It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Why am I an atheist?

page: 4
4
<< 1  2  3    5 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 08:19 PM
link   
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 





Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Theists have the belief switch on
Atheists have the belief switch off



Correction…

Theists have the belief switch on

Atheists have the non-belief switch on


They are both beliefs…


- JC




posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 08:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by Joecroft
Originally posted by adjensen
Not having a belief does not require a decision, because it is simply not having a belief.


But not having a belief in something means that a decision has already been made.

Only when it is forced by something else. If I make up some arbitrary thing that you have never heard of and have no way of verifying the existence of, until I describe it and, thus, force you to come to a conclusion, you have no belief in it, and have made no decision.

Realize, please, that this is an issue of logic, and argument, not one of belief. You're still kind of missing the point, that there are two different types of statements involved here, which come out of different assertions.

I am an Orthodox Christian. I have had enough experiences in my life to come to the conclusion that my beliefs in Christianity are correct, but this is ultimately a matter of faith -- I have faith in God's existence. My atheist friends have not had these experiences, but they don't need to say "I have faith that I have no faith," they can just say "I have no faith," and that's the end of that.


Well, you didn’t mention in your other post, that those assertions were used by or being tied into a “person who has never heard of God”.


I'm not saying that atheists have never heard of God, I'm saying that anyone who has never heard of God is, by default, an atheist. They can't be an agnostic, because an agnostic does draw a conclusion about God, and while an atheist can do so as well, they don't have to (the two different assertions.)

The bottom line is that, unless the words "There is no God" or "I know that God doesn't exist" are involved, a theist has no business arguing the validity of an atheist's statement of their personal position, because it is their position, and whether it is one that they struggled to come to, or one that came as a personal revelation, or one that they have held since birth, it is theirs, and it's not someone else's place to fault them for it.



posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 11:40 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 




Originally posted by Joecroft
But not having a belief in something means that a decision has already been made.




Originally posted by adjensen
Only when it is forced by something else.


Well I’m not saying that it is or has to be forced upon someone but if someone hasn’t made a decision, for whatever reason, then that means that they are undecided on it, and are therefore in the position of being an agnostic, not atheist.



Originally posted by adjensen
If I make up some arbitrary thing that you have never heard of and have no way of verifying the existence of, until I describe it and, thus, force you to come to a conclusion, you have no belief in it, and have made no decision.


Yes but because I have made no decision, that would make me, by definition, an agnostic. And having made no decision on it, I wouldn’t or couldn’t, then make a statement, like the ones you suggested a person who had “never heard of God” could make, as in your post below…



Originally posted by adjensen
an atheist can say "I do not believe that God exists", but this is not the same thing as "I believe that God does not exist" (which the atheist may also say, but which makes a different assertion.)


A person cannot make any of the above statements if they have “never heard of God”, it just wouldn’t make any sense.

If you mentioned something to me, that I have never heard of before, I couldn’t then immediately state, that I believe, or do not believe, that such a thing does not exist, because I wouldn’t have any understanding or knowledge in which to be basing such a decision.

If I do happen to make such a statement, having never heard of the thing, then I would be doing so based on blind faith.




Originally posted by adjensen
Realize, please, that this is an issue of logic, and argument, not one of belief. You're still kind of missing the point, that there are two different types of statements involved here, which come out of different assertions.


I think you are missing the point, about the fact that those statements above cannot be made, unless a decision has already come about, whether based on faith or not.



Originally posted by adjensen
I am an Orthodox Christian. I have had enough experiences in my life to come to the conclusion that my beliefs in Christianity are correct, but this is ultimately a matter of faith -- I have faith in God's existence. My atheist friends have not had these experiences, but they don't need to say "I have faith that I have no faith," they can just say "I have no faith," and that's the end of that.


You are right it is all about faith but what you seem to be failing to grasp, is that your atheist friends are in reality, also exercising an element of faith in their non-belief.

If something cannot be proven to exist or not exist and a person comes to a decision on it, albeit a very reasonable and well thought out decision, then that decision, either way, is still based to some degree, on faith. And like one poster has already pointed out, faith is not exclusive to religious believers.

Belief and non-belief = Beliefs



Originally posted by adjensen
I'm not saying that atheists have never heard of God, I'm saying that anyone who has never heard of God is, by default, an atheist.


IMO Anyone who has never heard of God, is by default and agnostic, until they learn and then come to a decision.

In your other posts you suggested that someone who had never heard of God, could make a statement like the ones you posted (above) That is what I have an issue with, because it’s almost like your putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

If someone has never heard of God, they cannot make statements like "I do not believe that God exists"…it’s totally illogical…they have nothing to base it on. In fact, they are not even making an educated guess lol



Originally posted by adjensen
They can't be an agnostic, because an agnostic does draw a conclusion about God, and while an atheist can do so as well, they don't have to (the two different assertions.)


An agnostic is someone who holds the position of, “I do not know” or he or she is undecided or unsure.

If someone “has never heard of God” then I would have to put them into the agnostic category, not atheist.




Originally posted by adjensen
The bottom line is that, unless the words "There is no God" or "I know that God doesn't exist" are involved, a theist has no business arguing the validity of an atheist's statement of their personal position, because it is their position, and whether it is one that they struggled to come to, or one that came as a personal revelation, or one that they have held since birth, it is theirs, and it's not someone else's place to fault them for it.


I absolutely agree but those are not the phrases that we are discussing here.

Also, I’m not trying to fault anyone on their own personal decisions that they have made; what I am trying to point out, is that a person’s non-belief, is in fact, to some degree, based on faith.


- JC

edit on 26-11-2010 by Joecroft because: missing quotation



posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 11:46 PM
link   
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Many atheists try to explain die-hard christian beliefs with this one, but I believe it's a double edged argument: You are a product of your environment.
We live in an increasingly secular WORLD society, especially if you are European. People just simply aren't interested in God anymore. Secularism can seperate people from genuine religion and people with genuine beliefs (as opposed to the luke warm religious people). 100 years ago you would likely have been exposed to religion and fervently religious people on a daily basis, now you can live without ever being exposed to anything except the "crazies" who want to shove their beliefs down your throat and don't have a snowball's chance in hell (the popular concept has come from bad Biblical translations and King James Only stupidity) of converting an athiest. So I'm going to take a leap here and guess you either grew up in a secular or lukewarm religious environment or grew up in a go-to-bed-with-nightmares-because-your-terrible-parents-have-convinced-you-that-you-are-going-to-hell-for-ever-and-ever-and-ever-for-not-minding-mommy household.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:17 AM
link   

Consider a person who has never heard of God.

Neither atheism nor agnosticism is useful to describe the belief system of someone who has never entertained the question of gods' existence.

"Do you believe in X?"

"What's an X?"

"So, your answer is no. Thank you."

This is silly. It just isn't what the trialog among atheists, agnostics, and theists is about.

The religious "default position" is not atheism, not agnosticism, and not theism (some theists claim that people are born with a "God-shaped hole" in the cognitive or neurological apparatus). The default position is ignorance.

In the above example, the interviewee displays ignorance about what an "X" is, and ignorance about how anybody would investigate questions about an "X." For all the interviewee knows, she may already have a decisive opinion about whether "X" holds, depending on what an "X" turns out to be. Here and now, however, she is ignorant even about that.

In contrast, agnosticism is the considered and categorical belief that the currently available corpus of evidence and argument fails to inform whether or not at least one god exists. On gentle assumptions, that implies and is implied by the more usual, "negative," formulation, that an agnostic neither believes that any god exists nor believes that no god exists.

A secular analogy would be I am presented a die in a deep opaque cup, told that its faces are numbered sequentially beginning with 1, and asked whether, if the die is cast one time, it will turn up six. I believe that a six is possible in a sense, but I don't know whether or not it will happen.

The analogy is improved if I am not told the die's shape. A triangular-pyramidal solid would not have a sixth face to turn up. I reach the same conclusion about the outcome of the toss: a six is possible in a sense, but I don't know whether or not it will happen. I believe that the information available to me compels me to make no stronger statement about the outcome of the toss, which is a firm and categorical epistemological assertion.

In religion, I am an agnostic. I have reached a decision about an epistemological question. The decision I have reached implies that I haven't reached a decision about a related ontological question.

To pretend that the ontological question is the only foundational theological question, overlooking the epistemological question, is mistaken. For an agnostic to go along with that mistake baffles me. There is a lot of anti-agnostic bigotry on the web, and plenty who would deny us our religious heritage because we are supposedly indecisive, gutless fence-sitters, hedging our bets. Others would assimilate us into atheism, or consign us to the ghetto of oxymorons like "agnostic atheism."

No, we are people who have reached a different conclusion on an epistemological question from theists and atheists, who both agree about the adequacy of available information to form an opinion about an ontological question, but hold different opinions about the answer to that question from each other.

Obviously, reaching a decision about a nasty and difficult epistemological question could not plausibly be offered as a "default" position. It is a conclusion reached only after expending a good deal of cognitive effort. Babies aren't up to it, and grown-ups who just now encounter the question of gods will need some time to arrive at any of the three destinations on offer.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 10:16 AM
link   
reply to post by eight bits
 


Well explained (and the triangular dice reference takes me back to my Dungeons and Dragons days in the late 70s, lol) but I was attempting to show that a non-belief need not be something considered and arrived at, which was where my "if you don't know about something, you can't believe in it, and that non-belief is not a result of faith." Your addition of "... not a result of faith, but a result of ignorance" is a nice clarification.

The real question, whether an atheist's non-belief is a matter of faith, is still a bit murky, but as I was walking the dog this morning, I thought of other two ways to look at it.

I correctly answered Madness' OP question (and I'm still awaiting my prize, lol) with a somewhat deeper answer than was required, but still caught his point of view. We all have our threshold of evidence that is required for belief, whether stated or merely an non-consciously defined tipping point, and until said threshold is exceeded, one remains a non-believer.

In this, the threshold represents a point of knowledge, by which we CAN put the word "know" into the faith statement. I know that my requirements of belief have been met. An atheist can say that they know that theirs have not been. What constitutes the threshold, and how flexible one is to construe evidence are matters of faith, but they are not necessarily the defining piece.

Let's say that Madness and I agree that the point of threshold is "anything above zero". Any evidence, whatsoever, will be the tipping point. The next day, we're walking through the park, talking about my money problems, and someone comes up, says "good morning", and hands me $100. Amazed, I declare that this is clearly an act of God, and my threshold has been crossed. Madness shakes his head, concludes that something else is at work (fraternity hazing, perhaps :-) and his threshold has not been crossed. I have faith, he does not, but mine is arrived at by believing that God sent me the lucre, while his is arrived at (well, remains the same) due to the knowledge that this is not "real" evidence of divine intervention.

This brings me to the second point. All Christians (that I know of) agree that salvation is granted by God's grace. Depending on your denomination, however, many Christians believe that faith itself comes through God's grace. This is seen in a bit of an extreme in Calvinism, which not only teaches that grace is necessary for faith, but it is actually irresistible grace-- if God gives it to you, you'll take it, whether you like it or not. The other side (which I subscribe to) of the Protestant debate is Arminianism, which says that it's a matter of free will, so you can reject it, but God grants prevenient grace, which enables you to have faith.

So, if you hold to either of those perspectives (as opposed to "it's all by my efforts, God isn't a part of it") then believing in God is dependent on God, and if God is not a part of the equation, then it doesn't matter what you know or think, you have no faith.

So, take a random atheist. By the Calvinists, his disbelief is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of God's predeterminism resulting in the lack of grace which allows one to cross the hurdle of their faith threshold. By the Arminians, it is a result of the rejection of God's grace (for whatever reason) or, perhaps, deferring or fighting with what that means. But, either way, the lack of grace makes faith impossible, so it is not a matter of faith on the part of the non-believer.

In the "walk in the park" scenario, I have God's grace, Madness does not, which is why my threshold has been crossed, and his has not. From a rational perspective, one can also look at it in terms of God's grace allowing me to see the act as divine, while Madness is unable to see it as anything other than a highly unlikely happening, and only the most exceptional event (God coming around to have coffee and a chat, miracles and angelic host in tow) could break his "anything above zero" barrier. And, without grace, even that wouldn't be sufficient, and he'd consider himself mad or hallucinating before accepting this as proof.

(Note, kindly, that the second point is intended to address the theistic perspective of Joecroft. I realize that, from an atheistic or agnostic point of view, none of it makes sense :-)



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 02:14 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 


(Note, kindly, that the second point is intended to address the theistic perspective of Joecroft. I realize that, from an atheistic or agnostic point of view, none of it makes sense :-)

Neatly argued, none the less. A star from me.

The thing is, this grace... how is it distinguished from that which we simply term belief? Is it because it is, well, believed to come from God?



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 03:37 PM
link   
adjensen (and not completely unrelated to the intermediate post by Astyanax)

Then perhaps you and I, at least, if not Joe, are in agreement that faith and belief are not synonymous. Christian faith has a grace component, as you have explained, and possibly a virtue component, as well. A belief in God would, in your account, be the result of receiving or having faith, while other beliefs would likely be the result of other mechanisms.

Presumably, secular beliefs would be the result of other mechanisms. It would also seem that the belief that there are no gods could not be the product of faith. Nor could the agnostic assessment of the state of available evidence and argument.

If I were an atheist, then I would find it provocative to be told that I was operating on faith. On the other hand, I am mystified why some atheists seem to take offence at the observation that they believe something about a religious question.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 03:56 PM
link   
reply to post by eight bits
 


I am mystified why some atheists seem to take offence at the observation that they believe something about a religious question.

This atheist, at least, does not. I do, however, take exception to having my beliefs characterized as 'faith'.

I believe the sun will rise tomorrow (though it's raining cats and dogs in my little tropical Paradise at present). This belief is based on logical induction from personal experience and historical testimony.

I believe in the theory of Special Relativity, because I had it explained to me by patient professors back when I was a university student, and the explanation made sense. Moreover, I am reliably informed that experimental evidence shows it to be correct.

I do not believe in God, because that would take what I call faith--belief in the absence of solid evidence. Indeed, I disbelieve in God, because my experience and understanding of the world suggest strongly to me that no such being exists.

Alas, I lack faith.


edit on 27/11/10 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 04:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by Joecroft
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 






Correction…

Theists have the belief switch on

Atheists have the non-belief switch on


They are both beliefs…


- JC


Only in so much, as the comparison now frequently comes up, that baldness is a hair color.

edit on 27-11-2010 by RuneSpider because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:01 PM
link   
Astyanax


This atheist, at least, does not.

Well, I think you do have an opinion about the state of the available evidence and argument bearing on the question of God.

What conclusions, if any, you have reached based upon that, I simply don't know, because you haven't told me. What words you personally prefer to describe your overall religious opinions are up to you.

But we are in agreement that the basis of your opinions is not fairly, nor usefully, called faith.


RuneSpider


Only in so much, as the comparison now frequently comes up, that baldness is a hair color.

More like as much as black is a hair color.

There can be the the same song and dance about how black is the absence of color, rather than a color, but in the end, "black" is a useful way to answer the question "What color is your hair?"

And, um, if some web atheists really are bald, then they seem to be wearing a colorful toupee. For an opinion they insist they don't have, they never seem to tire of telling the rest of us what a swell idea it is.
edit on 27-11-2010 by eight bits because: Fixed a rogue tag



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 06:50 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 




Originally posted by adjensen
This brings me to the second point. All Christians (that I know of) agree that salvation is granted by God's grace. Depending on your denomination, however, many Christians believe that faith itself comes through God's grace. This is seen in a bit of an extreme in Calvinism, which not only teaches that grace is necessary for faith, but it is actually irresistible grace-- if God gives it to you, you'll take it, whether you like it or not. The other side (which I subscribe to) of the Protestant debate is Arminianism, which says that it's a matter of free will, so you can reject it, but God grants prevenient grace, which enables you to have faith.


Well, I believe that salvation comes through Gods grace as well but I definitely do not subscribe to irresistible grace. I guess I kind of go along with prevenient grace up to a point, although I sort of have my own take on it.

I believe that Gods grace has already been given out and that any man who seeks after God will find him, because just like Jesus says, those who seek will find. I also believe that God can actually call people as well, without them doing any initial seeking, if that makes any sense.



Originally posted by adjensen

By the Arminians, it is a result of the rejection of God's grace (for whatever reason) or, perhaps, deferring or fighting with what that means. But, either way, the lack of grace makes faith impossible, so it is not a matter of faith on the part of the non-believer.


Well, I don’t see it as a lack of grace on the unbeliever’s part, because God is the one who gives out grace, not the believer or unbeliever. It is really up to a person to find grace by finding and coming to know God through Jesus. God has already played his part and done his work so to speak and is still doing so today.



Originally posted by adjensen
In the "walk in the park" scenario, I have God's grace, Madness does not, which is why my threshold has been crossed, and his has not. From a rational perspective, one can also look at it in terms of God's grace allowing me to see the act as divine, while Madness is unable to see it as anything other than a highly unlikely happening, and only the most exceptional event (God coming around to have coffee and a chat, miracles and angelic host in tow) could break his "anything above zero" barrier. And, without grace, even that wouldn't be sufficient, and he'd consider himself mad or hallucinating before accepting this as proof.


An interesting "walk in the park", scenario.

But hold on just minute.

I man may have been preparing to meet another person, to buy a dog in the park. Having seen your lhasa apso he mistook you for the person he was meant to meet and gave you the $100. At that exact moment he sees his wife in the park and knowing that she told him she doesn’t like dogs, he runs out of the park quickly, so as not to be noticed.

I have Gods grace but I might not believe that your experince in the park was from God or divine. I may believe that there is a very logical explination for it all, even though I believe in God.




- JC



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 09:14 PM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by adjensen
 


(Note, kindly, that the second point is intended to address the theistic perspective of Joecroft. I realize that, from an atheistic or agnostic point of view, none of it makes sense :-)

Neatly argued, none the less. A star from me.

The thing is, this grace... how is it distinguished from that which we simply term belief? Is it because it is, well, believed to come from God?


Yes, the belief is that faith is what we contribute to the equation, grace is what God does. Augustine viewed faith as the "turning inward and upward" to see the eternal light of God, but that only grace could allow one to do this. Similarly, it is generally believed that grace is what allows us to do the things that God expects us to do, but we can't seem to manage -- the Law told the Jews what to do, but didn't empower them to fulfill it, that was the basic problem of Judaic Law.

From a practical standpoint, what God expects from us is, seemingly, very little. Loving him, and loving our neighbour. It turns out that this is impossibly difficult for most of us, though it doesn't seem like it should be. But once into the real world, we struggle to truly love those who disagree with us... honestly, many of us struggle to love those who agree with us. Setting aside the "me" in favour of the "we" isn't something that comes naturally.

For me, at least, God's grace is what allows me to forgive those who wrong me, what allows me to see the world from someone else's perspective, and what allows me to continue to strive to do right by the world, regardless of what the world has done to me. The last year has brought a fair amount of personal tragedy, and God's grace has allowed me to persevere, in spite of the questions and doubts that such tragedy naturally prompts.

So, it's really something that is apart from faith and belief, but which reacts and interrelates with them and, in the Protestant perspective, at least, enables faith. I struggle (really, it bothers me a lot) with the notion that grace is required for faith, particularly the Calvinist perspective, but I do recognize that I am personally no better, more insightful or more gullible than one who lacks faith, so I'm left with two notions. First, that grace does seem to play a role, and secondly, that I sincerely hope that the interpreted perspective of the Protestant Doctrine of Salvation is incorrect, at least to the point that grace is not limited to our current mortal existence.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 09:40 PM
link   

Originally posted by Joecroft
Well, I don’t see it as a lack of grace on the unbeliever’s part, because God is the one who gives out grace, not the believer or unbeliever. It is really up to a person to find grace by finding and coming to know God through Jesus. God has already played his part and done his work so to speak and is still doing so today.


Yes, God grants grace. Under Calvinism, God predestines some for salvation, some for damnation, so if you are granted grace, you cannot refuse it, and if you are not granted grace, you cannot receive it. Under Arminianism, everyone is granted grace, but some will refuse it (or, perhaps, will not recognize and accept it.)

Calvinism pisses me off, if you'll excuse the French, because it seems so unjust, and yet, when you read what Calvin was really saying and think it though, there's a bit of you that says "oh yeah, I see what he means!" and it makes sense, even though it still seems unjust.


I have Gods grace but I might not believe that your experince in the park was from God or divine. I may believe that there is a very logical explination for it all, even though I believe in God.


Perhaps, but this is not really the point.

If I have God's grace, I see divine events for their true nature. It doesn't matter what the seeming motivation might be, a divine act is divine in itself. The rational explanation is there for any event, even though, at times, it seems like the rational explanation is a bigger leap than believing in divine intervention.

But the point is that I, with grace, see the donation as being divinely motivated, while my friend Madness sees anything but that as an explanation, indeed may get to the point where he is unable to see it.

An example that I have used before is someone who has lost a ring. If they fail to look for their ring, what is the likelihood that they will find it, particularly if it is something that can easily "blend into the woodwork" and appear as anything else?

For some people, though, it goes beyond this -- they erect their "threshold of evidence" so high that they have effectively recognized that their ring is located in their house, and they have filled said house with concrete. They can still, theoretically, find the ring by chipping away at all that cement, but what is the likelihood of this?



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 11:04 PM
link   


More like as much as black is a hair color.

There can be the the same song and dance about how black is the absence of color, rather than a color, but in the end, "black" is a useful way to answer the question "What color is your hair?"

And, um, if some web atheists really are bald, then they seem to be wearing a colorful toupee. For an opinion they insist they don't have, they never seem to tire of telling the rest of us what a swell idea it is.


Well, firstly, do you believe Santa Clause, or the Easter bunny, or whom ever is not real, or do you just not believe they exist?
It's subtle, but there is a marked distinction between the two.

As far as myself, don't confuse enjoyment of discussion with the idea that I feel my viewpoint is better..
I've remarked several times that it's far better to be skeptical minded and think critically than to be an atheist.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 04:57 AM
link   

Well, firstly, do you believe Santa Clause, or the Easter bunny, or whom ever is not real, or do you just not believe they exist?

In those cases, I have the belief that these are stories told only by people who believe them to be false. I reach that conclusion based on a vast body of volunteered confessions from the perps. I am also generally familiar with the capabilities of human beings and rabbits, and many of the stories are inconsistent with that knowledge.

I conclude that the subjects of the stories do not exist. I am "asantaclausist" and "abunnyist," rather than "santagnostic" or "bunnyagnostic."

Unfortunately, none of that is of much help to me in evaluating god stories. I have been told god stories by people whom I am convinced believe what they are saying. I am also less familiar with the capabilities of gods than of mammals, and so what knowledge I have is not necessarily inconsistent with some of the god stories I have been told.

Personally, I am a big fan of the heuristic "decide similar cases similarly." Unfortunately for a speedy resolution of the question of gods, there are reasons why the easy cases (Santa Claus, rhetorical teapots, sentient Italian entrees, ... ) are easy.


As far as myself, don't confuse enjoyment of discussion with the idea that I feel my viewpoint is better..
I've remarked several times that it's far better to be skeptical minded and think critically than to be an atheist.

Absolutely. I didn't mean to suggest that you personally were in any way overstepping the bounds of enjoyable discussion. My remark was descriptive of some other people.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 08:08 AM
link   


Unfortunately, none of that is of much help to me in evaluating god stories. I have been told god stories by people whom I am convinced believe what they are saying. I am also less familiar with the capabilities of gods than of mammals, and so what knowledge I have is not necessarily inconsistent with some of the god stories I have been told.

But are you familiar with how people create stories to explain things they do not know?
Are you familiar with how people will believe things that are not true, like homeopathy or what have you, just because people believe in what they are saying doesn't make it true.

Santa Clause and the Easter bunny et all are much the same as God stories, however we later find out they were made up.
History gives us the ability to look back and see how much of religion was founded, developed, and in many cases, eventually died.

Myself, I know a little bit about he natural world, and what I know of it doesn't have much need of Gods.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 09:46 AM
link   
reply to post by kallisti36
 


I currently live in the most Catholic nation on the face of planet Earth. We are so Catholic that we don't allow for divorce. I grew up in the United States with quite religious individuals as parents. I was enrolled at a Catholic High School when I renounced Catholicism.

I didn't grow up with nightmares of hell (except when I watched scary movies as a small child, bad idea). My parents weren't lukewarm about religion either. They were reasonable about it. We went to Church, volunteered with the Church, my mother worked with the St. Vincent DePaul society, my father helped organize Church fundraising events. When I was in a public school I would be taken out on Catholic holidays like Good Friday so that we could celebrate properly etc.

I decided to renounce Catholicism when I started to look more deeply into the religion after I truly realized that there were different people with different beliefs. I then started to look for the right religion for me, but even the most deeply passionate religious individuals who wouldn't be described as crazy couldn't do anything for me.

If I were the product of my surroundings I would have been a lot more convinced by the youth group I used to attend (I attended it because my best friend would go)



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:31 AM
link   
RuneSpider


But are you familiar with how people create stories to explain things they do not know?

I've often heard that claimed as an origin for religion. Whenever I have asked for evidence, I have been rebuffed.

It is far more plausible to me that some religions, once established, experienced "mission creep," just as other human institutions typically do. That some Twenty-First Century Christian fundamentalists think Genesis explains biological speciation is not evidence that thirty centuries ago any Hebrew folk thought the story was more than a claim that their national God is a big deal compared with what their neighbors worshipped.


Are you familiar with how people will believe things that are not true, like homeopathy or what have you, just because people believe in what they are saying doesn't make it true.

If I thought that "Because people believe in what they are saying makes it true," and I have reported that "I have been told god stories by people whom I am convinced believe what they are saying," then I couldn't be an agnostic. But I am. So, you have your answers. You already did before you asked.

Many people make many claims about many things. An efficient filter is whether the person is obviously speaking contrary to their own belief. That filter catches Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the usual run of improvised counterfactual hypotheticals. Use of the filter saves scarce investigational resources for harder problems, like whether there are any true god stories.


Santa Clause and the Easter bunny et all are much the same as God stories, however we later find out they were made up.

Tell you what, when I find out that every god story was made up, I'll start a thread. In the meantime, I'll pursue other avenues of investigation.


History gives us the ability to look back and see how much of religion was founded, developed, and in many cases, eventually died.

Christianity and Islam began in historical times. Yet, people still debate whether or not Jesus really lived, something claimed by both of those religions, and an important tenet of both. Did they make that up? Who knows?

History's help is appreciated, but it's not lavish, and not dispositive of the underlying ontological problem.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 01:22 PM
link   
reply to post by eight bits
 




I've often heard that claimed as an origin for religion. Whenever I have asked for evidence, I have been rebuffed.


I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

We have multiple examples of origins of religions and Gods being tied to natural phenomena, like Zeus and Storms and Horus and the Sun and Moon.
Even today, every natural disaster is an example of the Christian God's will.



If I thought that "Because people believe in what they are saying makes it true," and I have reported that "I have been told god stories by people whom I am convinced believe what they are saying," then I couldn't be an agnostic. But I am. So, you have your answers. You already did before you asked.


Then why did you bring it up? I'm not saying you a theist, but it has no real regard on what we're discussing from what I can see.




Many people make many claims about many things. An efficient filter is whether the person is obviously speaking contrary to their own belief. That filter catches Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the usual run of improvised counterfactual hypotheticals. Use of the filter saves scarce investigational resources for harder problems, like whether there are any true god stories.

So... what makes God more likely than Santa Clause?

Both are supernatural being, and while parents carry out the role of Santa Clause at Christmas, don't also the holy orders of other religions state they do the work of their God? (Controversial though that may be.)

Ultimately, both has the same amount of evidence and cultural relevance as the other.



Tell you what, when I find out that every god story was made up, I'll start a thread. In the meantime, I'll pursue other avenues of investigation.

I'd recommend reading books that detail the traceable history of religions, how Gods arose, where they arose from, and how they changed over time.
Some very interesting reading about the cultural history of the people who practiced these faiths.



Christianity and Islam began in historical times. Yet, people still debate whether or not Jesus really lived, something claimed by both of those religions, and an important tenet of both. Did they make that up? Who knows?


Both started within historical times, but only Muhammad left any historical evidence.
Outside of the Bible, nothing exist for Jesus, and even in the New Testament there exists many contradictions and differences in the stories.
Islam co-opted parts of Christianity and Judaism into itself.
What we do know is that there existed in the area at around that time, many different people who stated they were the son of god or the messiah, and certain qualities of Jesus are very similar to qualities of religion from that area.
It's likely, that like Robin Hood later on Jesus was created from stories surrounding many of these supposed prophets and messiahs, and exaggerations for good storytelling.


edit on 28-11-2010 by RuneSpider because: (no reason given)



new topics

top topics



 
4
<< 1  2  3    5 >>

log in

join