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Old 07-20-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,892 posts, read 18,557,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
God drinks Mountain Dew, eats pizza and Doritos, and is always looking for a clever hack? God sometimes forgets a semicolon at the end of a line? What does this mean?

-NoCapo
No, no. Keep in mind that Christianity is a religion which is top heavy with middle management types. God is the CEO, but dealing with god involves a series of intercessions to angels, saints and a supposed virgin Mom. An unwieldy bureaucracy like that is bound to make clerical errors and feature some foul ups.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaemonkey View Post
...using FORTRAN
God predates zeroes and ones. He had to use oh's and i's.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
But what I mean is, I would just for 5 minutes of my life genuinely like to climb inside the head of a theist and clearly see what they see just for just a few moments, just to experience what they claim to 'know' and how they claim to know it.
I can perhaps shed some light on this, since I was a theist for most of my life.

What a theist feels is a kind of conscious force in the universe. After all, nature truly is transcendent in a sense when we contemplate about deep space, deep time or subatomic particles and how insignificant we are to it all. This is what leads the human mind to believe there is something "out there" behind all of this that is ultimately beyond comprehension.

So, what it boils down to is that reality deceives people into believing in something that is simply not there - based on any scientific evidence.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,369,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaemonkey View Post
...using FORTRAN
And His favorite: a Commodore 64, though I last heard He was looking for a good deal on a Commodore 128! With a floppy drive! PTL!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:43 PM
 
39,035 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I can perhaps shed some light on this, since I was a theist for most of my life.

What a theist feels is a kind of conscious force in the universe. After all, nature truly is transcendent in a sense when we contemplate about deep space, deep time or subatomic particles and how insignificant we are to it all. This is what leads the human mind to believe there is something "out there" behind all of this that is ultimately beyond comprehension.

So, what it boils down to is that reality deceives people into believing in something that is simply not there - based on any scientific evidence.
I can understand that. I can even 'feel' the idea myself - and it could be true; it's just that it doesn't need to be (from the rather intellectualist logical position of atheism).

What is more puzzling is the buy - in to the Bible that seems to go along with it. Now, for me, though the idea that an intelligent nature could be a reality occurred to me in my youth, the idea that this could not be the god of any particular religion more or less came along with it. It tended to lead to rejection of Christianity, rather than leading to it, and the Bible.

I can only suppose that Bible- belief is residual and has to be maintained as a sort of inspirational document rather than factual: it just happens to be the more familiar of the equally valid Holy Books that spiritually 'aim' our minds at 'God', or we get the idea that we need it (factual or not) as a moral guide, or perhaps there is this need for worship of what is otherwise a pretty impersonal 'Intelligent nature'.

That is, religion is done to make us happy, rather than God.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I always heard it told as "yes, no, or not right now". When put this way it makes the result of prayer completely identical to random happenstance, but they don't seem to see the irony in that. I think that you get so beaten down by these illogical non-sequiters that you just don't even engage your brain.

I am configured such that when I was a Christian, after a decent sampling of prayer results, maybe the first 30 or so, I never really expected god to actually do anything as he was way too unreliable / random. It became a sort of open secret among believers, who come, I think, to regard prayer as more a wish and a hope than an actual request in an actual response queue. The proof being that no one actually lives as if an answer is forthcoming. You pray for healing but still take them to the hospital for cancer treatments. You pray for "wisdom for the doctors" but you still get a second opinion. You pray for their survival but still are filled with anxiety about their likely demise. You grieve as if there were an afterlife but unless you are on death's door yourself an afterlife is cold comfort after all the broken promises of protection, help in times of trouble, health, prosperity, wisdom, guidance and comfort.

I was willing to go along to get along until there were some things in my life that I really, really needed and when I didn't get them, people I cared about suffered greatly and even died. After that I couldn't abide it at all. I saw no reason to keep up the fiction either for my benefit or anyone else's.
The truth about prayer? It's not going to God anyway.

God is sort of some higher concept of Creation that for the most part is way outside normal existence, generally as part of existence itself, has a laissez faire thing going on. This is not to say miracles can't happen, but the average one that you are way so thankful for is actually more of a personal echo. Hint: If you didn't pray for it, and it's exactly what you want, God probably did it. But praying "let him get well" is similar to a mantra, it acts based on repeating energies extending from... you.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Hi guys, just wanted to say a quick thankyou to Mordant, Big City Dreamer and Grandstander - the comments you all made combined in his thread (sorry its not my thread so I apologise for hijacking) gave me pause for thought this week and I think I had something of a breakthrough in understanding others religious beliefs. Mordant, you talking about your childhood had me thinking back about my own childhood and whether there was a time when I believed in anything that wasn't 'real'. Honestly even now I cant remember for sure if I ever really truly believed in things like Santa Claus or god, but I think there must have been a time when I did, or at least accepted it to be the case. In either case I must have grown out of it pretty early on. But I can see it in my kids (aged 11, 9 and 7) and I know that at least my youngest still believes Santa exists hook, line and sinker.
I hope nobody takes this the wrong way but for some reason it dawned on me that religion is simply an extension of this childhood belief that people don't grow out of. Sorry I know this must be blindingly obvious to everyone else and I really don't mean it to sound offensive in any way. Although I still don't quite understand why people stick with it, I'm far more comfortable with that, than this nagging though I always had of feeling slightly on the outside of things (religion wise).
Also Big City Dreamer talked about a 'conscious force in the universe'. I do get that part. I spend way too much time myself contemplating the universe and everything in it, just without the conscious force bit. I can perfectly well understand how people can attribute a god to the big questions in life.
Thanks all. Have a great Sunday!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
Also Big City Dreamer talked about a 'conscious force in the universe'. I do get that part. I spend way too much time myself contemplating the universe and everything in it, just without the conscious force bit. I can perfectly well understand how people can attribute a god to the big questions in life.
Thanks all. Have a great Sunday!

Some people have a problem with the "Something from nothing " concept. Buddhists strive to understand and accept it, but there are many scientists and pseudo-scientists who have problems with it. How could the universe come to something from nothing? Well, we do not have the technology to fully demonstrate it yet, but we are on our way. And we have a pretty good idea, and no it does not involve a deity.

I think one of the most interesting aspects of Christianity is the whole "End times" thing, which varies from group to group but basically says that the great J-Man will come back to earth, conquer all evil and establish an eternal kingdom which will reign on earth forever.

Not to get into the whole physics of why that is impossible, because as one theist told me "Well God created all the laws of physics so He can change them if He wants to" I would say that the ONLY definite end time this planet knows is in a few billion years, it will be vaporized by the expanding and scorching corona of the sun. This is not fairy tale, this is scientific fact. As I have been told throughout my life by Christians "Science is just a fairy tale" from the age of 5 to last Tuesday, I can say that what we know of gravity, energy, motion and thermonuclear fusion will show how our solar system will one day end. And no there can be no eternal life living in or below it, because it will not exist.
Not to mention a gamma from elsewhere in the galaxy hitting earth which will happen too, or an asteroid striking the earth, a biological disaster........only thing certain is that ancient fairy tales of a dead man coming back and fixing everything probably are NOT the only likely scenario.

But since many theists are educated with a "Well god did it that way" mentality, what would we expect from the uneducated and unlearned crowd? To me, it is not just the easy way out, but the incorrect one as well, but those who are not given a choice, through religious indoctrination or fear, cannot understand this.

I have had to talk with many theists who live with a great sense of depression and anxiety. Of course, fear and almost paranoia often goes hand in hand with such disorders. I have had numerous theists (Christians) tell me that their lives are so unhappy and miserable that they cannot wait to die, cannot wait to spend an eternity in heaven. (which kind of runs antithetical to the aforementioned world utopia myth but oh well). They are unable, due to their condition, to make changes to empower their lives for the betterment of themselves and their families. The seem obsessed with the external forces, especially the devil and god, of which they have no control or power, and have become stuck in a life of suffering and misery as a result. I would not say that they have accepted anything, because accepting themselves and their condition would be the first step to healing. They are not there yet. Instead, they go through life pretending to be happy, pretending to be in control and all the time living with internal conflicts which manifest themselves in depression, anxiety and a sense of despondency.
Very sad situation, an I do not encourage anyone to follow mental illness. I could not ethically let a person starve, if within my power to help. Nor could I ethically put a person into a situation which is going to result in deadly disease, like treating syphilis with mercury and arsenic.
By that same token, I cannot encourage outdated and unhealthy religious answers to certain questions, especially those which allow someone to give up all levels of self responsibility to another person or an imaginary deity. To do so would not help the person help himself. And to encourage myth as opposed to reality, that is just plain wrong.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:18 AM
 
220 posts, read 273,208 times
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Silly "religious" answers to questions:

Religious person: "I know there is a God"
Q: "What proof do you have in God?"
A: "I don't need proof. I have faith"

Silly "atheist" answers to questions:

Atheist person: "There is no God"
A: "What proof do you have?"
Q: "There is no proof that God exists, therefore the lack of proof = proof that there is no God"


Both are equally dumb
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 12,009,014 times
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God works in mysterious ways.
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