I'm not religious but...
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11-05-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
I bet Papa God's cooks (spontaneously creates?) pizzas that are To DIE for!
mmmmmm Holy Garlic Sauce DroolingDrooling

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11-05-2013, 09:56 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
"I'm not crazy, I just hear voices." Same as that.

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12-05-2013, 12:02 AM
RE: I'm not religious but...
This has nothing to do with gods or religions.

We are social animals and almost all of us are raised with some sort of superstitious belief(s). That we are social animals means that we must adhere to social norms in order that we have access to resources.

We all know it's easier to get by if we follow the social norms, agree with the prevailing opinions and follow the expected rituals.... regardless their nonsensical nature.

Social ostracism can be debilitating and we all know it. Thus, these people in your town go through the motions while at the same time they know full well that gods are fabrications and that religion is a con.

Trouble is.... if they reject it, social ostracism cripples them.

That's why they attend church but say conflicting things about it. And that's also why the atheist community is vastly larger than most of its members even suspect. Of course they don't suspect it.... they haven't admitted to being atheist yet. Smile

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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18-05-2013, 08:49 AM
RE: I'm not religious but...
bbeljefe,

Quote:We all know it's easier to get by if we follow the social norms, agree with the prevailing opinions and follow the expected rituals.... regardless their nonsensical nature.

I think you're practically right, but there is a small difficulty. The social norms are determined by social needs. So your first comment -- that we are social animals -- runs up a against the fact that animals have needs, and therefore the norms are set by the needs. But you have written in such a way as to suggest that the norms predicate the needs. Is that what you intended? Or am I just being too picky? Wink

I do think you're entirely right about the atheist community being much larger than people suspect. For every church I used to attend (spare one), there were almost always long-time members who didn't believe but kept up the tradition because it is what they knew, what they grew up with, and it added some predictable dimensions to their lives that helped keep them scheduled and focused. Breaking away entirely can, and does, create some massive re-prioritizing and re-structuring. I know I found it quite daunting at times.
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18-05-2013, 09:56 AM
RE: I'm not religious but...
I haven't read all these replies but when I was in the church world and would toss the phrase around. It meant that we thought we were unlike the pharisees of the Bible, which in hindsight was totally false. We were just like them.

The word papa for god became popularized a few years back with the book The Shack, that presnts a kindly loving view of a trinitarian god
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18-05-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: I'm not religious but...
(18-05-2013 08:49 AM)Kane Wrote:  bbeljefe,

Quote:We all know it's easier to get by if we follow the social norms, agree with the prevailing opinions and follow the expected rituals.... regardless their nonsensical nature.

I think you're practically right, but there is a small difficulty. The social norms are determined by social needs. So your first comment -- that we are social animals -- runs up a against the fact that animals have needs, and therefore the norms are set by the needs. But you have written in such a way as to suggest that the norms predicate the needs. Is that what you intended? Or am I just being too picky? Wink

I do think you're entirely right about the atheist community being much larger than people suspect. For every church I used to attend (spare one), there were almost always long-time members who didn't believe but kept up the tradition because it is what they knew, what they grew up with, and it added some predictable dimensions to their lives that helped keep them scheduled and focused. Breaking away entirely can, and does, create some massive re-prioritizing and re-structuring. I know I found it quite daunting at times.

Social norms come in a lot of packages and, not all of them have their genesis in need. For instance, circumcision. It serves absolutely no benefit to anyone and in fact, is mutilation. But... it is still widely practiced, even by the "non believing" crowd and to the point of being a social norm. At least, in my area.

Then there's patriotism.... which is really just faith to an accident of birth, not unlike racism. Theists and atheists alike look upon the non-patriotic with suspicious and often militant disdain. In my area, I have to be very careful when I express my lack of faith to a colored rag, for fear of losing business opportunities. I don't worry about losing friends in that case, because if you don't like me because I refuse to worship the state, well... good riddance.

So yeah, it's not all about actual, demonstrable need. We human beings do a lot of irrational shit (too much of it to each other), even after we reject religion. Smile

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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18-05-2013, 12:41 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
Anymore, it actually kind of makes me happy when I hear people say this. In a way, it's sort of a distance from them identifying with a church, think of it as a scapegoat, a way out...

Think thousands of years ago, if people were part of a cult, they IDENTIFIED with the cult. As time has progressed, there is this large movement of people who are "spiritual" or "have beliefs" but "don't see themselves as part of a church" or think "mainstream religion has it wrong." it's one more step in a direction of slowly, slowly, very slowly pushing away from that identification. I see around me a lot of people in alternative religions not of Christianity. I never thought I'd see the day... but around here we have a lot of people who are into pagan beliefs, and a lot more who are into Buddhism. We even have a dharma center here which struck me and I had no idea.

At the same time, it's a cop-out excuse and can sometimes present an interesting topic of conversation. Ask them some probing questions:

- Well, what would you define as a religion then? Or what is a religion?
- What's the difference between someone spiritual and someone religious?
- How do you know?

The more I talk to religious folks, the more open they are if I don't just immediately go on the attack. Try to understand their perspective, and question by question, you can slowly start to understand the reason behind their justifications and convictions. It's generally not immediate, it can take some time. For instance, my parents have gone from young earth creationists, to "We don't know-ists" - my dad would probably identify as some sort of creationist who hates evolution. My mom on the other hand no longer identifies with any mainstream churches, doesn't like them, can't stand them, but still holds some older beliefs. However, she's now open to the age of the universe, understanding the universe and has become more open minded then I have ever seen her. We talk about it every now and then, and hold pretty long conversations about it. But I keep in mind never to attack her personally, and to really get to the nitty gritty in a respectful manner. She's legitimately interested in understanding why I am an atheist. I'm interested in why she is still a Christian.

I can't say anymore that I would want my goal to be to "just de-convert people" because that still doesn't address life itself. I think it is more important to understand what is true. To understand life in general. To help people open their eyes to reality. If that search leads them outside the realm of religion, then great, so be it. If not, that's great, so be it. I think the important thing is to be ok with reality, to be ok with facts, to be open about learning. I think it is safe to say that religion definitely squanders that, to a great degree, for a lot of people. However, we can't take people in the direction of learning, if we immediately cause them to put up a wall, put their fingers in their ears, and go "LALALALA".
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18-05-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
Logisch, interesting point about people wanting to distinguish themselves from the main Christian herd. I see this happening even down south. I know people who are fiercely Christian but don't want to be part of a denomination like Southern Baptist, Catholic, or Church of God. There are arising many so called "nondenominational" Christian churches. The mainline denominations are still the majority, and admittedly I don't have numbers on this, but see these independent Christian churches springing up and know people who have expressed the need for it. I also know many christians who do not feel the need to even go to church but still call themselves christian and believe in salvation etc. Churches now are trying to win attendees, and many are catering to the individualistic culture. Heck, maybe we will see an iChurch soon!

Godless in the Magnolia State
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18-05-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
(18-05-2013 01:56 PM)cjs Wrote:  Heck, maybe we will see an iChurch soon!

Um...

http://www.iclv.com/ichurch/

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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18-05-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: I'm not religious but...
(18-05-2013 02:06 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(18-05-2013 01:56 PM)cjs Wrote:  Heck, maybe we will see an iChurch soon!

Um...

http://www.iclv.com/ichurch/

Ha!! I should have known that had already been done!
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