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Old 11-17-2013, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Georgia
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What are in your opinion, the main reasons for people to turn to religion? I'm interested in this.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:15 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Maybe this is not what you are looking for, but in my mind it is more of a "why don't more people turn away from religion". My guess is most people grow up with some kind of religious indoctrination. They just do what their parents/family/friends are doing. And its just easier to keep on keeping on for most people.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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Training from birth, well almost. But the training of a god (choose one) begins probably before potty training begins. Victims of well meaning but misguided parents that attempt to control their child by treats of irrational horror stories. There is no difference between "Santa is watching and you won't get any presents" and "god is watching and you will burn in hell". The Santa threat only works a couple of months every year, god threats are not so limited.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhans123 View Post
What are in your opinion, the main reasons for people to turn to religion? I'm interested in this.
Most of us are raised by parents. They give us freedom as we grow up, but they are always there to help and protect us if we get in trouble.

Maybe people want a god to provide the same thing. They feel better believing there is a god looking out for them, like this poem says:

Footprints in the Sand – Poem





One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
‘You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?’
The Lord replied,
‘The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.’

-Mary Stevenson
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Training from birth
I think it is more than that. I think a lot of people are raised with a modest amount of religion but then later become real bible-bangers. Religion must give them something they really need.

Two of our more intelligent posters (one Muslim, one Jewish) seem to believe their holy books are the exact word of their god and they take those writings as the absolute truth. From what I have read in their postings, they were not taught that when they were young and both of them were Atheists for awhile when they were adults. They must have a need to believe in something concrete.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:58 PM
 
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Part of culture, tradition, birth, comfort, love, morality, faith, holidays, etc.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
I think it is more than that. I think a lot of people are raised with a modest amount of religion but then later become real bible-bangers.

You're talking about the religious 'zealots'. I think religion brings out, and kind of reinforces the zealotry in an individual. Although, atheists can be zealous too.
Most believers are moderates who may, or may not, believe every word of their holy story book, and likely grew up in a household where at least one parent was religious. Therefore, indoctrination, IMHO, is the main culprit. From there, patternicity takes over. They look for evidence of a creator without any discerning discrimination and they are unaware, or downright in denial, that there is a naturalistic explanation for the origins of the universe and life.
I suppose people also believe because they think there has to be something other than 'this'. Life, to them, would be a sham if there wasn't an ultimate purpose. Still, others believe in a deity because it gets them through. Belief becomes a need.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhans123 View Post
What are in your opinion, the main reasons for people to turn to religion? I'm interested in this.
Too many reasons to answer. So diverse and varied that I would not even be able to pick out any "main reasons" really. Certainly there seems to be a strong element of social peer pressure involved where people simply want to be in the local "in" group and being "out" of it puts you at a disadvantage. Especially if the people in power in that "in" group have power over you.

Such as, for example, places where the local clergy have a say in whether your children get into the top schools. In such areas people tend to act all pious and religious in an effort to win favor with the clergy in power.

But socially you also do not want your peers distrusting you so it makes sense to make all the correct prostrations to fit in.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhans123 View Post
What are in your opinion, the main reasons for people to turn to religion? I'm interested in this.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:22 AM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,637,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Training from birth, well almost. But the training of a god (choose one) begins probably before potty training begins. Victims of well meaning but misguided parents that attempt to control their child by treats of irrational horror stories. There is no difference between "Santa is watching and you won't get any presents" and "god is watching and you will burn in hell". The Santa threat only works a couple of months every year, god threats are not so limited.

I don't think many of the posts above address the question in the original post which uses "turn to" as in a transition towards. He isn't asking why people are religious. He's asking how they became religious - excepting religious brainwashing from birth.

I think one huge reason has to with psychological survival. Have you ever heard of a born again christian who HADN'T transitioned from a miserable situation? Hasn't just about everyone who "Found Jesus" previously been a drug addict, a prisoner, an alcoholic, a sufferer of depression or something like that?

I think "Finding Jesus" is a psychological survival mechanism as an alternative to suicide.

What is the psychological explanation for Born Again Christians (or others)?

Are there "Born Again" Hindus, Jews, Islamics, etc?
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