Individuals of equal intellect harbor opposite conclusions

Individuals of equal intelligence, and even with the same basic education, can harbor opposite conclusions about the existence of a god. They can also believe in different gods.

Is this not strong evidence that the religious view of most people is determined by culture and emotional needs.

This happens in all areas, not just religion. I expect that “personality”…the tendency of one’s brain to come up with certain types of conclusions, and the fact that there are diverse personalities is a great thing for the survival of the species.

If we all tended to reach the same conclusion, given a set of circumstances, and that conclusion turned out to be wrong, or simply inappropriate given a particular situation, it would put the entire group in danger.

But if most of the groups says “run”, but some say “fight”…then chances are good at least a part will survive to carry on.

Same with religion, varying beliefs lead to greater chances that at least some portion will have that which will get the group through a given situation.

Polytheism tends to address the varying personalities in a culture.

That’s my theory.

There are “personalities” in the animal world as well, that I guess serve the same purpose, to insure that the species goes on no matter what situation comes up.

If that were the case how do you explain Pagan Europe becoming Christian ( for the most part)? I think it more speaks to if you go into something with a preconceived answer and willingness to only see fact that support the answer you want. Or you go in and listen to what is presented pray for guidance let God lead you.

Pagan Europe may have gradually become Christian, but the fact is that where you are born almost always determines what, if any, religion you follow. If you were born in Pakistan or Iran you would be Muslim. Some like to think they would be Christian, or some other specific religion, no matter where they were born, but that is not likely. Few individuals go against their culture in this matter. Culture is the determining factor from what we eat to the gods we believe in. We are pawns to culture.

Perhaps religious faith functions as an adaptive mechanism,
in realms *pratique. *

In an unsure world - often marked by loss and limitation -
holding that there is life, beyond this world, where all needs
will be met - and where loss and limitation and death, itself,
will be no more - such faith may offer bracing certainties, in an unsure world.

Man’s need for God manifests - as a function of these very conditions, described above - which conditions God allows to exist, to begin with…so that man will turn to Him?

Either life is wholly absurd or it is not.

Existentialists would state that each man gives meaning
to his own life. *L’Homme révolté *- man in revolt, as Camus described man’s stance - in a universe that has no intrinsic meaning.
Man in revolt - against this very absurdity. Man flooding his life with meaning, in the face of the absurd.

Yet it matters little, which stance one takes -* vis a vis* deity,
in terms of the existence of Godhead.
Belief or disbelief has no effect, whatever, on the reality.
God exists or does not exist.

That one is born into a primarily Judeo-Christian culture,
where particular givens, about deity, may tend to be more
readily accepted - this, too, is not at all determinative,
when it comes to das Ding an sich. The thing in itself.
God exists, or He does not.

reen12

Pawns to culture? I more than likely would have been raised as a Muslim if I had been born in the Middle East. I may or may not have ever converted given the opportunity to really hear of Christianity.

As seen In the USA and Europe were religious freedoms of choice prevail I see that it come down to a personal decision and conviction as to what is true. There is no other way to explain the way people leave the belief of their family for a new belief system other wise.

more likely it is strong evidence that intellectual gifts alone are not enough to arrive at the truth. Access to competent, complete and accurate data and and open mind are also requisites.

In the USA we have access to data, and religious freedom, yet it is a small percentage that are anything but one of the Christian forms. Most non-Christians did not convert or choose, they keep the religion they or their parents had when they imigrated. US Christians keep what they were born with, just like Indian Hindu’s and Afgan Muslim’s.

If you try to make a case that Americans keep Christianity because they have info and freedom, but Afgans keep Islam because they have no choice, then you have to ignore all the other countries where some religious freedom exist but most keep what they are born with.

Streams of converts go in all directions all the time. Culture doesn’t account for it. Experience has a lot to do with it. Emotional needs are part of the picture, but so is information available.
I changed my beliefs to suit the available facts many times.

I can’t see what this reply has to do with mine.
I am not trying to make any case, I am rebutting the argument of OP to reduce religion to merely a cultural or emotional phenomenon.

someone very intelligent may still be making a decision because they are ignorant of all the facts. That does not make faith a matter of culture and coincidence. At some point the individual has the responsibility of ascertaining the truth.

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