Believers tend to be made up of people who need and/or want and prefer to have a Father figure...a protector...a rich uncle....whereas non-believers couldn't wait to grow up and leave the nest. They are more adult thinking.
Who wants a Stile ramble? Here it comes!
I have a few things to say about such a statement.
First, I don't think things are so streamlined. I think there's a plethora of reasons why people believe, and why they don't... ranging from 'just human nature' to 'in-depth reflection.'
Because of that, I think it's a disservice to lump everything together as "Believers are ..." or "Non-believers are ..."
There are just too many different people who are believers or non-believers for too many different reasons to think they are all like you, or me, or anyone specific.
So, I will take your statement more to say:
quote:Believers as Phat categorizes them tend to be made up of people who need and/or want and prefer to have a Father figure...a protector...a rich uncle....whereas non-believers as Phat labels them couldn't wait to grow up and leave the nest. They are more adult thinking.
Reasons such as this: -I was brought up this way -All my friends are like this -People I respect are this way, so I'm this way too -I think others will accept me more if I act like this -I had a personal experience, so therefore I lean more in this direction
All those reasons (and more, I'm sure) can be a reason why someone is a believer or a non-believer. And these are the reasons for many people. And there are many people who don't have such reasons.. they have other reasons entirely.
What I think you're getting at is the "in depth reflection" area of reasons.
But I wouldn't use the same wording you used.
I'd describe it more like this:
Believers preferring a Father Figure or Protector or Rich Uncle -I think this can come off a bit degrading -I would word it more that believers seem to hold onto a certain, unwavering ideal or answer, and refuse to accept the world is any way other than the way that holds this Answer as a priority
The Answer they hold onto could be many different things (and possibly multiple things) -An answer for life after death? -An answer for ultimate justice? -An answer for good always triumphing over evil? -An answer for absolute security of what you care for most?
Non-Believers preferring to grow up and leave the nest -I think this can be a bit misleading
Perhaps this is true for some non-believers. But, again, there are some non-believers that don't care about growing up and leaving the nest. And they would even prefer to have a Father Figure or Ultimate Justice or Absolute Security over relying on themselves or other equally-mundane people.
-I would word it more that non-believers seem to be okay not having all the answers, and accepting the world however it may be.
Non-believers may want many things, but they are willing to accept that things just aren't that way. -might dearly want an answer for life after death, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, there is nothing there -might dearly want an answer for ultimate justice, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, intelligent people are all there is -might dearly want an answer for good always triumphing, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, we can't always get what we want --might dearly want an answer for absolute security, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, sometimes shit happens and there's nothing you can do about it
Now, which one is Right and which is Wrong?
In the sense of morality... I don't think it matters. Holding an unwavering ideal of Ultimate Justice can be an extremely moral thing to do, regardless of the reasons for it. Morality (as I see it) is more about hurting or helping others. And you can choose to do either of those things while under either of the above positions.
What about the sense of The Way Things Are, though? What about truth and reality and accurate descriptions of the universe?
Well, you can see this sort of thing in action in some Christian vs. Atheist debates:
The Christian will fight dearly that something MUST be a certain way (God exists, Flood occurred, Biblical Creation, Resurrection, Apostles are real, Jesus exists...) But the Atheist doesn't say things MUST be different... ...they generally say that things appear to be different. The things we've uncovered and learned seem to point in another direction. The Christian generally takes this to mean that the Atheist MUST be defending another, specific concept. But that's not true.
The Atheist isn't defending another, specific concept... they're defending "whatever answer happens to seem more plausible with what we're able to see."
That is, the Atheist would AGREE with the Christian, if everything we saw, felt, touched... led in the direction of what the Christian described.
But there doesn't seem to ever be a way the Christian would agree with the Atheist. It MUST be the Christian's way... for one reason or another.
But, of course, people are people. And some Atheists will cling to an idea themselves... and say things MUST be their way for reasons other than the evidence leaning in that direction.
But there's always some Atheists willing to accept that the Christian is right if things would only show that the Christian was, indeed, right. And they'll change their mind, and follow wherever reality seems to lead.
Are their Christians willing to do this? What Christian is willing to give up Christ, God, and everything about their religion in order to follow where reality seems to lead?
I think that's the difference you're talking about.
Some Atheists are willing to denounce atheism and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position. Maybe it means they're not an Atheist... they don't really care. But... if a Christian is willing to denounce Christianity and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position... are they really a "Christian" in the first place? Can you "not really care" if you're a Christian or not and still call yourself a Christian?
The issue is... it's not about Believers vs. Non-Believers.
It's about Believers vs. Reality-Followers.
It just so happens that, right now, the evidence seems to imply that Reality-Followers should be Non-Believers.
And many believers would defend their belief as reality despite lack of evidence.
I think I may have overstepped things here for the sake of some dramatics. Perhaps I shouldn't call it Believers vs. Reality-Followers so much as calling it Believers vs. Evidence-Followers.
One could (rightfully) argue that both are attempting to "follow reality." The measure of which is doing it better/right is up to the individual.
Because for me, the reality of the belief is everything. God simply must be true. No other answer will satisfy. For others, the quest for further evidence and further answers is the answer.
I would say it's not so much the quest for further evidence and answers is the answer for others... but simply the quest to find out what ever actually is the truth.
Maybe they'll end up in the same place, maybe not.
One side puts the belief above all else, even though there's a possibility the belief could be wrong (simply because we, as humans, don't know everything).
The other side puts being "part of reality" above all else, even though there's a possibility we will never get to actually know.
And, really, there are pros can cons to both sides. And you don't have to use the same side for every single issue.
That is, most believers put some religious belief above all else (God exists? Ultimate Justice? ...) when talking about the fabric of reality. But, for example, perhaps they do not put a belief-in-their-own-safety above looking both ways before crossing the street.
On the other hand, most evidence-followers put some evidentially-supported-proposition forward when talking about the fabric of reality. But, for example, perhaps they believe that their favorite sports team will win each and every upcoming game with fervent stubbornness.
Just for fun, here's an off-the-top-of-my-head go at pros and cons for each "side" (even though we all use both "sides" for different things...):
Believers - Holding a certain Idea or Answer above all else Pros -can make quick progress along the line of this single idea or answer -no need to question anything that goes against the idea, the idea is always right -easily understandable - don't have to explain a "why" as the "why" is "just because."
Cons -could possibly be wrong (humans don't know everything) -if wrong, will always be wrong (if you don't change the idea the whole belief is based on)
Evidence-Followers - Taking whatever idea that the evidence points towards Pros -could possibly be wrong (humans don't know everything) -if wrong, however, further evidence will eventually show it to be wrong... and then you can change to the right (or, at least 'more right') idea
Cons -progress is slower as you have to give time to go over the data in order to see what it's saying -on larger, more complex data sets... can be difficult to understand and describe to someone else who is not as familiar with the data
I think it's helpful to understand the differences.. the pros and the cons. And also understand that this isn't a thing that defines a person... it only defines how a person approaches a specific subject. We all have subjects we approach one way, and others the other way. Once you understand the pros/cons... and see how each can be applied to different subjects at the same time... you can grow to use the pros when they best suit you, and avoid the cons wherever possible.
Edited by Stile, : Added some bolding to make it easier to read
One fear that I have is that my spirituality becomes (or already is) a form of addiction. Kinda like playing the longshot. Perhaps the probability of God (and a friendly One at that) is a billion to one, but think of the payoff!
But that's not a good thing.
If God requires you to believe in Him in order to "get the payoff" then that God isn't worthy of being respected and should be educated for His immaturity.
If God really is good, then He wouldn't care if you believe in Him or not. He would only care about how good you are (and try to be). If a really good God exists, there is no gamble because there is no game. Why would there be? How could any gamble or game have any part of a really good God?
That's the good part of a good God. You don't have to worry about if your gamble is going to pay off. You don't have to worry if you're playing the game right. The plan is simple: be good. Whether you're doing that or not is (generally) easy to discover: are the people you're affecting happy by the way you interact with them?
Be good. Adjust your actions to be better when you discover that you're actually hurting someone.
If there's a good God - He'll respect that and be happy with you. If there's not a good God and some other God wants something else - why should anyone care?