Is religion a choice?

In their traditional (true) form, that statement is only applicable to Islam. Christianity is mostly faith based, believe then you will understand, and it used to be you could only be born into Judaism.

The spiritual aspect of religion is a choice. But the cultural aspect isn’t much of a choice. Living in Taiwan you are basically indoctrinated into Buddhist and Taoist culture. Living in the west, you’re indoctrinated in Christianity as a culture. Classic western novels you read have strong Christian motifs and symbolism. Classical Art and music you read and listen to also share the same themes in Christianity in the west. Laws in the west are influenced by Christianity, so are morals.

It’s the obvious byproduct from centuries where religion isn’t much of a choice outside of private personal convictions.


You cannot CHOOSE the laws of physics, because it is a given fact. You cannot choose to NOT obey the laws of physics when it is a reality.

Religion is not the same. Because you have multi-options to choose from in religion. It’s like saying, you have a science (religion) class - and you can choose to take physics, chemistry, biology or environmental science (Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, or Satanism).

More importantly, religion cannot be proven as fact. That’s why you have so many options and INTERPRETATION. Science is different. You can throw a ball out of the window and expect it will fall down no matter how high you throw it or what angle you do it. In religion, if you throw a ball, you don’t know what happens - it is open to interpretation and you CAN CHOOSE which interpretation to believe in.

The cultural aspect is a choice. You can choose NOT to do it. You can choose NOT to adhere it. You can choose to CHANGE things. You have options.

If there is no ‘God’ you wouldn’t have a brain?

A choice is a decision you make - you can believe or not, you can follow or not, you can do or not. It’s a simple as that.

Regardless of what outside pressure it is, it comes down ultimately to your choice.

If we are talking about blood type, it’s a no brainer, it’s not a choice; just like the laws of physics, it’s a reality; it’s a fact.

That’s a big presumption. What is God. Who is God. And how certain are you God ‘gave’ you the brain.

I disagree. Science also has many schools of thought. Science requires a lot faith people take for granted.

A. You exist
B. This isn’t a simulation
C. You can trust your senses.

After that, you have finite abilities to prove anything and still have to believe in scientific axioms to be true. That ball, how do you know that it won’t ever not fall 1 time? How many times have tested that?

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It would take a tremendous amount of effort to not be influenced. You can be a hermit off on a island. But idk how much of a choice that is. And even then, you’d most likely already been indoctrinated by religious culture.

I’m Atheist and yes I was brought up with Christian parents, I would like to agree, however some countries have no official and never had a religion.
My girlfriend is Muslim and my last long term girlfriend was Catholic, I don’t give a shit as I don’t believe BUT I don’t renounce religion in any way and actually feel it’s good for some.

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Unless you’re in the extreme stuff!

Not at all in the way that religion has. There is a mass of empirical knowledge that all science shares in common.

This is a massive equivocation between things that we ALL have to take for granted in this world, while relying on the information provided through our senses, and religious beliefs, which can’t be empirically demonstrated in any sense.

Certainly you have to believe them, certainly, but those beliefs are grounded in the demonstrably reliable information provided through our senses. The ball has always fallen before in every instance, and we believe it will continue to fall in the same way for that reason. How is religion similar?

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My parents are militant atheists, I became drawn to Islam as a teenager, I became obsessed with Buddhism and Daoism in my 20s, and then I found that Christianity makes the most sense to me in my 30s.

Despite being a militant atheist, my mum loves gospel music and sang and churches when I was a child, so I’ve been drawn to the euphoria of Christianity’s message of grace and salvation from nearly the start. My flirtations with Islam, which I saw as cold and dogmatic, and drew me to it more out of a fear of Hell than a love of God, led me to greater appreciate the concept of grace in the New Testament. My experiences with Buddhism and Daoism didn’t fulfil me spiritually, but opened me up to a more mystical understanding of reality, in turn opening me up to Christian mysticism and the acceptance of the concept of universal salvation.

To reply to a point made earlier about how a “believer” specifically answers the question in light of the idea that most religions seem to argue that their religion or denomination is the “One True Faith”… I belong to the Church of England, but I’d never be arrogant enough to suggest that it’s the “One True” interpretation of Christianity, let alone the “One True Faith”. But, being a British man who lived in Taiwan for a few years and dipped my toes in various religions and denominations, I found that the Church of England is just the best fit for me, so I made the choice to join that denomination. I don’t even “know” with certainty that Jesus is God, and the more I’ve delved into Christian mysticism and read about early Christian cults and texts that didn’t make it into the official Canon (some of which had very different ideas about Jesus to became accepted by the Roman Empire), the more I wonder if it even matters at all.

So, I’ve made the choice to be a Christian and a member of the Church of England because Christianity makes the most sense to me as a philosophy and expression of God, although various forces outside of my control to one degree or another (such as my upbringing, culture, and exposure to Eastern religions when I lived in Taiwan) played a role in pushing me towards that decision.


No, Jesus is the son of God. But how it came to that is a mystery. You had the holy spirit, Jozef and Mary … And an in vivo fertilization?

Many people see laws of nature as empirically demonstrating in the existence of god. When scientists first saw a map of cosmic background radiation, many said it was like looking at the work of a god.

And many scientific studies don’t need empirical confirmation.

And how would that be? I can empirically demonstrate that a ball falls when dropped, reliably and repeatably.

So what? How would we demonstrate that it is?

If you’re talking about things that can’t be tested like “string theory, inflation, and the multiverse”, but these are well known examples of ideas that, while they certainly can be investigated, lie outside the norms of science. To paint all of science in the same light is another equivocation.

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Even being influenced, you have options. You are still being presented with choices, with options and you have the ability to choose between those options. Even if someone is locked up, if he is given a (poisoned) food, one can still choose whether to eat or get hungry - the one that you do not have a choice of is you will die (either of hunger or poison).

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‘The work of God’ … How does he work, what does he do? Is he a carpenter, a clerk, an artist?

If you are trying to tell me science and religion are in the same ‘teaching’ or ‘school of thought’, then you must be deluded.

To tell me that the medicine works the same as someone praying over you is a joke. C’mon.

Seriously, one is saying that there’s gravity and has been proven multiple times. While the other says ‘there’s a spirit somewhere with ZERO proof of existence’.

But then again, you have a choice just like religion - to believe it or not. So one can jump out of the window and pretend that there is ZERO possibility that the person will die, because - religion is not a ‘choice’ but ‘fact’.

I would add:

I’ve not done that. I said science requires a certain level of faith.

To a point. You will never be absolutely sure it will always fall when dropped.

And we certainly do not all take reality as real for granted. Some religions and belief systems don’t believe in such prime reality in the material world and it is all an illusion.

Is science (the scientific method) a reliable system of understanding the natural world. Yes. But we’ve been dead wrong more than often and are limited with our finite minds. And often we create just as stringent religious beliefs in science that are completely wrong.

Most of modern physics is based on Einsteins theories in relativity. Einstein himself was troubled by his theories that indicate there was a “time” before space time and matter. And he had doubts about his own work. Scientists today still acknowledge he could be wrong and some even are convinced relatively is wrong.

It’s incredibly hard to not fit into the mainstream scientific thoughts. You would have been shunned for suggesting surgeons should wash their hands because there was bacteria so small, no one can see.