Do people believe in religion mainly because of the incentive of immortality? Because as I look around me, many theists today say they believe in God and are "religious", but are anything but the sort. So, the only conclusion I can come up with is that these people are simply scared to die. They(or anyone else for that matter) don't want to become annihilated when they reach death, they mearly want to continue on living. So desiring other peoples' input, is this the only reason why people choose to believe in a higher power these days?
People are too complex to be categorized by simple paradigms.
No, they're not.
To OP: the answer is yes and no. It is a reason, but it's not the main reason.
I agree with you! The only reason why people, especially young people, are leaving religion is because we have the internet to fact-check the bible. I'm hoping that technology becomes as widespread as it is in the western world to places like Africa, the Middle East(they really could benefit from atheism), India, and east Asia. And yeah you're right, religion will eventually die in a few generations, and it's starting with mine.
hit the nail on the head sir
What a black and white answer! Only some do, actually. You could always find your theist friends and ask them, or go out of your way to actually meet theists and really find out from their perspective why they believe what they believe. Some will actually have a real answer. Some people actually know things that you don't, believe it or not. I encourage you to go out and learn and never NEVER stop learning. Not all knowledge comes from books.
Hey, Jerod - What's YOUR real answer? LOL.
Of course we are all hunted by mortality and the decay of the biological matter we are composed of. For some they made peace with the fact that life as a human condition is bound to end. Though they won't mind extending their lives or even immortality.
Same core principle for believers, they crave for a better life, a longer life, an eternal life. Religion tends to provide the consensus that there's an "after" life which provides the unlimited, the unbound, the same exact desire for any human alive today without the consequences of the negativity that is described by classical physics (e.g., the more you take, the less there's, and vice versa).
The other parts of religion (e.g., judgement, hell, punishment as a rebirth in different forms, etc.) are there to mainly spread a religion and give the illusion that the followers of a particular religion are special. My reasoning behind it is that if there's no punishment then there's no work to avoid punishment, and if there's no work there's no effort, and if there's no effort there's no reward and therefore the whole concept of after life or a rebirth as a reward will be destroyed and there will be no room for religion to be taken seriously as the distinction between the followers and non-followers will cease to exist.
Religious people also tend to crave for life extenders and even immortality by the medicine and technology of our times, though not all of them as some will fight for the version in their books (i.e., after-life) as accepting the alternative logically implies them not following their religion anymore and since in religion immortality is weirdly linked with indestructibility, there's still the chance that they could be destroyed and therefore they opt for the belief in the promise of an after-life as it is more risk-averse.
All in all, I'm not an expert on humans, they are weird and confusing animals. These are just thoughts, they come to me, unbidden. I'm merely a vessel.
I think a big part of the attraction of an afterlife is that you get to see all those people you loved and cared about again. That's part of the reason my dad grasps at religion. He has lost a brother, both parents, and my sister. Some people just don't want to let go because it means having to give up, really give up, those they care about. Accepting that there is no afterlife is accepting that there isn't a "so long, see you soon" when someone dies, it's more akin to a long goodbye.
I agree with Hawk. The grand majority of my family and friends whom are believers do so for the quest of being reunited with loved ones.
If in fact there are people who just want immortality. I want to ask them," What will you do for eternity?". I suppose everyone believes in a different heaven. The concept of heaven described to me by the bible and by others is a terrible place of theocratic fascism where I would be forced to worship a diety for eternity. I mean sure it would great to be reunited with loved ones, except what if you were a widower say....2 or 3 times. Which loved one would you be reunited with?..... all of them? Do you get a choice who you would spend eternity with? Are your three partners now just going to live and worship with you in one space for eternity? How much freedom do you have and how much choice is there in heaven?
The whole concept blows up for me. A small stroke or brain injury can change a person's character, memory and/or personality completely why does anyone think that when the entire brain dies that any sense of self, memory, thought form/content or process can be preserved in any form?
I think most of them don't know what to really believe but they do what the people around them believe. They allow their own indoctrination because humans have a great ability to attach to feelings and ideas. Many of them do it for a sense of acceptance, belonging and community. The attachment grows over time, especially the more believers in your cultural community, so that they do truly believe they are right. Fear of being wrong just prolongs the facade for a few.
My six year old son asked me, "what happens when you die?". I told him many people believe different things. I told him as he grows and learns he can choose to believe for himself. I told him I believe that when my brain dies I will not exist anymore in anyway, that it will be the end of me as I know it. I told him it is why it is so important to strive to live a wonderful full healthy love-filled life. I told him that memories of me and the things I do in life will live on in others who live after me. That is the afterlife I believe in. The attachment others had to me and the things that I was able to do during my time in this universe is all that will remain.
can we nominate this for post of the year??
well put Ross!!
Agreed. Very well said. I share the sentiments you expressed to your son.