12 Reasons Why I'm an Atheist - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-20-2004, 07:56 PM
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Hi,



It's me again, the new guy. Well, here it is: I was raised a Christian. Throughout high school, when things didn't go right, I used to pray to my deity for things to get better, but often they never did. I am now in college, and after taking some classes and improving my reasoning/rational thinking, a scary thought popped up in my head: what if my god really did not exist? I never saw him, heard him, talked to him, felt him, etc. Basically, I had no proof what so ever that he existed, so how was I so sure? Suddenly I was filled with terror, the thought that I may not get an eternal afterlife and would instead be dead for ever. I quickly talked to my religious leaders to gain faith again, and for a few months I was okey. But then again skepticism popped up in my head. This time I was not as scared because I had gotten used to the idea already of eternal death. I converted to agnostcism. Soon afterwords I just accepted the non-existance of deities and saw religion as just being wishful thinking and a feel-good fairly tale, so I become an atheist.



After studying some philosophy, I realized that if deities did exist, we really could not prove or disprove it since the very definition of a deity is a powerful entity that lies beyond the reach of the scientific method. So, I decided that everything in the world is a religion and I just needed to choose one that works for me. So I adopted the religion of science because it was the only religion that helped me: science made my medicines, made my car work, made my computer work, made my apartment no fall over, etc. But, christianity proved to do nothing for me. Well, I would like to post one of my favorite articles which explains in much more intellectual terms than I, why I choose science over Christianity:



The following is from http://www.thebirdman.org/



The Falsity of Religion: Twelve Indisputable Arguments



By John "Birdman" Bryant



Religion today hangs on the horns of a dilemma: On the one hand, it is false in the scientific sense, as we shall demonstrate below; but on the other hand, because religion in one form or another has been around as long as recorded history -- and in fact has played a central role in man's social and personal life -- it is almost certain that religion is useful in the sense that it has helped men to survive. The real dilemma of religion, however, is that it must be believed in order to be useful, yet this is impossible when people know that it is false.



The obvious solution to this dilemma -- if indeed there is a solution -- is to discover what is useful about religion, and to try to make use of this knowledge. This I have attempted to do in my book The Most Powerful Idea Ever Discovered. But we will be stymied in our attempt to accomplish this task -- or at least to bring it to fruition in the sense of teaching others -- if we do not first and finally sweep away the foolishness of religious belief by making a plain and clear statement as to religion's literal falsity. Accordingly, we cite below what we view as twelve compelling reasons why a rational person must regard religion as false.



The complete article is at http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Reli...g-Atheist.html



Regards,



Carlos Hernandez
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#2 Old 07-20-2004, 07:58 PM
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Do you want people to argue with you about what you believe? That sounds pointless. Why exactly is this in the CH?
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#3 Old 07-20-2004, 08:01 PM
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Do you want people to argue with you about what you believe? That sounds pointless. Why exactly is this in the CH?



Well, I was hoping we could debate some of my beliefs here such as: what evidence is there for deities? Is science actually a religion as well? And similar philosophical debates surrounding my opening, if that is okey.



Regards.
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#4 Old 07-20-2004, 08:03 PM
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Do you want people to argue with you about what you believe? That sounds pointless. Why exactly is this in the CH?





Are you always this happy?
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#5 Old 07-20-2004, 08:04 PM
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Huh? How are you aware of my current emotional state, Shag?
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#6 Old 07-20-2004, 08:05 PM
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..different things/beliefs work for different people..
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#7 Old 07-20-2004, 08:06 PM
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too easy.



back to topic.
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#8 Old 07-20-2004, 08:12 PM
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..different things/beliefs work for different people..



That is true indeed, but still, I have a very organized way of thinking, I don't like chaos and as such I like to reduce all behavioral phenomenon to empirical/scientific terms. I like to see why people behave and believe as they do, how evolution accounts for the differences in psychology, etc. I also like to study things like the universe, deities, paranormal subjects, and then provide scientific explanations for them. I go crazy if I can't have an empirical explanation for anything.



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#9 Old 07-20-2004, 08:15 PM
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Most of those reasons can be some up to the callousness of religion and some of its fanatical followers.
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#10 Old 07-20-2004, 08:24 PM
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Most of those reasons can be some up to the callousness of religion and some of its fanatical followers.



Yes, it's true that people have used religion to do things that today would be considered cruel and callous, but at the same time I've seen the same callous behaviors under secular governments as well, such as under Communism and the Enlightenment. So rather, I think its human nature itself that is often callous, regardless of their personal religion of world view.



For me, the main reason I have rejected Christianity is because it does not prove to work for me, it has provided no tangible results for me, while science has. Being very pragmatic, I just saw Christianity as a waste of time since the return on my investment (following the Bible, going to Church, etc.) was non-existent, and I say this with all due respect to other Christian members on this board, my intention is not to offend, just to have a friendly debate on these matters.



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#11 Old 07-20-2004, 08:37 PM
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Well, I was hoping we could debate some of my beliefs here such as: what evidence is there for deities? Is science actually a religion as well? And similar philosophical debates surrounding my opening, if that is okey.



Regards.



Believing in a god(ess) is faith. It can't be proven.
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#12 Old 07-20-2004, 08:53 PM
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Yes, it's true that people have used religion to do things that today would be considered cruel and callous, but at the same time I've seen the same callous behaviors under secular governments as well, such as under Communism and the Enlightenment. So rather, I think its human nature itself that is often callous, regardless of their personal religion of world view.



Carlos - I'm of the opinion that Communism and the Enlightment easily fall into the catagory of religion and religious fervor, they are all belief systems. Secularism and religion are competing ideals, sort of like apples and oranges.



Wow, "human nature itself that is often callous", pretty bold general statement, I agree with it to some extent but then the need to belong, be part of something and be loved is an opiate for the masses {popular form of behavioral modification}. I'm only giving my personal take on existence which I believe is as valid as anything else written in history.



Hope you get the debate and discussion you are looking for.



MeMe :
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#13 Old 07-20-2004, 09:08 PM
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I converted to agnostcism. Soon afterwords I just accepted the non-existance of deities and saw religion as just being wishful thinking and a feel-good fairly tale, so I become an atheist.

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#14 Old 07-20-2004, 09:12 PM
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Wow, "human nature itself that is often callous"



There are exceptions of course, such as individuals who have come to understand the evolutionary origins of violence and can control it. But from what I have read in the scientific fields of Evolutionary Psychology, Behavioral Genetics, and Psychometrics, most people can be prompted to be violent for any cause, whether "right" or "wrong." Since Jingoism is part of human nature, it can easily be manipulated by elites to go war for any cause, for example. Also, the emotion of revenge and anger are great human motives to engage in violence. Much of the info. I got was from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society: http://www.hbes.com/



Quote:
Hope you get the debate and discussion you are looking for.



It has already started! I appreciate your input, there is always more for me to learn from others.



Carlos
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#15 Old 07-20-2004, 09:14 PM
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Well, thank you for the support!
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#16 Old 07-20-2004, 09:31 PM
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You might be interested in this:

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/index.php?
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#17 Old 07-20-2004, 09:32 PM
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I am actually glad you posted your reasons for becoming an atheist. I have always wondered how people get to a point in their lives when they feel no need to have faith. Personally, I feel those people are consciously or unconsciously very lonely and sad. I mean thats fine if you want to believe in science, and thats fine if you choose not to participate in christianity, but I just can't imagine not having any sort of faith. Religous or not- Searching for you higher self, the universe creator, whatever you want to call it. Even if you don't view an afterlife or a God outside of yourself, don't you feel a little empty not believing in any more than science? It not only sounds sad, but boring. Are you a boring person? (Just a joke to lighten the mood here)

(warning...my jabber) It has been scientifically proven that people who live faith filled lives are not only healthier people, but happier people... Did you know that?

Just because you don't feel you fit into any sort of structured religion doesn't mean you have to give up on having faith all together. Search yourself with an open mind and open heart and learn to listen to your intuition, meditate, read books on different faiths and peoples own trials and tribulations regarding the same matter. When you align your body and soul everything follows so smoothly and so harmoniously. You will feel so much stronger and more confident. Like a new-complete person. Who cares what anybody else thinks... Follow your own spiritual path- listen to your heart, not your mind. The most intelligent person in the world is the one that is authentically enpowered, not the one with the most education, or the one who makes the most money, or the one who outranks another, or eloquently speaks and spells every word correctly. All of that is so five-sensory and so petty and material. It really doesn't matter one bit. What matters is you and your life right now-afterlife or not being intune with yourself completely helps you to grow as a person. And I think that is what we should all be striving for. Don't you? ~Amanda
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#18 Old 07-20-2004, 09:38 PM
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With Peebs on this one, though mythology describes my opinion better than fairy tale.
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#19 Old 07-20-2004, 09:54 PM
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My advice would be (if you are inclined...) to learn techniques of direct God perception from the East. If it still does not come to you, then maybe you are well suited to atheism? Most important is to be a loving person, imo. Don't take anybody's word there is a God, go within your heart. I tend to agree with George Harrison, who put it this way:



George_Harrison: Somebody said a very famous Indian saint said "if there is a God, we must see him. And if there is a soul we must perceive it." In the West they still argue if God really exists. Basically, I am in the same place. The song really came from Swami Vivekananda.



GEORGE: The West always had this problem about the East, but Christ was from the East. Christ spent ages in India, and even after, when he was wherever he wasJerusalem or whateverits still more East than Paris [laughs]. The Eastern thing says, If theres a God, we must see Him. Otherwise, its better not to believe. Its better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. And thats why I said, I really want to see you. They thing Christ is the only son of God, and that you cant see him anyway, because we nailed Him upI want to see God and have him in my life moment to moment. Otherwise, who am I kidding? You know, going around like the Pope, kissing the floor. I want a direct experience of that, and fortunately, that is available. And its not on your TV set and you cant get it out of a magazine and its not on the dollar bill and it aint on the Macys windowsill. [Laughs]



(ETA: proper spelling! )
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#20 Old 07-20-2004, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetashoney View Post

Search yourself with an open mind and open heart and learn to listen to your intuition, meditate, read books on different faiths and peoples own trials and tribulations regarding the same matter. When you align your body and soul everything follows so smoothly and so harmoniously. You will feel so much stronger and more confident. Like a new-complete person. Who cares what anybody else thinks... Follow your own spiritual path- listen to your heart, not your mind. ~Amanda



I read this after posting and we said some similar things! I agree!!
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#21 Old 07-20-2004, 11:01 PM
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I'm a lazy ****, so I'm gonna do this in a one-liner:



science done wrong (as reflected back upon the universe, as an ontology) is a religion; science done right is a tool.



ebola

np: dillinger escape plan
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#22 Old 07-20-2004, 11:13 PM
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It not only sounds sad, but boring. Are you a boring person? (Just a joke to lighten the mood here)

Being athiest is not boring!
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#23 Old 07-21-2004, 03:30 AM
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I am actually glad you posted your reasons for becoming an atheist. I have always wondered how people get to a point in their lives when they feel no need to have faith. Personally, I feel those people are consciously or unconsciously very lonely and sad. I mean thats fine if you want to believe in science, and thats fine if you choose not to participate in christianity, but I just can't imagine not having any sort of faith. Religous or not- Searching for you higher self, the universe creator, whatever you want to call it. Even if you don't view an afterlife or a God outside of yourself, don't you feel a little empty not believing in any more than science? It not only sounds sad, but boring. Are you a boring person?





I disagree with your points here. Just because a person lacks a belief in something that cannot be seen or felt or heard, etc., in no way makes them a boring person. Same goes for the lonely and sad remark. I'm sure there are plenty of people who worship a god or a set of gods that are loney or sad or both.





I do agree with this statement, however, you do not need to be religious to be authentically empowered:





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The most intelligent person in the world is the one that is authentically enpowered, not the one with the most education, or the one who makes the most money, or the one who outranks another, or eloquently speaks and spells every word correctly. All of that is so five-sensory and so petty and material. It really doesn't matter one bit.

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#24 Old 07-21-2004, 05:26 AM
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Personally, I feel those people are consciously or unconsciously very lonely and sad.



I've thought that the idea of faith is to give people a sense of self-importance and purpose. That seems sad.



I've also seen many instances of people 'tweaking' their faith to fit their own ideas of how things should work, rejecting the parts they don't like and embracing the parts they do like. It's a conflict between submitting to a higher being and following your own mind, which is a problem since people are very selfish beings.
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#25 Old 07-21-2004, 05:30 AM
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Faith to me is a grounding that I'm more than just an empty shell waiting to die.
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#26 Old 07-21-2004, 05:37 AM
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I agree with FR ( ) regarding sweetashoney's remarks. Just because someone is atheist or agnostic does not mean they are lonely or sad, just as if someone calls themself a christian does not mean they are a good (or bad) person. Just think of it as skeptical.
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#27 Old 07-21-2004, 06:15 AM
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Sweetashoney,



It doesn't seem very nice to call athetists boring and lonely. First of all, it's a generalization about a group of people, and those can never be right. The only thing all atheists have in common is that they don't believe in any gods. Secondly, I don't see any logic in the conclusion that an atheist must be boring. There's really nothing to correlate the two.



Religion is a sensitive topic to a lot of people, so let's all try to stay polite and respect everybody else. As long as they're good people, that should be enough.
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#28 Old 07-21-2004, 06:18 AM
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And isn't 'boring' subjective?
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#29 Old 07-21-2004, 06:23 AM
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First off, sweetashoney--please don't presume that the non-religious are lonely or depressed. Some people might be unhappy without religion, but others are not. Just because you can't conceive of existence without this particular aspect of your life doesn't mean that others can't.



Second, I'm an agnostic. I'm an agnostic because the idea of organized religion strikes me as illogical and I have yet to find anything concrete outside of that.



There are aspects of certain religions that I like--kindness, love, generosity--but I can practice these things regardless of whether I've got a book to back me up. (They aren't the product of religion, after all, and exist just fine without it.) Most importantly, this doesn't require me to believe things that I find personally repugnant. I didn't choose to deny religion. It's just that in order to be truthful to myself, I can't pretend to follow one. And that's what it would require for me--a lot of faking. I'd have to believe certain things to call myself a member of ANY organized religion--none that I've found wouldn't require me to abandon my own beliefs for those I consider cruel or problematic or just plain incorrect--and I won't do that.



Basically, I don't believe in organized religion, but I don't discount the possibility that there is some spiritual force in the universe. Haven't found anything yet. That doesn't mean it isn't there, though. And it doesn't meant that I'm not out and out wrong. It's more likely, I think, that we ALL are.



ETA: I really hope that this doesn't come off as offensive. I don't believe that these boards are really the proper forum for theological debate, so I'm trying to keep things nice.
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#30 Old 07-21-2004, 06:39 AM
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(more religion threads are here . These boards have always had theological debates in one form or another.
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