Religious thinking
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12-04-2011, 01:32 AM
Religious thinking
Here is an excerpt from a christian blog I went to just before, and it illustrates a major problem I see with religious thinking.

"On a very cold November afternoon, I sat under a green tent with my mother’s coffin in front of me. How many times had I stood in cemeteries, offering comfort and the Word of God to those who had lost a loved one? But this was my first experience of being on the other side of the casket. As I sat there, a shocking thought suddenly popped into my head: Suppose there is no resurrection! This idea was quickly driven away by my faith and confidence in Christ. But it had lasted just long enough for me to feel the despair and hopelessness of such a belief." [Italics are mine]

It's really such a bad idea to even begin to question that you might be wrong? How do christians and other theists rationalise this?

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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12-04-2011, 02:23 AM
RE: Religious thinking
Yes, questioning the beliefs is bad. It's in the bible. You could go to hell for questioning your beliefs! This is the very core of religion. Believe or be tortured forever.
It's in there somewhere between the slavery section and the thought crime section.

As a Christian I felt that fear, especially since i'm a big time introvert with an overactive mind. It still took me a long time to look around gathering the available facts, gain knowledge/understanding and become comfortable with my decisions on what I believe. I put my life on hold for a couple years to get to the bottom of this. If I honestly thought theres a chance one of humanities myriad religions has it right then I wouldn't be here.

I did the rational response squad thing on my mum (didn't record it).
She was the person who had the most influence in having me become Christian. I told her "I deny the existence of the holy spirit." It was very liberating. She was screaming at me while I said it. She was all red in the face.

Oh well.. shit happens Smile and it all turned out for the better for me in the end.

Now when I look back I find it hard to believe how gullible/vulnerable I was. Becoming an atheist has strengthened my mind and I feel more connected to reality. I feel like I'm standing on firmer ground and that this crazy world and whats happening in it makes so much more sense without invoking magical beings.

When I have kids I'm going to show them this video as soon as they are old enough to understand it.


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12-04-2011, 02:42 AM
RE: Religious thinking
I think one good way of getting theists to begin thinking about their beliefs when they're frightened to is to remind them that a loving god wouldn't damn them to hell for eternity for using the brain he gave them. Once they realise they can think about this, they should be able to realise its all unsupported.
Love the rational response squad thing. You made me jealous, I wish I was there...

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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12-04-2011, 04:34 AM
RE: Religious thinking
Don't miss the point. It's wrong, because they fear death, they do not accept natural order of things, you are born, you live, you die. Simple as that. These delusions they have help them to imagine that the person they love is not truly dead. So it all comes back to human weakness...

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12-04-2011, 06:08 AM
RE: Religious thinking
(12-04-2011 01:32 AM)daemonowner Wrote:  How many times had I stood in cemeteries, offering comfort and the Word of God to those who had lost a loved one? But this was my first experience of being on the other side of the casket. As I sat there, a shocking thought suddenly popped into my head: Suppose there is no resurrection! This idea was quickly driven away by my faith and confidence in Christ. But it had lasted just long enough for me to feel the despair and hopelessness of such a belief."

This is really what the whole thing is about isn't it? That inherent feeling in human beings that we are not just another biological life form on this planet and that we are somehow special (beyond the ability to reason) that we must have a purpose for being here and that there has to be something more for us after this life.

Coming to grips with the fact that this is it - make the best of it - is a hard concept to grasp, especially for those raised steeped in the mysticism of religion that promises a life in paradise after this one...

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12-04-2011, 08:33 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2011 08:37 AM by Stark Raving.)
RE: Religious thinking
(12-04-2011 06:08 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  This is really what the whole thing is about isn't it? That inherent feeling in human beings that we are not just another biological life form on this planet and that we are somehow special (beyond the ability to reason) that we must have a purpose for being here and that there has to be something more for us after this life.

I really didn't inherit this feeling. Since I was old enough to contemplate these things, I've never felt humans were special. Granted I thought (and still do) they were unique. We have technology and all that, but what stands out for me is that we are cruel. Our selfishness is well illustrated in religious thinking. I think that selfishness makes us lesser beings in many ways. Of course all animals are selfish, but shit, we've taken it to a whole new level! The earth was created for us? By some magic man who loves us? Then he killed his own son for us?? Wow. Watch out padre, if that ego gets any bigger your heads gonna explode.

As for having a purpose...the only purpose I can see for a god to put us here is for entertainment. Create these selfish, self-destructive beings, give em lots of brains so they can make all kinds of nasty shit, then give them a wobbly (at best) moral compass, and watch them destroy themselves. Good times. If we were created in that asshats image, it's no wonder we came up with shit like gladiators and UFC.
No. We are parasites here. We have no higher purpose, and the sooner the masses realize that, the better our chances of survival will be. There is nothing symbiotic about our relationship with the planet, and much to the chagrin of the religious minded, the planet was not put here for us.

More often than not, I am embarrassed of the human race. It's shameful the way we treat everything as though it was put here specifically for us, to use as we see fit. Religious thinkers need to realize that none of it was put here at all. It's intended purpose is not for our sake. There is no intended purpose. Human kinds thinking needs to change. The belief theists have about the earth being here for us would be a great place to start. Because THAT kind of religious thinking is what I find dangerous.


EDIT - I know I strayed WAY off course, but the thread topic really got me to thinking about things, and the above verbal diarrhea is the result of me thinking. Perhaps a dangerous thing in and of itself?

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12-04-2011, 08:48 AM
RE: Religious thinking
(12-04-2011 08:33 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  
(12-04-2011 06:08 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  This is really what the whole thing is about isn't it? That inherent feeling in human beings that we are not just another biological life form on this planet and that we are somehow special (beyond the ability to reason) that we must have a purpose for being here and that there has to be something more for us after this life.

I really didn't inherit this feeling. Since I was old enough to contemplate these things, I've never felt humans were special. Granted I thought (and still do) they were unique. We have technology and all that, but what stands out for me is that we are cruel. Our selfishness is well illustrated in religious thinking.

I was being a little cheeky with the phrase, but I've often wondered if there isn't some kind of gene in us (humans) that makes us want to seek out understanding as to why we exist - maybe that goes hand in hand with the "specialness" of the species; but I agree with you stark - we're essentially highly evolved cockroaches...

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13-04-2011, 12:12 AM
RE: Religious thinking
(12-04-2011 08:48 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  we're essentially highly evolved cockroaches...

Every taxi driver on earth has had this proven to them, especially after the bars (taverns) close.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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