heart to heart -rather than- fact to fact

sapphen
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heart to heart -rather than- fact to fact

want to try something new in this post.  take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.

it's not that you can't use facts to support your points but i want the meat of why.  i want to give everyone the freedom to put down our guards and tell a story of what impacted you the most or a thought of why we believe what we do.  what was the breaking point or what was your personal proof?

too often we got lost in what ways to debate another person and we don't slow down and have a conversation.   you can get crazy if you want in here cause the box is boundless, step out here and lets embrace the sincerity of our minds.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote: want to try

sapphen wrote:
want to try something new in this post. take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.

it's not that you can't use facts to support your points but i want the meat of why. i want to give everyone the freedom to put down our guards and tell a story of what impacted you the most or a thought of why we believe what we do. what was the breaking point or what was your personal proof?

too often we got lost in what ways to debate another person and we don't slow down and have a conversation. you can get crazy if you want in here cause the box is boundless, step out here and lets embrace the sincerity of our minds.

I live in a natural world, have an analytical mind and base my life on things I can see/feel.

I have never had an experience that convinced me of god's existance, not that I didn't try though. I simply cannot believe in the supernatural no matter how hard I try. I was raised catholic and could not ever get the 'god thing', it just does not fit in my brain. I kept trying to squeeze a diety belief into my synapses but it kept being pushed out by logic and reality. 

That is why I do not believe, I am incapable of it. 


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I'm not quite sure what

I'm not quite sure what you're looking for, but I'll take a stab at it.

I think religion is unecessary. I believe that at one time religion was used to explain the unexplainable but we no longer need that.  

I think religion creates hatred, bigotry and sexism.  Too many atrocities have happened in our world in the name of religion. 

I think religion breeds ignorance.  Faith is not based on fact.

There was really nothing that 'happened' that made me feel this way.  I dabbled in religion during my teenage years and found it to be a very interesting story, but a story nontheless. 

Not quite sure if that's what you were looking for. 

 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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sapphen wrote: want to try

sapphen wrote:

want to try something new in this post.  take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.

it's not that you can't use facts to support your points but i want the meat of why.  i want to give everyone the freedom to put down our guards and tell a story of what impacted you the most or a thought of why we believe what we do.  what was the breaking point or what was your personal proof?

too often we got lost in what ways to debate another person and we don't slow down and have a conversation.   you can get crazy if you want in here cause the box is boundless, step out here and lets embrace the sincerity of our minds.

I was born without any belief in a 'god'. I never found any reason to form one. I am an atheist. Its really pretty simple and completely without any emotional appeal or heart tugging coversion story. That's why I've never written a book titled, "Why I became an Atheist". It would be really short and boring.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


sapphen
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exactly what i'm looking for

exactly what i'm looking for .. thanks and keep em coming.


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Hearts pump blood,

Hearts pump blood, silly.

No, but really, my story is just the opposite of BGH's. I was raised in a very liberal Methodist family. The idea of God has always fascinated me, but I found myself at odds with the Christian God. Unlike BGH, I wasn't able to shake the need for a deity. I was torn between my distaste for the Christian God, and my desire for a deity. By fortune's chance (or perhaps by forced delusion), I found my God. The experiences I have had are nigh unshakable. And to be totally honest, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.


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My particular religion was

My particular religion was constantly telling me to reduce the scope of my life and not to think about particular things.  It was telling me to shut down reason and ignore the evidence of my own experience (and reading) and instead just to blindly believe in a particular arbitrary version of reality that wasn't either coherent or persuasive.  And it told me that the penalty for failing to believe this stuff was eternal punishment.

It felt bad and wrong.  I mean it was possible to go all cognitive bias and disregard that feeling for long periods of time, but the genuine feeling that always came back was that the religion was controlling and abusing me.

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


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I've watched parts of my

I've watched parts of my extended family torn apart by religion.

Young pregnant women kicked out of their homes at 17 by parents too ashamed and advised by the clergy to do it.

I've had to sit on the couch and explain to a five year old why there were buildings on fire on the television.

I hear and read stories every day about people being abused, injured, or killed by people infected with religion.

I've had family DIE too soon because of their religion.

I've watched what appears to be a regression of society to the 'good ole days' because of their religion. 

I've had to watch the vilification of my friends simply because they do not believe the way that the community in whuch they live does. 

Quite often, the religious declare that 'we just haven't looked for their 'god'. NEWSFLASH: Most of us have. Guess what we found? Nothing.

Unfortunately, I often wish that I could accuse them in the same manner. Have they tried to see reality?  

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I was raised without any

I was raised without any religion at all. My parents tried something novel when raising me - they used only honesty. When I asked the big questions like; why are we here? is there a god? etc. I got the most honest answer anyone on this entire planet could give - "I don't know - no one does. You should think about it and decide for yourself". Those words of wisdom stuck with me and it's the same way I answer my kids.

As a teenager I started investigating more - I studied various religions and took a course on world religions. This course was taught by a christian paster - he was intrigued with my complete lack of fear of hell and my contention that the desire to live eternally is a motivator for people to believe in a god. He was educated in apolegetics and debated me quite a bit, but I had an armor on that he couldn't break - free thought and lack of fear.

The thing is, without any levels of brain washing, unless you are a personality that needs religion, you really can be free from it. If I was a Hindu and started talking to you about Vishnu, you would probably nod and completely blow me off...why? because you don't need Vishnu in your life.

Some people just seem to need religious experiences - many theists want their concisousness to be eternal so bad that they just can't imagine a reality that doesn't include them. This is a selfishness that ALL religions play into - people don't want to die, they don't want their loved ones to die and religions all tell them the same thing, they won't. This leads people to have religious experiences, they translate that fear of their own mortality into a postive assertion and belief in god - the prison door shuts at that point - their mind is now trapped and they now live in a world where "God is real, I know it in my heart" - unfortunetly, they have only put their mind in a prison. They now live in a world where they see god in everything and they are absolutely sure he is real because they "accepted jesus into their hearts" - in other words, they agreed to allow themselves to be delluded. The delusion only grows stronger as time goes on, they see postive affirmations in simple world events. "I was sick and I got better! Praise jesus!". Some cling to rational thought and there is hope for them, but many eventually throw away the key to the prision door and now are beyond saving from themvselves - any struggle on that door only makes them re-enforce it more.

"All it would take to kill God is one meteorite a half mile across - think about why." - Vorax

Visit my blog on Atheism: Cerebral Thinking for some more food for intelligent thought.


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You shouldn't need a

You shouldn't need a "breaking point" or a "personal proof" to not believe in gods.  Disbelief should be the default starting point.

 God is just pretend.  I'm not religious because I prefer to see the world as it really is than to believe a comforting delusion.  I want to be as well aquainted with reality as possible.


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When I was little I'd be

When I was little I'd be brought to the sunday school stuff, and a  certain age it's just like more pre-school. Toys in the classroom? check.  crayons? check.  cookies? check.  
I'd always notice lots of strange political backbiting in a church organization, with a ton of people that claim to be the moral standard.  Where the moral standard was singing out of tune from a green book, instead of actually using that time together to help less fortunate people.  I began to question the use of church and this practice.  I began to ask all the basic doubting questions.  When people couldn't give me real answers, but still wanted to use this basis of non-information to control lives it dawned on me.
I simply began to realize the reasons why people (just people) would create religions, more or less to give people reasons to obey their leaders, some answers to questions people had and so on. Do you want to keep your population in line?  Invent an outcome they couldn't possibly want (Hell) and tell them that by following your society's rules it'll all turn out for the best.
So i guess the short version is, they tried with me, I was bright enough to see through it and it didn't take, I then took that step to explore more information on the subject.


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We had this topic on Atheist

We had this topic on Atheist forums the other day.
Here's what I wrote:

I was brought up Catholic and treated it like other things I was taught - there were answers that you were supposed to say, actions you were supposed to go through, whether you really believed it was irrelevent.

My parents said I'd understand it when I was older, that these things would become important to me. So I got older, found that it was important to me that I felt like a complete fraud for taking Holy Communion when I didn't believe the theology behind it. I figured that there may or may not be a God, but the Bible stories I remembered best, like the Good Samaritan and the "whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me" stories gave me the impression that it was whether you were a good person rather than whether you went to church and vocally kissed God's ass. (there were actually specific parables condemning that kind of behaviour.)

What's more, as the Bible was full of weird stuff, I figured that the best way to really be moral was through my own understanding. However, I was still open to some kind of supernaturalism. (I think I was searching for the secret to becoming a Super Saiyan!) That led to 3 agnostic years of 'being open minded', uncertain in my grounds for atheism and flirting with supernatural ideas...

Then I came across IG, came across the notion of incoherence, and that confirmed something I had implicitly suspected all along:
When a religious/mystic starts waffling on about the 'ultimate reality' behind experience in all sorts of weird abstract terms, I wasn't the only one clueless to what the fuck they were on about - they were too! Laughing out loud


sapphen
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i honestly believe that

i honestly believe that there is something else out there that is beyond logic and the physical world.

by saying that i am not trying to dismiss logic or science but stating that i believe there is a world of the unknown shrouded in mystery.  they both co-exist with each other complimenting the evidence we have already uncovered.

when we first looked at the stars (although they provided visual proof) we where amazed and derived wild and imaginative ideas about what could be up there. so new to the thought, many crazy people were fount to be correct and a lot of theories slowly faded away.

i could imagine everyones frustration if someone said that the stars were nothing more than pin holes in a large blanket blocking the sun for our sight.  that is that and nothing more. if you don't believe this we will kill you and if you don't spend time thanking the blanket for blocking the sun you will forever be cast into the burning flames of solar light.

it takes time for our abilities to catch up with our spectrum and it is a great thing that people are now questioning the thought of God.  from questioning comes exploration and from exploration comes discovery.

each person has their path to follow but the road is far from its end. never close your eyes to possibilities, from there revolution is born.  it is our first steps, however naive, that paved a staircase so that we could climb to our fullest potential.  just as each of our paths is not complete, mankind's path has merely begun.

i am here to try to broaden my sense of awareness.  to learn and grow.  seek understanding and give a voice to a long ago tarnished spiritual conception.

i am playing advocate to an alteration warning them not to make the same mistakes that religions have.  we've grown so much to regress.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote:

sapphen wrote:

i honestly believe that there is something else out there that is beyond logic and the physical world.

Do you believe because your parents or society told you too (See the monkey experiment posted around here somewhere...think hard about your answer, read my post above too) or because you have a feeling, or because you have real evidence?

Feelings can be tricked, we are biochemical machines. If you answered feelings, do you concede that it may be your wish for answers, or fears, or chemical reasons that make you feel this way?

Evidence is the only thing we know of that can be trusted.

Quote:
by saying that i am not trying to dismiss logic or science but stating that i believe there is a world of the unknown shrouded in mystery. they both co-exist with each other complimenting the evidence we have already uncovered.

We have no evidence of anything outside of nature nor anything that indicates a requirement for anything outside of nature. The evidence so far indicates nature is all there is.

"All it would take to kill God is one meteorite a half mile across - think about why." - Vorax

Visit my blog on Atheism: Cerebral Thinking for some more food for intelligent thought.


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Nice idear for a post

Nice idear for a post sapphen

I was born and raised the naturall way. the idea of a God only became significant when I was 11 I think. when a new teacher entered the school to teach religious studies. the teacher was a born-again fundamental Christian ( evolution was a lie and the universe was only 5000 years old ) she decided to convert the entire class to Christianity, 10 minutes into the first class and we were both standing and arguing this was totally out of character for me. I was sent to the head master. where the old gentleman explained that I shouldn't of acted in such a manner. next week same lesson same teacher. and the deputy head master was sat at the back of the class room. the religious studies class was uneventful. and so was the next weeks. but the week after that. back to head master after another standing argument. after three months of this the teacher was removed

Thus my real curiosity about religion began, and I still have that curiosity today. well I'm curious about almost everything apart from country and western music

And I'm fascinated about how human history has been shaped by different religious beliefs. as well as cultural and ethical beliefs

Rev_Devilin wrote:

"One must strive to remove as much faith as possible to discover the truth. adding more faith will distance you from any possibility of discovering the truth"


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I used to be a Christian,

I used to be a Christian, but I thought about it more and came to several realizations.

First, I came to realize that Christianity was full of internal contradictions. This largely came about when I started to read the Bible. I realized that the feel-good loving god who tended his flock that I was presented in church was nothing like the hateful vengeful god of the Old Testament. It made no sense that an all-powerful god would need to kill his son to atone for a sin which he himself invented and enforced. It made no sense that an all-knowing god would have to inspire a book about him to be written so vaguely. Why should we be sent to torture for the sake of our beliefs? And why should we be responsible for sins of our ancestors in the eyes of a just god?

Second, I came to realize that Christianity contradicted obvious reality. No reliable evidence of any miracle has ever been found, and the notion that life is very young and was created all at once is ridiculous. The notion that humans, and particularly one race, are some special part of creation, equally so.

Third, I realized that there is simply no reason to believe in it. No evidence exists to support any substantial portion of it, no positive impact is inherent to it, and no justification for which beliefs were accepted and which were quietly forgotten.

So I rejected it. It was hard at first, because of the conditioning used to enforce belief, but eventually I got over it. I think my final breaking point was the realization that the notion that we owe anything to god is backwards. Under the Christian model, he supposedly created us, he decided that we were sinners, he sent his son, knowing he would die. At every point, it's god and not people who set up the situations, and yet we are culpable for sin somehow.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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Strafio wrote: When a

Strafio wrote:
When a religious/mystic starts waffling on about the 'ultimate reality' behind experience in all sorts of weird abstract terms, I wasn't the only one clueless to what the fuck they were on about - they were too!

 That's got to be the quote of the day Smiling


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You should check out some

You should check out some Jung, Sapphen, if you have not already.  Pick up "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" (C.G. Jung's autobiography) as the best overall introduction to Jungian mysticism, then go from there.  It'll help you articulate your convictions.

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


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LOL... did u stop there

LOL... did u stop there Vorax? i'm sure there is more that could be corrected. i tried to put too much in there and may have missed the whole point of this post... haha.. and i'm the one that posted it.

i should have kept it a little more personal instead of breaking spiritual superiority but i tend to do that sometimes. please overlook and forgive my fracture. being a man of art and pose i sometimes rely too heavily on my feelings...

...yet it is there that i develop. it the basic instinct in your gut that food is near or something just isn't right. questioning oneself is a step to self awareness, trusting yourself is the next.

i checked out "Cerebral Thinking" and man, you have a lot of information in there. you construct your thoughts very sturdy. i sense that you are constantly searching for new knowledge and have a very well rounded view of the world and it's happenings.

to answer you honestly and frankly i have came to my current stand point by my own personal experience. i have a tendency to rebel systems of control so it is a little odd that i have chosen christianity as my faith... but even a messy person may try to keep a certain aspects in their life neat.

i really enjoyed your parent's quote. i would like to be able to say something very similar to my daughter when she grows up. it is correct in the fact that no ones knows for certain what is out there.

only by seeking will we find and it would be a great disappointment to think that science will progress no further to explore mysteries never imagined. we are becoming a lot smarter but do we actually have all the pieces of this puzzle figured out?

 

EDIT: omitted a run away word from a previous thought. 

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


sapphen
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yeah, from what i read i

yeah, from what i read i really enjoyed Carl Jung.  i think i have one of his dream interpretation books laying around here somewhere.. or at least a book with with his name on it.

 i will defently try to get my hands on a copy of his autobiography. thank you for relaying a great source.  i really haven't been reading or writing as much as i did in the past so it is trying sometimes to express how i feel.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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Well, I had been raised in

Well, I had been raised in a Lutheran-turned-Methodist family. They were not fundamentalists but they weren't unitarians either. I never thought much about God, but when I did I thought of him in a very Unitarian sense. I don't think I ever beleived in Adam and Eve or Noah's Ark. I must have gotten over that very early because it all seemed nonsensical to me. So basically I had this idea of a big surveillance camera in the sky, who created everything and watched everything (that made sense to me, and I never thought about it much)

Then, when I was 12 or so, I got a crush on a Jewish girl. I liked her and I wanted it to go further, but I didn't know how. I asked my parents and they told me to stay away from her, because "those Jews would never let you get near their little princess, besides, you're too young."

And then I thought, "why do we have religion at all? Why does this divide us?" And I really started thinking about it. I thought about all the religions in the world, thought about their doctrines, what they were like, and I came up with one thing that linked them all: ignorance. Ignorance of the world to be filled with superstitous nonsense.

Of course, being 12, I thought I was the first one to come up with this. My parents had really sheltered me, I didn't even know atheists existed (besides my uncle, who they said, "worshiped computers&quotEye-wink .

I told them that I had concluded that god was nothing but superstition, and I was utterly shocked when they lashed out at me. My mother was shocked, thought I should attend prayer meetings and youth groups. My father was angry. He tried to argue with me for god's existence. And again, because I hadn't really thought about god up to that point I was utterly destroyed. He hit me with the argument from design, said Darwinism was evil (and I couldn't refute any of it, I hadn't learned anything about evolution at that time), then he went on with a prime mover argument, a bunch of arguments from consequence, and finally stopped me dead in my tracks with, "then why are we moral? Why don't I kill you right now if God isn't stopping me?" And I just broke down into tears.

 I never talked about it again. I had just told them that I had doubts, but I never went further. I attended church every week, every day learning more and more about the world and more and more about their fallicious arguments, growing angrier and angrier at the hatred and nonsense the pastor spewed, but never speaking up. I am currentley in that state right now, feeling stranded in a sea of ignorance.


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sapphen wrote: i honestly

sapphen wrote:

i honestly believe that there is something else out there that is beyond logic and the physical world.

by saying that i am not trying to dismiss logic or science but stating that i believe there is a world of the unknown shrouded in mystery. they both co-exist with each other complimenting the evidence we have already uncovered.

This sounds a lot like what I went through just out of high school, the 'we can't possible know *everything*' phase. And in one sense, it is true; we don't. However that does not make what we do not know about the universe unknowable, just unknown. The fact that we do not understand something does not mean we are incapeable of knowing it.

Most people even today are amazed at what qm is putting out; tunneling, superposition and the like; but that doesn't mean that it is supernatural.

WWTFSMDFAKB?


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Quite honestly, I turned

Quite honestly, I turned away from religion (I was born and raised catholic, in Italy) because once I started to understand the world around me (through education mainly, and my own intellectual curiosity) I started realizing that the whole "god" thing just didn't make sense.  I started becoming more of an "eh...if you wanna believe fairy tales go ahead...just leave me out of it", kind of atheist.  However, once I started delving further and further in my studies and started to read about the historical atrocities caused by religion, I started to realize that, this cannot be good for a progressive and positive society.  I started realizing how much christianity has impacted my family and how much I've seen suffering because of it.  It closes the mind into thinking you are meant to be the way you are.  I have personal accounts of how my family in Italy has essentially destroyed itself because in part of the way dogmatic beliefs have caused them to stop thinking rationally.

It was at this point that I realized that religion is dangerous and unhealthy.  No matter how much you think it will save you, it does quite the opposite.  Now after becoming more and more anti-relgion I started seeing the effects of religion in politics, I started to realize how the hypocritical dirty sons of bitches who call themselves preachers, were offering salvation in exchange for loyalty and money  and who became extremely rich..because of god.  In turn I started to realize how much power the religious zealots have gotten and how they are now trying to destroy our constitutional democracy in exchange for a fascist dicatorial theocracy.  These people are rich, and now they want power. Then of course, the middle east, the attrocities committed by both jews and muslims against each other all in the name of god, the support of christian zionists who support the slaughter of muslims through israel's army, the idea that muslims are willing to strap bombs to their chests and blow up innocent people, in the name of god.  All these in combination with the fact that christ was never a historical figure, that christmas and easter were taken from pagan religions..etc..etc..etc.. has made me into a very vocal and activist atheist.  The idea that relgious zealots are trying to destroy evolutionary truth in order to substantiate their creation story is absolutely ludicrous and it is time to put this shit to an end.  We need to stop the misogyny the bible preaches, the hatred, the bigotry all of the HATE that is instilled in the religoius zealot's minds.  This is why I despise the mind disease we call religion.

I  am a moral person.  I have sacrificed myself for peope who I love and I did not do it for GOD, I did it for THEM. This is the difference, relgion misplaces morality for servitude. And it pisses me off to no end to hear and see people, doing moral deeds becauase they are afraid of HELL.  If fear of hell and a reward of heaven is what we need in order to become moral..then we as humans are worthles.  Religion demeans humanity.  People who thank GOD because they got saved from say a hurricane or cancer, what about the heroic people who did the saving?   God does not save.  And it is absolutely wrong and demeaning to thank god instead of the brave human hands that worked hard to save your ass.  Thank science, not GOD. 

 

Alas, I can go on forever and the more I type the angrier I get. So I will end this here. 

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theotherguy wrote: Well, I

theotherguy wrote:

Well, I had been raised in a Lutheran-turned-Methodist family. They were not fundamentalists but they weren't unitarians either. I never thought much about God, but when I did I thought of him in a very Unitarian sense. I don't think I ever beleived in Adam and Eve or Noah's Ark. I must have gotten over that very early because it all seemed nonsensical to me. So basically I had this idea of a big surveillance camera in the sky, who created everything and watched everything (that made sense to me, and I never thought about it much)

Then, when I was 12 or so, I got a crush on a Jewish girl. I liked her and I wanted it to go further, but I didn't know how. I asked my parents and they told me to stay away from her, because "those Jews would never let you get near their little princess, besides, you're too young."

And then I thought, "why do we have religion at all? Why does this divide us?" And I really started thinking about it. I thought about all the religions in the world, thought about their doctrines, what they were like, and I came up with one thing that linked them all: ignorance. Ignorance of the world to be filled with superstitous nonsense.

Of course, being 12, I thought I was the first one to come up with this. My parents had really sheltered me, I didn't even know atheists existed (besides my uncle, who they said, "worshiped computers&quotEye-wink .

I told them that I had concluded that god was nothing but superstition, and I was utterly shocked when they lashed out at me. My mother was shocked, thought I should attend prayer meetings and youth groups. My father was angry. He tried to argue with me for god's existence. And again, because I hadn't really thought about god up to that point I was utterly destroyed. He hit me with the argument from design, said Darwinism was evil (and I couldn't refute any of it, I hadn't learned anything about evolution at that time), then he went on with a prime mover argument, a bunch of arguments from consequence, and finally stopped me dead in my tracks with, "then why are we moral? Why don't I kill you right now if God isn't stopping me?" And I just broke down into tears.

 I never talked about it again. I had just told them that I had doubts, but I never went further. I attended church every week, every day learning more and more about the world and more and more about their fallicious arguments, growing angrier and angrier at the hatred and nonsense the pastor spewed, but never speaking up. I am currentley in that state right now, feeling stranded in a sea of ignorance.

Don't get angry. Life has a touch of the absurd. Largely because of religion. Laugh at the stupid shit.

Don't get angry. You're only playing into the stereotype of the angry atheist. This only helps them and only hurts you.

Now that you know better how to destroy the content of the orthodoxy, try again! Really, you need to find a way to get out of church, I think. It never made me angry, but it is a mind-numbing bore. That ALONE stunts your growth.

Quote:
"then why are we moral? Why don't I kill you right now if God isn't stopping me?"

Lot's of religious people kill lots of other religious people. A better question is that if we get morals from god, why AREN'T we moral?


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WOW.. guy that is

WOW.. guy that is terrible.

i had a similar experience when i was twelve years old with a "girl" friend. i really really liked her but never could tell her. we would talk a lot about all sorts of things, ride our bikes to the creek. her parents were brutal. her father was a drunk and mother was a sap. she had an older brother but he never stayed at home. him and my brother were best of friends and hung out all the time.

she was 13 or 14 i believe. i had just been saved. i told her that Jesus would protect her and that she should ask to go to church with me and my sister. (i was a late child so my sis was about 24 then and had just recently been saved as well).

needless to say i was hiding the woods when her father started screaming at her and throwing her around the house. i dunno if he believed in God or not.. i do remember him talking about daemons a lot but he was drunk most of time. i think they were catholics but never went to church.

i felt helpless and i could never imagine what it would feel like to have your parents bash at you like that... no matter the issue. things like that leave scars that could stain your outlook forever.

 

EDIT: needless content edited out... changed will to could in the ending...  after reading kmisho's reply.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote: want to try

sapphen wrote:


want to try something new in this post. take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.
I don't believe there's any god.

Quote:
it's not that you can't use facts to support your points but i want the meat of why.
Because there no evidence of any god.
Quote:
i want to give everyone the freedom to put down our guards
You can't give me what I already have. I'll never stop thinking.
Quote:
and tell a story of what impacted you the most or a thought of why we believe what we do.
You believe there's god because somebody told you there was and you've been appeasing the people who told you that ever since. I, on the other hand, used my brain and decided that all the people who were trying to tell me there was a magic man were quite wrong.
Quote:
what was the breaking point or what was your personal proof?
The major contribution to my conviction was the fact that there is no evidence of any god.

Quote:
too often we got lost in what ways to debate another person and we don't slow down and have a conversation. you can get crazy if you want in here cause the box is boundless, step out here and lets embrace the sincerity of our minds.
Um if something has no bounds, it cant be called a box.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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LOL.. nice breakdown

LOL.. nice breakdown AiiA.

i would like to say that i sincerely try not to make assumptions on why people believe the way they do, that is why i wanted to challenge people to step out of the mechanic debate template and share themselves.

sometimes we are so depended on others to verbalize our ideas by comparison.  we rarely get the chance to talk out what we believe and have others actually listen.  let lose the reins and lay back a little bit.

i can see that you may be a perfectionist and very topic oriented.  don't be afraid to get off the topic in this post, it really requires nothing to refute.

is there a story you would like to share about religion or your personal experience with it?  if you would like to start another post in which you and i could discuss ideas, i would love to listen to what you have to say.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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Well i have never believed

Well i have never believed in god, outside of being a child, much like when i believed in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. As well my parents never bothered with religion, my mother believes but does not attend church, my father doesn't believe, my sister is a recent born again christian (this is another story). However i would say from the age of 8 maybe 7 I questioned the idea of God, and since i had many christian and jewish friends i got "attacked" from both sides for daring to ask if there even was a god.

However the more i learned about science, the world, religion and people (I had the priviledge to travel south america, Europe and some parts of the middle east) the more I knew that god didn't exist, at least not any one god or gods from any of the holy scriptures. At the remote possiblity of an einsteinian god which set up the laws of the universe, but even that is a very remote possibility, an unproven hypothesis if you will. But for sure not a god of the bible, the torah, the koran, of the hindu scriptures, and all other religions.

Personally I hold no anger or hatred towards others of religious or non religious beliefs, my circle of friends include a Angelican Padre, an imam, a rabbi and various friends from hindu, muslim, christian, wiccan, humanists, buddhists and taoist beliefs and of course atheists. However my personal belief is that religious ideas/beliefs are both unnecessary and overall dangerous. But that's just me.


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A big reaon for me was

A big reaon for me was reason/logic versus religion, but that is not what your asking for. So here are some personal things why I don't agree with religion, or religion disagrees with me. In the Dutch Reformed Church I grew up in, I saw a lot of things I didn't like. Shopkeepers who went to church to get the Christian customers. I really disliked the fact that you could do nothing on Sundays, but go to church. The utter boredom of the Sundays. The sitting in church, the rituals, the boring lectures. I used to put SF-paperbacks in my bible cover. Which made a lot of people think I was really religious, because I was constantly reading the 'bible' in church. I have been to other churches and I never liked them. I really didn't like that my parents made me go to church until I was 18.

I didn't like the naked hate and repulsion displayed by the more conservative wing of the church for gays, atheists, or other 'sinners', al the while saying God is love. The insistence that good people who are not Christians go to hell. That was a big one for me. It got me thrown out of a bible study group. When half the group tried to explain to me that good people would burn in hell for ever, if they didn't accept Christ. I got very angry over the injustice of that. The few years you have on earth damn you to torture for al eternity? And God can stop that, but he doesn't? The discussion became very heated and I said that I would rather go to hell, than to love such a monstrous God (I still believed in God at the time). I was asked not to come back...

A few months before I deconverted at 16, I went to a evangelical bible camp. A few friends invited me and I thought, ok. Just hanging out with my friends for a few days, that should be fun. I was unprepared for what followed. Every hour of the day, they devoted half of it to praying an studying the bible. The only time you were alone was in the toilet. They pushed their believes very hard and were relentless. It felt to me as if they were trying to wear people down. If you disagreed, they would gang up on you. I found the experience shocking. It al ended on a Sunday at a service. The service was build up with a lot of praying and reading the bible. And close to the end a man asked if there were people who wanted to accept Christ as their savior. First one came forward an kneeled, than others, than dozens. Crying hysterical, moaning. Than people were beginning to speak in tongues, or praying out loud. Me and an other guy were the only ones who didn't participate. We didn't speak, but looked at each other with disbelieve and than stood a little bit closer to each other. It was like being in a room full of drunk people and being the only two sober ones. But than a lot scarier (think The Exorcist). Some of my friends became evangelical, I went screaming in the other direction, until a few months later I became an atheist.


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there is simply no good

there is simply no good reason, whatsoever, why i would ever want or need a "god" or "religion" in my life. i've read the entire bible, i've been baptized and confirmed. the natural and scientific explanations, for what we are and where we are, are much more beautiful and fascinating than anything religion could conceive. the happiness and fullfillment i've found on my own is light years beyond anything christ could provide.

the evidence and arguments against the existence of a higher power, in my view, close the book on the debate. i need no further convincing, and i haven't for the last 25 of my 37 years. but as i've always maintained, even if someone could prove to me beyone a shadow of a doubt that god was truly real and did exist, i still wouldn't worship him. god, christ, christianity, religions of any kind for that matter, simply have nothing of any value to offer me. 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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I beat God at poker and

I beat God at poker and since he didn't have enough to pay up he offered me the chance to not have to believe in him and I accepted. Best part is, I still get to go to heaven when I die. It was part of the deal. So that's why I'm an atheist: God said I could be one.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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sapphen wrote:

sapphen wrote:

want to try something new in this post. take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.

* I don't respect the idea that there is a "creator" that demands we practice a wide variety of shallow rituals that really don't do anything other than appeal to a sense of vanity and insecurity. The very notion that a "creator" could be insecure negates the notion of omnipotence.

* I do not think I deserve to submit before some "creator" that remains to be seen. His doctrine, followers and leaders have not demonstrated in any way, that they are more moral, enlightened or benevolent.

* I have noticed that religion flourishes in direct relation to human suffering: the more humans suffer, the more they cling to religion. The more religious people are, the more they end up suffering. The less religious a society is, the more healther and more advanced the people seem to be.

* I have no intention of spending any significant amount of energy in THIS life, preparing for my position or comfort in some so-called "next life" that nobody can prove exists or ultimately knows anything about.

* Even IF god existed. If he really was as most religions describe him and what he wants, he wouldn't be worthy of my respect and submission. The best this god could ever hope for from me, would be me pretending to respect and worship him out of fear for my own security. This is basically what most religious followers get. It's sad and pathetic.

Specifically on the issue of Christianity, I have a few more things to add:

* Christianity is based around the concept of "original sin". I find this to be wholly offensive: the notion that any person would be cursed because of the actions of some ancestor. By virtue of this completely insane idea, without taking into account anything else, this religion should be totally rejected. Nobody in their right mind would apply similar standards in any other type of scenario. Nobody would respect any society that made children suffer because of the transgressions of their great-great-great-great-grandmother. It's offensive to my sense of decency -- Jesus or no jesus. However you explain it away, I want no part of an insane doctrine that has the audacity to suggest I am tainted by some goofy curse millennia before I came into existence.

 

 


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sapphen wrote:

sapphen wrote:

i honestly believe that there is something else out there that is beyond logic and the physical world.

Hi Sapphen,

I believe this too, but I also believe that it is simply more logic more about the physical world which is open to human exploration. there's no God of the Gaps, that's contradictory; the god that does not equal god; but there is more, even now, which has already gently questioned our objective logic and that says a lot to me.

How I feel about religion is that it is part of my history, not in my life per se, but in my existence, like sand to glass, but it follows that simply beause glass was made from sand does not mean glass should blow in the wind with sand, likewise I don't do religion, but I am still subject to the same elements in a different way. I'm not opposed to the question, in the sense that being so would be akin to opposing my existence, but neither am I full satisfied with the answers. I at least know that the old answers are a different (perhaps lesser) form of the new answers and that's plenty to go on.

I have personal experience that is behind why I believe what I do believe. I can't do materialism because I can't believe that one polar half of my existence is more real than the other. I live the riemann conjecture, where are the non-trivial zeros? just how random is randomness? To me, even the cartesian origin is a qubit, I think we ignore what we're doing because it seems trivial before higher dimensionality, it's almost dogmatically enforced, ignore that it's nothing.. but If it's true it's true on all levels, just that in lower dimensions we argue that we can keep markers on it with our eye, as though the eye wasn't part of the system... we've since discovered that it is anyway, how it is, is the remaining question. Seems like a mishmash of strange analogy I realise, but heart to heart, that's the core of it for me.

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good say eloise.  i think

good say eloise.  i think sometimes people doubt how deeply some theist actually think about their point of view. how much we question and search for the truth.  i understand that it is hard and not rational to say that because one believes.. thereforth i should believe.   nonetheless some theist have good reasons to believe what they do and to that person it is more than enough.  all we can do is show you the paths that we took to come to our conclusion but everyone has their separate walks to make.  there are different landscapes and obstacles in each of our lives.  it would be a great flaw to downgrade and dismiss ones feelings to an assumption.

great posts from everyone.  thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself.  i can't apologize for the christians that did people wrongly but i need to say that i am truly sorry.  i myself have been a part of the problem, sometimes we are blind to how we treat others and use religion as way to rectify our misconduct.  i am not sure if it is human nature or just a type of selfishness.  none of us are perfect and are subject to pride and overconfidence.

please keep the posts coming, i feel i have grown by reading your reflections.  feelings are so tremendous and share so much, they are a lost art that should be conveyed and not labeled.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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Rev_Devilin wrote: Strafio

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Strafio wrote:
When a religious/mystic starts waffling on about the 'ultimate reality' behind experience in all sorts of weird abstract terms, I wasn't the only one clueless to what the fuck they were on about - they were too!

That's got to be the quote of the day Smiling


Lol! Thanks!
There was a reason why I repeated it word for word from when I originally posted it on atheist forums! Eye-wink


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ROFL!!!!! yeah straf that

ROFL!!!!! yeah straf that is an interesting quote.  i guess one person's thoughts could be another's scraps.  sometimes translating from the right side of the brain to the left, the idea gets lost.  that is why i prefer a canvas, you can alway repaint the fallacies and people tend to want to find a meaning in art.

i have read some pretty good ideas from mysticism but sometimes like a wallnut it takes time to break through the shell.. and even then you could get a bitter nut.

the ability for abstract thought is one thing that separates us from the animals.  i hope you don't limit it too much because in understanding how others feel you could then truly master your own self.

no matter how ridiculous they may sound everyone has something to offer, even if it is from their blunders.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote: i think

sapphen wrote:

i think sometimes people doubt how deeply some theist actually think about their point of view. how much we question and search for the truth.


Yeah. That's a bit unfair.
However, the more I understand the atheistic community (I've only considered myself an 'atheist' the last 5 months or so) the more I realise that this isn't what they are actually saying. They aren't necessarily accusing theists of not thinking at all, but trying to persuade them to address certain suppositions, suppositions that might make their hardworked thought all for nothing.

You see theists pondering over the meaning of Bible passages in order to find the truth, and they can put a lot of thought into this, using rational methods to work out what the Bible is trying to say to them. But this hard work is for nothing as their unquestioned presupposition underlying it all is that the Bible is flawless, is a false one.

Because theists tend to leave key points unquestioned, key points that the rest of their thinking depends on, they are making inefficient use of their thought. So the RRS is really trying to challenge them to take these assumptions more seriously and really ask themselves whether they should base so much upon them.

Quote:

great posts from everyone. thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself. i can't apologize for the christians that did people wrongly but i need to say that i am truly sorry.


Likewise, we apologise on behalf on any freethinkers who might've insulted or patronised you for your conclusions. The ideal of a rational response is to convert someone through their own common-sense reasoning. However, as we are only human and have to deal with some right jackasses sometimes, it can leave some of us a bit impatient, who can snap at someone who doesn't have the answers yet.

For the record, we believe (well, I think that atleast most of us do) that atheism is the ideal emotional based position as well as the most rational. We believe that letting go of theism can letting go of many intellectual toxins that poison our everyday life and experience. The most obvious ones are fears of hell and judgemental attitudes towards others, while more subtle ones include the encouragement to seek naturalistic answers rather than settle for 'easy' supernatural ones.

My switch from agnosticism to atheism changed my outlook on life and ethics in a positive way, as it bolstered my honesty and self-confidence in my own reason, rather than believing I should try to match vague-politically-correct theories that I didn't necessarily fully comprehend or really agree with.


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thank you straf.. a very

thank you straf.. a very intelligent and well put post!


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what of a blind person, how

what of a blind person, how could we prove to him that the stars existed?  he would have to take the word of people he trusted but he would never have personal proof.

his perception of the world would be different than ours.  he would see certain aspects in a way we could never.  he could truly feel the wind and hear the rain.

it would be irrational to say the stars did not exist yet what if everyone was blind and only one person could see.  we would have proof of rocks, dirt and water but that one person would perceive little round lights in the sky while others would be boggled.

if a person goes blind mid life they exercise and develop other senses.  each of us have various abilities and hindrances.  our realities are based on our experience and qualities.

what if there are senses that some choose to ignore or do not exercise?  what if all of us could see if we just opened our eyes.

 i'm not saying that people need to mindlessly believe something.  this is what's personal, what is proof to some, may be evidence for others.  perception is not a poison but a paradigm.

we all need to search out for our own proof and if they want to look in the bible or the microscope that is their choice.  just because some people said there is nothing else in there doesn't mean that someone with better or different eyesite would not find anything of importance.

i understand that each of us need to find our identity.  i would have to say that there have been intelligent religious people and the absence of religion is probably not going to make the naive people any smarter.  we are at a slight disadvantage because some people do not question and only believe because someone told them to.

the only way that we can try to cure the toxin is to do what we are doing now... talking, questioning and learning from each other.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote: what of a

sapphen wrote:

what of a blind person, how could we prove to him that the stars existed? he would have to take the word of people he trusted but he would never have personal proof.

Same way you prove anything. You tell him about the stars, the way they move, and then let him make testable predictions about stars that he can somehow verify for himself. Eventually, if his predictions continue to pan out the way he expects them to, even with experimental controls, then he will conclude that there really is evidence for the existence of stars.

Read this. It deals with photography instead of stars but the principle is the same.

Quote:
How do you prove photography to a blind man?

That was the question I was asked: how would you prove to a blind man, that photography exists?

I knew what he was getting at. We had been discussing psychics. He was a firm believer in psychic powers, had had psychic experiences, and regularly visited a psychic. His point was, since I had not experienced psychic powers, I would never be able to believe in what he “knew” to be true. You could never prove to a blind man that photography exists, and likewise no one would ever be able to demonstrate to me that psychic powers were real.

It took me about ten seconds to think of a way to show he was wrong. This is what I said. Give the blind man a camera, a tripod and a remote shutter release. (Ideally the camera is a Polaroid, or a digital with an instant picture facility.) Everyone leaves the room but the blind man. He takes a picture of himself, and holds up a number of fingers (1 to 5) at random. The sighted person comes back into the room, looks at the picture and says “you were holding up X fingers”. If he gets the right number, and continues to do so every time this experiment is performed, the blind man will eventually conclude that photography is real. Technically, he will conclude the hypothesis that “a camera can record a visual image”, might be true.

He will want to repeat the experiment with different rooms and different sighted people. He will want to tighten his controls to make sure no one can see through the window or the keyhole. He will want other blind friends of his to do the same experiment successfully. But essentially, he will be convinced by this method.

The believer went quiet. (It must be annoying when your analogy is turned against you.) But I decided to push it further. I wanted to ask him some questions.

My first question was, if you did this 1,000 times, and the sighted person got the correct number of fingers (say) 225 times out of 1,000 (where pure chance would be 200 times), would the blind man believe that this “anomaly” was proof of photography? Wouldn’t he expect nearly 1,000 correct out of 1,000? What if when the controls were tightened, the result was reduced to close to 200 correct – pure chance? What if the sighted person was found to have cheated?

What if the blind man had to do a drawing and hold it up in front of the camera, instead of his fingers? The sighted person had to write down what he thought the drawing was of, and then a judge got to grade the description based on the photograph of the drawing? Say the blind man drew a circle and the sighted person thought it was a tree, and the judge rated that 7 out of 10 because a tree is roughly circular? Would the blind man be convinced?

What if the blind man had to select one drawing from four “targets” and hold it up in front of the camera, instead of his fingers? The sighted person is shown the four targets and asked to rate the degree to which each matches the one in the photograph. If the sighted person assigns the highest rating to the correct target, it is scored as a "hit." If the sighted person gets a hit, say 35% of the time (when chance would predict 25%), would the blind man be convinced? What if the person running the experiment was in the room when the photo was taken, and prompted the sighted person during the judging process - would the blind man be convinced then? What if numerous other experimental errors were noted?

What if a scientific body spent 25 years researching whether sighted people could guess how many fingers blind people were holding up in front of a camera, but concluded that there is ultimately very little, if any data that support the hypothesis that they can?

What if a conjuror offered one million dollars for any sighted person who could successfully perform the five finger test, but no one was able to do it?

Wouldn’t the blind man say to all this, “why can’t you just tell me how many fingers I’m holding up?”

The guy didn’t want to answer. He conceded his analogy was about me not having had a psychic experience. But apparently the analogy didn’t apply if I turned it around to his beliefs.

And they say skeptics are closed minded.

http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/03/how_do_you_prov.html

 

 

 

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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sapphen wrote: what of a

sapphen wrote:


what of a blind person, how could we prove to him that the stars existed? he would have to take the word of people he trusted but he would never have personal proof.

his perception of the world would be different than ours. he would see certain aspects in a way we could never. he could truly feel the wind and hear the rain.
You are claiming, as a theist, of having an ability that I, as an atheist, do not have. I don't consider 'it' as an ability; I consider what you think you have as a flaw.

I consider your god-concept as a hole of the mind in which you filled with the shit thousands of theists invented to perpetuate an industry of the absurd. Atheists are not blind to what theists claim to see, we simply reject your delusions and hallucinations. You "think" with your emotions and out of laziness, you refused to think past your emotions.

Quote:
it would be irrational to say the stars did not exist yet what if everyone was blind and only one person could see. we would have proof of rocks, dirt and water but that one person would perceive little round lights in the sky while others would be boggled.
There is evidence of stars, rocks, and water; atheists and theists alike acknowledge their existence, however there is no evidence of a god and so I have to question the theists' sanity.

Quote:
if a person goes blind mid life they exercise and develop other senses. each of us have various abilities and hindrances. our realities are based on our experience and qualities.

what if there are senses that some choose to ignore or do not exercise?
What evidence do you have to claim there are senses that people are not using?
Quote:
what if all of us could see if we just opened our eyes.
Your god is imaginary. There's nothing to see.

Quote:
i'm not saying that people need to mindlessly believe something. this is what's personal, what is proof to some, may be evidence for others. perception is not a poison but a paradigm.
Belief is not proof, imagination is not evidence, distorted perception is not a paradigm.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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sapphen wrote: want to try

sapphen wrote:

want to try something new in this post. take it down a notch from all the curriculum and evidence from each side.... sit down and tell us why you personally agree or disagree with religion without the use of works sited.

 Ummm... you want us to explain why we don't believe without use of reasons why we don't?  

 

Quote:
it's not that you can't use facts to support your points but i want the meat of why. i want to give everyone the freedom to put down our guards and tell a story of what impacted you the most or a thought of why we believe what we do. what was the breaking point or what was your personal proof?

 You're personalizing and psychologizing our positions; why can't we not believe based upon rational principles?

 

Quote:
too often we got lost in what ways to debate another person and we don't slow down and have a conversation. you can get crazy if you want in here cause the box is boundless, step out here and lets embrace the sincerity of our minds.

Ummm... now you're accusing us of being insincere, though subtlely; what gives?

 Sigh... but if you really want the 'meat' of the matter, here ya go:

 I see no adiquate justifications/reasons to believe in any god/gods, nor any justification that any such justifications/reasons would ever be adiquate for the task.

 

 

 


sapphen
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great posts! keep them

great posts! keep them coming!!! 


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I don't believe because I

I don't believe because I lack the capacity to believe in something I don't understand. I don't believe for the same reason I can't bring myself to speed around a blind corner.

The sad thing is that if The Bible really is the word of God then I will go to hell, despite the good and productive life I have lead, all because God gave me a brain that lacked the capacity to believe in him. 


Pile
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sapphen wrote:

sapphen wrote:

good say eloise. i think sometimes people doubt how deeply some theist actually think about their point of view. how much we question and search for the truth.

My advice: KEEP SEARCHING. If you still believe in god, you aren't even 1/4 of the way there.

None of us doubt that theists "truly believe" they think they have had "a personal experience with god." That doesn't mean it's real.

When I was young I read the book, "The Amityville Horror" - it scared the crap out of me. Especially that part about the pig with the red eyes looking through the window. From that point on, I could never look at a window at night -- I swore I saw two red eyes staring back at me. Eventually I realized my mind was playing tricks on me based on messages from a book.

Now imagine if at that time, I had been surrounded by people who claimed the pig with the red eyes was REAL? And they acted scared too? Hell, there's no way I would have been able to shed my irrational fear being surrounded by so many others who were also deluded. Once I started to think for myself - and getting away from others trying to reinforce the delusion helped -- I started to see that it was just my imagination running wild and there were plenty of reasons to explain all the weird noises and things that previously convinced me the red-eyed pig was real.

Congrats to you theists who are hanging out here.. at least you're moving out of the room where your parents keep talking about the pig with the red eyes... but keep going.. you have farther to travel to find the truth.


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I wasn't raised in a

I wasn't raised in a religion. I was however raised in a Christian society. My best childhood friend was a Catholic. I remember being very confused by the world, even from a very early age, the idea of God was very present even then and it conflicted my very basic understandings of physical reality (when they said God lived in the sky I wondered how he stayed up, before that I actually thought he must live on a hill, it was especially difficult when I learned that clouds were not platforms that you could walk on or sit on).

I really wanted a religion from about the age of 9 through till maybe 14/15 (when I chose Buddhism for a short spell). About 15 I decided I was an atheist, it wasn't really a single moment, it was a gradual realisation, a drawn out barely noticeable train of thought. It wasn't a big thing really, I didn't suddenly feel awakened, or rebellious (there is no cultural taboo with atheism in the UK as there is in the US), but one thing I realised was that I'd only ever been trying to believe in something, only ever wishing I could believe in something, half-pretending, half just going along with it through willpower.

Now, I'm a happy young man, I don't feel a need to believe in God. I find religion has an extremely destructive nature and holds many beliefs contrary to science and holds them based not on good reasoning but on faith in ancient texts or the words of charlatans (or both). I think a world without religion would be better, but I do not think that we should stop people practicing their beliefs, just stop them from indoctrinating their children, and concentrate on educating people, how to think critically, scientifically and rationally.


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Aiia, you claim that out of

Aiia, you claim that out of laziness i think with only my emotions. yet your response seems very emotional. have i done anything here to make you think that i was not a reasonable person other than my belief that God exists? have i offended you in some way?

you seem incredibly bitter and angry. what is the source for this? you will never be able to control ones thoughts and because yours differs does not mean that you are absolutely correct. i challenged you to step out of the box but you are so hard bent on trying to prove me wrong. your response to me seems very irrational and full of hostility.

have you not a thought on your own in this matter or can you only rely on what i say to form your response? you see a theist and you have a preset explosion of dominance. i come here with my head down to express our views, not attack another man's free will to think the way he wishes.

as far as senses goes... there is under debate that a sixth sense is present in man. although conclusions are undefined, there is proof that is does exist. the evidence may not look good but it has not been refuted.

nothing you said sounded rational and if there was, it was hidden deeply within the insults and aggression. easy for a minute, take it down a bit. i love you man, i want you to be able to express your opinions and i do not want to take that away from you!

EDIT: changed "be" to "been", "you" to "your"

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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Wyzaard, i did not want to

Wyzaard, i did not want to take away your rational reasonings. yes i wanted to personalize our positions. it is by personal experience that we developed our beliefs and rational information. i did not mean to say that you where not insincere but challenged each other to be sincere. i was stating that there has been plenty of rational talk on the subject and wanted to share with each other our conclusions.

thank you for adding in your thoughts.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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Jeremiah, that was a very

Jeremiah, that was a very witty response about the photographs, but to be honest you could not effectively convince the blind man of the stars. it would be irrational for me to say that proves my point because that is far from it. i was only trying to provide a step to understand a different paradigm. physical descriptions of ideas is not very accurate and in no way am i saying that some people are blind. i am truly sorry because i understand how that may sound and i did not mean to offend anyone.

is this a correct translation of your quote?

"Gods are for kinds, which betray themselves -- into the faith flee around itself to execute. Humans need to hurt Gods around itself, in order to destroy itself -- that are we" ... lol, babelfish Smiling

that is very interesting. what does that mean to you and who are you quoting?

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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thank you pile. i will

thank you pile.

i will continue to search until i die and i doubt i'm 1/4 the way there. i can understand that saying my experiences proves there is a God is irrational. it would be scary to say that a red eyed pig haunted us, but i wouldn't say in the Amityville house.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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sapphen wrote:

sapphen wrote:
Wyzaard, i did not want to take away your rational reasonings. yes i wanted to personalize our positions. it is by personal experience that we developed our beliefs and rational information.

Not to answer for him, but I also found that point a bit presumptuous. We may not have developed a disbelief as a position based on our experiences - for some of us, disbelief is simply the default position. Many theist are working under the false assumption that atheists have rejected god or just don't want to believe because of their experiences, very few consider the point that many of us just weren't influenced to believe in god and the concept really is as irrational to us as the idea of Santa clause or the easter bunny.

You can try it (and other theists) for yourself right now:

I'm guessing you have never heard of the Micmac god Gluscap. Gluscap is said to be very tall and could talk with animal gods who governed many things about life - Gluscap has a human like form and is the leader of several other gods who have animal forms. Together they created the universe. There were many battles fought between Gluscap and some of the animal gods. Remnants of their battles can be seen today in the form of islands in the sea (many islands were formed by mounds of dirt being thrown by Gluscap at the beaver god during a titanic clash of their powers), but much of the earth he shaped with his bare hands.

Millions of native americans believed in him over thousands of years, they communicated with him and developed great prayer rituals and dances for him. They constructed monuments and dress adornments so that he would be pleased.

Do you believe in Gluscap? If not, why? Why are you rejecting him? What in your experience has lead you away from the path of Gluscap? ...see where I'm going? You are probably an Atheist with regards to a god that battles giant beavers because you have never heard of him until now and the entire idea is silly...as silly as the idea that there was a guy that rose from the dead, walked on water and was supposed to be the son of an even bigger god that created the universe by talking it into existence.

The only reason you aren't a follower of Gluscap is the time you were born, society and the family you were born into... that should tell you something about why you believe what you do (even if you are unable to admit it to yourself) and why we do not.  It's not a coincedance that people follow the religion of their parents.  For those of us without religion, we didn't decide to disbelieve, most of us had no reason to start believing.

"All it would take to kill God is one meteorite a half mile across - think about why." - Vorax

Visit my blog on Atheism: Cerebral Thinking for some more food for intelligent thought.