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Author Topic: I think Im an atheist.  (Read 12625 times)
RCMerchant
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« on: January 22, 2011, 12:17:43 AM »

Im a weird guy-so take this with a grain of salt. I just realized that I dont really believe in "God". Ive been conditioned for so long to believe in some ultra intelligent all powerful deity since childhood-but in reality-I was brainwashed. I believe that the Bible is a good guideline to living well-and that Christ was a great man-but "God"? I dunno....Dont make sense. Humans-monkeys that we are-have NO clue what the hell is really governing this universe-we guess-theorize-but thats about it. The universe is WAAAAY to complex for us mere mortals to understand. Its the height of Egotism to think that any religion or philosphy is he "true" one. Fact is-NO ONE KNOWS.


Is there such a word as "egotism"?  Question

Dont get me wrong! If you are religious -GREAT! Just aint for me. I'm spiritual person-but I dont need make believe people to inspire me-(except for Bela Lugosi,of course-and he was a real person.).

Batman will dance-to make this touchy subject more platable-

« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 12:22:24 AM by RCMerchant » Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 01:03:10 AM »

When you look at mathematical odds against some basic things, such as the Earth emerging in all the conditions necessary to support life, or the universe NOT collapsing  back into itself after the Big Bang, it seems almost mathematically impossible that there was not SOME kind of guiding intelligence directing the process.  I think, all things considered, that odds favor a Creator over pure random chance.

  Everyone here knows that I believe in the God of the Bible, and that Jesus was His earthly incarnation, who revealed Himself as "the Son."  Anyone is free to accept or reject that.  However, do not for a minute accept the idea that Christ was "a great man."  Look at what He said - "No man comes to the Father except through Me."  "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."   "He who believes in Me, though He were dead, yet shall he live."  Jesus Christ was one of three things.  He was either absolutely insane - a delusional schizophrenic with a God complex.  Or else He was one of the cruelest charlatans that ever lived, because He said these things about Himself, knowing the whole time that they were false.  Or, last of all, that He was who He claimed to be - the immortal God clothed in a robe of humanity, the Word made flesh.
  I won't tell you what to believe, Ronny.  I truly believe in freedom of choice for all men.  But I will suggest to anyone - put away the thought that Jesus of Nazareth was "a great man."  That He most certainly was not.
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 01:31:05 AM »

Perhaps "agnostic" is the term you're looking for. I can't speak from experience, being a firm pagan and having been a Catholic before that, but the impression I've gotten from atheists is that they tend to be firmly in the camp that says that there is/are no god(s) and that the universe can be understood given enough time and exploration. Religion, of course, says that is at least one deity of some form. Agnosticism is a somewhat different group, more or less stating that the nature of the universe is unknowable.
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 01:34:26 AM »

I see where your coming from.Indy-BUT-fact is-I dont think the scriptures are a factual history of what was going on. Even if they ARE....Man needs to break his ancient hold on an outdated tale and make desicions on a more intelligent basis, Religion-Muslim-Christian-is always very biased. Crusades.Inquisition.Jihaads. I think the world would be better off without make believe "gods". Why cant you be a good person without bowing to some image? Christians say they dont worship idols. Bulls**t. Crosses? Little statues of the Virgin Mary? Religion is a  form of magical thinking. You live in a dream.
 And so do I. But my dream is old monster movies-comic books. A wife who I loved-but is gone. I know that Tara will never come back. There is no  Dracula. But it makes me happy to think of it.

Same with religion. Makes em feel good. Personally-it does nothing for me-if it helps you-swell. Yer ok Indy-I wasnt knoking yer faith-I was just stating my beliefs.

 




« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 01:58:50 AM by RCMerchant » Logged

\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 01:51:55 AM »

Perhaps "agnostic" is the term you're looking for. I can't speak from experience, being a firm pagan and having been a Catholic before that, but the impression I've gotten from atheists is that they tend to be firmly in the camp that says that there is/are no god(s) and that the universe can be understood given enough time and exploration. Religion, of course, says that is at least one deity of some form. Agnosticism is a somewhat different group, more or less stating that the nature of the universe is unknowable.

Yeh. Sounds right. I dont believe. I dont disbelieve. I dont know. And any philosophy that has the balls to say_"THIS IS THE WAY IT IS"-gimme a break. The universe goes on forever-maybe?-I dunno. All religions and theories are just that-THEORIES. There is not on iota of proof beyond their faith,
Christians,Muslims,Jews,... It's ancient politics. Know what? When I die-I'll find out,I reckon. Aint gonna kill folks if they dont believe what I do.


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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."





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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 01:59:18 AM »

There are quite a few threads on this topic on this board, which are amazingly well argued and don't devolve into yelling matches (just one of the reasons I respect this board). I'm sorry I can't post to them directly at the moment.

I consider myself a hard-line agnostic, who would be atheist except for one tiny (or huge) detail. I do not buy the idea of an intelligent creator at the center of the cosmos, and I certainly don't believe in any of the ideas of God as presented by any of the major religions on this planet. However, I can not discount the idea that there is a God because it is essentially an unprovable hypothesis. This "proof" is important to me. Essentially, I'm the model of a man without Faith, in capital letters.

The Faith part is important, because by definition it relies on a belief that cannot be proven, and I won't make that step. If that is a good point of my central character, and all of those of my ilk, or a bad thing you will really have to decide for yourself.

However, not to attack indianasmith, I will disagree with the mathematically improbable odds of life argument. When you consider how immensely large the universe is, and how long it has been around, the mathematically improbable becomes more and more probable. It would probably happen somewhere, and we're lucky to be one of the places it did.

I will say two things. Congratulations for really questioning the things you've previously taken for granted. I think it's a vital step in any person's life. Now that you have, though, really ask yourself the difficult questions. Don't be afraid to take criticism from all the angles you can think of, and come up with your own conclusions. If you really keep at it, you may find yourself surprised at where you end up.
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 02:26:40 AM »

I still have this thing that if I do something wrong I'll be "struck by lightning". Which is a good way to keep folks in line. Religion is a form of law enforcement. Except the magic "Gods" will kill you. The bible is a great historical document-but as far as convincing me that some Omnipitant GOD lives in the sky..I see more proof for UFO's than "god". I believe in the wisdom  of the Bible-but the supernatreal nature of God...nope. Of course-I may be wrong. I dont believe. I dont disbelieve. I dont Know.

Know what I tink?

Small | Large


I tink I gotta buy a nutter mouse trap!
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\"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)


Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."





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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 02:50:26 AM »

When you look at mathematical odds against some basic things, such as the Earth emerging in all the conditions necessary to support life, or the universe NOT collapsing  back into itself after the Big Bang, it seems almost mathematically impossible that there was not SOME kind of guiding intelligence directing the process.  I think, all things considered, that odds favor a Creator over pure random chance.

  Everyone here knows that I believe in the God of the Bible, and that Jesus was His earthly incarnation, who revealed Himself as "the Son."  Anyone is free to accept or reject that.  However, do not for a minute accept the idea that Christ was "a great man."  Look at what He said - "No man comes to the Father except through Me."  "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."   "He who believes in Me, though He were dead, yet shall he live."  Jesus Christ was one of three things.  He was either absolutely insane - a delusional schizophrenic with a God complex.  Or else He was one of the cruelest charlatans that ever lived, because He said these things about Himself, knowing the whole time that they were false.  Or, last of all, that He was who He claimed to be - the immortal God clothed in a robe of humanity, the Word made flesh.
  I won't tell you what to believe, Ronny.  I truly believe in freedom of choice for all men.  But I will suggest to anyone - put away the thought that Jesus of Nazareth was "a great man."  That He most certainly was not.

"God exists because he has to." BUZZZZZ! Wrong answer!

Look at it this way. If the universe is too complex to exist without a creator,and that creator has to be greater than the creation, then god would have to have a creator greater than him by the same logic. Since nothing can be greater than god, god can't have a creator and therefore can't exist.
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 09:02:56 AM »

I'm with ya RC. Well, I was up until the dancing Batman  - egads! 

I was raised Catholic but somewhere along the line I realized I'd never really believed in any of that stuff.  Just ancient superstition born from the question "Why are we here?"  That's the answer they dreamed up because humans always need some sense of greater purpose.  And it was a really handy method of maintaining political control over people.  "I speak for your God" or maybe even "I am your God."  So you better pay your taxes  TeddyR  I never could figure out why a being powerful enough to create the entire universe would care if we worshiped him. 
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 09:36:57 AM »

Perhaps "agnostic" is the term you're looking for. I can't speak from experience, being a firm pagan and having been a Catholic before that, but the impression I've gotten from atheists is that they tend to be firmly in the camp that says that there is/are no god(s) and that the universe can be understood given enough time and exploration. Religion, of course, says that is at least one deity of some form. Agnosticism is a somewhat different group, more or less stating that the nature of the universe is unknowable.

Yeh. Sounds right. I dont believe. I dont disbelieve. I dont know. And any philosophy that has the balls to say_"THIS IS THE WAY IT IS"-gimme a break. The universe goes on forever-maybe?-I dunno. All religions and theories are just that-THEORIES. There is not on iota of proof beyond their faith,
Christians,Muslims,Jews,... It's ancient politics. Know what? When I die-I'll find out,I reckon. Aint gonna kill folks if they dont believe what I do.

Agnostic is definitely the word. I identify as Christian in terms of values and culture and community, but I don't believe human beings are capable of understanding the divine, and claiming to know what God is and what God wants is at best an attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible, and at worst, the height of human arrogance. I generally express my beliefs as Christian Agnostic. I don't know, I don't think anyone has all the answers, but Christian is the brand of spirituality I practice to fulfill that need in myself. Church is about much more than God. There is culture and community and connection. Which is why I hate when people trash religion as a whole because they find some of the beliefs implausible. I also hate when people cling to the implausible beliefs as literal truth, when it doesn't really matter. How can one be open to the possibility of miracles, yet so closed-minded as to believe there is no more truth to be found? To me religion is a search for truth and meaning in our existence, and it should change and grow with humanity. Yet, we have these two sides who think we should either cling rigidly to beliefs thousands of years old, or leave the whole idea of religion behind because we've outgrown it. Both are unhealthy, and both are arrogant, in my opinion. The middle ground is where I choose to be.
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 09:56:54 AM »

 Thumbup  A thoughtful response, AndyC.  There is a very good reason that Marx referred to religion as "the opium of the people" - people were supposed simply to acccept and not think.   Of course that can apply to anything that relies upon unquestioning acceptance.
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 11:18:26 AM »

I sum my views that I like God but I hate the fan club. 
But, that idea doesn't effect the way I act or behave.  Being an athiest takes as much effort and "belief" as being a believer.  I don't do extra harm and sometimes ask the big guy/girl for favors, but thats as far as it goes.

 I do think any god worth the effort doesn't need 1) our money 2) our praise 3) big @$$ buildings to worship in with full sound systems and TV stations 4) us to kill people on their behalf.
-Ed

 
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 11:45:30 AM »

When you look at mathematical odds against some basic things, such as the Earth emerging in all the conditions necessary to support life, or the universe NOT collapsing  back into itself after the Big Bang, it seems almost mathematically impossible that there was not SOME kind of guiding intelligence directing the process.  I think, all things considered, that odds favor a Creator over pure random chance.
  Everyone here knows that I believe in the God of the Bible, and that Jesus was His earthly incarnation, who revealed Himself as "the Son."  Anyone is free to accept or reject that.  However, do not for a minute accept the idea that Christ was "a great man."  Look at what He said - "No man comes to the Father except through Me."  "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."   "He who believes in Me, though He were dead, yet shall he live."  Jesus Christ was one of three things.  He was either absolutely insane - a delusional schizophrenic with a God complex.  Or else He was one of the cruelest charlatans that ever lived, because He said these things about Himself, knowing the whole time that they were false.  Or, last of all, that He was who He claimed to be - the immortal God clothed in a robe of humanity, the Word made flesh.
  I won't tell you what to believe, Ronny.  I truly believe in freedom of choice for all men.  But I will suggest to anyone - put away the thought that Jesus of Nazareth was "a great man."  That He most certainly was not.
You go there a lot.  I dislike your rationalized thoughts, particularly since you continually peddle this narrow fundamentalist tripe, within which you harbor your own doubts.  Jesus' sacrifice, if you believe that one was made for humankind, was made by a man who suffered, bled, and died.  To discount Jesus' humanity is to miss the entire point of Christianity. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 03:12:26 PM »


 Thumbup  A thoughtful response, AndyC.  There is a very good reason that Marx referred to religion as "the opium of the people" - people were supposed simply to acccept and not think.   Of course that can apply to anything that relies upon unquestioning acceptance.



I only mention this because I just the other day came across this page of misquotations while researching something else, but that is a misinterpretation of what Marx wrote.  He was saying religion is a comfort or may be the only good thing in an otherwise bleak existence; religion lifts (or keeps) people "up" in trying times, logical or illogical.

From that site:

Quote

    * Correct quote, but often misinterpreted: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

    * In Marx' mother tongue, German, there is also a difference between what he said - meaning the people chose religion as opiate - and a popular quote of Lenin - religion is given to the people as an opiate. This meaning cannot be translated into English.



...
...
...

Quote

"God exists because he has to." BUZZZZZ! Wrong answer!

Look at it this way. If the universe is too complex to exist without a creator,and that creator has to be greater than the creation, then god would have to have a creator greater than him by the same logic. Since nothing can be greater than god, god can't have a creator and therefore can't exist.



I meet your snarkiness with and equally emphatic "BZZZZTTT! Wrong answer," but only to make a point.   :)

Your logic is HUMAN logic, and is thus limited by what the human mind comprehends.  Given that infinity and eternity are VERY difficult concepts for even the smartest of us, it is VERY difficult for us to comprehend, or even talk about, God as the "I was, I am and I will be."

Ontological Naturalism has it's flaws as a world view, too, and they are equally illogical as any "plot hole" apparent in religious faith.  That's why this is a discussion of FAITH and BELIEF, not science. 

We don't need dogmatic insults in any discussion that seeks to explore the ideas and thoughts of those we respect.  While religious fundamentalist can be maddeningly dogmatic, so too can ontological naturalists, atheists, agnostics and any other group we care to name.  Christians, et al, don't have sole claim to that characteristic; it is part of human nature to defend one's core beliefs.

I admire almost everyone on this board for the way this (sometimes explosive) topic is discussed here, and I especially appreciate Ronnie sharing his "faith journey" with us no matter where it takes him.  And to everyone here, even those who stand on a different point of view from my own Christian viewpoint, I thank you all.  I learn something from every one of these discussions, even if I lurk without participating.

Again, thank-you all.  You all are blessings and I'm glad to know you.
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 03:27:54 PM »

I’m with Andy in how I identify myself as a Christian.  I believe in God and Jesus, but I don’t make a big to do about it around others.  I see nothing bad about people who are good and try to live a moral life with no belief of a promise of reward or fear of punishment to motivate them, as long as they are respectful of others beliefs. 

I only know what I know, and I see that you are a good person and have faith in love and that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by me.  I just hope that you find peace in whatever you decide to call yourself…atheist, agnostic, lugoseist.   
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