Why is the belief in God so strong? All people please answer!?

I mean, many religions today are a form of worshiping the same god, at least with Muslims, Christians and Jews.

I don't know about Buddhism and Hinduism, but the major religions of the world today basically believe in god. I don't mean to offend those who take that as offense. It seems many people do now a days.

What I mean is that for the past about 2000 years God has been the major deity in civilization, well why and why has some people (Like Vikings) given up to Christianity without keeping their own religion and culture?

45 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    God is an ambiguous word. It has many different meanings. A concept so fluid has a lot of staying power.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mostly, people believe in a god because they want it to exist. This is especially true in cases when the doctrine associated with the god somehow makes them feel special or good about themselves. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have done fairly well because of their nature of being somewhat exclusionary and making promises to their believers that appeal to their ego. People tend to easily fall into believing that they are "saved" while others are not, or that they are some sort of special "chosen" person.

    The saved/damned dichotomy was something that didn't exist in a lot of pagan religions. So, this was a doctrinal advantage that the "Abrahamic" faiths tended to enjoy. Of course, this advantage doesn't make those faiths any more likely to be true than the pagan religions, it simply made them appeal more to people's egos.

    Another big factor in the spread of both Christianity and Islam was the fact that they both very actively sought converts. Most pagan religions had no real interest in converting more followers.

    Also, if a pagan faith did "convert" someone, that conversion would not actually take the convert away from their original faith. It was perfectly fine to worship several different pagan gods. Christianity and Islam, however, insisted that their converts stop worshiping their previous deities. So, while the spread of a pagan belief would not eliminate other faiths, the spread of Christianity and Islam did eliminate other faiths.

    Another reason that people, such as the Vikings, converted to Christianity was political in nature. Since Christianity pushed out other religions and actively sought converts, the church became politically more powerful as it claimed more followers. Quite often, if a pagan king converted to Christianity and pledged to cooperate with the Pope, the church would help that king cement alliances with nearby peoples that had also converted to Christianity.

    So, when a pagan king found himself and his tribes in danger of being attacked by neighbors, it was sometimes expedient for him to just decide to convert to make some quick allies.

    Also, back in those days, when a king converted, so did all of his subjects. Freedom of religion was not something that was practiced in those times. The king decided what religion everyone in the country was going to follow. So, if the Pope could get a king to convert, the church gained a lot of new followers all at once.

    Of course, this is part of the reason that so many pagan practices ended up being incorporated into the Catholic faith. When an entire population was suddenly told that they were now Christian, elements of their old belief systems tended to hold on in nooks and crannies and just get blended into the the new faith.

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  • Watsit
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The belief in God goes back way beyond 2,000 years ago, although then most religions believed in lots of Gods, and worshipped statues and idols, etc!

    The strong belief in God comes from more and more people knowing Him and experiencing a change of heart as the Holy Spirit indwells in them!

    The biggest problem between the three major religions, is that although we all worship the same God, Jews believe that Jesus hasn't been born yet, Christians believe that Jesus has been born and is the Son of God and Muslims believe that Jesus lived, and was not the Son of God, but merely a prophet!

    Christianity, as far as I can tell, is the only religion to be chosen, as opposed to born into?!

    This would also suggest that Christianity is right, because Jesus treated all people as equal, and lets anyone who repents of their sins and turns away from sin and accepts Him as Lord, become born again!

    It doesn't matter how rich, poor, old, young, black, white, weak, strong, etc you are, or what religion you are born into, anyone can become a Christian!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't know about Judiasm and Islam, but the reason why Christianity is so popular is because people like the idea of a God who loves us unconditionally and forgives our sins if we repent and promises us eternal life if we live the way God wants us to.

    Why don't people keep their own religion when they convert to Christianity? Because Christianity teaches that you can't worship other gods if you are a Christian. However, many cultural traditions were retained when the people converted to Christianity. For example, the Christmas holiday is celebrated in a very similar way to the Pagan holiday of Yule, which also occurs at the winter solstice. Jesus was actually born in the summer, but when the Pagans first converted to Christianity, they still wanted to celebrate Yule. So the church moved the celebration of Christmas to the winter solstice, so that the new Christians could retain their Yule traditions without worshipping Pagan gods.

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  • Yogini
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The original 'religion' was earth based. These are the oldest traditions and the traditions that make the most sense. The Judeo-Christian God is a very new version of every other version of God. If you think about it, after Christianity was established the Crusades and Middle Ages pretty much wiped out any opposing belief system. That was the aim. It was malicious and calculated. Many beautiful old traditions, I'm thinking of the Gnostics, were annihilated. It's rather disgusting if you think about it. I believe there is room for everything but people are still dying for the God they believe is the 'right one'. There is no right one. Love. Understanding. Compassion. Open-heartedness lead to God, the Universe, the Matrix or peaceful nonexistence.

    Source(s): Buddhists, just for the record, fall into theistic and non-theistic groups.
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  • jdm
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    A higher being has been influential for much more than 2000 years. It may not have been imagined to be a man, but the thought that there's something greater than us has been around for as long as man.

    As simpler people, humans saw the world around them and couldn't possible conceive the notion that all of this was created by chance. Even eclipses were seen as messages sent by a god.

    Personally, I believe there's something more out there. Not necessarily a god like we think, but truth be told, I have no idea what it could be. I just happen to think that for humanity to believe it's the end all be all--that the complexity of the human mind and it's thought processes are the conglomeration of science and chance--is conceited to say the least, especially considering the fact that there is no proof that there is, or is not a god.

    Haven't you ever thought about what would happen to you when you die? Does it go straight to black? Do you realize you're in the ground? All of that thinking, pondering and soul searching over the course of your life, and it ends in a pine wood box underground? It seems too simplistic to me.

    Plus, when you believe that there's a higher being out there--whatever it may be--you believe that there's more to life than just yourself and your actions. You also believe that something out there has some influence on your life, and as humans, we believe it to be a positive impact. Regardless, your actions will always come with consequences. If you murder someone in the middle of the woods, and no one is around to see it, would you not still feel even the slightest bit of guilt? Ever wonder why? Is it because you think "Someone" saw you? If there is no god to answer to in the end, then wouldn't this world be routed in chaos? More-so than if at least some portion of 6.5 billion people on this planet felt that they had to answer to higher being in the end?

    I think that it's the basis of morality--our natural laws if you will. How can one destroy what we did not create?

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  • LJG
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    This is a very interesting question.

    I think that many reliegions were worshipping what was in essence the same God with a different name, and perhaps they simply "converted" to calling Him what others do.

    We all have one God... we all call Him what our culture says we have called Him for thousands of years.

    And the world is a much smaller place than it used to be, so there is more "contamination" (that is not meant in a derogatory way!) from the outiside-- maybe "influence" is a better term-- but it means that people are more exposed to other cultures and beliefs and ideas, and they have leaked into the older cultures.

    Interesting, giving this one a star!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly, the Abrahamic religions do not believe in the same god- just go to one denomination or another, or even a few people within a denomination, and you are 99.98% likely get different answers.

    Secondly, I think that you asking two questions, "What is God?" and, "What is god?" ('Big G' and 'little g')

    People believe anything they want for no reason in particular (because they can?!?). This goes for anything. One person's understating / belief of a potato (or whatever) is going to be different from another's simply because they are an individual- their experience with and memories of potatoes (or whatever) are different; an individual is always different by definition.

    God is a convent word for something that doesn't have a definition- defining God limits God. So, to believe in God is to believe in something: if you believe, you believe in God.

    When groups or individuals put parameters on God (like YHVH/Zeus/Indra etc), or any belief, it is usually because that belief is going to get them something they want, like power, not killed, a community, etc. These limits are usually way beyond what ordinary people have, like throwing thunderbolts, and so give hope that these magical, super-beings will assist the devotee, and this is the 'little g', god. These limits also help explain why things work (like, "The sky is so happy its crying" or "Heat, pressures, and gravity have effected certain molecules in such-and-such a way, so its raining")

    People who believe things for no reason are unreasonable. Reason has to be limited in its scope, otherwise its not ordered at all and nothing makes sense. In the same way, God has no limits, and God is an individual's own potential to overcome its limits (and so too its individual-ness), and yet has no 'real' existence while god is an explanation and observation of limits, as well as an excuse (for whatever).

    So, people believe in God and god because they are conscious!

    btw, Buddhists and Hindus, all major religions in fact have started wars of all degrees- people believe what they want because they can. Please go for God! Love = God!

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  • 1 decade ago

    No thought process required to explain our existence; the idea we are not animals that will cease to exist in any form one day; INSTANT ACCEPTANCE- think of it like people that do drugs, they are instantly accepted by other people that use substances as well, easy way to bond with people and feel accepted.

    You're right, Islam, the Jewish religion, and Christianity all worship the same God(though most of them have no clue about this fact). Most of their origins may be traced to Paganism, which was dominant before these Abrahamic religions took hold. For example, Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday. The Christians stole it and incorporated it in their religion.

    Why is the belief in God so strong? It's been answered several times over by the freethinkers on this board. The weak/frail/simple minded all flock to it (religions' explanations) as a means of protection. It is scary veering away from it at first;but, it becomes very satisfying to free ones self of all of the irrational fear mongering violent nonsense religions bring upon us. It is a huge barrier of society.

    Also, you may look around and be in awe; seeing the magnificent perfection of this planet (and universe). It is incredibly cohesive; and....it is perfectly setup. This is why I have a suspicion, and a pull towards believing there is a higher power of a sort. I do not subscribe to this feeling, I am on the fence, prove it, I'll believe it. It is hard though (as we lack so much understanding @ present) to dismiss the notion of a Higher Power, for me at least. Religions suck though, and they are a simple explanation to the unexplainable (at present).

    Religions separate the whole of people rather than bring them together. Scientists also are suspecting it is built into us genetically, though the study of this theory is in it's infancy.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Time marches on . Gods come, and gods go . The present set of gods are reaching the point where they'll be sent to the garbage dump with all of those who came before them . Some lasted far longer than the present ones , some only a very short time .

    My own opinion is that all superstitions will someday be found only in history books . Only one or two generations ago , everybody was very religious and superstitious - - - not so today . People are more practical , and think for themselves . They question instead of believing blindly .

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  • 1 decade ago

    The religions followed the civilizations. There were many different forms of faith from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. But the civilizations from the Middle East influenced civilizations in Europe (and thus their religion). Then Europe heavily influenced North America, South America, and Africa. Asia still has religions quite different from Christianity.

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