U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-25-2013, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,515 posts, read 3,923,413 times
Reputation: 9930

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
You not liking my answer is not the same as me interpreting your questions wrong.

Your question is about whether anything in our lives turned us away from faith, or belief in god.

My answer is that many of us never had such faith or belief in the FIRST PLACE. Therefore we were never turned away from it.

I never lost my belief in god. I simply never had one, at ANY point in my life, to begin with.
^^This.

And I'll add to it. When, later on in life, I was presented with opportunities to explore religion, I found it distasteful. For several years in my life, I was very anti-religion and expended far too much energy arguing with the religious.

Now that I'm older I still have that distaste, but I don't bother arguing anymore.


Why not? A wise woman once explained to me that religious belief comes from emotion, not reason. No amount of discussion, argument or proof will sway someone emotionally.

For example: People who don't believe the death penalty is fair or just or something that man should do may change their mind when a loved one is murdered by another person. The emotional break of the sudden (and often violent) death of their loved one causes them to change their stance on the death penalty so that the guilty person is punished.

I'm not saying that happens all the time, but it has happened and is a good example of what I mean.

I'm also not saying that people can't change their mind about religion without some traumatic or drastic emotional upheaval. But *my* arguments are not going to be the decisive cause. They will change through their own internal process.

Hence why I don't really argue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-25-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,118,471 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
When, later on in life, I was presented with opportunities to explore religion, I found it distasteful.
Yeah, I was the same way too.

In the late 1970's, when I was about 30 years old and our daughter was about 4 and going to a church sponsored pre-school, I got interested in religion. I read a little from the bible and other books, talked with the pastor from that church, and went to church three times. The pastor must have thought there was hope in me because he invited my wife and me over to their house for dinner.

However, it just did not do anything for me. I realized I just simply did not believe in anything supernatural like a god.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 10:32 AM
 
2,391 posts, read 4,051,690 times
Reputation: 902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
You not liking my answer is not the same as me interpreting your questions wrong.

Your question is about whether anything in our lives turned us away from faith, or belief in god.

My answer is that many of us never had such faith or belief in the FIRST PLACE. Therefore we were never turned away from it.

I never lost my belief in god. I simply never had one, at ANY point in my life, to begin with.

No problem with your answer Just the one friend of mine who is one of these did have faith growing up till his teen years. I just thought perhaps this was the same scenario for all here. Apparently not, and everyone has a different story which all are interesting. Also, this seem to turn into a hot topic
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
I'm also not saying that people can't change their mind about religion without some traumatic or drastic emotional upheaval. But *my* arguments are not going to be the decisive cause. They will change through their own internal process.

Hence why I don't really argue.
Don't underestimate yourself.

I seldom post here with any illusion that the specific person I'm responding to is going to be swayed by me, and certainly not today -- although once in a great while, a genuinely curious somewhat liberal / moderate theist -- with no dogma and attached fragile ego to defend -- will be educated and broadened by my response. There are thoughtful, curious, intelligent theists.

Rather, I post mostly to clarify my own thinking and with the realization that there are probably scores of lurkers for every person I respond to -- likely, over time, hundreds of seekers reading old posts. Some of those have doubts and to simply be reassured that doubt is not some rare disease brought on by some sort of character defect or spiritual failing is helpful -- whether that realization ultimately strengthens or weakens their faith is of no concern to me, the important thing is that people stop looking at skepticism and doubt as Bad Things.

Another thing it's important for theists to realize is that virtually all atheists are not spiteful, hateful, negative, hedonistic mountebanks. We do not have secret basement lairs where we have orgies and satanic rituals. Some theists seriously think we have communicable diseases of the mind, that we constitute some sort of anti-church out to destroy them, and that we are therefore dangerous. Truth is we are neighbors, friends, coworkers, people who do not stand out generally in "meatspace". We are thoughtful, caring, loving people -- or not -- just like individual theists. I seek to break down barriers of thought that cast theists as incorruptible angels and atheists as cackling fiends.

Heck, theists have admitted that they are surprised to discover that there is such a thing as a deconvert and multiple reasons for deconverting; they simply had not considered it. I am happy if some theists even understand that atheists are not a faceless uniform block of people with identical histories and reasons for their position.

Finally, all of this plants seeds that bear who knows what fruit down the line. Again, I simply want to help theists think outside their box / echo chamber and engage with the Real World on as honest a basis as possible and let the chips fall where they may.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,515 posts, read 3,923,413 times
Reputation: 9930
Ah mordant, you are clearly more read on the subject than I care to be. Maybe 20 years ago I would have read Dawkins and others and gone toe-to-toe with theists, bringing in well reasoned and researched points-of-view to discussions.

I find I don't have the time or energy anymore.

I'm comfortable with my atheism. I don't doubt that my p-o-v is correct. I turn a deaf ear or just give a polite smile to those who want to take up the theist side.

What I will do, however, is dispel those notions you mentioned - that atheists are out to eat babies and wear pentagrams. I'll also dispel the idea that we are just angry at god, confused and needing guidance, or really believers just being rebellious.



Hat off to you for your patience and well thought out posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 02:17 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,307 posts, read 19,591,548 times
Reputation: 13099
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Heck, theists have admitted that they are surprised to discover that there is such a thing as a deconvert and multiple reasons for deconverting; they simply had not considered it.
^^This is important to point out. Some people are so conditioned in their way of thinking that disbelieving in God to them is the same as denying reality. They cannot conceptualize existence without God.

Heck, I may have been that way myself before I became an atheist.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
I find I don't have the time or energy anymore.
I will be turning 57 soon and I am not exactly bursting with energy nor do I still live on the Island Of People Who Care in the sense that I have to be personally "right" and slay all who oppose me, etc. On my worst days, I stand down myself. However, I love writing as a communications and self development medium and it lends meaning to my existence to help fellow travelers, theist and atheist alike, along the way where I can.

I have no more skin in the game than you do, though, in the sense that I am overwhelmingly unperturbed to be living in a theist world, and while I would be delighted if my prediction came true that a millennium from now religion will be a fringe phenomenon and theists will be a distinct minority, I feel no firebrand's need to personally Fix Everything Today. That's a young person's game. Society can only absorb change so fast; standing apart from theistic thinking is not something everyone has the prerequisites to handle. As a species, we are climbing slowly, arduously out of a very deep hole of superstition and ignorance. I am content to do my small part but am under no illusion that I will live to see a better world. I hope, not entirely without reason, that eventually, there will be less suffering, less superstition, less ignorance, less rigidity of ideology and thought, more personal responsibility, more willingness to tolerate uncertainty that remains without imposing bias on it, less tolerance for and indifference to human suffering as some sort of necessary and even ennobling influence. And, of course, much less reliance on imaginary supernatural beings to mediate our existence.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 06:00 PM
 
1,668 posts, read 2,527,664 times
Reputation: 1464
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
^^This is important to point out. Some people are so conditioned in their way of thinking that disbelieving in God to them is the same as denying reality. They cannot conceptualize existence without God.

Heck, I may have been that way myself before I became an atheist.
Supposedly, the percentage of athiests or doubters living in secret in the United States are as high as 20-30%. That's a huge minority.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,118,471 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adric View Post
Supposedly, the percentage of athiests or doubters living in secret in the United States are as high as 20-30%. That's a huge minority.
Whatever the percentage is, it has probably been the same throughout history.

Some people are natural believers in the supernatural, and others aren't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adric View Post
Supposedly, the percentage of athiests or doubters living in secret in the United States are as high as 20-30%. That's a huge minority.
My recollection from my church daze is that our leadership was never happy with the level of commitment and participation or even attendance amongst the membership. My guess is that in addition to closeted unbelievers there are a surprising number of people who aren't really enthusiastic and ardent about faith and are there largely because they're going along to get along.

As much or more energy was spent urging consistent attendance, Bible study and devotional practice as was invested in evangelism / proselytization. A lot of angst was spent over the hypocrisy of "Sunday Christians" who did not seem to live any differently from "the world" the rest of the week.

Given all this, even in fundamentalism there is a lot of apathy and ennui.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top