Religious Beliefs

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
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snorider
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Religious Beliefs

#1

Post by snorider » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:31 am

Why do most children follow their families religious beliefs?

Examples:
Christian families tend to have Christian children.
Islamic families tend to have Muslim children
Hindu families tend to have Hinduism/Buddhist children.

The rare occasion one will transfer to another, but are you the same religion as your family?
What makes your religion right over the others?

When replying please answer both questions:
1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.

Please refrain from scripture, anyone of any other religion would refer to scripture as you do.

Thanks,
Jordan

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#2

Post by Reactionary » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:50 am

Hello, Jordan. Welcome.
snorider wrote:Why do most children follow their families religious beliefs?
You could ask the same question about other traits we inherit from our parents. Many children will inherit political beliefs of their parents, or behavioural patterns, but not necessarily of course. People change during their lifetimes, and it may happen that they experience a major shift in their worldview in the light of something they learned or experienced. But in spite of our rational nature, the influence of genes and environment over us shouldn't be underestimated.
snorider wrote:Examples:
Christian families tend to have Christian children.
Islamic families tend to have Muslim children
Hindu families tend to have Hinduism/Buddhist children.
...Atheist families tend to have Atheist children? :mrgreen:

By the way, Hinduism and Buddhism are different religions.
Of course that when you're taught something from your early age, you start to live with it and it becomes a part of personality. Again, not necessarily. There are many former Atheists who became Christians and vice versa, especially in this age, when all kinds of information are widespread and available.
snorider wrote:The rare occasion one will transfer to another, but are you the same religion as your family?
Yes, I am. I was raised Christian, but not strictly, and de facto I was agnostic until my age of 19. Then I started to ask myself the big questions of life and so I spent a lot of time and effort researching. I decided to stick with Christianity.
snorider wrote:What makes your religion right over the others?

When replying please answer both questions:
1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.
Yes, my immediate family is Christian. You're asking what makes my religion significant over others? Well, who says that I think it's so? I believe in the freedom of religion. The reasons why I chose to follow Christianity myself are:

1. philosophical (First Cause, reliability of human reason),
2. scientific (Big Bang, order, complexity, impression of design),
3. historical (consistency of the Bible, prophecy, historical accounts),
4. cultural (my European heritage),
5. intuitive,
6. personal (God's "fingerprints" in my life), and
7. circumstantial (NDEs, sightings etc.).

I'm open to discussing any of those. If I were to convert someone to Christianity, I'd be glad if it was for rational reasons. Reason should be a foundation for faith. 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Isaiah 1:18, Luke 10:27 - oops, sorry. You said no scriptural quotes. :ebiggrin:
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#3

Post by Icthus » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:30 am

snorider wrote: 1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.
1.) Yes, but I don't see why that matters. Just about everyone on this site has reasons for what they believe other than that they were raised to do it. I, myself, was raised in a strongly Christian family and did, for a long time, accept what I was taught purely on faith in what my parents told me was true. However, I eventually set off on my own, no longer content with merely mirroring the outlook of those around me, and began to research the issue of religion by myself. After a long and often agonizing process of examination in which I looked into philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, biology, physics, New Testament Studies, comparative religions, etc, I decided to remain a Christian, feeling that it was the most intellectually plausible position of those I had investigated. The fact that I was raised as a Christian had little to do with my decision to remain one, as evidenced by the fact that I am, today, a much different Christian than I was before I began to search for answers on my own. My family does not accept evolution and is probably full of Young Earthers as well, two positions that I have abandoned in favor of Theistic Evolution. My family would insist on a rather wooden, overly-literalist interpretation of scripture, which I no longer would, and my family would likely not look favorably on my enjoyment of philosophy of religion or New Testament studies, preferring for me to simply read the Bible and accept it without question. In short, I am hardly the person I was raised to be, and I feel that my opinions on the truth and nature of Christianity are well-grounded intellectually.

2.) I'm not sure why you use the word 'significant', but I certainly feel that Christianity is more 'true' than other religions. I feel this way for several independent reasons. First, the primary truth claim of the Christian religion is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I have investigated at length the work of historians, textual critics, and New Testament specialists both liberal and conservative, and I find it most likely that Jesus did indeed rise physically from the dead, appearing to his disciples and later to Paul. I came to this conclusion by studying the New Testament writings and what has been written about them, finding them to be historically accurate where testable, highly uncorrupted and written rather early and upon a rich foundation of oral and written tradition. I have found he writings of Paul, who was not a proto gnostic or syncretist despite the claims of some, to be particularly helpful in establishing the existence of early and advanced Christology and a well-connected and early orthodoxy. I have found alternative explanations for the origins of Christianity to be largely unlikely and ad hoc. In fact, my reasons for believing based on the investigation of the New Testament are far to numerous and interconnected to list here, and these alone are enough to convince me that Christianity's central claims are true.

In the world of science, I have come to understand that very little, if anything, that we find out through scientific studies really informs us as to wether or not the Christian God exists. Our understanding of the universe today fits comfortably into the same philosophy expounded upon by Christians like Aquinas that lived centuries ago, and I think I've passed the point at which scientific discoveries cause me to question God, who is invalidated neither by evolution, nor the big bang, nor quantum mechanics, etc. In fact, many would say that these things point to him rather than away. Of course, little of this suggests Christianity over any other type of monotheism, like Judaism or Islam, but it helps narrow the field from some religions that have been made much less plausible by centuries of scientific investigation (like the Greco-Roman gods).

Now, I will admit that I am not particularly well informed about the world's other religions, which are too numerous for any single person to understand in all their intricacies, but I feel that I have a good reasons to think Christianity is true, and if it is, then other religions very likely aren't. For example, Islam, though worshiping the same God as Christians, does not recognize Jesus as the Son of God who died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and bringing God's Kingdom. Because I have good reasons to believe that the Christian claims are true, I must conclude that claims to the contrary, i.e. those of Islam, aren't true.

I'm sure the others on this board can provide a veritable deluge of reasons why they believe Christianity to be true over other belief systems, and these have nothing to do with being raised as a Christian or making circular arguments from Scripture.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” -G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#4

Post by jlay » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:03 am

Why do a lot of children rebel against how they are raised?
In fact there is actually a lot of this in Iran, where desention can be met with jail and death. Yet, we still see young people rebel against authority and how they are raised.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#5

Post by Stygian » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:12 am

snorider wrote:Why do most children follow their families religious beliefs?
Because they raised us. Granted, I don't ENTIRELY agree with people that simply accept their family religion without studying it (you'f be surprised how many Christians still can't answered the most clichéd and simple-minded Go paradoxes [can God make a boulder that He can't lift, can God make a square circle, etc...]). I think, regardless of your heritage, you should study your position, and strive to understand the opposing viewpoint better than your opponents.
snorider wrote:Examples:
Christian families tend to have Christian children.
Islamic families tend to have Muslim children
Hindu families tend to have Hinduism/Buddhist children.
Atheist families tend to have atheist children, Republican families tend to have Republican children, families of outdoorsmen tend to have outdoors-y children, etc.. the answer is simple: the family raised them. We inherit plenty of things from our family. Lots of people make fun of Christians of being incapable of thinking for themselves because they inherited their beliefs. However, most YouTube atheists 'inherit' their beliefs regarding theology from TheLivingDinosaur, TheAmazingAtheist, and episode Futurama (the first two are some of the most disrespectful people I've ever heard talk about religious topics with fake/inapplicable science or philosophy). So, I'd argue they've got it worse. Even the educated atheists tend to just believe certain ineffectual contradictions or difficulties without even attempting to look for an answer to them.
snorider wrote:The rare occasion one will transfer to another, but are you the same religion as your family?
What makes your religion right over the others?
Yes, I am, but I wasn't always. I was in pretty agnostic, or at times "I don't really care," territory until I did my homework (freshman year of high school). Sure, even at this time I did get a angry when people made fun of or spoke ill of Christianity or Christians, simply because I was flippin' raised by them and still believed many Christians were wonderful people. I believe my beliefs are correct simply because I've seen the most significant evidence for it. When I had a doubt or tough question I did research. That led me to where I am today.
snorider wrote:When replying please answer both questions:
1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.
1) As said before, yes.
2) Because I've accepted it as truth, but it's not unquestionably more significant. It's simply the most significant one to me, because it's mine.
snorider wrote:Please refrain from scripture, anyone of any other religion would refer to scripture as you do.
Out of respect for you, I've done exactly this, but really? You're asking us to state reasons why we believe and you won't let us quote the book we base our beliefs on? That's one-sided. There are several verses I simply agree with morally, intellectually, or historically.

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#6

Post by jlay » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:18 am

Why do most children follow their families religious beliefs?

Examples:
Christian families tend to have Christian children.
Islamic families tend to have Muslim children
Hindu families tend to have Hinduism/Buddhist children.

The rare occasion one will transfer to another, but are you the same religion as your family?
What makes your religion right over the others?

When replying please answer both questions:
1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.

Please refrain from scripture, anyone of any other religion would refer to scripture as you do.

Thanks,
This is a genetic fallacy. Perhaps you should study up on it. If a person is raised a certain way, it doesn't validate or negate whether that religion or worldview is true. For example, everyone raises their children to adhere to certain morals. Unless you are proposing that we should raise our children to give equal consideration that lying, theft and murder are good things.
Re. #1: My father abandoned his faith and his family. So in one sense, no. By your logic I guess I should also abandon my family.
#2: Truth. If Christianity were true, would you become one?

My cousin Ben was raised in a Christian, conservative home. He is a liberal atheist. So, what's your point?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Religious Beliefs

#7

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:36 pm

1) Are you the same religion of your immediate family.
Yes I am now, but I was agnostic at first then became atheist. After years of research and soul searching my conclusion was that Christianity was the only one that made sense.

My Brother is an atheist still and I doubt he will ever change his mind, there is always hope but he is firm in his beliefs.

From my experience from people I know, I would say it is 50/50 that people follow the religion of their parents.
2) What makes your religion more significant than others.
What reactionary wrote sums up my position very well.

The reasons why I chose to follow Christianity myself are:
1. philosophical (First Cause, reliability of human reason),
2. scientific (Big Bang, order, complexity, impression of design),
3. historical (consistency of the Bible, prophecy, historical accounts),
4. cultural (my Australian heritage),
5. intuitive,
6. personal (God's "fingerprints" in my life), and
7. circumstantial (NDEs, sightings etc.).

Dan
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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