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Old 06-08-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,047 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
They will not find that in either Theism or Atheism; the only difference is that Atheism does not promise anything in that regard other than the real potential for freedom from cognitive dissonance.
True enough and maybe that partially explains the marketing approach being taken by the "talk to young atheists" survey, that is one area where they have an advantage.....

"Come to our side and we offer serial absolution for your misdeeds regardless of frequency or repetition, we offer the clarity of absolute, unassailable truth, and of course if you act before midnight tonight, you get the bonus of an eternal afterlife characterized by endless euphoria."

Atheists?
"Oh, over here we offer potential freedom from cognitive dissonance."

Maybe marketing is the key and we non theists need to hire a pr firm to add some pizazz to our message, perhaps free atheist key chains or maybe we could persuade the local pro sports franchise to have an "Atheists Night" at the park.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
True enough and maybe that partially explains the marketing approach being taken by the "talk to young atheists" survey, that is one area where they have an advantage.....

"Come to our side and we offer serial absolution for your misdeeds regardless of frequency or repetition, we offer the clarity of absolute, unassailable truth, and of course if you act before midnight tonight, you get the bonus of an eternal afterlife characterized by endless euphoria."

Atheists?
"Oh, over here we offer potential freedom from cognitive dissonance."

Maybe marketing is the key and we non theists need to hire a pr firm to add some pizazz to our message, perhaps free atheist key chains or maybe we could persuade the local pro sports franchise to have an "Atheists Night" at the park.
Well, no one on either side has anything to really make everything comprehensible and explicable and tidily okay, but the other side is simply willing to lie about it. That's always a problem for us because so many of us will not support a lie to replace the one we just spent a lot of time and energy fighting our way clear of.

(By the way in case any theists are taking umbrage to being characterized as liars, I recognize that one can only be as honest with others as one is with oneself. This category of liar is not in the same class as the sociopath who shamelessly lies for whatever advantage he can obtain. I am not suggesting that your typical Joe Theist out on the street sees himself as having anything but the best and noblest intentions. I know, because I was once that guy. However, that guy was lied to by a false system and a spade is a spade is a spade. So, sorry if I popped anyone's bubble).
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:14 PM
 
40,096 posts, read 26,755,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Well, no one on either side has anything to really make everything comprehensible and explicable and tidily okay, but the other side is simply willing to lie about it. That's always a problem for us because so many of us will not support a lie to replace the one we just spent a lot of time and energy fighting our way clear of.

(By the way in case any theists are taking umbrage to being characterized as liars, I recognize that one can only be as honest with others as one is with oneself. This category of liar is not in the same class as the sociopath who shamelessly lies for whatever advantage he can obtain. I am not suggesting that your typical Joe Theist out on the street sees himself as having anything but the best and noblest intentions. I know, because I was once that guy. However, that guy was lied to by a false system and a spade is a spade is a spade. So, sorry if I popped anyone's bubble).
Epic fail! Much as you would like to excuse your libel of theists as liars, mordant . . . it is NOT lying if you believe what you are saying. Lying requires the knowledge that what you are saying is not true.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,651 posts, read 33,451,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
The politicization of religion also has a lot to do with it. Young people are liberal and they can't relate to a religion that demands they vote Republican. I don't think ages 14-17 are as decisive as 18-25. Most college freshmen who start out Christian will be atheist by the time they receive their diploma. There are so many Christian teenagers who have been in youth group their entire life, saved and baptized before age 10, who will go to college unable to defend the faith they grew up with and will lose it.
I think another big contributor is that the church in a lot of cases looks like the world when you are talking about things such as racial segregation, divorce rates, and unplanned pregnancies. If there is one thing intelligent young people hate is hypocrisy. From their view, if you say you know better, then why does your church look just like the world you say you know a better way than?

Last edited by The Dissenter; 06-08-2013 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Epic fail! Much as you would like to excuse your libel of theists as liars, mordant . . . it is NOT lying if you believe what you are saying. Lying requires the knowledge that what you are saying is not true.
I believed the tenets of my faith, but I did so by being both willfully ignorant and dishonest with myself and my own though processes and doubts. Call it what you will, but the net result is the same as lying. I now regard myself as essentially having participated in a mutual pact with fellow theists to mutually reinforce lies told to ourselves and to each other and ultimately to the greater world.

I suppose I could argue that I didn't know what I believed and propagated was false, thus I lacked the intent to deceive. But that's a little like a person enjoying a particularly good cocaine hit driving at 150 miles per hour down a freeway and saying he didn't mean to hurt or endanger anyone. It's kind of lame. So I own it for what it was: willful ignorance and the embrace of ideas I knew, not all that deep down, were unsupportable. The only difference when I left the faith was that I was finally willing to admit that belief in god was a sham. My admission suggests that I knew it at some level all along.

It is entirely possible that some people experience faith differently, that they really don't suppress doubts or ignore logical inconsistencies / impossibilities -- that they are so unobservant and/or incurious and/or dense that they really never are troubled by such things. But I suspect it's unusual because most believers admit that they struggle with doubt, and also with temptation (strongly suggesting that they are no "new creation") and uncertainty and anxiety (strongly suggesting that there is no indwelling holy spirit) and bitter disappointments (suggesting the Hand of God is not really guiding things or at least that the teachings of the church are not setting reasonable expectations), etc. The facade starts to crack even more when people experience relationship problems, divorce, children who depart from "the way in which they should go" that they were brought up in, and on and on.

It's really just a question of when the straw that breaks the camel's back comes and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. And when it does, what are you left with? The fact that you have believed a lie, at the very least -- but in my view, that to some greater or lesser degree you have participated in that lie as well.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:23 PM
 
25 posts, read 52,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity - Larry Alex Taunton - The Atlantic

"When a Christian foundation interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, surprising themes emerged. [...]
- They had attended church
- The mission and message of their churches was vague
- They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life's difficult questions
- They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously
- Ages 14-17 were decisive
- The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one
- The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism
[...] ...these students were, above all else, idealists who longed for authenticity, and having failed to find it in their churches, they settled for a non-belief that, while less grand in its promises, felt more genuine and attainable."
I'm not an atheist, but I found religion to be superficial, with superficial religious practices.

It seemed fake, stupid and for people who thought they were doing a greater good, but had no idea what that greater good was, is or is about.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:10 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,699,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Epic fail! Much as you would like to excuse your libel of theists as liars, mordant . . . it is NOT lying if you believe what you are saying. Lying requires the knowledge that what you are saying is not true.
Not really - As I think that telling people something is true when you have no reason whatsoever to think it is true - is just as much "lying" as anything else you defined. Even if you believe it strongly. Even if it turns out to be true in the end too.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:30 AM
 
910 posts, read 1,167,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
You have frequently written about varying perspectives and the rationalist perspective on this "talk to atheists" is that it is treating the loss of believers as though it is a marketing problem rather than anything having to do with the validity of the doctrine. Consequently it comes across to me as someone trying to sell me a car by talking up its mileage, safety etc, but ignoring the fact I can see that the car has been wrecked in an accident.

Therefore the people behind this effort either fail to see how such a thing would be perceived by rationalists, or they are only targeting the emotionally oriented crowd. The rationalist in me wonders why they would even want such people or count it a coup that they were able to prevent such a person's defection or were able to re recruit that person. Is swelling the ranks of the believers considered so valuable that it does not matter if they include people who could be blown one way or the other depending upon emotions and prevailing circumstances?
Maybe I'm giving the guy who wrote the article the benefit of the doubt a little too much, but I don't think his goal is to just bump up the numbers for Team Jebus so much as it is figuring out a way to make Christianity relevant in a changing society. I don't think it's possible, but that's beyond the scope of that guy's study and really not anything modern Christianity as an institution incapable of meeting the needs of the modern world can do much about.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:47 AM
 
39,172 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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I agree. There are some forward -looking Christians (I saw a presenter on the history of Christianity who tackled this problem) who see the need for Christianity to make for itself a needed role as force for social good when it rund out of buyers for its promise of heaven , never mind the threat of hell.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:13 AM
 
910 posts, read 1,167,191 times
Reputation: 594
The thing is what gave Christianity its social legitimacy in the first place isn't the theological stuff, it was providing some level of social welfare, education, acting as a populist bank, etc. All functions which the modern state performs far more efficiently and effectively. Without that underpinning, there's really not much left for religion as a social institution other than basically serving as a closed-off social club, which is what church has largely turned into these days. Short of dismantling the state and using force to reassert the dominance of institutional religion as a replacement, there's no way to change that.
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