ANSWERS: 27
  • Even though this can start something heated, I agree 100%. I was born catholic and converted to Atheist.
  • I do agree, I believe a vast majority of the world's population are of the faith they were brought up in. There are exception but they are in the minority.
  • It's your decision. What do YOU want to be a part of? Whatever it is, go for it! I am a Christian (<><) and I am very happy with my life, not that I am perfect. I hope this helps. ;-)
  • I agree, but that's only if you swallow your religion and don't take the time to explore others and your own more. If you live in a religious household, then this can be difficult to do while you're growing up, but once you're grown there's nothing to stop you taking stock and really considering which is the best spiritual path for you to find 'the truth'. Some people don't seem to have this ability to see through their own religion as adults, and this sometimes appears as fanaticism. I think that's a shame, and most likely a result of what you call the 'cultural element' of religion.
  • IN many cases, yes, but since there are lots of people "converting" to beliefs other than those favoured by their culture, and willing to die for them, there must be more to it.
  • I think it's more complicated than that: yes, there is a cultural aspect to religion -- different cultures have come up with different takes on the universal truths. If you look at the major religions, they share quite a bit in common: an emphasis on restraining the ego, relating to the whole with wisdom and compassion, expressing and maintaining certain ethical values, and being of service to others. This is unlikely to be a coincidence -- I say these elements arise from the common spiritual ground we all stand on, regardless of culture. The individual variations between religions are indeed culture-relative: religion is a mixture of timeless truths, local customs, and historical mythology. If you want a good starting point for your spiritual quest, you could do a lot worse than looking at what's common to all religions. Beyond that point, the best path becomes less obvious to one who is searching... courage, persistence, and awareness are recommended.
  • Your grounding would be in the religion of your family and so that is how you would have received your spiritual grounding. God gave us all a mind and the ability to reason, so, in the same way that some people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist or Agnostic parents have evolved a belief system different from their parents, you could have done the same. So I would agree with the idea behind your question only to the extent that particular religious beliefs are predominantly cultural.
  • Not necessarily. I was raised in an agnostic/atheist family (rather fanatically so, actually), and have been LDS since I was 24.
  • If I brought my child up to believe that all Blacks, Jews and Gypsies were subhumans worthy of extermination, I would be properly vilified. Yet we allow children to be brainwashed by religion, shouldn't they be allowed to make an informed choice as adults?
  • To some extent. I look at religion as a balance between the culture I grew up in and the culture I live as part of today. They aren't the same, but generally, one does influence the other and they turn into your beliefs. That is why a child who was raised with no religion can find it along the way, and why a child from a very religious home can lose it. I guess the only time it close to 100% is when your culture doesn't allow free religious choice.
  • Religion have really a cultural element. A person's religion is based on the cultural element that he is into when he was growing up. His parent's religion is his first intro to religion per se. As he grow up, he will see that there are different kind of religion that, in one or the another, claim some truths. He will now have to decide which of those teaching from different religions hold true for him. That is called personal truth or as we call it, belief. As an adult, he now have a chance to denounce religion or embrace it.
  • I've been reading a lot of work lately that looks at religion more as a 'meme' than anything else - that is to say, a cultural or societal (something) that is transmitted either vertically (parent-child) and/or horizontally (person-person), and behaves exactly like a gene does, in regards to natural selection and sometimes even mutation. I could explain the whole meme-hypothesis if you want, but for now in this answer I'll just explain it's implications. Religions are cultural elements that are transferred from person to person in a variety of ways, and behave / evolve in the attempt to reproduce themselves in the minds of more and more people. They can be harmful, neutral, or beneficial for their hosts. (The meme theory is where the idea of religion being a 'mental parasite' comes from - those who hold this view believe that religion is a negative meme for the host {a parasite}, but it's important to understand that a meme is NOT necessarily negative, they can also be neutral or beneficial.) All that being said, your situation is a perfect example of evidence that religion is a cultural meme - it is passed from parent to child, and forms itself within your mind as the truth, thus meaning it has both reproduced itself from your parents to you, but allowing it to reproduce itself again from you to your children, etc. Mmm, reading through what I've written, I feel that I need to make something as clear as possible: Meme's are NOT conscious entities, and they do NOT have a biological substance. (They aren't actual parasites, viruses, genes, etc, they just ACT like them) Also, I think you've made an unjustified jump there in your question, just because something is culturally transmitted from parent to child, and thus varies between different cultures, it doesn't mean it isn't true. There may very well be a God EXACTLY as described in the Bible, it's just that neither the Bible nor the testimony of it's believers is really very substantial evidence, since it is a culturally transmitted phenomenon and 'most' believers would testify to any religion they were brought up in regardless of what it was : P ***** I am not an expert on meme-theory, so it's entirely likely that I have just waffled on for a few minutes, completely butchering the whole concept of a meme... If anyone more qualified could verify whether or not I was accurate, I'd appreciate it : P
  • to an extent it does. religion is also part mental as i believe it to be. usually the people i know would go to the religion they feel most strong in and most secure in.
  • I grew up low church episcopalian. then i got born again and became a baptist. then i got filled with the spirit and became non denominational. then i turned sixty and gave up on church and became a heretic. the living God is where its at.
  • God has many facets.
  • I think a person knows the truth when they come across it, its written in the hearts. What is truth... "Truth is all that matters" Truth is Love"
  • well, thank joseph and mary that you were indeed born into the right and only true religious faith!!! otherwise you'd assuredly be cast into hell for eternity. seems silly, doesn't it? i'm with you on this one.
  • It's easy to say that but it's never been proven to be done. Children tend to adopt the faith of their parents or guardians unless either driven from it by bad religious experience or no longer find it fits their values and views. Islam is the fastest growing religion currently followed by Hinduism and Christianity is the most rapidly declining of the three Abrahamic faiths and this is largely due to the atheist disassembly of the religion and some of the crimes being done by people purporting to be of the faith but really just are of the silver coin.
  • Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah (God) Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Comment: Children are born believers in God, academic claims Children are "born believers" in God and do not simply acquire religious beliefs through indoctrination, according to an academic. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html
  • Certainly, parental and peer (marriage, for instance) influences are quite important during childhood. They instill values and a sense of belonging. But many children rebel during their teenage years, as they search for their own identity. I'm sure many find truth in their past religion or in their newfound religion. But truth is not relative.
  • I think you are right in that the religion you are raised in is the one you are most likely to remain in because you have been taught culturally. However, many people who have been raised in even relatively closed communities (ie. Russia when atheism prevented any religious expression or certain tribes etc)have been moved to certain faiths through dreams and other divine direction. Therefore, I would say that although culture plays a strong role in where you begin it certainly doesn't close opportunities for God to move in mysterious ways.
  • I have to say that you may not be a believer of a faith you grew up with, there is no certainty about it, its a choice you make as you grow up and learn.
  • Correct. Religion, or rather organized religion, is in no way connected to truth. It's cultural and political in nature.
  • The truth of what God is all about should override long held ideas...that were wrong when they were thought up and are still wrong today... Unless children have the true knowledge of the Bible given to them, they very well will continue the wrongful beliefs of their parents...and those beliefs will always stay wrong...
  • As long as your belief, whether religious, secular/ethical, atheist, brings you peace without imposing on others, it is the truth for you.
  • thats possible
  • Absolutely. With the hundreds of religions in the world it is ridiculous to determine one of them is real and all the others are false. The fact that each person in each religion feels his or her religion is the only true religion is grotesquely illogical and impossible. Does that mean that they are all just self-centered organizations that compete for followers for the power they receive for the larger numbers. When there is overwhelming evidence that a politician is a pedophile and a rapist and many of the religious leaders in his state support him that should be very telling. If all the Christians in the world aren't looking at that and not saying WTF, then they should.

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