Religious conversation with drunk friends last night
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11-08-2013, 05:03 PM
Religious conversation with drunk friends last night
(My apologies for making such a long post. It wasn't my intention when I started it)
I blame the alcohol

So after a really good day of drinking, BBQ, playing cards and generally just having fun with a bunch of friends that I don't see that often, we get into a religious conversation around midnight (after 10 hours of drinking and socializing).

Set the scene

Bobby is a guy who doesn't buy into all the crap of major religions. He's a history buff and most of the time a very rational guy who is more than willing to listen to a different point of view or to someone who might have more information about a particular topic. He's also willing to change his mind about something if the information he had about the topic wasn't as accurate as he thought it was.

He is also a guy who survived a car crash at 150 miles an hour and walked away from it with very minor injuries. He feels that he was "saved" from this death by god.
He has no other explanation than that and he can't think of any way he could have survived had it not been from some outside source protecting him.

He doesn't go to church, doesn't follow any particular religion but this one unexplainable life or death moment moves his mind into believing that there must be a god, not the god of the bible, nor of islam, nor any other religion, but simply a "conscious force of nature" that saw he was in trouble and protected him.

He didn't feel a presence protecting him. He didn't hear any voice say "I protected you. You're welcome". He is filling in the gap of an unexplainable event in his mind with a god and self admittedly doing just that. He understands the rational of it all, but still chooses to believe that there MUST be a god after what he experienced.

Next we have DJ

DJ is a firefighter who is not particularly religious and very outspoken about not liking catholics, but he was raised going to church every so often and has that firm belief in a god. He also sees all the other major religions who believe in a god as simply everyone believing in a higher power and calling that higher power different names.
He is also very open about hearing what the "other side or enemy" has to say. He said many times "no offense to you as atheist, but you know what I mean"

This is a guy who firmly believes in ghosts because of his personal experience with hearing and seeing things in a house he use to live in that he, nor his wife could explain.

This is also a guy who survived some kind of point flash burst in a house fire that would, under any other normal circumstances, have killed a firefighter instantly. He walked away from this heat explosion with a melted cap, melted boots and only a minor burn to his body. This event, this life saving event, is also something he can't explain and does fully attribute it to a god saving his life.

And then we have me who is an atheist.

I had to inform them and give what they thought an atheist was, a new and proper definition.
I said "An atheist is person who answers no to the following question....Do you believe there is a god" ? That's it. Nothing more. That's all an atheist is, is a person who answers no to that question.

If I want, I can believe in ghosts. I can believe in an afterlife that has nothing to do with gods. I can believe any silly or crazy thing I want. Atheism only deals with that one question, so any misconceptions you have about atheists can end right there.

We went on to talk about lots of unexplainable events in our lives and how we as human beings try to fill those gaps in our knowledge with more unexaplainable things - like a god.

I told them about a life altering moment in my life and they rationally chalked it up to altered brain chemistry of which I agreed.

I had an unexaplainable moment happen at the point of my death that I didn't attribute to any kind of supernatural being, but instead rationally stated "I don't know. It was probably the product of some brain chemistry going on within a dying brain that lead to me see some things that weren't really there"

They could rationally evaluate my situation but their own individual experiences had to be the hand of god.

This gave me some insight into why some people believe even when they are fairly rational about other things in their lives. Have any of you had similar conversations ?

(one last note)
Among some friends of friends at the party was a woman who had her beliefs chiseled in stone and couldn't even be a part of the discussion because just hearing someone say something that didn't match her beliefs sent her over the edge, so she removed herself from the room. I picture this woman in her afterlife arguing with her god about how things should be and getting pissed when the conversation doesn't go her way.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-08-2013, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2013 05:41 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Religious conversation with drunk friends last night
I was hit by a car at 75 miles an hour(120.701 kph), while on a bike, and considering the situation suffered very little injury.

I see that even as a mystery that I don't have the expertise at solving, but I'm sure there is a reason laid down by physics that prevented serious injury. All I remember from the event was being alone, scared, and in pain.

However beyond that I never saw a single angel, or heard a voice. Several other experiences in my life have convinced me that the physical world is all there is.

I agree with you though. Often times they want to be saved, resurrected for some divine purpose that makes them feel better. The truth is much more humbling, you were in a situation that was changed by the tools of modern science because other humans care about you.

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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.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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13-08-2013, 03:58 AM
RE: Religious conversation with drunk friends last night
I've had plenty of convo's like this....two of my best friends are devoutly Christian. One is the crazy "Dinosaur fossils are just tests of faith in god" and one is the "whatever you say dude, it's your life"...So I get both sides of the Christian coin.

I'm a Atheistic Pagan (belief that nature is the higher power, not a man-like being), and they constantly berate me with the "you'll burn in hell" type one-liners. I actually had a post on this person last you go:

Shock And Awe Tactics-- The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy impotent with as few casualties to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible"
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13-08-2013, 08:50 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2013 08:55 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Religious conversation with drunk friends last night
It's nice that these guys experienced something that made them more open-minded. That's what experiences are for. But they needed to search for more. If only they searched, inside of them and outside, with critical mind, of course...

I don't mind believers or non-believers. What I dislike is this apathy, this lack of desire to look deeper either way. How can anyone be an atheist or theist without taking a really close look? By being satisfied with belief or lack of belief.

I looked really deep at the god stuff and what I found was agnosticism. There is so much for god and so much against god, that belief or lack of thereof doesn't really describe it. We should rather ask, what is god? What isn't god? What god does? Is there anything that is not god?
For me, god is the shoelace knot of reality, if you pull on the reality knot strong enough, it probably unravels into some pure, absolute energetic n-dimensional singularity, in which everything makes sense - and nothing is everything.

So the thing we're looking for as a god is not the creator of the universe. We're looking for something much more mundane, relatively speaking. I am perfectly fine with the natural, physical universe, as long as this universe also contains the vast unknowns of dark matter and dark energy. That is a properly agnostic attitude.

In these two vast uknowns there may be richer ecosystems of living existence than in the coral reef. Human beings and biologic life might be merely a symbiotic overreaching feelers of these worlds into this relatively inert, solid universe. We don't realize that, because we presume, that our solid, visible world was there first. Well, what if this was the other way? What if this cold, deadly universe is the Jurassic Park of a higher universe?
In this case there would be certain rules of the interworld symbiosis. And parasitism. Strange phenomena are to be expected, but not presumed to appear too regularly, if this physical world is an open system, you can't isolate an open system and you can't pin down the external phenomena.
But the world's story of primitive superstitions and spiritism, great religious traditions and the age of reason might be also seen as a form of interworld parasitism, establishing interworld symbiosis and establishing an independent existence of the human race on its own terms.

Only if you make allowance for the great unknowns, you can put the real events up to the scale of what could possibly be happening. If you want to be a proper agnostic pantheistic weird guy like me, realize, there are these big fucking unknowns laid against the very space we occupy, called dark matter, energy, extra dimensions or whatever, and weird shit is bound to happen, it is bound to be real, but it is bound to be very confusing and deceptive, so much, that most of it won't be what, where or how you think it is. There's got to be lots of Where's Waldo playing with humanity and if you think the world begun in 17th century with Descartes, then you'll be like a newbie who doesn't know the rules and with whom nobody wants to play. This reason thing is a nice and shiny new toy, but you've got to put it into the scale of all the time of the Where's Waldo game that humanity has been playing for about 10 thousand years and see what can be learnt from that. I did, and I keep seeing everywhere the Waldo's red cap in all the caps that people put on, from Jewish yarmulka, royal crown and Tibetyan Gelugpa hat, to the Egyptian head dress with cobra on the forehead. I can see that Waldo was there and told the people what to wear and why, before they themselves forgot it.

Consider this as a continuation of the drunk conversation. I'm not drunk, but I don't need to. I get high all on my own, I just need to juggle around a few good ideas to start the chain reaction.

(11-08-2013 05:03 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  (one last note)
Among some friends of friends at the party was a woman who had her beliefs chiseled in stone and couldn't even be a part of the discussion because just hearing someone say something that didn't match her beliefs sent her over the edge, so she removed herself from the room. I picture this woman in her afterlife arguing with her god about how things should be and getting pissed when the conversation doesn't go her way.
Good point! It would be a joke wasted on her, that would presume great capacities for self-reflection that such people do not have.
I can however imagine myself in her shoes, if the conversation was about virtues of capitalism, endlessness of human desires and eternally greedy and violent human nature. And yes, if there was a god claiming this crap, I would argue with him.
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