Why Is It So Hard? [kill em with kindness]

Parallel
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Why Is It So Hard? [kill em with kindness]

Here's one for you: Why is it so hard to accept that there is no god and vice versa?

Yeah, a bit controversial I know, but just take a minute and think about it.

 

Now I'm an agnostic-atheist so I'll obviously lean more toward the atheist's argument here, but I want to hear everyone's thoughts, especially theists. Alright, now go get 'em.


"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them." ~Galileo Galilei


EXC
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Ultimately, everything boils

Ultimately, everything boils down to how one feels about something. Theism doesn't make me feel any better and being around theist 'logic' makes me want to puke. Obviously theists feel better trying to make themselves believe that all powerful entity loves them and will help them and let them live forever, so logic and reason are trumped by what they feel.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


BobSpence
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Actually the question

Actually the question doesn't quite make sense.

I will try to answer on the assumption that it is about why each side finds it so hard to understand the other's point of view.

As a lifelong strong Atheist, I can still understand, broadly, the psychology of the believers.

It is hard for many of them because they have incorporated the God-meme deeply into their world-view, so to remove it would require them to rethink their ideas about truth and reality from the ground up - that is why it would be so hard for them.

With Atheists such as myself, I have so deeply incorporated the 'pursuit of truth' at every level, with presuppositions kept to the absolute minimum in number and scale. I keep the validity of basic logic and the need to balance probabilities rather than seek 'proof' as core assumptions.

This eliminates assumptions about the existence of poorly defined entities such as Gods. It is INSANE to assume the existence of every conceivable entity which has not been explicitly disproved, which would be the LOGICAL consistent implication of the idea that we are starting from the explicit assumption of the non-existence of God. The only RATIONAL starting point is to only accept the possible existence of things when sufficient positive evidence has been presented.

For me to accept Theism as rational would violate my lifelong assumptions, which have brought me what seems to me a deep level of insight into 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

This disagreement about the fundamental primal nature of the God concept seems to be the core reason why there is this difficulty in mutual understanding.

There also seems to be a fundamental divide on the ontological status of internal experiences and intuitions - Theists seem to assume that our minds are capable of making verifiable contact with a higher realm and/or ultimate 'truths', non-Theists generally discount such ideas unless backed up by some form of external, empirical evidence.

It has echoes in the ancient distinction between the ideas of Plato and Aristotle.

 

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

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

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

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


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Why "either way" is it

Why "either way" is it hard?

What the fuck kind of question is that?

It is easy to make shit up, humans always have. What is HARD is overcoming our natural flaw in our evolution to take a step back when a gap hits us, and study the gap so that we can eventually find answers.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Parallel
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BobSpence1 wrote:Actually

BobSpence1 wrote:

Actually the question doesn't quite make sense.

Hm, after rereading I can't help but agree, I tend to do the "dictated but not read" method. And after short contemplation I realized I was being too nice. My opinion is that if there were no concept of "god" there would never be one, and people whom would believe today's concepts of "god" would likely be hospitalized, but that's just my opinion. Anywho, change of plans.

Why is it so hard to accept that there is not god?

I was in denial when I found out Santa and the tooth fairy weren't real... And I was pleased to find out monsters and zombies weren't real... And it was a disappointment to find out i can't shoot laser beams from my finger tips...


"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them." ~Galileo Galilei


EXC
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BobSpence1 wrote:With

BobSpence1 wrote:

With Atheists such as myself, I have so deeply incorporated the 'pursuit of truth' at every level, with presuppositions kept to the absolute minimum in number and scale. I keep the validity of basic logic and the need to balance probabilities rather than seek 'proof' as core assumptions.

This eliminates assumptions about the existence of poorly defined entities such as Gods. It is INSANE to assume the existence of every conceivable entity which has not been explicitly disproved, which would be the LOGICAL consistent implication of the idea that we are starting from the explicit assumption of the non-existence of God. The only RATIONAL starting point is to only accept the possible existence of things when sufficient positive evidence has been presented.

For me to accept Theism as rational would violate my lifelong assumptions, which have brought me what seems to me a deep level of insight into 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

But what if you were kidnapped by a religious cult. Then they brainwashed and drugged you until you 'believed'.

At that point, wouldn't you be 'believing' because it would feel like the right thing to do? And the reason you think about things the way you do is ultimately because this feels better. So ultimately the reason you're atheist is because magical fantasies don't produce much pleasure for you. Just like if you don't smoke you would hate doing it at first, but eventually you could be conditioned to like it and be addicted to it.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Atheistextremist
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I think the core reasons are simple

Parallel wrote:

Why is it so hard to accept that there is not god?

I was in denial when I found out Santa and the tooth fairy weren't real... And I was pleased to find out monsters and zombies weren't real... And it was a disappointment to find out i can't shoot laser beams from my finger tips...


Not everyone is brave enough to face the night sky without holding some one's hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
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I also argue that

Parallel wrote:

I was in denial when I found out Santa and the tooth fairy weren't real... And I was pleased to find out monsters and zombies weren't real... And it was a disappointment to find out i can't shoot laser beams from my finger tips...

There is a tooth fairy. If a tooth fairy is simply a creature that sneaks into kids bedrooms' in the night and puts money under pillow in exchange for fangs, there's plenty of evidence for a tooth fairy  - perhaps more evidence than for god.

I had this experience multiple times growing up. The tooth fairy was a vital income stream of my youth. What went wrong?

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Parallel
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Parallel wrote:

I was in denial when I found out Santa and the tooth fairy weren't real... And I was pleased to find out monsters and zombies weren't real... And it was a disappointment to find out i can't shoot laser beams from my finger tips...

There is a tooth fairy. If a tooth fairy is simply a creature that sneaks into kids bedrooms' in the night and puts money under pillow in exchange for fangs, there's plenty of evidence for a tooth fairy  - perhaps more evidence than for god.

I had this experience multiple times growing up. The tooth fairy was a vital income stream of my youth. What went wrong?

 

 

Haha, nice.


"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them." ~Galileo Galilei


FurryCatHerder
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Atheistextremist wrote:There

Atheistextremist wrote:
There is a tooth fairy. If a tooth fairy is simply a creature that sneaks into kids bedrooms' in the night and puts money under pillow in exchange for fangs, there's plenty of evidence for a tooth fairy  - perhaps more evidence than for god.

I had this experience multiple times growing up. The tooth fairy was a vital income stream of my youth. What went wrong?

You started brushing your teeth regularly, so they stopped falling out.  The Dentist killed the Tooth Fairy.  A bit like the dentist (played by Steve Martin) in "Little Shop of Horrors".

The real answer to the question is Cognitive Dissonance.

Theological beliefs can become central to ones definition of Self.  Such a radical change in self-perception creates some pretty heavy-duty psycho-trauma that most people would rather avoid, so they grab on to their belief system all the more firm on account of it's less painful than the alternative.  The more times through that process a person goes, the more heavily invested they become, the more difficult it is to let go.

I've debated a lot of Christians over the years and they will follow along with an argument up until the conclusion, then they go all batty.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Peppermint42
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Ooh this is fun because I'm

Ooh this is fun because I'm actually majoring in psychology (it's fascinating, isn't it?).

For me I went from totally believing in God and prayer and all that to a kind of "God doesn't care about us" mentality, then finally to a total rejection of His existence. 

At least in the beginning (now I disbelieve for more reasons than this) it was more comforting to me to see the world without God at all than to imagine a God that just watched us all live our miserable lives and watch us stumble and fumble and go mad and die, whether or not he "loved" us.


Atheistextremist
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Fairy floss

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
There is a tooth fairy. If a tooth fairy is simply a creature that sneaks into kids bedrooms' in the night and puts money under pillow in exchange for fangs, there's plenty of evidence for a tooth fairy  - perhaps more evidence than for god.

I had this experience multiple times growing up. The tooth fairy was a vital income stream of my youth. What went wrong?

You started brushing your teeth regularly, so they stopped falling out.  The Dentist killed the Tooth Fairy.  A bit like the dentist (played by Steve Martin) in "Little Shop of Horrors".

 

Awwwww. It wasn't the floss it was just me milk teef...I'm sure they stopped falling out at 5 or something. I've had the same fangs for ages.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Unrepentant_Elitist
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Not everyone is brave enough...

Nicely put. May I steal it for personal use?


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Gallowsbait wrote:Ooh this

Gallowsbait wrote:

Ooh this is fun because I'm actually majoring in psychology (it's fascinating, isn't it?).

For me I went from totally believing in God and prayer and all that to a kind of "God doesn't care about us" mentality, then finally to a total rejection of His existence. 

At least in the beginning (now I disbelieve for more reasons than this) it was more comforting to me to see the world without God at all than to imagine a God that just watched us all live our miserable lives and watch us stumble and fumble and go mad and die, whether or not he "loved" us.

I have always found it difficult to explain to theists the sense of relief I have when I objectively review my beliefs (more to the point, the lack thereof). It seems that many people (I am merely speaking from personal experience, so please pardon the generalization) equate the lack of belief in god with a sense of loss and despair. I, however, am pleased that I can find no conclusive evidence for god. As such, I need not write an extensive letter of complaint to him regarding his "creation."


Atheistextremist
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Sure Elitist - help yourself.

Unrepentant_Elitist wrote:

Nicely put. May I steal it for personal use?

 

I write a lot of simple free verse poetry.

 

Here's one I prepared earlier:

 

 

                   Existence

 

my mind makes a one way trip, at night, on

a winding road through spectacular country

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Peppermint42
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I'm glad I'm not alone in

I'm glad I'm not alone in that respect.  Smiling