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I don't think theists understand that we just don't believe...

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posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:05 AM
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Here's my assertion, some (not all) theists simply cannot wrap their head against the concept that there are people who do not believe as they do. Even those who seem to accept it often display behaviors which tip their subconscious bias.

These theists, typically Christians on this forum so I'll be using Christian perspectives on the issue, think that atheists aren't actually those who don't believe in a deity. Instead they think that atheists are 'in rebellion'. I think this problem is very detrimental to the discourse, as it's really hard for people to have a reasoned conversation when one side refuses to acknowledge that the other side actually does not believe.

But not to lay the blame solely on theists, I know of atheists who think that theists are no sincere in their beliefs and 'know that they're wrong' so to speak. Why? Well, it's actually something called solipsism. Basically it's the idea that everyone believes and behaves similarly to you. Liars will be very hesitant to trust the statements of others, honest individuals will be more trusting. It's just a fact of the human condition.

Of course, like many facts of the human condition, I'd say that it would be best if we could do our best in overcoming it for the sake of the discussion. I often have trouble myself overcoming my own worldview to try and see thins from a Christian perspective, but that often helps me to understand the other side. It also helps me not get as upset when people disagree with me. This tactic has often helped me with teaching, as I teach English as a foreign language and getting past the idea of what makes sense to you about the language is key.

So let's overcome this little human tendency for the sake of the discussion.




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


ORRRRR.

Don't bother.

Creationist vs Evolutionist debates don't ever get anywhere and never produce anything new.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:32 AM
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Theists understand.

But if they are Christians, they believe they can't be good Christians unless they are proselytizing. What bigger prize than a "reformed" atheist??

I understand you don't believe. And I don't care to attack you for your beliefs (or lack thereof) any more than I want you to attack me for mine. AGREE TO DISAGREE. And move on.

I'm sorry so-called Christians have pushed you into such a corner that you feel the need to be on the offensive. But I understand it. Some of the worst people I have known in my life call themselves Christians.

(disclaimer: I do not identify with Christianity)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:38 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Might I suggest that you're completely obsessed with the belief/disbelief in God? If you're satisfied with your own perspective, why constantly drag everyone else's in to the picture?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:42 AM
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I tried to explain it to a friend a few days ago with this... Christians are only one step away from Atheism then I am. They denounce all other Gods except their own... I denounce all gods including theirs.

It's not that I don't want to believe. I really wish I could.... I just can't wrap my "rational" head around it.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by TechUnique
 


Um...aside from the fact that I'm talking about theist vs atheist rather than creationism vs evolution....those sorts of debates actually do produce something. I have a friend who, through polite conversation about his creationist beliefs, came to realize that evolution is true. Furthermore, the atheist community itself is littered with ex-creationists...so...sort of goes against your point.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:54 AM
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reply to post by Hawking
 



Originally posted by Hawking
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Might I suggest that you're completely obsessed with the belief/disbelief in God?


Spending a bit of time on the internet discussing it is hardly obsession. Frankly, it would be better for you to claim that I'm obsessed with visual storytelling media, as I spend far more time viewing and studying those than I do thinking about this subject.



If you're satisfied with your own perspective, why constantly drag everyone else's in to the picture?


Because I live in a world with different people who have different opinions on different issues. It's not just the belief in a deity that has weight in what I'm talking about, as I specifically brought up the idea in other contexts like honest people being more trusting and dishonest people being far less.

It's just a general human problem but I see it most in discussions on religion.

Oh, it's also because I'm aware that I have been wrong about things before and will continue to be wrong about things in the future, so I like to make sure I'm not wrong.
edit on 8/6/11 by madnessinmysoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I am a theist that subscribes to some Christian teachings. I have no problem with Atheists, and I do understand that you guys don't believe in God. I understand that your world view is based in science and scientific evidence, and so is mine, but I am willing to say that there are some things that I can't or don't understand and that there may be a higher power at work. My problem is with the combative and belligerent Atheists that insult Christians (although some Christians bring that on themselves). My problem is that it seems that Atheists in general consider themselves smarter and more educated than someone that believes in God, which to me is just another form of an elitist mentality. I know that last statement is a broad generalization and not all Atheists are like that, but I have rarely come across one that isn't.

Maddness, I must say that in all of the threads that you and I have gone back and forth in that I do respect your point of view and you do make me reconsider some things. You can actually articulate your argument in a respectful and logical manner, and I can appreciate that even though I disagree with you most of the time. I also get the sense that you feel the same way, which is why I enjoy the discourse between you and I.

The one thing that I don't understand about Atheism is how can someone look at the beautiful and wondrous aspects of our universe... things like child birth, all the way to star creation, and not feel that there is a creator or other form of deity. I personally can't buy into the philosophy that everything we see around us, here on Earth and throughout the universe was created or exists from several random events that have taken place over a vast amount of time. To me, that is a lot of randomness, so much so that there is no way that it could be random, as least from my perspective.


edit on 8-6-2011 by OptimusSubprime because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 

I wouldn't say that this Christian believer can't accept a total non belief in theism of any form. My personal view is believe (or not) whatever you want. Each of us is responsible for our own life and the consequences of living it in the way we choose to. So, in my religious opinion, if you don't want to believe in heaven and its possible benefits, well that is not my problem - I have enough trouble of my own trying to be good enough to get there myself without worrying about trying to convert someone who simply doesn't want to be.

One thing I would say in support of your argument is that all too many Christians take it upon themselves to convert (well more like annoy the c@#p out of) as many people as they can. The bible does demand that we 'share the good news.' And this is where people get it all wrong. They tend to act like there is some kind of heavenly gameshow where the person with the most points for converting souls wins a prize.

I think you will agree that if you haven't heard about Jesus in this day and age you must have been living under a rock. So we can pretty much take it as job done, keep up the good work but for goodness sake stop annoying the people who don't to take part.

That's my 5 cents worth anyway


edit on 8-6-2011 by markosity1973 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:42 AM
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reply to post by TechUnique
 


you didnt read the op , did you ?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:43 AM
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Libertarian Christian here...I agree with what you say.

I wish people did believe as me, however...it is a free country...and you are a free thinking individual...so am I. As such..

Don't be offended when I ask you to a dinner or social event at church...and I won't be offended when you say.."No Thank you."



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:46 AM
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Originally posted by Hawking
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Might I suggest that you're completely obsessed with the belief/disbelief in God? If you're satisfied with your own perspective, why constantly drag everyone else's in to the picture?


May I turn your attention to the fact, that many ideological extremists have had a very negative impact on mankind in general. It's hardly an obsession to relate to that.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:47 AM
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Originally posted by AlreadyGone
Libertarian Christian here...I agree with what you say.

I wish people did believe as me, however...it is a free country...and you are a free thinking individual...so am I. As such..

Don't be offended when I ask you to a dinner or social event at church...and I won't be offended when you say.."No Thank you."


Great way of putting it... I couldn't agree with you more.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:48 AM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


I'd be more worried about travel costs than offense. Frankly, I attend such events with friends. I spent two years attending youth group events from two separate youth groups, one Catholic the other Presbyterian. Why? My two best friends would invite me to events. Paintball is fun whether its with a bunch of Christians or with other people. Volunteering at a homeless shelter was good regardless of who I was doing it with.

Hell, having lunch with my friend's youth minister which was basically a way for the minister to try and convert me from atheism to Presbyterianism (my friend didn't like the idea and was unaware of that intention and thoroughly apologized) was still a nice lunch even if I had to keep trying to explain that quoting "I am the way the truth and the light, there is no path to heaven except through me" (obviously not the direct quote but I don't memorize scripture, I'm sure all Christians are aware of the passage I'm referring to) wasn't a very good response to "But the idea of a singular path to salvation and happiness doesn't make sense".



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:54 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I'm a christian and i believe its well within your right as a human to not believe. And i don't have any plan on how to convert you
basically you have your own path to walk. Also debate on the subject of faith based beliefs is a hard thing to prove to anyone. The thing that still get's me and I'm only talking about me is free choice and the word omnipotent meaning all powerful to me that would mean god has the power to exist and to not exist. Thats kind of an oxymoron but never the less shows power over reality. Also the number of PI is interesting because its in everything yet by definition it has no end.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:54 AM
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reply to post by OptimusSubprime
 


I'm just going to address this last bit due to the courteous nature of the rest of the post:


The one thing that I don't understand about Atheism is how can someone look at the beautiful and wondrous aspects of our universe... things like child birth, all the way to star creation, and not feel that there is a creator or other form of deity.


Because it doesn't logically follow. That's the easiest way to put it. To me, one of the most beautiful things in nature is a thunderstorm, but that doesn't compel me to think that it's the work of Thor or Zeus, it just makes me acknowledge that the thunderstorm is wonderful.



I personally can't buy into the philosophy that everything we see around us, here on Earth and throughout the universe was created or exists from several random events that have taken place over a vast amount of time.


Why? That's the big issue.



To me, that is a lot of randomness, so much so that there is no way that it could be random, as least from my perspective.


But why could it not be random? And "random" is a slight misnomer...partially random and partially consequence of the laws of physics would be slightly more accurate.

Sure, that's a lot of randomness, but so is a game of bridge. My family sometimes plays bridge together after family dinners. Parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle....I don't participate because I find the game boring, but I do stay at the table and take part in the conversations. Now, that game of bridge itself is immensely random. It deals with probabilities with a lot of zeros attached.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:54 AM
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reply to post by OptimusSubprime
 


You wrote:

["The one thing that I don't understand about Atheism is how can someone look at the beautiful and wondrous aspects of our universe... things like child birth, all the way to star creation, and not feel that there is a creator or other form of deity. I personally can't buy into the philosophy that everything we see around us, here on Earth and throughout the universe was created or exists from several random events that have taken place over a vast amount of time. To me, that is a lot of randomness, so much so that there is no way that it could be random, as least from my perspective."]

Some mindsets are desperately searching for regressive 'explanations' of existence. Others take it more slowly and take it step by step. Some don't care at all.

The funny thing about the theist 'answer' is, that 'god' is the self-explaining endstation, specifically endorsed with guessed-at-qualities; whereas the agnostic's 'the unknown' seems to scare many extremist theists (first-hand observation on my part).



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I was raised a strict Christian and before I started questioning the beliefs I had been taught, I never would have understood atheism. I believed in God. I didn't know it was a belief. I thought it was fact. That's what we were taught. We were taught that QUESTIONING his existence was a huge sin. We didn't allow our minds to go there. It's amazing how strong religious indoctrination can be with a child.

IMO, atheists were wrong whether they denied God or really didn't believe in him (which I, too, didn't believe) There's no way (I thought) that someone could think God didn't really exist. They must have had a bad experience and turned against him. But their blasphemy would send them to hell.

My experience is that many theists think I'm just mad at God or have some other reason for 'ignoring' him. They think there must be some event in my life that turned me away from the "truth". My assumption is that they, too, have been taught not to entertain the thought that there may actually not be a God. It was a strong force in my life. It wasn't until after both my parents died that I felt free enough to explore the questions I had had since a very early age. Once I realized my beliefs, it was still a long time until I could vocalize the fact that my beliefs had changed. I still haven't told some of my family. It would just cause a rift that I don't want. I understand their beliefs and respect them, but I wouldn't expect the same from them.


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Well, it's actually something called solipsism. Basically it's the idea that everyone believes and behaves similarly to you.
...
So let's overcome this little human tendency for the sake of the discussion.


I didn't know about this! Thanks for posting about it. I think I actually have an easier time than most with this. I understand that religion gives many people peace and meaning. Who am I to say that they're wrong for believing that way? I believe what I believe and I don't expect it or like it when anyone tries to convince me that I'm wrong in my beliefs. I love information, but I don't like it thrust upon me and used as some sort of weapon to beat me with.
No one likes that. My beliefs are MY business. and other people's, theirs.

Very important thread, madness, my friend.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


I agree. I find this thread brilliant, and especially the pointing out of the solipsist implications.

Some of the protective mindset filters (and I admit they can be from all directions) are so massive, that not even a hammer and chisel could do anything about them.


edit on 8-6-2011 by bogomil because: word fell out



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Instead they think that atheists are 'in rebellion'. I think this problem is very detrimental to the discourse, as it's really hard for people to have a reasoned conversation when one side refuses to acknowledge that the other side actually does not believe.

. This tactic has often helped me with teaching, as I teach English as a foreign language and getting past the idea of what makes sense to you about the language is key.
.

I shudder that you have the same job that I do! I hope you don't ram your ideas down your students' throats, but I fear that you do...
I do think that you are "in rebellion", as your million-and-one atheist threads, and constant posts on threads where Christians have gathered shows a huge emotional commitment you wouldn't have, if you really didn;t believe - however deep down..



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