Why I Believe
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21-04-2017, 06:00 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Thank you, my best wishes to you too Heart

Yeah, I missed a dose once and it happened to coincide with being totally sleep deprived after being in agony all night. I lost my shit, big time. Luckily it only lasted about 15 mins, but it felt like forever. I honestly thought I'd gone mad. I begged people to sedate me. If I'd had a way of killing myself, I'd have done it, despite my promise to my wife I never would. That's the only time I've been so vulnerable.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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21-04-2017, 06:01 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(21-04-2017 05:41 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Thank you

Yes I'm still in therapy and been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, G.A.D, C-PTSD, and intrusive thoughts. The G.A.D (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) seems to be the real bad stuff though.

I take 45mg Mirtazapine in the night and 20mg Citalopram in the morning.

Try reminding yourself that if you weren't fixated on hell/religion then you would probably find something else to focus on. There are times when I "resolve" one worry mentally and I catch myself trying to find other things to worry about.

Good luck!

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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21-04-2017, 07:07 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Why do I believe wearing a seatbelt in a car accident can reduce injuries and fatalities ?

Seatbelts in the US were first required by law in 1968
Before this time, cars didn't have to have seatbelts in them.
It wasn't until 1984 that it was required by law that people wear seatbelts.

The number of deaths in 1945 from car accidents were right around 26,000. That number jumped up to around 53,000 in 1968.

After the seatbelt law was passed we saw the first drop in fatalities in 1975 down to about 44,000.

1984 showed us that simply requiring seatbelts wasn't enough. Fatalities still remained around 44,000.
But by 1992 they dropped to below 40,000.

In 1975 the US had a population around 215 million with 44,000 deaths from car accidents.
In 2015 the US had a population around 321 million with 35,000 deaths from car accidents.

Based on these statistics, believe that wearing seatbelts help to reduce the number of deaths from car accidents.

Reference
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...S._by_year

As human beings we care about our fellow human beings, for the most part. We have empathy and our moral character attempts to reduce pain, suffering and death when we can.

We enact laws to help do that.
A god did not enact any seatbelt law. No gods prevented any deaths from car accidents. If anything, protecting our lives from death would seem to go against any plan that a god has made for our lives.

We all actively strive to go against any plan by any god or serial killer that would require us to die.

Our instinct to survive is one that was born from nature, one that was born from observing reality and assessing the danger.

Religion attempts to divert your mind from reality and focus it on a fantasy. This fantasy is built around death and something that is not natural. They call it supernatural, but it's very name describes something that is outside of nature, outside of existence.

We call those things non existent.

It all comes down to reality vs fantasy.
Seatbelts saving lives is a reality.
A god that watches death happen over and over again, while doing nothing is a sick fantasy that religion calls "good".

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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21-04-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(21-04-2017 03:52 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(21-04-2017 03:47 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  There's the rub, ain't it? You're not hanging on to god, you're hanging on to religion.
I'm not sure I follow your meaning. Isn't God my religion?

NO! No. No. No.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-04-2017, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2017 08:59 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why I Believe
I'm going to rewind from the concept of hell and talk about what happens when we die.

What facts do we have? Our body stop functioning, and decomposes. That includes our brain.

What else is there? Scientifically, there is no evidence that there is anything else at all. It's all unsubstantiated woo. It never even gets defined, let alone evidenced.

If you think of the brain as a sea, then consciousness is like waves on that sea. The patterns we notice that emerge as a wave are like patterns in a brain that emerge as consciousness. What happens if you take the sea away? Can the waves "survive" on their own? Of course not. They were just an organisation of parts of the sea. So can consciousness survive without a brain? It similarly doesn't even seem to be coherent to think that it could. There is nothing to make patterns anymore.

Is there something else? Even if there is, and it's pulling the strings and is independent from our bodies, it still clearly requires the brain as a medium. If I screw with your brain in the right way, I can mess with your memories, emotions, or even your personality. This spirit-thing cannot bypass it. So it's only sensible to conclude that if I remove the brain entirely, any such spirit has no tools left with which to control "you".

Where are memories and knowledge stored? In the brain. In a functioning brain. Take that away, and no more memories. No more knowledge. The bleakness of these statements is probably what has caused many people through the ages to be so uncomfortable that they need to grant themselves some magical component which can survive death. But the evidence is overwhelming: if there's anything else to "us" further than our bodies, it makes no actual difference.

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21-04-2017, 09:20 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(21-04-2017 08:53 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I'm going to rewind from the concept of hell and talk about what happens when we die.

What facts do we have? Our body stop functioning, and decomposes. That includes our brain.

What else is there? Scientifically, there is no evidence that there is anything else at all. It's all unsubstantiated woo. It never even gets defined, let alone evidenced.

If you think of the brain as a sea, then consciousness is like waves on that sea. The patterns we notice that emerge as a wave are like patterns in a brain that emerge as consciousness. What happens if you take the sea away? Can the waves "survive" on their own? Of course not. They were just an organisation of parts of the sea. So can consciousness survive without a brain? It similarly doesn't even seem to be coherent to think that it could. There is nothing to make patterns anymore.

Is there something else? Even if there is, and it's pulling the strings and is independent from our bodies, it still clearly requires the brain as a medium. If I screw with your brain in the right way, I can mess with your memories, emotions, or even your personality. This spirit-thing cannot bypass it. So it's only sensible to conclude that if I remove the brain entirely, any such spirit has no tools left with which to control "you".

Where are memories and knowledge stored? In the brain. In a functioning brain. Take that away, and no more memories. No more knowledge. The bleakness of these statements is probably what has caused many people through the ages to be so uncomfortable that they need to grant themselves some magical component which can survive death. But the evidence is overwhelming: if there's anything else to "us" further than our bodies, it makes no actual difference.

I wonder if someone that's convinced of dualism would consider consciousness separate with different animals?

What happens to a chimps consciousness after it dies? Chimp heaven? Chimp hell? Non existence?

What happens to a snake's consciousness after it dies?

How about a spider?

How about a worm?

Is there some point where you draw the line and simply say- that animal will cease to exist.

If so, why did you draw the line at that particular point? Because a worm may not be as intelligent as a human?

After a human dies, a worm's intelligence surpasses a dead human. Drinking Beverage

We're anthropomorphizing death, saying that humans are special and they are not subject to what other animals are subject to, simple termination of consciousness after life ends, no fairy tales needed.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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21-04-2017, 09:29 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(21-04-2017 09:20 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  ---
If so, why did you draw the line at that particular point? Because a worm may not be as intelligent as a human?

After a human dies, a worm's intelligence surpasses a dead human. Drinking Beverage

We're anthropomorphizing death, saying that humans are special and they are not subject to what other animals are subject to, simple termination of consciousness after life ends, no fairy tales needed.

Thumbsup

The human is special.
The bible ego god/Jesus tells him so. Angel

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-04-2017, 09:47 AM
RE: Why I Believe
That's all religion is really, humans glorifying the idea that Humans are "above" animals. That we are special in some random way. When in reality, we ARE animals, just like everything else on the earth. So if we're animals, does that mean you'll find a naughty Moose in the lake of fires of Hell? or how about that dog that bit you as a kid, being tortured for all eternity?

Currently we are alone in the universe, but that's most likely incorrect as well, as you start to think about the complexity/size of the universe. So then you have to say, "well If I believe in god, and made us, then humans aren't special because he'd have to have created the other life as well...".

The options are endless to basically put a pin in why its all total garbage, but that's the point: People are animals. Nobody is special. Life doesn't 'mean' anything. And that's why not being in a religion blows my mind. If non of this stuff has a point....how did it start/when/what can I do to help and so on.

I think when that sinks in a bit, you worries on heaven/hell will soon disappear.

"I don't do magic, Morty, I do science. One takes brains, the other takes dark eye liner" - Rick
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21-04-2017, 10:26 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(05-04-2017 05:40 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  EDIT: Thanks all very much for the considered and (quick!) responses. I am sorry that I cannot reply to every one of them fully or even at all (I think I'd go mad Smile ) but I do appreciate them, and I read them. I also copy/paste posts and/or certain parts of posts into a word document too.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Hi all

Thanks again for the welcomes (from here: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...d1164883), it's much appreciated.

unfogged asked me why I believe there is a god and why it is the Christian God. I like that; straight to the point. I'll try and answer here (you might have encountered this post on another atheist website).

Fear is the key. Not sure if anyone expected that answer, but it's true. For the most part fear is the key. I mean, it's not just fear, I do have a belief it is true. But here's the situation:

I have major issues with Christianity, from slavery, brutality, misogynistic practices, the need for a human sacrifice, the threat of an eternal agonising afterlife for some, the need for any of this. But I am scared of being wrong. I have a real phobia about going to hell. I feel trapped and as I see it, there are only two ways out for me.

1. To be convinced there is no hell (not possible – as we cannot say either way for sure)

2. To, not believe. All I will say is that I have major doubts. I'm having a real crisis of faith.

I ask myself, if my thought processes were not inhibited by fear and anxiety, would I still believe? Well, having a Heavenly Father sounds great to me. Someone to love and care for you, and having the biggest and strongest Dad in the world is what every child inside us wants. Someone to pick you up every time you fall down, someone to tell you everything is going to be ok.

All that said, if I could push aside all concepts of Christianity and have a mind unfettered with Christian tradition and influences (all of them), would I still believe it was all true?

Truth is, I’m too anxious to even ask myself that, which in itself speaks volumes. I can relate to Pascal’s Wager.

I ask myself, why does an omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) creator, feel the need to create a torture chamber, where the wicked are sent to spend an eternity in unspeakable, unthinkable agony? Why not just utterly annihilate them? Not enough punishment? Ok, but why does there need to be any punishment in the first place? Surely an omnipotent and omniscient creator could just show us the error of our ways, teach us so we know why we did the things we did, and then we can all live in peace?

I see no point in it, but here is my problem:

Even if I do not see any point in it at all – it doesn’t mean it is not true. Sure it doesn't mean it is true, but that's where I am right now.

Do I only believe out of a fear of punishment? It’s probably not the ‘only’ reason, but it is a major part of it. Truth be told, I am not in a position to really answer that question yet.

I very probably will ask questions concerning biblical verses and such, but I assure you it is not to force my beliefs on anyone. As I always say, I really have no axe to grind and certainly have no agenda I want to push on anyone.

The reason for my questions (and questions to subsequent answers I may receive) is to really test what I believe, and why I believe. If my questions stand up to scrutiny, if I cannot have my faith torn down, then I will remain a Christian. Conversely, if I end up not believing because my beliefs cannot stand up to scrutiny, then I will seriously question what I believe, in fact, I may not have that option because regardless of what I want to believe, the truth is the truth.

Thanks all

Hi
How much time do you spend worrying about the consequences of not believing in the Norse gods? Probably zero.
The same holds true for any religious belief other than christianity, I would expect.

None of these other religions' cause you anxiety do they? What if you are wrong about them?

There is no empirical evidence that any of them are correct.
Until there is, go gently hug a dog. Best therapy there is.
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21-04-2017, 11:07 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Rahn127 Wrote:A god did not enact any seatbelt law. No gods prevented any deaths from car accidents. If anything, protecting our lives from death would seem to go against any plan that a god has made for our lives.
According to the fairy tale I really like it is part of God's plan that men find solutions to problems and that men would progress. Resolving problems is necessary for men's progression. If God gave law about seat belts He would rob us from an opportunity to create seatbelts.

Men know they have physical bodies but men would never know they have spirit inside of physical bodies if God didn't reveal it. Men would never know how to save spirit from the destruction This is why God give laws that prevent spirit from the destruction/self-destruction. He doesn't give laws that would prevent physical bodies destructions. It is something we can do and have to do. When men look for ways how to protect their physical bodies men progress. God wouldn't take this opportunity from men.
Isn't it wonderful that we can progress by looking for solutions? Would we do this if we lived in perfect world where there are no problems?


TheInquisition Wrote:I wonder if someone that's convinced of dualism would consider consciousness separate with different animals?
Yes, I believe animals have spirit(intelligence). They obey natural laws. I believe that whatever the smallest elements that exist in this reality have spirit( intelligence). They obey natural laws. I believe that planets and stars have spirit(intelligence). They obey natural laws.
According to my favorite fairy tale EVERYTHING is created spiritually first or has spirit body first then it obtains physical body(tabernacle)
Men were spirits first long before they obtained physical bodies.


OakTree500 Wrote:That's all religion is really, humans glorifying the idea that Humans are "above" animals. That we are special in some random way.
Actually, we are very special/unique animals.
No other animal from Earth can create computer and books. No other animal from Earth can explore other planets and get to the Moon. No other animal from Earth can create and play musical instruments. No other animal from Earth can speak more than one language.
Only those who have spirits and physical bodies that are created in image of Gods can do all those things.

English is my second language.
I AM DEPLORABLE AND IRREDEEMABLE
SHE PERSISTED WE RESISTED
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