People think it's real? This can't be real!
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30-01-2013, 10:34 PM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
(30-01-2013 10:21 PM)pxlgirl Wrote:  I didn't mean to judge on which concept is better or worse. A pre-made concept comes handy for some, and what I meant by "my own" concept is simply my own imagination/fantasy world, to which not everybody would relate to, but I would have never stated this as real as the tea cup on my desk.
My mistake was obviously to assume that everybody (apart from some "extremists") can draw the line between reality and fiction. But if that doesn't happen, things become a bit unhealthy, regardless if you use your own, or some pre-made concept.
An old saying I live my life by is believe only half of what you see, and nothing of what you hear.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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30-01-2013, 11:17 PM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
(30-01-2013 10:29 PM)Stan Wrote:  To assume makes an ass of you and me.
It would surely be a free ticket to the next psychiatry ward, if I'd had replaced the word "god" with... eh... "unicorn".

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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30-01-2013, 11:31 PM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
(30-01-2013 11:17 PM)pxlgirl Wrote:  
(30-01-2013 10:29 PM)Stan Wrote:  To assume makes an ass of you and me.
It would surely be a free ticket to the next psychiatry ward, if I'd had replaced the word "god" with... eh... "unicorn".

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30-01-2013, 11:43 PM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
... but actually, I prefer fairies. Wink

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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30-01-2013, 11:43 PM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
Yes, I totally understand what you are saying.

When I was a kid, I sort of enjoyed church for a while. I liked the building, and they served donuts afterward. When was a young teenager I read the bible cover to cover and researched to clarify things.

And then it hit me. These people ACTUALLY believe this shit. I had no trouble going along with it like it was role playing or make believe (though I did roll my eyes back in my head in my first communion group photo). But somehow, I don't think I understood that the rest of them didn't think it was make-believe.

I called myself a Catholic as a child. I had a cross necklace. I read the bible. But I never prayed, and I don't think I ever thought it was real. I think I had more faith in santa claus as a child (since you could see him at the mall, and you could see presents under the tree christmas morning).

And this is something I still struggle with: the fact that many theists actually believe the stuff their religion says, and they beleive it on faith and have no verifiable evidence for it. I don't have a problem with rituals, make believe, imagination, etc., but I sometimes felt like the only person who could tell the difference between reality and fantasy when I was growing up.

An asshole I went to school with and I haven't seen in 20 years said some shit to me recently about being goth (I never actually identified as goth, but I wore a lot of black so whatever) and telling him about hinduism, as if that meant something. I read every book in the library on various religions, and yes, hinduism was one and I was very interested in learning about it. And because I was interested and could talk about it, he thought I believed in that stuff, too! (I have a friend who reads and writes a lot on Lilith, the demon thing in Judaism. People think she worships Lilith and believes in her just because she's interested in the mythology.)

Quote:I didn't mean to judge on which concept is better or worse. A pre-made concept comes handy for some, and what I meant by "my own" concept is simply my own imagination/fantasy world, to which not everybody would relate to, but I would have never stated this as real as the tea cup on my desk.
While being creative can be personally fulfilling, I don't think it necessarily matters who comes up with things. What I think matters is acknowledging to oneself that fantasy is not real. I think the problem with many theists is they cling so much to this fantasy of existence being fair that they cannot allow themselves to question it, they want too badly to have every wrong righted and no unfairness and they want to be together with dead loved ones forever. The fantasy means too much to them to acknowledge there is no reason to believe it is real.

And I understand, when it comes to death. Even after grieving for a person, years later, I will see a film or read a book and imagine how a conversation about it might go with someone I know who has died. And sure, I really wish such conversations could happen, but I know it's just a way that I remember a person and their personality, and try to figure out what they would think of things.
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31-01-2013, 12:19 AM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
As far as death goes, yes it's a sad subject. However, the last person who passed away and that I was closed to (more or less) was my grandmother. Funerals were always more symbolic, metaphoric for me, but I knew that dead means dead. After I've let go the metaphors and symbolism as well, which was a conscious decision for my grandmother's death, the grief was still there, but it was gone after emotions cooled down and I simply accepted that she's gone... and so will my parents and me. Death is a part of life and I think the scariest thing about it, apart from the dying process (which we wish to be painless) is not to know when it will hit us. It takes a while to accept this "not knowing it" part, but it's possible and surely makes one appreciate life even more.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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31-01-2013, 01:03 AM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
Another thing I have trouble grasping is how many people don't seem to think of death as death. I mean, when somebody dies, I assume (based on observations of the natural world) that they are actually dead, and not living forever. Apparently, many people assume that "dying" is synonymous with "living forever somewhere else, on a cloud with Jesus."

I don't like it when people tell me that my dad is "in a better place." You know where my dad is? Across town in Calvary Cemetery, ashes in a metal urn underground. How is that a better place? I can deal with some euphemisms, like "passed away." I even caught myself using that one at least once. But I hate the "in a better place" one.
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31-01-2013, 05:29 AM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
(30-01-2013 09:36 PM)pxlgirl Wrote:  Ok so maybe I'm naive or I missed something, but I've always thought that belief/faith is only a mental concept, and I was completely fine with this, as I assumed that religion is just a cultural construct that shows one of many ways to cope with reality, which can sound threatening and fearful at times. Not all are gifted with imagination and creativity, so something pre-made might be just right for them, either to stick to it or to develop in some direction from there. My decision not to be a part of this was mainly because I don't need a pre-made concept, I can come up with my own.


Yet, what I thought to be a matter of some extremist nuts, it turned out to be the vast majority: Claiming the existence of a god as a matter of fact, an objective, a reality outside of the heads and thoughts. I realized this when watching some episodes of "The Atheist Experience" and it kinda shocked me. Believe it or not, I really didn't know that before. Is it really this way?


Yes, I am continually surprised and dismayed at the huge number of people who actually engage in belief without evidence.
Then I'm further amazed when it is clear that they don't even have a clue what evidence means.
And, finally, gob-smacked when they reject the concept of evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-01-2013, 06:53 AM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
I remember once an older lady called the show, she was so "convinced", I kinda felt sorry for her.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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31-01-2013, 09:03 AM
RE: People think it's real? This can't be real!
The rituals I find funny but harmless ... well mostly. My main issue with people who believe in god and/or gods is the opportunity cost of it. The problem is they decide out of arrogance or why-ever else they decide that certain things are incontrovertible like making homosexuality illegal ( it is in my country). This has a real cost on the lives of people. Otherwise I am quite happy for people to believe anything they want as long as we all come to the table with reason when we need to figure something serious out. Like should people be allowed


Regarding death, I have had only one death of someone really close to me my Grandfather I like to believe my Grandfather is watching me and I have conversations with him but I know this is just me talking to myself but I like the other voice to be in his baritone because its comforting. But I know this isn't true in the sense of the cup of coffee on my table. I know he is gone forever apart from in my memories.

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