Author Topic: Holding my tongue /w religious friends...the idea of "worship" (atheists only)  (Read 12839 times)

Sailor Sam

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #150 on: December 29, 2018, 09:05:50 AM »
You are equating belief and non-belief as equally valid.

No one is doing this, but you keep repeating it.  You might want to spend some time comprehending what people are saying.  Respecting someone and her beliefs is not the same as holding those beliefs as equally valid.

So when is it okay to not "respect" someone's beliefs? If someone thinks LGBTQ people are abominations, is it okay to not "respect" their beliefs? I have more to follow up with, but I will stop there and let you answer that specific question.

And I can comprehend just fine, pal! I have 3 semesters of law school and a zombie novel under my belt!

(*I am switching to IC Nick Miller mode to make sure we keep some levity as we discuss these issues and all remain friends)

LGBTQ-type person, here. To answer your question: yes, it is correct for someone to think me an abomination, and to respect their belief. Allow me to elaborate.

Every adult has a deeply held theory of what they consider a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society. Many adults fall into basic groups. Liberal. Conservative. Vegan. Christian. Such on, and so forth. What @Kris called a paradigm.

To the fundamentalist Christian, a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society is predicated on the inerrant and infallible word of God, which is communicated through the bible. The bible has several critical passages that say homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, homosexuality is not part of a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society, and must be suppressed. Suppressing homosexuality isn't done from a standpoint of hate; it's done from a standpoint of ensuring society remains moral. In my experience, many fundamentalist show a surprising amount of compassion, totally free of repugnance, towards an individual homosexual. They think my sexual desire an abomination, but believe I have a soul worth saving.

Such people are striving for a moral society, and I can fully respect that. We simply disagree on the definition of moral. Obviously I tend to believe that a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society is based on acceptance of most things that fall under identity politics. I will, in fact, fight the fundamentalist idea of sexuality with every fiber of my being. But I can respect the consistency of thought and their desire for a moral society. It's the same desire I have.

Wow @Sailor Sam , that's pretty freakin' articulate.

Hey, thanks! However, don't assign me sainthood yet. I view the evangelists the same as I view the eugenicists of the the 1900s, or McCarthyists of the 1950s. The founders of the movement are vicious, cold minded, and have wider agendas. But such movements do usually contain a smattering of people who are purely motivated. All they want is to usher in a better world, and I can respect that they are pushing for what they truly view as the greater good.

That's the limit of my respect. Because purity of motivation does not remove responsibility for the consequences. The consequences of evangelical suppressing homosexuality is despair, hopelessness, and suicide. Usually among the youngest and most vulnerable of my people. Evangelism is a scourge, and each person who embraces such ideas have their own small responsibility towards the next teenager that opens their veins in order to make the pain stop.

Please don't mistake my rationality for lack of rage.

dustinst22

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #151 on: December 29, 2018, 09:49:02 AM »

Harry Potter, Bronies, Star Wars, WOW, Star trek...I can listen to people talk excitedly about things like this and when I just equate Christianity to another fandom I am surprisingly so much more accepting.  I also get secret enjoyment from this amusement. 


Yes absolutely.  And don't forget political party fandom, it definitely falls in the same category.

SomedayStache

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #152 on: December 30, 2018, 09:52:02 AM »

SomedayStache's fandom idea is both hilarious and useful, but the comparison breaks down when active harm is the result of the religious beliefs.

Right.  I realize this as well and my initial post had a paragraph regarding this exact subject which I deleted.  The fandom bit allows me to get through conversations with relatives at weddings with a minimum of emotional angst on my part but there's a whole lot of historical baggage and active harm still being done by the church that needs addressing. 

wordnerd

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #153 on: December 30, 2018, 10:25:13 AM »

SomedayStache's fandom idea is both hilarious and useful, but the comparison breaks down when active harm is the result of the religious beliefs.

Right.  I realize this as well and my initial post had a paragraph regarding this exact subject which I deleted.  The fandom bit allows me to get through conversations with relatives at weddings with a minimum of emotional angst on my part but there's a whole lot of historical baggage and active harm still being done by the church that needs addressing.

Not to get too off-topic, but fandom has harms too. There have been many studies like this: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/study-domestic-violence-increases-after-major-sporting-events/263570/

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #154 on: December 30, 2018, 11:11:53 AM »
But I don't get the "It shouldn't bother you" comment. Yes it bothers me because...
...
2) It is not healthy for people to function under delusions. It's just not. I mean, when does "crazy" start? If I said I had invisible unicorns in my yard wouldn't you be concerned about me?

I am not sure the data supports this conclusion. Talking to those invisible unicorns may be good for your health. ;-)
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2521827
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15569904

jim555

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #155 on: December 30, 2018, 12:56:39 PM »
I have been on both sides of this.  For 35 years I was the world's biggest agnostic atheist who thought Christians were a deluded bunch of fools.  Now I am a sovereign grace five point TULIP Calvinist.  God works in mysterious ways in the conversion of His elect.

Car Jack

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #156 on: December 31, 2018, 04:31:50 PM »
I have been on both sides of this.  For 35 years I was the world's biggest agnostic atheist who thought Christians were a deluded bunch of fools.  Now I am a sovereign grace five point TULIP Calvinist.  God works in mysterious ways in the conversion of His elect.

What?

I played guitar in my wife's church band for 3 years.  I strongly believe that others are free to believe or not however they want.  I would never volunteer speak during service.  After my first "no" to the offer for me to offer the prayer, I was left alone.  I was there for the music and expansion of my guitar skills and ability to play in a band.  I'm too old and still have kids so am not going to get into some cover band and play bars on weekends.  Playing at the church worked fine.  Why did I leave?  My wife (a believer) finally confronted me about playing in a church band while not believing.  I finished the 2 next Sundays I had committed to and then blocked all dates in the online availability calendar forever and never went back.

How did I deal with a bunch of bible thumpers (evangelistic church) with the "let's pray before practice, let's pray after practice, let's pray about practice"....kind of people.  I simply held my tongue and always just kept my mouth shut.  I did often think to myself "man, these people sure waste a lot of time for some old timey myths". 

Kris

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #157 on: December 31, 2018, 04:52:43 PM »
I have been on both sides of this.  For 35 years I was the world's biggest agnostic atheist who thought Christians were a deluded bunch of fools.  Now I am a sovereign grace five point TULIP Calvinist.  God works in mysterious ways in the conversion of His elect.

What?

I played guitar in my wife's church band for 3 years.  I strongly believe that others are free to believe or not however they want.  I would never volunteer speak during service.  After my first "no" to the offer for me to offer the prayer, I was left alone.  I was there for the music and expansion of my guitar skills and ability to play in a band.  I'm too old and still have kids so am not going to get into some cover band and play bars on weekends.  Playing at the church worked fine.  Why did I leave?  My wife (a believer) finally confronted me about playing in a church band while not believing.  I finished the 2 next Sundays I had committed to and then blocked all dates in the online availability calendar forever and never went back.

How did I deal with a bunch of bible thumpers (evangelistic church) with the "let's pray before practice, let's pray after practice, let's pray about practice"....kind of people.  I simply held my tongue and always just kept my mouth shut.  I did often think to myself "man, these people sure waste a lot of time for some old timey myths".

Interesting. I had a somewhat similar experience. I used to play with a group of people who all went to the same church, and I got pulled in because I was friends with one of the members. I was the only member. We'd do stuff like go to old folks' homes to entertain them, that kind of stuff. I considered it one of my volunteer gigs.

Why did I quit? Mounting pressure from the band members about my church non-belief. It pissed me off that they had asked me to play with them and do this thing, and then give me shit because I wasn't measuring up. So, I left. Screw that.

dougules

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #158 on: January 02, 2019, 11:33:22 AM »
I have been on both sides of this.  For 35 years I was the world's biggest agnostic atheist who thought Christians were a deluded bunch of fools.  Now I am a sovereign grace five point TULIP Calvinist.  God works in mysterious ways in the conversion of His elect.

I'm not sure what your point is.  I would guess most people here have also been on both sides of this.  I was a devout Mormon until I was 23, and I bet a lot of the atheist/agnostic folks posting here were raised to believe in a religion. 

This conversation could really apply to any difference in religion.  How does a Catholic person hold their tongue when a Protestant person says something that contradicts their beliefs?

iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #159 on: January 02, 2019, 12:00:54 PM »
I am an old atheist and can assure you, OP, that atheists are just as tiresome as overly religious people.


You are probably too young to know about Madelyn Murray OHare and her motley crew, but there was some atheists you do not want to align with.


iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #160 on: January 02, 2019, 12:18:29 PM »
What I find off-putting more are people who make it their mission to assert their belief is best, be it religious or atheist-and as an atheist I'll say other atheists are REALLY annoying in this regard.

I agree with you.  "Virtue Signaling" is just as annoying as proselytizing, and this can come from both extremes.  Ironically both sides can't stand each other -- if only they realized how much they have in common.

Yep. I used to work with someone I described as an "evangelical atheist." That person never hid their contempt for anyone who believed in a higher power....
Yes, you will find too many of these people in the local Unitarian Universalist Church congregation. Many (most?) of these have the fervor of the newly converted, they were raised as Baptist/Catholic/Jewish/whatever and have newly broken free and are distainfil of those who have not broken free of the shackles.

Usually by the 2nd generation the atheist fervor dies down.

Iris—raised as 4th generation UU but now unchurched


shenlong55

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #161 on: January 02, 2019, 12:45:54 PM »
Did you read the other posts? I know it's a lot, but I explain a lot in other posts.

But long story short, we just disagree. You are equating belief and non-belief as equally valid. They are not, IMO. One makes extraordinary claims and requires extraordinary evidence. The other simply asks for that extraordinary evidence and points out the lack thereof.

And I've addressed this (many times) before, but WHY do I need to "respect" their views when their views are based on ancient myths, impossibilities, and internal inconsistencies? I'm not being sarcastic when I ask this, I promise. I am just trying to understand better. What makes their views worthy of respect when they make no sense? The mere fact that they hold those views?  So no matter what someone thinks, as long as they legitimately believe it, we can never call it out?

I could be wrong, but the impression I get is that you're coming from a position of disbelief not simply non-belief.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #162 on: January 02, 2019, 01:27:53 PM »
Did you read the other posts? I know it's a lot, but I explain a lot in other posts.

But long story short, we just disagree. You are equating belief and non-belief as equally valid. They are not, IMO. One makes extraordinary claims and requires extraordinary evidence. The other simply asks for that extraordinary evidence and points out the lack thereof.

And I've addressed this (many times) before, but WHY do I need to "respect" their views when their views are based on ancient myths, impossibilities, and internal inconsistencies? I'm not being sarcastic when I ask this, I promise. I am just trying to understand better. What makes their views worthy of respect when they make no sense? The mere fact that they hold those views?  So no matter what someone thinks, as long as they legitimately believe it, we can never call it out?

I could be wrong, but the impression I get is that you're coming from a position of disbelief not simply non-belief.

I can't PROVE no super-powerful entity exists! I can't PROVE that snakes didn't speak Hebrew and that pigs weren't possessed by evil spirits. I can't PROVE that she bears didn't "tear asunder" 42 teenagers under divine orders. All I can say is that those things are wildly inconsistent with everything we know about snakes and pigs and bears.

But I don't have to prove anything. Extraordinary claims require the extraordinary evidence. So I will wait and remain a skeptic until and unless such evidence is tendered. I hate waiting. I don't even like waiting 30 minutes to be seated at Chilis.

I keep coming back to how crazy it is that the people requiring evidence are the minority.

former player

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #163 on: January 02, 2019, 01:44:16 PM »
I keep coming back to how crazy it is that the people requiring evidence are the minority.
That one's easy.  Religious faith is not about knowing (ie having evidence), it's about believing (ie having faith).  By requiring evidence you are demonstrating that you are operating outside the context of religious belief.  Two completely different systems of thought and nary the twain shall meet.

shenlong55

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #164 on: January 02, 2019, 02:23:51 PM »
Did you read the other posts? I know it's a lot, but I explain a lot in other posts.

But long story short, we just disagree. You are equating belief and non-belief as equally valid. They are not, IMO. One makes extraordinary claims and requires extraordinary evidence. The other simply asks for that extraordinary evidence and points out the lack thereof.

And I've addressed this (many times) before, but WHY do I need to "respect" their views when their views are based on ancient myths, impossibilities, and internal inconsistencies? I'm not being sarcastic when I ask this, I promise. I am just trying to understand better. What makes their views worthy of respect when they make no sense? The mere fact that they hold those views?  So no matter what someone thinks, as long as they legitimately believe it, we can never call it out?

I could be wrong, but the impression I get is that you're coming from a position of disbelief not simply non-belief.

I can't PROVE no super-powerful entity exists! I can't PROVE that snakes didn't speak Hebrew and that pigs weren't possessed by evil spirits. I can't PROVE that she bears didn't "tear asunder" 42 teenagers under divine orders. All I can say is that those things are wildly inconsistent with everything we know about snakes and pigs and bears.

But I don't have to prove anything. Extraordinary claims require the extraordinary evidence. So I will wait and remain a skeptic until and unless such evidence is tendered. I hate waiting. I don't even like waiting 30 minutes to be seated at Chilis.

I keep coming back to how crazy it is that the people requiring evidence are the minority.

Okay, but who is actually making the claim in these situations?  Is it you, your religious friends or both of you?

Honestly, if your claim is that god does not exist, then I'd say your claim is the more extraordinary (def. very unusual or remarkable) one since most of humanity is still religious.

Just for the record, I consider myself agnostic(-ish).

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #165 on: January 02, 2019, 04:27:18 PM »
I keep coming back to how crazy it is that the people requiring evidence are the minority.
That one's easy.  Religious faith is not about knowing (ie having evidence), it's about believing (ie having faith).  By requiring evidence you are demonstrating that you are operating outside the context of religious belief.  Two completely different systems of thought and nary the twain shall meet.

Trust me, I understand that they are operating on emotion, not logic. It's just a shame that people operating on logic are so outnumbered.

iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #166 on: January 02, 2019, 08:40:39 PM »
I keep coming back to how crazy it is that the people requiring evidence are the minority.
That one's easy.  Religious faith is not about knowing (ie having evidence), it's about believing (ie having faith).  By requiring evidence you are demonstrating that you are operating outside the context of religious belief.  Two completely different systems of thought and nary the twain shall meet.

Trust me, I understand that they are operating on emotion, not logic. It's just a shame that people operating on logic are so outnumbered.

Is it a “shame?” Not necessarily. You value logic over emotion in (perhaps) all things. I am not so sure I would agree with you. Are you like this IRL? It wouldnt be fun, being your friend.




jim555

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #167 on: January 02, 2019, 09:06:23 PM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

Kris

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #168 on: January 03, 2019, 04:55:22 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

A goo puddle is already life. You just can’t see it without the aid of a microscope.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #169 on: January 03, 2019, 06:25:33 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

A goo puddle is already life. You just can’t see it without the aid of a microscope.
'Life forming from a goo puddle' was a metaphor for abiogenesis. It is just another god-of-the-gaps argument we can ignore.
For those of us who don't fall prey to such fallacies, here is a recent development in the area that hasn't even made it onto the wikipedia list of hypotheses yet https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02742-3.

lemonlyman

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #170 on: January 03, 2019, 07:20:17 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #171 on: January 03, 2019, 08:00:51 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

You're assuming people become atheists because they found a better explanation for Everything. I cannot explain the origin of life but still think that talking snakes, resurrections and virgins giving birth are kinda silly.

iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #172 on: January 03, 2019, 08:02:01 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.
If we are going to exchange tales of undue religious influence, I watched a local Muslim Imam and his followers play victim  in a building project where they refused to follow historic building codes because they claimed it was contrary to their goals. Reasonable people in this neighborhood spoke clearly about the architectural standards and their plan, making sure that everyone understood this congregation was welcome but their design was flawed.  No matter, their victim status earned them variances. Also pissed off here, but due  process has been exhausted and we will have an ugly one story building not oriented toward the street surrounded by Victorian buildings of a different nature. Victims winning again, yay! Not.

I was involved in another Muslim demand, where a young, fervent disciple of Mohammed demanded that the public library place the Koran on the highest shelf above all books in the library. Yeah pretty silly, but that is the where we are.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 08:09:09 AM by iris lily »

wenchsenior

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #173 on: January 03, 2019, 08:05:28 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.
If we are going to exchange tales of undue religious influence, I watched a local Muslim Imam and his followers play victim  in a building project where they refused to follow historic building codes because they claimed it was contrary to their goals. Reasonable people in this neighborhood spoke clearly about the architectural standards and their plan, making sure that everyone understood this congregation was welcome but their design was flawed.  No matter, the victim status one of them variances. Victims winning again, yay! Not.

I was involved in amother Muslim demand, where a young fervent disciple of Mohammed Just said that the public library must place the Caraun on the high shelf above all books in the library. Yeah pretty silly, but that is the where we are.


I'm not familiar with this text. Is it like the bybel?  :)

iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #174 on: January 03, 2019, 08:07:54 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.
If we are going to exchange tales of undue religious influence, I watched a local Muslim Imam and his followers play victim  in a building project where they refused to follow historic building codes because they claimed it was contrary to their goals. Reasonable people in this neighborhood spoke clearly about the architectural standards and their plan, making sure that everyone understood this congregation was welcome but their design was flawed.  No matter, the victim status one of them variances. Victims winning again, yay! Not.

I was involved in amother Muslim demand, where a young fervent disciple of Mohammed Just said that the public library must place the Caraun on the high shelf above all books in the library. Yeah pretty silly, but that is the where we are.


I'm not familiar with this text. Is it like the bybel?  :)

Haha, I fixed all of my typos, and there were a lot of them.

brandon1827

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #175 on: January 03, 2019, 08:59:01 AM »
Good morning all

I, like many who have posted here, live in the bible belt and grew up in the baptist church. After doing the research on my own, I have come to the conclusion that I'm an atheist. Personally, I cannot accept the stories in the bible as truth and require proof of the existence of an all-powerful being. As man has evolved, so has our ability to continually make leaps in understanding and advances in the abilities to prove things that were once not able to be proved. I think on the grand timeline, perhaps we will eventually find a way to prove or disprove the existence of a "creator", but until that day, I cannot accept this on faith alone.

I struggled with the conclusions of my own journey from devout christian to atheist, and even hesitated telling my wife for years even though she has some agnostic/atheist leanings. This is not something that I will ever discuss with my family, because nothing good would come from it. They are all also staunchly republican and support the current president...and I fall on the opposite side of that spectrum as well. We politely ignore political discussions at family gatherings and everyone is content with that arrangement. I will also not ever divulge this to my close friends and co-workers, as I'm almost 100% certain that all it would serve to do is to make me an outcast. Living where I do, religion (especially christianity) is as ingrained in the culture as breathing and being a republican. I can't see anything good that would come from speaking out, despite my general agreement with the OP.

I'll also comment here that I'm enjoying this discussion immensely and appreciate everyone who is offering thoughtful and respectful comments to the thread.

El Jacinto

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #176 on: January 03, 2019, 09:06:45 AM »
You are equating belief and non-belief as equally valid.

No one is doing this, but you keep repeating it.  You might want to spend some time comprehending what people are saying.  Respecting someone and her beliefs is not the same as holding those beliefs as equally valid.

So when is it okay to not "respect" someone's beliefs? If someone thinks LGBTQ people are abominations, is it okay to not "respect" their beliefs? I have more to follow up with, but I will stop there and let you answer that specific question.

And I can comprehend just fine, pal! I have 3 semesters of law school and a zombie novel under my belt!

(*I am switching to IC Nick Miller mode to make sure we keep some levity as we discuss these issues and all remain friends)

LGBTQ-type person, here. To answer your question: yes, it is correct for someone to think me an abomination, and to respect their belief. Allow me to elaborate.

Every adult has a deeply held theory of what they consider a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society. Many adults fall into basic groups. Liberal. Conservative. Vegan. Christian. Such on, and so forth. What @Kris called a paradigm.

To the fundamentalist Christian, a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society is predicated on the inerrant and infallible word of God, which is communicated through the bible. The bible has several critical passages that say homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, homosexuality is not part of a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society, and must be suppressed. Suppressing homosexuality isn't done from a standpoint of hate; it's done from a standpoint of ensuring society remains moral. In my experience, many fundamentalist show a surprising amount of compassion, totally free of repugnance, towards an individual homosexual. They think my sexual desire an abomination, but believe I have a soul worth saving.

Such people are striving for a moral society, and I can fully respect that. We simply disagree on the definition of moral. Obviously I tend to believe that a good, prosperous, helpful, and overall moral society is based on acceptance of most things that fall under identity politics. I will, in fact, fight the fundamentalist idea of sexuality with every fiber of my being. But I can respect the consistency of thought and their desire for a moral society. It's the same desire I have.

My problem with Christianity is the hypocrisy. They show this level of ostracization toward homosexuals but are perfectly content to be surrounded by people who divorce and remarry (which is no less of a sin). Homosexuality doesn't even violate any of the Ten Commandments. That says to me that their treatment of the LGBT community has very little to do with religion, except that they use religion to justify their actions.

jim555

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #177 on: January 03, 2019, 09:29:30 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.
If we are going to exchange tales of undue religious influence, I watched a local Muslim Imam and his followers play victim  in a building project where they refused to follow historic building codes because they claimed it was contrary to their goals. Reasonable people in this neighborhood spoke clearly about the architectural standards and their plan, making sure that everyone understood this congregation was welcome but their design was flawed.  No matter, their victim status earned them variances. Also pissed off here, but due  process has been exhausted and we will have an ugly one story building not oriented toward the street surrounded by Victorian buildings of a different nature. Victims winning again, yay! Not.

I was involved in another Muslim demand, where a young, fervent disciple of Mohammed demanded that the public library place the Koran on the highest shelf above all books in the library. Yeah pretty silly, but that is the where we are.
Anyone can demand anything, they should just ignore the fervent disciple of the false prophet Mohammed.

The 1st amendment gets involved when churches and building codes come together so this may be the reason why they had to permit them.

rocketpj

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #178 on: January 03, 2019, 10:24:24 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

It does sound crazy until you consider the massive scope of our universe.  "Astronomically impossible' is an interesting term.  If life is a 1:1 Billion chance, then that would make for about 100 solar systems in our galaxy with life in them (since there are approximately 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.  And there are well over 100 billion galaxies that we know of, and likely many more.

Astronomically small chances don't mean impossible.   

dougules

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #179 on: January 03, 2019, 10:28:55 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

Please form your own thread.  This thread is not for people trying to push their beliefs.  There are more than enough spaces for that. 

How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.

A goo puddle is already life. You just can’t see it without the aid of a microscope.
'Life forming from a goo puddle' was a metaphor for abiogenesis. It is just another god-of-the-gaps argument we can ignore.
For those of us who don't fall prey to such fallacies, here is a recent development in the area that hasn't even made it onto the wikipedia list of hypotheses yet https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02742-3.

Y'all, too.  Not the right thread.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:34:50 AM by dougules »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #180 on: January 03, 2019, 10:51:40 AM »
I grew up in a nominally Christian household but since various branches of the family, going back say 4 generations, had ranged from Roman Catholic to Presbyterian, we were not exactly serious about it.  It was more cultural than anything else.  I suppose my biggest shock was when my Dad told me they served grape juice instead of wine at communion when he was a boy (the Presbyterian side).  Now that goes against everything right and proper, Jesus definitely had wine in hand at the last supper (if the last supper ever happened, of course, but if it did it was Jewish Passover, so of course it would have been wine).

I think part of what got me to start really doubting that any part of the bible was literal was not only that there were so many English versions, but that translations from the originals were so unreliable.  I read years ago that the original word (Aramaic? Greek?) describing Mary did not actually translate to "virgin" but to "young unmarried woman".  Assuming a young unmarried woman was a virgin was a cultural assumption of the translators.  She was betrothed, no reason to assume she was a virgin, in lots of cultures betrothal was the major part and things could happen after that. But has anything changed in general religious culture?  No she is still a virgin.  Why is it necessary that she has to be a virgin?  Why can't anyone accept that the original translation was wrong?  I mean, parthenogenesis is known in fish (some fish do sex changes too, fish are interesting) but not in mammals, and if it was parthenogenesis Jesus would have been a woman.  Otherwise given what we now know about basic reproductive biology, where did the second set of chromosomes come from?   
The story of the loaves and fishes - I can certainly see that if people were going on an outing to hear a preacher they would bring snacks, and if the preacher had everyone pool what they had brought there would be food for everyone.  But to make it into a miracle?

Fortunately I don't live in a bible belt, I do get the odd people at my door.  But religion (except for the massive commercialization of Christmas) doesn't really get pushed here.  Small towns a bit more than cities, the first time I attended an organization's pot luck and someone stood at the front to say grace I was surprised. 
 
On the political secular side, my biggest concern is that the more traditional churches are losing parishioners and the more radical (to me, ie.7th Day Adventists) are gaining members - so if people start mixing religion with politics, it will be the religion that is most radical that is the one pushing its agenda.  Given the history of the Roman Catholic church and its involvement with secular life in Quebec, I don't want to see any church getting political clout.

former player

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #181 on: January 03, 2019, 11:15:53 AM »
I read years ago that the original word (Aramaic? Greek?) describing Mary did not actually translate to "virgin" but to "young unmarried woman".  Assuming a young unmarried woman was a virgin was a cultural assumption of the translators.  She was betrothed, no reason to assume she was a virgin, in lots of cultures betrothal was the major part and things could happen after that. But has anything changed in general religious culture?  No she is still a virgin.  Why is it necessary that she has to be a virgin?  Why can't anyone accept that the original translation was wrong?  I mean, parthenogenesis is known in fish (some fish do sex changes too, fish are interesting) but not in mammals, and if it was parthenogenesis Jesus would have been a woman.  Otherwise given what we now know about basic reproductive biology, where did the second set of chromosomes come from?   
The story of the loaves and fishes - I can certainly see that if people were going on an outing to hear a preacher they would bring snacks, and if the preacher had everyone pool what they had brought there would be food for everyone.  But to make it into a miracle?

If it comes to that, I could never work out why the bible needed to lay out Joseph's ancestry in such detail in order to prove that Jesus was of appropriately high-born descent, having previously gone to such lengths to demonstrate that the babydaddy was God.

jim555

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #182 on: January 03, 2019, 11:17:19 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.
Please form your own thread.  This thread is not for people trying to push their beliefs.  There are more than enough spaces for that. 
Atheists usually are spreading evolution as fact when it is a theory with no basis, it is a belief system.  Instead of saying life exists and we can't explain how that can be, they concoct a theory out of whole cloth.  The real reason why intelligent design is hated is it means there is an intelligent designer, and we can't have that can we.  That might mean we might have to give an answer to the designer.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #183 on: January 03, 2019, 11:18:57 AM »
I'm genuinely curious: to atheists seeking proof, please could you give me some examples of proof that would lead you to believe that the Christian God exists? (Bad analogy warning) It seems to me like some people are trying to prove that 1+1=2 and some people are trying to prove that love exists. It's like there are two parallel conversations happening so of course you get frustrated because you're just not talking about the same thing.

former player

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #184 on: January 03, 2019, 11:39:39 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.
Please form your own thread.  This thread is not for people trying to push their beliefs.  There are more than enough spaces for that. 
Atheists usually are spreading evolution as fact when it is a theory with no basis, it is a belief system.  Instead of saying life exists and we can't explain how that can be, they concoct a theory out of whole cloth.  The real reason why intelligent design is hated is it means there is an intelligent designer, and we can't have that can we.  That might mean we might have to give an answer to the designer.

Evolution is a belief system only to non-biologists.  To biologists (including geneticists) it is a scientific theory backed up by 100 years of scientific discovery.

iris lily

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #185 on: January 03, 2019, 11:43:23 AM »
I'm an atheist. Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I make a joke, but I don't discuss it anymore because they are played out and a waste of time. Of more concern is when religious people manipulate our institutions to brainwash people. For example, we have a new church in our town called "The Warehouse Church." Their members who are faculty at elementary schools are currently running prayer groups at said schools. Obviously, it's illegal to run religious groups by public school faculty. The students have to be able to organize them themselves and elementary school kids are too young to do that. Since my kids will be going to one of those schools in a few years, I'm pissed off about it and thankfully, our county is being sued at the moment for it.
If we are going to exchange tales of undue religious influence, I watched a local Muslim Imam and his followers play victim  in a building project where they refused to follow historic building codes because they claimed it was contrary to their goals. Reasonable people in this neighborhood spoke clearly about the architectural standards and their plan, making sure that everyone understood this congregation was welcome but their design was flawed.  No matter, their victim status earned them variances. Also pissed off here, but due  process has been exhausted and we will have an ugly one story building not oriented toward the street surrounded by Victorian buildings of a different nature. Victims winning again, yay! Not.

I was involved in another Muslim demand, where a young, fervent disciple of Mohammed demanded that the public library place the Koran on the highest shelf above all books in the library. Yeah pretty silly, but that is the where we are.
Anyone can demand anything, they should just ignore the fervent disciple of the false prophet Mohammed.

The 1st amendment gets involved when churches and building codes come together so this may be the reason why they had to permit them.

I attended all hearings and board reviews and not once did the Mosque proponents bring up the 1st amendment and besides, Mosques all over the world are requireed to follow codes. But
I can see where that might be put forth as an issue, just here, it was not.

They expected their front entrance to be oriented toward one direction. The historic code calls for their front door to face a different direction. Their religious need could have been accomodated, and an architect on the board who has actually designed a Mosque (!) made suggested changes, but noooope—their way or the highway.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #186 on: January 03, 2019, 11:47:31 AM »
How does life form from a goo puddle?  That is a leap of faith right there.  Look at the complexity of a living plant or animal.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It is designed.  The chances of some random chemical accidents creating life is simply astronomically impossible.
Please form your own thread.  This thread is not for people trying to push their beliefs.  There are more than enough spaces for that. 
Atheists usually are spreading evolution as fact when it is a theory with no basis, it is a belief system.  Instead of saying life exists and we can't explain how that can be, they concoct a theory out of whole cloth.  The real reason why intelligent design is hated is it means there is an intelligent designer, and we can't have that can we.  That might mean we might have to give an answer to the designer.

Evolution is a belief system only to non-biologists.  To biologists (including geneticists) it is a scientific theory backed up by 100 years of scientific discovery.

This.  Evolution is a science backed up by testing and updates and validation, and open to change as new evidence comes to light.  Plus I hope no-one says "just a theory" because theory is the highest level of scientific thought - like the theory of gravity.

Dabnasty

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #187 on: January 03, 2019, 11:59:22 AM »
I'm genuinely curious: to atheists seeking proof, please could you give me some examples of proof that would lead you to believe that the Christian God exists? (Bad analogy warning) It seems to me like some people are trying to prove that 1+1=2 and some people are trying to prove that love exists. It's like there are two parallel conversations happening so of course you get frustrated because you're just not talking about the same thing.

I can't answer for everyone, but I don't think the OP or those in agreement with him in this discussion are asking for proof of a god, but rather proof of other more specific events as written in the bible or other religious texts. The question "is there a god?" is more philosophical than scientific. However, the question of whether or not you believe dinosaurs existed is pitting significant physical evidence against words written by man thousands of years ago who had no access to the information and technology we have today.

That said I also think (don't have solid statistics on this) that OP is assuming that there are more fundamentalist Christians than there really are. I've had very few opportunities to discuss with Christians the literalness with which they read the bible but I've often felt that most are not fundamentalist. Then again, I don't live in the bible belt.

BicycleB

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #188 on: January 03, 2019, 12:52:12 PM »
It seems to me like some people are trying to prove that 1+1=2 and some people are trying to prove that love exists. It's like there are two parallel conversations happening so of course you get frustrated because you're just not talking about the same thing.

Great description!

That's usually what happens when people using different paradigms try to discuss the points where their paradigms differ. What is proof, what should the standards be, what ought to be proven - in all of these areas, the points that seem important to one side seem irrelevant or senseless to the other. (Hence the "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" book suggestion above - it describes the phenomenon in detail, using scientist vs scientist conflicts just as vehement as the religion vs atheist ones discussed in this thread.)

I'm genuinely curious: to atheists seeking proof, please could you give me some examples of proof that would lead you to believe that the Christian God exists? 

So as an atheist, I'm not out here saying "You give me proof X, I'll believe." The honest truth is that I just don't. So I don't argue with anyone who says "That's just a belief." Agreed, my personal view is just the belief that I have, in the sense of "that's how it looks to me and I feel no need to investigate more than the 30 times I've been over this ground already."

That said - intellectually, trying to honest and get at the matter of can God be proven, I found Godel's Incompleteness Theorem to be kind of suggestive. If I understand correctly, it proves that in any precisely defined logic system, such as a rigorous system of mathematics, the system can pose questions that cannot be proven within the system. From that I conclude that no system can prove everything. Presumably, then, God isn't going to be provable in any way complete enough to convince a nonbeliever.

Forgive me for taking the bait if this is off topic. I think it's interesting. Among friends, atheist or not, if they ponder thoughtfully.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 12:56:16 PM by BicycleB »

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #189 on: January 03, 2019, 01:00:23 PM »
To kind of "re-set" the thread...

1) NO religionists please. I am not looking to debate with religious folks. There is no point. This thread is only for atheists.

2) Yes, I think the "facts" mentioned in the bible (and other religious texts) are ridiculous, yes. And yes, I think the "lessons" taken from Biblical stories are equally ridiculous.

3) However, even with my position in 2), I save most of my animosity (and it IS animosity) for religionists who try to push their beliefs into the public square. And YES there are plenty of people who do this. Those of you who say, "I don't really encounter this" must not live in the midwestern or southern parts of the US.

4) I guess I'd like to move the discussion to the idea of "worship." Let me explain. As a thought exercise, let's say that we accept every story/event in the Bible, both old and new testament, as having actually occurred with 100% certainty. Given those facts...would you worship the God of the Bible? Why or why not? I guess on one hand, you'd have a God who was proven to have created everything. So you couldn't deny his power. But you'd also have a God who flooded the Earth and killed everyone on it (and all the animals) except for a few people and animals on a boat. And you'd have a God who authorized the Passover, who mind controlled the Pharoah into not letting his chosen people go, just so he could kill children. And so on and so on. So basically I guess although my objections to Christianity start with "its all made up," they also include, "The God of the Bible would not deserve worship even if he was proven to have existed." I mean, why would a deity need/demand worship from tiny specks like us anyway? Isn't that whole idea kind of silly? Wouldn't an all-knowing and all-powerful being actually be...mature? The God of the Bible acts like, well like Trump most of the time. How does that make any sense at all?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:04:29 PM by Nick_Miller »

El Jacinto

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #190 on: January 03, 2019, 01:15:50 PM »
I save most of my animosity (and it IS animosity) for religionists who try to push their beliefs into the public square. And YES there are plenty of people who do this. Those of you who say, "I don't really encounter this" must not live in the midwestern or southern parts of the US.

The magician Penn Jillette, an outspoken atheist, made a good point against this. He said something along these lines:

If you believe the Bible 100%, then you believe that anyone who isn't a Christian is going to Hell. If you believe that, then you should be proselytizing to everyone you can. After all, you are commanded to love people, and you wouldn't let people you love go to a place as terrible as Hell, would you?

Thankfully, most Christians don't take the teachings of the Bible that far.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #191 on: January 03, 2019, 01:28:09 PM »
I save most of my animosity (and it IS animosity) for religionists who try to push their beliefs into the public square. And YES there are plenty of people who do this. Those of you who say, "I don't really encounter this" must not live in the midwestern or southern parts of the US.

The magician Penn Jillette, an outspoken atheist, made a good point against this. He said something along these lines:

If you believe the Bible 100%, then you believe that anyone who isn't a Christian is going to Hell. If you believe that, then you should be proselytizing to everyone you can. After all, you are commanded to love people, and you wouldn't let people you love go to a place as terrible as Hell, would you?

Thankfully, most Christians don't take the teachings of the Bible that far.

Oh I agree with the logic. If you REALLY thought many of your loved ones were going to a pit of eternal torment, you would spend EVERY waking hour trying to convert them! You would have NO life. You wouldn't worry about cars or houses or anything of a material nature. You would be in the conversion business 24/7. 

IF you really believed all of it.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:39:53 PM by Nick_Miller »

Telecaster

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #192 on: January 03, 2019, 01:35:07 PM »
I'm genuinely curious: to atheists seeking proof, please could you give me some examples of proof that would lead you to believe that the Christian God exists? (Bad analogy warning) It seems to me like some people are trying to prove that 1+1=2 and some people are trying to prove that love exists. It's like there are two parallel conversations happening so of course you get frustrated because you're just not talking about the same thing.

Let's take the basic way Christians view God.  He created everything, and occasionally even intervenes in every day life.   So proof for me would be evidence that this actually happened.   For example, we know from observation and experiment how mountains form and erode and how fossils are created.  So we don't need God to explain that.  And you can go on down the list.  The natural world can be largely explained by physical processes.  The parts that aren't well understood, like say quantum phenomenon or existence of the universe prior to the big bang don't require a supernatural explanation.   You could inject one if you like, but there isn't a supernatural requirement. 


marty998

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #193 on: January 03, 2019, 01:42:54 PM »

4) I guess I'd like to move the discussion to the idea of "worship." Let me explain. As a thought exercise, let's say that we accept every story/event in the Bible, both old and new testament, as having actually occurred with 100% certainty. Given those facts...would you worship the God of the Bible? Why or why not? I guess on one hand, you'd have a God who was proven to have created everything. So you couldn't deny his power. But you'd also have a God who flooded the Earth and killed everyone on it (and all the animals) except for a few people and animals on a boat. And you'd have a God who authorized the Passover, who mind controlled the Pharoah into not letting his chosen people go, just so he could kill children. And so on and so on. So basically I guess although my objections to Christianity start with "its all made up," they also include, "The God of the Bible would not deserve worship even if he was proven to have existed." I mean, why would a deity need/demand worship from tiny specks like us anyway? Isn't that whole idea kind of silly? Wouldn't an all-knowing and all-powerful being actually be...mature? The God of the Bible acts like, well like Trump most of the time. How does that make any sense at all?

On a basic level, I have problems with the idea of God sacrificing his Son... for us(?) If anything it should be the other way around, where God steps in on Good Friday and says, "it's ok Son, I'll take it from here".

Of all the "mysterious" things God is purported to have done, having your child killed seems the most scandalous. Hard work finding a loving parent who would think to themselves "the needs of the world outweigh the needs of the my child".

Telecaster

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #194 on: January 03, 2019, 01:45:35 PM »
4) I guess I'd like to move the discussion to the idea of "worship." Let me explain. As a thought exercise, let's say that we accept every story/event in the Bible, both old and new testament, as having actually occurred with 100% certainty. Given those facts...would you worship the God of the Bible? Why or why not? I guess on one hand, you'd have a God who was proven to have created everything. So you couldn't deny his power. But you'd also have a God who flooded the Earth and killed everyone on it (and all the animals) except for a few people and animals on a boat. And you'd have a God who authorized the Passover, who mind controlled the Pharoah into not letting his chosen people go, just so he could kill children. And so on and so on. So basically I guess although my objections to Christianity start with "its all made up," they also include, "The God of the Bible would not deserve worship even if he was proven to have existed." I mean, why would a deity need/demand worship from tiny specks like us anyway? Isn't that whole idea kind of silly? Wouldn't an all-knowing and all-powerful being actually be...mature? The God of the Bible acts like, well like Trump most of the time. How does that make any sense at all?

And what most Christians do is conclude something like this:   Not all of the Bible is literally true.   Some of it is just allegory.   That way you don't have to dig too deep into the Noah's Ark story.   Fair enough, but how do you know which parts are true and which parts are just allegory?  There is no way to tell, except by using your own judgement.   

Beard N Bones

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #195 on: January 03, 2019, 01:47:40 PM »
To kind of "re-set" the thread...

1) NO religionists please. I am not looking to debate with religious folks. There is no point. This thread is only for atheists.

2) Yes, I think the "facts" mentioned in the bible (and other religious texts) are ridiculous, yes. And yes, I think the "lessons" taken from Biblical stories are equally ridiculous.

3) However, even with my position in 2), I save most of my animosity (and it IS animosity) for religionists who try to push their beliefs into the public square. And YES there are plenty of people who do this. Those of you who say, "I don't really encounter this" must not live in the midwestern or southern parts of the US.

4) I guess I'd like to move the discussion to the idea of "worship." Let me explain. As a thought exercise, let's say that we accept every story/event in the Bible, both old and new testament, as having actually occurred with 100% certainty. Given those facts...would you worship the God of the Bible? Why or why not? I guess on one hand, you'd have a God who was proven to have created everything. So you couldn't deny his power. But you'd also have a God who flooded the Earth and killed everyone on it (and all the animals) except for a few people and animals on a boat. And you'd have a God who authorized the Passover, who mind controlled the Pharoah into not letting his chosen people go, just so he could kill children. And so on and so on. So basically I guess although my objections to Christianity start with "its all made up," they also include, "The God of the Bible would not deserve worship even if he was proven to have existed." I mean, why would a deity need/demand worship from tiny specks like us anyway? Isn't that whole idea kind of silly? Wouldn't an all-knowing and all-powerful being actually be...mature? The God of the Bible acts like, well like Trump most of the time. How does that make any sense at all?

@Nick_Miller  You have started an interesting conversation.  What you ask, seems silly to me however.  In summary, it comes across like this:
Hypothetically, would you worship the God of the Bible?  But please, I don't want to hear anyone's opinion that may be contrary to my own ultimate logic and reason.  Only people who agree with what I am saying, please respond.  Do you see why others are questioning your approach? 

wenchsenior

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #196 on: January 03, 2019, 01:47:49 PM »
I'm genuinely curious: to atheists seeking proof, please could you give me some examples of proof that would lead you to believe that the Christian God exists? (Bad analogy warning) It seems to me like some people are trying to prove that 1+1=2 and some people are trying to prove that love exists. It's like there are two parallel conversations happening so of course you get frustrated because you're just not talking about the same thing.

I consider myself a scientific atheist, in that I see no objective evidence for the existence of god that isn't just as readily (often more readily) explained by non-god-related natural processes and laws.  Were objectively measurable evidence that supported the existence of deities to appear, I would then approach that question using the scientific method.  The scientific method never 'proves' anything absolutely unquestionably 'true', nor is it meant to.  It CAN lead to absolute disproof and therefore our ability to discard incorrect hypotheses, and move on to test the next hypothesis (thus advancing knowledge). 

ETA: sorry, Nick_Miller, I see you are trying to move the conversation on, and I posted nearly simultaneously with your post.

Let's say that every single person on earth simultaneously experienced a vision, which they described more or less identically, of a giant tentacley, glowing deity figure that said, "I am Cthulu, kneel before me".  Now, if I were to have such a vision, I would first assume that I had some sort of hallucination from a natural cause (inadvertent drugs, brain tumor, etc.) But if everyone around me, and indeed everyone on earth had this simultaneously, this would fall outside our current understanding of natural explanation.  I would have to consider the real possibility of something outside our current experience (which could be, but isn't necessarily, a deity) causing this.   Then scientists all over the world would presumably investigate formerly unthinkable, but still NOT supernatural, alternatives.  Perhaps humans experienced a simultaneous biological response to some sort of extraterrestrial phenomenon? Etc.  In the end, if there was no evidence of e.g.,  extraterrestrial or other natural phenomena causing the vision, I would likely settle on provisionally accepting the reality of a god calling itself Cthulu to be 'true'. 

It's important to note, however, that while I might come to personally accept the existence of god(s) as provisionally true and act in the world with the understanding that Cthulu was out there (just as I do with robustly supported scientific theories), this acceptance would always remain slightly provisional and contingent on no further better explanation for my vision ever becoming available. 

The real problem though, though, is that the way most of humanity views god(s), they are by definition supernatural and not subject to disproof (see Sagan's dragon-in-the-garage analogy for the simplest explanation of a non-disprovable idea).  Therefore, any evidence that came to hand that didn't fit the Cthulu hypothesis (which would lead scientists to reject Cthulu as the actual explanation for the vision), would be accepted by most believers as Cthulu working in mysterious ways, or Cthulu operating outside of natural law, or what have you.

Alternatively, believers can (and do) offer me all sorts of 'evidence' of god(s) existence, but unless this evidence is disprovable, then it remains essentially meaningless to my view of the universe and how I live my life.  I assume that the fact that Christians don't believe in, e.g., fairies and gnomes, or the ancient Greek gods, or Cthulu, doesn't worry them, right? Why would the lack of evidence of something cause them to ever even think about that thing?  Likewise, lack of objective evidence of a Christian god means that it isn't a question of concern in my life, and the only reason it ever crosses my mind is that our culture privileges it above millions of other such ideas.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:53:45 PM by wenchsenior »

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #197 on: January 03, 2019, 01:59:51 PM »
To kind of "re-set" the thread...

1) NO religionists please. I am not looking to debate with religious folks. There is no point. This thread is only for atheists.

2) Yes, I think the "facts" mentioned in the bible (and other religious texts) are ridiculous, yes. And yes, I think the "lessons" taken from Biblical stories are equally ridiculous.

3) However, even with my position in 2), I save most of my animosity (and it IS animosity) for religionists who try to push their beliefs into the public square. And YES there are plenty of people who do this. Those of you who say, "I don't really encounter this" must not live in the midwestern or southern parts of the US.

4) I guess I'd like to move the discussion to the idea of "worship." Let me explain. As a thought exercise, let's say that we accept every story/event in the Bible, both old and new testament, as having actually occurred with 100% certainty. Given those facts...would you worship the God of the Bible? Why or why not? I guess on one hand, you'd have a God who was proven to have created everything. So you couldn't deny his power. But you'd also have a God who flooded the Earth and killed everyone on it (and all the animals) except for a few people and animals on a boat. And you'd have a God who authorized the Passover, who mind controlled the Pharoah into not letting his chosen people go, just so he could kill children. And so on and so on. So basically I guess although my objections to Christianity start with "its all made up," they also include, "The God of the Bible would not deserve worship even if he was proven to have existed." I mean, why would a deity need/demand worship from tiny specks like us anyway? Isn't that whole idea kind of silly? Wouldn't an all-knowing and all-powerful being actually be...mature? The God of the Bible acts like, well like Trump most of the time. How does that make any sense at all?

@Nick_Miller  You have started an interesting conversation.  What you ask, seems silly to me however.  In summary, it comes across like this:
Hypothetically, would you worship the God of the Bible?  But please, I don't want to hear anyone's opinion that may be contrary to my own ultimate logic and reason.  Only people who agree with what I am saying, please respond.  Do you see why others are questioning your approach?

You are free to respond however you'd like. Disagree with my assessment if you'd like.

But remember, this is not a thread for religionists. I want this thread to stay open as a healthy spot for atheists to discuss stuff, and having religionists invade would destroy that. Even though most folks on this forum are pretty civil with one another, I think a religious debate would test that civility.

jim555

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So this thread is now about atheists mocking Christians.  I am out of here.

Nick_Miller

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I wish we could make a Wiki post where we could all work together to list, on one post, all of the crimes God commits in the Bible.

Sorta like if you were prosecuting God for crimes against humanity, what would the list include?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 02:12:05 PM by Nick_Miller »