Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

Sapient
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

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Im thinkin....

if someone's parent dies and they feel their parent is watchin over them and guidin them and that brings comfort to them in their trauma...

whats wrong with that?

That's not very harmful in itself. As you see in our world, some people who do harm in the name of religion believe in the same god that the above person does, however they have a different reaction with their belief. Your scenario can be like a gateway drug, some people go off the deep end others merely do what you mentioned above. My biggest gripe with the above scenario is that it's a dishonest one. I abhor dishonesty directed at others, but abhor it even more when it is dishonesty with oneself. It's a fantasy world based on nothing that can be proven in reality, sure it makes people feel better... but at a cost. Scientific study on the failure of prayer as it relates to heart surgery: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18725094.300.html

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Isnt irrational belief not the worst thing in the world?

No, irrational belief is not the worst thing in the world. However often times irrational belief can lead to some of the worst things in the world.

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I mean isnt the important thing to have equal rights and decent living conditions for all people?

That is an important thing, yes.

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Isnt that more important than havin everyone think exactly the same (i.e. atheist)

That's a strawman. You've presented something that is untrue and set up a false proposition for me to answer. Atheists don't all think exactly the same. In fact there are plenty of irrational atheists. There is a saying amonst atheists... "the only thing that an atheist must have in common with another atheist is lacking a belief in god."

Now if you mean, that everyone would lack belief in god, yes that would be a good start. That would help achieve exactly what you hope to achieve. You hope to achieve equal rights and decent living conditions, and the end of theism would play quite a nice role in those things coming to fruition. The crusades come to mind, the Holocaust comes to mind, and Christianity vs. Islam come to mind as all things that would disappear as a result of the end of theism.

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peace

Peace right back atcha.


HealingBlight
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

Than and alot of religions give the followers the idea that they are gods chosen people and that the others are heathens, how can you have better equality when you have everyone going around thinking that they are better by right of god?

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I'll get back to you when I think of something worthwhile to say.


Sapient
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

There was more, but I want to protect my friends anonymity, posting more would give him away.

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I think there is a BIG difference though between beliveing in somethin that you can't see and in following HUMANS who masquerade as "God's message" like pastors and all that...

you know what Im sayin?

Yes. There is a big difference yet both have something (if not several things) completely in common with each other. They both require people to believe in something they have no evidence for. Why? Why stop at a god? Why not believe in invisible elephants and flying sharks? We have just as much proof of flying sharks, as we do in a God.

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And I think it's dangerous and fundamentalist that you seem to think you have all the answers about the world.

No, no no. I don't think I have all the answers at all. However there are some fairly simple rules to logic that help determine what isn't worth believing in and what is. Things that have no proof and that you can't see, that you must accept on faith would be included in that category. If you accept the existence of a god watching over you, why "god?" Why not those invisible sharks?

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Because the wisest people know that the more you know - the more you realize you dont know. We only know what we see and believe.

Yet you believe in things that you can't see. Why? Comfort? Isn't it uncomfortable to know that you have to lie to yourself to get that comfort?

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For all we know we are livin in the Matrix and we are already dead. haha. for real though the concept...

Or that we are simply in an alien simulation video game each of us is merely a pet of some alien society.

- Brian Sapient


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Yellow_Number_Five
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

I'm deleting this one, I don't feel like faking apologies for it.


Samuel
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

I don't think irrational belief is the worst thing in the world, but I do think it is the primary cause of the worst things in the world.

If a patient is dieing or something there IS something wrong with you leing to their face in an attempt to comfort them. As I've said, "Anything faith can do, reason can do better." There are better ways to comfort them without lieing, there are betters ways to honor their memory than lieing, and their are better ways of arguing dealing with all the sad parts of life than lieing for those carry the most horrible of side effects.

You can comfort with reason and reality. You can. You can help someone remember their life, their successes, cherish their memory, tell them how much they mean to you...

Or you can use that time in a waste, in a lie.

Religion is bad everywhere. Even when faith can slighty do something positive, reason can do it hundres of times better and without the negative side effects.


peppermint
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Letter from a friend who holds on to his theism

I agree with you, Sapient. Personally, I feel better knowing that my beloved pet I just put to sleep will never experience pain ever again. Death is part of life and we must learn to deal with it in the most rational ways possible...thus ensuring our sanity and that of others.

Frankly if I believed my pet was watching me from another plane of existence, I'd be angry I would have no connection to that pet, I'd wonder how anyone could possibly know such a thing, and I would further question the reason for my pet's leaving me.

It's better to stick to the truth, especially with things so delicate to many people as death.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

"Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby