I figured out why people are Theists!

Larty
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I figured out why people are Theists!

I had a talk with two theologians, and I gained some new insight into Theism. Obviously they wanted to defend their belief in existence of God, but they weren't fundementalists. So here's what I figured out:

Theists believe in God, because they don't have faith in the power of rational thought, and some Theist's nature simply does not allow rational thinking. Rational thought is what creates science. We can now save people's lives, heal the sick and even bring back the dead, because rational thought has given a rise to science, wich allows these god-like powers. With technology one can fix everything. That's what I believe.

 The problem is that most Theists are more emotional than rational. They don't believe the powers of science, because their nature doesn't allow them to understand it. Emotional people believe in God because their belief appeals to emotions. You all know that already. If an emotional Theist's beliefs are challenged, they simply ignore it, because their highly emotional minds can't stand the truth that Atheists have to handle all the time: They are very alone, very insignificant in a very, very huge universe.

So what do they do, or more like what their minds do? Their brains create them the God delusion. The subconcious mind of a Theist is well aware of the fact that it created God, and that God doesn't really exist, but that would just be too much for the concious mind to handle, so they cover it up! Their minds keep it in secret, so the delusion gives them hope to get through their lives.

Ofcourse, not all Theists are totally irrational and emotional, but maybe something just went wrong in the "God department" in their brains.

Any comments on my little theory? 

 And uhh. I'm new here and I can't find a way to search the forums. Undecided

Trust and believe in no god, but trust and believe in yourself.


wavefreak
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I think the search function

I think the search function is only available to paid members.

I think you have a point. I am a theist in part because I don't believe rational processes can EVER fuilly describe reality.  But I have no fear of science. Though as of today, I don't see any evidence that science will "cure what ails humanity". Too much of the bad is out of the control of science. Science is neutral. Give fission to one and you get a bomb. Give it to another and you get power plants.

I would also take issue with anybody that denies the irrational part of their nature. To ignore an important part of what you are is un-realistic.


LosingStreak06
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There are very few things

There are very few things more annoying than theists trying to argue that atheists actually do believe in a god subconsciously. One of those things is atheists trying to argue that theists really don't.

Other than that, you've got an alright theory. Not only do I not trust rational thought, I don't like it. It bores me, and it bothers me that some people can be utterly fascinated by something so dull. If I had it my way, we would get rid of it altogether, although perhaps that's a bit too extreme. Rational thinking can be a useful tool, from time to time.


triften
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Welcome to the boards,

Welcome to the boards, Larty.

I think your theory sounds pretty good, but an important part (to me) is to examine why people tend to be so emotional. Nietzsche talked about and Robert Price brings up in his book, Reason-Driven Life, the "slave morality" in which people's moral growth is stunted by religion and they can never get past the stage of "I shouldn't do this because so-and-so says so". I think that this contributes greatly to an immaturity that reaches far and wide across their psyche. Additionally, Christian beliefs of hell certainly don't help people develop any great sense of empathy.

-Triften 


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:

There are very few things more annoying than theists trying to argue that atheists actually do believe in a god subconsciously.

I'm with you on this.

 

LosingStreak06 wrote:
Not only do I not trust rational thought, I don't like it. It bores me, and it bothers me that some people can be utterly fascinated by something so dull.

Do you not realize almost every theist uses rational thought every day in their life, but just exclude the god area from this scrutiny?

LosingStreak06 wrote:
If I had it my way, we would get rid of it altogether, although perhaps that's a bit too extreme.

Reeeeeally? So you rather people choose a doctor with no critical thought at all? Or choose a school without rationality? Or choose a job without even thinking about it? We should all live a life based on emotion and superstition and leave thought out of it?

Huh. That's fucking crazy.


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I don't know...I think with

I don't know...I think with theism it's just a combination of fear of the unknown, the feeling of being accepted by a community, and the comfort of doing something you're used to doing.

I'm not saying all 3 apply, but I think those are the 3 biggest reasons surrounding theists. 

I know a couple irrational emotional people that are still atheists but just don't go through the efforts of researching the scientific angle and are quite content saying "I don't know, but the bible is crazy". 


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Quote: I had a talk with

Quote:

I had a talk with two theologians, and I gained some new insight into Theism. Obviously they wanted to defend their belief in existence of God, but they weren't fundementalists. So here's what I figured out:

Theists believe in God, because they don't have faith in the power of rational thought, and some Theist's nature simply does not allow rational thinking. Rational thought is what creates science. We can now save people's lives, heal the sick and even bring back the dead, because rational thought has given a rise to science, wich allows these god-like powers. With technology one can fix everything. That's what I believe.

 The problem is that most Theists are more emotional than rational. They don't believe the powers of science, because their nature doesn't allow them to understand it. Emotional people believe in God because their belief appeals to emotions. You all know that already. If an emotional Theist's beliefs are challenged, they simply ignore it, because their highly emotional minds can't stand the truth that Atheists have to handle all the time: They are very alone, very insignificant in a very, very huge universe.

So what do they do, or more like what their minds do? Their brains create them the God delusion. The subconcious mind of a Theist is well aware of the fact that it created God, and that God doesn't really exist, but that would just be too much for the concious mind to handle, so they cover it up! Their minds keep it in secret, so the delusion gives them hope to get through their lives.

Ofcourse, not all Theists are totally irrational and emotional, but maybe something just went wrong in the "God department" in their brains.

Any comments on my little theory?

I generally get annoyed when people fail to see the obvious, but I'll make an exception this time.

I'll try to make a parallel to football, as an explanation. What happens in football? I'm not refering to the players, but to the supporters, the spectators. I believe that what happens today in football is known, or, at least, should be known, to everybody. Fans of different teams that willgo so far as to kick each other's asses just because "My team is better than yours!" Why does this happen, you ask? Is it because of a mania, is it because of a disorder, is it because people are crazy? And religion, from this point, is no different.

No, far from that! There's no disorder, no mania... I believe that Jesus describes the vast majority of his followers very well when he calls them "sheep".

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Hambydammit
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Quote: Not only do I not

Quote:
Not only do I not trust rational thought, I don't like it. It bores me, and it bothers me that some people can be utterly fascinated by something so dull. If I had it my way, we would get rid of it altogether, although perhaps that's a bit too extreme.

Wow.

I mean...

damn..

um..

I'm speechless.

 

uh...

 

Damn, there are too many theists quotes, and not enough signature space...

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
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I'm studying physics and I'm

I'm studying physics and I'm a theist.


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: Not only do I not

Quote:
Not only do I not trust rational thought, I don't like it. It bores me, and it bothers me that some people can be utterly fascinated by something so dull. If I had it my way, we would get rid of it altogether, although perhaps that's a bit too extreme.

Whoa, how did that escape unanswered?

Nice going, rummy! If you had any rational thought within you, you'd probably realize that you've just called yourself "a bum"... just like in your picture...

 

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


LosingStreak06
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BGH wrote: Reeeeeally? So

BGH wrote:

Reeeeeally? So you rather people choose a doctor with no critical thought at all? Or choose a school without rationality? Or choose a job without even thinking about it? We should all live a life based on emotion and superstition and leave thought out of it?

You make the mistake of assuming that all thought is rational. I'm all for thinking. I just happen to heavily prefer irrational thought to the rational variety, even though the former is much less compatible with reality.

BGH wrote:
Huh. That's fucking crazy.

My shrink said the same thing.


Tilberian
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I must say I don't agree

I must say I don't agree that most theists are irrational people overall. I think, as BGH has pointed out, that most theists are quite capable of absolute hardcore insistence on evidence and logic when it suits them. I notice that Christians and Christian churches are remarkably adept at not making irrational choices that might lead them to lose money, for instance.

The question is, why does this rationality get suspended and compartmentalized with regards to the question of God? I have a couple theories of my own:

1. The fear of death and loss due to death is too much for some people and they are compelled out of overwhelming emotion to cling to the belief that there is something beyond death.

2. Theists are people who don't really care about the answers to questions that don't affect them directly. They look on knowledge as a tool that serves a particular purpose rather than as a valuable item in and of itself. They ask themselves "What profits me more? To believe that the universe started with the Big Bang and have some people think that I'm smart? Or to believe that the God made the universe and thereby gain admittance to a club with lots of networking and community support opportunities?"  

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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Larty
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LosingStreak06 wrote: If I

LosingStreak06 wrote:

If I had it my way, we would get rid of it altogether, although perhaps that's a bit too extreme. 

I find it very hard to imagine that there's a human being thinking like that. That whole absurd idea seems so, very inhuman.

 

But all you other people make very good points. 

Trust and believe in no god, but trust and believe in yourself.


Iruka Naminori
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Larty wrote: I had a talk

Larty wrote:

I had a talk with two theologians, and I gained some new insight into Theism. Obviously they wanted to defend their belief in existence of God, but they weren't fundementalists. So here's what I figured out:

Theists believe in God, because they don't have faith in the power of rational thought, and some Theist's nature simply does not allow rational thinking. Rational thought is what creates science. We can now save people's lives, heal the sick and even bring back the dead, because rational thought has given a rise to science, wich allows these god-like powers. With technology one can fix everything. That's what I believe.

The problem is that most Theists are more emotional than rational. They don't believe the powers of science, because their nature doesn't allow them to understand it. Emotional people believe in God because their belief appeals to emotions. You all know that already. If an emotional Theist's beliefs are challenged, they simply ignore it, because their highly emotional minds can't stand the truth that Atheists have to handle all the time: They are very alone, very insignificant in a very, very huge universe.

So what do they do, or more like what their minds do? Their brains create them the God delusion. The subconcious mind of a Theist is well aware of the fact that it created God, and that God doesn't really exist, but that would just be too much for the concious mind to handle, so they cover it up! Their minds keep it in secret, so the delusion gives them hope to get through their lives.

Ofcourse, not all Theists are totally irrational and emotional, but maybe something just went wrong in the "God department" in their brains.

Any comments on my little theory?

And uhh. I'm new here and I can't find a way to search the forums. Undecided

Larty, I am an extremely emotional and sensitive person and I was able to overcome massive brainwashing with very little help.  My reasons for ceasing to be a theist were for both emotional and logical reasons. 

There may be some truth to what you are saying; however, I think "emotional" people get a bad rap in this society.  Dr. Elaine Aron's research indicates that between 15 and 20% of the population (including "higher" animals) share high sensitivity.  I've read her book and she seems to have some good insights, but because I also very much care about logic, I would like to see more studies and numbers.

Here's a short list of her observations:

  • This trait is normal--it is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and indeed the same percentage seems to be present in all higher animals.
  • Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener (although they may be). But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.
  • Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.
  • This trait is not something new I discovered--it has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited.
  • The reason for these negative misnomers and general lack of research on the subject is that in this culture being tough and outgoing is the preferred or ideal personality--not high sensitivity. (Therefore in the past the research focus has been on sensitivity's potential negative impact on sociability and boldness, not the phenomenon itself or its purpose.) This cultural bias affects HSPs as much as their trait affects them, as I am sure you realize. Even those who loved you probably told you, "don't be so sensitive," making you feel abnormal when in fact you could do nothing about it and it is not abnormal at all.

Nations like Sweden and China tend to value the trait of high sensitivity more than our own society, so I'm kind of on my own in some ways.  But that's also the price an out-of-the-closet atheist pays. 

Dr. Aron contends that the highly sensitive tend to be more "spiritual" and function better in the role of a "priestly advisor."  Reading her words as an atheist rather baffled me because I think I'm probably very, very much an HSP, but I don't buy any of that supernatural crap.  In China, many people are Buddhists, which can be more of a philosophy than a religion.  Of course, lots of Buddhists also believe in reincarnation, which is a load of horseshit.

What I think is necessary is to give theists both logical and emotional arguments for leaving religion.  So far, sites like RRS focus mostly on the logical, but there are also very good emotional reasons for leaving religion:

  • The Abrahamic religions threaten disbelievers and sinners with hellfire.  This is abusive and unhealthy.  Freedom from religion is freedom from fear.
  • When I was a Christian, I couldn't listen to rock music.  I couldn't say certain words.  I had to vote Republican (ew!!!).  I couldn't admit to having some liberal values.  I was not valued as a woman.  Freedom from religion means freedom from stupid rules that have nothing to do with morality.

So, the pluses are mostly freedom from certain aspects of religion that cause psychic pain.  Because Christianity turns people into clones, it only makes sense that people leaving Christianity would find different positives when freed from dogma. Here's a partial list from my perspective:

  • I can be interested in nature, natural history and evolution because it's way cool!
  • I don't have to worry that what I watch, listen to or read will lead me away from Jesus.  I can watch any movie I want, listen to any music I want, read any book I want.
  • I can be who I am. I no longer have to be like Jesus...whatever the hell that meant!
  • I can just relax and stop worrying about ending up in hell...what a HUGE relief

There should also be a list that reflects something other than freedom from religion...I'm working on that.  Any ideas?

When a person leaves religion in this society, the positives can be outweighed by the negatives due to existential crises, medieval attitudes and outright bigotry. Much on the following list happened to me:

  • Loss of worldview.  This is HUGE.  It takes a long time to re-discover meaning in life.
  • Loss of friendships.  Often, someone who leaves his or her religion is shunned.
  • Loss of family or closeness with religious family members.  More of the same shit...sigh.
  • Loss of certainty.  Christians believe in an afterlife and that Jesus will take care of them in this life.  Of course, all that is an illusion, but dealing with the repercussions of losing such a belief can be life-shattering.
  • Loss of ready-made community.  A Christian can move anywhere and find ready-made friends.  An ex-Christian doesn't have it so easy.

If more people reject religion some of the sting will be taken out of the above list. But obviously, a highly sensitive person will be affected more than someone with a "normal" personality.

So, can you think of ways to mitigate the fallout?  Can you think of more positive things to offer someone leaving his or her religion? 

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LosingStreak06
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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
  • Loss of worldview. This is HUGE. It takes a long time to re-discover meaning in life.
  • Loss of friendships. Often, someone who leaves his or her religion is shunned.
  • Loss of family or closeness with religious family members. More of the same shit...sigh.
  • Loss of certainty. Christians believe in an afterlife and that Jesus will take care of them in this life. Of course, all that is an illusion, but dealing with the repercussions of losing such a belief can be life-shattering.
  • Loss of ready-made community. A Christian can move anywhere and find ready-made friends. An ex-Christian doesn't have it so easy.

There are other things as well. For example, the loss of faith in one's ability to properly reason and percieve the world around oneself. Surely a highly sensitive person would realize that the fact that he or she believed in something that was terribly wrong for so long had very deep implications about his or her cognitive abilities. 


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Good info on the Aron work,

Good info on the Aron work, Iruka.  I wasn't familiar with this research before: will have to check it out, thanks.  I also think it's interesting that if the percentage of HSP people in a population tends to remain more or less constant (as with autistic spectrum disorders) that suggests an adaptive function in evolutionary psychology terms.

Also I wanted to say that I had a really similar experience leaving behind my religion.  One of my major gripes about being a Christian was that it put such sweeping, inflexible, obviously arbitrary restrictions on my thinking and enjoyment of life. Leaving was accompanied by a huge sense of relief to be able to read any book I wanted again to without worrying that the devil would get my soul.

That's my personal answer to Pascal's wager.  What do I have to lose if I believe in a God who doesn't actually exist?  The other 80% of a rich and diverse life experience.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert