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Old 05-23-2014, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I've met many atheists that consider themselves to be "free thinkers" that would never DREAM of looking at the evidence for God. If one is ruling out options from the beginning and refusing to look at the evidence, that is no better than the religious person refusing to question religion.
I'll grant you that, as in any group, there are unbelievers who don't know how to, or don't want to, listen. But it has also been my common experience that I can listen, and take the time and effort to respond to what I hear, and I don't get so much as the courtesy of a "f__k you". Thoughtful responses have been ignored, distorted, or the response has little connection with the original point. I can count on one hand the times that a theist I'm attempting to have interaction with has engaged in actual respectful dialog with me. I nearly fainted once when a believer admitted that he had no logical leg to stand on but was simply choosing to remain in the faith anyway. That honesty was so refreshing, and so rare. I can respect that, even while disagreeing with it.

After all, Viz, I'm a deconvert, so implicitly I've already looked at the evidence for God -- long and hard -- and I WANTED it to pan out. Many of my fellow unbelievers are such as I. Maybe more than aren't, for all I know. And there's another point. It's so hard for believers to accept that anyone who looks honestly at the evidence would be led anywhere other than god, that folks like me are generally unvalidated and summarily dismissed, on the basis that we couldn't have been True Believers in the first place, or weren't looking at the evidence objectively, or are bitter, or have secret sins, etc etc.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Iowa, USA
6,553 posts, read 3,285,673 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pac0900 View Post
I want to know your opinions on what do you think the main goal of religion is? Connection with gods, political control, social control. What do you think it is?
It's probably for some degree of civil control, but mostly just grouping people. People have a tendency to gravitate toward similar people, be it ethnic based or socially constructed reasons. I also would say it was early, and somewhat organized, critical thinking. Ancient people believed lightning to be the wrath of some god. They were wrong, but at least they were trying to think of things that could have caused it rather than just running from the bright flashes of light during a storm without even considering what they are.

Civil control comes from the 'rules' of religions. Don't kill, don't lie, etc. Early compassion. They of course added scare tactics, like Hell, to gain the control part. Once people starting accepting a certain view, and they grew in numbers, they could start grouping themselves as a collective mass.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:58 PM
 
Location: the Orion Spur
91 posts, read 85,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
It depends on who's perspective you are asking the question from. If you mean from the perspective of the religious elite then religion is nothing more than a Business trading in fantasy and lies and people like the Pope are just the MD of successful companies selling those lies.

If you mean from the perspective of those in control, religion is indeed a useful tool in the toolkit of control and politics.

If you mean from the perspective of the religious bums on seats then clearly the purpose of religion is to find a meaning and purpose in life, consolation from the human condition, and to scratch the itch that human attributes like hyper active agency detection give us.

If you from mean the perspective of the religion itself the purpose of religion is simply to perpetuate itself, breed, and survive.... in much the same mindless and goalless way a virus does. It simply infects hosts mindlessly and has them mindlessly as hosts reproduce and perpetuate more copies of it.
This.^^^

I believe most practitioners seek comfort from the unknown, moral guidance, a sense of community, and avoidance of their fears of being left out. Unfortunately, I believe this often leads to a self-righteous sense of Us vs Them, and Us are always better than Them.

From the perspective of the church, it is absolutely about control. History shows this very clearly. I encourage you to learn the history of Christianity. (I know there are other religions.) There's a reason Christianity is a fear-based religion. As an aside, isn't it funny how Christians moan about being persecuted by the Romans and yet as soon as they held power they started burning people left and right? I can't think of a better way to get people to convert. Worship Jesus or die.

I'll stay on point and not wander too far, but for those who think that Atheists are closed-minded because they reject alleged evidence of Jesus and God, I would ask you how long would you sit and listen to me explain to you why Zeus is real and that you and I need to go to the temple and sacrifice a goat? You wouldn't sit long, and you know it.

The more I learn about Christianity, the more I am convinced that Jesus was a mythical person who probably never existed. That's not an absurd proposition. I'm happy to back up my claim. It's amazing that Christianity made it this far.

Last edited by Mantronix4204; 05-25-2014 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:23 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,285,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I've met many atheists that consider themselves to be "free thinkers" that would never DREAM of looking at the evidence for God.
And then there are the ones like me who can ONLY "dream" about it, because you and your theist cohort are not actually giving us any TO look at.

You can harp on and on about how you imagine all the atheists "refusing to look" at your evidence. But until you actually give some, you are just blowing hot air about.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:43 AM
 
446 posts, read 399,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
No, he just threatens to toss you into hell and throw away the key (at least, as most Christians would have it).

Amusingly, some Christians also say you have to ASK Jesus into your heart because "god is a gentleman" and won't come in uninvited. BUT you need to ask him so you don't go to hell.

So LOL @ THAT.
Here is another way of looking at it.
You wish to buy and live in a pretty house. So what you do? You start by ASKING yourself as to what kind of a house you want? You ASK yourself what geographical location would you want? And then you ASK a real estate agent to find you such a piece of property etc ... so there is some planning and some practical steps needed to be taken BUT if you want to stay homeless in a subway tunnel, you don't have to ask anyone.

A hard true fact is, no matter how genius of a philosopher you are, no matter how rich of a person you are, no matter how mighty of a king you are and no matter how macho of a wrestler you are - There WILL be a point in your life when YOU WILL ASK FOR HELP from someone. So it wouldn't hurt to put your ego aside for a short moment and ASK God to guide you in this journey of life.

You will look for the truth and ask God to guide you ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life.

But if you are out there just window shopping, then no matter how pretty and how nice of a house is shown to you, you won't get it because you don't want a house.

This is in fact true, God will come in your life ONLY if you want to be guided and ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life and ONLY if you want to seek the truth.

It's your call, and not God's call.

And btw, I do respect the faith and its followers but I am not a Christian
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: the Orion Spur
91 posts, read 85,616 times
Reputation: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ll0OoO0ll View Post
Here is another way of looking at it.
You wish to buy and live in a pretty house. So what you do? You start by ASKING yourself as to what kind of a house you want? You ASK yourself what geographical location would you want? And then you ASK a real estate agent to find you such a piece of property etc ... so there is some planning and some practical steps needed to be taken BUT if you want to stay homeless in a subway tunnel, you don't have to ask anyone.

A hard true fact is, no matter how genius of a philosopher you are, no matter how rich of a person you are, no matter how mighty of a king you are and no matter how macho of a wrestler you are - There WILL be a point in your life when YOU WILL ASK FOR HELP from someone. So it wouldn't hurt to put your ego aside for a short moment and ASK God to guide you in this journey of life.

You will look for the truth and ask God to guide you ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life.

But if you are out there just window shopping, then no matter how pretty and how nice of a house is shown to you, you won't get it because you don't want a house.

This is in fact true, God will come in your life ONLY if you want to be guided and ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life and ONLY if you want to seek the truth.

It's your call, and not God's call.

And btw, I do respect the faith and its followers but I am not a Christian

I understand your words, but I'm not sure I understand your point.

It seems that you're equating the search for a home with the search for Truth. You imply that God is the only way to achieve Truth, and if you fail to ask God for help, your life will be as though you're homeless, living in a subway tunnel.

You seem to equate the common occurrence of asking for assistance with an absolute need to have God be a part of your life, as if the ONLY assistance you can obtain is through God.

But I don't understand what you mean when you say: "But if you are out there just window shopping, then no matter how pretty and how nice of a house is shown to you, you won't get it because you don't want a house." I might be tempted to respond, "Exactly. I don't want it."

In any event, it seems to me that, at the moment, you have failed to show how not asking God for help will lead me down a path of spiritual emptiness, the spiritual equivalence of being homeless. You presented a few premises and then leaped far ahead to the conclusion that the only form of assistance is through a god.

I reject your conclusion. When I need assistance, I turn to reason and an a priori sense of morality that doesn't require religion or God to direct me to the correct or best decision. When I'm at the crossroads of life, trying to decide which path to take, I have no reason to inject a god into the situation to guide me. Why should I give credit to an unseen, unknowable entity, which is most likely my own subconscious guiding me towards the correct path? I believe you have failed to explain how it is precisely that my life will be empty without some form of a deity that I'm imagining is guiding and assisting me.

I think you may have said it best: "You will look for the truth and ask God to guide you ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life." Well, I don't feel the need to have a god in my life, and I don't think you've presented a strong enough case to show that without God I'll be living as though I'm homeless.

And while you say to me to put aside my "ego" and seek help from God, I challenge you to put aside your fears and have confidence that you can make life decisions, on your own, without the need for the psychological comfort that you're being guided by a spiritual entity who cares for you. Have faith that you're strong enough to do it yourself.

Last edited by Mantronix4204; 05-26-2014 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,211 posts, read 54,662,203 times
Reputation: 66697
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I'll grant you that, as in any group, there are unbelievers who don't know how to, or don't want to, listen. But it has also been my common experience that I can listen, and take the time and effort to respond to what I hear, and I don't get so much as the courtesy of a "f__k you". Thoughtful responses have been ignored, distorted, or the response has little connection with the original point. I can count on one hand the times that a theist I'm attempting to have interaction with has engaged in actual respectful dialog with me. I nearly fainted once when a believer admitted that he had no logical leg to stand on but was simply choosing to remain in the faith anyway. That honesty was so refreshing, and so rare. I can respect that, even while disagreeing with it.

After all, Viz, I'm a deconvert, so implicitly I've already looked at the evidence for God -- long and hard -- and I WANTED it to pan out. Many of my fellow unbelievers are such as I. Maybe more than aren't, for all I know. And there's another point. It's so hard for believers to accept that anyone who looks honestly at the evidence would be led anywhere other than god, that folks like me are generally unvalidated and summarily dismissed, on the basis that we couldn't have been True Believers in the first place, or weren't looking at the evidence objectively, or are bitter, or have secret sins, etc etc.
I find that a little hard to believe that you only ever found one person who said that, but I have no reason to think you would make that up. As a matter of fact we discuss amongst ourselves that faith falls outside of logic and science. It's silly for anyone to try to "prove" God exists.

There is no logic to faith, yet I believe. I'm not sure I can tell you why. As much as you say you WANTED to believe, I wanted NOT to believe.

I'm not a kid (by a lot of decades), or stupid, or just following what I was taught as a child, or being weak and needing something to hold onto, etc. I do have reasons for my belief, but I wouldn't put them out here because they wouldn't make sense to people who haven't had the same experiences.

I can understand, however, why people do not believe. Faith really doesn't make any sense unless you are in the place where it does make sense, and no one can tell someone else how to get there.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by ll0OoO0ll View Post
Here is another way of looking at it.
You wish to buy and live in a pretty house. So what you do? You start by ASKING yourself as to what kind of a house you want? You ASK yourself what geographical location would you want? And then you ASK a real estate agent to find you such a piece of property etc ... so there is some planning and some practical steps needed to be taken BUT if you want to stay homeless in a subway tunnel, you don't have to ask anyone.

A hard true fact is, no matter how genius of a philosopher you are, no matter how rich of a person you are, no matter how mighty of a king you are and no matter how macho of a wrestler you are - There WILL be a point in your life when YOU WILL ASK FOR HELP from someone. So it wouldn't hurt to put your ego aside for a short moment and ASK God to guide you in this journey of life.

You will look for the truth and ask God to guide you ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life.

But if you are out there just window shopping, then no matter how pretty and how nice of a house is shown to you, you won't get it because you don't want a house.

This is in fact true, God will come in your life ONLY if you want to be guided and ONLY if you feel the need of God in your life and ONLY if you want to seek the truth.

It's your call, and not God's call.

And btw, I do respect the faith and its followers but I am not a Christian
Your analogy fails because the only consequence of not purchasing a house is that I have to live in an apartment. I am not compelled to ASK a real estate agent to find a piece of property for me on penalty of life imprisonment and torture.

Nor is it an issue of ego in my case (or most cases I've known). I wanted to be guided and felt the need and sought the truth and entered into the relationship by faith, etc., etc., and left all that for good and sufficient reasons.

Indeed it is true that its my call and not god's, though for entirely different reasons than you posit.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:16 PM
 
446 posts, read 399,810 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantronix4204 View Post
I understand your words, but I'm not sure I understand your point.

It seems that you're equating the search for a home with the search for Truth. You imply that God is the only way to achieve Truth, and if you fail to ask God for help, your life will be as though you're homeless, living in a subway tunnel.

You seem to equate the common occurrence of asking for assistance with an absolute need to have God be a part of your life, as if the ONLY assistance you can obtain is through God.

But I don't understand what you mean when you say: "But if you are out there just window shopping, then no matter how pretty and how nice of a house is shown to you, you won't get it because you don't want a house." I might be tempted to respond, "Exactly. I don't want it."

.
So this is where it ends.
You don't want it, then you don't want. There is no compulsion. God is not gonna raise taxes on you for not believing in his existence.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:20 PM
 
446 posts, read 399,810 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Your analogy fails because the only consequence of not purchasing a house is that I have to live in an apartment..
well. that's your choice. There is no compulsion in buying the house. If you think you are OK living in the apartment then it's your call, and it's all yours.
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