Showing posts with label social benefits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social benefits. Show all posts

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Seeking God

Near Death Experiences - Beliefnet

Seeking God with all my might might have meant something different to me than to you.

I was not seeking God. I am an atheist and always have been. I have no interest in making the leap of faith to find God. But for a large variety of reasons I have studied religions extensively, and have been open to God experiences. It is impossible to sing an Ave Maria, or a Mass without believing in the Virgin or the Trinity at least for the duration of the work. Not understand it, but believe it. But if there were a traditional God who was just itching to show His face (in the case of the Mass) or Herm face in other situations, there was ample opportunity to do so. Net result: Nothing.

In all my studies I have found nothing that would want me to make that leap of faith. Most gods have the characteristics of a spoiled teen age male [insert your own crude adjective here.] The ones that don't, don't even pretend to be gods, although followers may try to make them one. The Buddha and Jesus come to mind. Jesus not Paul's Christ. As for religions a few might be attractive, but the prevailing theism gets in the way. I can and do ignore it, but none make enough sense to belong.

I have found my society, which satisfies all my social needs. It doesn't need a church, although Facebook is an incredible enabler for it. But before Facebook there were other networking tools that worked well enough. Promotional airfares are cheap and one can always find a couch to crash on if not a comfortable guest suite."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is there value in God beliefs?

Is there any value in belief in God? - Beliefnet


"What is the value of a belief in God?

The most obvious values concerning a belief in God include conformity to social mores, strengthening of a sense of community, psychological benefits including the sense of personal power, and increased satisfaction from the internal perception of the expansion of knowledge.

What needs does the belief in God address?

Within Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, Safety Needs are addressed directly and indirectly by belief in God. God is identified as the Protector and Guardian of his flock, the unstoppable foe of enemies, source for miracles of all kinds, etc. Love/Belonging/Social Needs are also addressed directly and indirectly by belief in God. God’s grouping of humans is characterized as a “Church;” membership is claimed to earn one God’s love; etc.

How does belief benefit/improve a person?

Belief can be a bridge out of the quagmire of low self-esteem. The belief that one has the benefit of an infallible Guide can instill the confidence to act rather than remain immobilized due to fear of failure or misfortune. Belief “socializes” a person and helps connect them to a support group outside their immediate family.

God is not required to objectively exist to provide benefit to the believers

The idea of God is more powerful than an actual existence of a being: the non-existent God is not required to conform to reality; supernatural qualities, reports of miracles and anecdotes of His supposed exploits are beyond the reach of falsification; His supposed revelations need only happen to His representatives to earn authority: He is not required to meet anyone’s expectations and is not required to conform to any moral code, not even His own."

J'C: This deserves to be rescued from the train wreck don't bother with the link. Please note the critical fact in the last paragraph. The existence of God supernatural, natural, or at all is irrelevant to the benefits of God to believers and non-believers alike. If God makes my neighbor a happier, better integrated, more productive and better socialized person, I am still looking for the downside, for my neighbor and for me.

I do not live in a vacuum, I am dependent on my neighbors at the very least to keep the street a safe and welcoming place for visitors and my children as they walk to school. They produce goods and services that I need, and if they were in that quagmire of low self esteem either because of low capabilities, or incorrectly evaluating those capabilities they would be unable to produce for society. They consume goods and services that support my society providing the critical mass of consumption that makes the goods and services I need affordable. Many of them provide social, artistic, and intellectual support for me through my contacts with them at work, in the stores, in leisure activities, and even in their church if I can wrangle an invitation as a respectful guest.