Why do theists come to this forum?
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02-04-2016, 09:03 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 08:39 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  While it is true that only a lack of belief is required, it is also true that we share and help out of our own sense of morality.

No. There is no "we" as only thing that atheists truly have in common is lack of belief. Offering to help someone could easily be offered in hope of some reward; atheism isn't other name for kindness.

(02-04-2016 08:39 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  We have only ourselves we must answer to and live with. It seems that anytime a Christian does something shitty (Josh Dugger), all he needs to do is ask their imaginary friend to forgive them and they go on doing more crap. I do something shitty and I have to make it right instead of pretending I made it right.

No. You do not have to do something right - atheism isn't some creed that force one to live justly. One easily can be piece of shit and atheist.

It's not that there aren't good unbelievers, but nothing in atheism force one to be good person. Atheist do not believe and that is all.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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02-04-2016, 10:21 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 09:03 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 08:39 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  While it is true that only a lack of belief is required, it is also true that we share and help out of our own sense of morality.

No. There is no "we" as only thing that atheists truly have in common is lack of belief. Offering to help someone could easily be offered in hope of some reward; atheism isn't other name for kindness.

(02-04-2016 08:39 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  We have only ourselves we must answer to and live with. It seems that anytime a Christian does something shitty (Josh Dugger), all he needs to do is ask their imaginary friend to forgive them and they go on doing more crap. I do something shitty and I have to make it right instead of pretending I made it right.

No. You do not have to do something right - atheism isn't some creed that force one to live justly. One easily can be piece of shit and atheist.

It's not that there aren't good unbelievers, but nothing in atheism force one to be good person. Atheist do not believe and that is all.

While this is all true, atheism also does not allow for an easy out. Josh Dugger is not in prison with Jared, because he told his imaginary friend that he was real sorry.
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02-04-2016, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 11:04 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
If by easy out you mean confession then I agree, atheism do not allow that. But I still think that your view of atheists is too rosy; you didn't proved that most of us would help someone without the strings attached I believe you said.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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02-04-2016, 01:48 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 02:59 PM by carol.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 07:14 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:48 AM)carol Wrote:  The Ashkenazi culture is close-knit- and the difference is having many relatives, neighbors, and friends who would help with life and be our friends too. My relatives who are Jewish had help with getting jobs, babysitting, taking their kids places, just an entire community of people who were willing to help them. I would have had to convert- even though I am related to those people as well.

Think of it this way- my cousin had most of her college tuition paid for through extended family members, an apartment secured, jobs helped with, moving helped with, people offering support and help all of the time while I did not have that unless I converted, even though I was related to them too. My own grandparents who seemed to love me wouldn't visit me because my mother was not Jewish, and spent their time with the grandchildren who were. They seemed to love me, but they rejected my mother. The distant relatives did not even acknowledge me at all...I did not exist as a family member because I did not convert- some of them have never even met me.

That is a lot of family rejection due to religion. The same thing happened by Christian relatives- my grandmother absolutely hated Jewish people. I am an atheist- I do not care about religion, but I do care about family. I have a very small extended family because most of them do not acknowledge members who are of a different religion. The strangest thing about it, wad that they were not religious at all- I think it was a kneejerk reaction to intermarriage, not religion. Even though my extended family were not religious, and some even converted- they always, always married other Ashkenazis.

I'm so sorry you experienced that!

Yes, I agree, this is probably a knee-jerk reaction to intermarriage. It's deeply ingrained in our culture. There is a fear of outsiders that has come about over centuries of Christian hostility. But things are starting to change.

I can't really defend the current practice of conversion, especially when I so deeply disagree with how it's being conducted now. I can say that today, so many people are intermarried that half-and-half kids are such common occurrence that the issue has had to be dealt with.

When I discuss religion here, I try to present a more orthodox position, but you might be interested to know that Reform Judaism has amended their policy and now recognizes Jewishness from the father's line. I believe Conservative Judaism is still matriarchal, but they have eased up tremendously on the conversion process in the hopes that non-Jewish spouses and children can take their place in the community.

The Jewish law is the Jewish law, but we can definitely choose not to be dicks about it and bring "half-Jews" into the fold as easily and readily as possible when they express an interest to be recognized.

And for whatever it's worth, I'd totally share my gefilte fish with you. Heart
Hug
I like you fine, and I do not hold anything against you, just your religion...and not just for the reasons I have mentioned...but any religion which forces someone to turn against their own grandchild is an awful one IMO.
Thanks, I am hungry and I like gefilte fish - mit chrain please...

For many Christian people, the person who is becoming Christian usually has an experience- they "accept Jesus into their hearts," or get baptized. It is different with Jewish people. Some Jews are born into the club and some have to convert. The Jewish people who are born into it do not have to do anything else- some are not even religious. Some are even atheists. The people who convert, however, have to say that they are religious. If my Jewish father had sent me to live with a Conservative family when I was a newborn, and I was raised just like the other children, those with a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother would be seen as non-Jewish. Those with a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father would have to do nothing at all. That is why it is such a strange law.
The problem lies in that being Jewish is a culture a well as a religion.Some people were kind, others were not, but I was not considered part of the culture. In order to become part of the culture, I would have to become religious. That will never happen.Big Grin
The idea that somehow people are born religious- that is the problem for me. Either all would need to convert, or all do not need to. Of course, I have other problems with religion in general, and I think that it is very unlikely that there is a god at all. But for many non-Jewish people, it is not usual to forfeit your entire culture and a part of your family unless you convert to a religion...for Ashkenazi people, it would seem, at least during my generation, it was usual for the children without Jewish mothers. The idea that the reform people will alter a law to be inclusive is not reassuring to me, somehow. The law is the problem, and finding a way around it is just avoiding the fact that there are different rules for different people.
I am content as an atheist- but I do miss out on the relationships I would have had, both with the community and with my family. I think that you are so used to this that you do not see how awful it is- if you had a half sister, who was raised with you and did not have a Jewish mother, she would never be a Jew unless she went through a conversion. That would always stand between you-especially if the conversion was objectionable due to her inability to believe in it- how many Jewish people would actually be able and willing to convert? the ones who had serious questions about the religion, or the ones who were not religious, would never do it. I think you would lose a lot of people, especially if they would have had to run a gauntlet the way I would have had to do. Besides, I really like Reuben sandwiches.

The biology of mind bridges the sciences - concerned with the natural world - and the humanities - concerned with the meaning of human experience. Eric Kandel
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02-04-2016, 04:17 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:48 AM)carol Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:24 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  If you are an atheist, then why do you care? I don't understand. If I found out today that I was considered Jewish due to one of my ancestors down the line I would be pissed off. It is not that I hate jews, it is that I hate religion and what it does to people. I am an atheist and proud to be one. I am not Lutheran which is the branch of Christianity I was baptized against my will into. It was indeed against my will, because it was done to me when I was too little to comprehend more than a couple words or even be able to speak any words. If I found out I was on some kind of list of religious people, I would start with sending certified letters to have myself removed. If that failed, I would bring a lawsuit against whomever I had to in order to have myself removed.

The Ashkenazi culture is close-knit- and the difference is having many relatives, neighbors, and friends who would help with life and be our friends too. My relatives who are Jewish had help with getting jobs, babysitting, taking their kids places, just an entire community of people who were willing to help them. I would have had to convert- even though I am related to those people as well.
Think of it this way- my cousin had most of her college tuition paid for through extended family members, an apartment secured, jobs helped with, moving helped with, people offering support and help all of the time while I did not have that unless I converted, even though I was related to them too. My own grandparents who seemed to love me wouldn't visit me because my mother was not Jewish, and spent their time with the grandchildren who were. They seemed to love me, but they rejected my mother. The distant relatives did not even acknowledge me at all...I did not exist as a family member because I did not convert- some of them have never even met me.
That is a lot of family rejection due to religion. The same thing happened by Christian relatives- my grandmother absolutely hated Jewish people. I am an atheist- I do not care about religion, but I do care about family. I have a very small extended family because most of them do not acknowledge members who are of a different religion. Even though my extended family was not religious, they always married other Ashkenazis. My father did not, so he was punished , and so were we.

You are precisely as closely related as someone whose father is not Jewish and whose mother is.

The "mother rule" is entirely arbitrary and, like other arbitrary religious rules, causes endless trouble and heartache.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-04-2016, 04:38 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 04:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:48 AM)carol Wrote:  The Ashkenazi culture is close-knit- and the difference is having many relatives, neighbors, and friends who would help with life and be our friends too. My relatives who are Jewish had help with getting jobs, babysitting, taking their kids places, just an entire community of people who were willing to help them. I would have had to convert- even though I am related to those people as well.
Think of it this way- my cousin had most of her college tuition paid for through extended family members, an apartment secured, jobs helped with, moving helped with, people offering support and help all of the time while I did not have that unless I converted, even though I was related to them too. My own grandparents who seemed to love me wouldn't visit me because my mother was not Jewish, and spent their time with the grandchildren who were. They seemed to love me, but they rejected my mother. The distant relatives did not even acknowledge me at all...I did not exist as a family member because I did not convert- some of them have never even met me.
That is a lot of family rejection due to religion. The same thing happened by Christian relatives- my grandmother absolutely hated Jewish people. I am an atheist- I do not care about religion, but I do care about family. I have a very small extended family because most of them do not acknowledge members who are of a different religion. Even though my extended family was not religious, they always married other Ashkenazis. My father did not, so he was punished , and so were we.

You are precisely as closely related as someone whose father is not Jewish and whose mother is.

The "mother rule" is entirely arbitrary and, like other arbitrary religious rules, causes endless trouble and heartache.

Thank you, Chas. Because my father was in Austria during the Holocaust, and because of how my relatives treated me, ( and also because of how Christians had treated me as a child, some actually threw rocks at me and called me a christ killer, and my best friend's mother told me I did not have a soul- she was catholic) it is still a very sore spot for me. I will consider your reply a type of hug because I love hugs. Hug
You are a kind man.

The biology of mind bridges the sciences - concerned with the natural world - and the humanities - concerned with the meaning of human experience. Eric Kandel
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02-04-2016, 11:54 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 07:26 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  emphasis added

There is confusion because Jewish is an ethnic identity as well as a religion. It makes sense to me to say that somebody like David Silverman is Jewish when talking about his cultural heritage. When the context isn't clear then it is disingenuous to simply say he is Jewish and let the equivocation imply something that is not true.

In the case where somebody converted to Judaism and then later recanted, as in the bolded part above, it is just pure arrogance to still count them as Jewish.

Well... Okay, but converts go into it with their eyes wide open. They know full and well that we're going to think they're Jewish for the rest of their lives. They've taken on our customs and our culture. They've studied and prepared for conversion over a period of several years. They're not going into this blindly. They know exactly what they're taking on.
And if, in any other area of life, I took part in a con without my knowledge and upon realizing the con for a con then decided to leave, wash my hands of it, and have nothing to do with it I'd want that decision respected. To have people tell other people what I am against my will is deeply condescending at the best of times let alone based on made up rules from a made up book from millennia past.

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03-04-2016, 12:02 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
Hayibo! Deeply offended we are! Deeply. Tongue

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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03-04-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 07:26 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  emphasis added

There is confusion because Jewish is an ethnic identity as well as a religion. It makes sense to me to say that somebody like David Silverman is Jewish when talking about his cultural heritage. When the context isn't clear then it is disingenuous to simply say he is Jewish and let the equivocation imply something that is not true.

In the case where somebody converted to Judaism and then later recanted, as in the bolded part above, it is just pure arrogance to still count them as Jewish.

Well... Okay, but converts go into it with their eyes wide open. They know full and well that we're going to think they're Jewish for the rest of their lives. They've taken on our customs and our culture. They've studied and prepared for conversion over a period of several years. They're not going into this blindly. They know exactly what they're taking on.

And you don't think that after doing all that the decision to leave isn't being made with eyes just as wide open (and perhaps wider now that they've seen it from the inside)? You respect their decision to join but not their decision to leave? I'm sorry, but the idea that they will be counted as Jews for the rest of their life no matter what they want is indefensible in my opinion.

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03-04-2016, 01:11 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 04:38 PM)carol Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 04:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  You are precisely as closely related as someone whose father is not Jewish and whose mother is.

The "mother rule" is entirely arbitrary and, like other arbitrary religious rules, causes endless trouble and heartache.

Thank you, Chas. Because my father was in Austria during the Holocaust, and because of how my relatives treated me, ( and also because of how Christians had treated me as a child, some actually threw rocks at me and called me a christ killer, and my best friend's mother told me I did not have a soul- she was catholic) it is still a very sore spot for me. I will consider your reply a type of hug because I love hugs. Hug
You are a kind man.

Hug

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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