"Religion gives us the Why"

by Phizzy 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Phizzy

    I have heard this nonsense said by many believers, especially when Science conflicts with their belief, they say:

    " Well, Science may tell us how we got here, Religion tells us Why we are here"

    Does Religion tell us that ? in any way that is testable, backed by evidence, or even rational ?

    I do not think that it does.

  • cantleave

    Different religions give different opinions as to what the purpose of life is.

    As they say opinions are like a$$holes - everybody has one.

  • freemindfade
    Religion is just the comfort of having all the answers even if they are wrong. A fairytale. Those that don't feel they have all the answers to why always find new enlightenment and knowledge while those who feel they have it are stuck and draconian. The first person to ask "WHY are we here" must have been a huge leap in human thinking and philosophy and stirred the imagination. Unfortunately that resulted in the invention of religion and myths. So mankind has taken a detour. Hopefully someday religion dies off and this period belief is just a memory and mankind can continue to evolve un hindered by "to serve God" is the answer. It takes away all our social responsibility and humanity, the first time someone said "MY god says" they gave them selves the rights to kill without impunity and subject others to false ideas. 
  • Heaven

    If I'm not mistaken, the JW answer to the 'why' is to serve Jehoopla.

    Uh, no thanks. I have other plans.  :0)

  • cappytan

    I'm having trouble getting rid of that ingrained thought that life must have a purpose.

    There's a duality right now in my mind. One part of my mind is like Scully, the other is like Mulder.* I want to be rational but I also want to believe.

    I liked what Richard Dawkins said one time when asked about the "purpose" of life. He said something along the lines of, "It's a ridiculous question." EDIT: In looking for the quote, I couldn't find it. It was from the debate he had with that Cardinal on Q and A, but as I can't find the transcript, I don't want to misquote him.

    What I like about Science is that when they don't know something, they just say they don't know. They don't fill in the gaps with comforting irrational tales.

    *This is a reference to the X-files, in case some are unfamiliar with U.S. popular culture of the 90's.

  • millie210

    I can really identify with so many of your words Cap.

    I too want to be rational but I also want to make very sure that I am happy. I worked (slaved may be a better word} as a Witness and as it turns out....

    well, I dont have to tell you the rest of THAT sentence - you are well aware.

    I have read here for 4 years now and have carefully observed the thoughts, feelings and reactions of others. They are uniquely like me in that they have been going through "losing my religion" just like me.  I have especially been keen on looking for others thoughts on growth.

    The only way I cannot be bitter about so many "lost" (not really sure they are) years serving the Organizations interests is to think of it as "part" of the whole picture without being THE whole picture.

    It feels a little like a free fall and of course the instinct is to "grab on" to a new belief system. 

    That would be a mistake I think. I am finally working myself free of a heavily controlled environment. I am supposed to feel conflict. I am supposed to feel "lost". I am reacting appropriately. I dont want to rush this stage.

    But this time around I have more tools to carve out a life with than I did before the JW experience. 

    So while I am looking for rational, I think that is a reaction to so much irrational. Like wanting a wholesome meal after too much cotton candy. Its a "re-action" not an action.

    Recognizing that need as a craving for balance,I personally dont want to leap wholly in to that feeling and create a future imbalance.

    Science is fine. We learn a lot from it. and while you are right, they dont fill in the gaps with irrational tales. there is a dirty little secret that gives me caution. Most science comes out of university affiliations. Most science is funded. As you know, when anything is" funded" there is a subtle pressure to deliver. 

    The world of academia has its share of drama and corruption just as any area where big money gets involved.

    So what to do? For me, I am still reading, still analyzing the thoughts of others here. This place is good medicine that way.

    I havent found anything to latch on to or "replace" yet but I am getting more comfortable with the idea it may take some time.

    What I am not doing is vacillating. I am forming a mental list of what my personal future needs to look like. You mentioned "wanting to believe". I call that feeling "wanting to be happy", Happy defined as deep contentment and purpose.

    So while I pay careful attention to everyones posts, I look between the lines to see if they seem to have acquired that kind of happy. Some will readily tell you they have not. I trust that response as it is very honest and is where I find myself currently.

    What I dont give much heed to is anyone who claims to have found all the answers in one area.

    I am glad that works for them but I suspect that is replacing one "religion" with another in many ways.

    I am searching for something that combines it all. The scientific realities, the mysterious things that have no name and no explanation, the recognition that as humans we are still embryonic in our knowledge of the universe we inhabit.

    I dont mind looking a while. Like Tolkien said, "not all who wander are lost". 


  • OneEyedJoe

    I watched a show a while back (I believe it was an episode of "Through the Wormhole") where it showed psychological studies that attempted to find the source of religion.  One study was done with children, asking questions like "why does grass exist" or "why are there sunsets." (I don't remember the exact questions, but these get the point across) children of a young age overwhelmingly preferred purpose-based explanations.  Grass exists so that cows can graze.  Sunsets are there for us to enjoy.  In some people, these purpose-based explanations for things never seem to get weeded out and that is a big contributing factor in becoming religious.

    I forget who this quote is from, but I've seen it here a few times and I think it sums things up nicely.  I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.  In some ways it's feels good to think you have all the answers and have the self-assurance that comes with that, but to me it's vastly more freeing and exciting to admit that you don't have all the answers, but at least the one answer you do have is that there's not some lunatic in the sky watching your every move just waiting to punish you for living your life.

    On netflix, there's a 2 or 3 part miniseries on the meaning of by stephen hawking.  If you're not into quantum mechanics or sciency stuff in general it might be a little much, but in it he uses our current understanding of physics and math to come to a rather satisfying conclusion (at least for me) as to what the meaning of life is.  It's worth a watch if you're interested in that sort of thing.

  • cappytan
    OneEyedJoe: I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question. 

    Great quote.

    Kind of reminds me of that pro-gun saying, "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it."

    I will check that Netflix show out. I enjoy Quantum Mechanics.

  • flipper
    Religion gives people excuses and alibis so that they don't have to face reality. It's for people who are scared of making their own future so they get a pretend insurance policy and organize it into a " religion " so that they don't have to think for themselves and have either a pastor, elders, or a group of people in a congregation think for and with them and tell them what to believe. Or rely on a book written by men claiming to be inspired by God. It boxes in their ability to think critically or see life with an open mind
  • ctrwtf

    Upron Sinclair wrote, "In its true sense Religion is the most fundamental of the soul's impulses, the impassioned love of life, the feeling of its preciousness, the desire to foster and further it. In that sense every thinking man must be religious; in that sense Religion is a perpetually self-renewing force, the very nature of our being."

    Or in other words, one doesn't need to be a part of a Religion to be religious or spiritual or moral.  Love life and make it better for yourself, your loved ones and mankind in general.

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