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Old 08-31-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Location: East Lansing, MI
8,779 posts, read 7,960,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
Because it became obvious that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and God were lies told to me by my parents.

This, in a nutshell. My family was never very religious to begin with.

Then, as I got older and investigated things for myself, I decided that there wasn't nearly enough evidence to justify a belief in some all-powerful creator that controls our universe.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:17 AM
 
2,671 posts, read 2,802,193 times
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Deism is a more accurate description of my beliefs than is atheism, but even deism is not entirely accurate.

I remember being at an all Native American Baptist revival when I was about 6. Sitting between my older sister and her friend, I can still hear the preacher screaming damnation and hell at the top of his lungs. Not only was I miserable, but I was overcome with a higher sense that he was completely wrong, and that this was not the route we humans were suppose to be traveling.

I was never drawn toward religion even though I grew up in the bible belt and many of my HS friends were mainstream Christian. Often, I went to church with them, but never felt the need to be 'saved'. I dabbled studying with Jehovah's Witnesses more out of force than out of true desire. I respected them, but was never going to live that life. NOT for me. Organized religion and the dogma that goes with organized religion made less and less sense to me as I grew. I did't fear hell. I didn't need the promise of heaven for me to treat other living beings (notice I said living beings, not just humans) with respect and love.

Organized religion is more for people who are driven by fear, IMO. The fear is a mixed bag and is individualized, but none the less, it is fear. I just never felt the need to be bossed around by religious leaders and their dogma, and as a very independent person I knew I would always be absolutely miserable if I were forced into a box. Religion imprisons people.

I know the OP was directed at atheist, which I'm not. I believe in the soul, and believe all living creatures have spirit and soul. Even plants have a spirit and it is evident in the aura that surrounds them. I believe in opposing forces, which is shown throughout the natural processes of our world. Balance, upper and lower boundaries, and turbulance is constant in chemistry and physics. Everything on Earth breaks down into chemistry and physics. However; we humans have not evolved high enough to explain the spirit that animals know so well.

In the end, I know nothing about religion other than my own opinions and belief based on my life experiences. That really is all I know.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:45 AM
 
39,035 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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You correctly identify yourself as a deist - not even agnostic - and I am an atheist. You believe in what I don't think has any persuasive evidential support and I reserve belief for such time as the evidence is forthcoming.

That said, I have not got a problem with you as I don't believe you would get into Dogma, organized religion or Bible - punching. A deist is someone I could share a flat with.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:22 AM
 
1,112 posts, read 1,024,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecovlke View Post
Deism is a more accurate description of my beliefs than is atheism, but even deism is not entirely accurate.

I remember being at an all Native American Baptist revival when I was about 6. Sitting between my older sister and her friend, I can still hear the preacher screaming damnation and hell at the top of his lungs. Not only was I miserable, but I was overcome with a higher sense that he was completely wrong, and that this was not the route we humans were suppose to be traveling.

I was never drawn toward religion even though I grew up in the bible belt and many of my HS friends were mainstream Christian. Often, I went to church with them, but never felt the need to be 'saved'. I dabbled studying with Jehovah's Witnesses more out of force than out of true desire. I respected them, but was never going to live that life. NOT for me. Organized religion and the dogma that goes with organized religion made less and less sense to me as I grew. I did't fear hell. I didn't need the promise of heaven for me to treat other living beings (notice I said living beings, not just humans) with respect and love.

Organized religion is more for people who are driven by fear, IMO. The fear is a mixed bag and is individualized, but none the less, it is fear. I just never felt the need to be bossed around by religious leaders and their dogma, and as a very independent person I knew I would always be absolutely miserable if I were forced into a box. Religion imprisons people.

I know the OP was directed at atheist, which I'm not. I believe in the soul, and believe all living creatures have spirit and soul. Even plants have a spirit and it is evident in the aura that surrounds them. I believe in opposing forces, which is shown throughout the natural processes of our world. Balance, upper and lower boundaries, and turbulance is constant in chemistry and physics. Everything on Earth breaks down into chemistry and physics. However; we humans have not evolved high enough to explain the spirit that animals know so well.

In the end, I know nothing about religion other than my own opinions and belief based on my life experiences. That really is all I know.
You do know that atheists can believe in these things, right? Spirits, supernatural, afterlife, etc. Just not gods. I hear you go one about these things, but nothing about the god you supposedly believe in. Can you tell me more about this god and what evidence convinced you that it exists?
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
You do know that atheists can believe in these things, right? Spirits, supernatural, afterlife, etc. Just not gods. I hear you go one about these things, but nothing about the god you supposedly believe in. Can you tell me more about this god and what evidence convinced you that it exists?
Is that true? I thought atheists don't believe in anything related to the metaphysical and supernatural. But I heard Sam Harris (my new favourite atheist ) say something similar in a debate, that he does believe in spirituality, meditation, fasting, achieving higher conscience etc. which surprised me cause he's obviously atheist.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Murika
2,526 posts, read 2,598,846 times
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I was ten, listened to religious teachings, and none of it made any sense to my immature intellect.

My intellect has matured in the decades since and those teachings make even less sense to me now.

Intellectually, I understand what religion tries to convey and why some people need to believe in a god, an afterlife, and all the other stuff. However, religion as a belief-system to understand and explain the world, life, existence, etc. is simply nonsensical to me.

Do you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? No? Why not? And there you have the same answer I would have to give you about any other deity.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:54 PM
 
39,035 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Is that true? I thought atheists don't believe in anything related to the metaphysical and supernatural. But I heard Sam Harris (my new favourite atheist ) say something similar in a debate, that he does believe in spirituality, meditation, fasting, achieving higher conscience etc. which surprised me cause he's obviously atheist.
Bottom line is that an atheist will believe in anything that has some good evidential reasons to support it. Thus we'd believe in a god if there was good evidence for it. There isn't - not for a personal religion -type god, anyway. Really, there isn't.

About all the other supernatural stuff from NED's and Bigfoot to astrology and ghosts through UFO's and acupuncture, we have to recognize the feelings and the physical effects. If we are rational we won't jump to equate them with similar - sounding myths or superstitions (1). We really have to suspend belief and not jump to conclusions about what is doing it, even if we accept that something is happening.

Bottom line is forget this idea that atheists or skeptics or materialists all reject out of hand anything coming under the heading of supernatural or religious. We just suspend belief in anything without good enough evidence as any reasonable person ought to do.

The protracted debates that go on are because of people with an axe to grind (and we have had UFO believers as well as theists here) trying on all sorts of rhetorical tricks, irrelevant arguments and overdrawn not to say misleading evidence in order to persuade anyone who will listen that their beliefs do have sound evidential support.

I will stick my neck out and say that they turn out to have very little but a remarkable capacity to ignore sound evidence.

(1) eg taking voices in the head as angels. They sure can sound like them but I sorta knew they were just in my head. We know pretty well they are in the head now)
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:08 PM
 
1,112 posts, read 1,024,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Is that true? I thought atheists don't believe in anything related to the metaphysical and supernatural. But I heard Sam Harris (my new favourite atheist ) say something similar in a debate, that he does believe in spirituality, meditation, fasting, achieving higher conscience etc. which surprised me cause he's obviously atheist.
I would say that many atheists probably do not believe in the supernatural as a whole, but being an atheist does not preclude one from doing so. In order to be labeled as an atheist, you simply have to be lacking one specific belief....in the existence of gods.

I personally do not have any belief in the supernatural (at this time), but I actually brought this up, because my great uncle who has been an atheist since the day he was born, believed in ghosts/spirits he said up until the age of 25 or so. His belief was based on two experiences he had which made him believe in ghosts/spirits. He later chalked it up to his mind playing tricks on him because his desire to see his sister again was so strong that he was convinced that he was visited by her (she had died when he was 9 years old).

My great-uncle believed in spirits due to a personal experience- similar to the claims of some theists with what they perceive to be a personal experience of god. As atheists, we believe that you (general "you") believe in god. We just are not convinced to believe in god ourselves based on your "personal" experience. If I had a personal experience of god which was convincing to me, then I could very well believe in gods too. But as of now, that has not happened.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:53 AM
 
39,035 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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Good post. Atheism is just that - not having a belief in any god. I have seen all sorts of arguments about redefining it but really, that is the only good definition that doesn't lead to all sorts of problems.

While atheists can become atheists for all sorts of reason - some not always too rational - the logical basis of atheism as a belief - position is rationality. Since reading Daniel Harbour's 'Intelligent persons' guide to atheism', I understood that atheism was just a rational worldview particularly applied to religious claims. It can be applied to all supernatural or cult claims, conspiracy theories or fringe- medicine, alternative history or out -field technology.

The method is the same in every single case. Using logic and validated evidence, consider how well the claims stand up. If they don't make a case beyond reasonable doubt they deserve no reasonable credit. That means they are not deserving of belief.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:24 PM
 
Location: California
30,693 posts, read 33,456,199 times
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When you aren't taught religion you aren't religious. Sometimes people convert later becasue they want/need to be led.
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