So today I had the utmost displeasure of debating with someone with theistic views (although they claimed not to be a theist) about why people believe in "God". There was a forum on this on another site I frequent. This was their response to the question of why people believe in "God".
"People believe because they feel it in their 'soul', God is a part of everyone. People who say they do not believe in God are denying their own feelings and will always relate back to God when they die. Even Darwin did it. Because God has always been here, from the very start of everything which we cannot comprehend.
God is in everyone from the start. Meaning, from the moment you or anyone was born they already have the feeling in their soul. Not sure if you have the same thing or not, but even before I read the bible and researched in to God I felt something that I could not explain, something that caused me to look up at the sky and think. Yes, you can argue and say this is something else that I experienced. But as I said, I cannot explain it. And no, I was not taking anything, ill or all the other scientific explanations.
What I am saying that there might not need to be proof for God to exist, I know, it sounds absurd. If he does exist then he or it will beyond any of our comprehension, as they say, people fear what they do not understand, and human beings hate to be controlled and looked down upon. This is why they call God evil and so on. And yes, I know that others think that is not the only reason why they think God is evil. I like to see two sides of the coin. Personally I think the whole world is stuck in too deep about the whole topic and need to calm their tits.
More like religious extremists think inside the box. Religious people vary greatly, some I would say, as a religious person myself are suck up their own ass while some are extremely opened minded.
Yes, some of that is flawed, but I cannot her to argue, I’ve had enough of that simple minded bullshit in my life. I just want to see what other people say.
Also, fuck facts. Think outside the box."
I went on to explain to them that just because someone "feels" something, doesn't mean it should automatically be attributed to a god or supernatural being - and that a lot of what we feel and see is a result of more physiological processes than anything. Also that many people aren't "denying" feelings if they aren't currently having them. Additionally, I suggested that if religious extremists are adhering to the fundamentals of a certain religion, then maybe there is something that has to be addressed within the religion itself.
As you could probably imagine, this did not go over well and I got attacked by the poster and their "friend" over a ridiculous amount of back & forth that I'm ashamed I got so interested in being involved in. *rolls eyes extremely hard*
Anyway, what I came to ask is - what would your response be to this poster?
Sometimes I get the impression that even you don't listen to you.
First, the real reason people CHOOSE to believe in a god of some sort is the fear of death - pure and simple.
Second, what someone "feels" means absolutely nothing in terms of objective reality.
Third, to the poster, if you want ME to believe in God, show Him to me. I'm waiting.
That is priceless!
When I was young I used to watch Doctor Who and I would hide behind the sofa when the Daleks came on. I believed there were Daleks when I was six. Fortunately for mankind it did not make them real.
It would appear, and there is research to support this, that humanity is predisposed to believe in some form of higher power. It could be that it is some sort of mechanism for control built into our psyche that allows certain individuals, with the right knowledge, to be able to lead humankind.
It would make evolutionary sense for an intelligent person to take humanity forward than merely a physically strong one, as usually happens in the rest of the animal kingdom. An intelligent person can use 'god' (choose which ever you want here: Thor, Odin, Zeus, Yahweh, Innana, etc. delete as applicable) garner and control the strongest humans and make them warriors and the cleverest humans and get them to develop weapons and cures. That way you can conquer your (weaker and less intelligent) enemies to increase you lands and power. Or you can just not bother with the fighting and just use the religion in the first place:
"When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." Desmond Tutu
There is masses of evidence throughout history to support this hypothesis with Valhalla, Xanadu or 72 virgins promised to those that die in battle. Or a place in heaven for spreading the word, take your pick.
If this hypothesis is true we can only hope that as intelligence and understanding improves with human evolution then more and more people will come to realise that there is no god, just like they discovered the that sun does not orbit the earth. If you think of modern humans as being homo sapiens and being about 200,000 years old and the first thoughts on heliocentric planetary orbits being around 3rd century BC (though not widely accepted until the 16th Century AD, and in a book published by Copernicus, a Catholic cleric, no less), that took around 197,000 years give or take a millennia to gain acceptance, so I think we are slowly getting there. It just won't be in our lifetimes, unfortunately.