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Featured Why I am an atheist

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Evangelicalhumanist, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, the quoting function appears to be dysfunctional.
    Anyway...

    A well-written exposition of your point of view!
    It's interesting that what you learned in Sunday School about the "Good News" aka Jesus aka the New Testament was different from what you read in the Old Testament.
    I read the Bible from the beginning through all the Old Testament and then read the New Testament. I never the New Testament before going back and reading the Old Testament. So I have a very different view.
    The Books of Moses were inspirational. The Psalms were inspirational. The Proverbs were inspirational. Some of the prophets were inspirational. But a lot of the Old Testament is not inspirational. By the time you get to the last book of the Old Testament it seemed like trudging through a lot of pain, trouble, tribulation, and exhaustively uninspired yuck.
    The New Testament is a breath of fresh air to that long journey. After the main books of the New Testament, the spirit of it seems to wane. It's still there through Acts, but once it gets to the letters Paul wrote the feeling is different again.
    It seems to me that how you view what the Bible is has a big effect on the conclusions that you draw.
     
  2. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Exceptional post. Well done.
     
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  3. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    I'd be most grateful, if you could elaborate a little further on this element of your essay: with respect to the religious/Christian attitude to "sex" and how it may have factored into your developing convictions as an atheist.

    Only if you feel so inclined though, I understand if you don't want to expand upon your original point in the OP! :)
     
  4. Suave

    Suave Simulated character

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    If Earth-bound human beings are the most intelligent beings of the universe, then what a pathetically sad and lonely place this is.

     
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Believable to me.
     
  6. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    You know, it's easy to believe in electricity, whales, Abe Lincoln, coz they are believable.

    Something g that doesn't require faith, ya got that?
     
  7. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    @Vouthon, thank you, I have now read through your first two-part response to my OP, and I want to ask you just one question.

    But before I ask that question, I want to draw attention to the real topic of the OP, which is “Why I am an atheist,” and in particular, why I am what we might term a “Christian atheist,” as it was an essentially Christian world in which I grew up. I also want to point out that, although it’s true that I’m gay, that is not really a very big part of my life – I’m a lot of other things, as well.

    So my question is this: how many Christians would have the kind of depth of theological or historical knowledge that you focus on in your response? Further, how many would get even a smattering of that from the pulpit, from which they are taught to take their spiritual guidance? I expect not many, actually.

    And Bishop John Shelby Spong even mentions something about this in his book (I think, I’m going from memory) “Re-claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World”), when he suggests that many very learned priests and bishops actually hide much of what they’ve learned about theology from their congregations. (And in many Christian denominations, a lot "reverends" learn very little theology anyway.)

    Even such an erudite theologian as then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), in his “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of the Homosexual Person,” (Oct 1, 1986), a screed that I loathe to this day, claimed that homosexual acts are “inherently disordered, and able in no case to be approved of.” He went further and claimed that, “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

    So what do you suppose the world around me was like, during my formative years? Homosexuality, everywhere on this planet, was illegal, and as some parts of the world struggled to bring gay people into the fold of the rest of society, it was the churches that fought hardest against – and in a lot of cases, it still is. What message do you think that I, or any other gay person – or any other straight person, for that matter – got from the church on the subject?

    Remember, this thread is not about theology – it’s about what I believe (or don’t), and why.
     
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  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Nope, because God wants our faith, and what an omnipotent God wants, He gets (at least from some of us).
     
  9. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    To be entirely honest, Metis, I simply do not see the need even for more "naturalistic" approaches to belief. I am content in assuming that the world is natural and in no need of anything that would resemble a deity. It is true that we don't know everything about that world yet, for example whether it always existed, came from nothing, or what have you. But I do not find inventing an unlikely solution to explain what we don't yet know is reasonable. I am content to say, "I don't know, but I hope the geniuses find something soon while I'm still here to learn about it."
     
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  10. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I want people to have a certain amount of faith in me, too, as an honest and decent person. And in order to achieve that, it is up to me to establish my own bona fides through my own actions.
     
  11. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Of course. So no evidence at all, which is kinda the point.

    Anyhow if nothingburger is enough for you, fine, it isn't for me.
     
  12. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    You are trying to present to me some sort of "perfect church" or "perfected relgion," but again, I ask you: how many people, each and every day, follow Luke 14:12-14? Are they inviting only the poor, crippled, lame and blind to their banquets, brunches and dinners? Or are they inviting their friends, family and people they'd like to have in their network?

    My beliefs are the result of living in the real world, the world I was born into and grew up in. And nothing in that world ever convinced me of the existence of a deity -- and even more importantly, never convinced me that most of the people around me who claimed to be believers actually were.

    Remember what I said in my OP: your beliefs inform your actions. And if you claim to follow every word of the Gospels, and then act otherwise, what do you think I'm going to believe about you?
     
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  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    We cannot know of God's actions because God's actions are unknowable. All we can know about God and God's Will for us comes through the Messengers of God. By having faith in them we have faith in God.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Nope. Look at my evidence list on that link and you will know they did not have the evidence that Baha'u'llah had.
    It is really a slam dunk.
     
  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    And I am sorry, but I can't help but find that ludicrous. How many people, throughout history, have claimed to be "messengers of God?" And how many of them have been accepted by this group, or that, here or there? And all on the basis of their own say-so.

    Why should I believe one, or two or three, and not a thousand others? Why should I not have believed, just in my lifetime alone, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, Bagwan Shree Rajneesh, or Charles Manson? Lots of other people did -- believed strongly enough to die for them.
     
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  18. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    But not
    Every prophet and religion says the some
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Below is a post I sent to an atheist with whom I conversed on Delphi forums for about six years. He claimed that all alleged messengers represent imaginary gods (in other words, they were false prophets).

    Atheist said:
    Also, every imaginary god ever believed in did as well as to have at least one alleged messenger. These messengers also had their gullible followers who thought their messenger was the real deal, and also fantasized that they had evidence of their messenger being the real deal. So a god having a messenger thought to be the real deal doesn't mean ####.

    I said:
    A God having a Messenger thought to be the real deal does mean something if He was really a Messenger of God, but you will never know that because you assume without even looking at the Messenger that He cannot represent a real God.

    Here, let’s go over this again:

    That is true that the world is full of men who claim to speak for God, but logically speaking that does not mean that there were not one or more Messengers who did speak for God.

    There are two logical possibilities: A = true Messenger; B = false Messenger.

    There have been many false messengers, (a) ones who thought they got a message from God (psychotics) or (b) ones that were lying (con-men), but logically speaking that does not mean that there were never any true Messengers of God.

    It is the Fallacy of Hasty Generalization to assume that just because many or most messengers were false all messengers were false.

    The only reason anyone should believe that Baha’u’llah was a true Messenger of God is because of the evidence that indicates that. It is completely irrelevant how many false messengers there have been. It is also completely irrelevant that God could communicate directly if He wanted to. That is a red herring because it is unrelated to this argument about Messengers.

    Hasty generalization is an informal fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence—essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables.
    Hasty generalization - Wikipedia

    You are making a hasty conclusion without any evidence (since you never researched the claim of Baha’u’llah) that Baha’u’llah represents an imaginary god. Thus, you have based your conclusion on “insufficient evidence,” essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables. There is no way you can wriggle out of this unless you can prove that Baha’u’llah was a false messenger.

    Hasty generalization usually shows this pattern:
    1. messenger a represented an imaginary god
    2. messenger b represented an imaginary god
    3. messenger c represented an imaginary god
    4. messenger d represented an imaginary god
    Therefore, messenger d (in this case Baha’u’llah) represented an imaginary god.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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