Re: virus: Why people cling to faith

Mon, 25 Jan 1999 12:23:40 -0700

faith stems a lot more from psycho-social development in childhood than it does from any type of meme.. in fact, i believe that faith is an important transmitter for the really potent memes.., not the meme transmitting faith...

Frued also puts forth (from "civilization and it's discontents") that the ego at birth is not aware of a seperation between itself and the world around it - the baby takes all information INTO itself, and it is one with the world.. as our ego and thoughts develope into an "adult ego", i.e. the capacity for abstract reasoning, we separate ourselves from the world so that we have a much clearer understanding of "outside" vs. "inside". God takes that place, bridging what we "remember" at birth.. the feeling of being one with everything.. making us one with something greater than ourselves (the world) and making us feel that we aren't quite so alone.

Faith (hope) is what you feel when your parents leave when you are two years old.. despair that they are gone, yet a bright shiny place of hope tells you that they will return.. this isn't spiritual, or religious.. it is a survival instinct..

there are certain survival instincts that make very good memetic transmitters, and faith is one of them..

good luck in forgetting your religious experience.. if it was easy to disprove personal spiritual experience, the world would be a much better place (at least much more chaotic)..

also one more comment.. is spirituality a trick of the brain? yes, but no more so than science or any other type of idea..

>>> KingsXfan <> 01/25 10:56 AM >>>
I find that few people really understand why a lot of christians hold to their faith when there seems to be so much evidence destructive to the biblical world-view. Most think it has to do with insecurity (cross is a crutch), or a need to make sense of our existence, to derive meaning and context to the heartbreak we see all around us (original sin).

I believe it has more to do with a religious experience than anything else. When I realized the logistics of one Santa bringing every boy and girl in the world toys, I was able to discard that belief. Why? Because there was no experience to cement that belief into place.

When I became a Christian, it was like that old song we hear, even in secular society, "Amazing Grace" -- I once was blind, but now I see -- I used the analogy of 3 lab rats born in a box. During the night, when they were asleep, the lid of the box opened, and a hand reached in and brought one of the rats out. It awoke, and marveled at this new place, so big, so much more wonderful than the world inside the box. In the morning, when all rats were awake, it tried to explain to the two, "I just discovered something marvelous!! There's so much more to the world than just the inside of this box!" and went on for an hour explaining what it had seen that night. The other two looked at each other and then said, "uhh...yeah, right."

That is an analogy to the christian experience in "meeting Jesus Christ". It's like a whole new world opens up, and you want to tell everyone about it. It's so real that no amount of evidence seems to be able to destroy faith in it.

I hope this clears up for you what makes a lot of these christians tick.

I have had that experience, and now am trying to find out if this experience is just a trick of the brain.