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Thread: Are religious people often more optimistic

  1. #1 Are religious people often more optimistic 
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    Ok im really generalizing here and am referring mainly to christians as i have the most experience with them. Religions often dictate that God has total control and has a plan. Therefore they thank god when something good happens and when something bad happens they say its ok because its part of his plan. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this.


    just wondering
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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Yes, I've seen a lot of self delusion.


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    It is also how they justify anything they do, be it good or bad. They rarely take responsibility for anything because it's all "part of God's plan."

    It's sad when you think about it.
    Always minimize the variables.

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    Its neither here nor there because happiness doesnt make a theory right!

    Ignorance is Bliss!
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Religious people also say that we have free will, and this means God lets us do stupid things that cause death and destruction.

    God is also, supposedly, a loving father. When was the last time anyone saw a loving human father allow his kids, in the name of free will, to do something stupid to bring death and destruction on themselves?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Religious people also say that we have free will
    I'm as non-religious as you will find, yet have no doubt that we, as humans have always enjoyed free will, and furthermore have no idea how anyone can argue against such. I mean, are you not cognisant of how you can either choose to turn left - or right?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    and this means God lets us do stupid things that cause death and destruction.
    Setting aside your 'God' concept for the moment, who do you proclaim does 'stupid things that cause death and destruction', if it is not for 'us'?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    God is also, supposedly, a loving father. When was the last time anyone saw a loving human father allow his kids, in the name of free will, to do something stupid to bring death and destruction on themselves?
    Whilst your "God' concept is yet set aside, don't we see such as this on every occasion that a loving father fails to impound and/or hogtie and deprive their drug addicted son or force-feed their anorexic daughter, and unfortunately; watches in horror as they (for instance) bring death upon themselves through their very own choices - according their respective free will?
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  8. #7 Re: Are religious people often more optimistic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by zendra
    Ok im really generalizing here and am referring mainly to christians as i have the most experience with them. Religions often dictate that God has total control and has a plan. Therefore they thank god when something good happens and when something bad happens they say its ok because its part of his plan. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this.
    Yes, I've seen a lot of self delusion.
    I'm not at all sure you can call it 'delusion'. For mine, it often looks a whole lot more like 'assuredness'.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Forum Freshman hegelian@revolutionist.co's Avatar
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    I have no idea why people call it a plan. But there is no plan. Humans are totally free, and it is mentioned in the Bible.
    "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot want what he wants" Schopenhauer.
    "γνώθι σεαυτόν" Socrates.
    "Cogito ergo sum" Descartes.
    "The rational alone is real" Hegel.
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  10. #9  
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    he cannot want what he wants
    sorry do you mind explaining?
    just wondering
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendra
    he cannot want what he wants
    sorry do you mind explaining?
    Confusing huh?

    I expect he is quoting Arthur Schopenhauer. And if I may further; the observation is to suggest we do not have the 'choice' as we think we do, because we 'want' what is somehow pre-programmed into us; therefore even if we would strive to 'want' something else, we cannot.

    I personally find this an observation of entirely unsustainable pessimism, and also have no idea why our friend Hagelian would offer such an opposing view as supposedly backing his position????

    Some folk simply need an urgent lesson in logic. On the other hand, at least his statement per confusion; "Everything is inherently contradictory", would appear strangely concordant.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Religious people also say that we have free will
    I'm as non-religious as you will find, yet have no doubt that we, as humans have always enjoyed free will, and furthermore have no idea how anyone can argue against such. I mean, are you not cognisant of how you can either choose to turn left - or right?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    and this means God lets us do stupid things that cause death and destruction.
    Setting aside your 'God' concept for the moment, who do you proclaim does 'stupid things that cause death and destruction', if it is not for 'us'?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    God is also, supposedly, a loving father. When was the last time anyone saw a loving human father allow his kids, in the name of free will, to do something stupid to bring death and destruction on themselves?
    Whilst your "God' concept is yet set aside, don't we see such as this on every occasion that a loving father fails to impound and/or hogtie and deprive their drug addicted son or force-feed their anorexic daughter, and unfortunately; watches in horror as they (for instance) bring death upon themselves through their very own choices - according their respective free will?
    I am not saying humans do not have free will. I am arguing against the religious view that this free will means all bad things are the fault of humans.

    The religious view is that God is omnipotent and all loving. If so, why does he permit innocents to die, often in agony. How many millions of innocent children die of disease and violence - ie as a result of Acts of God - who have done nothing to deserve it? Clearly the religious view of God is wrong.

    On Hagelian's quote. I suspect it should have been :
    "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot want what he does"
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    On Hagelian's quote. I suspect it should have been:
    "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot want what he does"
    Well that would be strange, as firstly it makes no sense, and secondly the quote as generally attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer is; "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot want what he wants". On the other hand, as a great deal of posted commentary on this forum lacks basic logic; you may be correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I am not saying humans do not have free will. I am arguing against the religious view that this free will means all bad things are the fault of humans.
    And again I ask you; what particular 'bad things' would you blame on source/s other than humans, and what would you expect such sources to be?


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The religious view is that God is omnipotent and all loving. If so, why does he permit innocents to die, often in agony. How many millions of innocent children die of disease and violence - ie as a result of Acts of God - who have done nothing to deserve it? Clearly the religious view of God is wrong.
    Your conclusion may be valid, yet by your words, clearly it is your view of your God that most offends yourself. Perhaps you could do worse, than a little homework on that score.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  14. #13  
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    To AR

    I am commenting on the Christian model of God.
    That is : omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent.

    However, bad things happen. For example : A million children die every year from malaria - something that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination be their fault. Not a pleasant way to die.

    If a totally innocent child dies by an Act of God, how can that God be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent?
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  15. #14  
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    Actually you are commenting upon YOUR model of "God". It's time for you to - get real about this!

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To AR: If a totally innocent child dies by an Act of God, how can that God be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent?
    So by the definition of whom, do you attribute your "Act of God"?

    BTW, why do you appear to be avoiding the other - far more pertinent questions?
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  16. #15  
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    AR

    I am not avoiding anything. I thought I had already addressed your queries. What questions have I avoided? I will try to reply to satisfy you.

    You asked about Act of God. I call something tragic that happens, that is not the fault of a human, an Act of God. Who else can we blame it on? So an earthquake is Act of God. So is disease. So is a volcano or tsunami etc.

    And again, I ask. What kind of deity permits the innocent to die in agony? Yet this happens to millions of innocent children every year, from a range of Acts of God.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To AR

    I am commenting on the Christian model of God.
    That is : omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent.

    However, bad things happen. For example : A million children die every year from malaria - something that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination be their fault. Not a pleasant way to die.

    If a totally innocent child dies by an Act of God, how can that God be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent?
    their souls are now in heaven and the suffering they had on earth is no longer a bother to them. They are at eternal peace, and eternal happiness.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    But their loved ones who survived them are now in despair as a direct result of their departure, hence the all loving omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god still looks like royal jerk with a bronze age teenager mentality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    But their loved ones who survived them are now in despair as a direct result of their departure, hence the all loving omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god still looks like royal jerk with a bronze age teenager mentality.
    But how do we not know that the despair and pain of the departed's loved one's is not there for a reason? Perhaps to Strengthen them against future pain that is inevitable? Maybe the angst is there to curve their path towards one that will give them more happiness in their lives? Or there may be subsequent events that will coincide with their current pain, to give them a better life overall than they would have otherwise had? You never know man, you never know :wink:
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Yes arcane, I agree..it's better to be a quiet, openminded optimist than a shrewd, outspoken yet bitter Dawkinesque atheist (as I once was).
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    Re the death of innocents.

    If all innocent children who died, did so quietly, at peace without pain, the religiously superstitious among us could claim they went "to a better place" and were better off.

    But that is not the case. Millions of innocents each year die in terror, in pain, and often agony that is utterly excruciating. If our hypothetical deity simply wanted those innocents to join him/her/it in some hypothetical heaven, then why inflict that pain on them?

    The model of a deity that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent falls down badly.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    You never know man, you never know :wink:
    Whoa... Minds are being blown, man. Haha. Pure awesome, a_math.



    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    it's better to be a quiet, openminded optimist than a shrewd, outspoken yet bitter Dawkinesque atheist (as I once was).
    Ignoring your irrelevant attack on Dawkins, I have to ask you why you think it's better to keep your mouth shut rather than teach people and help them to find the flaws in their reasoning and worldview. And... who the fuck is bitter? You sure brought a whole lot of tangential emotional baggage into this for no apparent reason.

    Either way, why do you think silence is better for us collectively than shared advancement through knowledge?
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  23. #22  
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    It's better to be constructive and teach over blatantly insult. That's about all, though. If you intend to be an outspoken atheist, don't bash Christians and Muslims and Shintoists as Idiots, Morons, and irrational dumbasses. You help no one and make yourself look like an ass. Instead, go one-on-one and investigate the root cause of their belief, attack the source, without attacking the person. This way you can create that questioning air in people as opposed to a standoffish one filled with resentment towards their attacker. As they say, you trap more flies with honey than vinegar.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Instead, go one-on-one and investigate the root cause of their belief, attack the source, without attacking the person. This way you can create that questioning air in people as opposed to a standoffish one filled with resentment towards their attacker. As they say, you trap more flies with honey than vinegar.
    Not really relevant to the context of the thread, but wanted to let you know that's false. Vinegar wins over honey by a significant margin.



    http://capacioushandbag.blogspot.com...rosophila.html
    In a small-scale survey of the dietary preferences of kitchen Drosophila (species unknown), we find, contrary to received wisdom, that you catch significantly more flies with vinegar than with honey.

    Empiricism kicks gods ass in every arena, even when it comes to non-ideological idioms. 8)
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    You never know man, you never know :wink:
    Whoa... Minds are being blown, man. Haha. Pure awesome, a_math.



    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    it's better to be a quiet, openminded optimist than a shrewd, outspoken yet bitter Dawkinesque atheist (as I once was).
    Ignoring your irrelevant attack on Dawkins, I have to ask you why you think it's better to keep your mouth shut rather than teach people and help them to find the flaws in their reasoning and worldview. And... who the fuck is bitter? You sure brought a whole lot of tangential emotional baggage into this for no apparent reason.

    Either way, why do you think silence is better for us collectively than shared advancement through knowledge?
    I wasn't attacking Dawkins..you're a fool for assuming such a thing ( I idolize the guy and even started a thread listing some of his quotes on here). Being bitter and shrewd is understandable in my mind and not necessarily a negative way to be when circumstances warrant such a stance. Though, for me, I'll take another route and remain calm in order to maintain my sanity. I'm simply saying that you don't have to be arrogant to get a point across. I'm also saying that atheism isn't the only choice for a biological scientist...
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  26. #25  
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    Well, I really don't want to continue with the off-topic posts, but I just don't accept the premise that Dawkins is shrewd and bitter. I think that is a canard which theists use to poison the well and try to discredit him without ever responding to his actual arguments.

    Me? I've always found his comments rather calm and measured. Both in his book(s) and when he does presentations and events... He's consistently polite and rational. That's what I objected to... He's not strident or angry, no matter how many times people assert it. He may be frustrated and even exasperated, but that happens when you see your culture dying and deteriorating due to the mind cancer which is religion.

    Anyway... Thanks for clarifying your point. You would rather impact change through gentle measures than blunted ones. I get that, just don't think the two are necessarily mutually exclusive.
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  27. #26  
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    He may be frustrated and even exasperated
    From Houghton Mifflin's online dictionary:

    bitter-

    Resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment.

    Marked by resentment or cynicism.


    I would argue that his frustration causes grief, results in cynicism and leads to an appropriately bitter demeanor in the face of Creationist propagandaists.
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