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How to understand people who believe in God (for atheists)

“I think theology is fighting phantoms. Theologians invented an amazing thing - this almost self-sufficient discipline, which does not intersect with physical reality. They composed a variety of theories and mental constructions, with the help of which they tried for a long time to guide humanity on the true path. One of these theories is about divine purpose. Theologians argue that there is a certain predetermination, which science is not able to explain. This is a typical theological concept. They do not respect - and therefore underestimate - the power of human intelligence. They constantly repeat this simultaneously naive and disarming “argument” about the mysterious ways of the Lord, which in no case can be questioned. These are beautiful words, but they are meaningless. For what reason, one wonders, should everything in the world have its own purpose and purpose? ”

“Oh no, religiously, I'm a hopeless skeptic. I think all this mythology is a wonderful material for a good comedy, a truly human comedy! Science operates with concepts and phenomena from the real world - sensually comprehensible. And theology is trying to penetrate into the other world, into something that is beyond or above reality. David Hume said that religion does not succeed, because such undertakings are simply meaningless. All truly useful ideas relate to the world in which we are. Therefore, it would be better if religion was silent! ”

“I am a cognitive psychologist, and I take a naturalistic approach to the question of the human mind. In other words, the human mind is a consequence of the existence of the brain, and the brain is the result of evolution. I am sure that there is no need to invent a certain metaphysical soul in order to explain the work of our mind. Because there are quite provable theories about human nature - to take at least neurobiology or genetics. And if you suddenly want to answer the main questions of being, you can easily do without references to esoteric essences and the divine principle. ”

“I try my best not to believe and try to proceed from the principle that Bertrand Russell had proclaimed in his time: you need to stay away from the speculation about life after death and only believe that you can find confirmation or evidence. And the only possible exception to this rule is belief in ideals. For example, in equality, freedom and justice. I would even say that this is not faith at all, it is loyalty. "

“Science teaches us that even the simplest things are difficult to understand. And that makes me suspicious of anyone who claims to have a simple theory that explains the nature of everything. That is, I am a pessimist to the extent. I think that the maximum we can count on is to explain the structure of the surrounding reality through some conditional metaphors and assumptions. Accordingly, I believe that we can never boast of an absolute understanding of the universe. Nevertheless, I myself am definitely not one of those who could accept any religious dogma. ”

“I studied Christian dogma and the history of the confrontation between people of believers and unbelievers. And all the arguments in favor of the existence of God looked so unconvincing from the point of view of logic that I concluded: there is no practical benefit in believing in unprovable things. After all, there is a logical mistake: the statement is either true or not. If it is true - I believe, if not - I do not believe. And if you are unable to prove the truth of the statement, then you must refrain from any speculation and judgment on this issue. "

“Every irrational belief carries a real threat. Take a look around - the main reason for problems in society is that people act irrationally, indulge their ignorance. I would like that with the help of science it would be possible to achieve human consciousness. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to achieve this goal. Today we are no more rational than the ancient Greeks were. ”

“It can be said that I feel more comfortable thanks to my faith in the Unknown. That is the whole point of science, isn't it? Somewhere there are things, billions of phenomena about which we cannot know anything. And the fact that we do not know anything about them delights me and awakens in me the desire to go there and find out everything. This is the goal of science. Therefore, it seems to me that if the thought of the existence of the Unknown makes you feel insecure, then you better not do science. I do not need a ready-made answer - more precisely, ready-made answers - to all questions. The most important thing for me is the opportunity to find and formulate them myself. ”

“I am an atheist, and it seems to me that most scholars share my attitude to religion. There are some who believe in God, but more than 90% of all major scholars are non-religious. We apply scientific methods in our daily lives - I believe that this is my main intellectual task. Not that I do not need some mystical component - I do not recognize it. In addition, believers are extremely vulnerable creatures. They are illegible in their beliefs, such people can voluntarily take at face value the ancient soothing tales, the reliability of which you do not even have to talk about. They bother me, because many of them are influential people, the fate of millions depends on their decisions. Are they responsible for their affairs? It is doubtful. If they are ready to believe in such fables, a reasonable question arises: how far can they go in their frivolous irrationality? Will this whim affect my life? ”

“I do not believe that the Universe was purposefully created by a certain absolute. I believe that she appeared for the same reasons as a person. Of course, before Darwin, everything looked as if the creator had created man. This is a completely natural thought: only an entity of even greater complexity - something incomprehensible and absolutely beautiful - can construct such a complex organism and brain. However, then a much more prosaic explanation was found for this - a person, as it turned out, appeared as a result of a random mutation that occurred only due to a change in the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Some species turned out to be more successful, some - not very, someone survived, someone - not. So, in fairness, a person was created by another trinity - chance, statistics and the laws of physics. I think that about the same thing can be said about the Universe. ”

“I do not believe in an anthropomorphic God who somehow miraculously created the universe. As for life after death, all I can say about this: “It would be great!” But I have no reason to think that it exists. ”

Steps Edit

Recognize your subjective intentions. This may be a sociological goal aimed at society, or a larger one aimed at global interactions. This may be a smaller goal involving one person or several people you know. Take a step back from the goal and look at it from a scientific point of view, and not based on personal prejudices. Personal feelings and views are a belief system in itself, which can distort the overall picture. Since the concepts of religion and God have their advantages and disadvantages, and because there are no two identical people, in this case, to correctly determine what is happening, it is important scientific. As in everything, without recognizing the number of advantages in anything, we can harm ourselves. A person who looks at things from one side only, in this case, focusing on the advantages of religion or ignoring them, will always be limited in its ability to understand.

Expand your field of vision by exploring the flaws of religion, such as extremism, fundamentalism, and other similar religious problems. A person who has put too much in his sense of individuality (and a component that is a religion or history or other similar things) is more likely to protect himself from everything, very selective in what he hears and denies everything that he does not like, and, in fact, is often cruel. A simple analogy is that an extremist always puts all his eggs in one basket, but if someone shakes rzinu and reality sways cart faith all the time, it is likely to break out frustration, fear or denial. These are fundamentalists, who are often the most vulnerable, because they understand themselves very poorly and because they have invested themselves in only one theology and deny and / or attack all other knowledge that may contradict it. Here are some points to consider:

After you have considered the social aspects, take into account the intellectual and emotional, such as where the faith in God or gods comes from. First think about the fact that religion can give an answer (not necessarily accurate) to some of the great mysteries, such as why we are here, why misfortunes happen, why all people are made up of good and bad qualities, etc. Many great thinkers and philosophers have put their thoughts to the benefit of religion and believers. Perhaps the most important point is that all people, by their natural nature, have positive and pernicious traits and that we all tend to put ourselves at the center. It may be selfish, but on the whole, it is unusual for the human mind to love someone more than itself, therefore many images of the divine and the devil are self-reflection or self-aspiration. Our positive ones (such as wisdom, tolerance, compassion, etc.) and negative ones (greed, hatred, ignorance) qualities guide all people to do what they do. Ultimately, classifying the three main motivators — greed, hostility, and ignorance — is not so difficult.

Evaluate contrary to your own experience and preferences, reflecting on where you prefer to relax and what you feel when you think about these topics. Ask yourself how you can understand people better and whether you have an understanding, thanks to at least one or more subjects discussed in this article. It’s important to ask yourself “why?” If the article has given you understanding, and it’s also important to ask yourself the question “why, no?” If this did not happen. Since each person has useful and harmful features, the choice is yours whether to be more tolerant of each person’s right to believe or not. The desire to create quality, compassion, harmony and respect is also a personal choice. Faith can help people live well (and in some cases, survive), but there are those who defend their lives by building walls from thoughts, and they put these walls for good reason. If you took this away and did not provide the skills to resolve the issues, it would bring them great pain and make them less strong than with what they had from the very beginning. It can be as good as bad if used unreasonably. Understanding and compassion are perhaps the best qualities a person can possess.