Believing And Not Believing

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This is my first essay from my freshmen year of college. It has quite a few mistakes, but I am just putting this out there to test something. I guess it would be nice to get some feedback on it as well.

Submitted: August 19, 2016

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Submitted: August 19, 2016



Believing And Not Believing 

There are many beliefs that are thought of around the world as fact.  I want to describe 
belief through the words of professionals, and each one has their own beliefs that others may 
disagree with.  There are three topics that will be discussed by them including religion, luck, and 
belief itself, and I have a counter argument that describes why it is necessary to have strange 
beliefs such as religion.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins provides an argument against strange beliefs, and 
he uses many books to prove each point that he makes.  He tells his view saying he is an 
agnostic of any God, but only because he cannot disprove what does not exist.   He gives credit 
to religious people in a section called deserved respect, but he does not give any credit to them 
for their belief.  He says that religious belief is quite dangerous, and that without it there would 
be much less violence in the world.  He says that being an atheist is something to be proud of, 
and he says that atheists actually make up a significant percentage of the American population.  
He intends to provide comfort for atheist, and for agnostic believers he wants to convert them 
into atheist.
He thinks of the word faith as belief without evidence, and he also notes that people of 
religious belief sometimes confuse the meaning of the word god, saying that they think it 
means the mystery of the universe.  He says that the Founding Fathers of America were mostly 
deist, but he thinks the best of them must have been atheist, and he bases this on their writing.  
The Founding Fathers had a free country in mind, and with the treaty of Tripoli as an example, 
and America is described as not being a Christian nation.  He says there is a paradox because 
America was founded on secularism, but it is now one of the most religious countries in the 
world.  Dawkins focuses heavily on the extremist views of the religious, and he says that in 
Islamic belief an infidel is a non-believer, and in the Quran he says that it states you have to kill 
them.  He describes that the god Jehovah which is Yahweh in Hebrew is a cruel god that is 
obviously not a good role model to get your morality from.
He describes many people such as theologians, regular believers, agnostics, religious 
scientist, atheist scientist, and atheist throughout the book giving a small description for each 
one, and what is good or bad about them. He makes hypothesis about why people are religious, 
and also why people stay religious even when they know the evidence.  He describes that 
people without an understanding of natural selection might believe that things can just happen 
by chance.  He thinks that a person with this understanding that finds something of complexity 
will think of it not as what God created, but they will think of Darwinism.

The next belief is luck, and in the internet article Evolutionary Reasons for believing in 
luck it starts off with, “How far will you go to avoid bad luck?”  Mills defends the belief in luck 
by saying there is research saying it may not be pointless at all.  She says by doing this you are 
among all the beings that learn, but she also says that pigeons are among them as well.  She 
says that in evolution terms it makes no sense to believe an individual’s specific actions can 
have an effect on the future when it can’t.  She starts with another question saying “how can 
natural selection create, or simply allow for, such inappropriate behavior?”  She gives other 
people’s opinions to show hers as she does with Kevin Abbott, and he says "From an 
evolutionary perspective, superstitions seem maladaptive".  She talks about animal 
experiments which originated in 1948 when they had shown superstitious behavior. The 
experiment involved starving pigeons, and watching their reactions to short feeding times.  The 
pigeons developed movements from rocking the head to spinning as if to help get their food.  
The experiments they chose were to show animals have some superstitious behavior even if it’s 
only when survival is in the mix.  She then describes lucky charms as being less helpful through 
an experiment that you will be convinced they don’t work the more times you wear them.  She 
uses other people’s opinions and views throughout her article to show that luck is just another 
mechanism for survival. 

The next topic is belief itself, and this is from the article Biology of Belief by Jeffery 
Kluger.  Kluger starts by saying most people couldn’t find their parietal lobe with a map and a 
compass, and says that it’s at the top of your head.  He is describing meditation or praying by 
saying it is the collection of brain functions that is at work to produce these, and that the 
parietal lobe has the biggest influence since it deals with sensory. He thinks of people as needy 
creatures saying we use are brains as spiritual centers all the time.  What’s surprising to him is 
that scientific evidence is showing that people who attend religious services have a lower risk of 
dying in any one year than people who don’t.  He jokes a bit throughout the article, and as an 
example he says even aids will back off a little when shot by a double barrel blast of belief.  He 
says that any findings of people living longer because of faith could easily be because of a stress 
reducing hormone produced, and at church getting cholesterol screening and seeing a nurse.  
He describes his points clear by giving the title to the section “It’s All in Your Head”.  He starts 
this section talking about an experiment where Newberg has scanned over one hundred 
religious people to find out what parts of the brain lights up when given certain experiences.  
From this experiment Kluger tells which parts of the brain are being worked the most, and 
which parts are hardly being used at all.  The experiment focused on their activity such as 
speaking about scripture or just praying very hard.  He just wanted to show that some 
experiments help prove that faith heals, and some don’t, but faith does not help besides what 
the body can produce.  He says that the emergency room will always have the best tools which 
are splints and sutures not prayers, and that well applied medicine with smart prevention will 
always be the best way to stay well.  He thinks though that with situations that seem hopeless 
that it might not be so bad to pray, and maybe your body could produce the chemicals to help 
your situation because help comes in many forms.

This is about why you should believe in God, and will deal mostly with the word faith.  
The online article is The Faith Of God by Andrew Wommack, and it will show how he perceives 
his own faith, and other peoples.  He starts off with a reference from the bible saying without 
faith it’s impossible to please god, and so are relationship with the lord is dependent on it, and 
if we have this faith we can overcome the world.  The article uses mostly biblical references, 
and opinions by Wommack about why we should believe in certain parts or all of the Bible.  He 
says that people don’t read the Bible often enough, and he also says religious people may have 
some success with their faith, but not as much as if they actually read the book.  He says how 
can you believe in something you cannot see?  He says you need God’s supernatural faith 
rather than human faith to believe.  He says that God’s faith operates supernaturally, and this is 
unlike our natural human faith, and that to receive God’s salvation we have to have his word.  
He also says we are saved by using God’s supernatural faith to receive his grace.
The last part of his article he says that the more faith you have the more it will work for you, he 
thinks people give up easily because they feel they don’t have what it takes.  He ends it saying 
that all we need to do is learn the laws that govern God’s faith.

I have went over a few beliefs giving the most extreme of them a side of its own, and 
also leaving my opinion out so parts of their article can describe their own viewpoint.  The God 
Delusion was the most interesting of the writing I read, and it gave the best offensive approach 
with belief.  The article on luck was very helpful because it was using mostly evidence to 
support each part, and some of it did show it wasn’t pointless.  With the article on belief itself it 
gives some hope for situations of hopelessness saying that belief may help you by providing the 
right chemicals produced by the body.  The last article was thought out, and they were at least 
trying.  I will say that they intentionally only left the evidence or referencing to the Bible itself, 
and they seemed to only want a God’s faith rather than a human’s. I think with all of these 
examples my intensions on belief are clear, and they are that people should be able to believe 
in what they want to believe without consequence or giving an advantage to certain ones for 
any reason. 


Works Cited  

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print. 

Mills, Cynthia. "Evolutionary Reasons for Believing in Luck." US News. U.S.News & World Report, 11 June 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. 

Kluger, Jeffrey. "The Biology of Belief." Time. Time Inc., 12 Feb. 2009. Web. 11 June 2015. 

 Andrew Wommack, “The Faith Of God”, 


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