Is it even worth wasting my breath?
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04-12-2014, 09:06 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(03-12-2014 01:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Because to believe you have compelling reasons to not believe in God, acknowledges that compelling reasons to not believe in God exist.

Exactly. And their unevidenced beliefs are so uncompelling that real reasons scare the shit out of them; fear produces anger.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-12-2014, 10:09 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(04-12-2014 01:46 AM)RogueWarrior Wrote:  This is because the underlying cause for morality is not a god but an emotion called: empathy.

Well; empathy is certainly a factor, but is far from the only driver. It's only one of about six basic, foundational impulses that inform our behaviour. The others being reciprocity, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity - the relative importance of which varies between individuals about as statistically as you'd expect.

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09-12-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
Here's a draft of my letter to my parents. I've read through it 100 times. I need a fresh perspective. Please feel free to critique or suggest things I should add or delete. Thanks! Smile

Dear mom and dad,
I thought I might write a letter to clear a few things up. Part of me hates the idea of putting this in letter form. Letters feel so serious and impersonal. But I want to get my thoughts out clearly, so here it goes.
Whenever I talk to anyone, I don't always feel it necessary to clear up any misconceptions. Most of the time it’s better to just listen, and it usually doesn't matter much to me if someone has a misconception about something. However, on the subject of our differences in opinion about religion, lately I feel like not attempting to be clear might cause more stress. After talking to dad and finding out that he’s woken up at night thinking about my lack of belief, I've concluded that it might be worth trying to bring some clarity.

My definition of atheism is simple: the idea of religion being true and a god existing is highly unlikely. I wouldn't say that I KNOW for a fact that a god doesn't exist- no one can prove nonexistence. What I can do is draw reasonable conclusions from what I can observe for myself. When I was in the process of doubting I read the bible, prayed, listened to podcasts about religion, watched preachers (Mostly Joseph Prince), watched debates, researched my questions, and spent a lot of time thinking.

The thought of one of your children not believing in what you believe is the truth must be disappointing to say the least. But there are positives in this. You've raised someone who is honest with herself about what she believes and doesn't believe. I’ve had the strength to think objectively even though most everyone around me disagrees. It would be easier for me to go through the motions and continue playing the Christian, but I would be living a lie and I’d constantly feel the weight of being dishonest to my family and friends. “De-converting” from a lifelong religion that I once based my life on wasn’t by any means easy. It was really scary to doubt and ask the hard questions I had been avoiding for years, but I couldn’t let my fear force me into believing. I had to explore other possibilities, even if the risk was to lose my faith.

There may be a lot of things we disagree on, but there is also a lot we do agree on. I don't even deny every single word in the bible. I may not believe in the supernatural aspects, but I do believe love is patient and kind, I believe we should look at the “stump in our own eye” before pointing out the speck in someone else’s, I believe words can be a source of good or evil, and forgiveness is important.

An assumption I feel you have is that the reason for my non-belief was because I was hurt by church. My experience with church was, ironically, the start of me thinking outside of the "church-box." But the fact that there are some bad people who are Christians is not a valid reason to stop believing in the whole religion. That would be as logical as me becoming a Muslim because I met some nice Muslims. The fact that Buddhists are typically more peaceful doesn't make Buddhism truer. The fact that there are some bad Christians doesn't make Christianity more or less true. That would be bad reasoning on my part. How mean, nice, moral, or immoral a person is has no weight in whether or not I believe the religion itself is true. What kind of thinker would I be if I let my emotions or other people (church people in this case) play such a huge, life altering roll in my conclusions about life? I might not be the smartest person, but I pride myself in doing my best to think objectively and to have sound reasoning.

I think the most surprising thing I've experienced is that almost all of the Christians me and Joe have “come out” to have almost immediately asked about our stance about certain scientific things. We've been asked about our stance on creationism vs evolution and whether or not we think the big bang is true. I’m interested in science and have learned a bit about it, but it actually doesn't have much weight in what I think about religion. When I first doubted religion, the big bang and evolution had zero to do with my conclusion. I will say that because of being a freethinker and not being biased, I am now more inclined to except the scientific method more than religious belief.

Many times Christians accuse atheists of being know-it-alls. The atheists who are like me see life as a constant learning experience. I felt like believing in the bible boxed me in. I've made peace with not having all the answers.

Sierra

"Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
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09-12-2014, 01:18 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
looks good, just one typo, accept the scientific method.



And just my two cents, you don't give yourself the credit you deserve.


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09-12-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(09-12-2014 01:18 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  looks good, just one typo, accept the scientific method.



And just my two cents, you don't give yourself the credit you deserve.

Thanks! I always write the wrong accept/except.

My husband tells me I don't give myself enough credit too.

"Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
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09-12-2014, 02:53 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
I think it sounds fine as long as you think it accurately reflects how you feel. B&A noted the 'except/accept' error (think X like crossing something out so 'ex'cept is to eliminate something and 'ac'cept is the opposite)

One other issue:
(09-12-2014 01:04 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  I believe we should look at the “stump in our own eye” before pointing out the speck in someone else’s,

I think that should be: I believe we should look at the “speck in our own eye” before pointing out the stump in someone else’s

Although I've always heard it as the mote in your own eye and the beam in another's

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-12-2014, 03:11 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(09-12-2014 02:53 PM)unfogged Wrote:  I think it sounds fine as long as you think it accurately reflects how you feel. B&A noted the 'except/accept' error (think X like crossing something out so 'ex'cept is to eliminate something and 'ac'cept is the opposite)

One other issue:
(09-12-2014 01:04 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  I believe we should look at the “stump in our own eye” before pointing out the speck in someone else’s,

I think that should be: I believe we should look at the “speck in our own eye” before pointing out the stump in someone else’s

Although I've always heard it as the mote in your own eye and the beam in another's

I've always heard "beam" rather than "stump", but she has the order correct. The idea is that your own fault is larger than the one you're criticizing.
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09-12-2014, 03:21 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(09-12-2014 03:11 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I've always heard "beam" rather than "stump", but she has the order correct. The idea is that your own fault is larger than the one you're criticizing.

You're right, I should have double-checked rather than going from memory. I've had it backwards all these years....

I always took it to be along the "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" line; worry about cleaning up your own act, no matter how trivial, before finding fault in somebody else for the same thing. (I actually think it works better that way which is probably why I mangled it.)

Thanks for the correction.

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09-12-2014, 03:25 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
... almost all of the Christians me and Joe have “come out” ....

Joe and I

Otherwise, very well done! Thumbsup

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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09-12-2014, 03:41 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
Wow there are other grammar nazis here aside from me! Smile

Beautiful letter - very succinctly stated!

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