Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

How much does the opinion of others play into what you believe or don't believe?

I debated religion with my mother for a few minutes over the weekend (bad idea--won't be doing that again). Her strongest argument was that her father (my grandfather, of course) believes in God. Now, he is one of the most intelligent, knowledgeable, logical, and rationally thinking people I have ever known. So, my mother said she takes comfort in knowing that he believes in God, and if he does, then it must be correct.

For me this argument is pretty decent, because my grandfather really is brilliant and (usually) rational.

But just because someone I think is credible believes in God, that doesn't mean I shouldn't do my own research and come to my own conclusions.

What about you? Who influences you?


(And for the record, I don't even know if my grandfather believes in God. She thinks he does but it wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't and just keeps quiet about it.)

Update 2:

(((Jon M))) hehe excellent answer. And I do love me some broccoli.

24 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer


    I try not to be influenced by any. Not always easy to pull off.

    That's, not to say, I'm never under the influence. That would be wrong and misleading of me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, you are on to something here. Trust!!! Once you establish that someone is honest and rational then you just trust what they have to say. Of course there is something to be said for actually comprehending what they say for yourself but the beginning of faith is trust. Because of my background, trust was always an issue so I always had to figure things out for myself and took little stock in what others had to say at all. This is the slowest process. The more skeptical a person is the slower the person is to accept what someone else has to say. The key here for me was to establish a way to tell if someone was honest in general. A huge part of that has to do with being honest myself about everything. I kept a journal for years as an excercise to do just that. For clear rational thinking, I took up chess and now am a chess instructor and coach. To tackle the subject of God and religion, I examined the fundamental claim that God created life. If this then is the case it should prove true that life (DNA, RNA, proteins and such) do not come together on their own accord to create life on their own accord and no human effort could force the process. So far this has held true. As for religion, there you get into much more sticky conundrums.

    One thing I learned early on however was to never ever debate the subjects of sex, religion or politics with someone who cooks for you.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Virtually from birth religious or ethical ideas are implanted in our mind by our parents and relatives, our peers. As a consequence, we usually follow the religious ideals of our parents and grandparents. That means that “in many cases others have chosen our religion for us. It has simply been a matter of where we were born and when. Read Philippians 3:4-6.“In his search for God, man has clutched at straws, deluded by the illusion of immortality. . . . Belief in an immortal soul or variations thereof is a legacy that has come down to us through the millenniums.” Other questions are: Is there such a place as hell where souls are tormented? What is the true hope for the dead? Is there one God, or are there many gods?—Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 18:4. As for me I had to know the answers to these Questions, as Jesus said the truth will set you free,so you get out there an start digging, with love

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My beliefs (of lack thereof), have come completely from my own head.

    I do have a situation quite like you, both my parents are theists (although they don't go to church or pray really or anything like that, but they do believe in God), but my dad is also very intelligent and logical, but he claims to have come to his own conclusions about religion 'from reading the Bible', and is very strong in his belief, but dismisses organized religion.

    So that, maybe for a while when I was a bit younger, (and still trying to figure out what I think), that would've had some sort of small influence on my thinking because of WHO it was coming from!

    But now, nobody has an influence over me.

    I'm an atheist, and that conclusion I have come to on my own, without an external influence, and I don't see anyone changing my mind, (without proof, and well, I don't see that happening anytime soon!)

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    If Koran is made up, so is Allah. No need for either. You "feel" there is an Allah without any proof. Yet you do rightly acknowledge that Islam, like all religions, are man-made. Maintaining the existence of an Allah while denying the truth of all religions is rationally discordant. You deny the truth of religions' claims because you know they are rationally false. Yet, you continue to believe in an Allah because you "wish" to. Simple as that. It is like an alcoholic who can't give up booze. You can't give up the notion of god even though you know religion is bad for you and is total nonsense.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not at all.

    Obviously when I was a young child I allowed others to influence me, and I actually believe them. I attended a Church of England primary school and while my family are not religious, they are still "god-fearing" theists.

    When I was about 12 years of age, I had begun to question the existence of a higher power and almost let the people around me - who were telling me it was the devil that was making me disbelieve - convince me that I was wrong to even /question/.

    My mum is a theist [and I think my atheism has pushed her farther into theism :(] and I respect her more than anyone else.

    However, I'm not going to believe what she believes just because I respect her.

    I have to make my mind up for myself...

    I think my point may have been lost in that ramble. Ha.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    i also did it at your age.

    My grant father was a strong god believer.

    When he pray ,he hold a long stick..

    He used to pray half an hour.

    While he was praying,he killed several flies which were attracted by the light.

    And he also beat the other living things.

    killing and praying at the same time...

    It was a funny thing for me..

    But i had to to keep silence because of the stick...!

    He died with his belief..

    Some scientist may believe in God.

    But ,it has no connection with the science..

    Intelligence and belief are going in the parellel way..

    It is the matter of the self cofidence also..

    Most of the people want a mental support..

    Accidents,death,disease...are the out of control of the man.

    Ignorence is the fertile soil for all beliefs.

    Leave the old people.

    They won't change.

    Allow them to die with their false belief,if they get relaxation from it.

    We know the fact..

    Hard facts may hurt.And takers may less...

    Have a great day...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Obviously, if someone whose opinion I respect believes something, then that does influence my own position to some extent. At the very least, it will prompt me to devote some time and energy toward learning more about whatever the subject is.

    But to just blindly accept any idea (especially something like religion that demands such restriction and self-sacrifice) solely because someone you respect believes it and without fully exploring the idea yourself is the height of intellectual laziness. It reminds me of my mom telling me as a child: "Well, if Billy jumped off a cliff, would you do it too just because he did?"

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  • Not at all.

    I was raised Christian Scientist all of my life, then my mother stopped believing in God at all. When she stopped believing (I was never a Christian Scientist) I then became a hardcore believer (church every Sunday, Bible study on Wednesday, Prayer meeting in the morning etc)...right now, I am atheist, I believe there may be a being out there that is greater than myself, but I think the church is full of hypocrisy etc. This differs from most of my friends, my partners family, even my partner.

    My beliefs are mine, nobody has to share them, but I don't push them on anybody either.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are smarter than your family because you refuse to settle unless you prove it. Don't make the mistake of believing the people that preach their thoughts and not go and investigate to see if they are telling the truth. Anybody can say they are Christian and still have no idea what they are talking about. Even with science we like to believe who we think is the scientist but never examine whether or not he is exploiting our ignorance. You must examine what is documented and never base what you know off of someone elses understanding. Seeing is believing.

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  • Acorn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I think it's a pretty good reason to start looking at a belief, if not a solid reason to completely buy into something.

    If I know Linz as somebody who actions have consistently shown me that she is wise and intelligent and open to the nutritional truth, and if she believes that broccoli is good for you, I will test that out, even though I've hated broccoli all my life, per her example.

    Now, I might find out that broccoli does things to my digestion that is evil and noxious, that doesn't do the same thing to Linz. If I do, I chalk it up to individual differences in flatulence production, and move on.

    Or I might find that broccoli makes me big and strong and as handsome as Furious Blue, in which case I'd be glad that I followed the example of the wise and intelligent (((Linz))).


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