"I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
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23-03-2016, 02:46 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 01:27 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So what is more important to you Tomasia, your identity and emotions, or the truth?

You ask this questions if these are separable concepts, and I don’t. Perhaps you’d have to answer why would truth matter to biological creatures, if the idea of truth doesn’t offer something emotionally satisfying?

My emotional satisfaction, my identity hinges on some degree of authenticity. Just like the emotional satisfaction I receive in my marriage is derived in part by seeing my marriage as authentic, as real. Truth (at least the perception of it) are crucial to factors like being honest with oneself, in understanding myself as well as others, important in maintaining an authentic relationship with others, it’s what holds the whole together. So in this sense truth is the most important thing.

But one crucial distinction between myself I think and many atheists when it comes to truth, is that for me the importance of truth is an entirely personal question, it’s more a question of who I am, then how the gears of the world work, while atheists fascinations with truth seem to be almost exclusively a depersonalized affair. The truth appears as a conduit to losing oneself as opposed to finding oneself in it.

Quote:As far as you, I don't know yet. Do you think Atheists are necessarily miserable?

I don’t know. All I do know is that a person’s happiness is more based on the quality of his relationships, than anything else. If you’re miserable or unhappy it’s likely because of lack of meaningful relationships more so than whether you believe in God or not, or perhaps there’s more of a connection between these questions than we let on.

Quote:Do you think they are motivated primarily by the emotional benefits of Atheism? Do you believe both? Why or why not?

I think we’re all motivated by emotional benefits, even if thats the emotional benefit of believing what’s true. Perhaps truth is very much like a God for us, that we would sacrifice everything else for it, even happiness if need be. It’s seems to be the most supreme emotional commitment.

Quote:What if you knew there was no god. What would your life be like? What do you imagine?

I didn’t always believe in God, and life was okay at the time. But I don’t think it's possible for me to imagine a version of me now that didn’t believe, and I don’t tend to encounter atheists who were like me then one day didn’t believe. People like myself are stuck believing, sometimes begrudgingly. I’d have to imagine an entirely different world, than the one in front of me, and that seems unimaginable.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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23-03-2016, 03:01 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 01:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The answer to that is a universal thing here, that being a Mormon, or Christian, or even an Atheist, defining oneself as rationalist, as skeptic etc.. often are aspects of our identity. No one is particularly eager to find themselves in a position where they no longer know themselves.
As a guess I would think that most atheists don't label themselves as atheists. They probably don't even know what the term "atheist" means. All they know is that they either don't believe in gods, don't know about gods, don't care about gods or just think gods are mythical nonsense.

Given the above, most atheists probably don't self identify with the terms "rationalist", "free thinker", "skeptic" etc. Atheism isn't really a group, it's merely a label, and it isn't an important one. Do we label ourselves as non believers in fairies, or non believers in big foot? Would that be our defining identity?

I'd say, that for most non believers, we don't give much thought to our non belief. We don't belong to churches, we don't have non belief summer camps, we don't have non belief bible study groups.

We might, once in a while see some newspaper article about religious extremists who blow themselves up, or who predict a doomsday, or who picket a funeral, or who don't give their sick child medical treatment, or Christians calling for a boycott of McDonalds due to a McDonalds ad depicting compassion towards a son coming out to his dad about being gay and we shake our heads at the craziness of it.

but otherwise, we don't tend to give religion much thought. We certainly don't take time to contemplate our lack of belief in god(s).

Obviously the people you find on the internet, in atheist forums, we know what "atheist" means and we are either recovering from the madness of religion, or living in amongst an actively religious society or like me are just confused by why people believe in gods without any evidence what-so-ever.
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23-03-2016, 03:29 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 02:46 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I’d have to imagine an entirely different world, than the one in front of me, and that seems unimaginable.
Or perhaps take an interest in science, which explains why we have stars and planets, tides and the water cycle, why we have a plethora of life forms.

Try to understand why life forms must compete, to live. Try to undesrstand why evolution must include death (even before adam and eve). Perhaps try to understand how a species (I use the term loosely) has an unbroken ancestral line spanning billions of years and how that means that the species probably wouldn't have survived had they been predisposed to killing and eating each other.

And view the unknown as "unknown" rather than conveniently fitting in a "god must have done it"
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23-03-2016, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2016 04:28 PM by Banjo.)
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 09:37 AM)Banjo Wrote:  I was not angry. I was determined. The thing that angered me if anything, was my inability to save my mother from MS. For which I held nobody to account. Just as I hold nobody responsible for my cancer today.

MS is a virus. Cancer is a malfunction. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Quote:When it came to your mother's MS and your inability to save her you were angry about that, though you had no one to blame.

That I had no one to blame was not an issue. I was never religious. I am not a reformed xian. Therefore all of this was biological.

Back in those times there was little to no support. There was the MS Society, but they could offer little help. It was simply hard on me Tomasia. That is all. Mum was in pain 24/7, I had a full time job and was her only carer. I was also studying martial arts and music at the same time. I recall sitting in side splits with a rubber practice pad working on drum technique.

Was it emotionally draining? Yes. Most definitely. It was all on me though and I took full responsibility for her care, aged approx' 16. I cannot recall exactly now. Maybe 15 is when I returned.

Remember though, I was a full on atheist. Had never believed in mythology. Just because I read Homer did not mean I believed in Zeus. Same story with the Hebrew text and its Greek add on.

Mythology is storytelling. The bible was not as good as Homer. That I saw clearly. In fact I am going to attend a reading of Homer tonight. Big Grin

Quote:And from what I remember you've spoken on numerous occasions about a variety of experiences in your life, which I would think any normal person would feel a great deal of anger about.

I cannot speak for others.

Quote:So clearly you were angry about a variety of things, and not just religion.

You are failing to pay attention. I was NEVER religious. In fact I got my first job at 8 through the help of connections with a priest.

Quote:It's something that you seems to be suggesting here, that I'm looking for a more honest response to.

I have not lied to you. I am being honest. I had frustrations. Not anger as such. None of which were directed toward religion.

As someone interested in history I saw religion as representing a danger to the future of humanity. That is why I ended up hating it. It caused too many problems. It still does. Plus morally I saw it as evil. Having read Mein Kampf and other hateful diatribes, they were nothing in comparison to the bible.



Quote:Do you think you're able to separate your anger and contempt in regards to religion, from the anger and contempt you feel about your series of misfortune life events?

You appear to be trying to put words into my mouth. I saw events as funny for the most part. Like the time working as a fisherman and the sailor threw the anchor into the water without a rope attached! I'm 10, standing there thinking "I gotta get another job!" Big Grin

My life was interesting. Not unfortunate. I went back some years later and saw the kids I knew at 7. They were all living in the same place. Had boring jobs. Me? I'd travelled, worked, surfed, hunted all over this continent, was a martial arts master and touring musician. I did not envy them. I pitied them.

Quote:That a person's anger is divisible in such a way? I don't believe that's possible. But I would like to know whether you honestly believe otherwise?

What you believe is unimportant.

Have I ever been angry? Of course. I am human. Have I ever been angry with a mythological character? Of course not. What would be the point? It's like being angry at Alice for her visiting Wonderland.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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23-03-2016, 04:38 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 07:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 10:45 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  I could not tell you what my original reasons for not believing were, assuming I had reasons. All I know for certain is that I didn't have this thing they called faith.

My reasons for leaving the church were emotional, though not negative ones as some theists laughably assume. I had become a "young adult" and Sunday School was over. Half way through Confirmation classes I realized that I didn't believe what I was going to have to say. I could mouth the words or I could take my leave. I chose to depart because I respected my friends' beliefs too much to do them the disservice of hypocrisy.

Any particular life event transpire around the same time as the disbelief crept in at confirmation class? Parents divorce, death, breakups, etc...? Something that made you uncomfortable with what you were being led to believe, that perhaps created some distance between the religious identity your friends took on, and the one you didn't feel comfortable accepting yourself?

Nope, that was a pretty normal point in my life. For a given value of normal. Sure, I was just hitting puberty and my hormones had gone into overdrive but that's true of everybody else at that point in their life too.

Also, you're mistaking what I said, possibly because I said it poorly. There was no 'disbelief creeping in'. I never sat around and doubted. There was simply a lack of belief. As I said, I didn't have that thing they called faith. Also, the Confirmation classes didn't cause it. It predated them by a lot. Confirmation simply brought my lack of belief into conflict with the church. Prior to that it'd been hang out in Sunday school while the "grown-ups" are dull. Now it was time to get serious.

I can't actually recall ever having what I would describe as a mature belief in god. I remember that I did believe as a very small child, but that belief was on par with my belief in Santa. I'm not trying to be flippant with that comment, it's an accurate reflection of the development of my faith at that point in my life. I believed as a small child does. At some point I stopped believing that way but a more mature faith simply never developped to take its place.

I honestly can't recall when that happened, but I can tell you that there was no great doubt or turmoil involved. It was singularly unmemorable. That's a feature of my lack of belief to this day. It's a passive part of my psychology. Unless religion comes up in discussion or the news or manages to otherwise intrude upon my life I am unlikely to even consider god. I suspect that it's much like the way you don't actively give any time to worrying about Pele the Volcano Goddess until having just read this.

Quote:Why do you think such suspicions arose for you, but not for them in the same way? What sort of factors do you think might have made your trajectory distinct from theirs here?

No suspicions, no doubts. Just no faith. Still the same today, just more reasoned about it.

I'd have to make a lot of unfounded assumptions about what goes on in other people's heads to tell you what the difference was and that's almost certainly a mistake. Especially as I don't have any recollection of what went on in my own head.

Speaking solely for my own thoughts and beliefs, my best guess at what happened was that my parents and grandparents gave me a very solid slug of education very early in life. That left me with a lot of critical thinking from a very early age. I suspect that kept a mature faith from ever assembling, most likely at a subconscious level. At some point my "baby faith" became obviously silly and was discarded but there was nothing to replace it. It seems to have been painless enough though as I have more recollection of losing my baby teeth.

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23-03-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 08:55 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Whether or not the person has emotional feelings regarding their stance has nothing to do with the utter lack of evidence for this particular nonfalsifiable belief. Worrying about whether or not people have emotional feelings about not believing in leprechauns seems incredibly weird. It seems like some red herring to hint at "hey! we're all the same!". It reeks of "atheism is a religion, too!".

Really? For me it had the overwhelming stench of "Atheists are just mad at God!"

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23-03-2016, 04:48 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 04:40 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Really? For me it had the overwhelming stench of "Atheists are just mad at God!"

Yeah these ideas that we are somehow angry with gods derive from scripture such as this:

2nd Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

They are unable or unwilling to believe or understand that we have no belief. It shows a lack of moral and intellectual fibre.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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23-03-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 06:42 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 03:52 PM)Chas Wrote:  That sentence was in the abstract which was accessible to you.
Do you wish to acknowledge the content of that quote?

I acknowledge that quote from the abstract, something I only came to realize after you quoted it, and i had to search for where it came from.

Quote:Pro tip: Articles about studies or surveys are not very convincing as they are subject to the biases and misunderstandings of an article's author.

Well, there's a variety of studies behind pay walls, it seems to be a common thing, that the only resources us laymen have are the articles available freely that summarize them. I work with the hands I'm dealt, but the highlighted points, seems to be less a matter of editorial spin, and more or less what the studies themselves point out.

Pro tip: Read the abstract as a quick check on the accuracy of the article.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-03-2016, 06:50 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(22-03-2016 02:30 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I do believe that any sense of identity we form whether a theistic one, or an atheistic one, has a great deal to do with emotional reasons regardless if we want to acknowledge it or not.
You are projecting Tom, and making the assumption (intended or not) that because you think that way so does everyone else. My views on atheism/theism, insofar as which side of the fence I'm on, are purely to do with evidence and the lack thereof. I have thoughts on the two which are informed partially based on emotion: the genital mutilation of children, the subjugation of gays and women, the purposeful indoctrination of children into a cult of ignorance for examples are all things I find intellectually and emotionally abhorrent. However while I find theism abhorrent that is not why I'm an atheist, I'm an atheist because theism is undemonstrated hogwash with no basis in reality or fact.

I love Celtic mythology, if I allowed my emotions to dictate my position is such away I'd still be worshiping gods far older than yours, but I'm not because I don't.


(22-03-2016 02:30 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And it's more the tendency of folks that suggest that they're atheists purely for intellectual reasons, that are not being entirely honest with themselves.
Yes yes yes, we're all quite familiar with your willingness to play make believe and pretend you know other peoples minds better then they do. However I'd like to point out that one CAN be an atheist for intellectual reasons because unlike theism atheism is intellectually sound.
Theism is so emotionally charged and informed because it can't be informed based on fact and evidence because it has none. Atheism does not have that problem.


(22-03-2016 02:30 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  While I wouldn't say they're atheists for purely emotional reason either, just that emotional reasons are a significant part of it.
For some but not all, my atheism is rooted firmly in the complete lack of evidence supporting theism. My view on god is not informed by my emotions anymore than my view on pixies is. Bolstered sure, but I'm an atheist because theism is factually inaccurate and utterly lacking in evidence.

When valour preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
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23-03-2016, 07:14 PM
RE: "I'm an Atheists for Emotional Reasons."
(23-03-2016 06:50 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  You are projecting Tom, and making the assumption (intended or not) that because you think that way so does everyone else. My views on atheism/theism, insofar as which side of the fence I'm on, are purely to do with evidence and the lack thereof. I have thoughts on the two which are informed partially based on emotion: the genital mutilation of children, the subjugation of gays and women, the purposeful indoctrination of children into a cult of ignorance for examples are all things I find intellectually and emotionally abhorrent. However while I find theism abhorrent that is not why I'm an atheist, I'm an atheist because theism is undemonstrated hogwash with no basis in reality or fact.

I love Celtic mythology, if I allowed my emotions to dictate my position is such away I'd still be worshiping gods far older than yours, but I'm not because I don't.

You've made a great point, I also love to read and mythology, folk lore and fantasy series are some of my favorite genres and I admit if some of these stories were true I would be more than happy to believe it but there is still no factual basis for them so I am happy still to believe they are fiction. I just don't see the stories in the Bible as being any more true or based on fact, they're just more myths. Just because many people believe it's true isn't enough reason to believe it myself and that's not an emotional response, it's completely logical.

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