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Reasons people are religious

Do you agree with these? Why or why not? Do any of them explain your reasons for being religious? Can anyone add to the list? Which ones do you find absurd and why? Which 'reasons (s)' do you think most religious people fall under?


Asked by IhartU at 12:08 PM on Mar. 24, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • "In fact, Reiss has already done some initial research that suggests the desire for independence is a key psychological desire that separates religious and non-religious people. In a study published in 2000, Reiss found that religious people (the study included mostly Christians) expressed a strong desire for interdependence with others. Those who were not religious, however, showed a stronger need to be self-reliant and independent.....In the Zygon paper, Reiss explains that every religious person balances their 16 basic human needs to fit their own personality. They embrace those aspects of religious imagery that express their strongest psychological needs and deepest personal values.”


    Answer by pam19 at 2:37 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I should add that while I think #10 is the reason for me, I would describe it as wanting to acknowledge things greater than myself in this world, wanting to express reverence and awe for Nature and the Universe, and wanting to have mutual respect, compassion, and kindness among people. Personally, I don't feel the need to label it 'God' or assign any personal, anthropomorphic qualities to the Universe or forces of Nature.

    Answer by pam19 at 12:30 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I'm sure the "lack of responsibility" might irk a lot of religious people. *shrug*

    Yes, the descriptions are biased, but I think the listed items are on mark.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:26 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Funny how religious people see themselves one way and non-religious people see them another.

    Agree on that-

    Now on to the list-the headings seem harmless enough but the text underneath tends to be more biased-

    Some of the headings hold true for me- the text underneath-not so much-

    Answer by soyousay at 12:58 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Now on to the list-the headings seem harmless enough but the text underneath tends to be more biased-

    Some of the headings hold true for me- the text underneath-not so much-

    This - there is validity to the headings, but the author's "explanations" of the headings are a steaming pile of condescending bullshit.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:03 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I agree with most of those as possible reasons someone might be religious. Obviously, for some individuals it might only be one or two of the reasons.

    I don't technically belong to a 'religion' anymore, but I am interested in an Unitarian Universalist Church. Scientific or Naturalistic Pantheism is sometimes seen as a religion and sometimes seen as a philosophy. Same thing with Buddhism and Taoism--it depends who you ask.

    Personally, my reasons for being part of a religion or seeking out these philosophical paths would be #10. I consider myself a Pantheist. I don't believe in supernatural deities, so my views are compatible with atheism, agnosticism, etc. but if I'm going to label myself I prefer to do it based on what I DO believe rather than what I don't. I understand atheism is a label others prefer, and I understand some of the reasons why--this is my preference. If I joined a UUA church, it would be for #7 and #10.

    Answer by pam19 at 12:26 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • "It is very rare for someone to be brought up in a certain religion and get older and not believe it anymore."

    Really?? How many of us on here have changed our beliefs from how we were raised?? Doesn't seem all that "rare" to me. 

    The author is an idiot. 


    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 2:35 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • This seems pretty biased. The explanations of each reason make anyone who is religious out to be a dillusional nut. I can't answer this.

    Answer by Renee3K at 12:19 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • It's clear a non-religious person wrote the list. Mentioning finding answers as a band-aid to actual answers, describing parents who bring their children up in faith as "thinking" they're teaching their children truth, and unsatisfied people being the only ones who "believe" to name a few examples. Clearly biased.

    Answer by Renee3K at 12:27 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • i think the headings are reasons i go to church (socializing, tradition, & some spiritual fulfillment) but they are not why i believe what i do. my beliefs go far deeper and are more personal than just the building i go to on Sundays.

    its almost as if the author doesnt understand that there's more to a belief in God(s) than going to church, but honestly that doesnt surprise me. and the explanations just sound like an arrogant person's justification for why they dont "get" religion ( hence the "oh i dont understand why these ppl do this thing so there must be something wrong w/ them" attitude). the headings are reasons for the man-made religious structures and some ppl's attachments to them, but not the actual beliefs ppl hold.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:03 PM on Mar. 24, 2011