Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
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11-10-2016, 05:08 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
I'm posting this for clarification.

Feel free to ask questions or whatever else.

Peace

QUOTE=popsthebuilder]Lol.
Minutes. It's just an expression.


Okay. A little back ground is in order I suppose.

From early childhood up until what happened I was an atheist or agnostic. I remember thinking at a young age that there couldn't be a God because pain and suffering seemed to be observable everywhere. At some point I did consider the Sun to be a higher power of sorts as no life that I knew of could live without it. I remember asking my father once if he thought there was a God. After careful consideration he replied that he did not know. I lived with my mom. We didn't go to church much; maybe a handful of times in early childhood. She wasn't really spiritual or religious that I could tell. I do recall my grandmother being a believer because at family gatherings she would insist that someone said grace or have thanks to God. Anyway, I went through life in relative solitude, always being somewhat odd or different I guess. At an early age I recognized pain as an electronic signal of sorts. In doing so I was able to train myself to endure quite a bit of it. I turned myself off emotionally somehow, letting little really affect me. I began to realize that anger and pain could be channeled and used as strength and motivation. Not being spiritual in any way, I guess I didn't realize the ramifications this could have later.

Fast forward to mid twenties. All lessons I learned the hard way, taking no advice from any, finding out for myself. Personal failure and disappointment on a constant level made me self loathing. Severe drug addiction made it worse. Though I had strength I couldn't stop by my own will seemingly. I hated pretty much everything, but most of all, myself. I awoke angry and fell asleep angry for years, even before serious drug addiction. I fought myself for a couple of years trying to change the direction I was witnessing myself going. I used to park at graveyards and contemplate death. I fervently wished I had the strength to kill myself, and hated myself that much more for being too cowardly to go through with it. Throughout my life, but mostly throughout my addiction, I had a lot of time to contemplate things, and view my own actions or the lack there of retrospectively. Somewhere in the midst of all this I recall sincerely swallowing my misplaced pride which was all but gone already, and asking for help. I pleaded to GOD, Christ, Jesus, whatever. I did this once. I realized that regardless of what I thought and how strong I thought I was, I couldn't seem to be able to make the change for better happen. Down, at my lowest point, I recall seeing what most likely would have been explained away by anyone(including myself) as a smudge on a window. There was light coming through. Regardless, the smudge had the vague form of an Angel. I don't know exactly why, but seeing that gave me an inkling of hope. I was still severely addicted though I had lost almost everything I had ever cared about. A woman I had a child with had taken me in at this point and the three of us were struggling pretty bad. She told me she was moving back home and said I could come. I did. I vaguely recall seeing something again when we moved. I don't even remember what it was, but I do remember that it reminded me of what I had seen on the window, and again that misplaced hope surfaced. Months went by. Her, my son, and myself moved in together in her home town. I had not used since we moved. I made a trip back home and used for one night. I returned and went back to not using. Throughout this time I still had all the same hate and anger that I had before. Though I was doing better as far as my drug addiction was concerned, she wasn't really trying to change. Our son was in the middle. This and other things brought great tention on our relationship. I went to jail for a somewhat unrelated reason. I got out about a month later I guess. When I returned home with her and my son I realized she had been doing some really messed up things while I was gone. I was so worried for the upbringing of my son that I justified killing her and going to prison, because I thought my son would be better off. I chased her for about a half an hour, methodically. She couldn't leave because I had her car keys. For those minutes I did intent to take her life with my hands. Thankfully, I eventually have her her keys and she left.

Okay, so that was a lot of back story. Sorry if it bored you. I've never went into that much detail about it but it seemed necessary to convey the state of mind I was in.

I'm not sure if it was the next day or a couple of days later.

I'm driving home from work on a usual road. Listening to the radio as I drive. The radio fades out to silence. This never happened before. I adjust the station and volume to no avail whatsoever...silence. Suddenly and inexplicably I feel this great weight, this huge burden lifted from me. My anger, pain, and hatred are removed all at once. I am overwhelmed with joy as tears flow freely from my eyes( something that previously just didn't really happen). I am utterly and wholly grateful and thank GOD. Many things begin to come into my mind. Things I never even fathomed. I am shown, in my mind, how GOD was with me through all things I had endured. I was shown how every step in my life had been for a reason and that GOD had been ever present through it all regardless of my obliviousness to it. I was shown how GOD was there before my conception and through my troubled birth. I was shown that I was here for a reason and that all I had been through was too, for a reason. Many understandings and revelations took place. Then things stopped coming into my mind. An utter peace never thought possible was with me. A joyous expectation of life filled me. The radio fades back in to the same station and volume it had been at. I felt the strong edge to write down what had taken place. When I got home, I found the nearest utensils at hand and began writing. I had intended to describe the happenings that had taken place. What I wrote is more of some sort of moral code. This all happened when I was thirty in 2011. I never really looked at those writings again for about four years. At which time I started reading the bible. For some reason I don't recall I found this invoice book that I had written in years before. When I read it it was as if it had been taken out of the bible or something because of the nature of the written material.

I had never read the bible or really even heard it prior to writing what I wrote.


In the past couple of years other things have happened and changes have taken place. But that is a different story I suppose. Regardless of what happens to me for whatever reasons, I will never forget the miraculous event that took place in my life by the grace and mercy of GOD.
All praise and thanks is to GOD

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11-10-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
Part of using critical thinking is providing plausible alternative explanations for any given experience and determining which explanation fits the evidence available better than other explanations, a rule of thumb is ruling out fantastic explanations for any given experience and only choosing the more mundane explanations until further evidence can lead one to a different conclusion.

I can provide an alternative explanation that's more plausible for this incidenct that a lot of people can relate to.

Have you ever been thinking about a sad memory and then a song might start playing on the radio? You might get emotional at that moment, you might even claim communication with the divine if it's a powerful enough emotional response.

So you're in a place in life where you are feeling discouraged, guilty, regretful about the past, the radio drones in the background as you drive, you think a thought about how much you desire some help from a god to take you through the circumstances that have made you feel that way.

During this emotional moment your radio malfunctions and you immediately think this is god trying to communicate with you. This provides a wave of ecstasy to know that god has chosen you to speak to through an emotional release, all of a sudden you feel relief from your negative emotions because of the emotional experience of thinking that god is speaking to you.

This is a powerful, life-changing event that demonstrates god is real -to you and to you only. Since it was an experience that only you felt, that makes you feel special that god only revealed himself to you, this special feeling continues and codifies this incident in your memory, it serves as a powerful proof that god is real and sees you as special.

You have just been tricked by your brain and it's emotional responses, this is the reason why many churches fill their sanctuaries with people. People with similar beliefs congregate together, they play emotional music and you see large groups of people in this emotional ecstasy around you, you feel so loved, so accepted, so special.

This feeling you feel is so wonderful, it has to be god showing you his love.

All it is, is applied group psychology orchestrated by the church leaders to force this emotional state to keep you coming back to church. It's a simple matter to get people to believe when they have been placed into this emotional state, rinse, repeat, and pass the offering plate......

Been there done that. Drinking Beverage

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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11-10-2016, 05:30 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
Tl;dr version:

A drug user has a psychotic break and tries to kill his girlfriend, then with a few days starts thinking god is trying to talk to him.

It is held that valour is the chiefest virtue and most dignifies the haver.
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11-10-2016, 05:49 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(10-10-2016 07:08 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  It does not make more sense to assume that I had a breakdown of some sort while the radio experienced an anomaly, and then when the breakdown ended (which had positive effects and not negative like you would expect from a breakdown) the radio anomaly fixed itself in perfect timing.

Sorry, your skepticism is affecting your rationale.

I am not claiming that you had a breakdown exactly when the radio acted up but that's still a more believable conclusion than that a supernatural event happened. People have breakdowns (of all scales) often and radios act up often. Coincidences happen.

If I had to bet I'd guess that either the radio is a red herring and was a symptom of your breakdown or the radio going silent fed into your mental state and helped trigger the breakdown/hallucination/whatever. Either makes more sense than jumping to god turning the radio off.

My skepticism is only stopping me from leaping to completely unwarranted conclusions. I do not know what happened or indeed if anything happened. I wasn't there and you have no independent witness or medical evaluation of your state after the event. You conclude that what sounds to me like a relatively common set of events is actually evidence of supernatural intervention. That is, by definition, the least likely explanation. There is absolutely nothing in your story, even if it is 100% accurate as to the events, that implies anything out of the ordinary. The only difference is your interpretation which, frankly, doesn't mean much. People fool themselves all the time.

If you want to believe that you were contacted by a god go right ahead. If you want to convince anybody here that this god exists and that you know anything about its attributes or how we should behave because of it then you need actual evidence to support your claims. Personal experiences are of interest to psychologists but they don't provide evidence of what caused them. You can assume that it had to be a god all you want but that is just an assumption. You believe it but have no justification to claim to know it.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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11-10-2016, 05:50 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 05:24 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Part of using critical thinking is providing plausible alternative explanations for any given experience and determining which explanation fits the evidence available better than other explanations, a rule of thumb is ruling out fantastic explanations for any given experience and only choosing the more mundane explanations until further evidence can lead one to a different conclusion.

I can provide an alternative explanation that's more plausible for this incidenct that a lot of people can relate to.

Have you ever been thinking about a sad memory and then a song might start playing on the radio? You might get emotional at that moment, you might even claim communication with the divine if it's a powerful enough emotional response.

So you're in a place in life where you are feeling discouraged, guilty, regretful about the past, the radio drones in the background as you drive, you think a thought about how much you desire some help from a god to take you through the circumstances that have made you feel that way.

During this emotional moment your radio malfunctions and you immediately think this is god trying to communicate with you. This provides a wave of ecstasy to know that god has chosen you to speak to through an emotional release, all of a sudden you feel relief from your negative emotions because of the emotional experience of thinking that god is speaking to you.

This is a powerful, life-changing event that demonstrates god is real -to you and to you only. Since it was an experience that only you felt, that makes you feel special that god only revealed himself to you, this special feeling continues and codifies this incident in your memory, it serves as a powerful proof that god is real and sees you as special.

You have just been tricked by your brain and it's emotional responses, this is the reason why many churches fill their sanctuaries with people. People with similar beliefs congregate together, they play emotional music and you see large groups of people in this emotional ecstasy around you, you feel so loved, so accepted, so special.

This feeling you feel is so wonderful, it has to be god showing you his love.

All it is, is applied group psychology orchestrated by the church leaders to force this emotional state to keep you coming back to church. It's a simple matter to get people to believe when they have been placed into this emotional state, rinse, repeat, and pass the offering plate......

Been there done that. Drinking Beverage
One problem though; I wasn't down at that time and wasn't seeking God. It was a normal day. If I had been contemplating God or feeling desperately in need at that time then yeah. But that isn't how it went down.

Peace

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11-10-2016, 05:54 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 05:24 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Part of using critical thinking is providing plausible alternative explanations for any given experience and determining which explanation fits the evidence available better than other explanations, a rule of thumb is ruling out fantastic explanations for any given experience and only choosing the more mundane explanations until further evidence can lead one to a different conclusion.

I can provide an alternative explanation that's more plausible for this incidenct that a lot of people can relate to.

Have you ever been thinking about a sad memory and then a song might start playing on the radio? You might get emotional at that moment, you might even claim communication with the divine if it's a powerful enough emotional response.

So you're in a place in life where you are feeling discouraged, guilty, regretful about the past, the radio drones in the background as you drive, you think a thought about how much you desire some help from a god to take you through the circumstances that have made you feel that way.

During this emotional moment your radio malfunctions and you immediately think this is god trying to communicate with you. This provides a wave of ecstasy to know that god has chosen you to speak to through an emotional release, all of a sudden you feel relief from your negative emotions because of the emotional experience of thinking that god is speaking to you.

This is a powerful, life-changing event that demonstrates god is real -to you and to you only. Since it was an experience that only you felt, that makes you feel special that god only revealed himself to you, this special feeling continues and codifies this incident in your memory, it serves as a powerful proof that god is real and sees you as special.

You have just been tricked by your brain and it's emotional responses, this is the reason why many churches fill their sanctuaries with people. People with similar beliefs congregate together, they play emotional music and you see large groups of people in this emotional ecstasy around you, you feel so loved, so accepted, so special.

This feeling you feel is so wonderful, it has to be god showing you his love.

All it is, is applied group psychology orchestrated by the church leaders to force this emotional state to keep you coming back to church. It's a simple matter to get people to believe when they have been placed into this emotional state, rinse, repeat, and pass the offering plate......

Been there done that. Drinking Beverage
I'm sorry, but you lost me when you started talking about organized religion.

I don't go to church and never have one regular basis. I am not a member of any church nor do I frequent any.

I had no interaction with the indoctrinated before or immediately after. And still, now, my interactions with them are generally not edifying. The vast majority of them consider me satanic or heretical at very least.



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11-10-2016, 05:55 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 05:50 AM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  
(11-10-2016 05:24 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Part of using critical thinking is providing plausible alternative explanations for any given experience and determining which explanation fits the evidence available better than other explanations, a rule of thumb is ruling out fantastic explanations for any given experience and only choosing the more mundane explanations until further evidence can lead one to a different conclusion.

I can provide an alternative explanation that's more plausible for this incidenct that a lot of people can relate to.

Have you ever been thinking about a sad memory and then a song might start playing on the radio? You might get emotional at that moment, you might even claim communication with the divine if it's a powerful enough emotional response.

So you're in a place in life where you are feeling discouraged, guilty, regretful about the past, the radio drones in the background as you drive, you think a thought about how much you desire some help from a god to take you through the circumstances that have made you feel that way.

During this emotional moment your radio malfunctions and you immediately think this is god trying to communicate with you. This provides a wave of ecstasy to know that god has chosen you to speak to through an emotional release, all of a sudden you feel relief from your negative emotions because of the emotional experience of thinking that god is speaking to you.

This is a powerful, life-changing event that demonstrates god is real -to you and to you only. Since it was an experience that only you felt, that makes you feel special that god only revealed himself to you, this special feeling continues and codifies this incident in your memory, it serves as a powerful proof that god is real and sees you as special.

You have just been tricked by your brain and it's emotional responses, this is the reason why many churches fill their sanctuaries with people. People with similar beliefs congregate together, they play emotional music and you see large groups of people in this emotional ecstasy around you, you feel so loved, so accepted, so special.

This feeling you feel is so wonderful, it has to be god showing you his love.

All it is, is applied group psychology orchestrated by the church leaders to force this emotional state to keep you coming back to church. It's a simple matter to get people to believe when they have been placed into this emotional state, rinse, repeat, and pass the offering plate......

Been there done that. Drinking Beverage
One problem though; I wasn't down at that time and wasn't seeking God. It was a normal day. If I had been contemplating God or feeling desperately in need at that time then yeah. But that isn't how it went down.

Peace

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Your experience isn't at all remarkable and it's a classic example of confirmation bias. It's a well known fact that events that people remember vividly are often remembered incorrectly, it likely didn't even happen the way you remembered. So how good is this experience at proving anything but a mind grasping at something desperately and finding it?

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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11-10-2016, 06:02 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 05:08 AM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  I'm posting this for clarification.

When I got home, I found the nearest utensils at hand and began writing. I had intended to describe the happenings that had taken place. What I wrote is more of some sort of moral code. This all happened when I was thirty in 2011. I never really looked at those writings again for about four years. At which time I started reading the bible. For some reason I don't recall I found this invoice book that I had written in years before. When I read it it was as if it had been taken out of the bible or something because of the nature of the written material.

So you did have some sort of religious thinking rooted into your mind, you had an emotional release and suddenly you think god spoke to you, exactly what I described. Drinking Beverage

Then you pick a bible up and lo and behold it matches what you have been thinking! Or cherry-picked. Drinking Beverage

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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11-10-2016, 06:24 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 05:54 AM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  I'm sorry, but you lost me when you started talking about organized religion.

I don't go to church and never have one regular basis. I am not a member of any church nor do I frequent any.

I had no interaction with the indoctrinated before or immediately after. And still, now, my interactions with them are generally not edifying. The vast majority of them consider me satanic or heretical at very least.

You grew up in the US, didn't you? The culture is rife with biblical references and it would be nearly impossible not to have heard it even if you generally ignored it. When you start thinking a god has talked to you it would be expected that your brain would make associations with things you knew about it. That could easily explain why any writing had a vaguely scriptural style and/or content.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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11-10-2016, 06:27 AM
RE: Arguments against religion, not to defend atheism?
(11-10-2016 06:24 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(11-10-2016 05:54 AM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  I'm sorry, but you lost me when you started talking about organized religion.

I don't go to church and never have one regular basis. I am not a member of any church nor do I frequent any.

I had no interaction with the indoctrinated before or immediately after. And still, now, my interactions with them are generally not edifying. The vast majority of them consider me satanic or heretical at very least.

You grew up in the US, didn't you? The culture is rife with biblical references and it would be nearly impossible not to have heard it even if you generally ignored it. When you start thinking a god has talked to you it would be expected that your brain would make associations with things you knew about it. That could easily explain why any writing had a vaguely scriptural style and/or content.

Christian influences in the US tend to very subtle.

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