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Thread: Atheism an easy way out?

  1. #1 Atheism an easy way out? 
    Forum Freshman Tony John C's Avatar
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    I've seen so many anti-religion threads, i decided to create an anti-anti-religion thread (not really its a cool name though ;] ). Is atheism the easy way out? Because one doesn't want to explore the idea of a higher power? or something bigger than themselves? This is not about any religion, merely whether there is sometype of higher existance than humans. I rather like Einstein eloquent way of interepting this question.

    "I believe in a Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings."

    "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

    "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

    -Einstein


    Now before the flame wars begin, because I know I will get it from both believers and non. The root of science is to be open, to never stop trying to find the answers of the universe. 10,000 years ago a lighter would have been enough to put someone to god like status. It was so far beyond them, yet today if you have a lighter, people think you will catch there couch on fire again, even if you only did it once :/ True scientists would not give up the quest for knowledge so easily, especially something of this magnitude. How do we know that humans are the most advanced beings in the universe. You could concievbly compare earth to an ant hill sitting in the middle of the woods. Would the ants ever know that humans existed? Would humans ever bother to make there presence known to the ants, to ask for praise?

    Let the bloodbath begin.


    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Sooooooo....the easy way out heh??

    I beg to differ, TJC. It's really hard to come to terms with what I discovered for myself to be true.

    Your loved ones will be gon eforever when they are gone, no prayers will reach them in heaven where they sit right next to the Flying Spaghetti Monster and live happily ever after with 77 huris for their disposal. They are worm food, no more, no less.

    I myself will be nothing more than that. When my brain stops working, I wil be gone forever, mate. I'm not scared, but it is way easier to believe in a superior beeing that takes care of "eternity".

    I have to come up with a way to explain how the universe came to be. Theists have it pretty easy in this respect. "Ummmph" made it. Period.

    I am not bitching, as this is what I discovered for myself to be true and I would not call that the easy way out. I like it the way it is, no hipocrisy, no fear, just me, myself and the universe.

    And I think this is beautiful.


    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
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    you're thinking in terms of a god?
    how about reincarnation?
    i'd like to think of things in a more cyclical manner.
    our mind works in iterations, and is a combination of a gazillion cells working in unison to make our conciousness.
    i think of life as little "gravity bumps" on a vast 3-dimensional euclidian plane,
    and the height of the bumps, is equal to our level of conciousness.
    when i die, i believe that the area of the grid i am on, flattens out.
    and when enough cells and such accumulate in this space, on the same area where i used to live, my conciousness regains.
    of course, this is just a very vague thesis. just a way for me to understand what dying, and conciousness entails.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    I too do not agree, its not an easy way out, and I thought about it (and still do) at great length before turning atheist.

    I fail to see how atheism, when well thought over, can be an easy choice, on the contrary, it admits to one's true insignificance in this massive universe in a way that humbles you much more (MIO) than any religion. You realise your mortality and for me, it adds the pressure that since we are only here for so long, we really had better make the most of it.

    It is not that atheists do not explore the idea of a god (many anyway), on the contrary, we (at least I!) realise that the kind of god described in religion is absolutely implausible and inconsistent with observations about our world, and that when one looks back in history to both the origins and effects of religion, it is mainly lack of knowledge (knowledge we now have) about the natural world which created it, and indeed propagated it.

    Admittedly there are many who consider it the easy way perhaps by simply not considering the issue, but to those who have, it does turn ones interpretation completely around in a way which makes one value life, respect and morality & liberates one's reasoning by not having to consier where god comes into things whether in daily life or science.
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    Einstein also stated "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

    Deism or/and pantheism or even a combination of the two, is the thing Einstein was referring too.
    it is the belief, based solely on reason, in a God/spirit/force which equates to the universe or which could of created or started the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.

    Because he had no real believe just an awe, in what he could see in nature and the universe.

    Atheism is not a easy way out, as it is the natural way, we are afterall born that way, all we do is return to the norm, as twaaannnggg said it is not easy to de-program yourself from the brainwashing you receive as a child, but if you do, you then realize this is your one and only chance at life and thus you make it the best it can be for you and all around you, when you return to the norm, you have in effect become the moral person you should have been, before the brainwash, life become's more precious, so taken a life is the supreme taboo, nobody is you enemy, in your heart, everyone is deserved of life and respect, all the things your taught to ignore by religion, now are the pinnacle of your being.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    An easy way out of what? Life? I think you're saying that being an atheist is an easy way to live your life, as if being theistic requires more work.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    haha, what an interesting observation!
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    Atheism is an inability to realise one's true potential.
    Does a theory of everything therefore need to be purely theoretical and only account for the known laws and forces in handling the improbability of fortune telling?

    the www feature below can explain it better.
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    Forum Ph.D. streamSystems's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Greater people have lived before and will still be remembered than the average lot of atheists and atheisms.
    Does a theory of everything therefore need to be purely theoretical and only account for the known laws and forces in handling the improbability of fortune telling?

    the www feature below can explain it better.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by streamSystems
    Atheism is an inability to realise one's true potential.
    .....Said the person who dropped out of a degree and spent 5 years writing a sci novel that no one wants to read.
    Es ist Zeit für sauberen



    You guys
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    Stream systems, we know its you replying to your own posts! You just look foolish supporting your own posts!


    Greater people have lived before and will still be remembered than the average lot of atheists and atheisms.
    There are countless great people who were atheists, to name a few; Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Galileo, Neitzsche, Abraham Lincoln, Hemingway to name a few.

    By the way, Im not claiming there are no famous religious people, Im just showing this point is irrevelant to atheism.
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    I'm not saying there is a God, but i'm talking a higher evolved being, one who most likely has better things to do than prove itself to us? Who says dyeing is the end? perhaps its the way to evolve on to something else. Einstein mentioned that nature and god were the same thing, not seperate. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. I for one believe that consciousness is not a by product of my 10 trillion cells working together, but something higher. So if my body dies the energy from what i guess you coudl call a soul, but i don't like that word. Moves on. Your all keeping yoursevles bound to earth. I for one am not looking for gold paved streets or whatever other crap is promised in what religion, i'm looking for another chance to explore and learn. In a different form. I believe i'm being a true scientist here, diving into some research. Because if we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    I'm not saying there is a God, but i'm talking a higher evolved being, one who most likely has better things to do than prove itself to us?
    A deity perhaps, whatever you call it, I think its the same thing and definitely belongs in the same debate!
    Einstein was not talking about "God" as one may mean it. He was elaborating on his reverance and admiration for the complexity & magnitude of the universe, not an actual deity.

    What you have described is (I do apologise for the term!) is a hotch-potch mish-mash belief, it is your belief but your own minds invention. It is not based on any truth or evidence. However, it was an easy solution for your mind based on what you want to believe regarding you own fear of mortality which all of us have. You want to believe that. There is no real difference between you belief system or religion other than that many people believe in religion and it is written down.

    There is evidence that every aspect of your self or being can be explained by the various locations in your brain. There is no evidence for the existence of the soul however.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    I'm not saying there is a God, but i'm talking a higher evolved being, one who most likely has better things to do than prove itself to us?
    A deity perhaps, whatever you call it, I think its the same thing and definitely belongs in the same debate!
    Einstein was not talking about "God" as one may mean it. He was elaborating on his reverance and admiration for the complexity & magnitude of the universe, not an actual deity.

    What you have described is (I do apologise for the term!) is a hotch-potch mish-mash belief, it is your belief but your own minds invention. It is not based on any truth or evidence. However, it was an easy solution for your mind based on what you want to believe regarding you own fear of mortality which all of us have. You want to believe that. There is no real difference between you belief system or religion other than that many people believe in religion and it is written down.

    There is evidence that every aspect of your self or being can be explained by the various locations in your brain. There is no evidence for the existence of the soul however.

    You've obviously traveled the entire universe, and know that for a fact that humans are the most advanced species. That there is nothing that cannot be explained by our very limited minds. This is an easy solution for my mind to make you my personal hero, and worship you. Who needs an evolved being that no one knows is real, when Robbie is right in front of us. Bow down ALL!

    Now that I confessed my true feelings I shall say again, your proof that there are no higher being/s is unfounded and not backed by anything but wishful thinking. Thats similar to in the early centuries "uhhh i'm getting sick, its because i have a curse" Though we now know it is from bacteria or viral infections. (I also hate to say this) It is silly of you to say such things, when you cannot say for certain. I'm not asking you to say there is a higher evolved being, just say you can't prove there isn't.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    You've obviously traveled the entire universe, and know that for a fact that humans are the most advanced species. That there is nothing that cannot be explained by our very limited minds. This is an easy solution for my mind to make you my personal hero, and worship you. Who needs an evolved being that no one knows is real, when Robbie is right in front of us. Bow down ALL!
    Thank you!
    Seriously I'm not implying we are the most intelligent species in the universe, but I never did before. It isnt relevant and I dont see how you felt I was suggesting it before.

    Now that I confessed my true feelings I shall say again, your proof that there are no higher being/s is unfounded and not backed by anything but wishful thinking.
    Agreed, but there is no reason to believe in one, indeed, in believing in one probably involves buying into a major religion which (I find) is flawed, contradictory and counterintuitive. The argument that it cannot be proved either way is the same as the teapot orbitting the sun hypothesis, it is ridiculous to believe in one except that so many people do and find comfort in it.
    In any case, if there is a god he has not meddled since the beginning of the universe and by the details of evolution, it is clear that we were not an intentional invention. Really, scientifically, the only argument for the actual existence of God goes to within the first millisecond of the existence of the universe, we pretty much know things have continued uninterrupted since. There most certainly is not a God which can interfere day to day.

    I feel this debate is beginning to go off the topic!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Is atheism the easy way out? Because one doesn't want to explore the idea of a higher power? or something bigger than themselves?
    Most atheists don't have a problem contemplating the concept of god. In fact, I suspect that most atheists have contemplated it much more carefully than most theists. However, the fact that we contemplate it doesn’t mean that we will automatically believe in it. If anything, I would say that most theists are theists because it allows them to avoid contemplating the possibility that there is no great purpose to their life, there isn't any magical protector in the sky looking out for them, and when they die they will simply cease to exist.
    Now that I confessed my true feelings I shall say again, your proof that there are no higher being/s is unfounded and not backed by anything but wishful thinking.
    Atheism is a lack of belief in divine or supernatural beings. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you believe that there is a more "advanced" race living on a planet 1000 light years away.
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    The reasons for atheism or agnosticism may be as varied as religious thought.

    Many (not all) scientists may come to such a position because of having a scientific mindset to begin with. They ask for evidence of God, and they analyse the evidence that is presented.

    Religious sorts are less likely to do this.

    Granted, I am sure it is very challenging to act on faith and faith alone, in the face of evidence to the contrary (disease, suffering, unheard prayers) but I doubt that coming to terms with the notion of 'no god' is much easier.

    There is a certain satisfaction in doing good for the sole purpose of doing good, however.
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    I'm beginning to think I should have named this thread "Denominating yourself, the easy way out"
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    It was said before, but it needs saying again.

    Atheism is not the easy way out. We've so contemplated all gods and come up with nothing, lost every shred of faith we've ever had. At first, for many atheists, this is a disturbing experience.

    Aftwards, though, when one comes to terms with it, it makes sense. The universe becomes infinitely more beautiful, beacuse it is made so much more mysterious. Every day is as beautiful as the last, because it may BE your last. You appreciate every second you breathe, and love your friends and family more dearly than you ever have before. There is nothing for us after this life, so every day, millions of atheists are living it like it is their last.

    The understanding that we have only one life to live has made me appreciate my life more than I ever had when I thought there was an afterlife to depart to.

    Reaching this level of thought is not easy, and it is an intesely personal experience.

    As some one else said, it's just me, the world, and all the universe. I'm a small blink in the cosmic time frame.

    And that is a truly beautiful thing.
    "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." - As Laplace said when Napoleon wondered how the famous mathematician could write his book without mentioning God.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm beginning to think I should have named this thread "Denominating yourself, the easy way out"
    Denominating? You mean the easy way out is to assign units to yourself??
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm beginning to think I should have named this thread "Denominating yourself, the easy way out"
    Denominating? You mean the easy way out is to assign units to yourself??
    Umm i'll have to go with a no one that. Denomination ie being atheist, catholic, baptist, anything that is just sign your soul here. I think that it should be a personal thing. Believe me I'm not a hater, I was just asking whether atheism was an easier choice, as in I would'nt know myself.

    Swordsmith, I may not agree with your views but your post was beautiful and well thought out.

    peace all
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm beginning to think I should have named this thread "Denominating yourself, the easy way out"
    Denominating? You mean the easy way out is to assign units to yourself??
    Umm i'll have to go with a no one that. Denomination ie being atheist, catholic, baptist, anything that is just sign your soul here. I think that it should be a personal thing. Believe me I'm not a hater, I was just asking whether atheism was an easier choice, as in I would'nt know myself.

    Swordsmith, I may not agree with your views but your post was beautiful and well thought out.

    peace all
    I'm probably repeating what many here have said: that it is difficult for atheism to be 'the easy way out', simply because half or more of the world's atheists (I suspect) are converts to it, having been brought up in some sort of religious tradition or other. Nobody tends to convert without a great deal of thought, and nobody tends to think of conversion as the easy way out. Sticking to the religion/belief system that you were brought up in is the easy way out - you can follow it without being required to think about it.

    Thems my thoughts, anyway.

    cheer

    the sunshine warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I'm probably repeating what many here have said: that it is difficult for atheism to be 'the easy way out', simply because half or more of the world's atheists (I suspect) are converts to it, having been brought up in some sort of religious tradition or other. Nobody tends to convert without a great deal of thought, and nobody tends to think of conversion as the easy way out. Sticking to the religion/belief system that you were brought up in is the easy way out - you can follow it without being required to think about it.

    Thems my thoughts, anyway.

    cheer

    the sunshine warrior
    correct; but for one small thing sunshine, you dont convert to atheism, atheism is how you're born, you merely return back to it, this is even harder than a mere convertion, as you have to mentally deprogram yourself, unwash the brainwash, (in modern terms you have to reformat to get rid of the (mind) virus.), we are nearly all converted/brainwashed from the moment we can walk and talk.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Not converts but reverts.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I'm probably repeating what many here have said: that it is difficult for atheism to be 'the easy way out', simply because half or more of the world's atheists (I suspect) are converts to it, having been brought up in some sort of religious tradition or other. Nobody tends to convert without a great deal of thought, and nobody tends to think of conversion as the easy way out. Sticking to the religion/belief system that you were brought up in is the easy way out - you can follow it without being required to think about it.

    Thems my thoughts, anyway.

    cheer

    the sunshine warrior
    correct; but for one small thing sunshine, you dont convert to atheism, atheism is how you're born, you merely return back to it, this is even harder than a mere convertion, as you have to mentally deprogram yourself, unwash the brainwash, (in modern terms you have to reformat to get rid of the (mind) virus.), we are nearly all converted/brainwashed from the moment we can walk and talk.
    Geezer, don't worry - you're preaching to the re-converted!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Umm i'll have to go with a no one that. Denomination ie being atheist, catholic, baptist, anything that is just sign your soul here. I think that it should be a personal thing.
    Atheism isn't a belief - it's simply a lack of belief. That makes it rather different from religions, which generally do have specific beliefs. I wouldn't really call it a "denomination," just like I wouldn't call "I don't play football" a football team.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm beginning to think I should have named this thread "Denominating yourself, the easy way out"
    Denominating? You mean the easy way out is to assign units to yourself??
    Umm i'll have to go with a no one that. Denomination ie being atheist, catholic, baptist, anything that is just sign your soul here. I think that it should be a personal thing. Believe me I'm not a hater, I was just asking whether atheism was an easier choice, as in I would'nt know myself.

    Swordsmith, I may not agree with your views but your post was beautiful and well thought out.

    peace all
    I'm probably repeating what many here have said: that it is difficult for atheism to be 'the easy way out', simply because half or more of the world's atheists (I suspect) are converts to it, having been brought up in some sort of religious tradition or other. Nobody tends to convert without a great deal of thought, and nobody tends to think of conversion as the easy way out. Sticking to the religion/belief system that you were brought up in is the easy way out - you can follow it without being required to think about it.

    Thems my thoughts, anyway.

    cheer

    the sunshine warrior

    Ok I shall illuminate my views for a moment, and I agree nobody converts without a great deal of thought. In either direction. For every person who has put a great amount of time, and converted to atheism, there has been one atheist convert to a religion. It is not by any means a one way street.

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    correct; but for one small thing sunshine, you dont convert to atheism, atheism is how you're born, you merely return back to it, this is even harder than a mere convertion, as you have to mentally deprogram yourself, unwash the brainwash, (in modern terms you have to reformat to get rid of the (mind) virus.), we are nearly all converted/brainwashed from the moment we can walk and talk.

    I do not appreciate your term "brainwashing." To say that people who practice a religion do it without thought, or without will, is insulting. There are many who take there faith seriously. Who think about it day and night, with the same or even greater seriousness than you about your views. To simply stereotype people who practice religious beliefs as brainwashed is foolish.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I do not appreciate your term "brainwashing."
    What would you call it when you cause someone the have an absurd, irrational belief by repeating it to them over and over when they are still a young child who hasn't developed critical-thinking abilities? "Brainwashing" sounds pretty accurate to me. The fact that some people might find it offensive doesn't make it any less accurate.
    To say that people who practice a religion do it without thought, or without will, is insulting. There are many who take there faith seriously. Who think about it day and night, with the same or even greater seriousness than you about your views. To simply stereotype people who practice religious beliefs as brainwashed is foolish.
    When most religious people think about their religion they simply take their religion's unsubstantiated claims for granted and spend their time thinking about conclusions, without ever bothering to actually think about whether the basic premise of their religion is correct. For example, christans tend to spend a lot of time pondering "What would Jesus want me to do?" and rarely ever bother to ponder "Did Jesus actually have magic powers?" Based on my experiences with religion people,very few religious people ever seriously ponder whether or not their religion is correct.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I do not appreciate your term "brainwashing."
    What would you call it when you cause someone the have an absurd, irrational belief by repeating it to them over and over when they are still a young child who hasn't developed critical-thinking abilities? "Brainwashing" sounds pretty accurate to me. The fact that some people might find it offensive doesn't make it any less accurate.
    To say that people who practice a religion do it without thought, or without will, is insulting. There are many who take there faith seriously. Who think about it day and night, with the same or even greater seriousness than you about your views. To simply stereotype people who practice religious beliefs as brainwashed is foolish.
    When most religious people think about their religion they simply take their religion's unsubstantiated claims for granted and spend their time thinking about conclusions, without ever bothering to actually think about whether the basic premise of their religion is correct. For example, christans tend to spend a lot of time pondering "What would Jesus want me to do?" and rarely ever bother to ponder "Did Jesus actually have magic powers?" Based on my experiences with religion people,very few religious people ever seriously ponder whether or not their religion is correct.

    If they do not ponder thier own faith, they are fools.

    Children who are told over and over, still have the choice of staying that set religion. People who do not realy believe and say they do are simply hipocrits and I for one do not consider them religious. Just because one goes to church, does not mean they actually believe in God. I havn't been to church in over 6 months and yet I believe I have a stronger connection than ever. After 5 near death experiences through my life, where I was but a hairs breadth from dying, it changes your view of life. If science could solidly disprove the existence of a God then there would be no religion. Until then, its still up for debate.

    Regardless if Jesus did have magic powers, he did set an example that all should take into account. His character was much higher than mine or yours. How many people could be tortured, and killed without fighting back. I would imagine the list would be quite small. Only a few stick out to me. Ghandi being another. (this was a bit off subject)
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    If they do not ponder thier own faith, they are fools.
    I agree with you. But regardless of whether or not you personally spend a lot of time pondering whether or not your faith is correct, the vast majority of christians never seem to critically examine their religion in the same way that they would any other religion. People immediately assume that the Greek myths, for example, are merely entertaining stories that shouldn't be taken seriously. They never stop to consider whether or not their own beliefs are any more plausible.
    Children who are told over and over, still have the choice of staying that set religion.
    Well sure, to the extend that any brainwashed person "has a choice" about whether or not they continue to believe whatever it is they have been brainwashed to believe. Many people eventually snap out of it. Many don't.
    Regardless if Jesus did have magic powers, he did set an example that all should take into account. His character was much higher than mine or yours. How many people could be tortured, and killed without fighting back. I would imagine the list would be quite small. Only a few stick out to me. Ghandi being another. (this was a bit off subject)
    Again, that's assuming that he was actually tortured and killed without fighting back. Remember, your one source that Jesus actually behaved that way also has stories about talking animals, people surviving for extended periods in the stomach of a whale, and people conjuring things out of thin air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Ok I shall illuminate my views for a moment, and I agree nobody converts without a great deal of thought. In either direction. For every person who has put a great amount of time, and converted to atheism, there has been one atheist convert to a religion. It is not by any means a one way street.
    oh yes it is, nobody goes from rational to irrational, without a blow to the head, but millions can go from the irrational back to the rational. And I'll say it again people don’t convert to atheism, they revert back to the normality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I do not appreciate your term "brainwashing."
    well would you prefer indoctrinate, enforce, what choice does a child have when it comes to religion, it's parents are going to enforce there beliefs on to it, thus the child becomes brainwashed with their religious views, children should be able to reach an age whereas they can discern for themselves what is true and what is not by the evidence at hand, child with Muslim parents don’t grow up to be Christians, or vice versa, they stay in the religion they were indoctrinated into (yes some convert), so children are brainwashed into religion. You can not call it anything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    To say that people who practice a religion do it without thought, or without will, is insulting.
    once they are fully indoctrinated it is very hard for them to deprogram themselves from religion, ask any atheist, however those that cant deprogram themselves are under the impression, they believe of the own fruition, and thus the cycle continues with them indoctrinating there own children.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    There are many who take there faith seriously. Who think about it day and night, with the same or even greater seriousness than you about your views? To simply stereotype people who practice religious beliefs as brainwashed is foolish.
    why! it's true, only a chosen few ever become religious as adults, and usually because of some kind of trauma, in there lives, most have the religion forced on them as child and because of the constant, god this a god that, they end up believing it as truth, and no amount of good sense is going to change there minds, religion is a mind virus, men of faith aren't just brainwashed the are dangerously ill, to the severe detriment of others. Religion kills and it has no qualms about it.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    If they do not ponder thier own faith, they are fools.
    I agree with you. But regardless of whether or not you personally spend a lot of time pondering whether or not your faith is correct, the vast majority of christians never seem to critically examine their religion in the same way that they would any other religion. People immediately assume that the Greek myths, for example, are merely entertaining stories that shouldn't be taken seriously. They never stop to consider whether or not their own beliefs are any more plausible.
    Children who are told over and over, still have the choice of staying that set religion.
    Well sure, to the extend that any brainwashed person "has a choice" about whether or not they continue to believe whatever it is they have been brainwashed to believe. Many people eventually snap out of it. Many don't.
    Regardless if Jesus did have magic powers, he did set an example that all should take into account. His character was much higher than mine or yours. How many people could be tortured, and killed without fighting back. I would imagine the list would be quite small. Only a few stick out to me. Ghandi being another. (this was a bit off subject)
    Again, that's assuming that he was actually tortured and killed without fighting back. Remember, your one source that Jesus actually behaved that way also has stories about talking animals, people surviving for extended periods in the stomach of a whale, and people conjuring things out of thin air.

    Well whether you believe Jesus did behave that way doesn't matter, I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.

    It is quite sad when you think about, how many people give no second thoughts to their beliefs and just go through each day in a similar fashion to that of a robot.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    It is quite sad when you think about, how many people give no second thoughts to their beliefs and just go through each day in a similar fashion to that of a robot.
    Yup - the majority of humans seem to do that - the religious majority. I haven't yet met an atheist who does, though.

    You earlier claimed that for every atheist who has moved away from religion, there is one religious person converted from atheism. Two points about this:

    1. Where do you get your figures from? (I'm freely admitting that my observations are based on anecdotal stuff)

    2. It misses the point anyway - even if there are 100 million people who have moved either way, that would constitute pretty much 80% or thereabouts of atheists, but only 2% of religious people. Ergo, overall, atheists are more thoughtful, and have taken the more difficult way out, religious people (the vast majority of whom were simply born into the culture and have never changed) in general take the easy way out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.
    when and where have christians ever believed in pacifism, or any religion for that matter. they all kill indiscriminately, show no tolerance, etc.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    It is quite sad when you think about, how many people give no second thoughts to their beliefs and just go through each day in a similar fashion to that of a robot.
    hence why we refer to them as sheeple, the lord is thy shepherd, and all that, lol.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.
    when and where have christians ever believed in pacifism, or any religion for that matter. they all kill indiscriminately, show no tolerance, etc.....
    Perhaps the non-theistic Buddhists do not do these things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.
    when and where have christians ever believed in pacifism, or any religion for that matter. they all kill indiscriminately, show no tolerance, etc.....
    Perhaps the non-theistic Buddhists do not do these things.
    yes agreed, however buddhism is as near as you can get to atheism, if it wasn't for the spiritualism, they would be atheist. they dont have hero worship like most of the others, only people of wisdom.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Well whether you believe Jesus did behave that way doesn't matter, I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.

    It is quite sad when you think about, how many people give no second thoughts to their beliefs and just go through each day in a similar fashion to that of a robot.
    Well if you want me to agree with you that the Jesus depicted in the bible sounds like a nice guy, then yeah, I agree. But that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not he was really magical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Well whether you believe Jesus did behave that way doesn't matter, I'm sure you believe in the ideal itself, the pasifism.

    It is quite sad when you think about, how many people give no second thoughts to their beliefs and just go through each day in a similar fashion to that of a robot.
    Well if you want me to agree with you that the Jesus depicted in the bible sounds like a nice guy, then yeah, I agree. But that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not he was really magical.
    I was talking about his character, not his abilities.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    I was talking about his character, not his abilities.
    Look, I already said that the Jesus of the bible sounds like a nice guy. I don't think that anyone anywhere is going to argue with you on that. But we were talking about whether or not a rational person would believe that Jesus is god, not whether or not we can all agree that he was simply nice.

    You have said several times now that you actively think about your fait, that people who don't question their beliefs are fools, etc. So I'm curious - what, specifically, is your reason for believing that the bible should be taken any more seriously than any other ancient book of magic stories?
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    I think atheism is indeed the 'hard way out'. Usually atheists are expected to give reasons for not believing in a god, to give arguments for their 'deviance' from the norm they were often raised with. But when I ask a believer why he's not an atheist, the reply is usually "I know there is a god, I feel there is a god, give me reasons why there isn't a god". So the position of a believer is much easier to take, it's socially acceptable that you lay the burden of proof on the atheist. Now for atheists on this forum this is not a big problem, most of us here are able to argue for their position and to turn the burden of proof to the believers. But if you're a person without higher education, living in a religious community in which you are the deviant for not believing, then this unequal position really makes not-believing the hard way out.

    And, like Scifor Refugee, I'd like to know how one can believe in one god but not in another.
    Someone who says "I can't imagine the world without a god, but I can't tell if it's the islamic, jewish, hindu or christian one, or the flying spaghetti monster " then I accept that as a reasonable point of view. Many things in life are in fact difficult (but not impossible) to explain if you can't use an omnipotent god to solve the equation. But if someone claims that the Christian (or any other) god exists, and that he knows for sure that all other gods do not exist, then I don't understand this.
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    I have to say that atheism might be something of an easy way out for me. But that's because, as geezer would put it, I never really converted away from normalcy. I wasn't raised in any particular religious tradition other than the fact that as child I kind of assumed there was some sort of god because my mom said there was one. Today, religion just doesn't make sense to me. I look at it as a cultural phenomenon, one that probably evolved to help members of groups cooperate more readily with each other. So in this sense, it's rather easy for me to not believe in a god.

    But that doesn't mean that atheism makes my life any easier. Once I acknowledged to myself that I really didn't believe in religion or a god, and therefore not in the afterlife either, I tried to imagine what the cessation of existence would feel like. The feeling I conjured up in my head was probably one of the scariest things I've ever known.

    I sometimes truly wish I was able to believe in an afterlife, if nothing else because I lost my father to cancer four years ago. It would bring me indescribable comfort to know that after all the pain and suffering he went through, that after losing all those years we could have had with him, that at least he now is happy and at peace somewhere out there in the universe. But he's not. He is nothing but a small package of ashes buried under the ground. The only place he lives now is in my memory, and in my family's. And accepting that has never been easy.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Paralith, that was rather elegant. I agree, the thought of the cessation of existence is a terrifying one. I'm not embarrassed in the least to admit that the thought that my life will one day end is not very comforting. "Poof" and I'm done. However, that inevitable cessation is what has made my life all the better, because I appreciate more.

    Of course, I still suffer from the same doubts as everyone else. I still get sad, I still get angry. I still get flustered around the girl I have feelings for, and I'm still too afraid to tell her I have feelings for her. (One of the side effects of my introversion.) I may not enjoy every day, but generally the experience makes me all the better.

    The aspect of death in atheistic prinicipals is definately the hardest to come to terms with. There has been alot of death in my family over the years. Knowing ther're gone forever is sad, but, to me, it makes me feel more happiness to have known them for the time that I did.

    As General Patton once said, "We should not mourn that these men died. Instead, we should rejoice that they lived."
    "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." - As Laplace said when Napoleon wondered how the famous mathematician could write his book without mentioning God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Look, I already said that the Jesus of the bible sounds like a nice guy. I don't think that anyone anywhere is going to argue with you on that. But we were talking about whether or not a rational person would believe that Jesus is god, not whether or not we can all agree that he was simply nice.

    You have said several times now that you actively think about your fait, that people who don't question their beliefs are fools, etc. So I'm curious - what, specifically, is your reason for believing that the bible should be taken any more seriously than any other ancient book of magic stories?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    I think atheism is indeed the 'hard way out'. Usually atheists are expected to give reasons for not believing in a god, to give arguments for their 'deviance' from the norm they were often raised with. But when I ask a believer why he's not an atheist, the reply is usually "I know there is a god, I feel there is a god, give me reasons why there isn't a god". So the position of a believer is much easier to take, it's socially acceptable that you lay the burden of proof on the atheist. Now for atheists on this forum this is not a big problem, most of us here are able to argue for their position and to turn the burden of proof to the believers. But if you're a person without higher education, living in a religious community in which you are the deviant for not believing, then this unequal position really makes not-believing the hard way out.

    And, like Scifor Refugee, I'd like to know how one can believe in one god but not in another.
    Someone who says "I can't imagine the world without a god, but I can't tell if it's the islamic, jewish, hindu or christian one, or the flying spaghetti monster " then I accept that as a reasonable point of view. Many things in life are in fact difficult (but not impossible) to explain if you can't use an omnipotent god to solve the equation. But if someone claims that the Christian (or any other) god exists, and that he knows for sure that all other gods do not exist, then I don't understand this.
    Well I do have to point out that I never stated I was Christian. Though since I brought up Jesus you came to that conclusion. I believe In only one God, and all religions Islam, Christianity, Judiasm, Hindu In my opinion are the same thing.

    How can I believe the Bible was more credible than any other tales of magic? Well I don't take the Bible at face value, somethings are not meant to be taken literally. It tells us how to become at peace with ourselves. This I think atheists can even appreciate.

    If you don't believe in an afterlife, when your dead your gone. Whatever you learned or felt during your life is moot. How many people do you know of from 500 years ago? howabout 100 years ago? Whats the point in living and learning when you die and rot. If your lucky you might appear on a family tree.


    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    Or, to your own inner strength, instead of the support of an external force. Now which one sounds like the easier choice?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    Or, to your own inner strength, instead of the support of an external force. Now which one sounds like the easier choice?

    How can you turn to your own inner strength when your in a circumstance in which it doesn't matter, or you don't have any left. I can obviously tell you've never been in such a situation.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    Or, to your own inner strength, instead of the support of an external force. Now which one sounds like the easier choice?

    How can you turn to your own inner strength when your in a circumstance in which it doesn't matter, or you don't have any left. I can obviously tell you've never been in such a situation.
    Heh. Watching your father die before your eyes is pretty hopeless - at least, it sure felt that way. But I suppose that's not dire enough of a scene for you. In which case, I guess no, I've never been in such a situation.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    Or, to your own inner strength, instead of the support of an external force. Now which one sounds like the easier choice?

    How can you turn to your own inner strength when your in a circumstance in which it doesn't matter, or you don't have any left. I can obviously tell you've never been in such a situation.
    Watch your step, you're going very far now!

    You seem to be stuck in a circle argument: 'only with faith can people survive situations of hopelesness; person X has no faith, so person X has not gone through a situation of hopelesness'. If that's indeed your argument then it's not just very unsound reasoning but also very patronizing to say the least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    How can you turn to your own inner strength when your in a circumstance in which it doesn't matter, or you don't have any left. I can obviously tell you've never been in such a situation.
    Perhaps you could give an example of such a situation. I cannot think of a cirumstance in which my inner strenght doesn't matter. I look forward to being enlightened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Well I do have to point out that I never stated I was Christian. Though since I brought up Jesus you came to that conclusion. I believe In only one God, and all religions Islam, Christianity, Judiasm, Hindu In my opinion are the same thing.
    Most of these religions are mutually contradictory. What is your reason for believing that they are all the same?
    How can I believe the Bible was more credible than any other tales of magic? Well I don't take the Bible at face value, somethings are not meant to be taken literally. It tells us how to become at peace with ourselves. This I think atheists can even appreciate.
    Okay...so do you think that there is anything supernatural about that bible? If so, why?
    If you don't believe in an afterlife, when your dead your gone. Whatever you learned or felt during your life is moot. How many people do you know of from 500 years ago? howabout 100 years ago? Whats the point in living and learning when you die and rot. If your lucky you might appear on a family tree.
    I can understand why you don't like the idea that you cease to exist when you die, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not an afterlife or god exists. You claim to have thought deeply about your religion, but you are starting to look more and more like just another person who believes whatever sounds appealing to them without ever bothering to critically examine whether or not their beliefs are true. Do you actually have some reason to believe that there is an afterlife, other than the fact that you want there to be one?
    Most people who have no faith have never faced a situation where hopelessness has reigned. For in those types of situations where do you have to turn to but your faith.
    And again, the fact that desperate people manage to fool themselves into believing absurd things doesn't have anything to do with whether or not those absurd things are true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    How can you turn to your own inner strength when your in a circumstance in which it doesn't matter, or you don't have any left. I can obviously tell you've never been in such a situation.
    Perhaps you could give an example of such a situation. I cannot think of a cirumstance in which my inner strenght doesn't matter. I look forward to being enlightened.

    You have terminal brain cancer, it has entered metastasis, No matter how much inner strength you have it will not matter. How can you have inner strength with no hope?

    Your in Auschwitz, everyone you've ever known has died. Father, mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents have all been brutally murdered. I'd like to see the inner strength that one would have in that circumstance. What would it matter if you did not have it, you have no where to turn. What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I can understand why you don't like the idea that you cease to exist when you die, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not an afterlife or god exists. You claim to have thought deeply about your religion, but you are starting to look more and more like just another person who believes whatever sounds appealing to them without ever bothering to critically examine whether or not their beliefs are true. Do you actually have some reason to believe that there is an afterlife, other than the fact that you want there to be one?
    Does it matter, if you die you don't exist. There is not black, its non-existence. Why do people attempt to "enlighten" about how silly believeing in God is. Who are you trying to convince? For you it is a moot point, whats the point of debating this subject further?
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Does it matter, if you die you don't exist.
    It depends. If you spent your entire life following arbitrary religious rules that turn out to be unnecessary, then yes, you have lost your one chance at leading a free life. If you spent your life believing in a vague notion of god and not following any particular rules, then I suppose it wouldn't matter much.

    But again, you still haven't explained your reason for believing in god or an afterlife. Even if it were true that you stand to lose nothing if you believe in a god that doesn't exist, that's not a reason for believing. I mean, I stand to lose nothing if I believe that there is an invisible unicorn in my garage - but that doesn't mean I should believe it.

    Do you actually have any reason for believing these things, other than that you find them appealing? You called people who don't carefully consider their beliefs "fools." but so far your entire justification for believing in god and an afterlife seems to be "I believe because I want it to be true, and I don't stand to lose anything if I'm wrong." Surely you realize that neither the fact that you want it to be true nor the fact that you don't stand to lose anything if you are wrong actually constitutes evidence that your beliefs are actually correct.

    Why do people attempt to "enlighten" about how silly believeing in God is. Who are you trying to convince? For you it is a moot point, whats the point of debating this subject further?
    A substantial portion of the world wants to force me (and you, for that matter) to live according to their arbitrary religious rules. When religious people around the world give up on that project, there will be a lot less complaining from the atheists. If theists simply lived their lives quietly believing in god and not bothering everyone else, most atheists wouldn't care. But as long as theists are trying to get their fantasy stories taught in schools as science, or trying to get their arbitrary religious rules turned into laws that everyone is forced to follow, atheists have very good reason to complain. And that's not even getting into the parts of the world where they simply kill you because of their religion.

    And in any case, aren't you the one who said that people who go through life without questioning their beliefs are fools? Isn't that reason enough to encourage people to rationally examine their beliefs? But if you don’t consider rationality and truth to be important for their own sake, I doubt you really need me to list the problems that religion has caused in society.
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  53. #52  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    For you it is a moot point, whats the point of debating this subject further?
    Um - because you started this thread and asked us what we thought?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    How can you have inner strength with no hope?
    Firstly, hope does not equal faith. Secondly, if you're facing your own death then yes, there is no hope that you will live again. But you can still have the strength to accept it, and die peacefully looking back on the good memories of your life instead of ranting and railing against it. If all your family is dead then yes, there is no hope that they will come back to you, but you can still have the strength to continue to live your life and find some happiness, which is what all your dead relatives would have wanted for you.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Um - because you started this thread and asked us what we thought?
    But to continue to question how people can believe in "silly" things, is moot.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Firstly, hope does not equal faith. Secondly, if you're facing your own death then yes, there is no hope that you will live again. But you can still have the strength to accept it, and die peacefully looking back on the good memories of your life instead of ranting and railing against it. If all your family is dead then yes, there is no hope that they will come back to you, but you can still have the strength to continue to live your life and find some happiness, which is what all your dead relatives would have wanted for you.
    But your happiness doesn't matter, your memories don't matter. There is nothing after. Being peaceful doesn't matter either, because your entering non-existence. What your relatives "would have wanted" is meaningless because they do not continue to exist.

    I'm saying when there is no hope, and you will die, inner strength doesn't matter. Inner strength without faith in something, anything is like having a handle to hold onto but having it anchored to nothing.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Why are you so focused on the future? You have a moment right now in which you know you exist. You also have free will (arguably). You can live this moment however you choose.

    That provides a way out of hopelessness. It also is in line with some of the more esoteric biblical teachings.

    Ethics is not down to religion either.

    'Fraid I'll side with the atheists on this, particularly SciFor refugee's post - which was very well put.
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Um - because you started this thread and asked us what we thought?
    But to continue to question how people can believe in "silly" things, is moot.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Firstly, hope does not equal faith. Secondly, if you're facing your own death then yes, there is no hope that you will live again. But you can still have the strength to accept it, and die peacefully looking back on the good memories of your life instead of ranting and railing against it. If all your family is dead then yes, there is no hope that they will come back to you, but you can still have the strength to continue to live your life and find some happiness, which is what all your dead relatives would have wanted for you.
    But your happiness doesn't matter, your memories don't matter. There is nothing after. Being peaceful doesn't matter either, because your entering non-existence. What your relatives "would have wanted" is meaningless because they do not continue to exist.

    I'm saying when there is no hope, and you will die, inner strength doesn't matter. Inner strength without faith in something, anything is like having a handle to hold onto but having it anchored to nothing.
    What my dead relatives want is meaningless to them since they are dead, but it is not meaningless to me during my life. An atheist's inner strength is tied to faith in something - faith in the fact that even a brief life, whose only meaning may be what we ourselves make of it while we are here on earth, is still worth living - living happily, and living well.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Um - because you started this thread and asked us what we thought?
    But to continue to question how people can believe in "silly" things, is moot.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Firstly, hope does not equal faith. Secondly, if you're facing your own death then yes, there is no hope that you will live again. But you can still have the strength to accept it, and die peacefully looking back on the good memories of your life instead of ranting and railing against it. If all your family is dead then yes, there is no hope that they will come back to you, but you can still have the strength to continue to live your life and find some happiness, which is what all your dead relatives would have wanted for you.
    But your happiness doesn't matter, your memories don't matter. There is nothing after. Being peaceful doesn't matter either, because your entering non-existence. What your relatives "would have wanted" is meaningless because they do not continue to exist.

    I'm saying when there is no hope, and you will die, inner strength doesn't matter. Inner strength without faith in something, anything is like having a handle to hold onto but having it anchored to nothing.
    What my dead relatives want is meaningless to them since they are dead, but it is not meaningless to me during my life. An atheist's inner strength is tied to faith in something - faith in the fact that even a brief life, whose only meaning may be what we ourselves make of it while we are here on earth, is still worth living - living happily, and living well.
    But that doesn't change the fact that it will be meaningless. It doesn't matter if your happy, or living well. By your definition a human's life is not more important than that of a toad, and if its happy it doesn't matter. When its life is done, nobody will care. Just like that of a human. Human = Toad, one has a larger brain yet is not more important.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Um - because you started this thread and asked us what we thought?
    But to continue to question how people can believe in "silly" things, is moot.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Firstly, hope does not equal faith. Secondly, if you're facing your own death then yes, there is no hope that you will live again. But you can still have the strength to accept it, and die peacefully looking back on the good memories of your life instead of ranting and railing against it. If all your family is dead then yes, there is no hope that they will come back to you, but you can still have the strength to continue to live your life and find some happiness, which is what all your dead relatives would have wanted for you.
    But your happiness doesn't matter, your memories don't matter. There is nothing after. Being peaceful doesn't matter either, because your entering non-existence. What your relatives "would have wanted" is meaningless because they do not continue to exist.

    I'm saying when there is no hope, and you will die, inner strength doesn't matter. Inner strength without faith in something, anything is like having a handle to hold onto but having it anchored to nothing.
    What my dead relatives want is meaningless to them since they are dead, but it is not meaningless to me during my life. An atheist's inner strength is tied to faith in something - faith in the fact that even a brief life, whose only meaning may be what we ourselves make of it while we are here on earth, is still worth living - living happily, and living well.
    But that doesn't change the fact that it will be meaningless. It doesn't matter if your happy, or living well. By your definition a human's life is not more important than that of a toad, and if its happy it doesn't matter. When its life is done, nobody will care. Just like that of a human. Human = Toad, one has a larger brain yet is not more important.
    Who cares about anything if he lives forever?

    An atheist life is more meaningful than a theist life, because an atheist learns to appreciate the life in which he has been given. If you live forever then nothing really matters. Only way an atheist can get eternal life and purpose is through importance (well, actually it goes for all of us). If he writes a book or achieves something great, he will be remembered, and thus his life had significant meaning for others. If we live forever and there is a God, the God would know everything thus making all of us unimportant for whatever discovery we might have made. Nothing matters when you live forever.

    If an atheist sacrifies himself to save a child that's about to get hit by a truck, it is more meaningful than a theist doing it. Because a theist would simply live on, whilst an atheist ceases to exist and knows it. Who cares about death when you have eternal life? I'm not even sure why theist even shed a tear for people who dies when they "know" the soul will live on.

    Gods existence doesn't give us purpose.
    I think atheists enjoy life more than theists does.
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    Says an aspiring physician?! In a purely empirical sense, I guess it doesnt matter. When you look what mankind has accomplished you must believe our lives are worth and have the potential to accomplish more than a lowly toad.

    I would still take a more existentialist view than just accepting that our lives are meaningless and worthless. Taking that type of approach makes you wonder what's the difference between being alive or dead!
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    But that doesn't change the fact that it will be meaningless. It doesn't matter if your happy, or living well. By your definition a human's life is not more important than that of a toad, and if its happy it doesn't matter. When its life is done, nobody will care. Just like that of a human. Human = Toad, one has a larger brain yet is not more important.
    The relative "importance" of life is different than whether or not life is worth living in the first place. Which it is. It matters to me, right now, that I am happy and living well. I don't need outside validation or assurance to live a good life. I don't require my existence to mean something in order to enjoy existing.

    In the grand scheme of life in general, no, a human is not more important than a toad, or a bacteria, or a virus. But humans are more important to other humans; we love and value each other more than we do toads or bacteria or viruses. Thus during our lives we will treat humans differently than we will treat toads.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  61. #60  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    But that doesn't change the fact that it will be meaningless. It doesn't matter if your happy, or living well. By your definition a human's life is not more important than that of a toad, and if its happy it doesn't matter. When its life is done, nobody will care. Just like that of a human. Human = Toad, one has a larger brain yet is not more important.
    Tony

    These assertions may, however, actually be begging the question. An atheist's life is meaningless only if you define it as being so by virtue of your religious beliefs. If you genuinely inquire as to what one might imply by the terms 'meaning', or, as you have used it 'important', then one of the first questions to arise is: Meaningful and important to whom?

    Now if my life as an atheist is meaningful and important to me, for me that is sufficient. If, for you, it is necessary that the importance and meaning reside in some notion of a superior being external to yourself, then that's fair enough, but...

    If you have no warrant, besides your desire for such a being to exist, for the claim that it exists, then you've got yourself into a circular argument. Worse, if, as seems likely to all atheists, and all believers of a different stripe, you are incorrect in your assumption regarding the existence of such a being, then you will have failed even to achieve the sort of meaningfulness and importance in your life that an atheist does.

    My sense of meaning and importance may be a purely human construct, but I am quite certain it's the only game in town. For me, if you pin your hopes on the universe (or if you choose to give it a name, god) recognising and remembering you, then you will have wasted your life in a false hope - and may even have conduced to the draining of meaning and importance from the lives of others.

    I appreciate that these points/arguments may not weight too heavily with you if you are strong in your faith, but am hoping that you can at least appreciate that, for people without faith, they make a lot more sense than any faith can provide: they are a lot more important and meaningful. And they are not easy, they require a lot of thought to acquire, and they are precious once realised.

    cheer

    shanks
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    Tony John C said:
    To say that people who practice a religion do it without thought, or without will, is insulting. There are many who take there faith seriously.
    and
    If (people) do not ponder thier own faith, they are fools.
    And yet, he has so far failed to provide a rational explanation for why he believes what he believes, despite repeated requests. So far as I can tell, his only reason for believing in life after death is that he doesn't like the idea that we cease to exist when we die, as if whether we like or don't like an idea has any relevance whatsoever to whether or not an idea is true.

    Tony John C, do you actually have an explanation for your beliefs, or are you just another person who mindlessly believes whatever makes you feel good?
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  63. #62  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    ...And yet, he has so far failed to provide a rational explanation for why he believes what he believes, ...
    would that be because belief is not rational ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    ...And yet, he has so far failed to provide a rational explanation for why he believes what he believes, ...
    would that be because belief is not rational ?
    Well, obviously that's what I think. But I wouldn't be making such a big deal out of it if he hadn't gone on at length about how some people carefully consider their faith, how anyone who doesn't is a fool, etc.
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