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Athiests and Agnostics, your decisive moment

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sabour, May 9, 2014.

  1. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    Hello Guys.

    I had a question in mind for atheists and agnostics.

    It is said that if a child left to grow alone with his set of beliefs, he would grow up to believe in the existence of God.

    In addition, most of your parents weren't atheists nor agnostics.

    So my question is, what are the things that made you become atheist/agnostic.

    The very first moment that you have decided on this subject, what was before that?

    Appreciate your responses.
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    That's not my experience.

    Nothing ever made me become an atheist.
    Rather, it's that nothing ever made me become a theist.
     
    #2 Revoltingest, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  3. fantome profane

    fantome profane quintessence of dust
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    It is said? Who has said this? And more importantly why should we believe it to be true? No child grows up without being influenced by adults.
     
  4. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    At no point in your life, even when you were a child, believed that God exists? Or that any thing that you can't see is running this universe.
     
  5. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    One in particular is Dr Justin Barrett

    Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.
    He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God.
    "The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
    "If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God."
     
  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    My mother considered religion much too important for the unformed mind of a child to decide about the truth or falsity of its teachings. She therefore encouraged us kids to wait until we were adults before deciding for ourselves what to believe. As a dutiful child, I learned everything I could about religion while for the most part waiting until I became an adult to reach any firm conclusions about it.
     
  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    Never.

    Why would anyone need to run it?
    It just is, & things happen in it.
    Such can be obvious even to a kid.
     
    #7 Revoltingest, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  8. fantome profane

    fantome profane quintessence of dust
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    Well I will have to be the second person to tell you that I never believed in a personal "God", not even as a child. My mother was a Catholic and my Father was Anglican. But they never pushed their religion on me, and I never believed.
     
    #8 fantome profane, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  9. misanthropic_clown

    misanthropic_clown Active Member

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    Hello. I can't say I can define an exact point of transition. I think it was more of a gradual realisation that, in my view at least, religion holds no genuine explanatory power. By which I mean that most religious claims are believed on no evidence (taken on faith), or bad evidence. Compared to the intellectual rigour of the scientific/ formal philosophical method, I don't think religious thought brings anything compelling to the table.

    So, I was raised Mormon, which I guess made it fairly easy to read my way out of the faith of my childhood. With that initial bubble being burst, I guess it was a natural extension to apply the same degree of rationality and scepticism to other religious claims, coming to the conclusion that there isn't a great deal of evidence for any of them.
     
  10. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    I don't doubt that that's said, but it seems unlikely. The opposite is also said. Even if the child did grow up believing in some sort of god, it's highly unlikely it would be a specific already-established version like Yahweh or Allah.

    I grew up Catholic. Around 17-18 I started to have a lot of questions, the usual ones you hear atheists like me bring up like the problem of evil. For a while I thought about it and discussed it a bit with my mom, but she didn't have any great answers. I put it on the back burner for a while and didn't think much about it, but didn't go to church or anything anymore. It was only when I started coming to this forum and talking about things that I was able to really clarify my thoughts and solidify my beliefs. I don't remember one specific moment, just various discussions on here reading the two sides and realizing the atheist positions made the most sense.
     
  11. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    I didn't decide this all at once. There is no date on which I realized that religion is a form of fiction. But it was over when I was fairly young.

    I was raised by a family that was quite religious. Our church also sponsored an excellent undergraduate education system. My parents thought it well worth the expense. I didn't just learn about long division, Jesus, grammar, Jesus, atomic weight, Jesus, WWII, Jesus, ..... I also learned how to think, investigate, learn, and act.

    So I thought about stuff like the problem of evil, investigated Scriptures, learned that religion is fiction, and acted. I became an atheist.


    You're Welcome.

    Tom
     
  12. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Yeah, people have a tendency to say all sorts of crazy things.

    I never became a theist, but I'd say I officially identified as an atheist some time in my early 20's after putting the pieces together through years of studying and analyzing psychology, history, sociology, and other sciences.
     
  13. misanthropic_clown

    misanthropic_clown Active Member

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    I half agree. I actually think it is highly likely that they would develop a superstitious belief system - I think it is what we are evolutionarily predisposed to do, and it requires some degree of intellectual training to avoid falling into the pitfalls of our pattern-seeking nature.

    As to how exactly this would manifest itself in the form of deity, it is difficult to really tell, but given the history of religion I would imagine it would be a polytheistic inclination.
     
  14. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    No decisive moment, but I can credit listening to Joseph Campbell with teaching me the value of a myth.
     
  15. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    Impressive. So why did you choose to believe what you believe?

    And do you ever consider that you may be wrong about it ?

    Okay that is weird for me to hear.


    That seemed a bit offensive. But the order in which this universe is running requires intelligence.
     
  16. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    What is the main reason behind that? Did you "consider" that God would exist at any moment? And if nowhat ruled out that possibility ?
     
  17. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    Discussing religion with other kids in the neighborhood some half
    a century ago, I discovered my experience wasn't common.

    Whaddaya expect with a moniker like mine?
    Please don't take offense though.
    My perspective isn't the truth or anything.
    But you asked, & I answered.

    I don't see that....only that the universe exists, &
    that stuff happens in it with some predictability.
     
    #17 Revoltingest, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  18. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, I think the quotation you use simply isn't true. While human history indicates that people have a tendency to believe in God, and studies have suggested that our brains kind of lean upon the notion of God as an explanatory framework in lieu of better explanation, I don't think it is true to say that a person, left to their own devices, will always grow up to believe in a God. It's certainly not true these days.

    For me personally, I was raised by a father from a Catholic family and a mother from a Protestant family, but both of my parents grew up to reject both systems of belief and came to be atheists. However, they did not "raise" me as an atheist. In fact, they sent me to a series of Christian nurseries and schools (mostly Catholic), and never really talked to me about what I should or shouldn't believe with regards to the spiritual world. As such, I'm not sure that there is a particular moment where I suddenly decided upon being an atheist rather than something else. I never really felt like I held an opposing view; I was just always an atheist, and eventually grew into referring to myself that way.

    I do remember perhaps one of my earliest encounters with religious belief, however. I was attending a Christian nursery, so I must have been very, very young at the time, and I remember vaguely one of the teachers talking to us about various Christian beliefs - in particular about the afterlife and miracles. I don't remember my immediate reaction, but I remember going to my mum after nursery that day with a head full of all these amazing and bizarre teachings and asking her: "Mum, are we Christians?" She simply answered, "No."

    Then I walked away, with a distinct feeling of relief.
     
    #18 ImmortalFlame, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  19. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    So it is because of your religion being solely dependent on faith without a strong evidence right ?

    Isn't the idea of what happens after we die compelling or something to think about ?



    Can you emphasize how you read your way out?



    Actually I think it is likely, because the children assume is that there is something behind everything. And that something is one thing.

    Like when someone knocks on the door, the expectation is that one is knocking the door, and not a group.

    Can we go back to the moment you had these questions, and give them to me?

    Also I didn't understand whether these answers had a major influence on your opinion formed.
     
  20. Sabour

    Sabour Well-Known Member

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    So to sum up your main reason is that you didn't find a scripture or a religion that would answer all your questions.

    What do you exactly mean by the problem of evil?

    That if God exists, evil should not?
     
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