Public reactions from theists?
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18-11-2015, 01:57 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(17-11-2015 09:05 PM)smeli Wrote:  
(17-11-2015 06:43 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Usually if I mention that I'm an atheist people just look at me like I'm an idiot. Then the usually questions start coming, like "What do you think happens when you die then?" or "You don't believe in god?" and the always popular "What if you're wrong?" If they're willing to defend their faith I can actually get into a good conversation, but more often then than not they feel uncomfortable discussing it. Which is pretty lame if you ask me. Your faith in your religion must be pretty weak if you can't defend your beliefs.

I think I'd respond with, "What if YOU'RE wrong?"

I'm sure there are a lot of people who claim to be religious but will clam up (and walk away) when politely challenged about their beliefs.

Well then they just say that they have nothing to lose.
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18-11-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(17-11-2015 06:43 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  ...and the always popular "What if you're wrong?"
I've been working on an essay to organize my own thoughts and arguments. Here's the section that deals with that (warning, it's not short):

I could be wrong. Proselytizers quite happily pounce on this admission of possible error and insist that it means a kernel of religious faith still lurks somewhere in my "soul." No, it doesn't. It's merely an acknowledgement that I do not claim omniscience, and is in keeping with the scientific method by allowing for the admittance and evaluation of new evidence at some point in the future. It's also a life-long struggle to rid oneself of beliefs and opinions that were instilled in childhood, so doubt can be expected.
But if I am wrong, would a god who, as I am told, created me and gave me my reason, intellect and morals and who, as I am also told, is infinitely compassionate, really abandon me for all eternity simply because I misunderstood? Western religion, especially, teaches that Faith and Reason are diametrically opposed (Martin Luther called Reason a whore). Yet, intellect is what separates us from the so-called "lower orders." If humanity really is the special product of a creator god, then our intellect is his special gift to us. To not use it to the best of our ability would be to refuse that gift, which in turn would surely be an act of blasphemy. It therefore seems appropriate to ask whether, if using our intellect and sense of right and wrong to the best of our ability results in honest error, that merits divine and eternal punishment? At the very least it strikes me that an honestly-held disbelief would be more acceptable to a creator god than would a more-cynical "faith" professed for the sake of avoiding punishment or hedging a bet (Pascal's Wager).
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18-11-2015, 05:37 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
Yeah, I mean don't atheists technically have MORE faith since they're not promised any reward at the end of their life? Of course saying they have faith would imply that they have doubts that there isn't a god. Which I personally don't.
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19-11-2015, 11:36 AM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(18-11-2015 05:37 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Yeah, I mean don't atheists technically have MORE faith since they're not promised any reward at the end of their life?

No. Please explain why you would think so.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-11-2015, 01:01 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
Most of the time it hasn't been a big deal, but once, at work a couple of years ago, I was talking to a visitor -- real nice chat, touched on thoughtful stuff at times -- and when he went to begin his hike, he said "You jave a blessed day in Christ". I answered "Thanks, but I'm not a believer."

He stopped and asked, "You're not a believer? You don't believe in God?"

"Nope."

He shook his head, seemed a bit surprised. "I never would have guessed."

I laughed inside at how he thought that I needed to believe in his god to agree with him about how we should treat others. On the surface, I merely wished him a nice day and went on about my duties.
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19-11-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(19-11-2015 11:36 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 05:37 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Yeah, I mean don't atheists technically have MORE faith since they're not promised any reward at the end of their life?

No. Please explain why you would think so.

Well from a Christian's point of view they're going to be rewarded after they die. Atheists don't believe in a reward after death. I figured it was self explanatory.
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19-11-2015, 05:17 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(19-11-2015 04:50 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 11:36 AM)Chas Wrote:  No. Please explain why you would think so.

Well from a Christian's point of view they're going to be rewarded after they die. Atheists don't believe in a reward after death. I figured it was self explanatory.

No, it appears contradictory. What 'faith' do you think atheists have?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-11-2015, 06:08 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(14-11-2015 10:37 AM)izel Wrote:  Where I'm from, people think of Atheists as satans worshipers. They think you are going to sacrifice them and then burst into flames.

Just find me at the next orgy....... Confused

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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19-11-2015, 10:29 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(19-11-2015 05:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 04:50 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Well from a Christian's point of view they're going to be rewarded after they die. Atheists don't believe in a reward after death. I figured it was self explanatory.

No, it appears contradictory. What 'faith' do you think atheists have?

Faith in that there are no gods and religion is ridiculous. Nobody can know for 100% sure though, right? So isn't that faith?
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19-11-2015, 11:26 PM
RE: Public reactions from theists?
(19-11-2015 10:29 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 05:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, it appears contradictory. What 'faith' do you think atheists have?

Faith in that there are no gods and religion is ridiculous. Nobody can know for 100% sure though, right? So isn't that faith?

Faith is explicitly (for me anyway) belief untroubled by such inconvenient things as facts. Creationists have faith that the creation account of the Bible is correct, although the facts contradict it. So no, atheists do not have faith.

Also most here are agnostic atheists, meaning we recognize that there is some kind of miniscule possibility that we are wrong, and would change our minds if evidence arose challenging our worldview. Again, faith is pretty much the antithesis of that. Christian faith requires belief that one is right.

Faith is the substance of things not seen and all that. i.e. a stupidity made a virtue.

ETA: Belief grounded in reason is very different to faith. A scientist may believe something is true based on the available evidence. If (s)he experiments and the outcome does not match his/her belief, then the hypothesis is modified.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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