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Old 04-15-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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Default Athiests are the most genuine?

I work in the medical feild, with many different people of all sorts of religions, ethnic backgrounds, nationalities. I get along with all of them. I have come to see myself, for the most part, as a kind and generous person. Not only in my work, but with family and friends.
Being an athiest, I feel better about being kind. Because I know it genuine and that I'm not just doing it feeling obligated to be a good person, in fear of being send to a hell or a heaven.
I do know many religous people who are truely kind hearted. BUT I have never met an atheist who is insincere about the kindness they express, like I experience with many religious aquaintences.
Thoughts?
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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interesting post....I've never known any religious people who weren't sincere in their feelings towards others...I've found that no matter what denomination people are...they're either genuine in their kindness or not....I don't think religion has anything to do with what kind of person you really are inside...and I've never believed it to define good from bad....though I do see many atrosities committed and excused in the name of religion...and I do agree that without fear of reprisal, people can be more "genuine" in how they express themselves.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
interesting post....I've never known any religious people who weren't sincere in their feelings towards others...I've found that no matter what denomination people are...they're either genuine in their kindness or not....I don't think religion has anything to do with what kind of person you really are inside...and I've never believed it to define good from bad....though I do see many atrosities committed and excused in the name of religion...and I do agree that without fear of reprisal, people can be more "genuine" in how they express themselves.
you have expressed two contradictory points here.




to the OP, i understand and agree. although i'm confident (hard to distinguish i think) that at least 'some' religious folks who do good things just for goodness sake, but i do share your view that for atheists, doing good is almost always either for goodness' sake, or to serve self-interests at least at some level (there's nothing wrong with that btw). it is however never to "score points" with an invisible boogie monster in the sky as is often the case with religious folks.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
you have expressed two contradictory points here.




to the OP, i understand and agree. although i'm confident (hard to distinguish i think) that at least 'some' religious folks who do good things just for goodness sake, but i do share your view that for atheists, doing good is almost always either for goodness' sake, or to serve self-interests at least at some level (there's nothing wrong with that btw). it is however never to "score points" with an invisible boogie monster in the sky as is often the case with religious folks.

But if someone is doing something kind in order to serve their own interests, is that really genuine or sincere?

Anyway, to your op. I was a Christian who believed in hell for most of my life. I wanted to do kind and loving things because I thought it was a good thing to strive to be that kind of person, not to avoid hell. But, I can't say that I was a kind and loving person ... just that I wanted to be one.


I lost faith in God and for a time had an atheistic view. I still wanted to be a kind and loving person. Essentially, my motivation didn't change, and neither did I, at my core.

I think that I am becoming more the person I want to be, and what I believe/d about the non/existence of God has had little to do with it. It had more to do with belief in the transformative power of love.

Aisi.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
But if someone is doing something kind in order to serve their own interests, is that really genuine or sincere?
maybe, maybe not.
it's not any secret that humans are selfish beings and that often, when we do something nice, for no apparent reason, simply to do good, we are doing so to make someone happy....but that "making someone happy" in turn makes 'us' happy....so some argue that that in itself is a selfish act.
that's the type of 'self serving' i was trying to allude to. (of course there are other types of 'self serving' acts of good, and of course we all do that as well, at one time or another. and i don't think there's anything wrong with that either).
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
maybe, maybe not.
it's not any secret that humans are selfish beings and that often, when we do something nice, for no apparent reason, simply to do good, we are doing so to make someone happy....but that "making someone happy" in turn makes 'us' happy....so some argue that that in itself is a selfish act.
that's the type of 'self serving' i was trying to allude to. (of course there are other types of 'self serving' acts of good, and of course we all do that as well, at one time or another. and i don't think there's anything wrong with that either).

I'm not questioning the rightness/wrongness of acting out of self-serving motives, simply whether or not it is "genuine" kindness and goodness if that is the case. But, that's sort of a sidebar thing to the real point of the op, I think. Are atheists any more genuine than religious people when they behave in kind and loving ways? No more, and no less, imo, based on my own experience.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
I'm not questioning the rightness/wrongness of acting out of self-serving motives, simply whether or not it is "genuine" kindness and goodness if that is the case. But, that's sort of a sidebar thing to the real point of the op, I think. Are atheists any more genuine than religious people when they behave in kind and loving ways? No more, and no less, imo, based on my own experience.
i guess that depends on the precise definition of "genuine", but i think i understand what you're saying.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Default Athiests are the most genuine?

Such self-congratulatory sentiments map onto a "religious" mindset more than an atheist one. It seeks special status for the group to which one believes they belong or desire to associate themselves with . . . a very "religious" mindset. Nonetheless . . . such generalities are seldom either useful or true.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Such self-congratulatory sentiments map onto a "religious" mindset more than an atheist one. It seeks special status for the group to which one believes they belong or desire to associate themselves with . . . a very "religious" mindset. Nonetheless . . . such generalities are seldom either useful or true.
I agree. It is a "faction" mindset as our Founder's would have called it. Atheists sometimes pretend to be good just for the secular rewards of it.
I bet religious people are just the same, but they're hoping for that extra reward for their faith/works.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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if "genuine" means that atheists don't do the best they can to be saved a spot in some nice paradise after death, then yes but there are good and bad atheists. We're still people like everyone else. We just don't have deities and religions in our lives. Some use deities as a crutch and some use other things...Being an atheist does not guarantee being genuine.
Every human does things for a "selfish" reason, whether it's done flagrantly or not. There's always some type benefit to what a person does. Most don't sit and study about it before helping someone but it's there. So in the end religion has nothing to do with it, it's human nature. Religious people just have one extra reason to be "genuine"!
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