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Old 01-26-2009, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,081,216 times
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I intend to retain a complete separation of "church and agno/atheism" here. This is not another "Proof / Disproof of Arks, dinosaurs or Ice age geology" thread. Go elsewhere please!

I'm interested in exploring the various reasons that people of faith, any faith, are so unable to tear themselves away from that faith. We regularly and reliably see here on C-D, very typical and similar responses by people of faith (mostly Christian) to any logical presentations or cold, hard scientific proof of, say, speciation through Evolution, for example. always, when cornered, or asked straightforward questions, the deflection and "rabbit-holing" (or nasty insulting ad hominems...) is quite predictable and documented. Why, exactly?

At best, the most frequent occurrence by a idolistic spiritualist (as opposed to a person such as I who enjoys my spritualism absent any building, particular location, thing around my neck, or hand on a particular book) seems to be perhaps a brave sampling of other versions of the same basic faith (Presbyterian versus Catholic versus Mormon, etc.). A lot fewer go from evangelical Christianity to, say, Buddhism. Not too many convert either way between Islam and Jesus. A few brave individualists drop it entirely and go from Christian to Agno to Atheist.

If one considers just why an individual is a devout abiding evangelical Christian or Muslim (is it a need for spiritual security, for example?), or a need to "belong" to a nice comfy community group, (or a terrorist cell, sadly...) or perhaps to be able to set aside ALL doubt in their minds about the Grand Uncertainties that will accompany a more curious approach to the Universe and it's "forever" mysteries, perhaps we can catch a glimmer of just how the truly inviolately devout think.

And how, perhaps a somewhat single-minded perspective might affect (positively as well as negatively, BTW) their approach to other non-spiritual aspects of their life (Buying nails down at Ace Hardware, talking to the tele-marketer on the phone, meeting an atheist at a secular cocktail party, etc., etc.).

What, exactly, do such folks gain over a more broad-minded atheistic approach*? Alternately, what do they lose?

(*I define that broad-minded "approach" as being one that's free of the burdens of having to conclude that everything observed or felt is the result of a supernatural deity, instead reasoning that it might rather have some as yet undiscovered reason for existing).

Of course, I'm an atheist. No doubt about it. Accordingly, I'm asking those of you who don't have the cross of ignorance and bias and ego and a scientific education to bear. Please... speak up. Perhaps I've been wrong all these years?

Nicely now.... all in the interests of a broader understanding!

(PS: light-hearted humor always appreciated!)

Last edited by rifleman; 01-26-2009 at 11:30 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:19 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,176,161 times
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Regarding scientific education...what strengthen my faith in Islam is that fact up to now..there is nothing in the Quran that goes against science. How the stars travel in a fixed orbit or the Big Bang or gravity or its description of the depths of the ocean which at that time no one could know, especially desert-dwelling people, knowledge which only now with our current technological advances we are able to unveil. Fantastic stuff!
I just can't accept this universe, this galaxy, this planet that we're in...was born out of sheer chance...everything has to be at the right place at the right time...off by just a few metres or degrees and we won't even be here...naahh...this isn't chance..there is a hand behind it all..
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:26 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,462,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
I intend to retain a complete separation of "church and agno/atheism" here. I'm interested in exploring the various reasons that people of faith, any faith, are so unable to tear themselves away from that faith.
EXACTLY!! You nailed it on the head. We don't choose God, God chooses us therefore we can not separate ourselves from Him.

(Romans 8:38–39)
"38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

As far as you being an atheist, I highly doubt it. Most if not all atheist do not live the way atheist should. Read the works of Frederick Neitzke. He would reject you atheists. Western atheists grew up in a society, heavily influence and shaped by Christianity only to turn around and reject Christianity but are still enjoying the fruits a Christian society has to offer.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,052,841 times
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Originally Posted by Fundamentalist View Post
As far as you being an atheist, I highly doubt it. Most if not all atheist do not live the way atheist should. Read the works of Frederick Neitzke.
I didn't know atheists were supposed to live a certain way. Please, do inform me of what it is I have not been doing to conform to my atheism. Last time I checked I didn't believe in God(s) - that would make me an atheist. Now, can you please explain to me what all of the excess baggage is?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:46 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,462,296 times
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Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
I didn't know atheists were supposed to live a certain way. Please, do inform me of what it is I have not been doing to conform to my atheism. Last time I checked I didn't believe in God(s) - that would make me an atheist. Now, can you please explain to me what all of the excess baggage is?
First off you are an "agnostic", as an atheist you make the bold statement that you have been everywhere in the universe, under the moon, behind Mars- everywhere there is to go- everything there to be seen to make an absolute claim that there is no God.

Atheists do not give, atheist do not care, "survival of the fittest" when people die you should rejoice because that is one less mouth to feed thus more resources for you to consume. Atheist shouldn't care about the poor or needy but figure out ways in how to exploit them for their own use. Neitzke was very clear, Neitzke was a true atheist. Why follow rules? the rules are what you make it to be, the law is the law of the jungle, kill or be killed, what I want, when I want. If no God then the atheist is God.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:46 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,176,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundamentalist View Post
EXACTLY!! You nailed it on the head. We don't choose God, God chooses us therefore we can not separate ourselves from Him.
As far as you being an atheist, I highly doubt it. Most if not all atheist do not live the way atheist should. Read the works of Frederick Neitzke. He would reject you atheists. Western atheists grew up in a society, heavily influence and shaped by Christianity only to turn around and reject Christianity but are still enjoying the fruits a Christian society has to offer.
But i thought modern day western laws originated from Roman laws and not christian laws (is there such a thing?) just as the origin of a son of god is taken from the old europeans gods like mithra?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:52 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,462,296 times
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Originally Posted by braderjoe View Post
But i thought modern day western laws originated from Roman laws and not christian laws (is there such a thing?) just as the origin of a son of god is taken from the old europeans gods like mithra?
From pre-Christian Rome or from post-Christian Rome?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:56 AM
 
113 posts, read 154,650 times
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wow! So quickly off thread point!

I remember, barely, having a near teary eyed discussion with my minister (Presbyterian) whn I was just a teenager. I had some questioning thoughts about something he had assured the congregation about, and it didn't make sense. so I asked him after the service.

Instead of providing an answer, he said the important thing was to not question Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but that devotion and an unwavering belief in Him would carry me through any difficulties I might have. I said, "Fine, but what if we have a question? what if something or other just doesn't make sense and it's bugging us?"

He sort of sighed, and said something like "My child... we all have moments of questioning. The mark of a true Christian is that they get past those moments and by that, our faith is strengthened".

That, for me was the beginning, rifleman, of my personal shift towards athesim, with no intermediate agnostic stage. I still went to church for about 7 more years, but every time a question came up, especially if it had some real-life impact on the congregation, it was, as you say, deflected by the minister. As I watched his creative non-answers for the next few years, I changed Churches but saw the same thing there. The same philosophy of blind acceptance.

From my heart to heart discussions with my Christian friends who are ll adults now, they seem to be stuck in the concrete ideals of their beliefs. One of them said it was too late for them to change, it would be too disruptive to their family's lifestyles to have to adjust to some new rules.

I've realized that atheism has no rules. It's sure not a religion, as some have said. I'm pretty sure they want to label it, apply rules to it and call it a religion so they can handle their fear of it. It's OK to be curious, to ask questions. In a lot of cases recently, scientists have provided understandable and acceptible explanations. Now, as I go through life, I'm kind of eager to hear the next thing they prove out or uncover, rather than be like my friends who admit they are afraid of it. It's showing me that there really is an overall organization to what we can and cannot see. I'm not afraid of it. It's exciting to me.

That's my thoughts. I hope that the others can avoid fighting. braderjoe explained why he believes in the quran (koran?) because it explains the universe to him. It's logical to him.

fundamentalist seems to be attacking atheists, not addressing the topic of why believers can or can't look at other options. He seems to be defending his personal religion and putting down atheists as users of Christianity. The only part of his post that might apply is where he thinks that God made believers and non-believers, and therfore if you're one of the believers you have no choice. You can't even think about any other alternatives. You're hard wired to always be a believer. This seems unlikely because I was a believer but I questioned my way out of it. The answers weren't satisfactory. Perhaps God made some of us sceptical, others not? I wonder if he can better address the actual topic like braderjoe did.

(I just caught fundamentalist's followup post. You insult me sir. On purpose? You say we atheists are uncaring, unethical. By this you insult us and me. I'm so far from the personality you insist all atheists are, that it's almost funny. You appear to be someone, like some of my devoted Christian friends, who would be so lost without their pet religion that they couldn't handle it. At least we can discuss this sort of thing without insults. I'd say it is you, not I, who is unethical and unpleasant. You just proved it to all the readers. Perhaps you should go back and carefully re-read the OP?)

Mr. GCSTroop, when I've read your stuff before, I've liked your "thotful" and reasoned posts. Please ignore the baiting and I'd like to hear what you think about the original thread idea.

Last edited by thotful1; 01-26-2009 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: addition
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 7,876,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundamentalist View Post
First off you are an "agnostic", as an atheist you make the bold statement that you have been everywhere in the universe, under the moon, behind Mars- everywhere there is to go- everything there to be seen to make an absolute claim that there is no God.

Atheists do not give, atheist do not care, "survival of the fittest" when people die you should rejoice because that is one less mouth to feed thus more resources for you to consume. Atheist shouldn't care about the poor or needy but figure out ways in how to exploit them for their own use. Neitzke was very clear, Neitzke was a true atheist. Why follow rules? the rules are what you make it to be, the law is the law of the jungle, kill or be killed, what I want, when I want. If no God then the atheist is God.
You are incredibly and woefully misinformed about atheists.

Would you like us to paint all of you Christians with one broad brush, as you are with atheists? Simply because Neitzsche was an atheist and had some screwed up ideas doesn't mean that all of the rest of us have to follow suit.

That would be like me pointing at Fred Phelps and saying "Hey, he's a Christian...all of you have to be JUST LIKE HIM or you're not real Christians." How silly would that be? Almost as silly as your comments about atheists and Nietzsche.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: downeast
473 posts, read 615,351 times
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may i ask rifleman- were you raised atheist or with some spiritual/religious upbringing.

i am having a hard time with all of this. and i guess, until you said it, was not aware that i am desperately clinging to a belief system i do not believe in. all along the only thing i was quite sure of is that i do believe in God, i just dont know how it all fits. that is the foundation of my belief. so i was just wondering if you ever believed in God, or if you always didnt believe.
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