The Innocent Atheist
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05-05-2012, 04:31 AM
 
The Innocent Atheist
I think I'm beginning to understand atheists. Not that I agree with them, but I think I can truly understand why they are the way they are--some of them that is. Granted, some are so narcissistic they can never believe in God; they are emperors. Some are too lazy to seek beyond their five senses; they are lazy, and they will never believe. Some are always seeking proof for which they will never be satisfied. They are academics who revel in the question, not the answer; they are stupid. And still others have bad deeds they can't face or want to continue; they are the sinners, and they are barred from believing.

But there is the innocent atheist, and I have run into many of them, even here in this forum. They simply can't take the shit they are expected to swallow from religion, and they cannot separate the idea of God from the religious portrayal of God, and these people I understand completely. I understand the nausea that builds up in one's soul at the very idea of anything connected to the religious. I understand the inability to crucify one's intellect in order to believe the rubbish the Church says must be believed. They don't have to read Dawkins to disbelieve. All they have to do is turn on any televangelist at any time. All they need is to see one pentacostal meeting where insanity is let loose.

I don't believe the innocent atheist can ever believe in God, and I can't believe that God would ever put that person in hell. I actually think there may be a kind of spirituality to that kind of atheism that transcends the need to put any belief in God whatsoever, and I don't get a sense that God requires it from them.

Jesus said that the one who finds the world has found a corpse, and of that person the world is not worthy. Isn't religion part of this stinking world?
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05-05-2012, 06:16 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2012 06:31 AM by Logisch.)
RE: The Innocent Atheist
(05-05-2012 04:31 AM)Egor Wrote:  All they have to do is turn on any televangelist at any time. All they need is to see one pentacostal meeting where insanity is let loose.
I really wanted to be sarcastic, rude, etc... When i first read your entire post I was somewhat caught off by it, a tad offended. But I remember when I was religious and had my jesus goggles on that I could not see things from another perspective. I told myself I was, I told myself I could, I thought I was putting myself in other people's shoes and perspectives. But I look at that today and realize, it would have been asinine for me to do that because it would require doubt to consider or think about it, and doubt is not only discouraged but denouncing god is the unforgivable sin, therefore, comes with the consequence of eternal punishment and torture in hell.

The odd thing about that: Matt 5:41. So I tried it... funny how that works.

It sounds as if you assume specifically our agenda is to disbelieve the abrahamic god. Sure, there are those out there who devote all their time to disproving the bible and finding every reason they can not to believe it. I know from time to time I find myself interested in reading many different religious texts of various religions just so I understand people better.

Or that perhaps some of us stopped believing because we think that there is insanity that ensues some denominations (and I'll definitely agree some seem far crazier than others). What makes being an atheist of that any different than any other god in any way shape or form? You seem to assert that we're specifically atheists of only Christianity when in fact most of us are just atheists in general. Doesn't take a pentecostal to tell us that it's insane. While at one point I was a Christian, I did consider other religions as well afterwards and realized Christianity isn't the only bat shit crazy belief out there.

It's easy for us to look at a religion, read a book and for some of us who have believed to put ourselves in believer shoes. Many of us "Knew" at the time that "god was real" we prayed, we saw "revelations" in our lives and change and we attributed it to god. We believed like nothing else and never would consider the idea that an atheist could be right. I know there was a time in my life when I was so nutso in my belief I went out of my way to remove outside influence of anything bad (devil music *metal/nonchristian music* via burning cds, christian music only, attend bible study often, not be friends with those not of my faith, draw clear lines to my friends of my belief, prayed everyday). A few weeks ago I found a "faith journal" a pastor had some of us keep regarding our faith and prayer and I read through it and I wondered what in the world was wrong with me. I look at it and read it now and go.... "Wow... how did I believe this garbage?" when I looked at the FEAR of outside influence in my life and what the potential consequences "eternally" were I realized it was a sick mind game to keep people believing.

Do you know what the psychological tricks cults use to keep believers in them?

Manipulation, Isolation, Paranoia, Consequences. All of them tie in together. Ask a cult member though if they're crazy. They'll tell you very likely that you're crazy for NOT believing them.

But when my non-religious friends told me I was crazy or nuts, I told them it was THEY who were crazy. I felt bad for them. I wanted them to believe in god so badly. I was afraid for their salvation, they were going to hell. I genuinely felt pity for them.

Now... years later.. I've gone back and apologized to those people. Some of them even ended up being Christians (Oh jesus!) and were confused that I'm now an atheist.

During life choices and life changes, when we believe something to be true... it can be nearly impossible for us to see it from the other person and their perspective especially if what we believe holds no possibility to doubt our belief, our faith at the potential consequence of losing your "salvation."

But I can understand it is difficult to see it from another perspective with your Jesus goggles on. You can try all you want, but your devotion to your faith and unwillingness to consider anything else for a second makes it that you can't, because if you did, you might have to consider doubt. I've read many posts where people have told you this, or that they feel free to explore the world and their views and your response was something to the effect of (although not verbatim since I can't remember where it was at): "Of course you do, you believe you're free from sin so you act as you wish without guilt." or that you basically thought that the person had tricked themselves into a reason not to believe so they could be a sinful person and live the way they want.

Unfortunately, to see it that way, you're also assuming you know how the person is thinking. There are still those that still aren't sure how they feel about being atheist, who are probably still exploring because they're new to it and it's frightening to them. I know I was there at one point. But I genuinely do not believe in a god or creator. I'm not trying to trick you, I'm not trying to convince myself this so I can sin and go be a shameful human being. In fact, many of us want to help others and humanity, we want to do good in the world and we attribute it to being a good person because we can be, because we want to be, because it makes our lives better and other lives better... not because we think it has to come from a book or the promise of eternal salvation or torment.

I really truly don't think there is a necessity for one. If there was, I don't believe it would be something as primitive and silly as the stuff we've made up here on our planet, therefore I don't concern myself with it. Don't believe in yahweh, ea, vishni, mypsa, thor or zeus.

It isn't because I have a hard time swallowing the bullshit, it's because I see no reason to partake of it in the first place after having gone through it and found no reason to believe in it in the first place. When you're on a shit diet and all you do is swallow shit all day, you come to think it's pretty tasty shit. Contrary to popular belief, there's reality food too, it's hard to swallow at first because it's blunt, to the point, sometimes even cold, and when you accept it there are times you feel lonely and perhaps even purposeless at times... but it tastes a whole lot better when you realize what you were being spoon fed prior. When I considered that I wasn't created, when I dug through all the questions I had and arrived at the fact that I had to give my life purpose because none of us truly know how we got here, it was a bit uncomfortable, it was a bit unnerving, there were nights I felt depressed. But when I found other ways of seeing it, they made me feel really big, important, I realized the opposite... that life is amazing. I've grown to eat more of that reality food, I sure like it, lost a lot of that religious fattening stuff.

It isn't that I can never believe in god. It's that the gods proposed to us are insane, make no sense to me and there is no evidence for them. Sure, maybe there's one out there. I'm confident it isn't any of the religions we as mankind have made up, however. If you follow the god of yahweh, the bible does say that the knowledge of "god has been given to everyone" therefore, we'd all be going to hell for disbelieving, so the innocent atheist would not exist from the perspective of christianity. (another reason some of us who are prior christians worried so much about people's salvation before we were atheists!)

I know you feel like you've gone for the slam dunk, but if you assume you're starting to understand us, but you then assume that we're specifically only atheists of the abrahamic god, or that it takes seeing insanity to disbelieve and not reading something more crazy (such as the bible) then your slam dunk has failed.

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05-05-2012, 06:33 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
(05-05-2012 06:16 AM)Logisch Wrote:  But I genuinely do not believe in a god or creator.

And I'm a genuine prophet for whom god only exists as justification for the gospel of Gwynnite. Heart

So Egor throws out some profiling and goes 0-2. Tongue

But it's the best OP he has written, in terms of not being a douchebag. That's something.

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05-05-2012, 06:38 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
I used to think Egor was just a troll but I truly think he means what he says, whether the post comes across as offensive or not. I realize at times he's looking for answers to see how we react, but I still think he's sincere about the curiosity, understanding and wanting to understand. Doesn't always come across in an easy to swallow post since it's easy to want to go "RAWRRR" at the posts... but it is what it is.
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05-05-2012, 06:54 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
Well this seems like a bit more of a genuine post, which is refreshing. I'll admit I can get really peeved dealing with some theists and it wasn't till recently that I stopped and thought, what was I trying to accomplish? Mind you though I only ever got into these debates when the subject was turned onto me (Just like school when it holds a christian week and people come in etc, they all know me now XD)

Now I just sit back and let it happen. I wonder if that puts me into this "innocent category" Because I simply refuse to believe what has been put forth by religion. But I can separate the concept of God from the religious rabble (albeit the fact it is always hard to not start pointing out religious flaws whilst doing so). When you talk to so many others, they do not follow religion but they believe in a god/higher being as a presence or form of law in ways that entirely contradict what religion likes to portray. Nevertheless this doesn't change my stance as a non - believer in any deity/whatever you want to call it as it doesn't stand to prove anything except for the fact they are more indie than the the theists Tongue

I will only really believe if I ever saw a deity, none of this finding the meaning in the most obscure of all objects in the most random of places nonsense. Or the you have to find it in your heart.... that kind of thing, gets no one anywhere.
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05-05-2012, 08:21 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
(05-05-2012 06:54 AM)MKilby Wrote:  I will only really believe if I ever saw a deity, none of this finding the meaning in the most obscure of all objects in the most random of places nonsense. Or the you have to find it in your heart.... that kind of thing, gets no one anywhere.

The more interesting question is: what is a deity, what would it look like, how would you know?

When people say a god operates outside our space and time... I ask: "How do you know?"
When people say that we're made in "his image" and you look back at evolution, are we to assume he started out as something far more ugly? Was he dust? How do you know?

Many of us say we would require physical evidence. There's many kinds of evidence that could be acceptable. But many religions have varying ideas of what a god "looks like" or "how it interacts" with things, etc etc.
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05-05-2012, 08:45 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
(05-05-2012 04:31 AM)Egor Wrote:  I think I'm beginning to understand atheists. Not that I agree with them, but I think I can truly understand why they are the way they are--some of them that is. Granted, some are so narcissistic... Some are too lazy to seek beyond their five senses... Some are always seeking proof for which they will never be satisfied. They are academics who revel in the question, not the answer...

I think you'll find this is true of atheists, Christians, and Muslims... men and women... old people and young people... basically any grouping that you want to break people up into.

On the other hand, you'll find that some of them are intelligent, sensible, reasonable, rational, etc. This is also true of all the groups I listed above. It's also true that some people are optimistic or pessimistic, no matter what else is true about them, and it's clear that you're pessimistic because you only want to see the bad things in people. Be fair to others and not prejudiced... I'm sure you want the same in return.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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05-05-2012, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2012 10:43 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Innocent Atheist
(05-05-2012 04:31 AM)Egor Wrote:  Not that I agree with them, ...some of them that is... some are so narcissistic they can never believe in God; they are emperors. Some are too lazy to seek beyond their five senses; they are lazy, and they will never believe. Some are always seeking proof for which they will never be satisfied. They are academics who revel in the question, not the answer; they are stupid. And still others have bad deeds they can't face or want to continue; they are the sinners, and they are barred from believing.

But there is the innocent atheist, and I have run into many of them, even here in this forum. They simply can't take the shit they are expected to swallow from religion, and they cannot separate the idea of God from the religious portrayal of God, and these people I understand completely. I understand the nausea that builds up in one's soul at the very idea of anything connected to the religious. I understand the inability to crucify one's intellect in order to believe the rubbish the Church says must be believed. They don't have to read Dawkins to disbelieve. All they have to do is turn on any televangelist at any time. All they need is to see one pentacostal meeting where insanity is let loose.

Jesus said that the one who finds the world has found a corpse, and of that person the world is not worthy. Isn't religion part of this stinking world?


Nice try, but fail again. False premise. The "other" Atheist's are not "guilty" of anything. False dichotomy. Same ole. Said poster is still just insulting the argument makers, and posting not one real argument, and thinks insults stand as arguments, and for some very odd reason, (whatever that might be ...what IS that all about, anyway), feels the need to establish one's distance from supposed enemies by insults, and 2-year-old methods. Now, said poster, is attempting to justify the "arguments from ignorance" position by identifying with the completely emotional/visceral, (non intellectual), approach, ((a very common, (unexamined) feature of US "jock" culture...one of the reasons this country is in such trouble)). However, "refuting the televangelist" is ceratinly a very early-on, place to begin. Perhaps some day, said poster will be able to move up to the "academics" with reason, instead of Ad Hominems.. The militant anti-intellectual is as much a threat, as is the militant Theist, and essentially, IS THE SAME as the 'televangelist", (despite the failed attempt to establish a difference, (without a distinction)). But, .... baby steps, baby steps. All in good time. (Not holding breath).

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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05-05-2012, 09:57 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
Quote: Some are always seeking proof for which they will never be satisfied. They are academics who revel in the question, not the answer; they are stupid.
Well, curiosity drives me to learn new things, whether scientific or not. The problem starts after you start analysing the things you learnt. Are the things you learnt logical? Could there be a better answer to this question?

Questioning everything is what drives our search for knowledge, for the truth. We wish to understand the mechanisms of natural phenomena, from black holes to ATP production, from quarks to chemical bonding. We come up with a model, and test it. If it fails, we reject and try another model. If a previously accepted model is proven wrong, we replace it.

The questioning part is the most important of all. It marks the start of the process to understand a new mechanism. Who. What. When. Why. Where. How.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

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05-05-2012, 09:59 AM
RE: The Innocent Atheist
Egor,

I think many "innocent" atheists would be happy to adopt a god proposition that:
1. Is able to identify a specific god or set of gods
2. Is able to describe properties for these gods that are meaningful, in the sense that they interact with the real world (such as healing sickness)
3. Is not self-contradictory in its properties (ie does not have problems like being an all-knowing all-good creator of the universe who also created evil)
4. Is not contradictory to reality (ie sick people actually get better, and this can be demonstrated scientifically)

It seems to me that any god or religion that cannot pass these tests is either false (does not exist), irrelevant (does not interact with the universe except in people's brains), or is playing sick games with us.

I think your term "innocent atheist" relates to people who have genuinely searched for something that satisfies in these regards, have failed to find any, and have no hope that anything is there to find.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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