Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
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05-05-2015, 07:04 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2015 09:12 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
If by saying "Christian atheist" is meant that one accepts the notion of "the Golden Rule" ("Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"), then the term actually makes some rudimentary sense. However "Love yourself and love your neighbor" did not originate with Jesus. It was actually the major focus of Rabbinical writings in the mid to slightly later 1st Century, as they tried to both simplify the Mosaic Law and figure out how to keep Judaism relevant to post temple destruction Jewry in the Diaspora, and the fact that this focus is so obviously present in the gosples, is a good reason to think that the gospels were invented by their writers to deal with the culture very much present during the same years they cooked them up, ie mid to late 1st Century, and NOT at all reflective of the culture in Israel even a few (20) years before, where they "placed" their Jesus character.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-05-2015, 07:11 AM
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(04-05-2015 10:08 PM)christian_atheist Wrote:  
(04-05-2015 09:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, philosophically, "god is a person" makes no sense at all. Persons have personalities. That means any person cannot by definition be "infinite" (in any way), as that "personhood" is limiting to that "personality" (by definition). That's meaningless anthropomorphization. Prayer doesn't work, (that's been proven). Prayer, singing, art, meditation, the experience of wonder are explainable (neurologically) as addiction to an increase in circulating beta-endorphins, (just like running).
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Natural-Rush
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Endorphin
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/health....html?_r=0

I suppose you will agree that we need to use some words, even though we are completely aware that they can't fully express (hypothetical) metaphysical being. By 'person', I meant that God is someone with whom we should commune with, not trying to exploit him and use him as a tool. But still, you made a very good point which is related to apophaticism in Christian theology.

When it comes to religious experiences, the fact that we can find some neurological basis doesn't mean they're not real. Almost every kind of state of consciousness has a neurological basis, but we never take it as evidence that specific state of mind is not real. And even if you can completely reduce them to neurology (which I honestly doubt), the fact that people through meditation/contemplation get to the state of joy/happiness/bliss suggests that there's nothing wrong with it, even if people believe that there's a God. It makes people feel good, just as eating chocolate. If your faith doesn't make you want to impose your beliefs on others, go for it.

They are "real" experiences. There is no basis for them other than neurological processes, and we can prove that by MRI, CT and PET scans. It's not "almost every kind of consciousness" it's EVERY kind of consciousness has a neurological basis, and that also can be proven by the fact that damaged brains are not conscious. What you are espousing is called "Utilitarianism". It seems to be ok sometimes. Think about it. It's a slippery slope to very dangerous ethical positions. So now faith is like chocolate ? It's "good because it makes you feel good" ? Really ? And you're equivocating the use of the word "person". Either it strictly applies, or it doesn't. There is not a shred of evidence for anything "metaphysical". It's another word for "woo".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-05-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(04-05-2015 08:24 PM)christian_atheist Wrote:  Hi everyone. Smile

I used to be a devoted believer for about one third of my life (I'm 21 now). It wasn't due to indoctrination by my parents or family, because they're mostly 'traditional believers' or atheists. It was my decision to read the New Testament, to go to religious education, to attend the church service every week, to pray every morning/before sleeping and to fast. I started reading books about theology (Church Fathers and modern theologians as well) and history of Christianity. I even wanted to study theology and to become a priest one day. I also enjoyed debating with atheists/sceptics on the matters of doctrine, religion and science, religion and human rights, biblical exegesis etc.

Then, when I was 17, I seriously started questioning my faith: whether it is reasonable to be a believer, what about unanswered theological questions, what about my doubts that I so desperately wanted to overcome, is there any truth in religious experiences etc. I started questioning even the very existence of God. This lasted for a couple of months and ended up with me loosing my faith completely. It was a very hard period because faith meant so much to me. My parents were also surprised for they knew how much I was devoted to faith. I just couldn't go on with it anymore. I was stuck with philosophical/religious problems in my head. This is the period from 17 to 19. In the meantime, some dilemmas have been resolved. I realised that what I thought to be a theological problem or paradox might have an answer that would help me to overcome my doubts. But although I again became open to religion, I couldn't see myself as a believer. Or at least not as a believer I used to be in the past. I still had some questions unanswered and dilemmas unresolved. That is in the root of this long-lasting confusion about my 'religious identity' and the reason why I can't say whether I'm religious or not. I know that for some people here it might sound like a joke to say that you are not able to decide if you're religious or not or that you must be some kind of idiot to say that (I don't mind, I'm not easily offended), but this is a huge personal battle for me.

Finally, that is the reason why I picked the nickname christian_atheist. Because my real name wouldn't tell you anything about me, but this nickname says lots of things. Smile

It is natural to go through stages as you learn more, and believe less. It isn't a race, your path to personal enlightenment and peace is just that....your path.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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05-05-2015, 09:08 AM
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(05-05-2015 07:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(04-05-2015 10:08 PM)christian_atheist Wrote:  I suppose you will agree that we need to use some words, even though we are completely aware that they can't fully express (hypothetical) metaphysical being. By 'person', I meant that God is someone with whom we should commune with, not trying to exploit him and use him as a tool. But still, you made a very good point which is related to apophaticism in Christian theology.

When it comes to religious experiences, the fact that we can find some neurological basis doesn't mean they're not real. Almost every kind of state of consciousness has a neurological basis, but we never take it as evidence that specific state of mind is not real. And even if you can completely reduce them to neurology (which I honestly doubt), the fact that people through meditation/contemplation get to the state of joy/happiness/bliss suggests that there's nothing wrong with it, even if people believe that there's a God. It makes people feel good, just as eating chocolate. If your faith doesn't make you want to impose your beliefs on others, go for it.

They are "real" experiences. There is no basis for them other than neurological processes, and we can prove that by MRI, CT and PET scans. It's not "almost every kind of consciousness" it's EVERY kind of consciousness has a neurological basis, and that also can be proven by the fact that damaged brains are not conscious. What you are espousing is called "Utilitarianism". It seems to be ok sometimes. Think about it. It's a slippery slope to very dangerous ethical positions. So now faith is like chocolate ? It's "good because it makes you feel good" ? Really ? And you're equivocating the use of the word "person". Either it strictly applies, or it doesn't. There is not a shred of evidence for anything "metaphysical". It's another word for "woo".

My favorite is "transcendental" other words...in your F###ing mind.

tran·scen·den·tal
ˌtranˌsenˈden(t)l/
adjective
1.
of or relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm.
"the transcendental importance of each person's soul"

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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05-05-2015, 07:07 PM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2015 07:35 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(05-05-2015 07:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  If by saying "Christian atheist" is meant that one accepts the notion of "the Golden Rule" ("Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"), then the term actually makes some rudimentary sense.

That's pretty much the gist of it.

(05-05-2015 07:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  However "Love yourself and love your neighbor" did not originate with Jesus. It was actually the major focus of Rabbinical writings in the mid to slightly later 1st Century, ...

It's much older than that Fullerene. The only reason I use "Christian Atheist" to describe my metaphysics is to be provocative and point out to Christians that while Jesus may have espoused the Golden Rule, he certainly did not invent it.

Oh, and welcome christian_atheist. Chas keeps telling me I'm not Jesus, I'm "Bob". But he's old and senile and doesn't realize Jesus is just "Bob" made manifest, "Bob" incarnate.

[Image: bobjesus.jpg]

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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05-05-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
I spent a lot of time 'confused' over how I felt about atheism and theism. Atheism won out Big Grin

But, we all have to find our own way. You found your way here, so...welcome!

Be true to yourself. Heart
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05-05-2015, 09:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2015 07:22 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(05-05-2015 07:07 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It's much older than that Fullerene.

Agree, but the point was that during the period I mentioned the Rabbis became focused on it, and that fact that that happened is more than "coincidental".
It was not an original focus in the gospels, nor is it somehow unique or original to "the teachings of Jesus". I like the book by (former priest) Dr. John Dominic Crossan entitled : "The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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06-05-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: Hello from a Christian Atheist :)
(05-05-2015 07:07 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-05-2015 07:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  If by saying "Christian atheist" is meant that one accepts the notion of "the Golden Rule" ("Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"), then the term actually makes some rudimentary sense.

That's pretty much the gist of it.

(05-05-2015 07:04 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  However "Love yourself and love your neighbor" did not originate with Jesus. It was actually the major focus of Rabbinical writings in the mid to slightly later 1st Century, ...

It's much older than that Fullerene. The only reason I use "Christian Atheist" to describe my metaphysics is to be provocative and point out to Christians that while Jesus may have espoused the Golden Rule, he certainly did not invent it.

Oh, and welcome christian_atheist. Chas keeps telling me I'm not Jesus, I'm "Bob". But he's old and senile and doesn't realize Jesus is just "Bob" made manifest, "Bob" incarnate.

[Image: bobjesus.jpg]

I didn't realize "Christian_atheist" was a *thing*. But it makes sense. Ever since (at least, and for probably far longer) the time when Socrates was put to death, and discussed the matter, society's prevailing *values* are embodied in it's major religion(s) and their common language. In denying religion, (or the gods) people assume (wrongly) that atheists (who may or may not also) deny the values embodied in religion, and it causes great distrust and anxiety.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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