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 11-26-2013, 07:00 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,249 posts, read 19,545,740 times
Reputation: 13007

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Whatever the percentage is, it has probably been the same throughout history.

Some people are natural believers in the supernatural, and others aren't.
I don't know how "natural" it is to believe or not believe.

All I know is that, for most of my life, I genuinely believed in God. I thought that reality supported it. But over time, I became aware of the scientific evidence that disproves just about any concept of a supernatural God that has ever been invented by humans. It is nothing else but factual knowledge that has made me an atheist today.

How else could it have turned out for me?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-26-2013, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,999 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It is nothing else but factual knowledge that has made me an atheist today.
BigCity, I find that very hard to believe.

I always suspected a person who truly believes in a god would never let mere facts affect their opinion or change their mind. I guess I have been wrong. Obviously, I simply don't understand how other people think.

Two of our very fundamentalist posters, one Jew and one Muslim, have similar stories to tell. When they were young, they believed in a god, but then became Atheist. At some point, they went back to believing in a god, and both believe their respective so-called holy books are the exact word of their god.

I guess a liberal religion did not suit either of them. They wanted to believe in an absolute truth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-27-2013, 01:55 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,281,003 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by veggienut View Post
Just the one friend of mine who is one of these did have faith growing up till his teen years.
I would not find his answer in any way relevant to mine. My advice would be to read my answer in it's own lights, and realise it has no relevance at all to this single anecdote you have from one friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veggienut View Post
I just thought perhaps this was the same scenario for all here. Apparently not
Then you have learned something new from the thread which, to my mind, is the purpose of this entire forum. If you have left this thread more knowledgeable about the diversity of atheists then this thread has served a good purpose.

Yours is not an uncommon error however. Many theists I have had discourse with over the decades have the idea that everyone is at some point theist... and atheists are simply people who were taken away from that.

Many people, seemingly including yourself, are surprised to find that many atheists simply never had any faith or god belief. Ever. At any point in their lives. For many of us, there was simply no point at any stage when we believed the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veggienut View Post
this seem to turn into a hot topic
Not really. Atheists like to talk about themselves and their view of the world just as much as anyone else. Perhaps more so. It takes little fuel to start such a fire.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-27-2013, 04:08 AM
 
39,070 posts, read 10,842,814 times
Reputation: 5086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
BigCity, I find that very hard to believe.

I always suspected a person who truly believes in a god would never let mere facts affect their opinion or change their mind. I guess I have been wrong. Obviously, I simply don't understand how other people think.

Two of our very fundamentalist posters, one Jew and one Muslim, have similar stories to tell. When they were young, they believed in a god, but then became Atheist. At some point, they went back to believing in a god, and both believe their respective so-called holy books are the exact word of their god.

I guess a liberal religion did not suit either of them. They wanted to believe in an absolute truth.
It is possible to find examples of people who were atheists and went back to religion, or a different religion (as did LI) or became strongly Fundamentalist and gradually reasoned their way out of it (I am sure Seeker SA will not mind me dropping his Name into the conversation) and some looked at the claims of various religions most of his life but ended up a militant atheist (e. g mineself).

Liberal Christianity is probably where most of the laity spend their lives, since it doesn't require one distract themselves from the daily round of getting on with life, either way. And for the Clergy, it is negotiating the political tightrope of not disaffecting the voters while trying to pretend that you are still practicing the same directives as it ever was.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-27-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,999 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Liberal Christianity is probably where most of the laity spend their lives, since it doesn't require one distract themselves from the daily round of getting on with life, either way.
I think you are correct.

At least, that is how it was for my wife when her father died a couple years ago. It comforted her to believe he was joining her mother in heaven. I thought it was a nice sentiment and, being a sensitive person, I went along with it, even thought I believe their only heaven is the nice thoughts people still have of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-27-2013, 03:56 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,249 posts, read 19,545,740 times
Reputation: 13007
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
BigCity, I find that very hard to believe.

I always suspected a person who truly believes in a god would never let mere facts affect their opinion or change their mind. I guess I have been wrong. Obviously, I simply don't understand how other people think.
Well, I don't know what to tell you. I was in fact a true believer for some 40 years of my life.

During that whole time, I was under the impression that many things such as the origins of the universe, matter, energy, life on earth, consciousness, intelligence, reasoning ability and morality in humans were mysterious and unexplainable without a supernatural God. I knew about the theory of evolution, but I also thought there were a lot of holes and unanswered questions in it - that it didn't really reveal the "essence" of life. I was simply ignorant of the science - and particularly how far advanced science actually was - in explaining all these phenomena.

In addition to that, I thought there may have been some truth to things like prayer, healing, miracles, near death experiences and even reincarnation. But further investigation into these things convinced me that they were hoaxes at worst and wishful thinking at best.

So here I am now - a total atheist, although an agnostic one. I believe in the possibility of some kind of God, but the thing is there is zero evidence that such a being exists. If forced to, I could say that deism is a valid concept, but that's as far as it goes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-27-2013, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,999 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I thought there may have been some truth to things like prayer, healing, miracles, near death experiences and even reincarnation. But further investigation into these things convinced me that they were hoaxes at worst and wishful thinking at best.
Very well written post, Big City.

So how did it feel to become an Atheist? I seems like it would be a shock to adopt an entirely new set of beliefs.

I assume Theists see themselves being protected and guided my an all-powerful force that is always looking out for them, and they may believe that force has a plan for them in the great scheme of things. To have all of that disappear must be traumatic.

On the other hand, some people have said they felt a great sense of relief when they became Atheists, kind of like our daughter said she felt when we told her there was no big Easter Bunny coming into her room at night.

At least I don't think there is an Easter Bunny.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-28-2013, 04:29 AM
 
39,070 posts, read 10,842,814 times
Reputation: 5086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
I think you are correct.

At least, that is how it was for my wife when her father died a couple years ago. It comforted her to believe he was joining her mother in heaven. I thought it was a nice sentiment and, being a sensitive person, I went along with it, even thought I believe their only heaven is the nice thoughts people still have of them.
We are back on topic. Yes, there are many emotional (I would say instinctive) reasons to look to religious faith as an inspiration, comfort and source of community or meaning. However, reasoning will soon show reasons why many of these feelings are not based on an external fact, merely a shared instinct (and thus certainly an evolved one).

One might suggest (many do) that this is of value. That is a good point. But it is of more importance that we we don't lie to ourselves or, more importantly, let others lie to us so they can claim some kind of authority over us given through claims that their position in an organization claiming to have some kind of special relationship with a supposed external (and therefore probably mythical) source of these feelings. I do not apologize for the over-use of 'Claim'. All religious authority is based on baseless faith -claims.

Why does it matter? I do not like being lied to or fooled or bamboozled. Back on AN, my sig. was 'The truth is important'. It is, to me, because I have decided so, and not intrinsically of course. It matters to me that what I believe to be true has sound evidential basis and is not just 'claims', anecdotes and faith -based dogma.

That is why Science- method is the only valid basis for fact. It is designed to weed out non -validated claims.

That is why I regard militant atheism and irreligion as right. It promotes a worldview based on reason and evidence, not on religious claims without any valid foundation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-28-2013, 04:37 AM
 
39,070 posts, read 10,842,814 times
Reputation: 5086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Very well written post, Big City.

So how did it feel to become an Atheist? I seems like it would be a shock to adopt an entirely new set of beliefs.

I assume Theists see themselves being protected and guided my an all-powerful force that is always looking out for them, and they may believe that force has a plan for them in the great scheme of things. To have all of that disappear must be traumatic.

On the other hand, some people have said they felt a great sense of relief when they became Atheists, kind of like our daughter said she felt when we told her there was no big Easter Bunny coming into her room at night.

At least I don't think there is an Easter Bunny.
You are right (if I may poke my pointed nose in). It is interesting to read deconversion stories. For some, it was a long and often painful process. For others, it happened fairly easily. Interestingly...Ok, interestingly for me .. although I was always a doubter and really atheists (before I knew it) I had a deconversion experience. I think it was when I finally 'Let Go'. I definitively decided that no one religion was the real one. There might be a god of sorts, but religions were all man - made. Apart from Christian Science, which was invented by a woman.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-28-2013, 05:01 AM
 
17,853 posts, read 12,223,092 times
Reputation: 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post

At least I don't think there is an Easter Bunny.
Well of course there is an Easter Bunny. All I have to do to provide evidence for it's existence is to re-label Reality as the Easter Bunny. Now of course 'known science' shows that Reality has the attributes of the Easter Bunny (because I said so and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling). And if Reality has the attributes of the Easter Bunny, it is perfectly reasonable to call it the Easter Bunny.

Now you can't deny Reality exists can you? So if Reality is the Easter Bunny, and you accept that Reality exists, you have to accept that the Easter Bunny exists. See how easy that is?
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