Religion=faith?

a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Religion=faith?

Hey you guys. New here. Trying to work it all out.

 

Here's a question. I've read a lot of bad stuff on this forum about "religion". Intolerant irrational arrogant etc etc, i'm sure you know the list.

 

Do people in the atheist lobby consider there is a difference between the religion of Christianity (as in the social set which adheres itself to the christian beleif) and the FAITH of christianity in isolation (as in the simple bare bones beleif.) If so, what is the element you find distastesful.

 

I ask because many of the critisms seem (to me) to me more applicable to the social set than the core beleifs. However i see much more... well attack is the wrong word but it will do i guess, on the core beleifs than on the "church". And this is confusing to me.

 


ObnoxiousBitch
Superfan
ObnoxiousBitch's picture
Posts: 115
Joined: 2006-02-22
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote: Hey you

a seeker wrote:

Hey you guys. New here. Trying to work it all out.

Welcome!

 

a seeker wrote:
Do people in the atheist lobby consider there is a difference between the religion of Christianity (as in the social set which adheres itself to the christian beleif) and the FAITH of christianity in isolation (as in the simple bare bones beleif.) If so, what is the element you find distastesful.

I can only speak for myself and not all atheists, but in all probability, they are just as aware of the difference between "faith" and "religion" as I. The "religion" isn't so much distasteful to me as its being used to justify the denial of my rights as well as the violations of the Constitution that are being ignored simply because fundamentalists have become a politically and financially powerful group, and are claiming that those desiring an end to the special treatment they've received from our government (illegally) are somehow "persecuting" Christians. It's also not a small thing that people's religious beliefs are supposed to be immune from criticism or challenge, because it's "not nice." To that I say, "Too f'n bad."

 

a seeker wrote:
I ask because many of the critisms seem (to me) to me more applicable to the social set than the core beleifs. However i see much more... well attack is the wrong word but it will do i guess, on the core beleifs than on the "church". And this is confusing to me.

 

The "church" only exists because there continue to be adherents for it to "serve." People belong to churches that affirm their particular set of beliefs - and it's those beliefs that need to be challenged in order to free people from myth, superstition and delusion that serves to enslave their minds while simultaneously taking their money AND telling them that they should rise up and demand special rights that bring this country closer and closer to becoming a theocracy at worst, or at best becoming a "Christian Nation" (whatever the hell that means... a chunk of dirt doesn't have a religion!!!).

You see, the same beliefs that inspire the members of Westboro Baptist to picket soldiers' and gays' funerals are the beliefs that are held by many, many otherwise "normal" Christians. And while those "normals" might find the Phelpses' actions to be abhorrent (I hope they do, anyway), they use the exact same Scriptures to deny the rights of their fellow Americans to marry whom they choose.

Just as the "sins" of murder and covetousness are equal in the eyes of "God," in my eyes the Christians who cleave to the words in Leviticus as justification for fighting to keep gays from marrying are just as abhorrent, insane and worthy of being "attacked" for their delusional thinking as the Phelpses are.

 

 

Invisible friends are for children and psychopaths.


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
You know of Christianity

You know of Christianity through its propagation via religious institutions, so I think the question answers itself.


dave805
dave805's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: 2007-12-27
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote: Do people

a seeker wrote:

Do people in the atheist lobby consider there is a difference between the religion of Christianity (as in the social set which adheres itself to the christian beleif) and the FAITH of christianity in isolation (as in the simple bare bones beleif.) If so, what is the element you find distastesful.

It is somewhat simple And at the same time to explain in depth quite a pain. (Here is the SHORT SHORT list)

What i find about Christianity distastesful in particuler is.

1. God (or the christian bible) Promotes/advocates Slavery

Exodus 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. << (Among plenty of others)

2. God (Or the christian bible) Seems to be obsessed with the death penalty for every offence.

God decides to kill Moses because his son had not yet been circumcised. 4:24-26

God threatens to kill the Pharaoh's firstborn son. 4:23

Those who break the Sabbath are to be executed. 31:14

^^ That last one is a biggy.. Who here can honestly say they never have gone out on a sunday?

 

Ok enough Quotes i could go on forever...

Back on the main subject .. What i find "distastesful"

The fact that Believers pick and choose what to follow in a suposid holy book. (If it was so holy and Truely written by god then why do you need to pick and choose? Why not follow it verbatum?)

I also find it "distastesful" That the Bible (The only evidence Christianity and other religions are based upon) is claimed to be written by god. When you will notice that ALL but a very few sections of the bible are (Acording to Mathew ..Acording to Peter.. Acording to etc...)

Another issue i have is the fact the bible has been manipulated so many times (Different versions, Parts included in some and excluded in others)

Lets face it.. The Bible IS the Proof christianity uses to verify its existance and belief system... If it was realy a based on fact why is it constantly being changed? Why are their so many different versions?

I ask Why because the Answers that have been presented on this issue do not make sense.

 

I ask because many of the critisms seem (to me) to me more applicable to the social set than the core beleifs. However i see much more... well attack is the wrong word but it will do i guess, on the core beleifs than on the "church". And this is confusing to me.

 

Hopefuly i have stuck mainly on the CORE beliefs for you.. Maybe maybe not.. It comes down to a inconsistancy shown by those who follow what they call "The word of god" The bible..

Once again i will state.. If you believe the bible (And all it entailes) Why do you pick and choose what passages in the bible to follow? Really .. IF IT IS THE WORD !! OF GOD !!.. Then why not follow it to the letter?

That to me is what i find the most "distastesful"

 

 


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Thankyou for your

Thankyou for your interesting views.

 Hey dave. Good to hear from you again.

Strikes me the bit which is chewing you is the hypocracy of it. Certainly an accusation which can be leveled fairly at most of the Christians (the ones breathing anyway).

Personnally the ones which get to me are the ones who CLAIM to be "literalists", ie the ones who beleive the bible must ALL be interpreted literally. Because they VERY rarely do. Well you can't can you, there are contradictory themes! 

Those who "pick and choose" could be accused of irrationality in that if they truly beleive that the bible is the inspired and inerrant word of god they should be desparate to follow all of it. If it's not, why follow any of it?

 

Myself i take the view that the bible is like a phrasebook you take on holiday. If you read the wrong bit in the wrong context it says the wrong stuff. I get my "instructions" not by treating it as a textbook or manual but as something to dip into for the bits i need (or possibly want.) You said If it was so holy and Truely written by god then why do you need to pick and choose? This is a fair question. I would say that you need to pick and choose because not all of it is relevant all the time. Its like a recipe book. Saying they are all good recipies is fine... but nobody likes trifle for breakfast. (except on boxing day, then its ok.)

 

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Do people in the

Quote:
Do people in the atheist lobby consider there is a difference between the religion of Christianity (as in the social set which adheres itself to the christian beleif) and the FAITH of christianity in isolation (as in the simple bare bones beleif.) If so, what is the element you find distastesful.

The faith is what allows the religion.  I find the faith itself to be abhorrent to the very foundation of human existence -- curiosity.

Without the belief that we are certainly right, humans are naturally quite scientific.  When we approach a question with an open mind, we have a very decent chance of finding the correct answer.  Only when we close the door of inquiry do we open the door to the kind of evil that only religion can justify.

Please read this essay.   I think it will explain quite clearly exactly what I think is the problem with faith.

 

Quote:
I ask because many of the critisms seem (to me) to me more applicable to the social set than the core beleifs.

Again, the core beliefs allow people to justify the social behaviors.  That is the real issue.

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hey OB I can only speak for

Hey OB

I can only speak for myself and not all atheists,

Thats OK. I can only speak for MYself and not all christians! Wink

but in all probability, they are just as aware of the difference between "faith" and "religion" as I. The "religion" isn't so much distasteful to me as its being used to justify the denial of my rights as well as the violations of the Constitution that are being ignored simply because fundamentalists have become a politically and financially powerful group, and are claiming that those desiring an end to the special treatment they've received from our government (illegally) are somehow "persecuting" Christians. It's also not a small thing that people's religious beliefs are supposed to be immune from criticism or challenge, because it's "not nice." To that I say, "Too f'n bad."

There is little so distasteful as when people hide their own bigotry and hatred behind the pretence of a religious position, neatly abrogating themselves from critism of views which would otherwise be considered outmoded and petty. Personally, as a christian,  it irritates the hell out of me!

There is no doubt in my mind that the church (by which i mean the global socio political body) has a problem both of image and ground level opinion on this one.

 From my side of the pond it seems that the american church focuses on two issues. Gay marrage and Abortion with a large part of the rest of the effort being aimed at YEC.

Serious, serious error in my view. Not only are these issues socially of little relevance the obsessions are not well supported biblically!  Not well at all.  However they offer a nice batch of sins for preachers to thunder about from the pulpit without too much risk of upsetting any of the parisioners (and losing bums on seats and $s in plates). They then leave feeling all holy and justified about they're bigotry.

 

I have heard it argued, in all seriousness that hurricaine Katrina was a direct result of Roe vs Wade (which until i looked it up i vaguely thought was an argument on the best way to cross a river)

 

Madness

 


dave805
dave805's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: 2007-12-27
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote: Thankyou

a seeker wrote:

Thankyou for your interesting views.

Hey dave. Good to hear from you again.

Strikes me the bit which is chewing you is the hypocracy of it. Certainly an accusation which can be leveled fairly at most of the Christians (the ones breathing anyway).

Hey mate good seeing you too 

You sure did hit the nail on the head with this statement Smiling  


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
 Strikes me the bit which

 Strikes me the bit which is chewing you is the hypocracy of it. Certainly an accusation which can be leveled fairly at most of the Christians (the ones breathing anyway).

 You sure did hit the nail on the head with this statement Smiling

 

True. Mind you, to be fair, i think the same hypocracy could be leveled at most non christians as well!

 I see a good deal of what i dislike in christians in atheists also. There is the arrogance that THEY are CLEARLY right, the condecension that the others just don't understand.  And the hypocracy seems to be that the motivation is only loosly based in what the beleiver (or unbeleiver) beleives as a vehicle for the attitudes they wish to display anyway!

I would not dream of  characterising  all atheists this way (just as i would not characterise all christians) however it  strikes  me that there are  distasteful fundamentalist elements in both camps. One of the things i dislike about the Fundamentalist christian movement is that they seem to feel the need to identify themselves by what they oppose rather than what they support, a common enemy if you will.  I see a similar element here. A cameraderie based on "the struggle" against "the enemy".

 I sometimes think the the beleifs people adhere to are more to do with finding a "set" of people and beleifs which allow them to do, act, say or behave in the way they want to.

 

There. Now i've offended EVERYBODY! Thats fair.

 

 

 

 

 


ParanoidAgnostic
ParanoidAgnostic's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: 2007-05-20
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote:  I see a

a seeker wrote:

 I see a good deal of what i dislike in christians in atheists also. There is the arrogance that THEY are CLEARLY right, the condecension that the others just don't understand. 

 It's very tricky for an atheist to avoid this attitude. Most of us arrived at this position through evidence (or the lack of it) and logic and therefore (I think rightfully) believe it is the only rational conclusion. This does lead to some feelings of superiority to those we see as failing to follow the facts and logic to the obvious conclusion.

In the past I've used the rhetorical question: "Do you consider someone who still believes in Santa to be your intellectual equal?" I think it pretty much covers the arrogance you see in a lot of atheists.

It's arrogance but I'm not totally convinced that it's undeserved arrogance.

Quote:
 

 One of the things i dislike about the Fundamentalist christian movement is that they seem to feel the need to identify themselves by what they oppose rather than what they support, a common enemy if you will.  I see a similar element here. A cameraderie based on "the struggle" against "the enemy".

 I understand what you're saying and I agree defining yourself by what you hate is not healthy and considering another group to be the enemy is a dangerous and unproductive mentality.

This I think is another side effect of the nature of atheism though. Atheism is the rejection of theism. Without theism atheism is meaningless. All atheists have in common is the rejection of a belief.

I think that skeptic or rationalist is probably a better way to label oneself than atheist, at least from the group membership point of view. These are ways of apporaching all ideas rather than the opposition of specific ideas.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Excellant post TA.

Excellant post TA. Truly.

In the past I've used the rhetorical question: "Do you consider someone who still believes in Santa to be your intellectual equal?" I think it pretty much covers the arrogance you see in a lot of atheists.

It's arrogance but I'm not totally convinced that it's undeserved arrogance.

Thats fair enough. I think the problem comes when people stop thinking about how stupid a view is and start thinking how stupid a person must be to hold it. And indeed vice versa, how clever you must be if you beleive X or Y.

After all blaze pascal, he of the irritating wager, was one of the cleverest man who ever lived and he was a christian. Does that prove that christians are intelligent? Hell no! Does it prove not ALL christians are dumb? Kinda.

So i think arrogance OR condecension for or from either group based on their beleif is misplaced! There's geniuses and intellectual baboons in both camps.

 

This I think is another side effect of the nature of atheism though. Atheism is the rejection of theism. Without theism atheism is meaningless. All atheists have in common is the rejection of a belief.

That is a shame. Because i find atheists as a group to be defined by more than just what they DON'T beleive. There is a strong link between atheism and beleif in the scientific method for eg. Its a shame the terminology you've been landing with is negative rather than positive. Because as a viewpoint i think atheism has some very sound and positive uniting principles.

I think that skeptic or rationalist is probably a better way to label oneself than atheist, at least from the group membership point of view. These are ways of apporaching all ideas rather than the opposition of specific ideas.

I agree. Skeptic is a much maligned and undervalued tag. Should be used more.

 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 696
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
I generally agree with you

I generally agree with you and your criticism of the term atheism.  We're so rarely categorized by what we aren't and what we don't believe in other realms. 

I could collect thousands of tags that tell people I'm non-republican, non-black, non-gay, non-asian, not into easy listening, not into poetry, an unbeliver in magic, not a buckeye fan, not a yankee fan, not into nascar, can not speak Chinese, and while listing all of these sorts of things.. people never get a real picture of what you ARE.   

Skeptic is a fair term as is Freethinker.  I still wouldn't personally want to be reduced to a single label, but these are much more assertive/positive positions to hold.  It lets people know you're a bit more active in your search for answers, don't always take things at face value, demand a reasonable basis for a belief and are slave to no dogma.


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Skeptic is a fair term as

Skeptic is a fair term as is Freethinker

I like Skeptic. Freethinker presumes the person has come to that view by an honest intellectual exercise of will rather than just jumping on the bandwagon of what is socially acceptable in a particular social set (which could be atheism just as easily as religion) It'll be true for some but not all.

I also tend to mistrust anyone who thinks their thinking is "free". We are all heavily influenced by environmental and endogenic factors. The concept of pure, ininfluenced thought is a myth! So long as we accept that we can overcome it to a degree. Deny it at your peril.

 

 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 696
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
Well Freethinker is a bit

Well Freethinker is a bit more specific than "thinking freely."  But it is one step forward than simply disbelief and further outlines the roots of a process.

 Here's one definition of it:

"free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists.

No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth."

 from: http://ffrf.org/nontracts/freethinker.php


a seeker
Theist
a seeker's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Not a bad definition.

Not a bad definition. Although by definition atheists have a beleive in common and therefore could be said to be demanding conformity to a creed.

But its your title dude! Hey, i'm not one regardless so what does it matter what i think.

 

Personally i like the title "heretic". I get that from both christians and atheists so there is probably something to it.

 

Great discussion! 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 696
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote:

a seeker wrote:

Although by definition atheists have a beleive in common and therefore could be said to be demanding conformity to a creed.

 

Well, by definition we hold a disbelief in common. From there, it's pretty open-ended. Rejecting the cases put forth, so far, for deities is pretty much where the term begins and ends. Others have tried to unite under more specific banners like secular humanism, naturalism, etc.

There's no real unfication of ideas on taxes, punishment, land disputes, border control, censorship, education, or any other major issue that we face. I would hope to expect that a skeptic would have more reasonable grounds to pick a side on an issue. (as opposed to 'God told me this.' ) The end choice, though, doesn't hinge on the disbelief.

However, simply rejecting the concept of gods doesn't really mean someone is sane either. They could reject the concept of gods, then believe their cat tells them to murder people.

This wide range of outcomes once you're past the god concept is why I wouldn't consider atheism as a creed and it demands little to no conformity.


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote: Not a bad

a seeker wrote:

Not a bad definition. Although by definition atheists have a beleive in common and therefore could be said to be demanding conformity to a creed.

[...]

It's more an descriptive than prescriptive commonality.


Slayne
Slayne's picture
Posts: 91
Joined: 2008-01-02
User is offlineOffline
a seeker wrote:Hey you

a seeker wrote:

Hey you guys. New here. Trying to work it all out.

 

Here's a question. I've read a lot of bad stuff on this forum about "religion". Intolerant irrational arrogant etc etc, i'm sure you know the list.

 

Do people in the atheist lobby consider there is a difference between the religion of Christianity (as in the social set which adheres itself to the christian beleif) and the FAITH of christianity in isolation (as in the simple bare bones beleif.) If so, what is the element you find distastesful.

 

I ask because many of the critisms seem (to me) to me more applicable to the social set than the core beleifs. However i see much more... well attack is the wrong word but it will do i guess, on the core beleifs than on the "church". And this is confusing to me.

Well Speaking for myself, I "believe" that a belief in something unknown is a healthy to a point of heres a question science has not answered or I have not come across the info on yet. so I will form my own educated theory from observation therefore it is my belief until I can get the actual fact or scientific evidence. Granted science will repeatedly ask its questions over and over to hypotesize new questions or research.

However in this case of belief as to being faith in Deities that will never apply to anyof the 5 senses or absurdities of the mind, is psychologically destructive. I guessint the way the uneducated refer to Marijuana as a gateway drug though it really isnt (thats another topic, though I dont smoke it). Faith in a deity is a gateway to religion.

So I feel it best to leave both alone. however I have tried to believe in something in my past with atheistic veiwpoints so I dabbled with some buddhists. I was fine with relaxing in meditative state but when they spoke of karma afterlife etc. I respectfully and silently left never to return.

So I see the Humanistic views community in our Natural world as it is our primitive habitat that lay in our Genetics. So the good feeling I get walking in nature is not a spiritual expierience but rather a connection with my primal instinct. which may be a reason we have so many survivalists trekking and experiencing Tranquility While meeting ancestorra roots.

Well... I can keep going on about this but I feel it is better too sum my key points here:

-faith is is different than a fathomable belief that can be researched.

-Faith is maybe Okay in the sense "I have faith that this is a good person and will make good decisions." or " I have faith that bird will not gouge my eyes out as I walk by it.". Random things but the question you need to ask yourself is do you realy qualify this as faith or educated rationalization? I would say rationalization mor than faith. do you see what I am saying?

- Religion has always left a really bad taste and no matter what the religion there will always be irrational thought even if they claim no deities the underlying contention is there is one in someway shape or form that they fallicize.

- Religion in hands of fundy is the same as drug Pushers trying to get you to sample their Heroinewhile holding a gun to your head. either way you lose. in my mind I either lose Contitutional rights or I mentally vomit everytime a theologian pushes there ways on me.

- off topic a bit but I am sick of political Correctness which I dont even know who brought it aside from Oprah- I somehow believe its mix of Feminists Religion and Race frankly I dont care it violates my constitutional rights. So I will Speak freely.

 

 If in anyway I left you or anyone else with a feeling of hostility I in know way was intending it to be as such, I do hope this gives the insight you were however looking for. 

If God didn't want atheists than we wouldn't exist..