On religion as a whole

I may have asked these qeustions before but I don’t recall:

Is religion just a placebo and if not how come so many people claim it to be similar, especially the way prayer is often perceived as a placebo?

Is religion just made up?

I don’t believe that Yahweh or his son, Jesus is fake and I don’t think the Tanakh, gospels and epistles are lies. So I believe in Christianity and the claims and teachings made by Jesus Christ. I also believe prayer is real. Not just as a call to action but also as a supernatural , or quantum somethings, but that it’s not a magical wishlist either.

Placebo? What’s that, a paraphrase of Karl Marx’s “is the opiate of the masses”. LOL!
What’s the matter with “Religion is a crutch”? another old anti-theist adage.
Oh, that’s right: “religion is the opiate of the masses” mocks drug addicts and “religion is a crutch” mocks people on crutches.

Screenshot 2022-02-13 at 17-37-53 r atheism - Religion is not the opiate of the masses; religion is the placebo of the mass...

Très nouvelle mode!

:rofl: Next!

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Can’t say I ever liked that show, I remember seeing it flipping through channels as a kid but I found it boring.

Yeah, I just don’t get where the whole idea of prayer = placebo came from or why it has gained traction in anti-theist groupes and some atheist groups?

Thing is I have come across people (like on reddit for example) who think drug addicts are a lost cause and should be left to their own devices, so they don’t care at all as to what happens to drug addicts.

This is a very generalised question. It seems that looking for someone to follow or worship is part of the human psyche.Whether it is a sports hero, popstar or a charismatic leader. People will idolise and “worship”. Historically people worshiped the fantastic or unfathomable, from the sun and fire to Nature herself. Early gods were humanistic pantheons bickering and lauding and behaving like humans with superpowers. The establishment of one true God has only recently been established as the norm. Even Hinduism seems to be trying to rewrite itself to make one deity supreme and all others demi-gods or servants of the one. Judaism is probably the 1st religion to have single deity. If you read the bible frm the start you will see that originally God is a tribal God for the Jews with other deities at least acknowledged if riddiculed.
So let’s assume that God does exist, but does not wish to impose Himself. That goes against human preconceptions. So invented religions will tend to follow human contrstructs like the Roman or Norse pantheons. There isn’t time or room to try a complete faith comparison. It might be noted that Christianity and Islam stem from Judaism and claim the same deity.
So God exists and tries to encourage anyone who seems to get close to finding Him. He fosters a group but they are erratic and keep falling away, but there are some faithful, not only Jews but say North American Indians, whose faith is simple but pure and aligns itself with God’s own values if not identifying Him precisely.
Religion relies on feedback. If God does not answer or react people will eventually give up. The fact that there are so many people who still believe in God in one way or another is evidence towards “His” existence (genderism accepted).
Religion and faith go hand in hand. People of like minds gather together and religion actively encourages this. Christianity is almost unique in as much as God appears to make the 1st move with Christ. It stems from an older religious faith but reinvents it for all, not just a single chosen race. Suddenly this one God has made a claim on the whole of Creation and not just a tiny part. Not only that but any grou who has identified Him as existing is encouraged within their own cultures and traditions, God will listen to any who calls but, within His own codes , His responses are not always tangible. God is a god of faith not reality. He chooses to remain unseen and resists being physically confirmed. That way people can still ignore Him without consequence. (Free will?)
Is religion invented? To a greater or lesser extent yes. But Does God actually exist? I say yes because I have interacted with Him successfully, but can I prove it? No! That is the nature of God.

Why should religion not be made up like all other stories? Why should it be more authentic than scientific or political discourse?

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Once there is interaction or perceived responses from God then it passes beyond fiction into fact (at least for the participant). The fact that it is mostly personal and almost impossible to prove or authenticate makes it beyond the reach of both science and pragmatism. To call religion a story is to not comprehend it.

We have objective evidence of God’s providential interventions into his children’s lives as previously discussed. (Jesus said people would deny objective evidence.) Christianity is about being forgiven for our rebellion and disobedience by the sacrifice of Jesus and being adopted by a loving Father. It’s about reality, and we have evidence.

To call religion anything other than a story is not to comprehend it.

I find this insulting, so perhaps you had better explain what you mean by “a story”. Just in case I have got your meaning wrong.
Stories can be true, or based on truth, but that is not what I perceive you mean.


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To call Christianity only a story is to not comprehend it! To call Christianity other than reality is to not comprehend it.

In essence, I would say that Christianity is our response to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Now, in the strictest sense of the word, that is a story, but, as I put above, the implication is of some sort of fictional tale rather than historical events. I could write an autobiography and that would strictly be a story, but based on reality. And there is the crux. If story means fiction then it does not define Christianity, nor any other religion par se. Most religions have some sort of account, or story, at their heart or conception, but that does not define them completely. What matters is the responses to that story.


Science, art, math, life, reality… it is all just made up.

Or what? You think the Mona Lisa and the Pieta always existed?

Oh, but you can see those… take pictures… even measure them.

??? You cannot see religion, take picture, or measure that as well?

Of course you can.

Religion is quite obviously real. The question is whether you can believe its claims.

Depends on the claims. I certainly don’t believe all the claims of religion or even most of the claims I have heard Christians make. Reincarnation? don’t believe in that. Bodies coming back to life and getting up out of graves? Don’t believe in that either. That Jesus made a magical transformation of chemical water to make wine molecules appear out nothing? No, I don’t believe it! I do not believe in wizardry or necromancy (breaking the laws of nature at will) except as devices in entertainment.

just? The placebo effect is an important part of reality which scientists have to take into account.
When you are looking for things that give the same result no matter what you want or believe then you have to subtract that very real effect. And when you have subtracted that, then is religion part of that which is subtracted? YES!

The things of religion very much depend on what you want and believe. It is kind of the whole point. Science is objective observation, but life requires subjective participation. If you think you can live your life as an objective observer then you most deluded.

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Yeah, sorry, to not, not, not to.

So what isn’t a story, something we made up, like law, politics and even science about religion?

Some stories are real accounts, and not made up.

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But you believe jesus rose from the dead?

So is the mention of him doing such according to the bible an allegory or metaphor of some kind?

Yes. With a spiritual body, not a physical natural body – as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15.

Doesn’t say anything of the sort. There is absolutely no mention of chemistry or wine molecules appearing out of nothing. There is ONLY the testimony of the party participants already having drunk all the wine they started the party with, that this was a fine tasting wine. That is all. I fully expect there to be a scientific explanation IF we had chemists examine before and after. I don’t know what that explanation is, but I expect it and I deny that any such explanation means it was not a miracle.

I have said before that I read the Bible with the scientific worldview as my filter. But the reality is that EVERYONE else does the same – reading scientific terminology into the story which simply isn’t there. The difference is that while they are willing to turn the Bible into a magical fantasy, I am not – and I certainly don’t see any good reason to do so.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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