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Subject: Re: Further thoughts and responses ( 47 of 52 )
Posted by arbiter

Si, I agree with you on your point entirely, but it's a different one to the one I seem not to be able to communicate. And you needn't worry about 'picking on me' - I sense we're both mature enough to have a discussion without getting defensive or put-upon! :-

There are equally rationalistic arguments for belief in a deity as there are love for a child. Man started out cold and afraid, and didn't understand what was going on about him. It seemed miraculous to him that he could exist, and he couldn't explain it. Therefore, put it all down to a god, and his infinite mysteriousness, and that clears things up.

When things are good, you thank this god (who you assume laid all this nice food and shelter at your feet), and perhaps get a little worried that he might stop being nice to you unless you give him something back. Hence sacrifice, prayer, worship, etc.

After many generations, what you have is faith. Faith that your god is still looking after you and your family, and that he will continue to keep you in good health and happiness. This makes man feel happy and cared for and 'loved', and that's the most important feeling of all for a human. It's not something that you'd swap for raw scientific knowledge, because it can't be replaced by it.

The brain-imager you mention would also light up like a Christmas tree if you mentioned the idea of god to a fervent believer, just as it would of you showed them a picture of their child.

That's all I meant by setting love as an analogy for faith. They are both responses or reactions, instead of calculated decisions of the appropriate frame of mind. You can rationalise afterwards if you like, but believers feel love for their god in the same *kind* of way. For different reasons, but due to the same kind of processes.
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