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This is my first time posting on skeptics.se, I am a frequent poster on math.se, I was wondering if I could get more information on why the question is considered off-topic? And how(if) it can be changed to be in line.

I think that is a good question to talk about, but perhaps not here.

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There may be no definitive way to answer your question "Who are the religious people?"

You provide a list of possible characteristics, but no citations.
So, there's nothing much for anyone to investigate.

The list also sounds like a list of prejudices; while some prejudices might involve claims that could be analyzed scientifically, that kind of speech can disengage rather than engage a community.

Perhaps I misread it.

  • Hi paul, sorry for the very delayed response, my question is probably not appropriate here, but the question was, what about religious people makes them (want to be) religious. And thus, because they are religious, they question reason and science(by saying either that it is all fabricated, or its the work of satan, or other such claims). My question is about what makes otherwise perfect people, lose their sense of reason? I mean there are some very educated people, who are in professions that deal with science heavily, but still refuse to accept it as truth. – picakhu Apr 12 '11 at 1:50
  • @picakhu I don't want to start an extended discussion, but some people are indoctrinated into a religion from near birth. Religion may also offer more comfort than reason on some topics, e.g. life after death, justice, forgiveness of sin. Also, some religious people embrace the big bang, or evolution, because they don't insist on a literal interpretation of their scriptures. – Paul Apr 13 '11 at 4:59
  • @paul: One little question, what is the difference between childhood indoctrination and brainwashing? – picakhu Apr 13 '11 at 5:20
  • Societal and parental consent? – Paul Apr 13 '11 at 5:21
  • Problem is, you learn lots of stuff from an early age: alphabet, words, basic addition... – Paul Apr 13 '11 at 5:22
  • So, does that make both bad? If yes, why does society allow one but not the other? Anyway, this is probably not the place for this discussion.. – picakhu Apr 13 '11 at 5:23
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Sklivvz quoted more of the FAQ than he should have, which is why you might be confused.

Here's the relevant part of FAQ:

Skeptics is about applying skepticism — it's for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read.

Skeptics.SE focuses on fact-checking. If your question is about the accuracy of a claim, it's on-topic. Your question, the way I read it, does not seem to focus on facts. Rather, it's a discussion about what it means to be religious. It's a fine question for a religion Q&A site, but it's not what we deal with it here.

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If you were to find a claim about religious people that you doubted, and that claim could be verified or refuted with evidence, it would be appropriate here. Philosophical discussions about religion, and most of the "why" of religion and religious practices, are off-topic.

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