Scared to stop believing
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
30-10-2012, 02:28 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(30-10-2012 01:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Maximizing pleasure without balancing it with pain diminishes both. DL and DLJ should both suck my sweaty ballz. Only then will they realize the proper ratio of pleasure to pain.

Pretty sure that'd be unbalanced the other way...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like morondog's post
30-10-2012, 02:52 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(30-10-2012 01:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 05:28 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Whoa, there boy!

Says you. But please don't condemn my lifestyle with such off-handednessosity.

Hedonism alone? Yes.

(29-10-2012 07:56 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  I, like DLJ, take exception to the hedonism remark.

Maximizing pleasure without balancing it with pain diminishes both. DL and DLJ should both suck my sweaty ballz. Only then will they realize the proper ratio of pleasure to pain.

Ya' got me right in the heart, ya' did. Weeping Now, time for a beer, followed by a nap.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Dark Light's post
30-10-2012, 06:05 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
Welcome to the forums, although I'm a newbie myself.

It's good to see that you are questioning the validity of the beliefs that were spoon-fed to you throughout your life, since that was the first step in the healing process for many of the members here. By healing process, I don't necessarily refer to becoming an atheist, like a vast majority of the people here (myself included), but the freedom to pursue intellectual interests and knowledge without the blinders over your eyes. That's the most important part of the process of distancing yourself from blind faith: critical analysis.

It's great to see your piqued interests in the sciences, and I do believe that studying evolution in particular exemplifies the usefulness of the scientific method of inquiry in the sense that it highlights it as an extremely useful tool in the pursuit of knowledge. It's a good starting point for understanding how the scientific method works. It's also a great example of how fanaticism will go to any length to avoid confrontation with directly opposing evidence to its claims. In studying the theory of evolution, you will find that creationists have distorted, misunderstood, misapplied, twisted, misrepresented, and flat out lied about pretty much every aspect of evolution, and continue to do so with scientific theories and logical reasoning as a whole. As has been said, there are theists and atheists who hold evolution to be true, and on the larger scale, there are theists and atheists who contend that objective, demonstrable evidence is the most effective means through understanding our universe.

Just because a person is a theist doesn't mean that they necessarily have to understand the every aspect and/or the nature of their deity (or deities) in order to comprehend how reality and the universe operates. You don't need to necessarily adhere to any dogma or religion in order to believe in a god either. Perhaps, if you choose to remain a theist of some sort, the deity you believe in could be completely separate from a deity espoused in any religion. Maybe it is a personal god? Maybe it is merely conceptual and abstract? Material? Immaterial? Sentient? Non-sentient? Removed from the universe? Involved with the universe? Go whatever way you choose, it will be a long process, but you already seem to be taking strong steps in the right direction. Whether you remain a theist or become an atheist are irrelevant at this point in my mind. You clearly aren't satisfied with the methods religion utilizes for trying to understand reality, and I think that is the important bit right there.

A few other important things to look at:
Other religious scripture and religious history-
The more you look at other scriptures, the more you will observe common themes and characteristics among all of their differences. As for the part about religious history, all one needs to do is research the history around the individuals who headed religious bodies. You'll see that many religions have more or less established themselves as institutions motivated by power and profit, NOT for embracing diversity, truth, critical analysis, or anything else that would persuade any potentially manipulated pawn away from a ruler's flock. A skeptical and inquisitive mind will most likely hold religion as a product of man, not of god.

Logical fallacies: Religious fundamentalism is based more heavily in faulty logic than rational thought, and it is extremely evident whenever a fundie starts trying to debate. Learn to spot logical fallacies accordingly. There are many good websites that list logical fallacies, you can start here though

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

Anyway, as for the bit about being scared of finding out you are wrong when you die, that's good ole Pascal's Wager. The inherent problem in the argument though is that it is littler more than fallacious blackmail. It makes no assertive claim that can be backed with evidence, in fact, it doesn't even make an assertive claim at all. It ASSUMES that its belief is the correct one. So for example, if a Christian learns I'm an atheist, he/she might assert that I have an incentive to believe in the Bible just as a safety precaution because if I'm wrong, I will go to hell. As you are probably figuring out though, relying anything in the Bible, or a religious scripture of any kind, to be an absolute truth is a matter of faith, not verifiable proof, and absurd even as a matter of faith. It is ASSUMING that I have an incentive to believe due to the HYPOTHETICAL consequences if I don't. What if another religion's equivalent of hell is the one that actually exists? All Christians might theoretically go to that hell as well. What if everybody goes to heaven? What if everybody goes to some other religion's version of heaven? What if we all just simply cease to have a consciousness and there is no afterlife? What if only people who own a complete collection of Seinfield DVD's go to heaven? Hell? I need to die holding a mop to go to heaven? Hell? etc. Since there are an infinite array of possible variables when it comes to the objectively unprovable, there are an infinite amount of ways to satisfy the results. Is the assessing factor of every activity of your day is whether that activity will prevent purple ninja unicorns from attacking you? If you say no, then by the (faulty) logic purported by the likes of Pascal's Wager, you would have an incentive to start modeling your daily activities around the sole objective of protecting yourself from purple ninja unicorn assaults, just in case you were wrong about your lack of belief in purple ninja unicorns and their vicious inclination towards mutilating humans.

Hope you enjoy your stay!

[Image: giphy.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Tartarus Sauce's post
31-10-2012, 11:20 AM
Scared to stop believing
(30-10-2012 01:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 05:28 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Whoa, there boy!

Says you. But please don't condemn my lifestyle with such off-handednessosity.

Hedonism alone? Yes.

(29-10-2012 07:56 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  I, like DLJ, take exception to the hedonism remark.

Maximizing pleasure without balancing it with pain diminishes both. DL and DLJ should both suck my sweaty ballz. Only then will they realize the proper ratio of pleasure to pain.

"If the pleasure remains does it remain a pleasure?" -- can't recall source yet.

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-10-2012, 11:47 AM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(30-10-2012 01:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 05:28 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Whoa, there boy!

Says you. But please don't condemn my lifestyle with such off-handednessosity.

Hedonism alone? Yes.

(29-10-2012 07:56 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  I, like DLJ, take exception to the hedonism remark.

Maximizing pleasure without balancing it with pain diminishes both. DL and DLJ should both suck my sweaty ballz. Only then will they realize the proper ratio of pleasure to pain.

That's fucking gross. Big Grin

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-10-2012, 02:01 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(30-10-2012 06:05 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  Welcome to the forums, although I'm a newbie myself.

It's good to see that you are questioning the validity of the beliefs that were spoon-fed to you throughout your life, since that was the first step in the healing process for many of the members here. By healing process, I don't necessarily refer to becoming an atheist, like a vast majority of the people here (myself included), but the freedom to pursue intellectual interests and knowledge without the blinders over your eyes. That's the most important part of the process of distancing yourself from blind faith: critical analysis.

It's great to see your piqued interests in the sciences, and I do believe that studying evolution in particular exemplifies the usefulness of the scientific method of inquiry in the sense that it highlights it as an extremely useful tool in the pursuit of knowledge. It's a good starting point for understanding how the scientific method works. It's also a great example of how fanaticism will go to any length to avoid confrontation with directly opposing evidence to its claims. In studying the theory of evolution, you will find that creationists have distorted, misunderstood, misapplied, twisted, misrepresented, and flat out lied about pretty much every aspect of evolution, and continue to do so with scientific theories and logical reasoning as a whole. As has been said, there are theists and atheists who hold evolution to be true, and on the larger scale, there are theists and atheists who contend that objective, demonstrable evidence is the most effective means through understanding our universe.

Just because a person is a theist doesn't mean that they necessarily have to understand the every aspect and/or the nature of their deity (or deities) in order to comprehend how reality and the universe operates. You don't need to necessarily adhere to any dogma or religion in order to believe in a god either. Perhaps, if you choose to remain a theist of some sort, the deity you believe in could be completely separate from a deity espoused in any religion. Maybe it is a personal god? Maybe it is merely conceptual and abstract? Material? Immaterial? Sentient? Non-sentient? Removed from the universe? Involved with the universe? Go whatever way you choose, it will be a long process, but you already seem to be taking strong steps in the right direction. Whether you remain a theist or become an atheist are irrelevant at this point in my mind. You clearly aren't satisfied with the methods religion utilizes for trying to understand reality, and I think that is the important bit right there.

A few other important things to look at:
Other religious scripture and religious history-
The more you look at other scriptures, the more you will observe common themes and characteristics among all of their differences. As for the part about religious history, all one needs to do is research the history around the individuals who headed religious bodies. You'll see that many religions have more or less established themselves as institutions motivated by power and profit, NOT for embracing diversity, truth, critical analysis, or anything else that would persuade any potentially manipulated pawn away from a ruler's flock. A skeptical and inquisitive mind will most likely hold religion as a product of man, not of god.

Logical fallacies: Religious fundamentalism is based more heavily in faulty logic than rational thought, and it is extremely evident whenever a fundie starts trying to debate. Learn to spot logical fallacies accordingly. There are many good websites that list logical fallacies, you can start here though

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

Anyway, as for the bit about being scared of finding out you are wrong when you die, that's good ole Pascal's Wager. The inherent problem in the argument though is that it is littler more than fallacious blackmail. It makes no assertive claim that can be backed with evidence, in fact, it doesn't even make an assertive claim at all. It ASSUMES that its belief is the correct one. So for example, if a Christian learns I'm an atheist, he/she might assert that I have an incentive to believe in the Bible just as a safety precaution because if I'm wrong, I will go to hell. As you are probably figuring out though, relying anything in the Bible, or a religious scripture of any kind, to be an absolute truth is a matter of faith, not verifiable proof, and absurd even as a matter of faith. It is ASSUMING that I have an incentive to believe due to the HYPOTHETICAL consequences if I don't. What if another religion's equivalent of hell is the one that actually exists? All Christians might theoretically go to that hell as well. What if everybody goes to heaven? What if everybody goes to some other religion's version of heaven? What if we all just simply cease to have a consciousness and there is no afterlife? What if only people who own a complete collection of Seinfield DVD's go to heaven? Hell? I need to die holding a mop to go to heaven? Hell? etc. Since there are an infinite array of possible variables when it comes to the objectively unprovable, there are an infinite amount of ways to satisfy the results. Is the assessing factor of every activity of your day is whether that activity will prevent purple ninja unicorns from attacking you? If you say no, then by the (faulty) logic purported by the likes of Pascal's Wager, you would have an incentive to start modeling your daily activities around the sole objective of protecting yourself from purple ninja unicorn assaults, just in case you were wrong about your lack of belief in purple ninja unicorns and their vicious inclination towards mutilating humans.

Hope you enjoy your stay!

Thanks for the welcome and the thoughts! Good thoughts.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-11-2012, 09:05 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
Wow, I wish I would've registered a week ago, so I could've stepped into this conversation sooner.

I'm glad you were able to talk to your wife about it. That's a good sign. I suppose it's also a good sign that she's more worried about you leaving her than you going to hell. I think it's like how Daniel Dennett talks about people not so much believing in the claims of the religion, but believing in the virtue of belief itself; somewhere in there, I think that they know that it's more rational not to believe, so they can't help but to feel empathy when someone stops believing. They may, out of fear for their own faith, become very defensive and angry, but the ones close to you will usually prefer to find a way to preserve the relationship, because they can't find it in themselves to blame you for doing something that they know is perfectly rational.

People have already addressed the morality question, but I'll add my two cents. I think that having an authoritative source for moral certainty is one of the hardest things for questioners to let go of. It's one of the first things that theists pound on in debates with atheists, and they do it because it very effectively plays on a fear that most people have. Even if one admits that it's impossible to make heads or tails of what's good or evil in God's mind, and that any approach to trying to understand wouldn't be much different than an atheist's approach, there's still comfort in thinking that there must be a real answer somewhere. I wonder sometimes if this, more than any other issue, is what tethers people to otherwise untenable beliefs. It's more palatable to accede to talking snakes and zoo boats than to accept that we have to come up with our own answers, and that these answers will inevitably (and often tragically) clash with someone else's.

I have often felt that the moral senses of former theists become much keener after going through the process. They've had to ask themselves a lot of "what would you do if" questions, and try to reason why one situation is like or unlike another. I think that the process of contemplating morality is an activity that is in itself highly moral. Though, I doubt that this answer would satisfy your wife. You're probably going to have to settle for just frequently and consistently assuring her that you love her.

One last thing that it's better to think about sooner rather than later: it's easy to get caught up in all this and become very passionate about it, and to start getting impatient and angry with the people around you for clinging to the irrational. It's also easy to feel very hurt about people who turn on you or abandon you. Resolve within yourself to bite down on the urge to lash out or become overly argumentative with people. Even if you're right and they're wrong, you're the one who is changing, not them. You consented to change; they didn't consent to change with you. I'm not saying don't talk about it. I'm just saying show some restraint.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Beren's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: