The "Leap" to Atheism
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02-09-2010, 02:19 PM
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
The issue of agnosticism has already been explained, so I won't go there.

I have never been indoctrinated into a religion, and I have only read parts of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible in my English Lit classes as a reference to later literature. My introduction to religion has been my own; I am very curious, and I have researched many religions. The fact that there is such a variety of gods/ancestors/spirits, etc, etc, seems to me to be proof that they are all man-made. (And I mean "man" in the male sense; women aren't the ones doing the creating.) So, I have a question for you. Why do you NOT believe in any of the other gods besides the one you do believe in? The answer to that is probably similar to why atheists "go one god further" Tongue (Or, like was mentioned in another post, why not the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn?)

Another one of my reasons for not believing in the Judeo-Christian god is that I am a female. If there was a god, I still would not worship such a sexist being. God made "man" in his image? If men were the ones oppressed at the time the various bibles were written, God would have been a woman, creating women in her image. However, God is apparently a "he", which is further proof that "he" was created by men.

Furthermore, I do not consider any religious text to be proof of any gods' existence. I have read far too much literature to distinguish the various bibles from other historical works, such as the epic Giglamesh, and Homer's epics. Thus, I have never found it necessary to worry about contradictions in a text that has multiple authors, and has been (re)written over thousands and thousands of years.

My "leap" to atheism (from agnosticism; not a very far leap, mind you) was merely an acknowledgment to myself. I have become more steadfast in my atheism through, primarily, learning about neuroscience. The things that humans can do with their brains, and the amount we still have to learn about our brains, is mind-boggling. Further research into evolution, biology, and physics has merely confirmed my conclusion.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I had a few things that I really wanted to state. Because, unlike a lot of theists-turned-atheists, my atheism does not stem from religion or science. I actually rejected both as a kid (I didn't understand science very well, so I gave up in frustration). It stems, rather, from having the freedom to think for myself and to develop a skeptical, critically-thinking mind.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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02-09-2010, 08:46 PM
 
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
(02-09-2010 02:19 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  The issue of agnosticism has already been explained, so I won't go there.
Another one of my reasons for not believing in the Judeo-Christian god is that I am a female. If there was a god, I still would not worship such a sexist being. God made "man" in his image? If men were the ones oppressed at the time the various bibles were written, God would have been a woman, creating women in her image. However, God is apparently a "he", which is further proof that "he" was created by men.

I understand completely why you would interpret the judeo-christian god as the creation of men within a patriarchal society. However, I find my mind wandering (off-topic), stimulated by your comment.

Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that Adam was indeed created by god, in god's image. Apparently, therefore, god has a penis and testicles. Why? Is there a mrs. god he makes love to? Why would god need sex? Although we use sex for recreation, its biological basis is reproduction! Does god have little baby gods pattering about paradise? How come we never hear about them? Or mrs. god?

Oh, yes, we also use a penis to pee ... does god pee? Why would a supreme being need to pee? Does god poop? Again, why? Does he eat and drink? Why? If I could create a universe in a week just by waving my hands, or whatever, surely I'd be able to exist without any need for Earth-like biological processes for sustaining life, with their nasty waste products.

OK - let's get back to Adam. There he is alone in Eden and god decides he needs a companion. Who or what was the model for "woman"? If god created Adam in his own image, that "explains" (see above) why Adam had a penis and testicles, but if you have no woman around to model Adam's companion after, how would you go about designing "woman"? Or was mrs. god lurking in the background, with her breasts and vagina, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, etc., ideally matched to the Adam's equipment for the purpose of reproduction and thereby serving as god's model for Eve? Starting with male reproductive (and excretory) apparatus, where would you begin to design "woman" without some sort of model to base it on?

Although I've never heard this argument before, it strikes me as yet another way that the bible story makes no damned sense. A logical person has no difficulty finding evidence therein that this is NOT a sacred document. It was written by folks in late Bronze Age societies that were primitive, dominated by mythology, and not very far removed from barbaric. I'll bet they never imagined that their writings would become the basis of belief for billions of followers or that the inheritors of their writings would develop evidence-based understanding of the natural world (science) that would replace their fallacy-laden myths.
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02-09-2010, 09:17 PM
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
Quote:Another one of my reasons for not believing in the Judeo-Christian god is that I am a female. If there was a god, I still would not worship such a sexist being. God made "man" in his image? If men were the ones oppressed at the time the various bibles were written, God would have been a woman, creating women in her image. However, God is apparently a "he", which is further proof that "he" was created by men.

I think you take the use of the word "man" too literally as it generally refers to mankind. However, there is no doubt that, per the bible, God is a serious misogynist. That said, if there is a God I'm 100% convinced he's a man. Here's why: women give birth. Now, I've never given birth myself, but my wife has. Twice in fact. And, having witnessed this miracle of new life two times I'm 100% convinced there is no way a female deity would have said "and I shall give the 'joy' of child birth to women". No chance. She would have pushed it to the other sex because, while children can be wonderful blessings, giving birth is really painful (as evidenced by my 100lb wife almost crushing the bones in my hand during contractions).

2buck - that is absolutely brilliant. I've never thought of that before but your point makes perfect sense to me. I don't know if McFlaxo is reading the whole site so maybe present this question to him in a thread sure to get his attention. I'm curious as to what his explanation would be.

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02-09-2010, 10:02 PM
 
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
I am not 100% sure there is no god, I just don't find evidence for him.

If god did exist, what would he look like? Zeus, Allah, the Pictish Flame Keeper, Apollo?

Why did you choose to believe in the Judeo-Christian god, other than being introduced to him first? This may sound trite, but it's a serious question. How do you know that your god is THE GOD?

If god "wishes for all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" as the bible states, why would he make his existence so difficult to distinguish? Many would say that this leap of faith is part of the test: God gives man free will and therefore he can choose to reject god or be saved.

This is wholly unsatisfactory. What about children raised by non-christian parents? Or those born in Afghanistan or China? It seems unfair to disadvantage them. Also, the bible states that faith itself is a gift of grace from god. The fact that some don't seem to possess this "gift" (even when they're open to belief as I am) seems unfair. Lastly, since christians believe that man is fallen and his moral compass became skewed at the fall, how can he truly see well enough through his veil of sin to make a clear choice?

At this point in my life, belief would be a lot easier, but I wasn't given that gift.
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03-09-2010, 12:26 AM
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
(02-09-2010 10:02 PM)athnostic Wrote:  If god did exist, what would he look like? Zeus, Allah, the Pictish Flame Keeper, Apollo?

What would a being that could, and does (according to some) inhabit the whole universe all at once and at all times, look like?

It couldn't have the form of anything we have ever known.

It may even be impossible for us to truly imagine such a being, unless you are a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Tongue
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03-09-2010, 06:28 AM
 
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
Quote:Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that Adam was indeed created by god, in god's image. Apparently, therefore, god has a penis and testicles. Why? Is there a mrs. god he makes love to? Why would god need sex? Although we use sex for recreation, its biological basis is reproduction! Does god have little baby gods pattering about paradise? How come we never hear about them? Or mrs. god?

Oh, yes, we also use a penis to pee ... does god pee? Why would a supreme being need to pee? Does god poop? Again, why? Does he eat and drink? Why? If I could create a universe in a week just by waving my hands, or whatever, surely I'd be able to exist without any need for Earth-like biological processes for sustaining life, with their nasty waste products.

OK - let's get back to Adam. There he is alone in Eden and god decides he needs a companion. Who or what was the model for "woman"? If god created Adam in his own image, that "explains" (see above) why Adam had a penis and testicles, but if you have no woman around to model Adam's companion after, how would you go about designing "woman"? Or was mrs. god lurking in the background, with her breasts and vagina, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, etc., ideally matched to the Adam's equipment for the purpose of reproduction and thereby serving as god's model for Eve? Starting with male reproductive (and excretory) apparatus, where would you begin to design "woman" without some sort of model to base it on?

Although I've never heard this argument before, it strikes me as yet another way that the bible story makes no damned sense. A logical person has no difficulty finding evidence therein that this is NOT a sacred document.

You make the assumption that God made man in His physical image. God is Spirit, He does not have a body. Do you see how that one little incorrect assumption you made led to your dismissal of God and the Bible? I see that happen a lot in the arguments I'm hearing. I guess another reason I came here (more in the "Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian" thread) is to politely correct any misconceptions people might have that may possibly lead them to wrong conclusions. I respect your opinion and the right to make it, but I can't accept its validity when the premise is false. I hope I'm not sounding too harsh, but I guess my point is, if what you believed was not true, wouldn't you want to know about it? And I don't even necessarily mean your unbelief in God (did I get that right? Wink). That's a choice you make once presented with the facts. But when the "facts" you are using about the Bible and Christianity are flawed, then your decision *might* be flawed too.

Thanks,

Barley
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03-09-2010, 06:36 AM
 
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
(03-09-2010 06:28 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  You make the assumption that God made man in His physical image. God is Spirit, He does not have a body. Do you see how that one little incorrect assumption you made led to your dismissal of God and the Bible? I see that happen a lot in the arguments I'm hearing. I guess another reason I came here (more in the "leap to atheism" thread) is to politely correct any misconceptions people might have that may possibly lead them to wrong conclusions. I respect your opinion and the right to make it, but I can't accept its validity when the premise is false. I hope I'm not sounding too harsh, but I guess my point is, if what you believed was not true, wouldn't you want to know about it? And I don't even necessarily mean your unbelief in God (did I get that right? Wink). That's a choice you make once presented with the facts. But when the "facts" you are using about the Bible and Christianity are flawed, then your decision *might* be flawed too.
You're engaging in classical theist tactic of "saving the appearances." You interpret the words in such a way that you avoid the conflict created by those words. Does the bible say man was created in god's image, or not? If we were created in his image, and he's a spirit, why are WE not spirits, as well? Nice try, though, Barley.
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03-09-2010, 07:48 AM
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
Exactly. Where exactly in the Bible does it say anything about God not making man in his physical image? This is the literal word of God we're talking about, so how do we now get into interpretations of the meaning? And, how do you know your interpretation is correct?

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03-09-2010, 10:22 AM
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
(03-09-2010 06:28 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  Do you see how that one little incorrect assumption you made led to your dismissal of God and the Bible? I see that happen a lot in the arguments I'm hearing.

You're hearing something that isn't there.

That isn't the only reason that he rejects the Bible. It is (or was, or whatever) one of them. It isn't the only reason, or even a very critical one.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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03-09-2010, 03:00 PM
 
RE: The "Leap" to Atheism
(03-09-2010 10:22 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(03-09-2010 06:28 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  Do you see how that one little incorrect assumption you made led to your dismissal of God and the Bible? I see that happen a lot in the arguments I'm hearing.

You're hearing something that isn't there.

That isn't the only reason that he rejects the Bible. It is (or was, or whatever) one of them. It isn't the only reason, or even a very critical one.

Excellent point ... I missed that one! This isn't one 'little incorrect assumption' that led me to an allegedly incorrect conclusion - (a) I dispute that it's incorrect and, (b) it's one brick in a house of reasons for disbelieving in god and the bible. I'd just never thought of that particular angle before.
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