planning in general?

Isn't Cataholicism the pre-eminent designed religion? Why should it be in support of the population explosion, while the group ostensibly standing behind it is opposed?

The Amish and the Hasidim may be breeding fast, but they're still just a tiny drop in the bucket. The Catholic populations are much larger, and a couple of Catholics I personally know have 10 and 8 children, respectively -- and hoping for more.

Mar 21, 2010
You first Pudel

In the Star Trek episode, I Mudd, Kirk and Mudd crash the android Norman. Kirk states everything Mudd says is a lie. Mudd then says, "I am lying". Crash.
Given your recent 'lie', nothing you have said or will say can be trusted to have any validity.

Similar to the 4 conflicting stories contained in your gospels.

Yes
Mar 21, 2010
Jesus the mouthpiece of god who can speak no falsehood tells them to say: "17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." -Some things to try out at your next bible study marion.


Of course it is the truth but look at this phrase.
And these signs will accompany those who believe:

The only problem is that there is nobody on this planet who believes.

With all the knowledge about science, and the decomposition processes that start right after death, how on earth can you believe in the resurrection after three days?

So yes we bring meaningless offerings and cannot do what Mark 16 claims

Mar 21, 2010

Ask any cop who interviews witnesses who saw the exact same event occur. Seldom do any have the same story.
This puts into serious question the validity of ANY and ALL human observation.
Each individual has their own heuristic based observation.

Having minor details differ is fully expected, however, having differences of 3 hours to 14 hours for Jesus to rise, considering this would be the first witnessed resurrection, is fairly significant. Having complete differences on how long it took him to die on the cross is very significant.

Especially for a group of 4 men who are allegedly sitting together witnessing the events occur in real time.

Yes, eye witness stories will differ, but not that drastically, and not amongst people with that consistent a background.

Your heresy continues.

Yes
Mar 21, 2010
Or are you saying that you and other believers cannot have heaven on earth because it is polluted with skeptics and deniers?


I just say that the conclusion is logic.

Jesus puts a logic IF.

(IF you believe) THEN (this and that)

While I do not see this program running.

REPEAT
IF (you believe) THEN (you cure others)
UNTIL (you decide to stop) OR (you are tired) OR (whatever)

So while I do have faith in Jesus and that he was not a liar, I conclude that probably we are doing something wrong :) He knows something we still do not.
We do not meet the IF statement, and that was only that you need to be a believer.

Conclusion: We are not believers. Either both the one who cures and the curer, or only one of both.

Logic?

Yes
Mar 21, 2010
So IF (somebody has a moment of faith) and (truly believes) THEN (there is a miraculous cure).

While the fact that somebody truly believes is the actual miracle:)

And it is not repeatable, or at least not so easy.

Yes
Mar 21, 2010
As I said in this thread before:
I am not a believer but I have faith.
Believe as said in Mark, goes beyond just think something is true. It is that you do not only think that it is true, but your whole mind just knows without doubt that this is true. Without having any proof.
If I were a believer, then I would be the most well known person in this world because I would be curing and occasionally... who knows... putting my hand in a viper pit.
And as you say: You don't know me, so I am not a believer.
In this world there is nobody who truly believes.

If any reason for doing this of course.
As I said: I do not believe anything.

Yes
Mar 21, 2010
Thomas is after Jesus my favorite character in the new testament. And then follows Mary Magdalene.
Because of their honesty.

Mar 22, 2010
Believe as said in Mark, goes beyond just think something is true. It is that you do not only think that it is true, but your whole mind just knows without doubt that this is true. Without having any proof.

Many, on use of intoxicants, believe they can fly. Those who truly have faith in it are peeled off the pavement the following morning.


Apr 10, 2010
It's funny, secular humanists pretending to be enlightened scientists often ridicule faith, yet they have an undying faith that things like their job, their safety driving places or flying places, and available groceries will be there waiting for them on a need-to-need basis. They even have the mountain-moving faith that nothingness can somehow create everything (the universe) with no Creator involved. Now I were to call anything "blind and irrational' faith, it would be that!

Apr 10, 2010
Simply impervious to any kind of rational, logical thought. According to your prime mover argument, the universe could not have arisen out of nothing, so therefore there just had to be a creator(and by definition, YOUR god, the ONLY god).

By the very same logic, therefore, you are bound to say that your god could not arise from nothing, and therefore had to be CREATED, as well. This is an infinite regression. It answers nothing, except your own inability to conceive of any alternative, and so you set yourself up as a little demi-god, by creating a creator, so that you don't have to acknowledge the fact that the universe is totally devoid of any sympathy or purpose for your weak, frail, ignorant, insignificant human self.

Get over it. If you choose to believe in a creator- go right ahead, but don't cite the universe as proof of it's existence, because the existence of a god is simply not testable by Mr. Popper's methodology.

Nice try at "THE LAST WORD".

Apr 10, 2010
Another last word grab.

Apr 10, 2010
Another last word grab.

Is this how Popperarians defend their faith?


And this you consider legitimate debate?

Nah! I repeat: just another try to grab the last word.

Apr 11, 2010
@marjon,

Have you ever bothered to read the "Comments guidelines"? It does say, "please read" before you post...
Do not quote complete posts: Use only text that is directly related to your comment.

Apr 11, 2010

The guidelines also say to stay on topic and be civil.

How very, very, ironic.

Apr 11, 2010
This, from someone who manages to reduce every thread on every article to a tirade about socialism. Maybe we ought to just start clicking "report abuse" on such 'contributions'...

Apr 11, 2010
Divine intervention is a topic of this article, not faith itself. The Deists (which includes the majority of the most important U.S. founders) have faith in a "prime mover", while simultaneously disparaging and ridiculing the notion of divine intervention and personal relationship with Jesus. By your criteria, they're all anti-religious socialists...

In general, everything can be twisted and stretched to ultimately become a religious or political argument. You're very skilled at that. Doesn't mean it's an appropriate thing to do, or that it isn't borderline spam when considering the purpose and nature of this site.

Now, I dare you not to quote this entire post in reply.

Apr 12, 2010
Christian philosophy played a significant role in the founding of the USA.
Not as significant a role as Enlightenment philosophy. You really ought to look up Jefferson's version of the Bible...

As for divine intervention, that is indeed subject to scientific testing. Evidenced, for instance, by numerous studies of intercessory prayer.

Sure, I can't prove to you scientifically that I'm indeed a pink elephant; it's just something you'll have to take on faith. However, if I ever claim to manifest myself in a tangible manner, you'll have right then and there the means to either substantiate or debunk my claims.

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