are you willing to go to church?
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09-03-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
I have absolutely no problem attending church. I dated a Catholic for a few years from 2007 to 2008. We'd go to church on Sunday mornings sometimes. Actually some Sundays I had to remind her. I also worked for a church directory company for a few years back in the early part of the new millenium. Spent a lot of time in churches.

I never mention my atheism or proselytize unless somebody who knows I'm an atheist brings up some point. Then I have no problem.

"Did you hear the sermon, Dave? I think he was talking to you."

"You mean the part where he said the fool believes in his heart there is no God? You know the Psalmist who wrote that was Jewish. His God has no son and doesn't send people to hell. You don't believe in that God either. Maybe he was talking to you."
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09-03-2011, 11:00 AM
 
RE: are you willing to go to church?
I'd rather not go... but if I must, I will without much of a fuss. I like to look around at people while they pray... I wonder what they are thinking about....
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09-03-2011, 11:01 AM
 
RE: are you willing to go to church?
Why would an atheist feel compelled to willingly go to church?

It's a building filled with people praising an imaginary friend, while feeling unworthy to do so in it's own eyes.

Going for the sake of reuniting with friends and family is not the same as going to church. It's entering into a building, for the express purpose of catching up with those that mean something to our lives. And that reunion can be afforded anywhere, besides a church.

People who go to church go because they believe it's a temple of their god. It's sanctuary. And that means nothing to those who do not accept any of that as rational or true.

Might as well ask, would you go to IHOP?

Well hell yes! It's all you can eat pancake month. All I need is a fork and some time. Muahahahhaa Amen!Tongue
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09-03-2011, 11:55 AM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
(09-03-2011 11:01 AM)GassyKitten Wrote:  Why would an atheist feel compelled to willingly go to church?

It's a building filled with people praising an imaginary friend, while feeling unworthy to do so in it's own eyes.

Going for the sake of reuniting with friends and family is not the same as going to church. It's entering into a building, for the express purpose of catching up with those that mean something to our lives. And that reunion can be afforded anywhere, besides a church.

People who go to church go because they believe it's a temple of their god. It's sanctuary. And that means nothing to those who do not accept any of that as rational or true.
There are valid reasons for atheists to go to church other than the social element. I was raised Catholic. Frankly since leaving the "faith" and taking a different attitude toward the beliefs in with me I now find church much more enjoyable and spiritual (to borrow a phrase.) I know the stories in the homily are fictions. I know the fervent believers are deluded. I know the rituals are designed to breed familiarity and to elicit a desire to submit. I know these things. BUT that gives me a sense of self-pride and a feeling of hopefulness that if I could break away so can others. And it is strangely comfiting like a big bowl of beef stew. I know it's bad for me, but every mouthful takes me back to a more innocent time in my youth.

Atheism doesn't offer anything like that. I don't resent atheism for it, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it where I find it.
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09-03-2011, 12:10 PM
 
RE: are you willing to go to church?
(09-03-2011 11:55 AM)gamutman Wrote:  
(09-03-2011 11:01 AM)GassyKitten Wrote:  Why would an atheist feel compelled to willingly go to church?

It's a building filled with people praising an imaginary friend, while feeling unworthy to do so in it's own eyes.

Going for the sake of reuniting with friends and family is not the same as going to church. It's entering into a building, for the express purpose of catching up with those that mean something to our lives. And that reunion can be afforded anywhere, besides a church.

People who go to church go because they believe it's a temple of their god. It's sanctuary. And that means nothing to those who do not accept any of that as rational or true.
There are valid reasons for atheists to go to church other than the social element. I was raised Catholic. Frankly since leaving the "faith" and taking a different attitude toward the beliefs in with me I now find church much more enjoyable and spiritual (to borrow a phrase.) I know the stories in the homily are fictions. I know the fervent believers are deluded. I know the rituals are designed to breed familiarity and to elicit a desire to submit. I know these things. BUT that gives me a sense of self-pride and a feeling of hopefulness that if I could break away so can others. And it is strangely comfiting like a big bowl of beef stew. I know it's bad for me, but every mouthful takes me back to a more innocent time in my youth.

Atheism doesn't offer anything like that. I don't resent atheism for it, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it where I find it.

You're weird.
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09-03-2011, 12:23 PM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
Last year I went to church three times; one wedding, one funeral and one catholic sermon in the cathedral of Cologne, Germany. The one in Cologne was interesting, mostly because I am trying to learn german. Big Grin

Having been brought up as an atheist, it's amazing to just observe different rituals. I see them as phenomenons or as a social anthropologic safari. I saw some great exhibitions of catholic rituals in the city of Murcia, Spain once too. Fantastic colors, flowers, goats, singing, chanting, insence, you name it - all over town. Very cool, but I am SO glad that I myself don't belong to any religion. I'll go to churches, synagoges, temples, mosques etc. if they let me in, just because I'm curious. But I will never pretend to be a part of it.

"Never underestimate how narrow-minded, petty and stupid people can be". Mark Fulton, forum member
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10-03-2011, 12:09 AM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
I was never a theist. I've never been to a church service of any kind. So part of me is curious as to what it's like, and part of me is worried that I will be simply bored.
Would I go just for the lols? Probably not.
Would I go in exchange for the 15 minutes of atheist videos? Probably. I can think of a couple of moderate christian friends here in the ultra-liberal New Zealand that I would show the videos too.

On another note, which videos would you pick?

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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10-03-2011, 01:06 AM
 
RE: are you willing to go to church?
(10-03-2011 12:09 AM)daemonowner Wrote:  I was never a theist. I've never been to a church service of any kind. So part of me is curious as to what it's like, and part of me is worried that I will be simply bored.
Would I go just for the lols? Probably not.
Would I go in exchange for the 15 minutes of atheist videos? Probably. I can think of a couple of moderate christian friends here in the ultra-liberal New Zealand that I would show the videos too.

On another note, which videos would you pick?

Potholer54. He is win.

You're not missing anything. If you want you can watch a church service on tv. It is boring.
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10-03-2011, 01:09 AM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
(10-03-2011 12:09 AM)daemonowner Wrote:  On another note, which videos would you pick?

Depending on the sophistication level of the intended target:

Mr Deity series
Non-Stamp Collector series
Darkmatter2525 series

These and anything with George Carlin.

I feel the best way to introduce anti-theistic argumentation is to expose it via reductio absurdem. TheThinkingAtheist vids are also good, but mostly for those who have already begun to question their beliefs.

At the other end of the spectrum, if we are dealing with a theist who is not at all a literalist, who believes in evolution, who trusts science, who considers him/herself a spiritual Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Jew whatever - or even a Buddhist or Deist or Pantheist, videos have no impact. Videos tend to attack dogma. Vague spiritualism is resistant to that kind of logic. It's individual specific.

It isn't possible in a video format to entertainingly criticize existential spiritualism. The best route for debunking those ideas is one-on-one conversation constantly forcing the "believer" to answer the question "Why?" until they hit a wall.
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10-03-2011, 01:25 AM
RE: are you willing to go to church?
I attended tons of services as a kid but last time I attended one as an adult I stood up in the middle of the homily and gave the priest an exact list of reasons why he was dead wrong and what damage casti connubi has caused.

I stormed out of the church and never came back. I can guarantee you however that got at least some people seriously thinking of the condom issue.
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