Author Topic: Holding my tongue /w religious friends...the idea of "worship" (atheists only)  (Read 12841 times)

Just Joe

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2018, 02:04:16 PM »
I always felt sad for my father who was convinced both his kids were doomed to burn in hell forever.

I've asked believers about hell's locus, about its distance below the surface of the Earth.

And I've asked them where hell's portal is.

None of them ever answered either question.

Well, there is the doorway... Neat place to visit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumaean_Sibyl

Johnez

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2018, 02:51:27 PM »
I really don't mind other people's religious beliefs. I find most of them interesting, especially the hardcore believers because they actually get into the details of their belief. I've accepted Jesus twice into my life, now atheist tho, and found most believers decent people. 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. For me, the term truly applies-lack of belief in a god, not an active belief there is no god.

driftwood

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2018, 02:57:57 PM »
I will add one more anecdote....

I didn't leave the church into WELL into adulthood, like early 30s, so yes I felt like the biggest idiot for a number of years after.

But getting to the story, when I left the church, I had lunch with two different pastors there (it was a pretty big church). Here's how the lunches went...

LUNCH 1 with SENIOR PASTOR:  I give it a C. We were both civil to each other. There was no ill will, at least from my side. But he couldn't' answer ANY of my questions. Literally none of them. He just said things like "We can't necessarily understand why God acts as he does." It was VERY frustrating for me. I left thinking, "If this guy who has studied this stuff for a life-time can't answer the simplest questions, what does that say for the other members of the church? Do they even think about this stuff?"

LUNCH 2 with JUNIOR PASTOR:  I give it an A+.  I loved this guy, and still do.  For years I kept our talk secret because I didn't want him to lose his job. (He left the church a few years later). In any case, he honestly told me, "Nick Miller, I can't even tell you that Jesus is the only way to happiness. I think there are lots of ways. And then he talked about different religions and even "just being a good person." He answered my questions I think as honestly and openly as he could. He expressed a lot of doubts and kept referring to the Bible stories as "examples," saying that he didn't necessary think you had to believe the events actually happened. We shook hands and left on good terms (I bought him lunch), but I left thinking, "If this guy who has studied this stuff for 15 years is admitting he doesn't even think Christianity is the "only way," what does that say about the whole belief system?"

So I have had these talks with "learned" people. They can't answer the tough questions because the religion is based on myths from over 2,000 years ago. But I didn't understand that until I was in my early 30s, and I consider myself a smart person, so I understand how powerful the socialization is.

Add God's rape of Mary to that list of insane things in the Bible.

dustinst22

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2018, 03:18:44 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.

gaja

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2018, 03:39:18 PM »
I always felt sad for my father who was convinced both his kids were doomed to burn in hell forever.

I've asked believers about hell's locus, about its distance below the surface of the Earth.

And I've asked them where hell's portal is.

None of them ever answered either question.

Well, there is the doorway... Neat place to visit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumaean_Sibyl

Iíve been to Hell several times - my MIL is from that area. There is a large airport (Vaernes) close to it, but I prefer the train: https://www.google.no/maps/place/Hell,+7517+Hell/@63.4459592,10.8989406,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x466d16012658213b:0xadefaabe98f832cc
(Hell is a common place name, meaning flat stone or cave. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_Station)

Alternatively, Helvete (Norwegian for Hell) is a really beautiful place: https://www.google.no/maps/place/Helvete+Potholes,+2658+Gausdal/@61.3627038,9.6700516,15z/data=!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x466ac7f6d33ffa11:0x91afbc7dd175c6ea!2sHelvete,+2658+Espedalen!3m1!1s0x466ac7f6a5c77095:0x8fbbc687db81d2ae?hl=nb-no&gl=no

OtherJen

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2018, 05:27:12 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.

By nature, I'm more of a live-and-let-live agnostic atheist and don't feel the need to rant about believers. I left the Catholic church as an adult and still have many friends that I met at my former parish, as well as other friends who are active in other local Catholic parishes, Protestant churches, synagogues, and mosques. They're good people. None of them try to convert me and I don't trash their beliefs, so we get along just fine.

partgypsy

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2018, 06:31:11 PM »
To answer you question about contradictions etc, I wanted to point out that evangelials believe that the Bible is the word of God, full stop. Most other sects believe that the Bible was inspired by God, written by humans (otherwise each book would be: God, God, God, vs. John, Luke, Paul etc). As someone else  mentioned, Paul took it upon himself to change the nature of Jesus teachings and affected the course of Christian Church for millennia. As far of question of hell and everlasting life, obviously it is not a physical life they are referring to but some other kind of existence. The church I was raised in describes hell as being spiritually unaware or unaccepting of God's existence, while heaven is the state of after leading a godly life on Earth, state of being in God's love after death. I do think it's interesting that almost all major religions precepts (Christianity is 10 commandments) cover the same ground. The details and rituals and traditions, I feel,  are not so much about being a "good" person, but serve the purpose of
 maintaining ingroup and outgroup status and identity. Though adherence to those rituals, attendance and dietary rules definitely do "virtue signal" to others.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 06:35:52 PM by partgypsy »

DreamFIRE

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2018, 07:13:57 PM »
I really don't mind other people's religious beliefs. I find most of them interesting, especially the hardcore believers because they actually get into the details of their belief. I've accepted Jesus twice into my life, now atheist tho, and found most believers decent people. 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. For me, the term truly applies-lack of belief in a god, not an active belief there is no god.

Yeah, as someone else said, the OP sounds hurt, and it sounds like he might have some internal conflicts he's trying to work through.

wordnerd

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2018, 11:22:06 PM »
I grew up in a religious family that heavily participated in religious community. As an adult, my beliefs would probably be best described as secular humanist. I have a high level of religious education, especially within the religion of my family of origin & to a lesser extent as a student of other world religions.

What helps me in the scenarios you're describing are:

(1) To remember that lots of people of faith are REALLY smart, way smarter than I am. The questions you raise of morality and philosophy, free will, and human suffering are not new. Really smart people have grappled with these questions for millennia. Developed religions likely have complex answers for all of these hard questions, and many people of faith have to make peace with what works for them (within or outside the official teachings of their religious group). There are people who are more scientifically knowledgeable than we are, in today's world, and remain people of faith. Give them some credit for not being idiots.

(2) To remember that once upon a time, I also was a person of faith. I may have grappled more or less than another. But I wasn't a dumb automaton THEN or lesser because I was theist (or at least more theist than not). I think this part gets a lot of people stuck - they feel duped or see themselves as more evolved on account of their personal history with religion. Whereas I see it as something that helps me understand and have empathy for the circumstances of someone whose experiences are different from mine. If anything, I'm mostly wistful now for not feeling like I can participate in community or get comfort in hard times that I know other people of faith do experience.

(3) To separate personal beliefs that turn into political acts that do me or others harm. I DON'T have tolerance and acceptance for people who hate me or hate other groups of people or whose faith is the CAUSE of bad acts. I object to people or groups that use faith as a weapon and don't generalize that to all people of faith.

(4) To surround myself with people whose belief system - whatever it is - has space for mine to coexist. I don't want to be hanging around with people who secretly think I'm going to hell & will burn in hellfire. I mean, I'd rather be around the people who keep it to themselves than the people who act on that belief. But that IS a real impediment to the closeness I can have to someone. So is being around people who feel the need to proselytize to me (because it's a sign that they do not accept me as I am). In general, I am uncomfortable being surrounded by those public displays of religion that do not leave space for someone else to not share the same faith. Being in a community where you are surrounded by a dominant, evangelical religion can feel hostile. So...I don't hang out in those space, and I choose where I live carefully because of that.
Beautiful post. Points 1 and 3 especially resonated with me.

I was raised atheist (and still am). I used to feel pretty angry with Christians, since they told me I was going to hell and such when I was a kid. I've become more empathetic with religious viewpoints over the years, especially since becoming acquainted with my very religious in-laws.  I used to feel like "bless you," and "I'm praying for you," and similar language was a.bit passive aggressive. Now, I see it as a different way of processing the world and take it at face value. Maybe they don't mean me well, but I feel happier if I assume they do and move on.

libertarian4321

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2018, 02:21:10 AM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.




libertarian4321

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2018, 02:46:29 AM »

Amen.

(lol)

Praise Jesus.  Or Allah.  Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Or Zeus.  Or the Great Turtle.  Or (insert name of any of a thousand mythical "Gods" here).

Everyone is at least 99+% atheist.  Even the most fervent evangelical Christian or radical Muslim denounces 99+% of the Gods man has dreamed up.  We atheists just take it the final 1%...

libertarian4321

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2018, 02:51:58 AM »
I simply don't listen to people who try to prosthelytize to me, and therefore give the courtesy of not doing so to them.  Your list of questions is proselytizing. 

I don't believe in god, and have no spirituality, was raised outside religion and spirituality entirely, so come by it honestly.  I am not an "atheist", I feel no need to give myself a label as something that I am not.  My parents did not use that term at all either.  I see it like needing a special word to describe myself as not being anything.  I am not a golfer - I don't need a word for that either. 

Do you know why you self describe as an atheist?  Why you need that label?  Your list of questions make it seem like you adopted the label for political reasons.

No one in the USA adopts the term atheist for "political reasons."  In the USA, a convicted child rapist would have more political viability than someone who dared profess disbelief in the locally favored mythical being (or "God").

It would be nice if people gave up their belief in "God" just as they give up their belief in "Santa Claus" once they reach a level of maturity.

Unfortunately for those of us who have embraced reason over faith, this rarely happens.  As long as the prevailing "wisdom" favors belief in a mythical being, we are forced to use a term that clearly states that we do not believe the prevailing nonsense.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 03:27:14 AM by libertarian4321 »

Khaetra

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2018, 04:30:56 AM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.

I agree.  Praise God when something good happens or they are spared, not a peep when something bad happens.  Makes me smh.

My favorite <S> question I have been asked as an Atheist is "Why do you hate God so much?".  I struggle with it, because I don't really know how to answer it.  I don't 'hate' God, I just don't believe he exists is my usual answer but then they launch into reasons they think he does, which really doesn't provide proof of anything.  Conversations usually head south after that.

The one thing I can't stand is those who makes the laws and their push to put their God everywhere.  Florida now has a law that requires the motto "In God We Trust" to be hung in schools.  Why?  For what purpose?  Is hanging this motto suddenly going to stop school shootings, drug use, pregnancy, bullying?  I just don't get it.

libertarian4321

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2018, 04:53:17 AM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.

I agree.  Praise God when something good happens or they are spared, not a peep when something bad happens.  Makes me smh.

My favorite <S> question I have been asked as an Atheist is "Why do you hate God so much?".  I struggle with it, because I don't really know how to answer it.  I don't 'hate' God, I just don't believe he exists is my usual answer but then they launch into reasons they think he does, which really doesn't provide proof of anything.  Conversations usually head south after that.

The one thing I can't stand is those who makes the laws and their push to put their God everywhere.  Florida now has a law that requires the motto "In God We Trust" to be hung in schools.  Why?  For what purpose?  Is hanging this motto suddenly going to stop school shootings, drug use, pregnancy, bullying?  I just don't get it.

I just say I don't "hate God" anymore than I "hate" Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, or The Great Pumpkin.

I just don't believe any of them exist.

Except for the Great Pumpkin.  We all know he's real.  Because I saw it on TV.

Right?

partgypsy

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2018, 08:14:14 AM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.

What I would say, or was told, is that you are raised to believe that God created you and the world, universe, etc. That when good things happen you should have gratitude for that. You should simply have gratitude every day, for the fact of your existence. When bad things happen it is because we do not know everything , God's will is inscrutable, and the Lord works in mysterious ways. This is a condundrum that pretty much every person raised Christian runs across. A good book that discusses (but doesn't answer) this paradox is "The Brother's Karamasov". 

former player

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2018, 08:29:26 AM »
I really don't mind other people's religious beliefs. I find most of them interesting, especially the hardcore believers because they actually get into the details of their belief. I've accepted Jesus twice into my life, now atheist tho, and found most believers decent people. 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. For me, the term truly applies-lack of belief in a god, not an active belief there is no god.

Yeah, as someone else said, the OP sounds hurt, and it sounds like he might have some internal conflicts he's trying to work through.


I read OP's problem as being that the theists are constantly imposing actions based on their beliefs on the rest of us, and how do atheists counter that?  Which seems a reasonable question to me: I'm not getting hurt or internal conflict from it.    I do agree challenging the peculiar beliefs of the religious probably isn't the way to go if getting a productive non-religious way forward is the aim, but I can certainly understand the frustration - it is hard to argue against the irrational.

I don't think anyone disagrees that people are free to believe what they like, it's when believers act in ways which impose the limitations selected by those belief systems on the rest of us that the problems arise.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2018, 12:18:12 PM »
What I'm hearing here is, "I don't want to talk about religion. But I also have all these things I want to say to religious people. So I do actually want to talk about it, I just don't want to hear about it." Some of your things you want to say are questions. Do you actually, genuinely, respectfully want to hear the answers? What are you planning to do when they are, presumably, not the same answers as you have? Tell them what to think, in the same way that you complain they're telling you what to think? I suspect it may well be the case that you don't want to gently introduce any of these questions in order to listen to and attempt to understand the speaker. Instead, you want to wait for them to finish so you can think (or tell them) what a moron they are. Do you think there might be a sliiiight chance that it's reflected in your tone or demeanour, and that might stymie a respectful and interesting discussion?

Quote
I mean, if you base your worldview on a book, shouldn't you have read the book? Studied every inch of the book? Understand who wrote the book, and why, and when, and the history of its many translations, and how the book says different things based on the version?

I base many of my worldviews on books that I haven't read. On the Origin of Species. Philosophiś Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory. But I understand the basics and cleverer people than me have told me that they're probably true. There are reams and reams of biblical criticism and exegesis and church teaching. Aquinas's Summa leaps to mind.

Quote
"If this guy who has studied this stuff for a life-time can't answer the simplest questions, what does that say for the other members of the church? Do they even think about this stuff?"

I'm glad you managed to have lunch with those two pastors. I'm sorry one of them was so disappointing for you. I wonder if this is a helpful analogy for you.

Imagine someone of average intelligence and life experience tells me that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969. Oh wow! The moon! I ask them how they did it. They say they flew there. But humans can't fly. No, they went in a rocket, like a giant plane. But planes can only fly so far and can only carry so much fuel before they get too heavy to fly - where did they refuel? Nowhere. What, they flew all the way to the moon on one tank of fuel? I...no...er...yes...um... I start to suspect that maybe this person is winding me up because their rocket story sounds a little far fetched. Hm, I think, I'd better go and talk to someone who's dealt with this stuff all their life. I go to ask a physics teacher. They explain about jettisoning boosters and suchlike, but I'm also wanting to know how they knew where to go - I mean, you can't buy an A-Z of space! And while this physics teacher is great on the basics, advanced space navigation is beyond their capability. After all, they may have a degree in physics generally and teach it to other people all day, but this is some pretty high-level stuff. So I have to go all the way to a university professor of astrophysics before I can find someone who can explain to me how they knew which way to point the rocket - although I've got to admit it's pretty hard to understand because I don't have much knowledge of astrophysics generally and he's not great at explaining it to a relative idiot. It's the teacher who's good at explaining things to people who don't know anything about them. But I came very close to believing the moon landings were fake - and maybe I'm still suspicious because I'm convinced this professor has some kind of agenda. Like, if the moon landings didn't happen (if space doesn't even exist!) then he'd be out of a job, right? So of course he'd perpetuate the moon landing conspiracy. He's got the most to lose here!

Can you see how the average person (bearing in mind that half the world's population is below average) in the street and maybe even the teacher cannot adequately explain something that really happened? And how easy it is, if you're convinced the moon landings didn't happen, to doubt even the word of the expert? And how that might apply to your experience of talking to people about Christianity?

To answer your original question, the problem many people have is conflating Christianity with the kind of obnoxious buttheads who bring it up all the time. I imagine your experience of talking to religious people can feel something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8 You just don't want tea!!! If I were basing my perception of atheists solely on those who specifically brought up their atheism, I would think atheists were absolute arseholes who couldn't fucking shut up about it if their life depended on it and were always all up in my business. So actually, imo, your problem is not with Christians. Your problem is with obnoxious buttheads. It just so happens that the topic in question is Christianity. For obnoxious buttheads of any description, I recommend Captain Awkward: https://captainawkward.com A basic summary of her advice is blandly don't engage and then move the conversation on. "That's interesting + subject change." If they persist, be more explicit: "I don't want to talk about that + subject change." If they still persist, they are being obnoxious buttheads and they started it so just leave: "I said I didn't want to talk about it + physically walk away." This is applicable to anything people keep going on about like an obnoxious butthead (You should get your hair cut! Have you tried Crossfit?! I'm vegan now!!!) It's OK to set boundaries around your conversation - you just want to avoid being an obnoxious butthead yourself.

rubybeth

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2018, 12:32:56 PM »
I honestly don't think most religious people think about most of this. I think most of them are on "cruise control" and equate "religion" with "being a good person." I know we all tend to go on cruise control on certain things, but essential building blocks to a person's entire worldview are not the right place to get lazy in one's analysis.

I know you posted this a while ago, but that's... not really accurate at all. I can see how you might think that, but Christians who know what they are talking about when it comes to their own faith know that they are fundamentally bad (sinful) people who need God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit to save them from themselves.

For me, I was raised Roman Catholic, and I really appreciate Catholic Social Teaching (it's pretty... ah... socialist): https://www.mncatholic.org/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching/ I'm not super devout and don't attend church regularly, but I do appreciate being raised in a faith tradition. I also took Catholic apologetics, which is a wild ride. :)

rosarugosa

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #68 on: December 25, 2018, 09:27:34 AM »
I've been an atheist since I was 11 and I'm enjoying this discussion.  I've definitely had to work at the not engaging, and I've gotten a lot better at it, but it's still a work in progress.  I just hate the idea that my silence can be mistaken for agreement.  I think there are lots of Christians in our society who don't even acknowledge that there are those with other belief systems and that they deserve the same respect and consideration the Christians expect as their due.

dustinst22

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2018, 11:09:17 AM »
Merry Christmas

OtherJen

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2018, 11:21:55 AM »

gaja

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #71 on: December 25, 2018, 11:53:03 AM »

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #72 on: December 25, 2018, 03:13:08 PM »
Io Saturnalia!

use2betrix

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #73 on: December 25, 2018, 04:19:26 PM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.

Kris

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #74 on: December 25, 2018, 04:25:56 PM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.

I think the point is more about the frustration of trying to deflect agressive proselytizing. Personally, I would never push my beliefs (or rather lack of them) on others. But damn, I get sick of pushy Christians.

use2betrix

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #75 on: December 25, 2018, 07:44:59 PM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.

I think the point is more about the frustration of trying to deflect agressive proselytizing. Personally, I would never push my beliefs (or rather lack of them) on others. But damn, I get sick of pushy Christians.

The OP stated that theyíve severed friendships because of these differing beliefs. All it takes is one person to be the bigger person and back out of these discussions, or just bite their tongue. Yes, Iím aware itís very hard sometime. As many can see on the forum I have a very hard time often biting my tongue.

I have been seething as in meetings as work, I have worked jobs where every morning someone held a big open Christian prayer. It was very uncomfortable, but Iím not going to make some huge fuss out of it. Same with tonight at dinner when saying grace with my parents beforehand. What value would it add causing some sort of scene or stupid argument?

Kris

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #76 on: December 25, 2018, 07:46:08 PM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.

I think the point is more about the frustration of trying to deflect agressive proselytizing. Personally, I would never push my beliefs (or rather lack of them) on others. But damn, I get sick of pushy Christians.

The OP stated that theyíve severed friendships because of these differing beliefs. All it takes is one person to be the bigger person and back out of these discussions, or just bite their tongue. Yes, Iím aware itís very hard sometime. As many can see on the forum I have a very hard time often biting my tongue.

I have been seething as in meetings as work, I have worked jobs where every morning someone held a big open Christian prayer. It was very uncomfortable, but Iím not going to make some huge fuss out of it. Same with tonight at dinner when saying grace with my parents beforehand. What value would it add causing some sort of scene or stupid argument?

I get that you are committed to believing you are the bigger person.

Merry Christmas.

use2betrix

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #77 on: December 25, 2018, 10:19:45 PM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.

I think the point is more about the frustration of trying to deflect agressive proselytizing. Personally, I would never push my beliefs (or rather lack of them) on others. But damn, I get sick of pushy Christians.

The OP stated that theyíve severed friendships because of these differing beliefs. All it takes is one person to be the bigger person and back out of these discussions, or just bite their tongue. Yes, Iím aware itís very hard sometime. As many can see on the forum I have a very hard time often biting my tongue.

I have been seething as in meetings as work, I have worked jobs where every morning someone held a big open Christian prayer. It was very uncomfortable, but Iím not going to make some huge fuss out of it. Same with tonight at dinner when saying grace with my parents beforehand. What value would it add causing some sort of scene or stupid argument?

I get that you are committed to believing you are the bigger person.

Merry Christmas.

Not only am I committed to believing that I am the bigger person, I also have to make sure you are aware of it. I am glad itís been recognized.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #78 on: December 26, 2018, 08:27:37 AM »
The posts that frustrate me the most are the "Oh, either way, it's fine. People can choose to believe or not believe" type of posts.

And they irritate me because they equate the two positions of "belief" and "non belief." But they are NOT equal.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Carl Sagan.   Can anyone really argue against this?

You have one side, Side A, saying, "I believe in (and worship) a divine invisible deity who is all knowing and all powerful, and who created all things, and who created men, and then women (out of a rib), and then flooded the earth because of the evil men did (even though, being all knowing, the deity knew this would happen from the beginning), and then kills all of the people and animals except somehow two of each critter was lured from over the globe to an ark..."  I am stopping here but could go on for pages.

And you have the other side, Side B, saying, "Where is the proof of this?"

Those are the two sides. And it's nuts to me that me pointing this out is "disrespectful," and that Side B is the MINORITY. I mean, wtf?

It just shows how entrenched this religious thinking is in most people's minds. The socialization is so powerful. Does anyone think that religion would survive if kids weren't brainwashed and were taught secular and logical values from the start?

And sometimes people, even atheists will say, "Oh leave them alone. If it brings them comfort, why needle them?"  And yes, I understand the sentiment, and it's not like anyone is going to a funeral and yelling "There is no heaven!" So give people some credit...timing is important yes.

But the question still remains, "Is it a good thing for billions of people to rely on religion as a crutch to get through their lives? Wouldn't it be better if they learned to build strength from within, and to rely on others, instead of putting all their eggs into the "faith" basket? I mean, is mass delusion the best way for people to deal with their problems?

I 100% percent believe in everything I just typed. And to be CLEAR, this thread is NOT for religious folks. This is NOT a thread for "back and forth" between theists and non-theists. I am looking to talk with other atheists about these things.

(EDITED TO ADD: I updated the thread name to make it clear this thread is for atheists. I do not want to be accused of trying to fight or bait or bash Christian members of this forum. I am just looking to vent and discuss stuff with other secular folks without having to "hold my tongue" as I have to in real life)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 08:40:06 AM by Nick_Miller »

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #79 on: December 26, 2018, 08:33:04 AM »
I will add one more anecdote....

I didn't leave the church into WELL into adulthood, like early 30s, so yes I felt like the biggest idiot for a number of years after.

But getting to the story, when I left the church, I had lunch with two different pastors there (it was a pretty big church). Here's how the lunches went...

LUNCH 1 with SENIOR PASTOR:  I give it a C. We were both civil to each other. There was no ill will, at least from my side. But he couldn't' answer ANY of my questions. Literally none of them. He just said things like "We can't necessarily understand why God acts as he does." It was VERY frustrating for me. I left thinking, "If this guy who has studied this stuff for a life-time can't answer the simplest questions, what does that say for the other members of the church? Do they even think about this stuff?"

LUNCH 2 with JUNIOR PASTOR:  I give it an A+.  I loved this guy, and still do.  For years I kept our talk secret because I didn't want him to lose his job. (He left the church a few years later). In any case, he honestly told me, "Nick Miller, I can't even tell you that Jesus is the only way to happiness. I think there are lots of ways. And then he talked about different religions and even "just being a good person." He answered my questions I think as honestly and openly as he could. He expressed a lot of doubts and kept referring to the Bible stories as "examples," saying that he didn't necessary think you had to believe the events actually happened. We shook hands and left on good terms (I bought him lunch), but I left thinking, "If this guy who has studied this stuff for 15 years is admitting he doesn't even think Christianity is the "only way," what does that say about the whole belief system?"

So I have had these talks with "learned" people. They can't answer the tough questions because the religion is based on myths from over 2,000 years ago. But I didn't understand that until I was in my early 30s, and I consider myself a smart person, so I understand how powerful the socialization is.

Add God's rape of Mary to that list of insane things in the Bible.

No. She consented.

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Luke-1-38/


partgypsy

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2018, 08:41:55 AM »
I always felt sad for my father who was convinced both his kids were doomed to burn in hell forever.

I've asked believers about hell's locus, about its distance below the surface of the Earth.

And I've asked them where hell's portal is.

None of them ever answered either question.


Well, there is the doorway... Neat place to visit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumaean_Sibyl

and you forgot these ; \
https://agreekadventure.com/gates-hades-underworld-greece/

Cassie

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #81 on: December 26, 2018, 09:00:34 AM »
Nick, I find it odd that you are so frustrated by people that donít really care if others believe or not. I could care less. My step son became a Christian about 4 years ago. Itís very important to him and we went to his baptism. He never tryís to convert us and we have talked about it. He believes that his brother wonít be in heaven because heís gay. Yet we all went to the other brotherís wedding including my religious step son. I think itís all about respecting othersí believes.

Kris

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #82 on: December 26, 2018, 09:02:49 AM »
Nick, I find it odd that you are so frustrated by people that donít really care if others believe or not. I could care less. My step son became a Christian about 4 years ago. Itís very important to him and we went to his baptism. He never tryís to convert us and we have talked about it. He believes that his brother wonít be in heaven because heís gay. Yet we all went to the other brotherís wedding including my religious step son. I think itís all about respecting othersí believes.

That's the point. He started this thread specifically ABOUT people who are Christians and won't keep their beliefs to themselves and not try to convert/convince others.

former player

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #83 on: December 26, 2018, 09:04:13 AM »
Nick, I find it odd that you are so frustrated by people that donít really care if others believe or not. I could care less. My step son became a Christian about 4 years ago. Itís very important to him and we went to his baptism. He never tryís to convert us and we have talked about it. He believes that his brother wonít be in heaven because heís gay. Yet we all went to the other brotherís wedding including my religious step son. I think itís all about respecting othersí believes.

Well, if you think that religion is getting in the way of making this a better world (and I can sympathise with that point), then having people say "let them get on with their wars and their bigotry, it's all right with me" is a cop-out.  Much like the whole Republican party has been letting Trump do what he likes as long as they've got theirs, thanks.

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #84 on: December 26, 2018, 09:16:29 AM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.
I think it is important to push back on religion because so many people make political decisions based on their religion. Things like we don't need to do anything about climate change because god put all of these resources on earth for us to use them all. We don't need to do anything about gun control because god wanted those children dead because he needed more angels. Etc, etc...

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #85 on: December 26, 2018, 09:21:23 AM »
Nick, I find it odd that you are so frustrated by people that donít really care if others believe or not. I could care less. My step son became a Christian about 4 years ago. Itís very important to him and we went to his baptism. He never tryís to convert us and we have talked about it. He believes that his brother wonít be in heaven because heís gay. Yet we all went to the other brotherís wedding including my religious step son. I think itís all about respecting othersí believes.

But why do crazy religious beliefs deserve "respect?" I mean, why?

Most all atheists agree those beliefs (not the people themselves) are nuts. Just plain nuts. Why does accepting crazy made-up shit as "fact" and then basing your whole worldview around it deserve "respect?"

If I said, "Invisible unicorns live in my yard and they protect my family from an evil, also invisible, dragon," you would "respect" those beliefs? I mean, why would you? Don't you call out "beliefs" as crazy at some point? Should people "respect" my belief in a flying spaghetti monster if I said I follow his noodly wisdom?

It's like people label crazy shit as "religion" and think the mere word "religion" means that we all must "respect" the craziness.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 09:25:32 AM by Nick_Miller »

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #86 on: December 26, 2018, 09:24:21 AM »
Fire, I am certainly not going to try to push my beliefs on anyone. Thatís just as obnoxious.  Plus no one changes their mind due to a argument with someone. People change their beliefs when something big happens that forces them to look at religion or when they have thought about it for a long period of time.

Cassie

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #87 on: December 26, 2018, 09:31:30 AM »
Nick, I think itís different because people are taught religion as children so you are talking about deeply ingrained beliefs.  Plus the majority are believers so most of society doesnít see it as crazy. My mom was such a believer that she would have been willing to die before renouncing God.  Most of the world doesnít believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Personally I have no desire to shut in someoneís Wheatees.

dustinst22

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #88 on: December 26, 2018, 09:41:40 AM »
I'm as atheist as they come, but to denounce all religious people as "crazy" or insane" is absurdly arrogant and immature.  There are much much much smarter people than you or me living now and in the past that have/had very compelling reasons for believing in a God.  Have you read through all the legendary Greek and Roman philosophers and their arguments?  If not, they are very convincing from a logic and reason standpoint, if you can grasp the logic.  After reading/studying through these works in college, I still decided I was atheist, but I have a deeper respect for those who have decided to believe in a deity.  St Augustine's Confessions alone is extremely moving.   Worth a read if you are intelligent enough to grasp it.  Arguing with people who are deeply religious isn't going to get you anywhere, especially from such a smug attitude.  If you approached it as a genuine intellectual discussion you might have better success, but from your posts I can tell you aren't capable of that.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 09:55:32 AM by dustinst22 »

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #89 on: December 26, 2018, 09:45:30 AM »
Nick, I think itís different because people are taught religion as children so you are talking about deeply ingrained beliefs.  Plus the majority are believers so most of society doesnít see it as crazy. My mom was such a believer that she would have been willing to die before renouncing God.  Most of the world doesnít believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Personally I have no desire to shut in someoneís Wheatees.

The beliefs are every bit as crazy as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Thor or invisible unicorns. When enough people start calling it out, in an Emperor Has No Clothes way, we'll reach critical mass. But we need folks to be willing to call people out, even on "deeply ingrained" beliefs.

I don't think that means we have to fight every person every time. I think it means being more visible, proudly making known our secular worldview, making sure people understand that religion is not needed to lead a moral life, etc. I also think that it means sharing our deconversion stories if we have them. A few religious people have asked me, and I tell them why I left religion. I don't think that means they are also going to deconvert (one did), but it lays the foundation for them say, "Okay Nick is a good guy and not religious at all. Hmmm."

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #90 on: December 26, 2018, 09:51:27 AM »
I'm as atheist as they come, but to denounce all religious people as "crazy" or insane" is absurdly arrogant and immature.  There are much much much smarter people than you or me living now and in the past that have/had very compelling reasons for believing in a God.  Have you read through all the legendary Greek philosophers and their arguments?  If not, they are very convincing from a logic and reason standpoint, if you can grasp the logic.  After reading/studying through these works in college, I still decided I was atheist, but I have a deeper respect for those who have decided to believe in a deity.  St Augustine's Confessions alone is extremely moving.

1) You obviously rejected whatever "logic" you saw in those arguments.

2) How many religious people do you think ground their faith in the (I assume) very complex arguments you are referencing? .001%? Lower?

Yes, there are very smart religious people. I went to a Catholic institution. I've talked with folks about it. My take from most of them was that they treated it as an interesting philosophical exercise about the nature of a divine being, the meaning of life, the origins of the universe, etc. None of these "smart people" attempted to argue for arks full of critters, or snakes speaking Hebrew. They try to skirt around the more ridiculous parts to focus on the less objectionable.

You focused your comment on belief "in a god."  EVEN IF someone could successfully argue and prove the existence of a divine being, it's a whole other argument to say that this divine being should be worshiped. And of course, if someone proved the existence of a divine being who was all-knowing and all-powerful, my argument of "this is ridiculous" would indeed disappear. So I patiently wait for someone to prove this so I can be proven wrong. Considering it has never happened, I might be waiting a while.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 09:58:41 AM by Nick_Miller »

partgypsy

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #91 on: December 26, 2018, 09:54:07 AM »
I find this an interesting topic, because in my family there is such a diverse response to the desire to connect with a life that is more spiritually and ethically fulfilling. My grandfather was not religious but was part of the "ethical society" which meant regularly. (if curious https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_movement). My grandmother was a lapsed Catholic. My mother growing up wanted to be a member of a church, so her parents encouraged her to try out different churches and she did and ended up joining the Methodist church. She dressed herself and walked by herself to church every Sunday).

My father was raised eastern Orthodox, my mother converted and we were raised eastern Orthodox. Wasn't just a religion but a big part of the culture of that side of the family. I would have felt a lack if I was not raised as my cousins were raised. 

What I am saying is there is a human impulse to be part of something that is larger than oneself and gives meaning and spiritual purpose. You can scoff but it is just as much part of being human as family units and music and song and funerals and many other uniquely human social creations.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 09:58:31 AM by partgypsy »

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #92 on: December 26, 2018, 09:56:43 AM »
I find this an interesting topic, because in my family there is such a diverse response to the desire to connect with a life that is more spiritually and ethically fulfilling. My grandfather was not religious but was part of the "ethical society" which meant regularly. (if curious it still is around https://ethicalhuman.org/). My grandmother was a lapsed Catholic. My mother growing up wanted to be a member of a church, so her parents encouraged her to try out different churches and she did and ended up joining the Methodist church. She dressed herself and walked by herself to church every Sunday).

My father was raised eastern Orthodox, my mother converted and we were raised eastern Orthodox. Wasn't just a religion but a big part of the culture of that side of the family. I would have felt a lack if I was not raised as my cousins were raised. 

What I am saying is there is a human impulse to be part of something that is larger than oneself and gives meaning and spiritual purpose. You can scoff but it is just as much part of being human as family units and music and song and funerals and many other uniquely human social creations.

I don't disagree. However, it's interesting that for so many people, doing so requires them to believe in the supernatural. I've never really understood why that is.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #93 on: December 26, 2018, 10:00:53 AM »
I find this an interesting topic, because in my family there is such a diverse response to the desire to connect with a life that is more spiritually and ethically fulfilling. My grandfather was not religious but was part of the "ethical society" which meant regularly. (if curious it still is around https://ethicalhuman.org/). My grandmother was a lapsed Catholic. My mother growing up wanted to be a member of a church, so her parents encouraged her to try out different churches and she did and ended up joining the Methodist church. She dressed herself and walked by herself to church every Sunday).

My father was raised eastern Orthodox, my mother converted and we were raised eastern Orthodox. Wasn't just a religion but a big part of the culture of that side of the family. I would have felt a lack if I was not raised as my cousins were raised. 

What I am saying is there is a human impulse to be part of something that is larger than oneself and gives meaning and spiritual purpose. You can scoff but it is just as much part of being human as family units and music and song and funerals and many other uniquely human social creations.

I don't disagree. However, it's interesting that for so many people, doing so requires them to believe in the supernatural. I've never really understood why that is.

You ninja'ed me. I was going to say something similar. Reaching out and helping others in our communities IS being "a part of something that is larger than oneself." And it doesn't require the existence of supernatural entities or divine retribution or belief in things that never happened.

partgypsy

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #94 on: December 26, 2018, 10:02:48 AM »
I find this an interesting topic, because in my family there is such a diverse response to the desire to connect with a life that is more spiritually and ethically fulfilling. My grandfather was not religious but was part of the "ethical society" which meant regularly. (if curious it still is around https://ethicalhuman.org/). My grandmother was a lapsed Catholic. My mother growing up wanted to be a member of a church, so her parents encouraged her to try out different churches and she did and ended up joining the Methodist church. She dressed herself and walked by herself to church every Sunday).

My father was raised eastern Orthodox, my mother converted and we were raised eastern Orthodox. Wasn't just a religion but a big part of the culture of that side of the family. I would have felt a lack if I was not raised as my cousins were raised. 

What I am saying is there is a human impulse to be part of something that is larger than oneself and gives meaning and spiritual purpose. You can scoff but it is just as much part of being human as family units and music and song and funerals and many other uniquely human social creations.

I don't disagree. However, it's interesting that for so many people, doing so requires them to believe in the supernatural. I've never really understood why that is.

You are right. That is a separate question. I am in enough wonder and awe of this universe and the living creations on this planet, to not need anything more incredible than that! And I feel you can feel gratitude of existence without attributing that gratitude to a particular "deity". But mileage varies. My only disagreement again is when evangelicals use their interpretation of the Bible to restrict or impinge on the rights and freedoms of other people. This country has separation of church and state. 
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 03:07:17 PM by partgypsy »

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #95 on: December 26, 2018, 11:51:48 AM »
As an ďatheistĒ there are so many embarrassing posts in this thread that are the reason I donít typically use that term for myself. The outspoken atheists who believe there is any value in trying to argue about religion are just as bad as the pressy religious people that push their views on others.
I think it is important to push back on religion because so many people make political decisions based on their religion. Things like we don't need to do anything about climate change because god put all of these resources on earth for us to use them all. We don't need to do anything about gun control because god wanted those children dead because he needed more angels. Etc, etc...

If the problem is that people are making the "wrong" political decision because of their religion, do you really think that telling them their religion is wrong or that it doesn't belong in the political sphere is going to change their mind? I think it would be more effective (if political decision-making really is your true concern) to argue within their religious perspective. There are a lot of Christian ecological thinkers (see the concept of stewardship) and Christian pacifists. I'm pretty sure you would get more done that way.

rocketpj

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...(for atheists only)
« Reply #96 on: December 26, 2018, 12:00:34 PM »
I guess I qualify as an agnostic atheist - I am willing to concede that something beyond our understanding is/has been happening, the universe is massive, complex and we are just barely down from the trees to start figuring it out.

However, the leap from 'something vast and possibly divine is happening' to 'this specific book or creed describes what is happening' is just not possible for me. 

I know that faith helps a lot of people in a lot of ways.  Some members of my family are deeply religious and have derived great comfort from their faith (various faiths depending on the relative).  Good for them and I am always respectful of their views, unless they try to recruit my kids, which for the most part they do not.

A couple of years ago one of my oldest friends was killed in a motorcycle crash, and his 13 year old was injured and lost his only parent, essentially because a bad driver failed to shouldercheck.  My brother in law, another atheist, said something really great to me: "I wish I could offer some kind of comfort or reason, but the fact is there is no reason.  It just sucks." 

The fact that random shitty things are not 'God's will' is actually quite comforting, because if 'God' killed my friend then God is an asshole. 

My father in law is a Greek who is not religious, though he loves the holidays (Xmas, Easter).  One Easter my wife's grandmother, a very religious woman, greeted us all with 'He died for us you know' (referencing Jesus).  My FIL smiled and said 'He didn't ask me'.

use2betrix

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #97 on: December 26, 2018, 12:22:44 PM »
The posts that frustrate me the most are the "Oh, either way, it's fine. People can choose to believe or not believe" type of posts.

And they irritate me because they equate the two positions of "belief" and "non belief." But they are NOT equal.

As an atheist who makes statements like yours above, not caring what others believe, your understanding of ďusĒ is wrong.

We are not equating believing and not believing. It has nothing to do with that at all.

It has to do with not wasting our time, emotions, relationships with others, etc., into being concerned what others ďbelieveĒ or donít believe. Based on your posts in this thread, you seem distressed by the whole situation, and Iím sure that most people that ďdonít care,Ē make an effort in life to not worry about things outside of their control. This is not possible for everyone, and even my ďholier than thouĒ self, gets upset about tons of things outside my control on a very regular basis, religion just typically isnít one of them.

For example - I have some super religious friends on Facebook. I donít want to see their posts so I simply hide their posts from my news feed. Problem solved.

Another thing I have grown to realize, and I believe has been mentioned here, is that the vast majority of people are a certain religion because thatís how they were raised. In a ďsenseĒ itís almost outside of their control. Yes - I was raised catholic and could just never buy into it, but I think thatís a tough pill to swallow to expect every person on earth to have that same mindset. Iíd bet $ that if we traded an equal amount of newborn American babies with Christian parents, with newborn middle eastern babies with Muslim parents, theyíd overwhelmingly be raised and believe the religion they learned growing up.

CindyBS

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #98 on: December 26, 2018, 01:29:42 PM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.

As a parent to a child with cancer (he is doing very well now) I would correct your post in that the majority of kids with cancer do survive, although most have lifelong disabilities associated with treatment and a few childhood cancers have atrociously bad outcomes (like DIPG with a 0% 5 year survival rate).  My son's cancer has a 5 year survival rate of 85%.

My son's cancer reinforced my atheism.  People are shocked that we have not given up our beliefs and finally turned to god, but we did not. (the theory of no atheists in foxholes)  I am continually comforted by the fact that everybody who can do something to save my son's life - medical staff, family, friends, community, etc. is doing it.  There is no magical being up in the sky that could cure my son with the snap of his fingers and just chooses not to because we did not beg him hard enough.  I also know that it is not personal - with no supernatural being that controls all - nobody gave my son cancer, it was just a series of random mutations in the machine that is the human body.

It is very difficult to watch other cancer families who are believers who not only have to go through the pain and suffering of the cancer itself - it is a special level of hell to watch a child suffer and wither away  - they have to come to terms with the fact that their supposedly all loving god not only is not curing their child, but never stopped it in the first place.  I have witnessed parents who question this in a support group setting only to be jumped on by the other Christians who haven't reached that spot spewing bullshit like "god has a plan" " god is here for our kids", etc.

I developed a relationship with a fellow mom who was deeply religious and also had a teenage son with cancer.  We got along for the most part despite the religious differences but as her son was dying, it became increasingly awkward.   She had a wonderful support system and community of faith who organized many prayer services, prayers were initiated on facebook, etc. and then it got to the point where the only hope left was god and we were all asked to pray on hyperdrive.  I never once said anything to her about this futile effort as it would be extremely cruel at her worst hour.   Then when he was about to die, the miracle from god became that he would pass away and go to heaven to be pain free (he had excruciating pain towards the end).  Wait. . . .  What?  Basically the second she accepted he was dying, god still got credit because he let her son die and stop the pain. 

After his death she saw signs from god and her son everywhere and all her FB friends reinforced it with their own "sightings".  The day she posted a picture of a chemtrail from an airplane as a sign from god because her son liked the number 11, I had to stop following her on FB.  I was dealing with my own psychological crap from my own son's cancer and just couldn't take all the superstition and delusion any more. 

I never once said anything to her about her beliefs or religion, and respect the fact that she fell back on what she knew best in one of the worst things that could happen to a parent.  But I find the whole thing so incredibly sad. 

Nick_Miller

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Re: Holding my tongue with religious friends...
« Reply #99 on: December 26, 2018, 01:56:30 PM »
I don't mingle a ton with overly religous people. 

Two things bother me:

Thanking god for acheivements (specifically professional sports)  "Thank you god for making me so great!"


I love these geniuses.  They give "all glory to God" when they win, but the week before, when they lost 63-7, did they blame God for forsaking them?

When a kid survives cancer, they "give all glory to God" (rather than the doctors), but when a kid dies from cancer (which is far more frequent), do they blame their God?

And why did their peaceful, loving, and merciful God give 2-year old Jimmy cancer to begin with? 

Wake up, Skippy, there isn't a "God" controlling this!  Little Jimmy did not offend "God" to deserve this horrible and inevitable death.

I generally hold my tongue around these morons in real life, but it's nice to vent online.

Religion is what happens when nonsense is beaten into people's brains from the day they are born.  It affects even intelligent people who should know better.

As a parent to a child with cancer (he is doing very well now) I would correct your post in that the majority of kids with cancer do survive, although most have lifelong disabilities associated with treatment and a few childhood cancers have atrociously bad outcomes (like DIPG with a 0% 5 year survival rate).  My son's cancer has a 5 year survival rate of 85%.

My son's cancer reinforced my atheism.  People are shocked that we have not given up our beliefs and finally turned to god, but we did not. (the theory of no atheists in foxholes)  I am continually comforted by the fact that everybody who can do something to save my son's life - medical staff, family, friends, community, etc. is doing it.  There is no magical being up in the sky that could cure my son with the snap of his fingers and just chooses not to because we did not beg him hard enough.  I also know that it is not personal - with no supernatural being that controls all - nobody gave my son cancer, it was just a series of random mutations in the machine that is the human body.

It is very difficult to watch other cancer families who are believers who not only have to go through the pain and suffering of the cancer itself - it is a special level of hell to watch a child suffer and wither away  - they have to come to terms with the fact that their supposedly all loving god not only is not curing their child, but never stopped it in the first place.  I have witnessed parents who question this in a support group setting only to be jumped on by the other Christians who haven't reached that spot spewing bullshit like "god has a plan" " god is here for our kids", etc.

I developed a relationship with a fellow mom who was deeply religious and also had a teenage son with cancer.  We got along for the most part despite the religious differences but as her son was dying, it became increasingly awkward.   She had a wonderful support system and community of faith who organized many prayer services, prayers were initiated on facebook, etc. and then it got to the point where the only hope left was god and we were all asked to pray on hyperdrive.  I never once said anything to her about this futile effort as it would be extremely cruel at her worst hour.   Then when he was about to die, the miracle from god became that he would pass away and go to heaven to be pain free (he had excruciating pain towards the end).  Wait. . . .  What?  Basically the second she accepted he was dying, god still got credit because he let her son die and stop the pain. 

After his death she saw signs from god and her son everywhere and all her FB friends reinforced it with their own "sightings".  The day she posted a picture of a chemtrail from an airplane as a sign from god because her son liked the number 11, I had to stop following her on FB.  I was dealing with my own psychological crap from my own son's cancer and just couldn't take all the superstition and delusion any more. 

I never once said anything to her about her beliefs or religion, and respect the fact that she fell back on what she knew best in one of the worst things that could happen to a parent.  But I find the whole thing so incredibly sad.

Thank you so much for sharing that very personal story. And I'm so happy to hear that your son is doing better.