The Question
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29-10-2012, 12:48 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2012 12:51 AM by PoolBoyG.)
Lightbulb RE: The Question
1. We can't redefine words easily, so we have to adopt the readily available words with the definitions or intent that we want. You say "goddamn it" when you stub your toe because you were taught it. If you taught a child to say "Muffin", then they'd say "Muffin" when they stubbed their toe.
Generally, "Luck" is a word for "a positive occurrence that had a low probability of actually occurring". But words have many meanings, some common, some less.

If you would like the etymology of English words, then you can research it very easily online. You'd be surprised at the origins and original intent of many words that you use, that you weren't even aware of.

2. You seem to be under the impression that atheism is a reaction to theism. Atheism is the DEFAULT position. Everyone, everywhere is an Atheist. "They do not believe". It's only through outside influence that they then become a Theist of one variety or another.

3. If you wish to learn about Theism, pick up ANY religion text. It's the quickest way to to de-convert an honest theist. By the end you will be confused, then ashamed and disgusted by any theist. And perhaps later, pity them.
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29-10-2012, 03:46 AM
RE: The Question
(29-10-2012 12:33 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, Mini. First of all, you're someone struggling to even figure out what the concepts of religion ARE. Not someone who knows what they are and rejects them or is uncertain about them. The word for you is an ignostic or an igtheist. (Cue the low grade flame war; I'm an out ignostic and a lot of people here think the distinction with atheism is meaningless or silly. Others may complain I'm poaching.) If you're saying "I don't really understand what this theism thing is but I'm pretty sure it's bull WITHOUT understanding what it is," then you're both an ignostic and an atheist.

Now the first thing you need to realize about the theistic perspective is that there's no such thing as THE theistic perspective. There's hundreds or thousands or myriads of different theistic perspectives, and NONE OF THEM AGREE. None. (If they did, they wouldn't be different perspectives.) This is most telling between different religions (or different denominations/sects/schools within the same religion), but still very much present even inside all these categories. For this reason, always argue with GROUPS of theists, find the points of dissension, and turn them against each other. Never take them on solo. That's nowhere near as fun.

Also, and more importantly, realize that what one person says or believes or envisions about the identity or nature of, say, God, or the soul, or salvation, or any of the buzzwords, is probably not the same thing as what the next person says or believes or envisions. This stops getting confusing when you realize that different people are using the same words to refer to different concepts and NEVER REALIZING IT. So when one person tells you that God is all-loving, and another tells you that the same God's an angry, wrathful Lord looking to damn you to eternal torture for the slightest sin, it's not that God is paradoxically both at once. It's that they're talking about different gods and haven't figured it out yet.

Bottom line, remember that it's the job of a theist (at least, one trying to persuade you) to clearly articulate WHAT they're trying to persuade you of. (Also, the task of persuasion is theirs as well, assuming they're trying to persuade you at all. Don't let them con you into thinking you've got to either disprove their beliefs or admit that they're proven.) If they're pushing some alien god concept on you that you just don't understand, it's they're job to explain it in terms you can understand, before they can even begin trying to convince you of it. If you're feeling helpful, you can explain what parts of their particular description or conception you're having trouble understanding, but that's charity on your part. If you're REALLY feeling charitable, identify the inconsistencies inherent in most conceptions of God as things that you're not understanding, and ask them to please help you figure out what you're missing there.

I now turn you over to the welcoming, merciful, and above all extremely helpful and charitable hands of my fellow boardizens, so that they may start listing some of the most common conceptions of things like God, heaven, hell, souls, etc, and the variations there-on.

I don't know if I quite concur. Although he (I'm assuming he) hasn't been particularly familiarized with specific religions/denominations beliefs he surely knows a reasonable amount of god conceptions, if only from the media, to have some concept of what several religions perceive god to be. Igtheism relates to the concept of God/gods, not (directly) to religion. I will not categorize him yet, reserve judgment until more information becomes available. There's my two cents anyhow...

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29-10-2012, 06:11 AM
RE: The Question
(28-10-2012 09:24 PM)Mini Gun Fodder Wrote:  I'm not sure if I can relate to most of the material here. Growing up God wasn't much a part of our thinking. Looking back on it now I can equate it with luck, more than anything. We say things like "Good luck," or "He has the worst luck" but what do those things mean. We say things like "God, your so slow," and "Goddammit," but what do those things mean to us? Not much of anything. We certainly weren't church goers but I can't recall us labeling ourselves atheist, either.

I think I began to see myself as, in some sense, atheist, only when in the military it seemed such a stark contrast to my thinking. There seems to be a lot of Christians who want to go to war with other people. As I began to see the dishonesty and futility of that it seemed to sharpen the contrast between atheist and theist.

To me it seems that a big part of atheism is theism, inasmuch as in order to be properly against something it is the responsibility of the person to inform himself about it as much as possible. You should know yourself and your enemy.

I would appreciate any help in learning about theism as much as any help with atheist learning about atheism.

I was kinda in the same position as you.... until I came here I knew very little about all the US sects sub-sects and sub-sub-variants.... but I'm sure our journeys to get here were probably different.

I came for awareness and stayed for the LOLs.

KC's "Ask a Theist" thread could shed quite a lot of light but be warned; it's a loooonnnnggg thread.

I've also learned much from Bucky Ball, Mark Fulton (good to see him return with his views on Paul/Saul of Tarsus), Buddy Christ (Atheist's Critique of the Bible) and many, many others.

Also, Near (another relative newbie) has started the Information / Resource thread / library and is putting in a lot of effort to maintain it (cudos):

Some of it is heavy going so I recommend starting with the Philhelenes stuff like this:

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29-10-2012, 08:12 AM
RE: The Question
^^^ That is one of my most favorite philhellines videos DLJ. Good call Thumbsup

(28-10-2012 09:24 PM)Mini Gun Fodder Wrote:  To me it seems that a big part of atheism is theism, inasmuch as in order to be properly against something it is the responsibility of the person to inform himself about it as much as possible. You should know yourself and your enemy.

Here it is in a nutshell for me. Theism is a belief in mysticism. A brand of mysticism that is so old that we don't even call it mysticism anymore but we really should. Rooted in the well documented stories of mythology. Jesus Christ is the last in a long line of demigod heroes. All sharing the trait of being half-man & half-god except his father is the god that has no name thus being a god who can fit whatever mold society chooses to conveniently cast him in.
  • Odysseus - hero of The Odyssey
  • Achilles - hero of The Iliad and battled the Trojans
  • Theseus - king of Athens who killed the Minotaur with a magic sword
  • Perseus - beheaded Medusa and inspired the film Clash of the Titans
  • Heracles- the greatest of Greek heroes and almost a god, known for his superhuman strength
  • Jesus- rescued mans soul after death by conquering the devil in the garden of Gethsemane

Also keep in mind that the key to faith is accepting revelation. Revelation is just a fancy word for second hand information. Never feel bad for not believing second hand info especially about a supposedly "all powerful" entity No
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