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A question for atheists and theists/deists

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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 05:49 AM
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The whole atheism versus religion war (and I say war because debate has become an understatement) has really become a perplexing issue for me. It's very interesting indeed to read the arguments presented by both sides. I myself have argued from both sides at different times in my "spiritual" development.

My question for the diehard non/believers on either end is this; What does it matter if there is or isn't a God?

Would it really make a difference if somehow one side was finally awarded ultimate victory?

Good people would still be good and evil people would still be evil.

There are people in this world who believe in a God, yet still do evil. There are also people who don't believe in a God, yet still do good.

Instead of arguing over the existence of a supreme entity, why not just agree to disagree?

Does it really hurt you, the atheist, that another person finds comfort in believing a God?

Does it hurt you, the religious man, that another finds it more sensible to dismiss your belief?

Only if you let it.

So really, what does it matter?




posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 05:56 AM
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Reply to post by Icon_xof
 


We my friend, are on the same page. Live life how you think it should be lived.

and thank you for mentioning my SN in ur post



 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 05:59 AM
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reply to post by Icon_xof
 


It matters because millions have died and are still dying because of religion.
Prejudice.
Wars.

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Its also an insult to the majesty and brilliance of science.

Put down your bible and pick up a science encyclopedia


Good day!



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:07 AM
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Reply to post by LiveForever8
 


Millions more have died at the handsof mans greed and ego. Why not instead blame everything cruel and intolerant in the world on man? Why must we blame religion? I believe it was meant for good, but twisted for evil....


 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:16 AM
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I’m not a militant atheist type like some, to be honest I’m not to keen on how a lot of atheists act. However I do understand the rationale.

It’s not an issue of whether or not God exists in itself, if people kept it to themselves and religion had no influence beyond the personal then I don’t think anyone would have much of a problem.

What is a problem is the evangelising, the undue influence religion has, its use as a reason for violence and the special treatment and protection it gets.

You ask does it hurt for someone to believe in God; it does when that person has a lobby in government influencing policy, it does when they decide that I must die because I disagree with their beliefs, it does when they begin indoctrinating others (especially children) with no one to counter them.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:24 AM
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It matters because individuals w/ an apparent lack of understanding can't separate the acts of man w/ the acts of the religous. Its quite easy to separate those who actually believe in God and live their lives in a manner that shows it, and those who simply use God's name for their own measures.

Because they tend to errantly look at actions in the world that are bad, done by those who are obviously not actually religious and lump it all into one negative basket w/o once stopping to consider that those who are actually religious feed the poor, created hospitals, created universities/learning centers. etc etc. Because surely, their ideology only fits the fake religious and acknowledging this difference could possibly tumble their house of cards.

It is an insult to the intelligence of thinking individuals that some assume the supremacy of science and the scientific answer in spite of the fact that they believe in it as a faith. They can't wrap their minds around the fact that science isn't infallible and when it comes to evolution its not absolute fact, but simply the best answer they have. Most will not stop to consider the issue of abiogenesis and the problems surrounding it, if in fact they even understand what the word means and how it is relevant to this discussion.

I think you will see that generally speaking, you have non-believers attack the beliefs of the religious in some effort possibly to hide the lack of understanding of their own beliefs. I don't think I've ever seen a religious person go into a room of atheists and insult their beliefs, though I guess its possible, but overwhelmingly its the other way around, so the question remains, what exactly are these people trying to prove by being so antagonistic and usually insulting without employing common sense, to those of faith?



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
I’m not a militant atheist type like some, to be honest I’m not to keen on how a lot of atheists act. However I do understand the rationale.

It’s not an issue of whether or not God exists in itself, if people kept it to themselves and religion had no influence beyond the personal then I don’t think anyone would have much of a problem.

What is a problem is the evangelising, the undue influence religion has, its use as a reason for violence and the special treatment and protection it gets.

You ask does it hurt for someone to believe in God; it does when that person has a lobby in government influencing policy, it does when they decide that I must die because I disagree with their beliefs, it does when they begin indoctrinating others (especially children) with no one to counter them.


It appears you are assuming that there is no God. If in fact there is not, then your points hold water. If you are wrong, well... you are wrong.

Its amusing that you think its wrong when children are taught about God w/o anyone to counter, but they grow up in school learning about evolution and the alternatives don't they. Seems like you are biased.

You want your cake and eat it to I guess. Teach kids everything about what you want them to believe in the public school system, but hey, don't take them to Sunday school.... odd.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:33 AM
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I think you are seeing things a bit wrong. Just because I love to discuss religion over here in the religious discussion forum doesn't mean I hate religious people or even discuss religion on my personal non-internet life.
In fact if there wasn't a religious discussion forum with threads specifically discussing religion, I wouldn't engage in that type of discussion.

Why not ask the same question about conspiracies?

- Why you all discussing these conspiracies in this conspiracy theory forum? Why you all just don't agree to disagree?

Cause if we all did that there would be no discussion, and the forum would be useless.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:42 AM
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People are going to believe what they want to believe. The fact remains that there will be antagonistic evangelicals and atheists as well. There will be those that use religion as a cloak for the dirty deeds they do. There will be those that give the whole a bad rep. It's inevitable.

There is really nothing we ca do about it except for sit here and flap our gums about how disgusted it makes us. I probably walk by hundreds of atheists a day and yet don't know it. Likewise, I can't pick out who is religious from who isn't. Other than my opinions I have stated on ATS, no one would be able to tell if I was religious or not. So honestly, why does it matter?


 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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Reply to post by madeioo
 


I think it was perhaps more along the lines of 'why does this board exist' type question. Why is there a need to discuss our views? Do we have something to prove? Of course we don't cuz we can't. So why discuss it? It's an endless cycle.


 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by JustG
 


I don’t assume anything, I just see no reason to believe in one thus I don’t. Please don’t tell people what their beliefs are.


If you are wrong, well... you are wrong.


No I’m not, my points weren’t denomination specific and since not all of them can be right my post is still valid for at least some even if one religion turns out to be true or if there is some other form of god that man has never described.


but they grow up in school learning about evolution and the alternatives don't they


Not everyone does. Your posts are too focused on your own culture. The issue is one of religion across the entire world. Not everyone has access to western style schooling system that provides a generally balanced view. However even in our own systems there are those that push to teach religious views over others.

If you’re suggesting that evolution is taught without a counter point that is incorrect. Anyone taught in school about evolution has access to parents and a church (temple, mosque, whatever) community to provide that counter point. Formal schools are the only source for many for accurate information on scientific theories.

I’m happy for kids to go to Sunday school, I’m not happy for regular schools to be a substitute for Sunday schools. Again don’t assume other peoples beliefs.


It matters because individuals w/ an apparent lack of understanding can't separate the acts of man w/ the acts of the religous. Its quite easy to separate those who actually believe in God and live their lives in a manner that shows it, and those who simply use God's name for their own measures.


That’s a copout. You’re just saying anything that might paint your religion in a bad light isn’t really done by religious people and conversely anything good is done by the real religious people.

If someone believes that he must kill himself or someone else for God or that his religion commands him to indoctrinate others then who are you to say that their beliefs aren’t genuine?

If someone said they killed a priest because they were an atheist I couldn’t say that they weren’t really an atheist could I?

Again you’re dictating what other people believe.


It is an insult to the intelligence of thinking individuals that some assume the supremacy of science and the scientific answer in spite of the fact that they believe in it as a faith.


In what way is science a faith?

I know that science is fallible, that’s sort of the point of it. If it wasn’t fallible then it would be a faith. There are also unknowns in science but these are accepted and science attempts to explain them; they don’t fill them in with any old explanation and have done with it like religion does.

Yet again you’re telling others what their beliefs are!

Also, are you suggesting abiogenesis and evolution are directly related?


I don't think I've ever seen a religious person go into a room of atheists and insult their beliefs


lol no they just walk in, scream Allah Akbar then explode!




[edit on 20-8-2009 by Mike_A]



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:55 AM
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I have known a lot of people that are very strong in their religious beliefs that will steal you blind while quoting scripture non stop but never have I seen an atheist do either of these things.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:00 AM
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Originally posted by Agree2Disagree
 


I think it was perhaps more along the lines of 'why does this board exist' type question. Why is there a need to discuss our views? Do we have something to prove? Of course we don't cuz we can't. So why discuss it? It's an endless cycle.


Because we can. Because it's fun to debate. Because they are important issues.
Take the creationism/evolution debate, should we just shut up and allow such a perversion to crawl into our classrooms just because we wont be able to convince some religious fanatic that science is right?



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:02 AM
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Reply to post by hypervigilant
 


That says very little. You have met a small fraction of those that consider themselves religious. Come stay at my house, you will be surprised no doubt friend



 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:03 AM
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reply to post by Icon_xof
 


It would make a difference to me, because then I'd have to live my life by the often contradictory rules of a "supreme being" if I'm to be 'rewarded' in the next life.

That means my decisions I make aren't really mine - they're influenced by an all powerful parental figure that will eventually judge my performance.

I simply don't agree with the idea, that my immortal and infinite soul/being/energy/afterlife/existence is based on the very finite events of a microscopic blip in the timeline of the universe.

To me, that just doesn't make sense.

[edit on 20-8-2009 by noonebutme]



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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Reply to post by madeioo
 


It doesn't have to go to the classrooms. Belief is a personal thing. Let it remain that way.

If I tell my 3 year old nephew there is nothing to be scared of the dark for he will say okay. Two minutes later he'll come out screaming again.

He believes what he believes. I can't stop him....


 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by Icon_xof
 



Does it really hurt you, the atheist, that another person finds comfort in believing a God?


As an athiest I think it's fairly reasonable to ask religious people to either prove their beliefs or accept it's an opinion and they may be wrong. It's not about whether they may be right or not - that's never the issue at all!

It's the self-righteous attitudes that mean no form of scrutiny must ever be undertaken against them that is annoying, and pathetic.

You cannot compare faith-based thinking and critical thinking as equivalents opposites. Both are completely different. There are no leaps of faith involved being an athiest, as we go with the evidence. There may very well be a god or a giant flying spaghetti monster, and if their existence can be proven... then we will say they exist, but until then we cannot.

I don't really see any other way of putting it - because that is just how things are!

Often a religious person would initiate conversation with me and be offended should I tell him this. If anybody wishes to limit their mindset to a narrow view of life because he/she sees that as being the only possible way to explain unknowns, then disagreement is to be expected. So, even though they initiate the conversation, they will become offended or threatening just because I do not want to believe.

Do I impose my views on those particular people by initiating a conversation - Never!!! I will always respond to those that initiate conversation thought whether in person or internet. But they feel it necessary to impose theirs and have the audacity to be that arrogant, rude & ignorant towards others. Some are so brainwashed that it's like talking to a brick wall!


Are they Naive?? - Yes!
Stupid & unintelligent?? - Very as their actions demonstrate!!
Pathetic?? - Absolutely!!!

And if only they had admitted they only have an opinion and it was fine for me to disagree with them, I would respect them completely! But instead we have the usual choir of "you will go to hell if you don't believe in god". Hmmm, can they be reasonable???

The multitude of idealogies about why people feel they are so special that a god would actually find the will to create them are all self-centred and self-righteous, and often hypocritical. It's all about what they want, and what they feel can only be correct, which is based on an individuals limited perception of reality, rather than long-standing critical thinking methodology's which provide real answers, even though many unknowns still remain.

Critical thinking skills have produced the very computer, laptop or whatever they are typing on. Yet they want to attribute our existence based on faith.... does their computer operate on faith alone?!! No, it does not!


[edit on 20-8-2009 by john124]



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:09 AM
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Reply to post by noonebutme
 


So, are you trying to say that lieing cheating andsteaing are things that you should decide are right and wrong? I don't get it.

I don't look at it as a 'oh no u messed up ur f-d' situation. It's a father-son/mother-daughter thing. There are rules, there are punishments, and there is love....


 
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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Icon_xof
Does it really hurt you, the atheist, that another person finds comfort in believing a God?


It wouldn't hurt me at all.

But it would bother me if said religious person was in a position of political power whereby their religious beliefs are influencing their law making or law approving decisions.

And if those decisions are based on morals and ideals derived from their religious beliefs and texts, they could be vastly opposed to my morals and ideals, such as euthenasia, abortion, punishment, pornography, etc.

So I reall don't care what people want to believe, so long as their beliefs do not hurt or infringe upon the beliefs of others.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:13 AM
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Reply to post by john124
 


Such harsh generalisations friend! I do hope you have met atleast some christians who are not like that. If not, you are welcome to crash at my house any time you like



 
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