Why People Believe

Why People Believe

You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Matthew 13:14-15

People believe what they actually want to believe.  William James, the great psychologist and scientist, called this phenomenon the will to believe.  But before we look any deeper, we need to ask the question what is the will?  I refer to the will as your ‘want to’, which means that your appetite is very much a part of your will.  Your will determines what you want and what you seek.  It will also influence the degree  to which you want to do something or believe something.

If a person does not have the will to believe, he will not want to believe,  consequently it would be impossible for him to believe or even truly seek to believe.  We could say that a person becomes dead to anything he does not have a will to believe in.  They have eyes but don’t see, and ears but they don’t hear.  In this, I am not saying that if you have a will to believe, that you will believe anything.  To say that a person has the will to believe is simply to say he is willing to look at something with an open mind that is prepared to believe, if the evidence for it is there.  If there is no will to believe, no amount of evidence will convince a person to believe anything.

What about reason?  Reason only works when there is a will to believe or disbelief, because it reason is the handmaiden of the will.  The will summons reason to make up all kinds of arguments and excuses for believing or not believing.  For reason to work there must be a will and a presupposition that it can work from.  Reason does not work in a vacuum.

I know a large number of people who fancy themselves as open-minded that will look at any issue for the sole purpose of reinforcing their self-image of being open minded.  What they believe in is there open-mindedness.  However, they have none or very little will to believe other things.  These people usually only make a superficial search for the truth on any issue.  Very shallow thinking is reasons way of justifying their open-mindedness.

The reason there are few people who have a true will to believe is  because the human being senses that the will to believe, and the will to action, are so in intertwined they cannot be separated.  This means that the things you will to believe, you will act on and act out.  Your actions demonstrate and prove your will to believe.  This simply means if you do not want to act, you will not have a will to believe.  So the will to believe not only has to do with what you want to believe, but also in what you want to do.  The person that hates his neighbor will have a hard time embracing a deity that commands him to love his neighbor and forgive him.

The will to believe is also closely connected with need.  A perceived need creates an appetite and a will for something.  If a person does not perceive a need for something, he will seldom have an appetite or a will for that thing or person; e.g. the person who believes that they have no sin to be forgiven of, will rarely seek a God that offers forgiveness.

Jesus said, “If any man wills to do the will of the Father, he will know the teaching…”  Does this not say that a man approaches God, not through his reason but through his will?  If you want to do God’s will you will know the teaching, you will find God, when you will to find him.  If you do not know God it is because you do not want to.  If a person wants to know the true God they will seek him and find him.

In summary, the way to God does not begin with reason; it begins with the will of man.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”  He also said, “Let the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  And let him that heareth say, “Come!”  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, (desires) let him take the water of life freely”  Revelation 22:17.

 

The End of Materialism?

The End of Materialism?

Materialism is a philosophy that teaches the only thing which exists is what science call matter or energy. For the materialist there is no spirit, soul or even consciousness.  As a philosophy, it represents the foundational world-view of atheism.  Materialism and its birth child of atheism will never be the preeminent  world view  because it leaves humanity empty and without meaning.  Any illusions of meaning it might offer are quickly drained by suffering, the brevity of life and him him death.  Of course, there are some who have the intellectual ability to build and maintain a huge bulwark of superficial and peripheral arguments to protect their illusions of meaning.  The most that can be said about these arguments is that they divert people’s attention away from reality onto their quibbles, which seems to work fairly well for those who have very little expectations of life. This is one of the biggest problems and dangers of atheism; it has the tendency to hollow out people and diminish their expectations or hopes for the future or life in general, which in turn precipitates an existential crisis that often leads to nihilism.

In his classic book “The Denial of Death”, Ernest Becker points out that humanity denies its death by creating illusions.  He claims that one of these delusions is religion, but he acknowledges that it’s just one among many.  The most typical method of delusion is simply to force the idea of death to the back of your mind.  Most humans are so well-practiced at this deception that they do it with very little effort or consciousness.

In fact, it has been my experience that people of faith think and talk about death more than the non-religious.  In this, they demonstrate more of a grasp on reality, at least in this one area, greater than the non-religious.  The secular man appears to avoid the issue of death altogether, which seems to be a far deeper form of denial, than trusting in an afterlife.

Of course, you must demonstrate that religion is false, not just flawed, before you can totally dismiss it as a delusion, which Becker doesn’t attempt.  However, in his conclusion Becker does demonstrate the utilitarianism of religion and affirms that religion does work well in dealing with the fear of death.  This dispels the shallow idea of the new atheist type that says religion poisons everything and intrinsically has no value.

The end of materialism can be seen throughout the west and especially in eastern Europe where we have a preview of its demise in Russia where materialism was forced on the population by an atheistic government for decades, at which point it left the populace hollowed out and empty.  The Russian model of materialism demonstrates the unworkable and the destructive nature of materialism and the atheism that follows.

I personally feel that the biggest problem with materialism is that no one can live as though they really believed it.  If consistent, the materialist must also be a determinist and deny the free will of man and I have yet to see a man live as though he is a slave to the mindless movement of matter.  One of my pragmatic friends put it this way; “I’ve never known a man that didn’t look both ways before crossing a street.” You cannot live a consistent life and be a materialist.

Carl Jung Thoughts on Atheism

 

In following video, Carl Jung presents some material that should make the new atheist type rethink the virtue of their constant attacks on religion as though virtuous.  Jung points out that a loss of faith and religion is the reason why so many people today are despondent.  Young also shows that a loss of faith tends to move a culture towards State-ism along with the development and growth of a will for power in the human spirit, which results in mental disorders and the totalitarian state.

In a past article I pointed out that atheism is a phenomenon which seems to take place at the end of a civilization and is one of the marks of a decaying culture.  It is hard to tell whether atheism is the cause, or the fruit, of a culture in declension.  However, either way it is not a positive force in the human community.

An honest unbeliever, Dr. E. Wengraf does not seem to share the enthusiasm of the new atheist in debunking people’s faith,  “Every piece of anti-religious propaganda seems to me a crime.  I surely do not wish it to be prosecuted as a crime, but I consider it immoral and loathsome.  This not because of zeal for my convictions, but because of the simple knowledge,  acquired through long experience, that, given the same circumstances, a religious man is happier than the irreligious.  In my indifference and skeptical attitude toward all positive faith, I have often envied other men to whom deep religiosity has given a strong support in all the storms of life.  To uproot the souls of such men is an abject deed.  I abhor any proselytizing.  But still, I can understand why one who believes firmly in a saving faith tries to convert others.  But I cannot understand a propaganda of unbelief.  We do not have the right to take away from a person his protecting shelter, be it even a shabby hut, if we are not sure we can offer him a better, more beautiful house.  But to lure men from the inherited home of their souls, to make them err afterward in the wilderness of hypotheses and philosophical question marks, is either criminal fatalism or criminal mindlessness.”

 

A Letter to a Young atheist (2)

A Letter to a Young atheist

You asked if I had read any books written by atheists.  I’ve read a number of the books written by the four Horsemen and many other atheists.  After reading them, I still think atheism is a mental disorder that shows up at the end of any declining civilization.  Even if every religion throughout the world is wrong that doesn’t make atheism right.

You argument that the division in the religion world is a proof that there is no God demonstrates a shallow understand of the human condition. In fact, if there is an all powerful being you would expect finite creatures like humans to be divided concerning their belief about it.  So, what you point out to be an inconsistency is very much consistent with a belief in an all-knowing God.  Disunity of belief is the very thing you should expect to find when a finite creature believes in an all-powerful God.

Your quibbles about there being no proofs for the existence of God border on the hysterical.  First, there is an enormous difference between evidence and proof.  A huge percentage of human knowledge has little to no proof of its  own accuracy.  The majority of human knowledge believed is based on the authority of a teacher, and to have faith in that teacher.  Very few people ever see the evidence or proof for numerous beliefs.  These beliefs range from Darwinian evolution, to theories of the multi-verse.  If you believe these things, it’s because someone told you to believe it and you accepted it by faith and you accepted it as logical because they framed the evidence in a world view that you had already accepted. When talking about evidence we are using the language of science, when you start talking about proofs you are using the language of philosophy not science. Science cannot possibly prove or disapprove the idea of God[1].  Science recognizes its limitations.  Why can’t you atheists? The truth is that you don’t understand science any better than you do religion.

However, science can offer evidence that seems at least to support the idea of a supreme consciousness that created all things.  The apparent design that we see in the universe is one of these things and the other is the fact that the universe had a beginning. Both scientific theories support the idea of consciousness more than a belief that the world and the universe were just cobbled together by a mindless force. However, it does not proof it be on a shadow of a doubt.

If you’re looking for proofs in philosophy, you can forget it.  Philosophically, it would be hard to prove that you even exist, much more than proving the nonexistence of a god.  Human beings are small ignorant creatures whose existence is based pretty much on faith in many presuppositions, which cannot be proven. Our ambiguous position in the universe tends to cause insecurity so we gravitate towards seeking certitude (proofs) of our beliefs. In this religion is actually more honest than secular people when it says that we walk by faith and not by sight.

The new atheists are small-minded people who have an over-inflated view of themselves and their intelligence.  As a result they are fundamentalist in their thinking and they still live in a world of proofs.  This alone is an unbelievable paradox because of their belief system, or their lack of beliefs.  For in their belief system of materialism there couldn’t be such a thing as truth for truth[2] is a concept that belongs in a religious framework that believes in an Ultimate Authority as a foundation of human knowledge.  The atheist appeal to truth demonstrates that they are still thinking in a religious framework and in essence, for many their lack of belief has become a religion.

[1] The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: ‘Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to  explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” Taken from “Who made God?, a searching For a Theory Of Everything” by Fay Weldon.

[2] In a materialistic worldview there cannot be a traditional moralistic truth. Atheism will always lead to relativism where truth is what a person believes.

A Letter to a Christian Science Teacher

A Letter to a Christian Science Teacher

Your Zionist interpretation of the Bible seems to align with those that you dislike; i.e. fundamentalist’s, and your defense of science seems to contradict your statement, that it is not a religion.  However, you defend it as though it was your religion.  Furthermore, the way you defend it seems to be a little over the top.  If you view it simply as a method of finding the truth; i.e. the scientific method, then why the big fuss?  No one disagrees with the scientific method.  The question is do scientists really follow it?  I personal think not.  The scientific method is used pretty much to make the scientific community respectable and they keep it as law about as well as the Jews kept the Law of Moses.

I think it is self-evident that in most people’s minds science has become a metaphysical concept[1], which goes way beyond people in white jackets applying the scientific method to their research.  Science has become the authority that people appeal to in a secular atheistic culture and for many, science has evolved into a new religion.  It used to be that people would appeal to the Bible or the church.  They would say “Because the Bible says so” or “Because the church says so”.  Now it is nothing but “science says”.  For many in our culture the only knowledge that has not been debunked and found useless is called science.  This is nonsense; however it is fostered by many in the scientific community.  To me there is far more truth in a good work of art than in most scientific theories, or more power in a song than in all of the science in the world.  Science has given us many toys and made life easier in some ways, but I think it hasn’t given many people meaning, peace of mind, joy or love.  In fact, many scientists are arrogant jackasses.  “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up”.  Science does not teach this, the Bible does.  The false god (idol) of science has taken us to the very edge of the abyss.  It has given evil men the power to take away our humanity and turn us into machines.  The state is already using it to manipulate the herd in any direction it wishes.  Science is now the handmaid of the state, just as religion was a century ago.  I personally, value my freedom more than comfort, ease and pleasure.  To me science is like religion, it is human and therefore needs to be criticized and critiqued often.  The power that it has attained is equal to that of religion and is one of the powers that the Bible speaks about.  Remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood but rather with the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.  Those heavenly powers have their counterpart on this earth.  What do you thinks stands behind the metaphysical concept of science?

Science is the false god of many worldly people.  It promises them salvation if they will give it their money and commitment.  It promises health and wealth to all that follow it.  It claims to be able to predict the future (global warming).  Something the Bible says only God can do.  Not only does it claim to know the future, it also claims it can control it.  It also boasts of its miracles of healing and its signs and wonders.  To me this sounds a little like the antichrist in the book of Thessalonians[2] and surely sounds like religion.  I think science is what you make of it, but for many they have made it their faith and religion.

[1] Science is a concept that does not existence in reality. If it does where is it? Can I see it, smell it, taste it or touch it? I can do all these things to the people that practice it but I cannot do it to it. In this manner, it resembles religion.

[2]  ” The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.  They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thess 2:8-12).