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View Poll Results: You are a...
firm believer 157 28.19%
Deist 18 3.23%
Theist 21 3.77%
Agnostic 119 21.36%
Atheist 242 43.45%
Voters: 557. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #1681
baldy3105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
I think that madness and religion led people to war. I don't know of a war that was not fought over religion.
Well said that man.

And what is the difference between madness and religion? The number of participants. Madness is singular, religion is plural.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:09 AM   #1682
acid_kewpie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
Well, people need to believe in something. It doesn't have to be religion, though, it could be anything. You can believe that you'll achieve something, etc. It doesn't have to be true and it doesn't have to actually happen. In case of religion you get a ready-to use moral code as a bonus. In short, you need some kind of psychological support - a thing or belief that will provide you comfort and makes you relax when life gets really tough. Without that support, life will be a meaningless chore or even a torture, and you may as well not make it through (depression -> suicide). Religion is simply one way to provide that support.

However, I don't understand folks that have to prove to the world that their religion is right. If you're comfortable with your position, if your belief makes you happier, then there is no reason to prove it to anyone. If you feel a need to prove to the world that your religion is "right", IMO, it could be only because you are not sure and feel insecure about your choice and have doubts. In this situation belief turns into a poison - instead of support/comfort you get extra worries.
Well that's just really restating the premise that I don't get. I mean it's "harmless" and all that, but why would you not want to principally follow something because it's true? You're just kidding yourself and being deliberately narrow minded / ignorant because it makes your life easier?

As much as I generally despise them, it almost seems like Westboro Baptist Church and co have got it right from *their* perspective, as the clearly seem to feel these things are true over any aspect of it improving their lives as otherwise they wouldn't be just loons.

I can personally imagine that if I believed in some sort of deity that was tailor made to make all the confusing things painfully simple and stop be thinking about them so bloody much then my life would be better. But as I am generally hard wired to question absolutely everything, I am unable to even begin to put any credibility whatsoever into God / Midichlorians / The Tooth Fairy or any other fairy tale.

One of the strangest angles is when a non believer is challenged to *prove* that a fictional reason for being developed by Pharoahs, Emperors and Sci-Fi writers for reasons of taxation and population contol doesn't exist... erm... no thanks.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:26 AM   #1683
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldy3105 View Post
Well said that man.

And what is the difference between madness and religion? The number of participants. Madness is singular, religion is plural.
No real difference really. It's just that religion is people that are mad in the same way, whereas madness that occurs in one person at a time often differs in its nature.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #1684
SigTerm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
Well that's just really restating the premise that I don't get. I mean it's "harmless" and all that, but why would you not want to principally follow something because it's true? You're just kidding yourself and being deliberately narrow minded / ignorant because it makes your life easier?
Could you elaborate? I'm not sure how can I "follow the truth". truth is a fact - i.e. something that is guaranteed to be correct. I can't follow the "fact", though - it simply exists, but it is not an instruction that can be followed. I can follow a rule, but how can a rule represent a truth?

(IMO) Belief comes in several parts - explanation of creation of universe + moral codes + rites + mythology/history.
explanation of creation is hard to verify. morals are subjective. rites are traditions and are harmless as long as they don't involve human sacrifices. mythology can be verified to some extent. Which part should be a "truth to be followed"?
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #1685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
No real difference really. It's just that religion is people that are mad in the same way, whereas madness that occurs in one person at a time often differs in its nature.
Without wishing to incur the wrath of Godwin's Law, seeing the madness that the Nazi party managed to induce if so so many of the population seems like an utterly fascinating analysis for a smaller more enclosed example of the weakness of the human mind. More interesting than actual religious cults and the likes as you'd feel those victims would be predisposed to it, but that surely wasn't the case in Germany given the diversity of the population. Is that sort of thing still possible these days? It doesn't seem possible to be, but it was only 70+ years ago, not 7000 and the Tea Party and Fox News seem to be having a good bash at it!
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:39 AM   #1686
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
Could you elaborate? I'm not sure how can I "follow the truth". truth is a fact - i.e. something that is guaranteed to be correct. I can't follow the "fact", though - it simply exists, but it is not an instruction that can be followed. I can follow a rule, but how can a rule represent a truth?

(IMO) Belief comes in several parts - explanation of creation of universe + moral codes + rites + mythology/history.
explanation of creation is hard to verify. morals are subjective. rites are traditions and are harmless as long as they don't involve human sacrifices. mythology can be verified to some extent. Which part should be a "truth to be followed"?
It's not about proof and fact. Obviously these things can't be proved... But when the religion is used because it suits someone rather than that person believing in it and therefore it being irrelevant that it fits them or not, then that doesn't seem right. I was reading an article about Scientology the other day, with accounts of people being too scared to leave the cult, partly because of the fear of persecution and torture, but also because it fitted them and they were scared of it no longer being there for them. And this has nothing to do with what they actually believe at all.

"I have plenty of doubts about God, but if I move away from the church, then what will I do?" - surely it's a non issue? If you are having trouble with the fundamental premises, then how can you openly try to suppress them for fear of the alternatives? That seems to be betraying yourself at the highest level.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:49 AM   #1687
corbintechboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
Without wishing to incur the wrath of Godwin's Law, seeing the madness that the Nazi party managed to induce if so so many of the population seems like an utterly fascinating analysis for a smaller more enclosed example of the weakness of the human mind. More interesting than actual religious cults and the likes as you'd feel those victims would be predisposed to it, but that surely wasn't the case in Germany given the diversity of the population. Is that sort of thing still possible these days? It doesn't seem possible to be, but it was only 70+ years ago, not 7000 and the Tea Party and Fox News seem to be having a good bash at it!
It only takes one "leader" to lead us to chaos.

If we had someone come out today and tell us we should kill/hate everyone whom has purple hair and kill these people because they have a chance of influencing our children to join in the purple hair gang, we would indeed have the same problem.

People are on an never ending search of Belonging! If the "cool kids" are killing off all the people with purple hair, as a whole we want to fit in and do whatever society says is "cool".

Sad really, but this is why we have so much blindness to the things around us. If the "cool kids" are not complaining about the way things are going in our world, then why should we? Then the media and such paints you or me out as a bunch of crazed maniacs if we belong to a group, for example the Tea Party which amounts to squat when we look at the numbers involved. Religion is the same!
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:50 AM   #1688
SigTerm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
But when the religion is used because it suits someone rather than that person believing in it and therefore it being irrelevant that it fits them or not, then that doesn't seem right.
Keeping the faith/gods aside...
Let's say somebody wrote a set of moral principles (life advices, etc). One day you stumbled upon them, read them, decided that they make sense, and have chosen to follow them. Where is the problem with such approach? Religion sometimes contains philiosphy/morality, and even if strip gods/supernatural/magical aspect it is possible that rules of that particular faith are reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
"I have plenty of doubts about God, but if I move away from the church, then what will I do?" - surely it's a non issue?
That's (IMO) a fear to lose friends/community. I'm no psychologist to deal with such issue. People make decisions and are responsible for consequences, they are free to decide to keep faith despite doubts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corbintechboy View Post
People are on an never ending search of Belonging! If the "cool kids" are killing off all the people with purple hair, as a whole we want to fit in and do whatever society says is "cool".
IMO there are people that don't feel the "need to belong". It is quite possible to completely get rid of desire to be part of some kind of group.

Last edited by SigTerm; 07-02-2011 at 11:52 AM.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:56 AM   #1689
MrCode
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Originally Posted by acid_kewpie
If you are having trouble with the fundamental premises, then how can you openly try to suppress them for fear of the alternatives?
My theory on that is that if/when someone ditches all religious/spiritual beliefs, they can then easily "think themselves into a corner", as it were. Since they no longer have the "answers" provided by the religion/spiritual practices they once followed, they're more or less forced to think more about these questions from a different perspective. This can sometimes lead to one coming to seemingly dark and scary conclusions (e.g. "everything is predetermined/I have no control over my own life", "there is no such thing as the afterlife/reincarnation", etc.).

There's also SigTerm's suggestion of losing friends/creating social tension where none used to exist…
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:59 AM   #1690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
IMO there are people that don't feel the "need to belong". It is quite possible to completely get rid of desire to be part of some kind of group.
I live in the "Bible Belt" and don't belong.

Sad thing is, many do feel the need to belong and that is the problem.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #1691
acid_kewpie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
Keeping the faith/gods aside...
Let's say somebody wrote a set of moral principles (life advices, etc). One day you stumbled upon them, read them, decided that they make sense, and have chosen to follow them. Where is the problem with such approach? Religion sometimes contains philiosphy/morality, and even if strip gods/supernatural/magical aspect it is possible that rules of that particular faith are reasonable.
Sure, and to that extent I think *some* of the bible should be read as stories which can impart some fantastic moral advice. But that's only a subset of it. I've heard a few arguments recently where some seem to give religion credit for morals. Like Christianity invented the idea of not murdering people. So many Christian Values are just common sense and I agree with plenty of them, nothing in the slightest to do with religion. So this set of principles don't have a "truth" associated with them. You always should what you believe to be right, but there's no "proof" in not killing thy neighbour, so it's not the same.

I set up my own business last year and I'm having the deal with a lot of tax issues. Just trivial things like expense declarations. There are lots of laws set down, and there's plenty of room for morals to have a say in whether I say my company paid for my kids happy meal or not. If a religion like system was overlayed on top of those morals then it'd just be a nonsense. I don't need a mass population belief system to file my taxes, I just need personal morals and common sense.

Quote:
That's (IMO) a fear to lose friends/community. I'm no psychologist to deal with such issue. People make decisions and are responsible for consequences, they are free to decide to keep faith despite doubts.
Yeah sure, but that still leaves them singing songs to a deity they probably don't believe in. Probably typically meaning that they are fighting themselves to stop thinking about their personal truths to it and kid themselves they do believe.

---------- Post added 02-07-11 at 06:02 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by corbintechboy View Post
I live in the "Bible Belt" and don't belong.

Sad thing is, many do feel the need to belong and that is the problem.
bingo.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 02:37 PM   #1692
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Since you don't define what a "firm believer" is I'll say I am one. But I probably shouldn't be checking anything since I am really quite opposed to religion. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely believe the Bible, and have seen the proof of it's veracity in many ways. But religion? As I see it Religions are a system of "truth" as some men see it (or want other men to see it). A true relationship God is entirely something else. It was the "true believers" of that day that insisted upon crucifying Jesus. Such "true believers" (in many religions including many that are known as "Christian religions) have since (and before) been the cause of countless wars and killings.

I am one who loves to share the story of Jesus with those who want to hear. And I often see (for those who are willing) that it is truly a "life changing" message.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 03:27 PM   #1693
dugan
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Originally Posted by littlejoe5 View Post
But I probably shouldn't be checking anything since I am really quite opposed to religion.
Would be more correct to say that you are opposed to organized religion?
 
Old 07-02-2011, 03:35 PM   #1694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
Old post, but just a point I'd like to make:



I think the reason reductionism tends to "subtract from the beauty" for most people is because of a difference of interests, i.e. most people aren't interesed in the nitty-gritty details of the biological processes of a plant (taking from Feynman's example) or other such things. They're far more interested in the "surface" qualities, i.e. those that are immediately visible, such as the color, shape, scent, etc.

Just a thought; my . I don't claim it's the truth…or even anywhere near it. :-\
This is exactly why interest in science and just having a good general knowledge does make the universe more awe-inspiring and magnificent, I'd say almost to the point of having a "revelation" when you consider the example reed9 gave about Feynman.

And you don't have to be a physicist or academic. See this video for example, it's one of my favourites ever:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk
 
Old 07-02-2011, 03:40 PM   #1695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejoe5 View Post
It was the "true believers" of that day that insisted upon crucifying Jesus.
You don't believe the myth that the Jews were responsible for his execution, do you? Crucifixion was the the death penalty handed out by the Romans, the Jews would have had him stoned to death. He was obviously more of a threat to Rome than the Bible makes out. More likely to have been a violent revolutionary, than "gentle Jesus, meek and mild". You people who take the Bible as gospel truth really should study the history of that region at that time.
 
  


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