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Old 10-05-2010, 08:33 AM
 
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I've been thinking lately -- what is it that is different enough about atheists that we managed to see through all the smoke and mirrors of religion and gods, and realize that they were false? Yes, they're obviously and blatantly unbelievable to us, but not at all to most other people.

What's different about us that makes us be able to see how illogical they are? It can't be that we're simply smarter. Sure, atheists as a general rule are more highly educated and have higher IQs than believers, but that's not because we're atheists. It's just because more educated, smarter people tend to be atheists or agnostics.

Now obviously there are some very brilliant people who still believe in gods and follow a religion, so it's not just a matter of intelligence. Is there perhaps something different about us genetically, that helps us to ignore or reject the opiate of religion? Perhaps like some people carry a gene making them more likely to become an alcoholic or a tendency to be an addictive personality -- perhaps there's something that religious people are born with that makes them vulnerable to the religious kool-aid.

How is it that someone like me, raised in a very strictly controlled fundamental christian environment managed to realize at a very early age just how insane it all was? Despite all the indoctrination, all the isolation from anything not of my parents' beliefs, despite the daily prayer sessions, the constant barrage of jesus-praising and teaching from my parents, despite the constant church-going and god-praising -- what was I born with (or without?) that makes me -- among my many siblings and cousins and other blood relatives -- what made me the sole escapee from the madness?
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Houston
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There are 2 types of people in the world. Those that can face death, not knowing what comes after it, but believing it is more likely to be an abyss of non existance, and still be comfortable with that as an outcome and can still ascribe a real, and very human meaning to their lives, then there is the other kind. The kind that cannot face death without beleiving that they know what comes next.

Neither is better than the other, but I believe the former creates an agnostic, or an atheist and the latter creates a religious individual. I fall into the agnostic catagory more than any other, but even if I can accept the idea of a creator, that doesn't necessarily result in an afterlife.

I also believe that there are 2 further types of people in the world. Those that want this to mean something. Want to revel in the fact that this is all there is, and all there will be. These moments are all we'll ever know of the universe and have every single moment be precious. Every interaction with another human mean something, be part of a legacy that's shared by the common experience of the sentient beings that we share this Universe with. A feeling that is only truly possible when you accept the fact that this life ends. Then there are those that want this to be no more than an elaborate test prior to entering an eternal world that's better than this one.

I guess it comes down to how comfortable one is with the concept of their own mortality, and how one regards the significance of this existance.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Death scares me, I love my life and living it far to much to welcome death. But I still don't believe in god. I don't know maybe we don't have a BS switch in our brain. Maybe we don't NEED to cling to a "higher purpose" and others just do. I don't understand it myself, how seemingly intelligent and educated people can still believe. Maybe it is just fear of the unknown that keeps them reeled in.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Houston
223 posts, read 244,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nea1 View Post
Death scares me, I love my life and living it far to much to welcome death. But I still don't believe in god. I don't know maybe we don't have a BS switch in our brain. Maybe we don't NEED to cling to a "higher purpose" and others just do. I don't understand it myself, how seemingly intelligent and educated people can still believe. Maybe it is just fear of the unknown that keeps them reeled in.

Death can scare you. That's fine. Lol. That doesn't mean you haven't faced it for what it is, the likely discontinuance of consciousness.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Originally Posted by Spank316 View Post
Death can scare you. That's fine. Lol. That doesn't mean you haven't faced it for what it is, the likely discontinuance of consciousness.
I know what it is and that it is coming ( hopefully a loooooooooooong ways off). I would love an afterlife, I just know that is not part of the deal.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:43 AM
 
6,039 posts, read 9,861,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nea1 View Post
Death scares me, I love my life and living it far to much to welcome death. But I still don't believe in god. I don't know maybe we don't have a BS switch in our brain. Maybe we don't NEED to cling to a "higher purpose" and others just do. I don't understand it myself, how seemingly intelligent and educated people can still believe. Maybe it is just fear of the unknown that keeps them reeled in.
Oh, I know all the reasons people give for being an atheist. What I'm asking is why it's those particular people. Is there some roll of the genetic dice that makes a person more inclined to atheism? And oddly enough, among my peer group I see a correlation between homosexuality and atheism. My gay friends seem to have a much higher percentage of atheists than my straight friends. Okay, so we all know correlation does not mean causation, but it's something interesting to ponder.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Is it death that scares you Nea1, or dying?
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Colorado
10,017 posts, read 17,527,695 times
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Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
Oh, I know all the reasons people give for being an atheist. What I'm asking is why it's those particular people. Is there some roll of the genetic dice that makes a person more inclined to atheism? And oddly enough, among my peer group I see a correlation between homosexuality and atheism. My gay friends seem to have a much higher percentage of atheists than my straight friends. Okay, so we all know correlation does not mean causation, but it's something interesting to ponder.
I am sure if it is in the DNA, the religious would just claim we CHOOSE to be atheist, just as the gay people CHOOSE to be gay. LOL

We are all born atheist I believe, what happens after,, well maybe some are more easily brainwashed or manipulated.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Florida
21,124 posts, read 22,074,701 times
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According to some of the religious, MC, we just haven't been chosen!
Other than that, I think Spank316 covered a lot of it.
Add that we are willing to accept the full responsibilty for what we do or don't do
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Colorado
10,017 posts, read 17,527,695 times
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Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Is it death that scares you Nea1, or dying?
Both I think. I watched my grandmother die. I know I wont care, after I am dead!
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