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)
 
Old 07-02-2014, 10:41 AM
Q44
 
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 767,746 times
Reputation: 1761

Advertisements

I never sat my kids down and told them god doesn't exist because I never told them anything about god. They didn't go to church, no Sunday school. Never saw the need to tell them about a god. When one of them finally asked I told them to look around, some people believe that everything they see, hear, touch, and know was created by an all powerful being called 'God'. Explained that's what religion is all about. Told them I don't personally believe in creators and that religion was based on faith not facts. Not exactly the most objective answer but I didn't see the need to get philosophical on the matter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-02-2014, 02:32 PM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,944,384 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
Well thank you for being honest. You see, it all boils down to the parent's preference.
You say this sort of thing as if it has anything to do with the subject of treating claims for gods differently than other magical beings.

Quote:
If a parent tells their kid there's no god, it's because they want their child to take their preferences as their own.
I don't see how this follows from anything I've written.

Quote:
There is no double standard. If we're talking about Santa Claus (proper noun), I know of no other versions than the one who delivers presents at Christmas.
There is a double standard if you're not willing to admit that me using the phrase "general concept of a Santa Claus" would be enough to make you stop saying you know there isn't one. You know, just like you tried to do for god(s) in your post. Making up different arbitrary rules for different imaginary beings would be the very definition of a double standard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2014, 01:56 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,288,132 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
But we are talking about the belief in a god or gods. That is it.
Would that the border between them was as clear cut as you pretend. Alas when a child is expressing a belief in a god it is highly unlikely that said child is expressing a pantheist view or similar. But is more likely querying you about versions of god gleaned from school, books, and/or friends. So for the purposes of a thread discussing having these discussions with a child of 5 I would not so readily assume a staunchly deist or pantheist god is what we are discussing here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
I am supporting the belief in a god or gods. That is all.
And such apologetics are unhelpful and call into question whether you are as atheist as you claim at all. Belief in god(s) is at this time entirely unsupportable. There simply is no arguments, evidence, data or reasoning at this time to support any such notion. Even a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
It's not deserving of special treatment
Then stop giving it some. You're the only one here doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
How is it not the topic now?
Because it is not the point I am making. If you want it to be the topic discuss it with someone. I am sticking to MY point and not allowing you succeed in your usual MO of derailing posters into tangential discourse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
That's twice you've skipped over the meat of my argument and just said "nuh-uh".
That is simply an outright misrepresentation. I have dealt with all your posts, at great length, as and when they have been relevant to the point I am actually making on this thread in response to your original point on the thread that I replied to. The only one here skipping and dodging arguments is you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
No special pleading.
No water but rain. No special pleading but the special pleading you keep engaging in. You are attempting to take identical statements, based on identical basis, and act like they are different based on nothing whatsoever except your own subjective views of parenting and what "indoctrination" means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
The scenario was that my child was frightened that a monster might be under his bed. This is harmful.
What is harmful is your child reached a conclusion based on no evidence and doing so can (and in this case you agree DOES) cause detriment to the quality of life and health of the subject. Again the specific case of thinking there was monsters under the bed is a symtom of the problem, not the problem in and of itself. You are acting like it is the latter. The problem is it is the former.

Which is why I see no parenting difference between "There is no monster" and "There is no god" because both address the symptom and the "good parenting" comes from then addressing the cause. Giving a child vitamin supplements when it is suffering from malnutrition is a reaction in the short term..... addressing the child's diet to alleviate the root cause is the good parenting.

So what you consider "good parenting" is to me nothing of the sort. It is reactionary at the time of the problem but not actually addressing the root cause. And NOT telling the same thing about "god" as you do about "monsters" is to fail entirely to address the underlying problem cause. You are simply intent on giving vitamin supplements for the childs entire youth without once switching from chicken nuggets and chips to the occasional vegetable stir fry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
I think we've reached the end of this conversation's potential. In fact... I'll give you the last word.
And I think we will all believe that when we see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
I think if there's anything we might both agree on, it's that we're wasting our time on each other.
I do not think we even disagree on this. I only invest my time when and where I think it is warranted. That I am investing time in replying to this thread instantly tells you that your assumption here is wrong therefore.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2014, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,411 posts, read 2,989,261 times
Reputation: 2043
My parents implied a god exists, but I don't think they ever mentioned it specifically. I'm greateful for them for letting my brain imagine whatever false and comforting dieties it wanted. Also, the belief in an afterlife was a positive thing too. I know of zero negatives to my former religion at all...and I doubt my logical abilities were hindered in any way. (However, that was not a traditional religion so much as a melting pot of Christianity and whatever seemed nicest to pretend exists).

I could see a belief in hell being quite damaging for youth...but I would see it as a stretch to say a belief in a sort of celestial parent would be damaging for youth. There are very few scenarios I can imagine where that would be a negative.

I do know one atheist who found out her parents were atheists only during her adulthood. They'd told her there was a heaven (they lied about it after a relative died). She wished they would not have done that...but I don't know if she was upset about the lying, or her prior false belief.

If I ever have kids...and I probably will not, I intend to avoid the topic of whether or not god exists forever, if possible. Ideally, they will never know what religion I have, if any.

Last edited by Clintone; 07-03-2014 at 01:44 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2014, 04:03 PM
 
Location: The point of no return, er, NorCal
7,237 posts, read 4,663,090 times
Reputation: 9307
I wouldn't have bothered with such a conversation, because it paints an us vs. them picture, and nontheism is not a lack of Abrahamic faith, in this case, Christianity, it is a lack of belief or rejection of mythological deities. Instead of setting it up as if it were a false dichotomy, like religionists do, such a conversation could be approached in a very different manner.

I left the Church entirely six and a half years ago when my kids were young. I lived in the South at the time, an area well populated by Christians of varying flavors, but mostly evangelical or your garden variety flavor. When my eldest daughter entered school, first grade, she was exposed to "faith" for the first time, not to "God" a la Abrahamic theism, but mythological deities, of the Abrahamic flavor. Because of classmates and their mention of these deities and the concept of heaven.

She would come home at times and make mention of what she heard, about heaven and the gospel Jesus character. Now, I've read them stories of ancient gods and goddesses and I have a children's book about Hindu deities. So she was aware of mythology and deities in the context of folklore. That is precisely the way I wanted to expose her and her siblings to these concepts. Abrahamic deities get no special treatment. I never, ever refer to them by any sort of supreme title. I refer to them by name. El and Yahweh are Israelite deities of the Canaanite pantheon, and Jesus and Holy Spirit are different deities part of the Christian tradition, and only pretend to be Judaic in nature.

Anyway, I reference the deities as part of ancient mythos. I refer to them by their respective names. Just like I do with Greek, Norse, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, etc., deities. They have no title, for they are deity characters in ancient mythos. I do not need to tell them "Zeus isn't real" or "Thor isn't real." Well, no duh. They are atheist relative to Zeus and Thor just as they are relative to El and Yahweh and Jesus and Holy Spirit. I don't need to have a "serious talk" about the Greek deities, and the same applies to the Abrahamic/Christian deities. They're implicit atheists, and will remain so until they can explicitly reject these claims. And guess what? They likely won't need to. When did anyone ever have to explicitly reject the concept of Ra or Ahura Mazda? They didn't, because no one in Western culture has ever given them any real thought or consideration. They aren't a blip on anyone's radar. They only exist in their respective cultures. While El, Yahweh, Jesus and Holy Spirit are deities part of Western culture, they are likened and grouped, as they should be, with all others.

El and Yahweh and Jesus and Holy Spirit are not on their radar because I didn't create an environment where these deities are any different than the millions of others written about in ancient mythos. If they're not made to be any more unique or special than the others then they're less likely to single them out for consideration.

My girls, at almost 10 and 8, are aware gods and goddesses are part of stories, folklore. We've talked about them. We've discussed various concepts in an age appropriate manner. And they know there are many deity concepts, gods and goddesses. The key has been to approach theism (its deities), all flavors, in the same, neutral light. It doesn't allow for an us vs. them.

A brief conversation my eldest had with a schoolmate last year:

Friend: "Do you go to church?"
Daughter: "No. We never go to church."
Friend: *shocked look on her face* "What!? You don't go to church!?"
Daughter: "No."
Friend: "That's bad. The devil can get you, and you can go to hell."
Daughter: "I don't believe in gods or hell."

I refuse to get into any sort of talk about metaphysics and cosmology before they're at an age when they can grasp even the basics of metaphysics. So talk of First Causes and the like, which is what modern religion has evolved into, should be discussed separately. I don't discuss Ra as a First Cause because Ra is character in ancient mythology, and so is El, who wasn't even the cause of existence in the Israelite writings. So, yeah, it's pretty damn moot. When I entertain, speculate, ponder and hypothesize a First Cause/cosmology, deity characters in ancient mythos do not come to mind. They are not on my radar.

And skeptics should stop fraking capitalizing the word god and associating the word with the Western deities. If you don't want to give it any special treatment then don't. Deities in ancient literature have names, and if a-theism is meant to be neutral and relative to ALL theistic deities, then one's diction should follow that line of thinking. They're all the same, so refer to them as such.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-04-2014, 01:54 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,288,132 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I'm greateful for them for letting my brain imagine whatever false and comforting dieties it wanted.
I am grateful that my parents inoculated me against several diseases and ailments when I was young.... using vaccines.... insuring I would not be infected with them needlessly later in life.

I am grateful to those that inoculated me against unsubstantiated ideas when I was young.... using an education on knowledge of the intellectual human fallacies.... insuring I would not be infected with them needlessly later in life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I would see it as a stretch to say a belief in a sort of celestial parent would be damaging for youth. There are very few scenarios I can imagine where that would be a negative.
It depends what your beliefs ABOUT that "parent" are and what beliefs thinking such a "parent" existing leave you prone to. I doubt these kids enjoyed the effects of belief in their particular brand of celestial parenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
They'd told her there was a heaven (they lied about it after a relative died).
How horrific. So they preferred to outright lie and patch over the grieving process rather than teach their own child the much needed skill in life of facing, dealing with, and resolving the pain of guilt.

And then later in life when she found out there was no heaven she then had to engage with the grieving process all over again, only without all the resources that would have been available to her at the time such as clear and fresh memories of the departed.

What horrific parenting. Abhorrent. And you wonder why she was upset.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-04-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,411 posts, read 2,989,261 times
Reputation: 2043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I am grateful that my parents inoculated me against several diseases and ailments when I was young.... using vaccines.... insuring I would not be infected with them needlessly later in life.

I am grateful to those that inoculated me against unsubstantiated ideas when I was young.... using an education on knowledge of the intellectual human fallacies.... insuring I would not be infected with them needlessly later in life.



It depends what your beliefs ABOUT that "parent" are and what beliefs thinking such a "parent" existing leave you prone to. I doubt these kids enjoyed the effects of belief in their particular brand of celestial parenting.
Why would you doubt that? Have you ever heard of anyone who felt a strong sense of negativity about their past beliefs in an unorganized religion that does not tell of some type of punishment for nonbelief?

(What I mean by unorganized, is there are no traditions involved that are continued by other people. Think deism, pantheism, or the type of Christianity where the belief is "There's a nice man in the sky who loves me named Jesus, and there is no hell because a just god would not do that, and because I'm note entirely sure...I'll go with science being true rather than that loony young Earth idea).

That type of religion does exist. My father says things like "Running is a form of prayer, and respect for the body is respect for god." That's about as close as he's ever gotten to specifying what a god is.

My mother is in her fifties. Before she retired, she was a social worker for the division of aging. She'd visit elders and see the conditions they lived in, so she has a bit of worldly experience. She recently came back from the funeral of a relative and was surprised there was so much talk about hell. Despite her many decades of life and experiences...she'd always assumed Christianity, for most people, was about some mysterious loving character in the sky why may not exist but presumably does, and of course hell is a concept only a minority of loons believe in.

My uncle's/ant's family are Methodists (or some variant of Protestant denomination that tends to be of the more open-minded denominations). They are avid churchgoers. They do not care if I am an atheist, or if they do, they do not show it. They don't even talk about religion in family meetings, except once in awhile to bash the extremists and fundamentalists.

My other aunt's/uncles' family are Catholics. They behave similarly...except I sometimes suspect the uncle from this side of the family is actually an agnostic or atheist.

The religion I have most often witnessed, is more of a traditional type, combined with a vague assumption that some higher power exists...and of course we don't want to believe in a hell for nonbelief, so I'm assuming (emphasis on assuming) most of such people I know do not.

Most people I know call themselves Christians. Most act exactly like atheists (Maybe they'll go to church on Christmas...maybe they'll pray the night before finals). I have been a Boy Scout. I have worked for a college community service organization in which most of the people were theists, except myself and one agnostic person. About 90% of theistic people I know seem to act exactly like atheists might.

Now...I am not attempting to discourage certain atheists' attempts to save people from religion/keep religion out of government/end blasphemy laws/care for children attacked by their parents or driven from their homes because they are believed to be witches/end religion-related murders or wars/end terror of hellfire/rescue homesexuals and people of non-dominant religions from cruelty. I'm not even attempting to discourage people from denouncing deism, pantheism, or similar unorganized religions...necessarily.

However, it does not appear that there are any negatives to religion for most people I know, and therefore any benefits possible, however small, even if the benefits are just mildly motivational, would make the cost of getting rid of the religion not necessarily important to pay.

I understand you are more worldly than I am, and I have a great deal of respect for you for work in Atheist Ireland, and in no way wish to discourage you or any other activists. Many of them are heroes, I'm sure. They are doing work I am not, and they deserve thanks.

But...I do think there are areas where religion is both not a disease, and may even have value for some people. Now, why does that matter if for so many it causes such harm? I doubt it provides many benefits, if any, so why not get rid of it? My answer is that most of us are not activists. What matters most to us are our neighbors, relatives, coworkers and friends...and I would be an idiot to try to de-convert my relatives, I think.


Quote:
How horrific. So they preferred to outright lie and patch over the grieving process rather than teach their own child the much needed skill in life of facing, dealing with, and resolving the pain of guilt.

And then later in life when she found out there was no heaven she then had to engage with the grieving process all over again, only without all the resources that would have been available to her at the time such as clear and fresh memories of the departed.

What horrific parenting. Abhorrent. And you wonder why she was upset.
Yes, I wonder why she was upset. Death is a hard thing to deal with, regardless of what we believe. I really don't see convincing everyone on earth we cease to be after dying as necessarily the best thing. I prefer a sense of ambiguity. I wonder if that would be best for society. I don't know how old she was. I don't know their exact words. Maybe she just asked if her grandmother was in heaven, and they responded "yes," rather than saying something like: "Dear, your grandmother is in Heaven now. You'll be with her someday." Maybe she is not mad at their lying. The only real disadvantage to an ambiguous belief in an afterlife I can think of is it might discourage medical research...maybe, but the survival instinct will still be strong anyway, so if it puts some people in a better mood, it may be worth it.

Thanks for your response. You seem to be much more worldly than I am, and knowledgeable about the world, and I am sure you are more knowledgeable about most religions judging from your posts...but I tend to disagree with your view of religion as a disease. I'd think of it more like something that causes no harm until it breaches a certain boundary or involves certain characteristics. Then it becomes a disease. Until then, much of the time it seems more like a neutral force.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2014, 01:36 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,288,132 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Why would you doubt that?
The rest of your post appears to not reply to anything I said however so I will just reply to this part.

You want to know why I think children of religious nut jobs actually enjoyed being watched die slowly of easily treated ailments for no other reason than those parents had an imaginary friend which tut tuts at them about medical intervention?

Then I simply invite you to allow yourself to die slowly of such an easily treated ailment and you too will likely acquire the same doubts as I possess. There is a reason such parents were prosecuted and jailed for crimes like horrific abuse, neglect and man slaughter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
However, it does not appear that there are any negatives to religion for most people I know
That entirely depends on what measure you are using. You seem to be measuring it as direct, personal and limited scope negatives. I use a wider measurement. The influence of religion on our education system, sciences, ethics and halls of power are negatives for our species as a whole. Just because Joe Soap sitting on his couch does not personally feel direct effects of these does not mean they are not there.

Children in our society die at the hands of parents who for nothing other than religious reasons are willing to watch their children die of painful but easily treated ailments. That is a negative for US ALL. Not just "most people you know". Anyone who feels these are not negatives simply lack the empathy it takes to view negatives as a whole in humanity and are simply focused on nothing but the negatives in their own personal subjective sphere.

Your scope is simply too limited here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
if any, so why not get rid of it?
If X brings no benefits than can not be attained without X.... and X even causes ONE harm.... then X is already in negative equity of utility and benefit.

Religion brings no benefits that we can not attain by other means.... and it causes many harms..... therefore I see utility in getting rid of it.

Not an over night deletion of it. I am talking about the steady multi-generational erosion of it that we, I hope, are already seeing under way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Yes, I wonder why she was upset.
Yet I do not. I just outlined in the post you quoted exactly one set of reasons why I think she is upset and justifiably so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I really don't see convincing everyone on earth we cease to be after dying as necessarily the best thing.
And I do because I think such a reality likely adds perspective and value to this life. The concept of an eternal after life actually cheapens the value of this current life and for many actually skews into horror some of their ethical and moral intuitions on how to treat this life, the people in it, and the world we find ourselves in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I tend to disagree with your view of religion as a disease. I'd think of it more like something that causes no harm until it breaches a certain boundary or involves certain characteristics. Then it becomes a disease. Until then, much of the time it seems more like a neutral force.
It is not really that I see it AS a disease but many aspects of it are ANALOGOUS to a disease in ways that are helpful to envision. Analogy can be a very useful tool in conceptualizing how things work.

Daniel Dennett for example pushes powerfully for treating and studying Religion as a natural phenomenon. Something resisted by many. And his arguments benefit heavily from showing the analogies between religion and viruses. And how religions form and change over time is something we understand much better when we view religion as a memetic entity which is subject to Natural Selection in much the same ways as Biological genetics.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2014, 11:22 AM
 
5 posts, read 2,860 times
Reputation: 12
The Bible’s answer

Yes, the Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.” (Romans 12:1; 1 John 5:20, footnote) Consider the following lines of reasoning based on the Bible:

The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator. The Bible says: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4) Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful. *

As humans, we have an innate desire to understand thje meaning and purpose of life, a type of hunger that can remain after our physical needs have been met. This is part of what the Bible calls our “spiritual need,” which includes the desire to know and worship God. (Matthew 5:3; Revelation 4:11) This spiritual need not only gives evidence that God exists but also indicates that he is a loving Creator who wants us to satisfy that need.—Matthew 4:4.

Detailed prophecies in the Bible were written centuries ahead of time and came true exactly as predicted. The accuracy and detail of those predictions strongly suggest that they came from a superhuman source.—2 Peter 1:21.
Planet Earth as seen from space

Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe.” (Isaiah 40:22, footnote; Douay Version) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.

The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?—Titus 1:16.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2014, 04:23 PM
 
16,107 posts, read 17,930,802 times
Reputation: 15902
Nah!

Prophecies were not fulfilled
Argument # 3: The Fulfilled Prophecies Argument.

The bible does not have much scientific knowledge at all
Bible Science Debunked
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
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