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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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LostAngels Offline
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Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 26th 2012, 06:11 AM

Hello everyone.

I am personally an atheist, for many justifiable reasons.*
Although I've become much less ignorant and pretentious (for lack of a better term) in regards to my views on the concept of religion, I am getting awfully tired of seeing people of religion ask atheists "how they get by without god."*

I feel that we 'get by' just as they do, for they disbelieve in all other gods but their own.*

As Stephen Roberts once said,*
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."*

No other words have rationalized (in favor of the atheists) this particular matter of contention with such precision, in my opinion.*
I'm curious to hear some opinions on this quote and general thought, from those of you who do follow a religion?*
Especially those of you who DO wonder why or how us atheists don't have faith?*

I, in no way, mean for this to be an antagonizing or arrogant post. I'm genuinely inquiring here.

Thanks!*




"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours" - Stephen Roberts
   
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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 26th 2012, 09:51 AM

I'll have a go even though I'm an atheist, I've had this conversation before.

From what I know It's because their belief in god is so strong the idea that god exists becomes a fact rather than a simple belief. So because it's so obvious to them and it makes them feel great about themselves. Therefore they wonder how you can live without such bliss.

Then there's the idea of hell and the lack of belief rubbish. Also the concept of an afterlife tends to give them a point or a purpose because life is a 'test' to them.

long story short "god makes me happy why doesn't he make you happy? oh and you might go to hell if don't "

I'll probably get criticised by someone but that's what I've heard and even partially felt when I was religious.


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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 26th 2012, 11:41 PM

Actually, I don't really see the point of the question "How do you get by without God?" Frankly I think the question itself automatically raises a defense mechanism because it conveys judgment and a lack of understanding right from the get-go. It's not really inviting a conversation so much as a speech about why you SHOULD believe in a God or Gods. So, bad question. Moving on.

I don't usually ask atheists why they are the way they are anymore. Most often it's because I know the story. Either someone values facts and data and, since one can't prove God(s), decides it isn't real, or else someone witnesses/hears about/has a terrible experience that convinces them God must not be real because otherwise why would terrible things happen. I would venture to say about 8 times out of 10 it is one of the two or both. On top of that, I'm not an atheist, and though many of them REALLY don't like to admit it, they can get just as touchy about the subject as the religious right. Yes, many atheists deliver their fair share of close-mindedness, too. It goes both ways.

If I ask anyone why they believe in something, I don't want a speech about why they believe what they do AND why what I believe is stupid. I ask people what they believe because I want to have a discussion about it and learn more about the people I meet.

So no, I'm not going to ask someone how they don't get by without God, even though I myself believe in God. We each do the things we do for our own reasons. If someone wants to hear my story, great, I will share it. But I am not going to act like I need to force everyone into that group. And I don't really want people to do so to me, either. I get just as annoyed when someone asks me, "Why do you need to believe in God?" I don't have to explain myself. You do your thing, I do mine, and if at some point we want to get together and discuss it, that's cool, too.



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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 28th 2012, 05:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostAngels View Post
Hello everyone.

I am personally an atheist, for many justifiable reasons.*
Although I've become much less ignorant and pretentious (for lack of a better term) in regards to my views on the concept of religion, I am getting awfully tired of seeing people of religion ask atheists "how they get by without god."*

I feel that we 'get by' just as they do, for they disbelieve in all other gods but their own.*
Well I would certainly never say this to you lol. I'm sure you live a very happy life, and truth be told, as one who believes in God, although aspects of my belief relieve many burdens on me, it also does weigh on me, because belief in God demands a certain responsibility that you would otherwise not have. I believe I am accountable to something higher than myself and I need to keep that in my mind when I live my life. But I can tell you this much, if I did not believe in God, my entire world view would change, a worldview I now consider abhorrent, but such terms would be arbitrary if I had no standard by which to measure them, a standard I find in my belief in God. *2 cents*

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostAngels View Post
As Stephen Roberts once said,*
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."*
I think this is a clichéd generalization. There is a substantial difference between discounting belief in a sun god, or tree god, a moon god, and discounting a belief in a prime mover God/Creator God. The former are merely aitiological beliefs attempting to explain the power and appearance of natural phenomena, phenomena that could otherwise be explained in much simpler and reasoned terms. And I do not believe the criticisms levied against belief in these sorts of gods, apply to the common belief in God as the all knowing, all powerful, all present God who created the natural world. Belief in this God is one that finds it's invitation in reason and illuminated by faith, and what I mean by this is that people, such as myself find no other recourse than to accept the existence of this being who is the uncaused caused to a finite and natural world.

If we go back to the beginning of the universe, prior to the big bang we still do not know what caused the universe to spring into being, and it is my belief that there must be a cause for the creation of this universe that exists outside of the universe itself, or outside of nature.. supernatural if you will. I see this as an entirely reasonable proposition to believe. It is not a God of the gaps cop out, it is a fundamental question of logic applied to what it is we know about the universe, and what we know is that the universe is finite in age; it had a beginning, the very cause of its inception remains a mystery, a mystery I believe is explained by a cause outside of nature that creature nature, who we call God. And from this basic belief, which I believe one can arise at through reason, it is through faith where people will attribute other things to this God depending upon their religious tradition.
   
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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 28th 2012, 06:13 AM

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Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post

If we go back to the beginning of the universe, prior to the big bang we still do not know what caused the universe to spring into being, and it is my belief that there must be a cause for the creation of this universe that exists outside of the universe itself, or outside of nature.. supernatural if you will. I see this as an entirely reasonable proposition to believe. It is not a God of the gaps cop out, it is a fundamental question of logic applied to what it is we know about the universe, and what we know is that the universe is finite in age; it had a beginning, the very cause of its inception remains a mystery, a mystery I believe is explained by a cause outside of nature that creature nature, who we call God. And from this basic belief, which I believe one can arise at through reason, it is through faith where people will attribute other things to this God depending upon their religious tradition.
You've just described a deity not a theological god. Which means it doesn't link to any specific religion.

Which god do you believe in? In regards to that quote it does make sense with the modern religions because most of them are just god of the gaps. You can believe a deity caused the universe to come into existence but whether it affects our daily lives requires more questions.


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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 28th 2012, 06:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
Well I would certainly never say this to you lol. I'm sure you live a very happy life, and truth be told, as one who believes in God, although aspects of my belief relieve many burdens on me, it also does weigh on me, because belief in God demands a certain responsibility that you would otherwise not have. I believe I am accountable to something higher than myself and I need to keep that in my mind when I live my life. But I can tell you this much, if I did not believe in God, my entire world view would change, a worldview I now consider abhorrent, but such terms would be arbitrary if I had no standard by which to measure them, a standard I find in my belief in God. *2 cents*
Accountability for something higher than yourself? I see no higher accountability than the one I keep for how I treat my fellow man. I don't see how you can find a worldview like this abhorrent: one that says you should be kind simply because you can empathize and help your fellow man, and not because you fear punishment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
I think this is a clichéd generalization. There is a substantial difference between discounting belief in a sun god, or tree god, a moon god, and discounting a belief in a prime mover God/Creator God. The former are merely aitiological beliefs attempting to explain the power and appearance of natural phenomena, phenomena that could otherwise be explained in much simpler and reasoned terms. And I do not believe the criticisms levied against belief in these sorts of gods, apply to the common belief in God as the all knowing, all powerful, all present God who created the natural world. Belief in this God is one that finds it's invitation in reason and illuminated by faith, and what I mean by this is that people, such as myself find no other recourse than to accept the existence of this being who is the uncaused caused to a finite and natural world.
No, it is not a clichéd generalization. Discounting belief in anything is the same as discounting belief in another. Conversely, believers of the Greek mythology would believe just as strongly, and potentially more so in their gods and practices than you do. Is there a substantial difference in believing in those, as compared to believing in a prime mover God/Creator God? As for that last sentence, I shall quote Benjamin Franklin: "To way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." There is no reasonability to take any philosophical or scientific stance based on faith alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
If we go back to the beginning of the universe, prior to the big bang we still do not know what caused the universe to spring into being, and it is my belief that there must be a cause for the creation of this universe that exists outside of the universe itself, or outside of nature.. supernatural if you will. I see this as an entirely reasonable proposition to believe. It is not a God of the gaps cop out, it is a fundamental question of logic applied to what it is we know about the universe, and what we know is that the universe is finite in age; it had a beginning, the very cause of its inception remains a mystery, a mystery I believe is explained by a cause outside of nature that creature nature, who we call God. And from this basic belief, which I believe one can arise at through reason, it is through faith where people will attribute other things to this God depending upon their religious tradition.
It is a God of the Gaps argument. Here's how:
Quote:
If we go back to the beginning of the universe, prior to the big bang we still do not know what caused the universe to spring into being
That, coupled with
Quote:
...it is my belief that there must be a cause for the creation of this universe that exists outside of the universe itself...
Your argument is that because there is a gap in scientific knowledge, there is a reason to believe it is God's work. First off, why God? Why God, and not some other mechanism? It could have been an astronomically sized nutcracker that caused the Big Bang. I'd like to quote Dan Barker for you, because he says it infinitely better than I could.

"The curious clause “everything that begins to exist” implies that reality can be divided into two sets: items that begin to exist (BE), and those that do not (NBE). In order for this cosmological argument to work, NBE (if such a set is meaningful) cannot be empty, but more important, it must accommodate more than one item to avoid being simply a synonym for God. If God is the only object allowed in NBE, then BE is merely a mask for the Creator, and the premise “everything that begins to exist has a cause” is equivalent to “everything except God has a cause.” As with the earlier failures, this puts God into the definition of the premise of the argument that is supposed to prove God’s existence, and we are back to begging the question."


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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 28th 2012, 09:33 PM

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Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
I'll have a go even though I'm an atheist, I've had this conversation before.

From what I know It's because their belief in god is so strong the idea that god exists becomes a fact rather than a simple belief. So because it's so obvious to them and it makes them feel great about themselves. Therefore they wonder how you can live without such bliss.

Then there's the idea of hell and the lack of belief rubbish. Also the concept of an afterlife tends to give them a point or a purpose because life is a 'test' to them.

long story short "god makes me happy why doesn't he make you happy? oh and you might go to hell if don't "

I'll probably get criticised by someone but that's what I've heard and even partially felt when I was religious.
Quite frankly I normally feel you deserve the critisism your posts attract, but this is actually one spot. Evagellists only bother you because God makes them happy. It's no different than a friend recomending a band to you that they really enjoy but you've heard of before and hate.

Of course once the threat of hell in invovled or violence/harassment it's no longer out of the kindness of one's heart and completely uncalled for.

Anyhow, I think everyone should keep their beliefs to themselves because it's not your concern to disrupt others with you idea of which religion is best.

- Justin



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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 28th 2012, 10:02 PM

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Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Quite frankly I normally feel you deserve the critisism your posts attract, but this is actually one spot. Evagellists only bother you because God makes them happy. It's no different than a friend recomending a band to you that they really enjoy but you've heard of before and hate.

Of course once the threat of hell in invovled or violence/harassment it's no longer out of the kindness of one's heart and completely uncalled for.

Anyhow, I think everyone should keep their beliefs to themselves because it's not your concern to disrupt others with you idea of which religion is best.

- Justin
Do you mind telling me what is wrong with my posts? I'd like to think none of them are in bad faith or anything like that.

I have been told all the things that I put in my post before, I'm not criticising anyone, only those who threaten me with hell. That's ridiculous and I don't think you'd stand for it either.


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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - February 29th 2012, 03:27 AM

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Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
Do you mind telling me what is wrong with my posts? I'd like to think none of them are in bad faith or anything like that.

I have been told all the things that I put in my post before, I'm not criticising anyone, only those who threaten me with hell. That's ridiculous and I don't think you'd stand for it either.
Some of your posts can seem slightly passive-agressive. :/

Anyhow as I said in this case your post was perfectly phrased.

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Re: Curious what people of (any) religion have to say about this..? - March 2nd 2012, 07:30 PM

People generally believe in their god or religion by accident of birth, that is to say where they are born decides who/what they believe in. This alone is enough to make me seriously doubt most people's reasoning for their religious belief. They didn't make up their own minds, they got religion hammered into their heads by simply being around it, and are carrying other people's convictions.

I've long stopped trying to talk sense into anyone though. It's something that has zero solid basis for belief, as that is like trying to change some one's taste in music through logical arguments, it is not based on reason or logic. I can only assume it's a defense mechanism against the idea of inevitable death, and the feeling of pointlessness that some people get from it. As long as they don't discriminate against race, gender, sexuality, beliefs, etc, I am perfectly fine with people using it as a crutch.
   
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