Is believing a choice?
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27-01-2013, 05:14 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2013 06:42 PM by Dom.)
RE: Is believing a choice?
I think of my brain as a place with hundreds of drawers. Some drawers have innate items in them, results of evolution. Others have items of personal experiences, things I have learned or observed along the way.
The more often you access a certain drawer, the more prominently it will be displayed and the more items will be in it.
When something happens, the brain looks through all the drawers and sends a note - the best reaction is such and such.
If you look at it that way, yes, your reaction is predictable, but only specifically for you.
Re. belief: If both parents say Santa is real, and Santa can be seen all over the place, then the 3 year old believes in Santa. Later in life, the kid hears repeatedly that Santa is not real and accepts that as a fact. If this kid is also told about a god, and the belief is never challenged by those around him/her, then that belief continues on and becomes larger with each exposure.
Most atheists who used to believe in a god can't tell you an exact time when they quit. Stopping the belief is based on repeated experiences that contradict the belief, they may not have been consciously processed, but they were thrown in one of those drawers. And the drawer got fuller and bigger until the brain sends us a note about it. Now we start thinking about it.
It's not really a choice, but it is processing of existing information we gathered.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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30-01-2013, 11:17 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(24-01-2013 06:05 PM)julie Wrote:  I was listening to Dogma Debate with David Smalley. His guest was Dr. Barry Creamer a Dallas preacher. It was said by Creamer that believing is a choice. I had never heard of this. I don't feel I chose to just become an atheist over choosing not to believe in Christ. If Christians just choose to have faith and become "Christians" this way, what does that mean? How can they then say they believe? As you can tell, I'm totally confused. Also is this why Christians seem to hate us so? They think we just chose to not follow their way? Thanks for any input.
DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian and anything I say is my belief, my opinion.
Having said that, I believe that choosing to have gaith in God is a choice based on what you have chosen to believe by various means. Whether it be reading, learning or revelation, something made you choose to believe. We feel that atheists choose not to believe, since we are both subjected to the same ..... cant think of the word so I'll say, stuff. We believe God put the knowledge of Him in our hearts before we were born and showed us the same evidences of His existence in the world around us. So, you see, the choosing based on various reasons is the reason for believing.

The reason many Christians hate atheists is because of the long history of atheists hating Christians, treating them unfairly, ridiculing them, flaming them, insulting them, etc,, etc., etc. Christians are mandated to spread the Gospel of Christ so that is what they do, it's called proselytizing. Jesus told us to do it but not to offer our truths to people that dont want them. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians dont follow that advice. That makes them wrong but does not make the proselytizing wrong. Muslim sharia law says that if you do it in a Muslim ruled nation the punishment is death. IN MY OPINION atheists would love to see that done here in the US (partially joking). Unfortunately, atheists hate that Christians proselytize because atheists hate Christians. Atheists had no problem with a Krishnas proselytizing in airports back in the 60s and 70s. Only Christians. Because (IN MY OPINION) atheists hate God and Christians. Investigate for yourself with Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, any other "religion", and find out if they are haunted by atheists. I have many Muslim internet friends and they tell me that such is not the case.
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31-01-2013, 04:24 AM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2013 04:29 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Is believing a choice?
(30-01-2013 11:17 PM)Richard Stuckmeyer Wrote:  
(24-01-2013 06:05 PM)julie Wrote:  I was listening to Dogma Debate with David Smalley. His guest was Dr. Barry Creamer a Dallas preacher. It was said by Creamer that believing is a choice. I had never heard of this. I don't feel I chose to just become an atheist over choosing not to believe in Christ. If Christians just choose to have faith and become "Christians" this way, what does that mean? How can they then say they believe? As you can tell, I'm totally confused. Also is this why Christians seem to hate us so? They think we just chose to not follow their way? Thanks for any input.
DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian and anything I say is my belief, my opinion.
Having said that, I believe that choosing to have gaith in God is a choice based on what you have chosen to believe by various means. Whether it be reading, learning or revelation, something made you choose to believe. We feel that atheists choose not to believe, since we are both subjected to the same ..... cant think of the word so I'll say, stuff. We believe God put the knowledge of Him in our hearts before we were born and showed us the same evidences of His existence in the world around us. So, you see, the choosing based on various reasons is the reason for believing.

The reason many Christians hate atheists is because of the long history of atheists hating Christians, treating them unfairly, ridiculing them, flaming them, insulting them, etc,, etc., etc. Christians are mandated to spread the Gospel of Christ so that is what they do, it's called proselytizing. Jesus told us to do it but not to offer our truths to people that dont want them. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians dont follow that advice. That makes them wrong but does not make the proselytizing wrong. Muslim sharia law says that if you do it in a Muslim ruled nation the punishment is death. IN MY OPINION atheists would love to see that done here in the US (partially joking). Unfortunately, atheists hate that Christians proselytize because atheists hate Christians. Atheists had no problem with a Krishnas proselytizing in airports back in the 60s and 70s. Only Christians. Because (IN MY OPINION) atheists hate God and Christians. Investigate for yourself with Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, any other "religion", and find out if they are haunted by atheists. I have many Muslim internet friends and they tell me that such is not the case.


Yes, yes, yes. Remind me again of when atheists were in charge of everything and subjugated all of the faithful? Oh right, that never happened. But there was a time when the faithful controlled everything. They subjugated everyone and killed those with dissenting opinions, usually by burning at the stake. Do you know what name we use to refer to this time of history? That right, 'The Dark Ages'. A time when Christianity set back civilization for centuries. Had we not incurred the technological regression and cultural stagnation of the Dark Ages, Christopher Columbus wouldn't have landed in the Bahamas, we would have set foot on the moon.


The supreme irony here is that after centuries upon centuries of religious supported suppression, torture, and execution against non-believers; they now cry 'oppression' when non-believes simply assert that religious claims lack any evidence. When religion had the power, all means were justified by their ends. Now non-believers are trying to have civil conversations and discussion, but suddenly we're the assholes? Your level of ignorance is astounding.


Have you heard of the phrase "Hate the sin, love the sinner"? I think it's a bunch of hogwash, on the grounds that sin is a silly idea. But it does belie a point that I do agree with, but that requires rewording. If you can hate the sin, but love the sinner; then I can hate the belief, without hating the believer. It's ignorance that pisses me off, it just so happens religion tends to encourage and protect ignorance. That is why when I do get into disagreements with people, it usually over their dogma (religious or otherwise).

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03-02-2013, 03:56 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(30-01-2013 11:17 PM)Richard Stuckmeyer Wrote:  We believe God put the knowledge of Him in our hearts before we were born and showed us the same evidences of His existence in the world around us.
(30-01-2013 11:17 PM)Richard Stuckmeyer Wrote:  Unfortunately, atheists hate that Christians proselytize because atheists hate Christians.



Throughout history conversions happen at the point of a sword, deconversions at the point of a pen - FC

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain in Eruption
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03-02-2013, 06:02 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Hmm, I don't know. You can choose to accept certain information which can alter how you perceive it, but when I was religious it never felt like a choice to me. It just felt right. Only when I actually studied the bible did the illusions of the religion crumble.

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Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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03-02-2013, 06:48 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(24-01-2013 06:30 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Christians seem to hate us because the existence of atheists is a direct threat to their belief that God is real and should be obvious to everyone. The fact that it's easy for some to brush off their way of thinking makes them have to think. And thinking tends to create cognitive dissonance in their minds. Christians don't like this. Therefore challenges to the faith must be resisted.
I have to agree, I've never seen one that have just accepted my answer and been on their way. It seems as if they are forced to try and understand how I can have the view that I have. I love it when they say that "god is all around me" and I say "where"? This allows me to say it multiple times, because the burden of proof is on them to make me see him, which I never do.

Science investigates, religion interprets.

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04-02-2013, 02:21 AM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Does choice exist?

As far as I can tell, our "self" is entirely a product of the brain. Brain acts within the constraints of physics, in response to sensory stimulation. This stimulation is through a physical connection to the universe... A universe which flows according to the laws of the cosmic ocean.

Speaking evolutionarily, the arrangement of molecules in our heads calculates and reacts to input, and if that arrangement of molecules is good enough, it will cause your body to exert forces in certain ways for many many years.

Pretty sure we have no choice here...
But even believing "what will be will be" shouldn't stop you from acting. Don't let it get you down; we should still be able to strive for a better future.
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10-02-2013, 12:32 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(30-01-2013 11:17 PM)Richard Stuckmeyer Wrote:  DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian and anything I say is my belief, my opinion.
Having said that, I believe that choosing to have gaith in God is a choice based on what you have chosen to believe by various means. Whether it be reading, learning or revelation, something made you choose to believe. We feel that atheists choose not to believe, since we are both subjected to the same ..... cant think of the word so I'll say, stuff. We believe God put the knowledge of Him in our hearts before we were born and showed us the same evidences of His existence in the world around us. So, you see, the choosing based on various reasons is the reason for believing.

The reason many Christians hate atheists is because of the long history of atheists hating Christians, treating them unfairly, ridiculing them, flaming them, insulting them, etc,, etc., etc. Christians are mandated to spread the Gospel of Christ so that is what they do, it's called proselytizing. Jesus told us to do it but not to offer our truths to people that dont want them. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians dont follow that advice. That makes them wrong but does not make the proselytizing wrong. Muslim sharia law says that if you do it in a Muslim ruled nation the punishment is death. IN MY OPINION atheists would love to see that done here in the US (partially joking). Unfortunately, atheists hate that Christians proselytize because atheists hate Christians. Atheists had no problem with a Krishnas proselytizing in airports back in the 60s and 70s. Only Christians. Because (IN MY OPINION) atheists hate God and Christians. Investigate for yourself with Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, any other "religion", and find out if they are haunted by atheists. I have many Muslim internet friends and they tell me that such is not the case.
Atheists don't hate Christians. We hate that you don't apply common sense to your thought processes. We don't hate god. How can someone hate something they don't even believe exists?? You are not thinking when you say things like this! THAT'S what we hate . YOU ARE NOT THINKING. You need to study some more. Ask questions. WHY do you believe what you believe? Do you care if what you believe is true? HOW do you go about determining if what you believe is true? Of course, these kinds of questions are forbidden for Christians. I wonder why. No
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10-02-2013, 12:38 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(24-01-2013 06:05 PM)julie Wrote:  I was listening to Dogma Debate with David Smalley. His guest was Dr. Barry Creamer a Dallas preacher. It was said by Creamer that believing is a choice. I had never heard of this. I don't feel I chose to just become an atheist over choosing not to believe in Christ. If Christians just choose to have faith and become "Christians" this way, what does that mean? How can they then say they believe? As you can tell, I'm totally confused. Also is this why Christians seem to hate us so? They think we just chose to not follow their way? Thanks for any input.
Belief is not a choice. Think about it. If it doesn't make sense that it's a choice, it's not a choice. You are confused for a reason: their bullshit doesn't make sense. Your confusion is logical.
Creamer HAS to say it's a choice. Otherwise he's screwed. Simple as that. Christians go through all kinds of mind contortions to hold onto their beliefs. The alternative is eternal fire, so they do what they have to. (I heard that same podcast and I wanted to strangle him. If they could only hear themselves...)
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10-02-2013, 10:34 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Quote: Unfortunately, atheists hate that Christians proselytize because
atheists hate Christians. Atheists had no problem with a Krishnas
proselytizing in airports back in the 60s and 70s. Only Christians. Because (IN MY OPINION) atheists hate God and
Christians. Investigate for yourself with Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists,
any other "religion", and find out if they are haunted by atheists. I
have many Muslim internet friends and they tell me that such is not the
case.
I thought religious people were the ones instructed to hate those who don't agree with them.

I don't hate Christians. And hating "God"? Hating a fictional being is the biggest waste of energy. I can't imagine actively hating Sauron from Tolkien's imagination. Do you imagine that we believe in god as a real entity and hate him because he's a threat to our godlessness? No. Imagine me accusing you of hating Santa Claus and you may begin to understand what I mean. You may dislike Santa Claus, but you're not going to base your life around hating him. He doesn't exist. Can you see the waste it would be for an atheist to hate your god?

And Krishnas vs Christians? Do Krishnas actively seek to impose their religion in politics? How many wars have been fought in the name of ISKCON? Not all religions are equal, my friend.

And if you think atheists are just fine with Islam, you've got another thing coming. Claiming one billion followers and supporting things like gender inferiority, genital mutilation, and public amputation for alleged criminals? And that's just a drop in the bucket.

Do some research before you make these claims.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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