Hi from the UK!

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Hi from the UK!

Hi folks!

This forum looks like an interesting place to be Smiling. At one time I was  leaning very heavily towards Christianity, especially Catholicism, but now I am a Deist (ie. believe in God, not in organised religion, sacred religious texts etc.). Looking forward to joining in here.

 

Scout


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Welcome I am sure many

Welcome

 

I am sure many people here will be happy to try change your mind about that.


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Welcome Scott Feel free to

Welcome Scout Feel free to join in anytime.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Welcome aboard Scout.

Welcome to the forum.

I grew up in a heavily indoctrinated Catholic home. I abandoned the church in my late teens/early twenties period.

I spent a few years flirting around with new agey stuff, pagans, studying paranormal stuff, and even dabbled with some Buddhism before finally giving it completely up.

Today, I am an Atheist. I just don't believe any of it.

But, theists, atheists, deists and every other type of belief system are welcome to express their opinion here.

I guess I'll play devil's advocate and be the first one to ask : Do you mind sharing a little bit more about this creator that you believe in ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Scout wrote:Hi folks!This

Scout wrote:

Hi folks!

This forum looks like an interesting place to be Smiling. At one time I was  leaning very heavily towards Christianity, especially Catholicism, but now I am a Deist (ie. believe in God, not in organised religion, sacred religious texts etc.). Looking forward to joining in here.

 

Scout

You and Thomas Jefferson would be on my shit list. And Jefferson is one of my heros because he would defend me right now in my blasphemy in this post.

Just because, and I would argue with Jefferson, who was a flaming liberal for his time, that one claims a deity, by proxy of utterance, makes claimed deity to be real.

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god" Thomas Jefferson.

Rejecting organized religion isn't enough. It may avoid tribalism and politics, but it still suffers the delusion that self introspection and testing is not required.

"I am not like the others" which misses the point that "I am not like the others" is not the issue.

What can be proven is what matters. Sounding nice means nothing. Lots of religions and fictional stories sound nice, but what humanity does to filter bias is far more important.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

I grew up in a heavily indoctrinated Catholic home. I abandoned the church in my late teens/early twenties period.

I spent a few years flirting around with new agey stuff, pagans, studying paranormal stuff, and even dabbled with some Buddhism before finally giving it completely up.

Today, I am an Atheist. I just don't believe any of it.

But, theists, atheists, deists and every other type of belief system are welcome to express their opinion here.

I guess I'll play devil's advocate and be the first one to ask : Do you mind sharing a little bit more about this creator that you believe in ?

 

I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. Sad My father's family were pretty strict Catholics, although my father and mother were never religious. Actually I think there was a bit of a row when I was born because my parents wouldn't get me baptised! Later in life I became more interested in Christianity, and later Catholicism. Never became a regular attender at any church, though, so my interest mainly expressed itself in reading books and browsing the internet. My online experience with Catholicism over the last year or so has been an eye-opener, to put it mildly. Recently I've started a blog to try to expose some of what is going on!

Although I reject Christianity and other religions, I still believe in God because God makes absolute sense to me. There are two basic proofs of God, namely the fact of existence (how else did we get here?) and the fact of conscience (how else is it we have such an innate sense of right and wrong?). I also believe in prayer and having a personal relationship with God, which marks me out from a lot of other Deists. Although I enjoy some of the bible and admire some parts of Christianity, I deeply distrust the way religion is used to manipulate and control people.


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Standard response - how did

Standard response - how did God get here? 

Unless your Deist God is just a label for an elemental force with no aspect of Mind or Will, 'God' only complicates any attempt to explain why we are here, since you have not explained how God got here.

Conscience, a sense of right and wrong, is easily explained by the natural evolution of social creatures.

Anyway, Welcome!

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Scout wrote:Although I

Scout wrote:

Although I reject Christianity and other religions, I still believe in God because God makes absolute sense to me. There are two basic proofs of God, namely the fact of existence (how else did we get here?)

The conditions for life to arise on our planet were right, and so life arose.  There's no life on Jupiter... must be because there is no God, eh?

 

Quote:
and the fact of conscience (how else is it we have such an innate sense of right and wrong?).

We don't really.  We create a social contract essentially.  We've learned that if everyone is good to others we will live better lives.  There are still folks out there with a broken conscience.  If conscience is your proof of God, then does Jeffrey Dahmer prove that there is no god?

Science has answers to questions about how we have a conscience: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/the-discover-interview-marc-hauser

" The moral grammar evolved, he believes, because restraints on behavior are required for social living and have been favored by natural selection because of their survival value." NY TIMES

 

There are a great many theories that make sense in replacement of your absolutely ludicrous theory that a god who seems to care nothing about human suffering gave us the ability to want to be good.  We're a horribly violent society, and you see a divine conscience given there?  We still don't have the type of conscience we must evolve in order to make it another 25,000 years... but we're getting there.

Charles Darwin had something to say about how we develop morals:

Charles Darwin Descent of Man Chapter 5 wrote:
Turning now to the social and moral faculties. In order that primeval men, or the ape-like progenitors of man, should become social, they must have acquired the same instinctive feelings, which impel other animals to live in a body; and they no doubt exhibited the same general disposition. They would have felt uneasy when separated from their comrades, for whom they would have felt some degree of love; they would have warned each other of danger, and have given mutual aid in attack or defence. All this implies some degree of sympathy, fidelity, and courage. Such social qualities, the paramount importance of which to the lower animals is disputed by no one, were no doubt acquired by the progenitors of man in a similar manner, namely, through natural selection, aided by inherited habit. When two tribes of primeval man, living in the same country, came into competition, if (other circumstances being equal) the one tribe included a great number of courageous, sympathetic and faithful members, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other, this tribe would succeed better and conquer the other. Let it be borne in mind how all- important in the never-ceasing wars of savages, fidelity and courage must be. The advantage which disciplined soldiers have over undisciplined hordes follows chiefly from the confidence which each man feels in his comrades. Obedience, as Mr. Bagehot has well shewn (5. See a remarkable series of articles on ‘Physics and Politics,’ in the ‘Fortnightly Review,’ Nov. 1867; April 1, 1868; July 1, 1869, since separately published.), is of the highest value, for any form of government is better than none. Selfish and contentious people will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be effected. A tribe rich in the above qualities would spread and be victorious over other tribes: but in the course of time it would, judging from all past history, be in its turn overcome by some other tribe still more highly endowed. Thus the social and moral qualities would tend slowly to advance and be diffused throughout the world.

 

 

Quote:
I also believe in prayer

http://www.rationalresponders.com/prayer_doesnt_work

 

Quote:
having a personal relationship with God, which marks me out from a lot of other Deists.

Basically you're not a deist... you created your own God to suit your specific needs.  Nobody in the world believes in exactly your version of God.  You are the only one, and you are it's creator.  It suits your needs, your desires, and maybe someday you'll want to be truly honest with yourself... and it'll be a remnant of your past.  

 

Quote:
Although I enjoy some of the bible and admire some parts of Christianity, I deeply distrust the way religion is used to manipulate and control people.

It's still controlling you.  Look inside, look at reality... they don't match. 

 

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Scout wrote: I'm sorry to

Scout wrote:

 

I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. Sad My father's family were pretty strict Catholics, although my father and mother were never religious. Actually I think there was a bit of a row when I was born because my parents wouldn't get me baptised! Later in life I became more interested in Christianity, and later Catholicism. Never became a regular attender at any church, though, so my interest mainly expressed itself in reading books and browsing the internet. My online experience with Catholicism over the last year or so has been an eye-opener, to put it mildly. Recently I've started a blog to try to expose some of what is going on!

Although I reject Christianity and other religions, I still believe in God because God makes absolute sense to me. There are two basic proofs of God, namely the fact of existence (how else did we get here?) and the fact of conscience (how else is it we have such an innate sense of right and wrong?). I also believe in prayer and having a personal relationship with God, which marks me out from a lot of other Deists. Although I enjoy some of the bible and admire some parts of Christianity, I deeply distrust the way religion is used to manipulate and control people.

Yes, the truth about organized religions has probably lead alot of people away from the churches, the mosques and the synagogues. Which I think is a good thing of course.

I was alot like you for a long time. I had rejected the notion of any particular brand of what god might/might not be, but could not move past the notion that some sort of creator or deity had to be behind all of it.

I applaud your effort to expose the lies and show the truth behind the church. Any effort to expose people to the truth is a rather noble thing in my opinion.

Had I not started reading up on science, evolution and other like minded subjects (as well as much of the feedback on sites like this one) I may have never made the transition from a believer in a creator into an Atheist.

Would you say, that there might be a chance that god does not exist ? How do you feel that it might change your perspective ?

I went through a pretty bitter period, when I first gave up the idea of a god existing. However, that bitterness was soon replaced by absolute wonder, when I began delving into the mysteries of science and what it had to offer.

Becoming an atheist was a very liberating experience for me. I am certainly grateful for all that I went through with religion to become the man that I am today. However, everyone is different in how they arrive at their conclusions and beliefs. You seem to be open-minded to other possibilities, otherwise you probably would not be here.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Hey Scout,Hope I didn't come

Hey Scout,

Hope I didn't come across too condescendingly dismissive of your beliefs.

Those kind of feelings are very common and natural for us humans. Especially if you have been exposed to belief systems which build on them to create the elaborate narratives of religious doctrine.

It can take quite a bit of objective reasoning and learning to get to the point where you can see why they aren't so 'obviously' true as you may have felt at first.

Many here have been through such a process, although not so much myself. My father was not religious, and my mother was only 'conventionaly' religious, in a not very deep way, as is much more common in my country (Australia) than in places like the US. So I never really bought into it, except in a very vague way, as young child, picking up a bit of the general feelings of people around me that religion somehow had some special position in society, deserving of some 'respect'.

But once I got to be able to start reading about science and such, that vague feeling quickly melted away, much as had belief in Santa Claus at a much earlier age.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Welcome! I find deism to be

Welcome!

I find deism to be relatively harmless, so this is one atheist who won't hound your belief. Just stay away from organised religions. Eye-wink

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Scout wrote:Hi folks!This

Scout wrote:

Hi folks!

This forum looks like an interesting place to be Smiling. At one time I was  leaning very heavily towards Christianity, especially Catholicism, but now I am a Deist (ie. believe in God, not in organised religion, sacred religious texts etc.). Looking forward to joining in here.

 

Scout

Welcome.

Let us help push you away from even your deism.

What if, what is really going on is merely in your head? What if it is merely "sounds nice"? Some people who rightfully reject ancient myth cling to a generic idea for the same reason. It is an attempt to save face but still cling to the past.

What I see humans doing, even you, is allowing their "sense of awe" fill in gaps. Your "gap answer" simply has less baggage than the established myths of the past.

The bottom line is, even if you don't assign a label or religion to your "generic deity" you still have the same problem.

Thoughts require a material process.. Thoughts are not things, but a result of material processes. There is no such thing as a non-material invisible thinking being. Not even a generic one.

You need to consider that a "what" is what is going on and not the cause of a "who". If you can accept that a hurricane is not caused by an Ocean god, then why would the universe or life in it need to be the cause of a "who" either.

When people, even the generic types like you, fall for their "sense of awe" they forget all the nasty stuff in life too. Your deity, whatever you think it is, would also have to be responsible for tsunamis, cancer, pedeophilia, ecoli, the Holocaust, crime and famine.

However, when you strip all life of invisible beings of any kind, even the generic, the good and bad in life can be studied and dealt with and managed lots better than assuming a cosmic sky friend.

If you can accept that Thor did not make lightening. And you can accept that you wont get 72 virgins, then you should also be able to accept why I reject your generic god claim too.

The only difference between you and I is that I reject one more god claim than you do. Understand why you reject all other god claims, and you will understand why I reject yours as well.

And keep in mind that I am not challenging you out of hate or bigotry. I am very fair to all claims of deities and I really am merely trying to get you to consider that even you got it wrong.

Welcome.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Hey Scout

Hey Scout,

I had time to read your Catholic Watch Blog last night. Great stuff. Keep up the good work in that area.

The huge and corrupt corporation that I used to be a member of ( The Catholic Church) needs exposure.

I wonder how many innocent Catholics are out there, that have no idea what their ruling hierarchy is up to.

People need to know.

Someone on another forum, attacked me the other day with "You should be ashamed to talk that way about your former faith, considering all the Catholic Church has done for impoverished nations,".

My answer was " If the Catholic Church REALLY cared about those nations, they should turn loose of their billions and give it oer to the people without trying to bribe them into conversion for every plate of food or antibiotic that they fork over,".

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:Hey

harleysportster wrote:

Hey Scout,

I had time to read your Catholic Watch Blog last night. Great stuff. Keep up the good work in that area.

The huge and corrupt corporation that I used to be a member of ( The Catholic Church) needs exposure.

I wonder how many innocent Catholics are out there, that have no idea what their ruling hierarchy is up to.

People need to know.

Someone on another forum, attacked me the other day with "You should be ashamed to talk that way about your former faith, considering all the Catholic Church has done for impoverished nations,".

My answer was " If the Catholic Church REALLY cared about those nations, they should turn loose of their billions and give it oer to the people without trying to bribe them into conversion for every plate of food or antibiotic that they fork over,".


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Thanks everybody for your

Thanks everybody for your warm welcomes. I ought to have expected to be challenged about my belief in the guy upstairs. Smiling To be honest, I do not think there is so much difference between me and most atheists. "God" is a very confusing term and alienates a lot of people because it is so laden with associations. In many ways the difference between atheists and theists is more one of temperament, I think. We have different ways of expressing ourselves about the same thing.

I'm sorry you had a difficult experience with Catholicism, harley. I suppose I'm lucky that my own involvement with the religion was not more involved and prolonged than it was, but I still feel kinda scathed inside from my experience. Thanks for praising my blog, I love to hear that (not that I'm vain lol!). Hope you'll pop in to see it again. I'm always grateful for comments and feedback.

Someone on another forum, attacked me the other day with "You should be ashamed to talk that way about your former faith, considering all the Catholic Church has done for impoverished nations,".

My answer was " If the Catholic Church REALLY cared about those nations, they should turn loose of their billions and give it oer to the people without trying to bribe them into conversion for every plate of food or antibiotic that they fork over,".

Last month I visited Rome, and had a chance to visit Vatican City. It was the biggest tourist trap I've ever seen. Holy water on sale, 10 euros for 50ml. Lucky Pope John Paul II blessed golf balls on sale in the Vatican museum. All the religious merchandise you can imagine being marketed shamelessly...I will never take Catholic bishops seriously again when they blather on about "materialism"!!!

Going back to hunger around the world...a while ago I read an article about Mother Teresa. Apparently she believed "saving souls" was more important than improving physical conditions for the suffering. This was part of her justification for discouraging condoms, even though they could help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. Very sad, really.


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Scout wrote: Last month I

Scout wrote:

 

Last month I visited Rome, and had a chance to visit Vatican City. It was the biggest tourist trap I've ever seen. Holy water on sale, 10 euros for 50ml. Lucky Pope John Paul II blessed golf balls on sale in the Vatican museum. All the religious merchandise you can imagine being marketed shamelessly...I will never take Catholic bishops seriously again when they blather on about "materialism"!!!

Going back to hunger around the world...a while ago I read an article about Mother Teresa. Apparently she believed "saving souls" was more important than improving physical conditions for the suffering. This was part of her justification for discouraging condoms, even though they could help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. Very sad, really.

I had some family members (devout Catholics) that made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, a few years back. Even they, were somewhat taken aback by the mass commercialism being pushed by the church. Everywhere they turned were relics, rosaries, and holy water for sale.

Of course, they did not blame the church for this, they twisted it around and said that the church needs all the help to protect people from an extremely secular world.

Christopher Hitchens (famous british Atheist writer and hero of mine) exposed Mother Teresa for the fraud and insane person that she really was on an episode of Penn and Teller's "Bullshit".

Actually, that episode exposed the famous characters like the Dalai Lama, Gandhi and Mother Teresa for what they really are and it is not too pretty of a picture.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

Christopher Hitchens (famous british Atheist writer and hero of mine) exposed Mother Teresa for the fraud and insane person that she really was on an episode of Penn and Teller's "Bullshit".

Ok, one.   Teresa wasn't a fraud, nor was she insane.   She was a tragic person that wanted desperately to be a good person, that desperately wanted to believe in god, but she was intelligent enough and wise enough to realize, deep down, that she was mistaken about the existence of god.

Teresa is not deserving of our atheist scorn.

She helped desperately poor and devastated people.   Atheists, good people who are atheists, say this is a good thing.

She was intelligent enough to understand that the concept that god exists is bankrupt.   Again, atheists say this is a good thing.

While Penn and Teller's show is entertaining sometimes, I've seen a couple episodes that were so full of bullshit and illogical premises I was horribly disappointed.

Penn and Teller are no gods either.   They're just idjuts like you and I.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Watcher wrote: While Penn

Watcher wrote:

 

While Penn and Teller's show is entertaining sometimes, I've seen a couple episodes that were so full of bullshit and illogical premises I was horribly disappointed.

Penn and Teller are no gods either.   They're just idjuts like you and I.

First of all, I never said that Penn and Teller were gods. They are entertainers. I don't always agree with them nor do I necessarily care for all of the vulgar humor that is on their show.

However, it is not just them that states these facts of Mother Teresa.

For instance :

http://motherteresawasafraud.blogspot.com/

http://mostlywater.org/mother_teresa_faithless_fraud_and_hypocrite

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

http://christianwatchindia.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/mother-teresa-is-a-fraud-says-former-catholic-sister/

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa

Part 1 :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WQ0i3nCx60

Part 2 :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0UpVoSPIZI&feature=related

Part 3 :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0UpVoSPIZI&feature=related

Woman was obsessed with doing away with abortion and contraceptives in Calcutta.

Also did not want the church to allow divorces.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno