Would you be happier as a theist?
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28-02-2011, 10:46 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
(28-02-2011 10:15 PM)Fran Wrote:  I was a believer when I was a kid, and I wasn't at all happy about it, mostly because I was very scared of God. I wouldn't sleep well if I hadn't prayed before and I always had that feeling that something bad would happen, that I would be punished if I didn't pray. I wasn't happy being scared all the time, the existence of God wasn't comforting at all.

That's sad really, why would people do this to their children?

Glad you're not so scared anymore. Smile

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28-02-2011, 10:52 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
Well christ, have any of you heard of or been to a Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames? They had them at my church when I was a kid and basically they have actors play out scenarios like a family driving home talking about McDonald's then they'll play this loud ass crashing noise and it will get all dark. And "satan" and his minions will come out to some scary ass music and take the dad away because he didn't pray and everyone else will get into heaven.

I was a terrified child who would cover my ears and lay down on the pew. So no, I definitely wasn't "happier" as a believer.

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28-02-2011, 11:04 PM
 
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
(28-02-2011 10:46 PM)trillium13 Wrote:  
(28-02-2011 10:15 PM)Fran Wrote:  I was a believer when I was a kid, and I wasn't at all happy about it, mostly because I was very scared of God. I wouldn't sleep well if I hadn't prayed before and I always had that feeling that something bad would happen, that I would be punished if I didn't pray. I wasn't happy being scared all the time, the existence of God wasn't comforting at all.

That's sad really, why would people do this to their children?

Glad you're not so scared anymore. Smile

The funny thing is that I don't really recall my family or anyone telling me scary stories about religion... so it was probably myself who got all that in my head. I used to read the bible and all so I guess that's where it came from Tongue
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01-03-2011, 01:43 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
(28-02-2011 10:52 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Well christ, have any of you heard of or been to a Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames? They had them at my church when I was a kid and basically they have actors play out scenarios like a family driving home talking about McDonald's then they'll play this loud ass crashing noise and it will get all dark. And "satan" and his minions will come out to some scary ass music and take the dad away because he didn't pray and everyone else will get into heaven.

I was a terrified child who would cover my ears and lay down on the pew. So no, I definitely wasn't "happier" as a believer.

There are laws to to prevent movie theatres from letting children in to see a movies like that. But churches can get away with BS like that.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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01-03-2011, 07:00 AM
 
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
(28-02-2011 11:04 PM)Fran Wrote:  
(28-02-2011 10:46 PM)trillium13 Wrote:  
(28-02-2011 10:15 PM)Fran Wrote:  I was a believer when I was a kid, and I wasn't at all happy about it, mostly because I was very scared of God. I wouldn't sleep well if I hadn't prayed before and I always had that feeling that something bad would happen, that I would be punished if I didn't pray. I wasn't happy being scared all the time, the existence of God wasn't comforting at all.

That's sad really, why would people do this to their children?

Glad you're not so scared anymore. Smile

The funny thing is that I don't really recall my family or anyone telling me scary stories about religion... so it was probably myself who got all that in my head. I used to read the bible and all so I guess that's where it came from Tongue


I was kind of scared like that as a child as well. It doesn't take much to plant the seed in the mind of a child, what they know is what they know.
If they are curious and want answers but do not know how to find them (or properly understand ideas of the cosmos or evolution) religion is a free 'all you can eat' buffet of rules to live by. Religion is powerful, and the idea of God is terrifying. Strangely I was never really scared of the idea of the devil, because he did not directly have the ability to cause pain. No, it would be GOD who is the one to SEND you there!
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01-03-2011, 11:18 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I would actually be sad if there truly was a deity behind this. It would make this life seem like a pointless game for the god's entertainment.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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07-09-2011, 12:48 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
One of the ambiguities of this question is the fact that every Christian seems to believe in a different God. This is something I noticed as a child. The more liberal and optimistic Christians are willing to believe the 'good parts' of the Bible and have a selection bias towards the more merciful and benevolent acts of God. They memorise verses that profess God's unending grace and love and tend to interpret the Bible less literally. Some even believe that non-Christians can enter heaven, that women are not inferior to men, and that homosexuality is not evil. For Christians, these are huge steps toward progressiveness!

Others - like fire and brimstone preachers - perhaps interpret the Bible more accurately and are thus frightened of God's wrath. They practice proper Orwellian 'doublethink' and are able to somehow convince themselves that even though God is jealous and vain, he is also the perfect embodiment of a love too great for humans to fathom. Jonathan Edwards captures this portrayal of God quite well in his "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon:

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some detestable insect, over the fire, detests you, and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire; He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be thrown into the fire; He eyes are too pure than to bear to have you in His sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous snake is in ours ... it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell last night."

As a Christian child, I believed in a good and loving God who looked after his creation. When I got a bit older, I realised that the God of the Bible not only fell short of perfection in some painfully obvious ways, but was also incompatible with any reasonable perception of reality. When I was a Christian, I believe I was more at peace with the world because I was oblivious to God's inconsistencies and had not developed the critical thinking skills necessary to challenge them. I didn't worry quite so much about the evils of this world or the fact that every living thing on earth is slowly dying from birth (not to sound too morbid...). The thought of the Earth dying one day did not bother me because I thought I'd be safe in another realm. If I could somehow go back to that state of ignorance, I do believe I would be a happier person. It astounds me how any atheist can be at peace with the thought of death... It's hard to think of anything more terrifying than non-existence. I guess other atheists are simply more well-adjusted.

If I somehow had incontrovertible proof of the Christian God's existence, I would desperately hope that I had misinterpreted the Bible somehow, because the 'system' of who goes to heaven and who goes to hell is, for one, grossly unjust. I don't think I would be very happy with how the universe was being run. If, however, I discovered the existence of a God who actually WAS loving, non-judgmental, and worthy of being worshiped (not because he/she/it demanded it and punished those who didn't, but because he/she/it was so wonderful, people chose to) I would be very relieved and thankful for a happier afterlife for all those who are suffering.

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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07-09-2011, 06:51 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I'd rather be slightly unhappy than live a life of ignorance. I'm happier now than I ever was when I was made to go to church.

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07-09-2011, 10:37 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I am vastly happier the more I've moved away from religion of any kind.

I now don't have any idea of wondering what will happen to me in the end for this action or if they will be some sort of determined karma that will strike me.

If something actually in my reality is hurting me or making me depressed I can see I always have the thought that this is my life and the only life I've got. If I want to enjoy it I can do what I can to make it go as well as I like for my future. That keeps me much happier than suffering through live but being all okay that it will be taken care of once I'm dead.
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07-09-2011, 11:49 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
(26-02-2011 05:17 PM)Cetaceaphile Wrote:  This is something I heard being quite common. Atheists who would like to be theists, but can't believe in it. Most of these people end up pagan too I hear.

I also have no idea. Sorry I'm not sure. Explain?

Resident nutcase....thats being polite.
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