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Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Deeje, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    This thread is about substituting one belief system for another.....whether that pertains to religion, politics or any other choice between things that pertain to 'natural' human behavior. Picking a 'side' seems to be what we naturally do....but 'why' is interesting to me.

    Certain things are ingrained in the human psyche and whether we understand that or not, there are certain things that we expect in life and these expectations influence our choices. I see it as a kind of psychological 'programming' that determines what we individually seek in life......basically the same things, but in different settings, with different expressions.

    One very clear substitution, I believe, is seen in the atheist verses religion debate. Evolution seems to be the main divider to determine where a person's beliefs will land them....and which 'side' they will take.
    I think that there are certain 'natural' inclinations that will determine the choice. Some people are naturally spiritual and others are not....no one seems to know why. :shrug:

    Now in this subject, there has to be a "belief" to start with....either there is a God who created all things, or there isn't. Neither can be proven, so each in itself is a 'belief'. Then that belief follows a natural pattern.....it requires input from a trusted source.....the Bible for a believer, and 'scientific' studies for the atheist. So each has their "scripture" or writings that are accepted as absolute truth. Upset is caused if you reject either one and the reasons are hotly debated.

    They have their 'gods' who inspire these writings and believe in them as much as the religious do in their Creator.

    Secondly they have to have places of 'worship', where they learn more about their 'scriptures' and the 'gods' that have produced them, thereby reinforcing and strengthening their beliefs. These would be their figurative "temples"........but if you put it like that, they would scoff at you. [​IMG]

    They must preach their message as fervently as the religious do....sometimes with great intensity and zeal.

    We see this behavior even in sport as a substitute for religion. They have their idols and their 'temples' where they come to worship them, usually running round on some grass with a ball of various shapes and sizes. Their clashes as important as any contest in life.

    They have images of their idols hanging on their walls and they often wear certain colors to identify which 'side' they are supporting when competition is fierce. Fights can even break out over which team is the best.
    Others try to emulate the way they speak or dress and to copy their behaviors and lifestyles.

    Idols are also seen in other parts of the entertainment industry...rock stars and film icons also have their temples where gatherings take place for 'worship'.

    Political 'sides' also tell us about people, by who they support and who they idolize and why......who they accept as telling the truth.....and who is lying to the masses in their 'preaching tours'. They too come together to rally support for their beliefs....colors often depicting whose side is supported here too.

    So the common denominators appear to be....'beliefs', 'gods', 'scripture' temples' and 'preaching'.
    Figuratively speaking, we all fit the profile in some manner, shape or form.....even when we take religion out of the equation....the behaviors are basically the same.

    So we humans are more predictable in our 'programmed' behaviors than we are aware of.....don't you think?
    I wonder why?...and who the 'programmer' is...? [​IMG]
     
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  2. Left Coast

    Left Coast Your Friendly Neighborhood Moderator
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    How do theistic evolutionists fit into your analysis?
     
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  3. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    They might not be the majority, but there are many.

    And I don't accept that sharp dividing line that the OP drew. There are many shades of grey.
     
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  4. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Evolution had nothing to do with my becoming an atheist.
    Lack of convincing evidence did.

    Interesting this bold empty claim.
    Though I suspect it is more an attempt to control the narrative more than anything else.
    At what point does "belief" start?
    Conception?
    If so, how do you know?
    Birth?
    Again, how do you know?

    The problem here is that you are basing it on "belief".
    What of those who do not have a belief one way or the other?

    No, I do not.

    They scoff at you simply because it is not true.
    I do not "worship"
    I do not have a "temple"

    I get it...
    It is your transference, right?

    Now you are just preaching to the choir.
    Since I am not a member of your choir, I shall skip past this nonsense.

    Same nonsense, different variable.

    No, I do not think so.
    But then, I am not the one trying desperately to fit people in my premade boxes.

    Setting up for another choir preaching sermon?

    and there it is...
     
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  5. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    One very clear substitution, I believe, is seen in the atheist verses religion debate.Evolution seems to be the main divider to determine where a person's beliefs will land them....and which 'side' they will take.

    That's simply not true... unless you consider the billions of people who believe in a creator god but also believe in the ToE not be genuine theists.

    Now in this subject, there has to be a "belief" to start with....either there is a God who created all things, or there isn't.

    Again, not true. My lack of belief that there is a god does not equate to a belief that there definitely isn't a god. I simply don't have enough verifiable evidence to warrant belief that there is one.

    They have their 'gods' who inspire these writings and believe in them as much as the religious do in their Creator.

    Once more you conveniently ignore the numerous theists who believe in a creator god, but whose beliefs in that god are in no way threatened by scientific knowledge. They simply view the scientific method as the best method we've yet found for understanding how god's creation works.

    Just because your own personal religious beliefs are threatened by scientific discoveries doesn't mean that all theists feel threatened by them. Science is NOT an exclusively atheist arena. The ToE is NOT an atheist theory. You do an injustice to the millions of Christian, Muslim, and Hindu scientists who recognize that science is simply a tool, not something to be worshiped as they do their god or gods.

    I notice that you often like to manufacture this supposed conflict between religious believers and believers in the scientific method,when the conflict actually only exists for the small majority of believers whose beliefs are threatened by science.
     
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  6. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I would say we 'commonly' do it, rather than 'naturally'. It's a bit of a hobby-horse for me, but I try to push back against binary thinking where possible. For various reasons, I think the amount of it occurring these days is more than in the past.

    I'm not sure about 'expectations', since I think those tend to be nurture over nature. But we have needs, it is true. And above those needs we have wants.

    It strikes me I might sound pedantic in my responses to these, but I think they're pretty important.
    There is no 'atheist verses religion' debate. It's more 'atheist versus theist' I suppose. Or irreligious versus religious. In short, I could be a religious atheist, or an irreligious theist.
    But whatever, if I focus on the broad thrust of your point, that doesn't hold true for me at all. I didn't become an atheist for any sort of belief around evolution, nor really for any sort of scientific belief at all. I was pretty young at the time...maybe late primary school...and my atheism grew from what seemed to be lies, exaggerations or inconsistencies in the adults around me telling me that God existed. The other key realization was that the beliefs I was being taught were only one of a vast sea of different beliefs (mostly driven by my interest in Greek mythology in particular). The adults around me seemed to dismiss Zeus as a real thing, but accept God as real. I couldn't really see the difference between them, in terms of likelihood.

    Over time, my beliefs and understandings developed, both about religion, and about people. I gave the God-belief thing a real crack when I was in Uni, although at least some of that was due to a hot Christian girl I fancied....ahem... If I'm being charitable to myself, she was a lovely person, so I figured it was worth at least checking whether her beliefs resonated, since they seemed to work for her. But again, it wasn't evolution or even general scientific thinking that impacted, since I think it's possible to reconcile that with theism. It simply didn't speak to me, or seem to hold truth. At best, it was a useful way to structure actions.

    There does seem to be some truth to this.

    Meh...kind of. Look, let's not get into the 'atheism is not a belief, but an absence of belief' argument. Let's assume for a moment that atheism is a positive claim.
    If so, then it's a claim on the same level that theism is...not at the same level as belief in a monotheistic God.
    By claiming that not only is there a higher power, but that the higher power holds certain qualities, and certain desires for humanity you are going far, far, far beyond an atheist saying 'I don't believe there is a God'.

    I could care less what other atheists think on this, but scientific studies are supposed to be rejected and improved upon. Newton's laws of motion were more correct than what we thought before, but less correct than Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Which is only more correct than what came before it. Ultimate Truth (with a capital T) is a concept, rather than a destination. It's an infinitely distant point we can walk towards, but never reach.

    Nah. That's a strawman. People might idolise scientists, just as they might idolise sportsmen, or politicians, or tuna fisherman. Okay, so the last is less likely. But most people don't worship other humans, and those that do are misguided.

    Unless your version of a temple is 'the library', I am going to have to ask you what you're talking about.

    Anyone pushing any message with fervour, intensity and zeal is to be mistrusted, and is almost certainly wrong. That has always seemed to hold true to me. Politics, religion, whatever...I'm a believer in examining what we know, and it is invariably imperfect, and flawed, just as humans are.

    This is the one place where I think you have a point, and the very rationale is that it's completely unimportant in any grand sense. I love sports. I love playing, coaching, and watching. Bring a Laker fan here, and I'll rip him to shreds, and he'll do the same to me. Then we'll get a beer and watch some other dudes hoop. Sports is not important in one sense. But it's very important to me.

    Yep, that can be the case. In the room I am sitting, I have signed pictures of Larry Bird, Reggie Lewis and Boomer Harvey, alongside my grandfather with his war medals.
    I don't idolise any of them...not even my grandfather...but I sure as heck admired some of their qualities, above and beyond their ability to play sports (or shoot a gun, in my grandfather's case).
    Do you admire your God whilst also recognizing his many flaws and faults? Or do you worship him? The two are quite different.

    The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it. Right, @ChristineM ?

    Let's put religion in it. And only religion. Are you suggesting that all religious folk are the same when it comes to belief, gods, scripture, temples and preaching? That seems a horribly ham-fisted description of religious folk. They are different to each other.
    Take that same broad-brush and start pointing it at sports, and it is basically a parody. I might refer to basketball as 'my religion', but in no literal sense is that true.

    Leave the word 'programmed' out of it and I would agree. Keep the word in, and I think you're doing a sales job, and not a very subtle one at that.

    Based on religion and sport being equivocated, I can only assume it was Bill Russell. All hail the great man.
     
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  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Whilst I agree with your point, I'm going to have to ask you to stop commenting about the colour of my hair.
     
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  8. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Then why do so many theists accept evolution?
    Then why do we know in some instances? Such as people with Asperger's are less inclined to be religious due to social imagination, empathy, and a loyatly to facts amd data and having a harder time with abstract concepts amd building relationships. Religion is very social, amd Aspies aren't very good at that.
    Science is made to be falsified amd falsified again and again as better evidence to better explain the natural world are learned and understoodm.
    Religion claims to have eternal truths. They say god amd his stuff doesnt change. Except change is the only constant.

    Atheists have no gods, thus this is a strawman.
    Athiest have no places of worship.
    Again, they aren't doing this putside od a few bungholes that even many atheists don't like.
    Ive been to over 100 concerts and have worked on a couple albums.
    No worshiping of anything has ever occured.

    Only to this extent if you begin with assumptions. As people are only moderately predictable at best.
    Why do you assume it is a who? Is it just becaise you made it clear you've already made several of them?
     
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  9. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    You've done it again ;-)

    Yes right.
     
  10. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Beliefs are not picked from lists of available choices, and they simply fall to how one examines reality and what they come up with.

    I believe things but I don't always trust my beliefs. It's a long jump from saying I believe to being able to say I know.

    I don't rely on evolution being true for my atheism. I simply observe existence and come up with it on my very own.

    I don't idolize anyone! I don't have any scriptures; not science nor religion.

    I do think one can infer possibilities from known evidences.

    I don't like being programmed. Either things work and have practical value, or it's back to the drawing board.

    My beliefs stem from my own sense of logic. I suppose all of us are philosophers in some sense.

    My convictions stem from meanings I hold to be true.

    Perhaps I'm an extreme minority, and there's a large portion of the population that falls for idols, or being programmed.
    If that is the case then people need to put away their internet, and media and take up an outdoor activity.

    I like convincing arguments, not dogmatic dictates that I'm supposed to follow after.

    At the end of the day everything must be tested and proven. But ultimate existential questions about reality, how can one even test such questions and get any kind of meaningful answers? A person has got to go with what works.
     
  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    You honestly lost me with the atheist are religious like the religious. We have temples, scripture, etc?
    I think I agree with this. Which isn't the fault of the individual, right?

    There's no reason to pick a side that someone who isn't spiritual is at fault or missing something somehow, right?

    A lot of religious from the abrahamic standpoint tend to think atheists (as a whole) are somehow not spiritual. Maybe it's more they have to follow that religious' specific belief to qualify as spiritual and if not-if that atheist follows any other religion without the abrahamic god-they are missing out on something.

    While everyone has some inclination to lean towards or away from spirituality and experience it, why are there strings attached to this?

    " If he does, " so be; " If " he does not, so be.

    Without the "musts" why would one side be better than the other? Either I have money in my account or not. You can either tell me how much money I don't have or be grateful that I don't need money (in this scenario) to live a good life. (I actually hate money, to tell you honestly. People just don't get that. Money-theists)

    "has to be" (or must) does not mean anything. Either there is or there isn't, right?

    Of course neither can be proven. The thing is, the statement is irrelevant. No one can prove what X is-either X has a meaning or it does not.

    Without that meaning (that everyone agrees to), the statement means nothing.

    This I don't get. "Each has their scripture and writings. Atheists?

    Also, with the science thing, is that a generalization? As an atheist, science is irrelevant to me. Actually, I hate science and math etc. Can't understand a thing. God? It's interesting. I understand the gist of what people mean when they say god. I'm just not interested in some of the traditions and accusations that come with it.
     
  12. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I don’t agree with this dichotomy of atheist vs theist. Atheists don’t go to Church, they don’t have holy scriptures. They may have some “role models” but that’s usually due to age more than anything else.

    Although how our beliefs are shaped is a potential nature vs nurture situation. Case by case.
    I mean I tend to be rather flexible because I sort of had to be growing up. 2 entirely different cultural backgrounds, understandings of concepts and even differing social rules. I’d wager that flexibility might be a little harder to find in a fundamentalist background. I mean there are atheists who had to literally unlearn their perceptions of the world.
     
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  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    If you were attempting to make a comparison about how the sciences are in most respects an extension of the religious impetus, there's a lot of truth to that. When making such comparisons, though, it's important to recognize where these parallels fall apart. For instance, as many have already pointed out, the sciences are not inherently at odds with theisms or with religions in a broad sense (it certainly isn't with mine). The "sides" here are an artifice that may make sense from your perspective, but I don't see it.
     
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  14. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Please read the following and compare:
    The point being, you can substitute ANY wild, outrageous, fanciful claim for "God" in your sentence and it is exactly the same in structure and truthiness. Why does the idea of "God" get so much more weight attributed to it? Why isn't it equivalent to a claim of magical unicorns? Why not? Because their are books written? Because so many people believe? Because your parents told you so? None of those are good enough reasons to accept it - otherwise we never should have given up on the Greek pantheon of gods either.

    I am sure you have been told some version of this before - and yet you persist with the same lines of reasoning. Do you simply not understand this simple point? What is it that has your mind stuck on repeat so?
    I don't need a single scientific drop of discovery to not believe in God. You're just dead wrong on this one. It isn't about "the science." It's about what I observe within reality, and what I do not. Perhaps that observation itself is a bit like "practicing science" - but only because it may match some definition. Otherwise, I don't care about "science" when it comes to my disbelief in God. There are NO GOOD REASONS TO BELIEVE from where I am sitting. Science does not weigh in on that idea. I have taken a look at what theists have to present and IT IS ENTIRELY LACKING. What has that to do with science?
    Absolutely false, and ridiculous. Stop saying dumb things please. Please point me to ANY book that supports atheism in a "scriptural manner" and I can promise you that I have not read it. I am 100% certain about this. No doubts in my mind. I have never read a single book where "atheism" is the subject matter. Not one. Boom! Deflate your silly balloon NOW. I command you! Hahaha...
    The "upset" part comes in when you reject EVIDENCE. Stuff that is almost as plain as the nose on your face when you get down to it, yet you reject and deny, and dance around like a chicken with its head cut off. And usually, it's evidence of stuff NOT EVEN RELATED TO YOUR RELIGION - like evolution. Besides... you get upset also when we reject your evidence of the claims you keep throwing out there. The difference is, your evidence is paltry and insufficient, and has no correlation with reality that you can distinctly demonstrate - but you don't understand that, do you?
    So - since I have already informed you that I have read no texts to inform on my atheism (seriously - I'm at a count of zero - I cannot stress this enough, it is the absolute truth), please also then point me in the direction of my "gods." Go ahead now. Tell me who (or what) I hold in the position of a "god." Tell me. Seriously... please do. This should be interesting.
     
  15. Left Coast

    Left Coast Your Friendly Neighborhood Moderator
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    I was thinking about it last night after I first posted, and I think theistic evolutionists might be the majority of people who accept the science of evolution.
     
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  16. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    There are theists who believe in ToE. Then there's atheists who are religious and/or spiritual. Then there's also theists who are not religious and/or spiritual. Then there's also the atheists who don't believe in ToE. So where do those fall in?
     
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  17. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Well, the difference is that our “faith” works.

    Just look at the device you are using to communicate with me. There is a lot of quantum mechanics, Computing theory, cryptography technologies, general relativity, etc, etc

    See what it can do, and do the same with prayers. You will achieve nothing.

    IOW: you will realize immediately the supremacy of our “faith” and how anyone debating us on that front is bringing a knife to a gun fight. Actually, looks more like bringing a toothpick to a nuclear confrontation.

    ciao

    - viole
     
    #17 viole, Sep 17, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  18. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Demographically, this is virtually guaranteed especially when we take into account theistic religions for whom there's no conflict with biological evolution in the first place. How the questions are asked also makes a very significant difference for some groups.

    See:

     
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  19. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Two hands at work achieve more than a million hands clasped in prayer.
     
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  20. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Question: what could possibly be more spiritual than transformation and evolution? (especially self-transformation)
     
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