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Posts: 130/284
(22-Jan-2009 at 19:30)


While I do believe that there is some sort of existence after death, I have some fears. While I may be inclined to believe in life after death, it does not take away from the fact that I will be leaving my loved ones behind. I think anyone who cares about his/her family would wonder if they truly did everything in their power to assure the next generation would have things better, regardless of belief (or non-belief as the case may be).

Refusal to comprimise only succeeds in driving the devil's bargain. However, when one comprimises one's morals, they become the devil's bargain.
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(22-Jan-2009 at 21:11)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Quote:
it does not take away from the fact that I will be leaving my loved ones behind.
Yes, but you will be reunited with them when the time is right. Everybody is on this earth for a purpose, but there is free will ofcourse, some men choose to do evil things. As long as you truly believe you led a good life then you have nothing to worry about. The afterlife has to be infinitely better then this world, we are bound by this materialistic world and it causes a lot of hardship for people who were not born wealthy, which is most people. But eventually, rich or poor, God will judge all. All anyone can do is seperate their soul and values from this material world, money is important but it does not guarantee happiness, "it's not worth losing your soul over".

Quote:
I think anyone who cares about his/her family would wonder if they truly did everything in their power to assure the next generation would have things better, regardless of belief (or non-belief as the case may be)
If you love your children and love ALL people, any race or creed or whatever reason people might come up as to why someone is different and thus must be inferior. We are all God's children and will be treated equally in His eyes, the least we can do is treat others as equals. Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil. Thats pretty much all you can do, and why would any one of those? The devil is weak, he cannot harm you if you have True Faith, he puts out a lot of temptations, it is not wrong to indulge in some of these acts, after all it is a materialist world we live in so there's nothing wrong with having fun as long as you keep your head straight and dont lose yourself in this world of temptation. That's pretty much all it is, Adam and Eve ate the apple, now we have the choice to choose between Good and Evil, but God will forgive you for some things, after all you cannot live in a evil world and be completely good, faith in God will protect you from the devil, but if a human being is evil God cannot stop his actions, he is the one that gave us free will. Serial killers, rapists even people who run big corporations and knowingly destroy the environment for monetary gain are evil, God will not get involved otherwise b/c it would defeat the whole purpose. However, us humans can work to defeat that evil. I feel safe knowing the devil cannot touch me however evil human beings can still harm me, if i feel i need to stop this evil before it harms me then i will do it without hesitation. We live in a very evil world, many people in developed countries dont even know or care to know there are children starving to death in Africa . I dont mind eating less if it means no one will be hungry, however some people would refuse this and thats the difference between a GOOD person and an evil person, its whats in your HEART first and then your religion, but no matter how religious you are, if you have hate in your heart then you can never be a good person. God loves all people equally, why shouldnt we also love everyone equally?

Death Before Dishonour

When the righteous lose this battle, it is because they, in a wrongful society, exist as individuals whereas the materialists gang up. The Quran suggests the righteous get together and form an alliance against the wrongdoers.
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(24-Jan-2009 at 01:59)


Quote:
Yes, but you will be reunited with them when the time is right. Everybody is on this earth for a purpose, but there is free will ofcourse, some men choose to do evil things. As long as you truly believe you led a good life then you have nothing to worry about. The afterlife has to be infinitely better then this world, we are bound by this materialistic world and it causes a lot of hardship for people who were not born wealthy, which is most people. But eventually, rich or poor, God will judge all. All anyone can do is seperate their soul and values from this material world, money is important but it does not guarantee happiness, "it's not worth losing your soul over".
I'm still trying to figure out what my purpose for existence in this world is. I don't really believe in coincidences, and I do believe things happen for a reason (while I cannot say for sure why). I know that I was placed in certain circumstances for a reason. For example, I moved to temporarily live with my mother for some time, and shortly thereafter, she ended her marriage with her second husband of 10 years, I gave her moral support throughout the ordeal, and helped her get through her sadness.

Refusal to comprimise only succeeds in driving the devil's bargain. However, when one comprimises one's morals, they become the devil's bargain.
#43  
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(24-Jan-2009 at 21:46)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post

There are no good reasons, no rationalisations, no choices, no help, no nothing. Either you believe or you don't.
What about its meaning?

Even if the choice itself is based on nothing, it still results in some significance. Humans are creatures of imagination and passion, and I'm sure that this choice matters depending on how the result is percieved to effect the human outlook. Depending on the result there could indeed be more right or more wrong answers, and this is how the merit of belief may be judged.
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(25-Jan-2009 at 14:42)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
What about its meaning?

Even if the choice itself is based on nothing, it still results in some significance. Humans are creatures of imagination and passion, and I'm sure that this choice matters depending on how the result is percieved to effect the human outlook. Depending on the result there could indeed be more right or more wrong answers, and this is how the merit of belief may be judged.
You should try reading my posts before responding. Have you chosen what you believe? Or did you find yourself with a belief that you are now trying to rationalize? The simple fact that you are speaking about the merit of belief proves to me that you don't even understand what belief is.

Again I must urge you to stop quoting Kierkegaard and start reading him.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
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(25-Jan-2009 at 15:11)


Originally Posted by Caelis666:
Or did you find yourself with a belief that you are now trying to rationalize?
"The is NO God .... BUT God". The Islamic tenet of faith.

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(25-Jan-2009 at 21:29)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
"The is NO God .... BUT God". The Islamic tenet of faith.
From the point of view of an agnostic/leaning atheist: why should the Islamic tenet of faith have anything to do with why I am afraid of death? I don't believe in it. It does not hold any relevance for me. It annoys me that you have started a thread about atheism and then have used scripture as a means to interpret every answer. It seems like you just don't get what atheism is all about.
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(26-Jan-2009 at 00:17)


I don't really get the point of this thread. I'm agnostic, and I'm not afraid of death. Sure it would suck if I didn't get to do lots of the things I want to, but what can you do? I'm not worried about continuing on after death, and it seems a little ridiculous to me that people think that's an option (no offense to anyone). I think it's nice that I won't have to go on 'living after I die' why would I want to? If I die then I'm dead I would much rather just end.

Now where am I going wrong?

I am the darkness in your life, I am the light
I am the end of your tunnel, I am the beginning of your future
I am the end, your end. I am the path to your salvation.

Your bane, or your hope. You decide.
#48  
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(26-Jan-2009 at 07:03)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
You should try reading my posts before responding.
I'm a bit thick. You'll have to really spell things out for me.

Quote:
Have you chosen what you believe? Or did you find yourself with a belief that you are now trying to rationalize?
The latter. But I could un-rationalize it too, and choose to believe something else. Why couldn't I?

Quote:
The simple fact that you are speaking about the merit of belief proves to me that you don't even understand what belief is.
Oh, O.K. What is belief, then?

Quote:
Again I must urge you to stop quoting Kierkegaard and start reading him.
I'm pretty sure I paraphrased Kierkegarrd once and then you shut me down so I discontinued it?

You're style is very antagonistic.

For sake of this discussion, please explain the vital point(s) I seem to be missing. I'm your canvas.

Last edited by Gotterdammerung, 26-Jan-2009 at 07:04.
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(26-Jan-2009 at 09:49)


Antagonistic debate seems to be the only way to get you to drop the vague new age act and make some actual points.

The reason why you couldn't un-rationalize your beliefs and choose to belief something else is exactly because it is a belief. It is not some consumer product that you fit to your liking and drop when something else comes along that suits your purposes better. It is a constitutive part of who you are, what your identity is. This is why a loss of faith is similar to having an identity crisis. If you can simply discontinue your belief, it wasn't really part of your identity and so not really a belief at all. Because belief as such is not sensitive to reasoning, reasons cannot cause you to get, lose or change your faith, only a real shock, a fundamental experience can do that. This is not a choice. The proper religious term for such a happening is a calling. Unfortunately, atheists do not have such a term because most of them are still trying to prove the non-existence of god.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
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(26-Jan-2009 at 11:40)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
Antagonistic debate seems to be the only way to get you to drop the vague new age act and make some actual points.
Truly.

I am conscious of this. Consider the act dropped.

Quote:
The reason why you couldn't un-rationalize your beliefs and choose to belief something else is exactly because it is a belief. It is not some consumer product that you fit to your liking and drop when something else comes along that suits your purposes better. It is a constitutive part of who you are, what your identity is. This is why a loss of faith is similar to having an identity crisis. If you can simply discontinue your belief, it wasn't really part of your identity and so not really a belief at all. Because belief as such is not sensitive to reasoning, reasons cannot cause you to get, lose or change your faith, only a real shock, a fundamental experience can do that. This is not a choice. The proper religious term for such a happening is a calling. Unfortunately, atheists do not have such a term because most of them are still trying to prove the non-existence of god.
Then, my whole life has been an identity crisis. Day to day, can you imagine that nightmare? I've been addicted to inducing these external 'shocks to the system' in order to force changes within myself, because it feels as if I am, blindly, overcoming something ultimate, something that would otherwise be, to me it seems: nothing. And also when, more objectively, I may end up destroying myself. Is this healthy? No it's not, but it's the reason why you've had to constantly put up with the 'act', and the cross-pollinated vagueness that goes with it. I am one who lacks any solid constitutive part of who I am: it's very hard for me to distinguish between belief, faith, reason, morality, passion and identity.
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(06-Feb-2009 at 22:22)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
Does anyone of you know an example of a self-proclaimed atheist, who went to certain death without any fear or signs of fear?

Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.

If he fears, then his 'faith' (take this as you like since some atheists dont like the notion of them 'believing' in my knowledge) is weak.

Same counts for believers, many self-proclaimed believers run away at the sight of death when their religous obligation would be to face death.


What im up to is the concept of angst, of fear.

I hope i will receive alot of good comments that will make me reflect on what fear truely is.

peace

PS: thread inspired by Caelis666 comment #34 on the December 21, 2012... End of days? thread.

Your logic is flawed and makes no sense. If an Atheist who believes one life, one chance is all they get. Then if they fear death then they must have doubt in their belief against religion? It can't be that they just would like to wake up tomorrow and continue living life?

In the same aspect any christian should fear death? When Christians are to welcome death as they have a nice reward after death. Or so they claim. I use Christians here as most religions don't have a heaven type place of eternity.
#52  
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(16-Feb-2009 at 19:51)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
Does anyone of you know an example of a self-proclaimed atheist, who went to certain death without any fear or signs of fear?

Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.

If he fears, then his 'faith' (take this as you like since some atheists dont like the notion of them 'believing' in my knowledge) is weak.

Same counts for believers, many self-proclaimed believers run away at the sight of death when their religous obligation would be to face death.


What im up to is the concept of angst, of fear.

I hope i will receive alot of good comments that will make me reflect on what fear truely is.

peace

PS: thread inspired by Caelis666 comment #34 on the December 21, 2012... End of days? thread.
I am sorry not to have time actually read entire threads, all posts and so forth so I might actually repeat something:

Fanaticism, complete lack of fear is not uncommon, albeit usually linked to religion and these days more strongly linked and islam and sadly, radical islamists and suicide bombers, blind faith = fanaticism. Just the same fanaticism Crusader knights had them hundreds of years ago...

3rd Reich, Khmer Rogue, extremist Maoists, extremist Stalinist. All based on secular idea without God. All had fanatic troops and peoples completely fearless against enemy.

However, there has been a lot telling stories in religions about being completely devoted into some religion, without doing violence, not running away, not even against vertain death. Like early christians, during Roman hunts we're good example. Doing mostly no violence and shew tremendous courage in face of wild beasts in Roman circuses... This was prior christianity became organized and corrupted.

Gandhi's passive resistance for liberating India, is more recent. Coins all have two sides. Religion has its good and bad sides, as have atheists believes. But they are not good or bad because what they are... They are good or bad depending on person who believes in them and uses them.

Power or faith of anykind is not good or bad. What defines wether its good or bad, is person who uses that power. That person can choose wether its being used for good or bad.

Same applies in fath, religions... anything that can give you any kind of power over other peoples.

Any person fears death in some point of their life. That is natural. Bravery is overcomming the fear. Not to be affraid at all, is insanity and deathwish...

Generalization is rhetorics of simpletons.
"Sages learn from history... idiots learn from experience" -Fairy Tail manga

Last edited by Lord Menchalior, 16-Feb-2009 at 19:54.
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(17-Feb-2009 at 04:25)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Lord Menchalior: View Post
Just the same fanaticism Crusader knights had them hundreds of years ago...
All you need to do is believe in the afterlife and all manner of suicidal behavior comes with ease.

Here I come, Jesus!
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(17-Feb-2009 at 17:11)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
All you need to do is believe in the afterlife and all manner of suicidal behavior comes with ease.

Here I come, Jesus!
Faith blinds... That is not just a cliché but truth. To fight against blinding effect of faith, faith of anykind, we must be humble.

Generalization is rhetorics of simpletons.
"Sages learn from history... idiots learn from experience" -Fairy Tail manga
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(17-Feb-2009 at 19:19)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Kal El: View Post
Your logic is flawed and makes no sense. If an Atheist who believes one life, one chance is all they get. Then if they fear death then they must have doubt in their belief against religion? It can't be that they just would like to wake up tomorrow and continue living life?

In the same aspect any christian should fear death? When Christians are to welcome death as they have a nice reward after death. Or so they claim. I use Christians here as most religions don't have a heaven type place of eternity.
Kal El. You are stating that there is no difference between the life and your "existance" after your death except that you prefere or "like" living? Why is that so? On what grounds do you love this life? This is contrary to a believers mindset and im willing to understand the mindset of an disbeliever in God. I might sound at times like im making fun of the atheists but thats not my intentions. Im egoistically using the fact that a majority of the people in here are atheists that i can ask these questions to. On the other hand i think you can learn my perspective and maybe appreciate religion more and we can come to a better understanding together.

peace

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(17-Feb-2009 at 21:12)


Originally Posted by Armitage:
Does anyone of you know an example of a self-proclaimed atheist, who went to certain death without any fear or signs of fear?
I don't believe any individual is capable of killing himself or herself without any sort of initial fear. I don't think, however, they fear death itself - similarly, I don't think any religious person who knowingly kills himself or herself fears being dead. What I believe every last human being fears, however, is the anticipation of the last moment. Every human being, regardless of religion, fears that moment.

Quote:
I hope i will receive alot of good comments that will make me reflect on what fear truely is.
I define "true fear" as something that an individual has no courage to tolerate, where a person would really rather already be dead than in his/her present situation.

Quote:
Thus my asking, do you know of someone, not hypothetical, someone who stated that he is atheist and died a mans death? I would salute that man because although i cant side with him in this disbelief i can at least give him respect for living as he deemed right ... no actually, i wouldnt salute him. Id think what a waste, lived his whole life and is now going to face God, the One he disbelieved in .. but whatever, everyone has to look for himself in this matter.
When I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I'd have thought the same thing. The fact of the matter is if God rewards people just for believing in God or if God punishes people who were moralistic people that just wanted proof they never received, then God is no better than Hitler. Everyone deserves to be rewarded for good behaviour, and punished for bad behaviour, but there are so many atheists I have spoken to that deserve to go to heaven so much more than some religious people I personally know.

Quote:
It is interesting that you say, nothingness cant be imagined. The same counts for God. We can never truely imagine God.
This is correct. If a single God exists; we have not met God, we have not seen God, we have not heard God. For all intents and purposes, God only exists in our imaginations. We do not know God's intentions, other than assuming an incredibly long and boring book, which still leaves people arguing with each other over the best way to follow it, is the definitive answer to everything. We would also have to risk taking the advice of a false prophet, for all monotheistic religions tend to think everyone should believe as they do and that their way will lead to the best afterlife.

And if there is a God, and you (or your ancestors, in most cases) made the wrong choice, wouldn't that be the true waste? Facing a God, you didn't properly believe in, to whom you donated your life? Having wasted your life and not gaining anything for it? If you were God, would you think it was wrong for people to expect proof before accepting you created the world? If you were God, would you punish the heavy majority of people, on Earth, for eternity for not being convinced by blind arguments? Why would you want to believe they intended to wrong you and not simply find it reasonable for people to want proof?

Why should a religious person or an atheist not be expected to fear death? The only difference in heading to the moment of death is the amount of courage possessed, which I would accept comes more frequently to people who believe they are going to be rewarded for eternity. Then again, an atheist could probably increase the amount of bravery they have when they're about to die by taking enough drugs.

Quote:
Well, isnt it ironic that life does not care what the entirety of human family desires?
Not really, in my opinion.

Quote:
I have my Holy Book, a written book that is objectively observable for everyone in this life, that tells me that everything in life signs to a bigger plan, or lets say, signs to God. I yet havent been dissapointed. And that is my basis. You see, i have something at hand and i can give you many examples of such signs that support a certain mindset. On the other side i cannot see any basis or signs, that would make me reconsider the existance of an higher being but you can try to convince me that the basis of thought of atheists has more than their wishes as their basis.

Quite frankly, I believe this with plenty of proselytizers; they believe they are worthy to speak for God. They believe they understand God's intention. They believe they are the one responsible to convince others to believe identically to them and as blindly as them. They believe they determine who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. They believe they know all, they believe they are the Messiah. They are all convinced everyone else is dead wrong. The most interesting part of it is, other than converts, these people only believe in their God because their parents believe in that God. They believe all of this, because of a book, or five, just like that one.

Why should we live our lives for a God who we can't be sure exists? I can understand if God appears and speaks to us, that people should be expected to follow God's unquestionable orders and accept God's definitive existence, but why your book and not a different one, why their book and not yours?

Quote:
Dont make things up without having actually read and examined the Scriptures objectively and with a free mind.
Have you read every scripture in existence before you assumed your God is the true one? Would you read a book, considered holy, written by scientologists or Zoroastrianists with a free mind? I wouldn't, so why on Earth should I read any other religious book with an open mind if I were to believe it was just as fictional?

Quote:
People look how wonderful this world truely is! It gives the atheists equal footing, neither can a believer prove Allah nor can atheists prove their own claims on the non-existance of an afterlife.
But wouldn't you think the onus should be on the believers to provide logical evidence if they wish to persuade others that they are right? If someone is an atheist, it is only because they have not met someone who is capable of providing a decent amount of logical evidence to suggest that there is a God. How could anyone pray to an entity that punishes people for not being persuadable enough?

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... / Æ

Last edited by Greeney, 17-Feb-2009 at 21:19.
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(20-Feb-2009 at 23:54)
To be most humble:

"Even the bravest are frightened by sudden terrors."

Seeing as though religious thinking can hand over our concerns about death, then at times it will hand it back and we will not always be so steadfast. God must not be fixated in one moment or vision, to grasp Him so readily is a mistake. God shall always make us fear, and who can betray themselves for so long as to ignore this feeling? In our fullest demise, our hearts shall sink, too full of uncertainty.

No man can ever accept that only a grave awaits him. To do so is self-sedation and idle fire-watching. Those flames in life will turn to ash soon enough. To say that this is nothing in death, must be to say that there is something much greater in living. Point out that thing, for me, and then together we can watch it slip away.
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(21-Feb-2009 at 23:49)


Quote:
Why should we live our lives for a God who we can't be sure exists? I can understand if God appears and speaks to us, that people should be expected to follow God's unquestionable orders and accept God's definitive existence, but why your book and not a different one, why their book and not yours?
Belief in something without proof of existence is what we call faith.

Take some time to think about why God may not seem to be around. I believe this life is a test of our faith. How can you expect God to help us when many of us don't even help ourselves? It's not enough to pray for something. You have to be out there seeking it. Things don't just fall into your lap the moment you ask for it. God can only open the door, it's up to us whether to step through it.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not asking you to change your opinions on the matter based only on my above statement...at least not yet.

I am curious as to why people chose to become Athiest (yes I do believe you chose to be athiest, just as I chose to be Christian). Was it all the unanswered prayers? I am curious.

Refusal to comprimise only succeeds in driving the devil's bargain. However, when one comprimises one's morals, they become the devil's bargain.
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(22-Feb-2009 at 03:37)
I dont call myself an atheist, because I feel that it is inaccurate, yet I avoid agnostic because there are a few confused meanings of the word, and some people use it to insult.

I dont 'believe' because I havent been presented with evidence. In regards to a higher being, I just have no opinion, I do not say there is one, or there isnt one.

I was raised within the church and I found the mythology interesting. The stories were neat, and the set of rules that were constructed were interesting. When I was around 12 I started reading about other religions. I wasnt practicing them, just reading about their practices and ideas. The more I learned, the more I saw similarities. I started to learn more about the history of religions, and more about older versions of religious texts. I started to see them in terms of function. What purpose do they serve? I started to ask a lot of questions that I couldnt find answers for.

There are multitudes of religions, beliefs, faiths, ways, denominations, ect. They all claim to be accurate and from God. Each one professes with he same fortitude and resolution. Everyone thinks they are right. Who is right? Is anyone right?

I started going to church again when I was 15. I had no faith in their religion, but I enjoy the music, and the choir needed male voices. I joined to help out, and I also would help out with various functions. To some it was a faith, to me it was a community. I went to practice every thursday, and listened to a sermon every sunday. When I went to university I joined the chapel choir (the university's church) and also the Baptist Church beside the university. Thankfully the services didnt overlap. I listened every sunday, thought about what was said. I say all this to let you know that while I dont believe in a higher power, I have been exposed to it, I have been educated and I have given it a lot of thought.

Lets take the Christian bible as example. If you look at academic research that has been done into the book by itself, you can learn a lot. First off, what we cann the bible is a collection of various works. At one point the bible was cannonized and many christian texts were taken out. There are only four gospels in the bible, but there were atleast 13. Some groups of christians even moved to personalize their faith by writing their own accounts of the life of jesus, so technically there would be hundreds of gospels, but for now we can ignore those and go with around 13. Either way it is not of great importance at this point. The following questions come about though; Who chose what was kept and what was cut? What did we miss out on? Why were things left out? What was changed or altered? What has been changed through translation alone? What has been changed by political reasons, or even simply mistakes made in copying? When were the passages written? Who were they written for? For what purpose were they written? Some huge issues come up when you get to things like the words used. We can read a newly printed revised bible and clearly understand what the bible says about something. Yet if we look at the oldest versions of those texts that we have found, there are problems. First the language used, the greek spoken then is very different from the greek spoken today. Many divinity colleges teach greek so students can read original manuscripts. A passage may say the word "kill" in greek, but at the time it was written, did that mean 'kill', did it mean 'to die' did it mean 'to murder'? There are some passages where they have found some copys of a text with an extra character, and some without the character. That one letter alone can change the word, and drastically change the meaning. Which one is correct? The many rewrites and translations have led to many issues. For example "Thou shalt not kill". Seems rational, even an atheist would agree it is a sensible idea. Yet when ancient version of the text have been looked at, it does not read "thou shalt not kill", the translation reads "thou shalt not kill a fellow hebrew". If the bible it truely the word of god, what should be done? It is okay to kill, unless you are a hebrew killing another hebrew? Imagine a cookbook that was translated hundreds of times, copied out by hand time after time, edited for political content, and for the honing of the gastronomic culture. After 2-3 thousand years, do you think the bread recipe would still make the same bread if it hadnt been continuously checked after every edition? Even on the topic of the writings themselves, if I write a post here, half the people will misinterpret it as something else, I will get flamed, and the message will be lost. Some of the letters in the bible were written by on person who was trying to affect change among a certain group of people. Some of the more antisemitic parts are written by people who then considered themselves hebrews, who were criticizing fellow hebrews for how they may have strayed from a good path. People today read it and have an excuse to mistrust jewish people. People at the time would have read it and seen a criticism for a problem plaguing their people at the time. It gets included in the cannon so people dont forget to avoid those problems, but a thousand years later we read the letter out of context. How can someone be expected to take everything into account, from translation to context, it would take a hundred life times and a time machine to fully grasp what was being said and why. In fact, omnipotence would be a great power in this situation. In the bible we find a religious text that in its entirety is beyond the scope of human understanding, not because of divine involvement, but because of human handling. And to add onto this, who even says that if we knew all those things we would be closer to the truth? Were the documents perfect when they were written, or has their processing over the years brought them closer to being a true divine product? Now, all this being said, I am in NO WAY saying that the preceding are reasons that the bible is poop. I am just saying that they are possible reasons that one could doubt the validity of what the bible says, and by association, what the religion says. To some, all these questions might fuel their desire to help whittle away at the lack of knowledge, it might push them to research so they can help clarify issues. To others, it would seem that with every additional question and factor, the accuracy would decrease and your percentage error would increase to the point where the information would be useless.


I saw a lot of people who had problems while I was at the church. They would turn to god for help, believing him to be a higher power who would help them. It boggled my mind at how many people needed to stop looking to god for help, and to take control of their lives and start moving towards a solution. I am not saying they should lose god as a source of council, but that they should take the initiative themselves. Even within the theological viewpoint, god gave them the ability to change, they just need to wield it. Now this is not a sweeping statement of all religious people, just a few I had seen. What I saw with these people though, is that they were detached from their life, they were detached from reality and living in a world where they left a lot up to an unseen power. How could people sit there and ask god for help when they just needed to help themselves?




I dont think a lot of people can say they chose to have no faith. From my experiences I have found that most people eventually find they have the inability to extend that belief that a higher power is there, or atleast the way that other people believe it to be. There has been so much brutality and horror that has been perpetrated by good people who have been misled by religion. When ever I make that comment, people always retort that atheists have committed atrocities as well, and I agree, but I would not call them good people. There actions come from their morality, whereas the religious people had a good sense of morality, but in the situation their faith was more influential and is the justification for their action. I also completely agree that a bad natured person could be called to do good things by the influence of faith.


It isnt a matter of prayers not being answered. If someone is an atheist because their prayers werent answered, they are just lacking maturity and are suffering from hurt. Acting like a child who was denied a toy. A mature person would be an atheist out of spite.

Some of the following is my opinion on how I view the situation. It might not apply to you, or it might apply to you and you might not be aware of it. Maybe it applies to everyone, maybe it applies to no one:


Religion provides a sense of security. When we are children we have parents to protect us. We rely on them when we are hurt or when we need help. We look to them for guidance when we are confused or lost. As we grow older, we move away from our parents and begin to become adults ourselves. Religion provides a sense of security to people. The instability that is life can be calmed by simply believing that an all powerful parent figure is watching out for you. And If something bad does happen, do not worry, it happened for a reason. Most religions even refer to the greater power as the creator, the heavenly father, ect. Religion acts as a crutch that keeps people from fully maturing as adults. There are several key stages that people must process through to be fully matured. There are a lot of people in our societies that do not mature to the stage of empathy. It is a huge problem in the western world. Far too many people lack the ability to understand the possible perspectives another person may have in any given situation. That aside, I am not saying religion denies you that stage, but it is an example of a stage that anyone wont necessarily go through. Unfortunately, religion can keep you from fully becoming a mature person. With the looming idea that a parent figure is always overhead, people never venture out from that security blanket. You end up becoming an adult sized child who never left home. Sure you can physically move out and get a job and become the president, but with that looming parental figure always in your head, you always have that safety net. In getting past that, you can become self reliant and truely reach your potential. In your darkest hours, you wont turn to god for help, you will pull up your socks, analyze the situation, and begin moving towards a solution.


I have met many people who dont have faith. A large percentage of them have no faith for dumb reasons. It was not cool to have faith. It was fashionable to be anti-establishment. You heard about a priest molesting a child and figured if god let one of his own do this, then god must not exist. Your mom died when you prayed for her to be saved, so god must not exist. Reason like the preceding are what weak minded people will think. These are the reasons a 6 year old would stop believing in god. I have trouble having a respectable religion conversation with these people because they will typically say stuff like "The bible contradicts itself so it is a pile of shit", or things like "All that stuff is just make believe like fairy tales for old ladies". You can tell they are just repeating preprogrammed responses that they wouldnt be able to elaborate on without sounding severely mentally disabled. They give a bad name to atheists and people without faith. Of course both sides suffer from that problem, the dumbest people are usually the loudest.


I dont think you can chose to believe any more then you can chose to not believe. Faith goes beyond choice. That is the very thing that makes it faith. If you are devoutly Christian, and I said that since it is a choice, you can chose to not believe, would you be able to just switch it off and stop believing?

I know people dont trust atheists because they dont believe in god. They can do whatever they want without a sense of punishment unless they get caught, since they dont think there is a god to punish them. In reality, good atheists realize they must be self-governed, so they do good things not because god told them, not because god will punish them otherwise, and not because it will earn their way into the afterlife. They do it either because it needs to be done, or they want to be good, (or they get a sense of self satisfaction knowing they are good, or so, to others, they will appear to be good). When you think about religion, if it does indeed exist, wouldnt god give greater reward to the person who had no faith yet was still a good person. If this life is a test, then it is almost like the good atheist aces the test without a cheat sheet(the bible) or without buttering up the teacher(praising god). Devoutly religious people cling to god for strength, but wouldnt a better test be to walk out onto the planet on your own, and through experience and challenges come to the same conclusions the bible does about being a good person. Ha ha to switch the metaphor, it is like religious people are the submissive girlfriend that agree with everything god says and obeys him, whereas the atheist is the hot, kinda weird girlfriend that always surprises god and keeps his interest peaked. So we're not needy or clingy, and sometimes we even surprise him by celebrating steak and a BJ day without being asked (if you didnt find that metaphor funny, please ignore it, or atleast remember it is a metaphor, not a simile or direct comparison). Just dont blame me if when you get into heaven you have to sit on a cloud while I am up in the VIP room with the guy(god) I didnt even know existed.


I know I will get flamed for writing most of this. I know people will tell me how god says I'm wrong, and I am missing out, and how I am so obsessed with worldly knowledge, no douth some scripture will be quoted. To those of you who will, please re-read my comment about apathy. Please stop and reread what I have written and remember it is a printed form, and that most of the tone that would come through clearly in a conversation is non-existent here. I do not have a doctorate in English, and I am not a professional letter writer, so written tone is not a weapon at my disposal. What I have said is not a slap in anyone's face, you have no need to get ruffled. Apathy is the ability to be able to understand the many possible meanings of the point of view of another. Keeping this in mind, realize my point of view is what I have come to over years of contemplation, and is always subject to change. Please if you wish to rebuttal to my comments, treat them as you would if you were having a wonderful discussion with your best friend, and not a fight with your enemy. Please dont be an example for the lack of empathy in the world.

Only the ignorant have the capacity to be offended.
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