Why do religions have to convert people?

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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steven lloyd
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by steven lloyd »

cliffy1 wrote:I have spent most of my life seeking truth. In the end, where that search lead me and the conclusions I have come to is really only relevant to me. There are no pat answers that are universal, that anyone can say, for sure, are THE answers. Each individual has to come to their own conclusions that they can live with.

What cliffy said – but just to stir the pot some more ...

Stephen Hawking’s Latest Book Converting Lot of Atheists Into Believers

The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking’s latest book co-authored with physicist Leonard Mlodinow, is turning a lot of atheists/agnostics into believers, finds KBNN. An Internet based survey conducted by Rbit Analytics, an affiliated body of KBNN, has found that the book has profoundly shaken the disbelief of atheists, and toppled a lot of atheists/agnostics into believing in the God hypothesis.

“Atheism was such a simple and elegant concept before Prof. Hawking jumped into the fray, pardon me the somewhat out of place idiom, to explain the non-need for God hypothesis”, says Dan Black, head and co-founder ofBelievers Anonymous, a mutual help group that helps its members out of the addiction of belief.

“It is just confusing a lot of simple minded atheists who were basically looking for a non-explanatory rejection of God. Forcing them to understand all this complex science behind the absence of God makes them want to take the easy way out, and believe instead”

The phenomenon, though, is not limited to simple minded next door atheists, as the polls clearly show. People from all strata of society, including notable thinkers, journalists, even astrophysicists, are turning away from atheism/agnosticism, since the publication of book. If at all, the phenomenon is more noticeable among the scientists and science journalists.

“Science believes in Occam’s razor”, said Dr. Rupert Edwards, president of Association of American Astrophysicists, “and unfortunately, it’s looking like Prof. Hawking’s is putting atheism right where the razor can slash it out of existence. When compared to the simple explanation that religion offers for creation, Prof. Hawking’s version is so complicated and explains laboriously, and as fantastically, what the God hypothesis explained succinctly. Besides, right now, both the hypothesis seem to do equivalently on the requirement of falsifiability. So between the two, I’m not surprised that even scientists are picking up the God hypothesis”

http://cfcspn.com/2013/05/12/stephen-ha ... -of-false/


... discuss ;o)
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janalta
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by janalta »

OK...back on topic then...

I was always one of those who couldn't stand the 'bible thumpers' at my door trying to tell me how I should live my life. Ok, still can't, but....I do understand the motive behind it now.
I consider myself Agnostic. I don't totally dismiss the idea that there may be some sort of superior force, some sort of creator, although my views of what that may encompass are far from the typical Christian view of God....I don't completely dismiss that it could be possible, or not. Fact is...I don't know, and that's OK with me.
I have a very dear friend who is a member of the LDS church. I know....about as far from similar views as one can get.
I have tried really hard to grasp how he can believe the things he does about religion, and in particular about his church, to me it just seems outrageous that anyone as intelligent and well educated as he is could really buy a lot of it.
I know he was born into it and that is what he was told from day one...and I now understand that certain things that we all, as humans, are capable of seeing and feeling are explained in different ways simply because of what we have grown up with and have learned to call those feelings and experiences.
We try really hard to respect one another's views and beliefs...it doesn't always work, but we try.
I do think he is genuinely disappointed in me for not seeing things the way he has tried to show me. ( and no, he does not ever push his church or beliefs on me )

But, the one thing I have come to understand is that their reasons for trying to convert others is in no way malicious or deceitful. It has nothing to do with monetary gain or power.
It is a sincere attempt to help people.
Their beliefs are so strongly ingrained that they truly believe in their heart and soul that the only way that people can achieve true happiness and fulfillment is to become a member of what they think is the one true church....and the one true path to eternal love and enlightenment.

I don't buy the argument,I don't believe it is true... I believe that if there is a god or creator, he doesn't care what church you go to, what your religious beliefs are or how/if you choose to pray. Any creator I could believe in sees all of us as equals...no one more entitled to salvation than the other.
But...I do now understand that their mission is real and heartfelt and their attempt to truly help those who have not been baptised into their church. There is no malice, only genuine concern and love.

I still don't want them knocking on my door though :O)
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CJSchmidtz
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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I have a better explanation for why Hawking’s book is helpful to the case for theism without needing to evaluate the referenced article. My theory is in that he does admit to a variety of theoretical difficulties with atheism while trying to offer solutions which on the face of it are very weak. For example he discusses problems with an atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe and proposes M theory (if it can even be called a theory) as an explanation. However M theory admittedly has no evidential support and is inconsistent with what actually seems to be true, for example the simple idea that it is naturally impossible that something could come out of nothing.

The book is basically admitting something which is stronger than “we do not know.” It is basically admitting that science as it stands refutes atheism. When faced with a choice between a refuted belief and a belief which has explanatory power… This really is something more than Ockham’s razor, it is not merely choosing a simpler explanation it is choosing a possible explanation over a seemingly impossible explanation. This is the situation that Hawking inadvertently has brought to further light. I think the case for theism is actually even stronger than that which is expressed in this context but this in itself is significant.

I am hoping that some more people would comment on cliffs posts before I do.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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CJSchmidtz wrote:I have a better explanation for why Hawking’s book is helpful to the case for theism without needing to evaluate the referenced article. My theory is in that he does admit to a variety of theoretical difficulties with atheism while trying to offer solutions which on the face of it are very weak. For example he discusses problems with an atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe and proposes M theory (if it can even be called a theory) as an explanation. However M theory admittedly has no evidential support and is inconsistent with what actually seems to be true, for example the simple idea that it is naturally impossible that something could come out of nothing.

The book is basically admitting something which is stronger than “we do not know.” It is basically admitting that science as it stands refutes atheism. When faced with a choice between a refuted belief and a belief which has explanatory power… This really is something more than Ockham’s razor, it is not merely choosing a simpler explanation it is choosing a possible explanation over a seemingly impossible explanation. This is the situation that Hawking inadvertently has brought to further light. I think the case for theism is actually even stronger than that which is expressed in this context but this in itself is significant.

I am hoping that some more people would comment on cliffs posts before I do.



So god could be nothing.
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CJSchmidtz
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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“Nobody and no religion has all the answers.”

Has anyone said anything which implies that they think they have all the answers, I bet it was Nick wasn’t it….. just kidding. I think this is something we can agree on in fact I would go on to say I think it is a valid universal claim. I only mention it because if in context someone thought that this statement somehow countered any of my statements this would be a misunderstanding. I am not saying I know everything, I am saying I know some things.

“There are no pat answers that are universal, that anyone can say, for sure, are THE answers”

Wait just a sec, if this is true there are no valid universal claims/answers then was your other statement false “no one has all the answers” I think that statement is true but I think this statement is false…. Which one do you think is false because they both cannot be correct….. Hmmm actually the statement itself sounds like a universal claim, a rather self-refuting universal claim. The statement itself makes a universal claim with regards to reality; it is supposedly true of everyone and true of all answers. If it is true that “no pat answers” can be universally true then your pat answer must be false. If your pat answer is false then you have not demonstrated that there are no universal answers. If your statement is false then perhaps we have added a second universal claim to our short discussion on this topic. Now that we have at least shown that two pat answers are correct we can continue to build upon that.
Ps, I think if only for entertainment value I at least deserve a like for this one (-:
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1nick
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by 1nick »

There you go Schmidtz....:o)
I dont think we have the right questions let alone answers.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by is winter over »

I have an even better theory regarding the Hawkins story posted on this thread, and that is its all made up and not true. There is no "Association of American Astrophysicists" or a internet research company "Rbit Analytics" the story is bunk. Therein lies the difference between aheists and religious folks. Atheist tend to question and research to seak the truth regarding what they are told, while the religious will blindly beleive everthing they are told.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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is winter over wrote: Therein lies the difference between aheists and religious folks. Atheist tend to question and research to seak the truth regarding what they are told, while the religious will blindly beleive everthing they are told.

You might want to question your own beliefs over this assumption... or is this your clever way of saying you're religious?
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Wow that Hawkins story was written in 2010 then copied and pasted into a religious site in 2013 as "breaking news"

I attempted to google the names in the report and nothing comes up.

Mr Lloyd your credibility just slipped imo.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Winter I made no claims of believing that the article was making an accurate report, in fact I clearly said I was making claims regarding what Hawkins had said without evaluating the article. I also did not use any information from the article to support my points. I also made an argument that was separate and distinct from the ones in the article. In other words I was bypassing the article without really wanting to have to discuss it.
This would not have been the first hoax however it was not overly well made. Are you familiar with the Sokal hoax, in that situation he actually did make a point but I have never quite been sure if I thought that was a fair way to make the point? Another hoax was the Piltdown hoax. If you think falling for a hoax demonstrates that someone is a fool, doesn’t seek truth etc you should believe that about evolutionists. I personally am not, and would not make that argument, I am merely pointing out that even your underlying argument is flawed. We are all every side susceptible to falling for hoaxes and even more so making mistakes. I did not fall for this hoax but I would also not pretend that I am immune to that possibility.
I was also suspicious of the article and I also considered the reasoning involved to be so poor I hoped it was by an atheist poorly representing a theistic argument rather than actually representing the views of any particular theist. I already have enough of those to be embarrassed by.
Now having said all of that I do think your post clearly communicates two things. First of all you were wrong, not all theists blindly believe whatever they are told. Thank you for proving that to whoever would read this. Secondly thank you for demonstrating that some atheists are quick to jump to conclusions without really thinking through their point. Having said this I am impressed by the others who did not jump to the same conclusion about me even though I am sure some others must have thought about it.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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is winter over wrote: Atheist tend to question and research to seak the truth regarding what they are told, while the religious will blindly beleive everthing they are told.


I have to disagree with that theory. I think anyone who seriously researches the God question would have to conclude that there is no definitive proof either way, which can only lead to an agnostic point of view. The dictionary definition of an atheist is one who outright denies the existence of God, a position that by any measure is as hardline as the unshakable believer who will not even accept the possibility that he is in error.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Hassel99 wrote:Wow that Hawkins story was written in 2010 then copied and pasted into a religious site in 2013 as "breaking news" <snip> Mr Lloyd your credibility just slipped imo.

Oops - I’m sorry. Did I try to hide the fact the story was written in 2010 ??? I’m pretty sure I supplied a link. Yup, there it is:


It seems a further review of my post also reveals no part where I tried to suggest this was “breaking news”.
(nope – a double check of my post confirms that I made no such suggestion)

Hmmm. Forwarding presumptive accusations with no basis pulled from your rump (apparently) and you’re concerned about my credibility. That is really sort of funny – in an incongruously humorous fashion :o)
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Hassel99
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by Hassel99 »

i clicked your link, it say posted by BENABU on May 12 2013. It is also linked under the category of "breaking News" on the CFCSPN link.

I don't think you tried to hide anything, i just don't think you tried to look for anything that would make that link credible.

WRT to credibility, just means that next time you supply a link i may have to dig a little deeper before i take it as face value.

FRET NOT! I am sure with some time we can be internet forum pals once again.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Hassel99 wrote: FRET NOT! I am sure with some time we can be internet forum pals once again.

No need to worry. I love irony.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by is winter over »

CJSchmidtz wrote:Winter I made no claims of believing that the article was making an accurate report, in fact I clearly said I was making claims regarding what Hawkins had said without evaluating the article. I also did not use any information from the article to support my points. I also made an argument that was separate and distinct from the ones in the article. In other words I was bypassing the article without really wanting to have to discuss it.
This would not have been the first hoax however it was not overly well made. Are you familiar with the Sokal hoax, in that situation he actually did make a point but I have never quite been sure if I thought that was a fair way to make the point? Another hoax was the Piltdown hoax. If you think falling for a hoax demonstrates that someone is a fool, doesn’t seek truth etc you should believe that about evolutionists. I personally am not, and would not make that argument, I am merely pointing out that even your underlying argument is flawed. We are all every side susceptible to falling for hoaxes and even more so making mistakes. I did not fall for this hoax but I would also not pretend that I am immune to that possibility.
I was also suspicious of the article and I also considered the reasoning involved to be so poor I hoped it was by an atheist poorly representing a theistic argument rather than actually representing the views of any particular theist. I already have enough of those to be embarrassed by.
Now having said all of that I do think your post clearly communicates two things. First of all you were wrong, not all theists blindly believe whatever they are told. Thank you for proving that to whoever would read this. Secondly thank you for demonstrating that some atheists are quick to jump to conclusions without really thinking through their point. Having said this I am impressed by the others who did not jump to the same conclusion about me even though I am sure some others must have thought about it.


I was not making a direct reference to you or accuse you of anything, as you did not provide the article. I was simply trying to point out that the article was fake. However rereading your post, you do take the conclusion of the article to be fact, that is Hawkins book is helpful to theism and is converting atheist, do you still think this to be true?

I also did not say anything about theists (which I assume you are?), I made reference to religious people (which I agree was a statement that was a overgeneralization). As you probably know, you dont have to be religious to be a theist. Sorry if I jumped to any conclusions about you, maybe you would like to share your world view or definition of God, so as to clear up any misconceptions.

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