How close have you come to believing in god?

Nipper
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How close have you come to believing in god?

For a tiny instant tonight, my 40 year-old cyicism towards religion was shaken or perhaps stirred at least. Yesterday, I went on the evolvefish site and ordered a Darwin badge for my car. Today, on the way back from a long trip, my car breaks down and I'm told the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. It's a good job I believe that the infinite and random nature of life, by definition, will produce a few coincidences occasionally.

I'm back to normal again now, but just for a minute there my, some primeval instinct told my brain there was a connection between to two events. It's easy to see how thousands of years ago, we as a species tried to take control over and introduce predictability into our lives but, lacking scientific knowledge, we invented gods as the means of doing it. What gets me is, you'd have thought we'd have grown out of it by now....

Does anyone else ever get that feeling?


MattShizzle
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Not since I've been an

Not since I've been an atheist.


Asmoday
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I beleive that there is no

I beleive that there is no such thing as coincidence.

Everything happens for a reason.


Hambydammit
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For a few months, maybe a

For a few months, maybe a year, after I became an atheist, I had moments where I would panic for a second as the "what if I'm wrong" argument leapt into my conscious brain.

{edit: firefox's spell check doesn't like the word "leapt." Made me question my own spelling, damn it! For that matter, it doesn't like the word, "Firefox." Go figure.}

Since then, I have only become more sure of the correctness of my belief. You didn't exactly say how long you've been an atheist, or for that matter, that you are an atheist. Just that you have been cynical towards religion for 40 years. I've been an atheist for about 12 years now, and I can say that for at least the last five or six, I've had no doubts at all.

On a bizarre side note, an ex-girlfriend, whom I thought I would marry (not least because she shared my two most important life-views -- atheism and the desire to not overpopulate this planet any more than it already is!) confessed to me that she thought she was in danger of becoming a fundamentalist Christian. I asked if she believed in that god, and she said no, but that the lure of the social network was very strong. About a year after that, she informed me that she also wanted to bear children, so that pretty much killed the whole deal. At any rate, I tell you that to illustrate that the seduction of religion isn't just from the belief in god. Many people can't stand the isolation of atheism.

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

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Hambydammit
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Quote:I beleive that there

Quote:
I beleive that there is no such thing as coincidence.

Everything happens for a reason.

That's either completely silly or painfully obvious. No offense.

Everything does happen for a reason. This is the exact same as saying every effect has a cause.

If you mean everything happens because some magical mystery force wants it to, then that's just completely silly.

Please, please, don't say anything about how the universe must have a creator since every effect has a cause. There are so many other threads on this board that have dealt with that puny little argument. Ask an admin to direct you to one if you're really interested.

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

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Presently atheist, recently,

Presently atheist, recently, 50/50 atheist/deist (for short times, while mostly being atheist), less recently (after I was like 7), deism, long ago (as in 6 year old mommy-what-do-I-do), moderate christian somewhat skeptical of my fundamentalist mom and her jibberish-speaking water-throwing flake-eating (but the grape juice was pretty good).


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When I didn't know anything

When I didn't know anything and I got the fire and brimstone thing I was pretty close to becoming theist, but it did fail in the end. Also when I started diving into religions I once got close to believing, but for silly reasons and it was more of a "weird feeling." Such "feelings" weren't anything special though and I think was do to a story or convo I was having with someone who was pretty emotional. Also after that I looked into satanism and a few other things.


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The Atheist Express

I don't know if I ever really 'believed' in a god, it was just there. I was raised in that environment and that is what I was told was the truth.
When I got to be a teenager, and my thoughts were racing around my brain like 'cats on fire' (sorry Susan), I began to notice small things around me that just didn't add up. Not something definitive, just a hunch, so to speak. I would just wonder, when I saw an old woman struggling to just walk down the street, why the god who I was told 'loved me' would allow that to happen.

Lots and lots of questions, but no one around to answer them. When I would ask my elders, they would tell me that, "God did it", or "It's God's plan" or "We don't question God", but even then I realized, that wasn't an answer, but in fact it created more questions. I had no name for this questioning, but I just knew that 'God' was not the answer.
Was I afraid, sure, very much so, but the world that had opened up before my eyes helped to quell that fear.
So at that point I embarked on a life of discovery, and I have 'never' looked back.


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My background is a bit odd

My background is a bit odd in that my parents didn't really address the issue so I didn't have anyone that I would consider of authority telling me to be anything.


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Razorcade wrote:I don't know

Razorcade wrote:
I don't know if I ever really 'believed' in a god, it was just there. I was raised in that environment and that is what I was told was the truth.
When I got to be a teenager, and my thoughts were racing around my brain like 'cats on fire' (sorry Susan), I began to notice small things around me that just didn't add up. Not something definitive, just a hunch, so to speak. I would just wonder, when I saw an old woman struggling to just walk down the street, why the god who I was told 'loved me' would allow that to happen.

Lots and lots of questions, but no one around to answer them. When I would ask my elders, they would tell me that, "God did it", or "It's God's plan" or "We don't question God", but even then I realized, that wasn't an answer, but in fact it created more questions. I had no name for this questioning, but I just knew that 'God' was not the answer.
Was I afraid, sure, very much so, but the world that had opened up before my eyes helped to quell that fear.
So at that point I embarked on a life of discovery, and I have 'never' looked back.

My story, almost exactly. Except for the "cats on fire" thing. Smiling

What's interesting is that some folks see similarities or coincidences and feel that there is some kind of connection between events. However, we don't pay attention to everything else that isn't a similarity or coincidence.

If there were a way to count events and note which were similar and which were not, I suspect the percentage of coincidence would be pretty low.

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I do, on occasion, wonder

I do, on occasion, wonder "what if". I think about what seems like divine intervention. But when a little rationality is applied, it turns out to be nothing more than coincidence.

When somehting bad happens when you do something anti-theistic, think of the times that something good happened (or nothing at all).

My "what if" moments, usually last for no more than a minute.
To me "what if" is the equilivant of "would'a, could'a, should'a" It is usually a waste of time.

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Oh sometimes I wonder if it

Oh sometimes I wonder if it would be wrong or tempting fate, despite the fact I don't believe in fate, if I were to flip off the church I pass everyday going to school. I think I'm more worried about how theist would view bad things in my life. You know the whole "bad things happen to you because your atheist" argument. And since going down the road at high speeds with one hand on the wheel might cause harm I almost want to be safer so they can't bitch at me later. I wonder how many other things I do that with...


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I was one of those people

I was one of those people who believed in god from the start. Even when I abandoned the ideas of organized religion I replaced it with my own ad hoc system of belief that had a god in the center. It was a deistic worldview where god was absolutely unknowable. Now I consider myself an agnostic atheist, however I still get torn from time to time about the idea of a creator. I think partly due to the fact that I see the world much more as a romancer than say a theorist.


Hambydammit
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I know so many people like

I know so many people like that, melchisedec. As a matter of definition, I think a "weak" atheist, i.e. someone who simply lacks belief in a deity rather than actively disbelieving in all deities, has to be an agnostic. In other words, if you lack a belief in a deity because you've seen no evidence (atheist) then you clearly don't have any definitions for a deity if one does exist (agnostic).

I'm pretty low on the romantic index, so it's not hard for me to view reality as simply existing. I understand the romantic appeal of a creator, though. What I wonder is how many people would default to creator belief if there wasn't a prevalent mythology in place to suggest the idea at an early age.

I'm not suggesting an answer to that question. I truly don't know. Obviously we invented gods in the first place. Would we spontaneously reinvent them if we could wave a magic wand and erase religion from the world?

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

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Nope, never gotten that

Nope, never gotten that feeling before. Even if there was a god, why would it care about your car or what bumper sticker you have?


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Nipper wrote:For a tiny

Nipper wrote:
For a tiny instant tonight, my 40 year-old cyicism towards religion was shaken or perhaps stirred at least. Yesterday, I went on the evolvefish site and ordered a Darwin badge for my car. Today, on the way back from a long trip, my car breaks down and I'm told the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. It's a good job I believe that the infinite and random nature of life, by definition, will produce a few coincidences occasionally.

I'm back to normal again now, but just for a minute there my, some primeval instinct told my brain there was a connection between to two events. It's easy to see how thousands of years ago, we as a species tried to take control over and introduce predictability into our lives but, lacking scientific knowledge, we invented gods as the means of doing it. What gets me is, you'd have thought we'd have grown out of it by now....

Does anyone else ever get that feeling?

Well, if one wants to "conclude" that a god is out there because of something like what you experianced all you have to do is ask yourself, "Ok, I got a helping hand, but what about Molly Class? What about the people of Darfur? What did these people do for an all loving deity to say, "I'll sit this one out and let it happen"?

So, if one wants to go that route, EVEN IF, that is not a deity I'd worship or resepect.

I do think it is simply YOU atributing meaning to something and that is not magic, but basic human phycology.

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Ever been afraid of a

Ever been afraid of a monster on a movie screen? Or upset by a noise late at night? Fear and anxiety drive superstituous thinking. Nothing new here. But we can laugh off the sudden, random belief in monsters as silly, whereas a sudden, irrational 'god belief' seems to have more relevance, somehow.... But the only difference is that 'monster belief' was not inculcated into us in childhood. We can shake off the idea of monsters, coz we were taught that that idea is silly.

What would impress me is if an american had an emotional reaction and suddenly had a belief in Allah or Zeus.....

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Quote:inculcated Good

Quote:
inculcated

Good word.

I'm going to use that in a sentence today.

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

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I had to laugh a little. You

I had to laugh a little. You know, every single time I've EVER put a sticker on my car, it's either died or been in an accident within the week. And I'll go long stretches, figure the "curse" is gone, put a sticker up, and the next day, hit-and-run.

Now, I'm a totally reasonable person, but I swear, it's happened like 12 times now.

It makes me wonder about superstition and the whole bit. I'm pretty logical (I mean, I'm here, so that's something), but it does make me question my decisions a little. But, ultimately it doesn't stop me from continuing from putting stickers on my car.

But my total sympathies. Losing a car suuuuucks. Hope everything works out.


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I was an atheist long before

oops. Double post


V1per41
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I was an atheist long before

I was an atheist long before I started doing any real research into religion.

When I did start looking into it further, I would watch videos about "evidence" that creationists had and I would think, "Wow that's pretty interesting. How could such a thing be explained by science!?" Of course the next day I would go and watch a video on evolution which would easily and systematically dispose of every piece of "evidence" seen the day before.

I wouldn't say I was ever in danger of "jumping ship" but there were times when I was curious as to how science was going to explain this or that.

The only thing I haven't found is how science explains the golden ratio and it's abundance in nature.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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LadySpankington wrote:I had

LadySpankington wrote:
I had to laugh a little. You know, every single time I've EVER put a sticker on my car, it's either died or been in an accident within the week. And I'll go long stretches, figure the "curse" is gone, put a sticker up, and the next day, hit-and-run.

heheh..... I recall putting a "Ramones' bumpersticker on my car and being pulled over that very day by a cop... I think there's a logical connection there, however..... good thing it wasn't a "Ice Cube" bumper sticker, or I might not be here today posting....

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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"How close have you come to

"How close have you come to believing in god?" I had this weird experience @ 1997 and while I didn't go as far to attribute god's hand in it, I still thought it was some weird coincidence. When I was 2 months pregnant with my first, I was driving through the eastern high desert territory of Oregon returning to where I live now. At @ 9am I am driving down a long stretch of road that goes on forever. I see in the distance a figure standing next to the road. I realize it is a deer as I get closer. Just standing there. I reduce speed to @ 25mph and think what a pretty creature, when the fucker jumps in front of my '72VW bus and sends me rolling 2 full turns finally resting on my driver side. 2 months prenant. Bloody head wound. I can't stand for the loss of blood. My future husband is unharmed and taking care of me on this desolate highway in indian reservation territory. My dog Miller is never to be seen again. Ran off to live a happy life, I hope. We get rescued by good friends. (This story has been cut short to save time). Fast forward to the year 2000. My husband, myself, and my first born going for a drive in our '79 Toyota Corolla. I, pregnant with my second, also at 2 months. We were heading to the lake. 45mph when out of nowhere a deer jumps out and hits my side first (I'm driving). The deer's body whips around to my husband's side where he has his arm propped in the window. The body hits his arm at the elbow completely breaking the upper arm bone about midway. When the car finally stops, I look at my son in the back and he is hystericalbut physically fine. My future husband says, "Welp, my arm's broke." I look to it and see a most unusual way for an arm to hang. Again we get rescued by friends. OK here's the weird thing also on top of being 2 months pregnant both times-I have never hit an animal by car in my life. So, I have decided to 1) never get pregnant again and 2) if I do get pregnant, never drive esp. at 2 months. There is no amount of scientific evidence to make me think otherwise. Laughing out loud


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There are so many damn deer

There are so many damn deer here in Georgia. About 6 months ago I pulled off a maneuver I didn't even know my car was capable of while trying to avoid the mystery appearing deer at about 2am. I attribute it to all those video games I played as a teenager. If I'd had time to think, I'd never have been able to avoid it.

They also eat my plants, and I dislike them for it.

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

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