Atheists

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Infinitum007, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    That would be wonderful, but not many parents are liberally minded enough to let their child make such huge choices. My parents are Catholic, my mother still hopes that I will feel the power of God and accept him or something, despite me noting that I'm a heretical agnostic, and if there were a God I wouldn't even follow it.

    It just has traditionally been too long that religion is passed on, it is like a social status. Some people are born into it and they can't quite escape.
     
  2. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I was born into catholicism, went to catholic schools and lived to tell the tale, unmolested!!

    When you're young you go along with it as that's what you're told is normal, I quickly reached the point though of thinking 'is this for real?', then 'nah can't be, it's a joke surely?', then 'is it just me?' followed by 'feck this, I've read the manual, this is b#######" :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  3. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Heh, but I think many people who claim to believe struggle just as much as anybody who just broke the chains. Some might hold on for social standing, or just to be part of some sort of community. Or they are afraid of what their friends and family would do so they keep going although they can't stand it.

    But I guess this is why religious ceremonies are repetitive in a reassuring way, to try and reel these people back in.
     
  4. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I'm not sure if this counts for everyone, but it is surprising how school, at least in my situation, and not only mine, has little effect on my belief. That is because my parents didn't really support the existance of God, or deny it for that matter. So basically I could make my own choice of what I did learn from books, school (Catholic) and other aspects. Your parents will always have the most influence on your belief, I think. School hardly did have any influence on me, but my experience especially through my teenage years did have a high influence. That is why I quote Joseph Campbell 'I don't have faith, I have experience.'
     
  5. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    The reason we are here is because of our intelligence, so to say we could survive in a lot less takes a lot of assumption with absolutely no proof at all. If it was not necessary, then we would not be in the place we have found ourselves in the world. But as you said, this is your belief, which is far from fact. As animals we are extremely weak in our structure. Our sight is not particularly good, our sense of smell pretty awful in comparison with most other animals, our hearing, also not a lot to write home about. We cannot run fast compared to others, not very good climbers, swimmers.... We are actually laughably poor, even compared to the so called 'primitive' chimp. But a chimp could rip off a human's arm without much thought, whereas we couldn't dream of doing the same..... Unless perhaps to rabbit....

    The reason we became intelligent is because of how weak we are as physical creatures, and the reason chimps do not have the same intellectual capacity as we do, is because they do not need it. Our common ancestor with chimps lived where they are still, in the jungles, but due to climate change, human ancestors were split off from those of the jungle and therefore had to evolve rapidly. We had to learn to walk upright VERY quickly, so quickly that due to the change in pelvic position, women suffer pain in child birth, whereas most animals, including chimps, do not. Humans then had to learn to communicate with one another over vast distances, we gained verbal communication, to shout warnings to one another of danger. Another species that has evolved the same pattern is the meerkat. They have one of the most advanced verbal communication systems, and their social skills revolve around those looking out for danger as watchers while the others gather food. They have specific 'words' for 'eagle', 'snake' etc that alerts its fellows to the coming danger so they can hide themselves. This is how our ancestors would have first operated also, why we gained verbal communication skills so that we could relate to one another over vast distances. However, unlike the meerkat, we are too large to simply burrow into holes in the ground to protect ourselves from the dangers outside, so we had to use brains over brawn. If we had not been smart enough to make tools, to make weapons, to make fire which allowed us to cook our food which, unknown to our ancestors, actually protected them from deadly bacteria in raw meats and so forth, we would not be here at all. If we had remained on the same level as our tree dwelling ancestors, then humans as we know today, would not be here.

    So, to say there is no reason is really, terribly laughable. I have only given a sprinkling of examples why, not only was our intelligence necessary, it was vital, and is the reason we are here.

    Well I already stated why chimps are not on our level, because they did not need to be. But what Anakin mentioned is true. It's lovely you've watched a whole movie about chimps but I've seen countless documentaries and read even more books about natural history, and there is evidence of chimps using simple tools to aid them with gathering food, even constructing weapons mainly used for attacking monkeys (they can be as aggressive as us too), and interestingly, there are even early signs leaning towards possible religious worship, giving us an insight to how our ancestors came down the same path. Chimps are still evolving, just as we are, and every other animal on the planet. Just because others have not reached our level doesn't mean it's impossible for them to do so. It either means that, as I said before, it is not necessary for their survival, or, they have not reached the point yet. It is very easy to roll eyes over evolution because we have such short lifespans that we cannot see it in the world around us in the way the earth has seen species rise and fall like the passing of each day. But we can see it in micro organisms, viruses are evolving and changing all the time, so much so that there are worries that certain viruses, which normally were able to be cured with anti-biotics, penicillin etc etc are becoming immune to them.... What is that if not evolution? Viruses are fighting for survival just as every other species.

    Anyway, I'm sure you were not seriously debating the idea of evolution, as that would be on par with debating the Earth being spherical or that it goes around the sun....

    Concerning religion, as I have stated before I have recently come into a new opinion with 'debating' on it. Because in the end, there is no argument. There is no god, or gods, goddesses etc, there never was. However, I don't think that means we should ignore the messages and metaphors of religion. The reason that there are so many skeptics of religious faith today is because, concerning the three main organized religions, they simply so not relate to people today. They were for people of a different time, who had very different lives than of us today. The Old Testament was written as lessons for nomadic people who had to learn to travel from place to place, the New Testament is the agricultural lesson with metaphors of planting seeds, from death comes life etc, it's for people who lived in an age when you had to plant what you ate, grow everything yourself etc etc, how does that relate to people today? We do not plant for ourselves, we go to the supermarket to get what we need. Yes we can look at the stories and understand and appreciate its merit but what does it do for us today in today's world? Nothing. And boy can you see it just by turning on the news. People are disillusioned, because religion is not doing the job it was meant to any longer. It makes little children of grown men and women, when it was meant to make the opposite, to help you grow as a person. Face death like an adult, instead of cowering under the false illusions of fairytales. I have a greater respect for what religion's purpose is, which at it's core, was to teach people how to cope with life and death, and it simply doesn't any longer. People have mistaken metaphor for fact, and it creates a backwards mental being. It's really quite tragic. But now, instead of what I used to say, which was 'to hell with religion' (No pun intended), I now am interested in learning about ALL religions, to understand their metaphors, messages, because they are there to help you. Instead of questioning whether there is a god in heaven, what Jesus would think, you need to look at yourself. Have you died (metaphorically) and been reborn? Do you look towards death not with fear but with a smile? Jesus did, he went to his death willingly, which tells you something, not of an ACTUAL act but a mental one.... One in the mind of the writer who was trying to pass on the message. Do you understand the messages? Or do you merely spout out what the page reads word for word? The sad thing in the world today is that most religious people do not understand their own religions. They merely act on a medieval text which then results in medieval minds stuck in a modern world.... With deadly consequences.

    The world needs a new myth, a new religion that reflects today's society, however, things are changing so fast, humans are technologically evolving at such a speed that it is difficult for a myth to be born.... But it doesn't mean one won't happen, or perhaps simply our priests and vicars are now what we call artists, musicians, writers, poets... Because they are doing what religious leaders are meant to be doing... Which is speaking to people at a deep level...
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  6. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    The problem is: What can we do about it? What can all these words posted in this thread or said in many discussions change about it? Nothing. Because fanatic people don't let themselves influence by discussions, no matter how many good arguments we have that would convince any rational person. Because fanatics aren't rational, I suppose we all agree.
    Saying "people who believe in God (or any entity that might have created life) are stupid" (I know this is exaggerated, and I don't mean to twist anyone's words) doesn't help anyone. I know quite a number of religious people, people who go to church, pray and probably do most of the things religious people do. However, they are still intelligent, rational and good persons. Why would they be stupid just because of their faith? They don't try to convert others, they don't debate with others about what's the "one true religion", they don't suppress or harm anyone with their way of life.

    I'm not trying to be politically correct here, because I'm far from being a pc person. All I'm saying is that the world could be such a beautiful place if everyone would just stop arguing about religion. Because arguing about religion is probably the most sense- and fruitless activity ever.
     
  7. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    News flash - humans are animals. We certainly aren't rocks, or plants. Humans are absolutely animals, and watching the nightly news will show you this quite clearly. Many (most?) humans think we are "better" than animals, yet we continue to be slaves to our baser animal instincts.

    And I believe religion is an excellent way to instill fear, a method of control, and to instill basic moral values in the uneducated illiterate masses. The threat of avengeful god who sees your every move is a great way to ensure some semblance of self-control, because we humans are horrible, horrible creatures when left to our own devices.


    That to me sums up why some people need religion - the fear/depression of thinking that maybe life has no bigger meaning. I'm perfectly capable of enjoying the time I have, then believing I will then die and that is all. It really doesn't bother me to think that there is no grand design to the universe but it seems to scare the **** out of some people. I'm also capable of behaving morally without the threat of almighty retribution keeping me in check.

    Cavemen needed a way to explain thunder and lightning. Even today people need something to explain "the meaning of it all." I believe the human ego (I must be more important than this), fear (I don't want it to be all over when I die) and ignorance (not being insulting, I mean it literally as in "I don't have any way to explain this phenomenon) are the driving forces behind the deeply ingrained human need to use a god or gods to explain the currently unexplainable. Given time though, science comes up with more and more answers.
     
  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned it just the same.
    If, as it turns out, you're somewhat embarrassed by your belief that we humans are not the product of an evolutionary process, and are divine creations, than that is understandable.

    You seem to be relying on this very misleading fact that we are almost like chimps to support your belief that we must... have been created by God. Sorry, I just don't get the logic in that argument.


    So do you believe we have a soul, or don't you believe we have a soul?
     
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    That's quite understandable on your part.

    No one enjoys being told their most precious beliefs are utterly ridiculous.
     
  10. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    My most precious beliefs have nothing to do with religion :D I'm not even that religious of a person.. I just don't understand how people can completely reject something that can't be misproven.
     
  11. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    First of all, "survival of the fittest" doesn't mean the strongest or most physically fit... Darwin used the phrase, which he lifted from someone else, as a metaphor. It's not even meant as a scientific term; Natural Selection is the proper description. And what do you mean by "we have no reason to be this intelligent"? That would be like saying "mosquitos have no reason to reproduce so quickly", or "the smallpox virus has no reason to be so deadly"... it makes absolutely no sense in the realm of evolution.

    Evolution doesn't have a brain or some central nervous system giving it orders to do this or do that. The human brain may turn out to be an overcompensation... but, I would rather doubt it.

    There's nothing poetic or romantic about evolution; it is mindless and indeterminate.
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Bitter about what?

    It appears you're the one with a chip on his shoulder.


    And yes, I'm against a Nativity Scene being presented in front of City Hall... and btw, so is the US Supreme Court and several State Supreme Courts. It's not the business of government at any level to promote religion, only to safeguard the freedom of religion.
    This is the USA, not some backward third world country like Greece.
     
  13. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Do you realize that you're using the internet right now? What practical use does the internet have toward survival? Why was it necessary for our brains to develop this far? Really, why?

    And you seem to be bitter about being the under represented atheist who is suppressed by the religious minority who want nothing more than to demonize you and take away your rights. And that's just me taking a guess. Maybe you just hate religious people because you envy the fact that they believe in something.

    And I don't want to get in a fight about religion or evolution or your personality but I just got kind of mad when you said that i know next to nothing. Even if I really don't know anything about evolution there is absolutely no reason to insult me. sorry.
     
  14. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    And again, most people don't like hearing hard truths, and would choose a comoforting lie if given a choice.


    Very true. I think this currently circulating picture sums it up for (insert topic here):

    [​IMG]



    Politicians, lawmakers, diplomats, normal citizens etc are all humans. We subscribe to various beliefs, and if you believe in a god that says "i'm the one and only god, all who believe in me will be rewarded, all others must be punished" then that right there tells you to run your life accordingly. And we then make local and foreign policy decisions based on those ideals.

    Similarly, non-religious person are likely to make policy decisions based on trying to get religion out of life.


    Sounds very similar to me Anakin. My dad isn't overtly religious, my mum is Buddhist but not in your face. She tried getting my sister and I to say prayers at bed time but it never twigged with me seeing as they never said there was a god to pray to, it was just a big waste of time.
    I did religious education classes at school, heck I even had a bible and read it about 1/3 of the way through at about age 10, but nothing in it fired my interest. I loved to read, but to me it was just a really long, mostly boring book with a few interesting bits in it.
    So I never had anything forced upon me, but nor did I live in a complete spiritual vacuum. And over time I just couldn't see any difference between the bible and say Aesop's Fables as a way to teach moral lessons in story format. So I was allowed to come to my own decision, and I don't believe in a god or gods.


    In some places around the world, religions co-exist side by side with no fuss or bother. The chinese side of my family lives in Malaysia, a Muslim country with also many Hindus. My side is chinese buddhist, but one daughter married a chinese christian. Their muslim and hindu friends and they all get together and celebrate Christmas, Eid and Hindu festivals. They all just get along and respect other cultures. But that only tends to work on smaller scales where the individuals get to know that "the other side" are still just normal people too.
     
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  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I think you're pretty much right in all that. Many christians are like me in most every way, save their belief in God and a Savior. What I worry about is when 6 billion people believe in something that at its very core is untrue, and what that might mean for the future of humankind.

    Unfortunately I think there's a deeper danger when 6 billion people believe in something that is categorically false.
    As a child depends on others for survival humankind depends on a make believe God, a God that ensures reward and punishment, and will be there for us when all else fails.
     
  16. Anduil

    Anduil New Member

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    Please all people in here could watch a film called the Ledge... Its about an atheist and a Catholic man who fight for their belief and a woman...
     
  17. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Reply to me from a guy on youtube:

    @Tsagia

    God doesn't exist, do you understand?

    There are civilian rights too.

    havee3333333 πριν από 20 λεπτά







    -_-
     
  18. RsJessen

    RsJessen Amazingly mad

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    I'm an atheist, although I am confirmed, as it is part of my culture. (Ridicules really, I don't think I know I single person who believe in God, yet I don't know a person who isn't confirmed.) I believe in evolution and scientific evidence, as many others. When it comes to my life, and my choices, I believe in living life to the fullest with no regrets. If that means drink, partying, and "living in sin" then so be it. If I don't die with regrets.. When at least I'll have that to regret then?

    I respect people of all religions though, I and fully understand their need for religion, as I also have felt the need to believe in something or some kind of afterlife, I just can't. I'm fascinated by religion, but I also believe it brings a lot of evil, perhaps in our days more evil than good. I also think a lot of people hide behind their religion and use it as an excuse for making the choices they make, or for acting the way they do. I also think the makes people judge others, which I suppose is unavoidable no matter what. I think I in many ways believe in what Nietzsche said, that people who need religion, is people who can't cope without it. But I also think it helps a lot of people.
     
  19. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    On living life full tilt... I can tell you, you will have regrets by the dozen.
    Part of living your own life your way is that it is a form of selfishness and with that comes regrets. I don't say that as a put-down as I've lived most of my life with almost no regard for anyone else; but in the end, you'll carry the same excess baggage as everyone does and you'll want some rest from it. And when those regrets finally catch up with you, it's usually time to settle down and enjoy life on a somewhat different level. I scare myself on just how much I've become my dad and that a good woman and children, and a dog to greet me at the door when I'm home from work, are the best things in life.
     
  20. Anduil

    Anduil New Member

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    nice opinion and i respect it! the only thing that i disagree is the use of word need ... for faith...

    faith is an offer to what you believe not a nessecity!