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Revenant
13-05-06, 20:56
I keep coming across atheists that somehow feel that religious people are weak. I don't get this perspective, as I feel that humans just can't deal with pure reality as pure reality, and all therefore have crutches to help them get through difficult times. To me, I see this particular atheistic perspective as arrogant, and somehow not true. I wish I could come up with something more solid, rather than just this vague feeling I have, at the moment what I want to say eludes me. Hope you can catch the gist of it.

Other perspectives?

Maciamo
14-05-06, 00:26
What do you mean by weak exactly ? If you mean unable to have principles or strict beliefs, or lacking self-control, then no. But if you mean lacking lacking independence of mind, being more influenceable or weaker at reasoning, then I would tend to agree on a general basis.

Mars Man
14-05-06, 05:15
And that, my friend, is one twister of a question--as in hard to answer. It's a good one, and I found that I could not vote in any simple 'yes or no' fashion.

I tend to see it as a matter of many factors playing upon each other or intersecting at points that make things such as brain-state (which includes active firing structures within it) upon which perhaps one could make a value judgement as to whether a particular brain were 'weak' or 'strong'.

Of course I know that you had most likely been simply talking about a general and practical overall state of personality and how it is seen and shown in daily life, but I just can't help but feeling that we should be more thoughtful in such things.

I hope I make sense....

Revenant
14-05-06, 12:11
What do you mean by weak exactly?A lot of atheists speak of God as a crutch to help theists get through difficult times. But as I read, faith in something goes some ways to raising one's happiness. An atheist might have some mantra of something that helps him/her get through difficult times, that being say, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. But for that to actually help an atheist, he must have some faith in that statement.

I would agree with Karen Armstrong's statement that humans just aren't very good at dealing with reality in it's purity, and thus have faiths and other belief systems been born. In short, I think most everyone, regardless of belief system, has their crutches that help them get through difficult times.
But if you mean.......or weaker at reasoning, then I would tend to agree on a general basis.I don't know that they are necessarily weaker at reasoning. It seems that some of them, in situations that don't involve challenging something that brings them a sense of comfort, are excellent at reasoning. I can certainly say I've met my share of atheists that don't seem terribly great at reasoning themselves, so where both sides stand in relation to powers of reasoning, I can't say.

Tsuyoiko
15-05-06, 12:16
I voted no, because I don't believe in using negative terms such as 'weak' or in labelling people in general. There are many different kinds of atheists and many different kinds of religious people who all have different strengths, talents and priorities.

Why would an atheist want to call someone weak? That would suggest to me that their own interpersonal skills are underdeveloped, in that they don't anticipate the harm they may do in generalising about people in that way. That in itself could be considered a weakness.

I think Revenant is absolutely right in pointing out that we all need coping strategies, irrespective of our beliefs. Whereas my Christian friends turn to god as a source of strength, I turn to science. The more I know about why things are the way they are, the better I feel - but the fact still remains that knowledge is no less a crutch for me than god is for a theist.

I would add also that I believe we are all wired in a certain way, depending on our genes, the random ways in which our brain got wired during development, and the way our experiences have developed our characters. I think that wiring determines to a large extent the kind of experiences we are open to, and I don't think we are completely free to choose what we believe in. Logic and science will speak to some people, god will speak to others. I think most people are somewhere in between.

Maciamo
15-05-06, 15:33
A lot of atheists speak of God as a crutch to help theists get through difficult times.
So you mean emotionally weaker, because they need to believe in some kind of dreams to be happy ? I could agree with that to some extent.
I would also think that a lot (not all) of religious people are "morally weak", and that is why they need other people (or their religion or holy book) to tell them what is right and what is wrong. That is maybe why some very religious people are also more influenceable and easier to manipulate (e.g. to turn them into terrorists, or to make them die fighting for their religion). In that sense they have a weaker "independence of mind".

I can certainly say I've met my share of atheists that don't seem terribly great at reasoning themselves, so where both sides stand in relation to powers of reasoning, I can't say.
I assumed that when you said Atheists, you meant "Strong Atheists" (people who are philosophically convinced of the non-existence of god or the non divine character of religions). "Weak Atheists" (those who just don't care about anything philosophic or spiritual) could be smaong those with the weakest reasoning skills (although again, not all).

Revenant
16-05-06, 07:50
So you mean emotionally weaker, because they need to believe in some kind of dreams to be happy ? I could agree with that to some extent.Is there a difference between finding coping strategies in ideas that lack scientific support and those that have a lot of scientific support?

If religion is a lot like art, with ideas that move some, but not all, then we could compare it to a surreal painting that moves one, but does nothing to impress another who prefers more realistically painted art. In the end, it all comes down to our emotional lives, does it not? Can the person who is more deeply moved by realistic pictures say to the one who likes surreal that he is emotionally weaker?

I would also think that a lot (not all) of religious people are "morally weak", and that is why they need other people (or their religion or holy book) to tell them what is right and what is wrong.Although looking at it from another perspective, perhaps they chose their beliefs because they could at least intellectually agree with the morals the belief system set forth.

Maciamo
16-05-06, 09:30
Is there a difference between finding coping strategies in ideas that lack scientific support and those that have a lot of scientific support?

I don't think that sciences brings any kind of emotional comfort regarding life after death or misery on earth. It takes guts to believe that once you die, that's it - there is no heaven, no eternal bliss, no trumpeting angels or horny virgins waiting for you.

That is mostly the part that make me describe religious people as people deceiving themselves by living in dreams and lies. It brings them an artificial comfort unknown of people like me (no wonder I am so nervous and anxious, as I know I only have one life).


If religion is a lot like art, with ideas that move some, but not all, then we could compare it to a surreal painting that moves one, but does nothing to impress another who prefers more realistically painted art.

I don't think we are talking about the same aspects of religion. One doesn't need to be religious to be moved by even the most religious painting (e.g. Capella Sistina in the Vatican). Likewise, I can be moved by very irrational and nearly religious movies or books. But this is all for "personal enjoyment" -- that doesn't make it true. It's not because I enjoy watching a movie about the life of a saint, a priest or another religious figure that I believe in the metaphysics that they believe in. It's not because I enjoy watching irrational movies or anime that I believe in them. That's the same for religion. I can accept that people find comfort in joining religious communities to help each others, find a aim in their lives in following the teachings of a particular religion or religious leader, or even find solace in the "fairy tale" stories about heaven and all. But for me it's just another form of entertainment.

It's like bedside stories we tell to children to make them sleep. They are comforting and pleaing for the imagination. But thatt doesn't make them true. It's fine to use them. But adults should at least know that they are not true. I just find it so sad that some people remain in a blissful childlike state during all their life, and really do believe that the prince charming or Santa Claus exist and will come (you understand that "prince charming or Santa Claus" are just metaphors for god or the divine providence).


In the end, it all comes down to our emotional lives, does it not? Can the person who is more deeply moved by realistic pictures say to the one who likes surreal that he is emotionally weaker?

I am a realist in matters of philosophy, because it concerns reality. In other words, "I am real when it comes to reality" (sounds strange to have to say it, though). But I can also enjoy a surrealist and even a deeply religious painting. Otherwise there would be no reason I could appreciate watching a so unrealistic Hollywood action movie, where people jump through window without getting a scatch, jump from a bridge onto a helicopter or miraculously survive an explosion. But I do. What;s the difference between an unrealistic action movie, and an unrealistic scene of heaven with a bearded god ? Why could I enjoy watching statues of Greco-Roman gods and not of a Christian figure ? What matters for me in art is esthetic beauty. The theme does not matter much, as long as the artistic talent is there.

That's one of the cool things about not being religious - you can appreciate any form of religious art without thinking that you should care more (or only) about the one of your own religion. When I see Muslims destroying arts from other religions, it really make me sad. And it is not as much because of the material loss than feeling how superficial and nonsensical their religious convictions are. Of course Christians have been like that too. In history, we have seen that the invaders replaced the places of cults and statues of the losers' religion by the ones of their own religion. Roman temples were eventually destroyed or converted in Christian churches. When the Muslim invaded the Eastern Roman Empire and Spain, they destroyed or converted churches into mosques. When the Christians retook Spain, they did the same again. In Sicily, there are buildings which have served as Roman temple, church, mosque, then church again. All this because of the intolerance of (truly) religious people for the art forms of other religions.


Although looking at it from another perspective, perhaps they chose their beliefs because they could at least intellectually agree with the morals the belief system set forth.

This is why I say that they have a weak independence of mind or poor reasoning skills. They could very well set their own morals by thinking by themselves about what really matters for them. One could also freely learn about the various moral principles of all kinds of religions and people (famous ones, or just people you know), then compile their own moral rules, based on what one personally trust to be right. My observations have shown me that anyway if someone with a strong character who doesn't really believe that some moral rules will not follow them. And someone with a weak character, who cannot determine on their own what is right and what is wrong, will blindly follow what their moral or religious leader/advisor tell them (with potentially disastrous consequences).

Kinsao
16-05-06, 11:34
I disagree that religious people are weaker than atheistic people.


I don't know that they are necessarily weaker at reasoning. It seems that some of them, in situations that don't involve challenging something that brings them a sense of comfort, are excellent at reasoning.
I don't agree with the suggestion that religious people by definition don't challenge or have never challenged 'something that brings them a sense of comfort' (i.e. their beliefs). On the contrary, many religious people go through times where they very much doubt their religion and question it a lot. Some religious people gave up the religion they'd been brought up to, lived for many years with no religion, and came to believe in a different religion later in their life. Other people never believed in anything but later on became to believe in a religion. You could hardly say that people who travelled these routes never questioned their belief because it was comfortable for them. On the contrary, I think that it's in human nature to be 'rebellious' and to challenge things that people try to force on us - one reason why a lot of people who were made to attend at a church as a child give up on this when they become older. I don't think it is in human nature to simply swallow what we're told. Human beings naturally have inquisitive minds. Of course, people have varying levels of intelligence and some people are bad at reasoning and not cut out for it. These people would be more likely just to 'believe' out of comfort or habit. But I doubt that they are in the great majority.


I don't believe in using negative terms such as 'weak' or in labelling people in general. There are many different kinds of atheists and many different kinds of religious people who all have different strengths, talents and priorities.
If you will excuse me for saying so, Tsuyoiko, when you are older than myself and a lot better at reasoning, that's a very sensible and mature point of view.


I would also think that a lot (not all) of religious people are "morally weak", and that is why they need other people (or their religion or holy book) to tell them what is right and what is wrong.
That thinking puzzles me. (I realise that you are not generalising, because you say 'not all' ^^) It looks from the viewpoint 'people believe what they are told by the holy book'. Evidently some people do. But is there not also a case for saying that people choose the 'holy book' and/or religion that they believe in because they find it in agreement with their own already thoughts and feelings? I'm not saying that this is always the case, of course; I'm just playing 'devil's advocate' if you like and saying that perhaps humanity en masse is less brainless and sheeplike than we're commonly given to believe...


I don't think that sciences brings any kind of emotional comfort regarding life after death or misery on earth. It takes guts to believe that once you die, that's it - there is no heaven, no eternal bliss, no trumpeting angels or horny virgins waiting for you.

That is mostly the part that make me describe religious people as people deceiving themselves by living in dreams and lies. It brings them an artificial comfort unknown of people like me.
What makes you think there is any emotional comfort in the 'religious' idea of life after death? Personally, I would find it far more comforting to believe that there is nothing after we die. That way, I can get on with looking after number one and having a great time. Aren't there enough worries within life, without having to think about what happens after you die? It's hard enough to deal with responsibilities and consequences here and now. But to think that there isn't any escape from existance (in whatever form)... I find that quite disturbing.

I suppose there are some people who think of death in terms of going to a place of eternal bliss and trumpeting angels and horny virgins. I can only say that that kind of naivety isn't the whole of religious belief. -_- It's not cool to mention 'hell' any more these days - because then you get accused of trying to scare people into following a religion - and I certainly wouldn't believe in a big pit of fire and brimstone waiting for us any more than I believe we sit on clouds playing harps. But who says it's all good after death? Anyone who does believe in some sort of existence after death but who doesn't think we have to deal with the consequences of our actions has to be naive in the extreme.

Personally, I would be less nervous and anxious if I thought I had only one life. I have quite enough trouble coping with this one!


It's like bedside stories we tell to children to make them sleep. They are comforting and pleasing for the imagination. But that doesn't make them true. It's fine to use them. But adults should at least know that they are not true. I just find it so sad that some people remain in a blissful childlike state during all their life.
That is indeed the case for people who are prone to following like sheep, who have poor reasoning skills, and who never question their religion. But not all religious people fall into that category. I agree that it is very sad when people never move beyond the idea of 'God' that they were given as a child; some bearded man in the sky, and a heaven with white fluffy clouds and halos. But people do question their religion, people investigate various different religions, people spend time thinking on philosophy, going on journeys of self-discovery, even writing books about it. And when all is said and done, the crux point of what you are disagreeing about is simply (at its most basic level) the existence of an 'intelligence' that created the universe and sustains its existence. And that thing cannot be proved or disproved by reasoning alone, so atheists and non-atheists will always have to 'agree to disagree', and the belief in such an 'intelligence' does not preclude someone from being a rational and independent person.


That's one of the cool things about not being religious - you can appreciate any form of religious art without thinking that you should care more (or only) about the one of your own religion.
You are right, it is sad and narrow-minded to be unable to appreciate art forms outside of one's own religion. As an artist I cannot understand how people can do that, especially in destroying works of art and craft. Personally, as a Catholic, I cannot stand a lot of so-called 'art' works associated with my religion! (I don't mean great works of art, but rather, those horrible tacky pictures that seem to proliferate on prayer cards and Christian kitcsh. >_<)


someone with a strong character who doesn't really believe that some moral rules will not follow them. And someone with a weak character, who cannot determine on their own what is right and what is wrong, will blindly follow what their moral or religious leader/advisor tell them
That is the nub of the argument in the thread title, and it is quite true what you say there. That doesn't mean jack about 'religion'; it is about human nature. "A strong character who doesn't really believe that some moral rules will not follow them"... "Someone with a weak character, who cannot determine on their own what is right and what is wrong, will blindly follow what their moral or religious leader/advisor tell them". Sad but true.

Oh s**t. I tried to be intelligent again... dangit. :gomen:

Tsuyoiko
16-05-06, 14:42
I don't think that sciences brings any kind of emotional comfort regarding life after death or misery on earth. I can tell you from personal experience that they do, for me at least! It brings me a lot of comfort to believe that whatever mistakes I make ultimately don't matter for me, as no matter who you are you will get the same fate after death. Science and rational thinking also bring me a lot of comfort in everyday life. If I am feeling anxious I know that it's not because I'm weak, but because my genes made me that way.
That is mostly the part that make me describe religious people as people deceiving themselves by living in dreams and lies.That assumes that they could believe otherwise if they only tried. I don't think that's always true. IMO, religious people don't see reason as the answer to everything because their brains aren't wired that way. Try as I might, I can't get my husband to understand quantum theory because he doesn't have a logical mind - but his mind is far more creative and spontaneous than mine. I can't write poetry or defend someone in a disciplinary hearing. Which of us is weak?
I can accept that people find comfort in joining religious communities to help each others, find a aim in their lives in following the teachings of a particular religion or religious leader, or even find solace in the "fairy tale" stories about heaven and all. But for me it's just another form of entertainment. Even if you're right, I don't think that makes them weak. It just means they have different priorities. Your priority (and mine) is to acquire knowledge that we can be sure applies to reality. A religious person's priority might be to believe in a worldview that makes sense of the world from their own personal perspective and helps them to be a stronger person.

It's like bedside stories we tell to children to make them sleep. They are comforting and pleaing for the imagination. But thatt doesn't make them true. It's fine to use them. But adults should at least know that they are not true. I just find it so sad that some people remain in a blissful childlike state during all their life, and really do believe that the prince charming or Santa Claus exist and will come (you understand that "prince charming or Santa Claus" are just metaphors for god or the divine providence).The difference is that no-one sees any evidence for the existence of these characters. But they do see the evidence for the existence of god, even if we don't. Whether they are wrong in our opinion is irrelevant - they are basing that belief on the evidence of their own senses so it is not a true analogy to compare it to a fairytale. Perhaps you are aware of the findings of Robert Trivers on self-deception (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception). It has been shown that often people just don't know when their perceptions don't tally with reality - that is human nature, not weakness.
When I see Muslims destroying arts from other religions, it really make me sad. And it is not as much because of the material loss than feeling how superficial and nonsensical their religious convictions are.I'm sure most religious people feel sad too. Don't forget that fundamentalists are a minority.
In history, we have seen that the invaders replaced the places of cults and statues of the losers' religion by the ones of their own religion. Roman temples were eventually destroyed or converted in Christian churches. When the Muslim invaded the Eastern Roman Empire and Spain, they destroyed or converted churches into mosques. When the Christians retook Spain, they did the same again. In Sicily, there are buildings which have served as Roman temple, church, mosque, then church again. All this because of the intolerance of (truly) religious people for the art forms of other religions.We all know that atheists have been responsible for some atrocities too :blush:
This is why I say that they have a weak independence of mind or poor reasoning skills.Are independence of mind and reasoning skills precious? Does everyone need them to the same extent? I value kindness but I don't expect everyone to be a 'people person'.
They could very well set their own morals by thinking by themselves about what really matters for them.Only if you assume that everyone has the ability or will to do that. Some people might prefer their morality 'off-the-peg', either because they don't have the skills to decide for themselves, or they have other priorities. I might wonder why someone buys jewellery when I can just make my own.
My observations have shown me that anyway if someone with a strong character who doesn't really believe that some moral rules will not follow them. And someone with a weak character, who cannot determine on their own what is right and what is wrong, will blindly follow what their moral or religious leader/advisor tell them (with potentially disastrous consequences).I think even most religious people pick and choose to some extent. And for those who blindly follow, can we be sure that the consequences would have been any better had they decided for themselves? My sister-in-law makes her own moral decisions, but I wish she'd seek advice from the church! ;-)

Maciamo
16-05-06, 15:28
I can tell you from personal experience that they do, for me at least! It brings me a lot of comfort to believe that whatever mistakes I make ultimately don't matter for me, as no matter who you are you will get the same fate after death. Science and rational thinking also bring me a lot of comfort in everyday life. If I am feeling anxious I know that it's not because I'm weak, but because my genes made me that way.

Sciences comfort you about your place in society and tells you more about you or the way human beings function (I include psychology in sciences of course). But it does not answer the same questions as religion or philosophy.

Sciences does not comfort you about death. Its not because you know that everybody gets the same fate that it makes you less anxious about dying, does it ? To control this natural instinct to fear death, you need something else. In my case, it is my (rational, but not proven) assumption that the universe is eternal and that so we are, as we will have an infinity of chances in the future to live again (i.e. the matter that compose us will organise itself into other life beings again and again, forever). This is not science. It is philosophy. It's hard to live without both religion and philosophy. Irrational people choose the former, rational people the latter (even if you are not aware of it, you certainly have your own non-scientific convictions too).



That assumes that they could believe otherwise if they only tried. I don't think that's always true. IMO, religious people don't see reason as the answer to everything because their brains aren't wired that way. Try as I might, I can't get my husband to understand quantum theory because he doesn't have a logical mind - but his mind is far more creative and spontaneous than mine. I can't write poetry or defend someone in a disciplinary hearing. Which of us is weak?

It's fine that they brain is not wired that way. Not everybody has the mental capabilities to understand the truth about reality. In fact, we all do at different levels. I am just saying that deeply religious people have some kind of cognitive impairment that prevents them from understanding reality as much as others do. I am just observing, stating facts, not judging.


Even if you're right, I don't think that makes them weak. It just means they have different priorities.

"Weak" does not have a meaning of its own. Someone is weak at something. Another person at something else. I am just saying that they are weaker at logical reasoning. They might be stronger at other things.


Your priority (and mine) is to acquire knowledge that we can be sure applies to reality. A religious person's priority might be to believe in a worldview that makes sense of the world from their own personal perspective and helps them to be a stronger person.

Good for them. As you said, we have different priorities. What I dislike is when religious people claim that they "know the truth", when they are actually less able to distinguish reality.


Perhaps you are aware of the findings of Robert Trivers on self-deception (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception).

Very interesting. Maybe we are all deceiving ourselves on different levels. After all, we are only humans, with limited cognitive skills and hampering emotions and physical needs.


We all know that atheists have been responsible for some atrocities too :blush:

I agree. :blush:


Are independence of mind and reasoning skills precious? Does everyone need them to the same extent? I value kindness but I don't expect everyone to be a 'people person'.

Agreed that they are precious to me. It's fine that some other people don't value them as much, but I don't want to tell me that I am wrong at stuff that require independence of mind and reasoning skills when they come up with irrational arguments. Concretely, I still do not accept that my religion teachers at school had to be right when their arguments were not logical or rational, and that they gave me bad marks just because I didn't believe in their religion. This is forcing a personal opinion onto somebody else, or discriminating against them regarding the marks. I became anti-Christian because Christian proselytisers forced me too.


Only if you assume that everyone has the ability or will to do that. Some people might prefer their morality 'off-the-peg', either because they don't have the skills to decide for themselves, or they have other priorities. I might wonder why someone buys jewellery when I can just make my own.

Jewellery is superficial and only pleases one's ego (like many other material goods). Well, pleasing one's ego is part and parcel of being human, but it's shouldn't be a priority. Morals is necessary on a daily basis for humans to live in society. Taking it 'off-the-peg' can be extremely dangerous. There would be no religious terrorists/criminals without 'off-the-peg' morals. Is that not an important enough reason ?


I think even most religious people pick and choose to some extent.

That is what I wanted to say. Religious people with a strong character eventuallu end up picking and choosing what morals suits them in their religion (so what's the purpose of religion for them ?). Religious people of weak character end up being manipulated by religious leaders. That's inevitable... in a world with religions.

Maciamo
16-05-06, 15:32
That thinking puzzles me. (I realise that you are not generalising, because you say 'not all' ^^)
In fact, I am generalising because I am saying 'not all'. I would make it absolute if I said 'all'. A generality represents a trend (let's say 30 to 90%), not something that is true in all cases. But don't worry, I do not count the number of times that people have misused the word "generalising" on this forum or in real life. Just remember that "generally" does not mean "always".


I agree that it is very sad when people never move beyond the idea of 'God' that they were given as a child; some bearded man in the sky, and a heaven with white fluffy clouds and halos. But people do question their religion, people investigate various different religions, people spend time thinking on philosophy, going on journeys of self-discovery, even writing books about it. And when all is said and done, the crux point of what you are disagreeing about is simply (at its most basic level) the existence of an 'intelligence' that created the universe and sustains its existence.

Once you have reached that point in your reflection, it is not a matter of atheism vs religiousity, but atheism vs deism. If you believe in an non-human-like god, you are already beyond Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or most of the traditional religions. If you believe that this god does not judge us in our daily lives because It doesn't really care about us petty humans (why would It judge humans and not animals, humans and not other intelligent beings somewhere else in the immensity of the universe), then your are a Deist (as opposed to a Theist, who believe that god(s) intervene in his/her life or judge him/her).

If you believe that moral is relative, and that holy scriptures can be interpreted in many different (right) ways, you are also beyond one particular religion - you are a Universalist (= "all religions have some good points, from which anyone can take what they like").

You can be both a Deist and a Universalist, btw. But most of them do not fall under my definition of "religious", because they follow their own beliefs, not an organised religion with clearly stamped out beliefs or rules.

As I said earlier, everybody needs to believe in something to control their fear of death or give a meaning to their life. Even I. Some people choose the rational way (philosophy), others the irrational way (religion, myths). Those with an independent mind will make their own philosophy or religious beliefs, while others will choose the easy way (off-the-peg religions/philosophies). Universalists are in between, as they take elements from ready-made religions/philosophies, and combine what they like in each (so it's not their ideas, but it's their combination).

In short :

- Own philosophy => for rational and independent-minded people
- Acquired philosophy => for rational but not independent-minded people (rare)
- Own rational & irrational, philosophic and/or religious beliefs (Universalism) => for balanced people who need both rational and irrational beliefs and are quite independent-minded.
- Own religious beliefs => for irrational but independent-minded people (fairly rare too)
- 'Off-the-peg' religion (i.e. following exactly and without contestation an organised religion) => for irrational and not independent-minded people.

Revenant
16-05-06, 16:54
Kinsao, I made a generalization, and it is not entirely well-founded. I agree, some religious folk do evaluate their faith a lot. In part, what I wrote was in regards to, for example, creationists. Some people have walked creationists through the experiments, and explained carefully how it all works, and even after all that, does the creationist adhere strongly to a Young Earth. These same people do fine in other areas of reason, but that doesn't carry over into science that challenges their faith.

I don't think that sciences brings any kind of emotional comfort regarding life after death or misery on earth. It takes guts to believe that once you die, that's it - there is no heaven, no eternal bliss, no trumpeting angels or horny virgins waiting for you.This sort of sounds the reverse of what some Christians feel, they feel it takes guts to live as a true Christian, giving up many things including in some circles social acceptance. It takes for some Christians a struggle to maintain some faith that there will be a heaven.

As to the misery on earth, science brings absolutely no comfort as I see it. This is sort of where religion comes in for some. A Buddhist can believe that even their relatives are paying their karmic consequences, and Christian can believe that there will be justice later on.

That is mostly the part that make me describe religious people as people deceiving themselves by living in dreams and lies. It brings them an artificial comfort unknown of people like me (no wonder I am so nervous and anxious, as I know I only have one life).Looking at history, or one theory of what went down in history, the current orthodox Christianity became more popular than the other versions, i.e. Gnostic Christianity for that very reason, that there is less reason to fear death, and that there will be hope for justice, and a happier existence.

It is a paradigm that gives some people the courage to do as they feel is correct. Take the Christian woman who was eventually killed, she spent her time trying to keep the rainforests from being cut down, and the locals from being uprooted by ranchers. Standing up to ranchers in Brazil just isn't something that people who want to keep this life do, but brandishing Bible in hand, she faced down hired assassins.

In some ways, if happiness is the end goal, and taking on beliefs that aren't supported by science help people deal with life, and feel that they are living for a larger cause than themselves, then religion fits the bill very well. Humans are driven by emotions, and it is towards pleasure that humans strive.

I don't think we are talking about the same aspects of religion. One doesn't need to be religious to be moved by even the most religious painting (e.g. Capella Sistina in the Vatican). Likewise, I can be moved by very irrational and nearly religious movies or books. But this is all for "personal enjoyment" -- that doesn't make it true. It's not because I enjoy watching a movie about the life of a saint, a priest or another religious figure that I believe in the metaphysics that they believe in. It's not because I enjoy watching irrational movies or anime that I believe in them. That's the same for religion. I can accept that people find comfort in joining religious communities to help each others, find a aim in their lives in following the teachings of a particular religion or religious leader, or even find solace in the "fairy tale" stories about heaven and all. But for me it's just another form of entertainment.I was making a comparison between religion and art. Let's take a different example then. When I'm feeling down, or discouraged, listening to some Final Fantasy tracks will often help me get out of the funk. The same tune would do nothing for some, and it would even annoy others. I see religion as a lot like music, with beautiful and romantic ideas that deeply move some people, and sometimes a lot more deeply than just music or movies, cause there is a lot of actualy belief invested in them.

It should be noted that at least I see religion as a step higher than music or movies, in that it is a system, that for those who take the time to carefully understand and follow their religion, includes a set of very admirable morals.
It's like bedside stories we tell to children to make them sleep. They are comforting and pleasing to the imagination. But that doesn't make them true. It's fine to use them. But adults should at least know that they are not true. I just find it so sad that some people remain in a blissful childlike state during all their life, and really do believe that the prince charming or Santa Claus exist and will come (you understand that "prince charming or Santa Claus" are just metaphors for god or the divine providence).Apart from pointing out that we don't know for certain that their beliefs aren't true, and anyone making a claim then has the burden of proof (a theist claiming God exists must prove that, as an atheist claiming that a God doesn't exist must also povide proof), I hardly see what is wrong with bliss. If someone is happy and moral, even if their faith isn't supported by science, I give them that they found happiness, and that to me seems the goal of life, to find a happiness in purpose, meaning, and connection.

This is why I say that they have a weak independence of mind or poor reasoning skills. They could very well set their own morals by thinking by themselves about what really matters for them. One could also freely learn about the various moral principles of all kinds of religions and people (famous ones, or just people you know), then compile their own moral rules, based on what one personally trust to be right.The cross section of people without independence of mind or poor reasoning skills includes both atheists and religious people. We discuss the religious people with poor reasoning skills quite a lot here, but there are a lot of secular folk who also don't carefully reason. They fall into all the popular opinions, etc, that abound. It is now 'popular' in some parts to dislike the white protestant Christian male. They are symbolic of the 'us vs them' struggle against fundamentalism in America.
My observations have shown me that anyway if someone with a strong character who doesn't really believe that some moral rules will not follow them. And someone with a weak character, who cannot determine on their own what is right and what is wrong, will blindly follow what their moral or religious leader/advisor tell them (with potentially disastrous consequences).I agree.

Maciamo
16-05-06, 18:52
This sort of sounds the reverse of what some Christians feel, they feel it takes guts to live as a true Christian, giving up many things including in some circles social acceptance. It takes for some Christians a struggle to maintain some faith that there will be a heaven.


Maybe the situation is different in the USA where there are so many Christian denominations and one easily falls in the minority. But when I speak about Christianity, I usually mean the Catholic version, which is by far the most widespread on Earth (over a billion followers, officially), and the dominant and often only denomination in most of Europe, the Philippines and all Latin America.

In such countries, being a Catholic is being in the mainstream, so do like everybody else (or follow family tradition). Few Catholics really believe in hell or eternal damnation nowadays (unlike 50 years ago). In fact, the present Catholic Church should be called Reformed Catholic Church, after they changed so many beliefs during the Second Vatican Council (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Vatican_Council) in 1962-5. Pachipro explained this quite well here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=246710&postcount=125).

When I'm feeling down, or discouraged, listening to some Final Fantasy tracks will often help me get out of the funk. The same tune would do nothing for some, and it would even annoy others. I see religion as a lot like music, with beautiful and romantic ideas that deeply move some people, and sometimes a lot more deeply than just music or movies, cause there is a lot of actualy belief invested in them.

I like your comparison of religion with music. However, keep in mind that human beings almost never kill each others over different tastes in music as they have done again and again with religion.


Apart from pointing out that we don't know for certain that their beliefs aren't true, and anyone making a claim then has the burden of proof (a theist claiming God exists must prove that, as an atheist claiming that a God doesn't exist must also povide proof),

Yes, that's right. However, I have never heard any solid argument that can prove the existence of a human-like god like the one described by the Bible or Koran. However, it is very easy to prove that such a god cannot exist (I explained that briefly [url=http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=292750&postcount=3]here[/url).

I hardly see what is wrong with bliss. If someone is happy and moral, even if their faith isn't supported by science, I give them that they found happiness, and that to me seems the goal of life, to find a happiness in purpose, meaning, and connection.

Maybe because in French "bliss" has become a near synonym of "stupidity", if not "mental retardation". I agree that finding happiness is very important. But do you sincerely believe that a higher proportion of religious people are happy compared to non-religious people ? I see that people who live in misery, uncertainty and experience wars tend to be more religious, and those most educated, richest and with the most fulfilling life are often the least religious (that's why religion has lost a lot of grounds in the West after WWII, when ordinary people started getting more prospeous and better educated). So that seem to invertly correlate with happiness...


The cross section of people without independence of mind or poor reasoning skills includes both atheists and religious people. We discuss the religious people with poor reasoning skills quite a lot here, but there are a lot of secular folk who also don't carefully reason. They fall into all the popular opinions, etc, that abound. It is now 'popular' in some parts to dislike the white protestant Christian male. They are symbolic of the 'us vs them' struggle against fundamentalism in America.

The problem is again the dual meaning of Atheist (strong vs weak). Strong atheists are supposed to be able to justify the non-existence of god through logical reasoning. Those who don't care to do it or have never wondered about it are "Weak Atheists".

Revenant
16-05-06, 19:53
I thought the Belgians spoke French, perhaps I'm wrong. I just ask cause my handlename here is Revenant, and that according to the dictionary is french for one who returns from the dead. Anyhow.

I like your comparison of religion with music. However, keep in mind that human beings almost never kill each others over different tastes in music as they have done again and again with religion.I would say that fears or arrogance in which the very religion spoke against were often the cause of the wars. Socioeconomics also often played a massive, if not larger role in wars and massacres. The Koran as I understand it is a violent inner struggle against disbelief, anger, greed, etc. Other religions also speak against these same traits.

To me, some experiences are hard to put into words, like deep realizations. Let's take sex for example, how hard would it be to describe sex to one who has never had such an experience?

How much harder would religious realizations be, such as a falling away of pride, or a deep respect and even fear at the delicate beauty of life? In various ways, have many religions attempted to formulate what works, although as I see it some of the actual teachings got lost in struggles for legitimacy or unification.

[url=[quote=Revevant]]here[/url).Could you fix that link?

Maybe because in French "bliss" has become a near synonym of "stupidity", if not "mental retardation". I agree that finding happiness is very important. But do you sincerely believe that a higher proportion of religious people are happy compared to non-religious people ? I see that people who live in misery, uncertainty and experience wars tend to be more religious, and those most educated, richest and with the most fulfilling life are often the least religious (that's why religion has lost a lot of grounds in the West after WWII, when ordinary people started getting more prospeous and better educated). So that seem to invertly correlate with happiness...That is a parallel that my father also drew. I don't know that people are actually happier, it would seem that a certain level of materialism is needed for happiness, but above that, it all becomes irrelevant to one's search for happiness.

Educations can give one a lot of knowledge, but there can come a point when one simply has to stop sitting on the fence, and decide what one really believes. An education, with all of the learned skepticism that comes with it, can sometimes actually hamper effective action and even happiness. As some Thai Buddhist masters point out, American Buddhists play fast and furious with Buddha's comment that they are to take nothing on that doesn't make sense to them. A lot of effective action comes from associating great pain with an action one shouldn't do, and great pleasure with an action one should do. So a Buddhist who honestly believes that unless he meditates and pursues the Buddhist path with great sincerity, he will likely live the next life with more karmic suffering.

Religions still provide paradigms for dealing with difficult times, and it's easier to think that the African who was born hungry, slept on the cold street, and died at the hands of an ethnic cleanser would find happiness or a better life later, than it was just 'tough luck' for him.

Maciamo
16-05-06, 21:08
I thought the Belgians spoke French, prehaps I'm wrong. I just ask cause my handlename here is Revenant, and that according to the dictionary is french for one who returns from the dead. Anyhow.

Mistyping can happen to anyone (especially to me :bluush: - yeah, I definitely shouldn't watch TV while typing :D ). FYI, only about one third of the Belgians speak French as their mother tongue.

Btw, I fixed the link.

PRIZMATIC
17-05-06, 00:54
:clueless: :blush: It is doubtful to think, that " the believing person " and "atheist" strongly differ from each other - both that and another "trust"... One - in the God... Another - in the person, in itself...
"Faithless" people are not present... Everyone trust in this or that...
Unfortunately, so has developed, that the belief in the God became simply expectation of " certain instant or other Miracle " and it now is considered "Belief"...
"Belief" is completely other... Already for a long time forgotten by people...
And in the given question the question is only "motivation"...:angel:

Kinsao
17-05-06, 10:35
Maybe the situation is different in the USA where there are so many Christian denominations and one easily falls in the minority. But when I speak about Christianity, I usually mean the Catholic version, which is by far the most widespread on Earth (over a billion followers, officially), and the dominant and often only denomination in most of Europe, the Philippines and all Latin America.

In such countries, being a Catholic is being in the mainstream, so do like everybody else (or follow family tradition).
This is slightly askance from the main topic, but I just wanted to point out that the situation is different in England, where Catholics are a minority group.

Sorry for randomness; I just find that people often forget that. There is a lot of prejudice against Catholics in England, despite the genteel C of E veneer. :angryfire:

:gomen:

Maciamo
17-05-06, 10:55
This is slightly askance from the main topic, but I just wanted to point out that the situation is different in England, where Catholics are a minority group.
Sorry for randomness; I just find that people often forget that. There is a lot of prejudice against Catholics in England, despite the genteel C of E veneer. :angryfire:
:gomen:

The Church of England/Scotland and Catholicism (well, not the Roman variety) is basically the same from the point of view the dogma/beliefs, which is what we are discussing here.

Tsuyoiko
18-05-06, 13:35
Sorry to go a bit offtopic Revenant :gomen:
Sciences does not comfort you about death. Its not because you know that everybody gets the same fate that it makes you less anxious about dying, does it ?Yes, that's exactly what it does. What neuroscience tells me about consciousness means I don't have to be anxious about what will happen, as I 'know' that when my brain dies, I die. What I feel instead is a kind of annoyance that I won't have time to do everything I would like and a sadness that I will leave people behind. The anxiety I feel relates to the worry that I will not leave a legacy or that I will be in pain. But the biggest anxiety - the uncertainty about what will happen - it was science that dispelled that for me.
To control this natural instinct to fear death, you need something else. In my case, it is my (rational, but not proven) assumption that the universe is eternal and that so we are, as we will have an infinity of chances in the future to live again (i.e. the matter that compose us will organise itself into other life beings again and again, forever).That might work for you but is useless for me. I know that the atoms composing me are only borrowed. They aren't the same ones I was born with and I won't keep them all my life. I am not the matter that composes me - I am the electrical and chemical activity in my brain, and that will stop when I die. My atoms might end up in some other creature someday, but that won't help me finish Russian literature, or visit Mars. Your deriving comfort from that is as incomprehensible to me as a Christian's belief in heaven :gomen: :sorry:

Tsuyoiko
18-05-06, 13:41
As to the misery on earth, science brings absolutely no comfort as I see it.Just as a couple of examples, how about the likelihood that scientists will find cures for many diseases or develop solutions to environmental threats?

Maciamo
18-05-06, 13:52
Yes, that's exactly what it does. What neuroscience tells me about consciousness means I don't have to be anxious about what will happen, as I 'know' that when my brain dies, I die. What I feel instead is a kind of annoyance that I won't have time to do everything I would like and a sadness that I will leave people behind. The anxiety I feel relates to the worry that I will not leave a legacy or that I will be in pain. But the biggest anxiety - the uncertainty about what will happen - it was science that dispelled that for me.
Do you mean that you are never worried about or afraid of dying beyond the sadness of leaving people behind or your legacy ? Wouldn't you be afraid of having a gun stuck on your forehead, or a deadly spider walk on your hand ?

That might work for you but is useless for me. I know that the atoms composing me are only borrowed. They aren't the same ones I was born with and I won't keep them all my life. I am not the matter that composes me - I am the electrical and chemical activity in my brain, and that will stop when I die.

I think you are mistaken. We have the impression of continuity of the self (feeling oneself and not another) because our nervous system basically keeps the same cells, molecules and atoms from our birth to our death. Neurons do not regenerate themselves (or an tiny amount in some cases). That's why we are not immortal and our body ages. Our memory and mental faculties decline with the years because of that. I agree that the rest of our body cells are only borrowed atoms and energy though.


My atoms might end up in some other creature someday, but that won't help me finish Russian literature, or visit Mars.

Yes, but it comforts me to know that I will experience again that feeling of existence, of being me, again sometime in a probably very distant future. As I won't feel time passing between the death of my current nervous system and the development of the new one (almost certainly not as a homo sapiens, and maybe not on this earth though), there could still be some kind of feeling of continuity between lives. It's just that we have absolutely no memory of previous forms as life beings, and are almost never twice living as the same creature from one time to the next.

Tsuyoiko
18-05-06, 15:16
Do you mean that you are never worried about or afraid of dying beyond the sadness of leaving people behind or your legacy ? Wouldn't you be afraid of having a gun stuck on your forehead, or a deadly spider walk on your hand ?I would be afraid in those situations because of my human nature - it would be an instinctual reaction. But my reasoned, rational response is not one of fear.
I think you are mistaken. We have the impression of continuity of the self (feeling oneself and not another) because our nervous system basically keeps the same cells, molecules and atoms from our birth to our death. Neurons do not regenerate themselves (or an tiny amount in some cases).Oops, you're right - though of course much of the chemistry is transient. Still, I'm more than my atoms!
Yes, but it comforts me to know that I will experience again that feeling of existence, of being me, again sometime in a probably very distant future.OK, I sort of get it. But since it's based entirely on (rational) speculation it's not for me. I need proof. :cool:

Kinsao
18-05-06, 16:15
Wouldn't you be afraid of having a gun stuck on your forehead, or a deadly spider walk on your hand ?
I think most people are afraid of undergoing pain, regardless of their ideas about what might happen when they die. I know that I personally am more afraid of being in pain than of actually dying. :shiver:


Yes, but it comforts me to know that I will experience again that feeling of existence, of being me, again sometime in a probably very distant future. As I won't feel time passing between the death of my current nervous system and the development of the new one (almost certainly not as a homo sapiens, and maybe not on this earth though), there could still be some kind of feeling of continuity between lives. It's just that we have absolutely no memory of previous forms as life beings, and are almost never twice living as the same creature from one time to the next.
Am I right in thinking that is a belief in reincarnation, of a sort? :? (That's not meant to be some sort of trick question; I'm just curious! :p)

PRIZMATIC
19-05-06, 00:37
:blush: Small "sketch"...
Life expectancy of the person as it is told in the Bible, has been reduced... To speed up...
Under one version - expiation of its fall...
On another - search by the person of the perfect condition...
(versions both for believers and for atheists)
From the second version also follows - that "body" only "design" for comprehension by the Universe...
Comprehension development of the given form...
"Consciousness" - only information set of images and technologies of thinking (construction of ideas in logic chains...)
Therefore - people and their consciousness only a set of images and chains of ideas typed in biologically
Concerning an independent design - "body"...
And their "emotions" is only images and chains of reflections...
Differently - we only think, that we exist...
In a reality - there are only " information sets ", "written down" in independent time forms(bodys)...
.................................................. ............................................
:blush: :angel:

strongvoicesforward
19-05-06, 06:26
Are religious people somehow weaker than atheistic people?

Yes, of course they are.

In fact, generally speaking, they prey on/feed off one anothers' weaknesses when they sense or know the other is in a weaker position or situation in their life.

Take children for example: Many devout Christians will see the early childhood years (a time when children can`t reason for themselves) of children to make "it" stick through indoctrination. At that young point in their lives kids are just weak in reasoning and are apt to believe anything -- Jesus or Santa Clause.

Fear of death, Hell, and Satan however is what keeps the Jesus fiction sticking. If one wanted to keep people believing in Santa Clause, the best way would be to create an evil Santa that would wisk them to a Hell once they stopped believing in the nice Santa.

RockLee
19-05-06, 15:52
It's true they just believe anything they tell them. But nowadays even non-religious people have xmas and all those commercial festivities. So it's also atheists who are weak.

Tokis-Phoenix
19-05-06, 16:08
I keep coming across atheists that somehow feel that religious people are weak. I don't get this perspective, as I feel that humans just can't deal with pure reality as pure reality, and all therefore have crutches to help them get through difficult times. To me, I see this particular atheistic perspective as arrogant, and somehow not true. I wish I could come up with something more solid, rather than just this vague feeling I have, at the moment what I want to say eludes me. Hope you can catch the gist of it.
Other perspectives?

How many people have you met though that belong to different religions and not just christianity?
You cannot judge all religious people in such a general statement...Buddhism for example is about self-improvement for the benefet of others, to reach enlightenment, to control your weaknesses like selfishness, anger, intolerance of others, jeoulousy etc...Its is a strong religion, most buddhist i have met that have studied the way of the buddhist well were very strong, pleasant and peaceful people. It is not a weak religion, it is about improving oneself for the benefet for others, for the human race, to help end cyclic existance etc.

Religion draws different people to it- yes, some religious people i have met were needy, insecure and troubled, while others i have met were strong, peaceful and open-minded and happy. Don't we seek help though in troubled times? Does it mean you are weak if you seek help?
Maybe some religions do attract certain types more than others, but i wouldn't say religious people are "weak" at all in general.
Its also a bit like saying "real men don't cry".

strongvoicesforward
19-05-06, 16:11
It's true they just believe anything they tell them. But nowadays even non-religious people have xmas and all those commercial festivities. So it's also atheists who are weak.

lol. Yes, RockLee -- I still love it when my wife gets me a Christman present. For me, most Japanese here, many neo-Christians (like you pointed out), the day is just a comercialized holiday.

Personally, I tend to be an atheist in the sense I do not believe their is a divine personal God that cares about us or interjects himself into our history or lives. However, I do feel there may be something with a commanding presence which exists everywhere, and this seems to push me towards a Deist belief.

But, Christmas is fun for the gifts. And it is also fun to dress our dogs up in Santa and elf costumes. Perhaps I should dress them up as the "Manger" cast for Halloween.

strongvoicesforward
19-05-06, 16:20
Don't we seek help though in troubled times? Does it mean you are weak if you seek help?

If I seek help through a councelor or psychiatrist, then it means I am behaving rationally and that is a strength. If I seek help through talking to myself, thinking that my inner voice is a personal god speaking back to me, then that delusional thought -- a weaker state of existence.

Tokis-Phoenix
19-05-06, 16:39
If I seek help through a councelor or psychiatrist, then it means I am behaving rationally and that is a strength. If I seek help through talking to myself, thinking that my inner voice is a personal god speaking back to me, then that delusional thought -- a weaker state of existence.

Do you know anything about buddhism? Not every religion revolves around worshipping gods and spirits and things u'know. The vast bulk of its teachings were written by people who fully accept their mortal and human existance in this world, not some guy who claims he's the daughter or son of some god etc.

The other thing is that councelors and psychiatrists are damn expensive for most people, religion is free guidance.

Kinsao
19-05-06, 18:32
If I seek help through a councelor or psychiatrist, then it means I am behaving rationally and that is a strength. If I seek help through talking to myself, thinking that my inner voice is a personal god speaking back to me, then that delusional thought -- a weaker state of existence.
It could be argued that being able to draw strength from within oneself is 'stronger' than having to ask from outside sources for help.

RockLee
19-05-06, 18:41
The other thing is that councelors and psychiatrists are damn expensive for most people, religion is free guidance.That's not completely true. The collect-money which happens after every mass for instance. Also, there are many religious groups who ask for money to join them.

RockLee
19-05-06, 18:44
I think the OP meant that people think religious people are weak because they need to be guided by someone, and can't decide for themselves. Some people need someone or some thing to guide them, else they feel insecure.

Tokis-Phoenix
19-05-06, 19:02
That's not completely true. The collect-money which happens after every mass for instance. Also, there are many religious groups who ask for money to join them.

I'm sure they don't charge hundreds of dollars though...At all the churches i have been to in my home country, England, throughout my life, giving money to the church was completely optional and not mandatory.



I think the OP meant that people think religious people are weak because they need to be guided by someone, and can't decide for themselves. Some people need someone or some thing to guide them, else they feel insecure

Even the atheist needs guidance in their life at some point, anybody would be lying if they said they never needed guidance in certain matters or life. Guidance can be a lot of things, wether its advice, a helping hand, information etc...
Is the Atheist weak because they need guidance like anyone else? No, neither is the religious person. Their only difference is the path each individual takes.
All matters and people in life need guidance at some point, if that is weak, then perhaps we are weak by nature.

RockLee
19-05-06, 19:10
I'm sure they don't charge hundreds of dollars though...At all the churches i have been to in my home country, England, throughout my life, giving money to the church was completely optional and not mandatory.There you said it, England isn't the only place in the world you know.


Even the atheist needs guidance in their life at some point, anybody would be lying if they said they never needed guidance in certain matters or life. Guidance can be a lot of things, wether its advice, a helping hand, information etc...
Is the Atheist weak because they need guidance like anyone else? No, neither is the religious person. Their only difference is the path each individual takes.
All matters and people in life need guidance at some point, if that is weak, then perhaps we are weak by nature.Ofcourse, but in this case we are talking about spiritual guidance. An Atheist doesn't need a god or someone to guide their lives. Or think s/he will be protected by a "greater" force.

No-name
20-05-06, 00:56
I can't imagine that anyone would take a statement so broad, banal and general and label it as true. It doesn't take a great deal of research to find long lists of men and women of faith who no one would ever characterize as weak. To suggest that they are "more influenceable" or "weaker in reasoning" is simply insulting and betrays a deep prejudice against people of faith.

No-name
20-05-06, 01:52
Some atheists are probably strong. Others are weak...whatever that means. Some religious people are probably of keen intellect, solid reasoning, and deep courage... while others are sheepish drones...

Why is drawing strength from "one's self" better than from one's faith? How is living a life without any guidance stronger than following a strict code? Are Marines weaker than the homeless? Do you guys really think that all people get out of religion is someone telling them what to do, how to think and offering some sense of protection?

If you go back an look at the strenght that Gandhi drew from his self constructed faith-- I don't think you could characterize him as weak. If you read through the book of Martyrs and see how many early Catholics faced death and torture, you would understand the role faith can play. I don't see Martin Luther King Jr. as a particularly weak person or one with flaws in reasoning or judgement. Nor do I think that Mother Theresa was a sheepish drone, incapable of independant thought. I can't consider the Dali Lama weak for his faith.

I guess this is like asking the question: "Are vegetarians good at math?" Your answer will show more about your prejudices and the stereotypes you carry about vegetarians, then it will give us any idea about how the vegetarian diet affects mathematical ability.

Tokis-Phoenix
20-05-06, 22:12
There you said it, England isn't the only place in the world you know.


Yeah, so, i know england isn't the only place in the world, whats your point?



Ofcourse, but in this case we are talking about spiritual guidance. An Atheist doesn't need a god or someone to guide their lives. Or think s/he will be protected by a "greater" force.

You have a very narrow and simplistic veiw of billions of people in this world who chose to follow a religious/spiritual path or life...
I am a religious person (learning buddhism), but never have i thought i was protected by some "greater force" as you put it. The definition of Atheist is basically somone who does not believe in the existance of God or gods, you can lead a religious existance in some senses and still be an atheist.

Tokis-Phoenix
20-05-06, 22:13
Some atheists are probably strong. Others are weak...whatever that means. Some religious people are probably of keen intellect, solid reasoning, and deep courage... while others are sheepish drones...
Why is drawing strength from "one's self" better than from one's faith? How is living a life without any guidance stronger than following a strict code? Are Marines weaker than the homeless? Do you guys really think that all people get out of religion is someone telling them what to do, how to think and offering some sense of protection?
If you go back an look at the strenght that Gandhi drew from his self constructed faith-- I don't think you could characterize him as weak. If you read through the book of Martyrs and see how many early Catholics faced death and torture, you would understand the role faith can play. I don't see Martin Luther King Jr. as a particularly weak person or one with flaws in reasoning or judgement. Nor do I think that Mother Theresa was a sheepish drone, incapable of independant thought. I can't consider the Dali Lama weak for his faith.
I guess this is like asking the question: "Are vegetarians good at math?" Your answer will show more about your prejudices and the stereotypes you carry about vegetarians, then it will give us any idea about how the vegetarian diet affects mathematical ability.

I agree, good post :cool: !

Maciamo
21-05-06, 00:18
I am a religious person (learning buddhism), but never have i thought i was protected by some "greater force" as you put it.

Many Buddhist are de facto Atheists who follow some particular moral discipline. Buddha never claimed to be a god or that there was any god. Hence real Buddhists are Atheists (or Pantheists, which is about the same, just a matter of definition).


The definition of Atheist is basically somone who does not believe in the existance of God or gods, you can lead a religious existance in some senses and still be an atheist.

So you define yourself as a "religious Atheist" then ?

Maciamo
21-05-06, 00:21
If you go back an look at the strenght that Gandhi drew from his self constructed faith-- I don't think you could characterize him as weak. If you read through the book of Martyrs and see how many early Catholics faced death and torture, you would understand the role faith can play. I don't see Martin Luther King Jr. as a particularly weak person or one with flaws in reasoning or judgement. Nor do I think that Mother Theresa was a sheepish drone, incapable of independant thought. I can't consider the Dali Lama weak for his faith.
What's the point of discussing whether this or that kind of people are weak or strong when you do not say weak/strong at what ? Weak at sport ? Weak at music ? Weak at reasoning ? Weak at self-control ? Weak at manipulating ? Weak at listenning to people ? What do you mean ?

I am an Atheist, and I admit being weak at many things. But I believe that philosophically convinced Atheists (i.e. "Strong Atheist", strong referring to the conviction, not physical or emotional strength) tend to be stronger at logical reasoning and philosophical thinking than other people. Religious people can be divided in many categories : those strong at spirituality, strong at moralising, strong at puritanism, strong at compassion, strong at manipulating, etc. Very few people are strong at everything or at most things. And not just about religion... It's not "bad" not to be good at something. It's not a negative criticism not to be strong at logical reasoning. We need all kinds of people in a society.

No-name
21-05-06, 01:31
What's the point of discussing whether this or that kind of people are weak or strong when you do not say weak/strong at what ? Weak at sport ? Weak at music ? Weak at reasoning ? Weak at self-control ? Weak at manipulating ? Weak at listenning to people ? What do you mean ? Up to this point I agree with you. The question is like asking if fishermen make good omelets... some do, some don't. But then you go on to say that somehow athiests are superior in terms of logical reasoning and philosophical thinking:


I am an Atheist, and I admit being weak at many things. But I believe that philosophically convinced Atheists (i.e. "Strong Atheist", strong referring to the conviction, not physical or emotional strength) tend to be stronger at logical reasoning and philosophical thinking than other people. Religious people can be divided in many categories : those strong at spirituality, strong at moralising, strong at puritanism, strong at compassion, strong at manipulating, etc. Very few people are strong at everything or at most things. And not just about religion... It's not "bad" not to be good at something. It's not a negative criticism not to be strong at logical reasoning. We need all kinds of people in a society. It seems to me that you think the only reason people believe in a God is because they have not reasoned it out yet. I think that's a load of dookie. Some of the greatest minds- including those belonging to people renown for logic and philosophy have been religious. I don't think your belief in God or non-belief in God has anything to do with either logic or philosophy and stating something like this is ridiculous.

Revenant
21-05-06, 02:22
Hence real Buddhists are AtheistsAgnostic actually. Buddha spoke of gods, even saying that one was quite deluded and stuck in the cycle of suffering, but he did say that the existence or non-existence of gods were like a warrior looking at a poisoned arrow embedded in his leg and asking who shot the arrow. It's an irrelevant question in that situation, and the only action the warrior should be taking is getting the poisoned arrow out, along with the poison. The poison is unskillful desires, that also bring about anger, irritation, greed, clinging, aversion, etc.

No-name
21-05-06, 02:30
Sir Fancis Bacon (1561-1627)

Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth manfs mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

PRIZMATIC
21-05-06, 03:05
:blush: Small deviation from a theme:
Here, in a parallel theme,film " Code of DaVinci " has been mentioned...
And the theme - " about Jesus and Maria's possible relations " is a little...
I think - myself the believing person...
But I want " to have nothing the general " with present Christians for whom itself " other idea " on Jesus is already unacceptable...
To me Jesus Christ's Doctrine, instead of presence in it of " displays of Purity " "is personally valuable"...
There is such opinion, that during " time " byzantines seriously studied an image of the Christ and made it only with one purpose, that "to withdraw" people from real understanding of it Doctrines...
So such information has disappeared, that " the woman only becoming similarity chosen her of the man, can comprehend "Kingdom of heaven"... These Words belong to that Maria...
And apparently from these words - in them the chastity and faithfulness " is incorporated and "...
And many other "reflections"...
But why it has been rejected by "byzantines"?...:blush: :angel:
.................................................. .................................................. .

P.S. All this about motivations of believers and atheists

strongvoicesforward
21-05-06, 06:35
...he [Buddha] did say that the existence or non-existence of gods were like a warrior looking at a poisoned arrow embedded in his leg and asking who shot the arrow. It's an irrelevant question in that situation, and the only action the warrior should be taking is getting the poisoned arrow out, along with the poison.

This is one of the problems I have with Buddhism -- there is a lot of (if not too much) centering on the self. It`s a nice analogy but it ignores justice and the prevention of future crimes.

How about this analogy -- I come upon a serial killer rapist during my hike in the woods and he stabs me to leave me for dead. Luckily another hiker comes across me as I am bleeding out. Should I only focus on trying to save myself -- or if by chance I have thought recognized the killer as someone I know in my small hometown -- should I take the moment to ask a question to clarify my thought on it and pass that information along before I expire? I think I have that responsibility if I am physically able to.

It is not wrong for the injured to ask about justice or aid justice before he has recovered from his wound. Life is complex and a multi-pronged approach to all its problems are welcomed. Things are not always so simple as one sentence analogies or riddling koans.

btw -- what is the sound of one hand clapping?

----------------------------------

*Yes, I, too, went through my Buddhist stage. ;-)

strongvoicesforward
21-05-06, 06:39
The following quote was directed at Tokis-Pheonix.



So you define yourself as a "religious Atheist" then ?

lol. That`s funny and a clever coinage of words. I`ll remember it for future use.

Revenant
21-05-06, 07:34
...it ignores justice and the prevention of future crimes.I don't think Buddhism would actually be opposed to either.

I also think that you might be missing the point of the analogy. I read the point as being that one should prioritize correctly. Does one figure if and which gods exist, or does one work on solving the causes of unnecessary suffering?

strongvoicesforward
21-05-06, 07:58
I don't think Buddhism would actually be opposed to either.
I also think that you might be missing the point of the analogy. I read the point as being that one should prioritize correctly.

Hi Revenant. I see your point, but I don`t think I have missed the analogy. The analogy is correct if one thinks that in any given moment one must be myopic. However, I am of the thought that importance can be doled out to several things at once -- we might call that multi-tasking.

Could you address the analogy I offered you in return, and why Buddhism wouldn`t care for helping to garner information at the moment when death is/could be upon us -- especially when that information could help with justice?

I could imagine trying to get an arrow out of me on a battlefield and still be looking at the tree line wondering where it came from. Nervous glances back and forth from the tree line to my wound. Knowing where the arrow came from or whom, could at least let me know which way to move so that I am not in the line of fire anymore.

Like I said, one sentence analogies are often just too simplistic. And, stating so does not mean one has missed the point.


Does one figure if and which gods exist, or does one work on solving the causes of unnecessary suffering?

The curious minded who are concerned with the after life and those things they see as mysteries may choose the former. The pragmatics who are firmly planted in the present may choose the latter. A lot of people will go back and forth mixing the two -- like my analogies have shown.

Revenant
21-05-06, 08:32
Analogies are often meant to make only one point, the analogy, as you have pointed out there, does have a hole in it, and most myths and analogies do.

Could you address the analogy I offered you in return, and why Buddhism wouldn't care for helping to garner information at the moment when death is/could be upon us -- especially when that information could help with justice?I don't quite understand what part of Buddhist teaching would be opposed to that. I've never read anything that would lead me to the same conclusions.

No-name
21-05-06, 09:11
I found this essay on an apologetics website: "Christianity is for Weak, Stupid People? - The Role of Reason for Christians" by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/reason.html

This essay refutes the idea that Christianity is for the weak or stupid. It cites several verses where Christians are encouraged, even commanded to examine, test their faith, and apply reason. It concludes: "The Bible teaches a rational faith, based upon knowledge and refined through testing. Christians are encouraged to use their minds in all aspects of life, including our spiritual life - prayer and worship. God values truthfulness to a high degree and wants us to know the truth about his creation, the nature of His being and His scriptures. Ultimately, God wants all people to come to the knowledge of the truth of His salvation through Jesus Christ, so that they may spend eternity with Him in the new creation."

Maciamo
21-05-06, 10:07
It seems to me that you think the only reason people believe in a God is because they have not reasoned it out yet. I think that's a load of dookie. Some of the greatest minds- including those belonging to people renown for logic and philosophy have been religious. I don't think your belief in God or non-belief in God has anything to do with either logic or philosophy and stating something like this is ridiculous.

Again, greatest minds at what ? Most famous intellectuals are specialised in something. Many scientists may have the reasoning/logic skills, but lack the philosophical ones (I know many of them). You don't need great philosophical and logical skills to become a great artist, linguistic, politician, etc.

As for Francis Bacon or other philosophers who might have believed in god, let's keep in mind that I am talking about people now with the knowledge available now. I would still be an agnostic or a deist if I had not learned about neuropsychology (and how even emotions are just biochemical reactions, and disappear if a part of that brain is removed) and relativity.

Maciamo
21-05-06, 10:13
I found this essay on an apologetics website: "Christianity is for Weak, Stupid People? - The Role of Reason for Christians" by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/reason.html

This essay refutes the idea that Christianity is for the weak or stupid. It cites several verses where Christians are encouraged, even commanded to examine, test their faith, and apply reason.

It actually proves my point about their lack of reasoning skills. If they did apply reason to their beliefs, how comes they never reached the same level of understanding as I did as a child about how man-made Christianity, how manipulative and political the Church is, and how contradictory the Bible is ?

Maciamo
21-05-06, 10:19
btw -- what is the sound of one hand clapping?

Sorry, that's offtopic, but can't so many people clap with one hand ? It's so easy, just quickly and powerfully clap your fingers on your palm. It's not as effective as with two hands, but it does emit some clapping sound.

No-name
21-05-06, 17:51
It actually proves my point about their lack of reasoning skills. If they did apply reason to their beliefs, how comes they never reached the same level of understanding as I did as a child about how man-made Christianity, how manipulative and political the Church is, and how contradictory the Bible is ? This proves my point- You clearly lack any kind of objectivity when it comes to discussing religion due to some past experiences.

It seems like you are saying that only people that think like you have any intellectual capacity. So if people disagree with the conclusions you made as a child, they are obviously stupid and lacking in reasoning? I hope you realize how offensive and condescending that sounds.

I abandoned my atheism (although not all dialectic materialism) at the age of 15 after a great deal of critical reasoning and examination. I found a deeper and more meaningful truth. I have not reached the same conclusion you did and I don't feel that either my reasoning abilities or intellect is inferior. Nor do I question yours for not reaching my conclusion.

What about adults like C.S. Lewis that abandoned atheism as adults? They apparently were able to distinguish between the politics of the Church and the truth of the message and to reconcile what others seem to find contradictory in the Bible.

Now how would you rank reasoning skills? If I can't give you some of the great logical/reasoning minds of the past such as Bacon, Descartes, and Newton-- people responsible for the basics of logic and scientific method and founders of modern philosophy-- who would you accept? These names obviously refute your basic premise that those of faith lack reasoning, philosophical or reasoning skills. I am asking for some clarification, because it is obvious to me that you are claiming some sort of intellectual superiority to me solely on the basis of my faith and your lack of faith? Do you really believe that you are superior in reason and intellect to someone simply because they are not an athiest?

No-name
21-05-06, 17:56
The 90% of the people on the planet that claim some religion or faith are not athiests. This is not due to some flaw in thinking, lack of reasoning, gap in information, or deficiency in logic. It may comfort athiests to believe somehow they are the intellectual superiors to Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Moslems, Anamists, Pagans and Christians... but very little investigation would be needed to debunk this prejudice. For those who pride themselves in logic and reasoning, clinging to such an overgeneralization fallacy seems to me to be a contradiction.

Maciamo
21-05-06, 18:49
You can give me as many examples of famous people who were not atheist, that won't change my opinion. You can become a great person without being atheist. That doesn't mean that your understanding of metaphysics is right. You don't need to understand the universe to be happy or fulfill yourself. Hence I don't see your point in citing examples of people.

No-name
21-05-06, 18:54
I gave those examples to counter your assertion that non-athiests were inferior in logic and philosophy. Apparently conter-examples are irrelevant and your conclusion is not logically based.

So your only reason for believing that Athiests are superior in intellect, logic and reasoning is because they agree with you?

Carlson
21-05-06, 20:42
religious people are not weak. more people have been killed for religous reasons then anything else

PRIZMATIC
21-05-06, 23:47
... " A clap by one palm " - silence...
Only then when all human feelings "stay idle" the person is capable to see true value of this or that...
.................................................. ............................................

No-name
22-05-06, 06:26
Revenant- I believe your intent in beginning this thread was to check whether the conception among athiests that religious people are in some way "weak" is true. Based upon what we have read here, I believe you have confirmed this prejudice. It does seem to be a generalization we can confirm that Athiests do hold their logic, reasoning and critical thinking skills to be superior to any person who claims a religion or faith.

Maciamo
22-05-06, 08:58
religious people are not weak. more people have been killed for religous reasons then anything else

But who tells you that these people weren't weak at cooking or at composing poetry ? Everybody is weak at something...

Maciamo
22-05-06, 09:05
So your only reason for believing that Athiests are superior in intellect, logic and reasoning is because they agree with you?
No, because nobody else found a better explanation based on facts (e.g. neuropsycholgy). I think you might never understand what I mean if you do not study about neuropsycholgy to understand how the very concept of soul cannot exist, and the reality of life and death has nothing to do with what religions tell us. Once you understand that (you won't with my explanations, so study !), you might be able to realise that the very idea of a 'living god' is one of the greatest aberration and delusion of the human mind. Living automatically means that there is a 'birth' (passing from inert matter to self-preseving biochemical system) to a 'death' (the other way round). No living can be eternal. No living can exist outside a biological body. If you can't understand that, study more about medicine (esp. neurology).

It is difficult even for a well reasoned mind to be an Atheist if they don't first understand that 'soul' is a human-made illusion, and god cannot be 'alive'. That is why your examples are irrelevant. With all my knowledge about different fields (history, languages, maths, sciences, or whatever), if I had never learned about the fucntionning of the human brain I would almost certainly not be a convinced Atheist today (I would be non religious though).

Kinsao
22-05-06, 10:40
I suppose one of the biggest questions in considering whether or not there is such a thing as 'god', is: is it possible to have consciousness and intelligence existing outside of a biological body?
:clueless:

No-name
22-05-06, 16:55
No, because nobody else found a better explanation based on facts (e.g. neuropsycholgy). I think you might never understand what I mean if you do not study about neuropsycholgy to understand how the very concept of soul cannot exist, and the reality of life and death has nothing to do with what religions tell us. Once you understand that (you won't with my explanations, so study !), you might be able to realise that the very idea of a 'living god' is one of the greatest aberration and delusion of the human mind. Living automatically means that there is a 'birth' (passing from inert matter to self-preseving biochemical system) to a 'death' (the other way round). No living can be eternal. No living can exist outside a biological body. If you can't understand that, study more about medicine (esp. neurology).
It is difficult even for a well reasoned mind to be an Atheist if they don't first understand that 'soul' is a human-made illusion, and god cannot be 'alive'. That is why your examples are irrelevant. With all my knowledge about different fields (history, languages, maths, sciences, or whatever), if I had never learned about the fucntionning of the human brain I would almost certainly not be a convinced Atheist today (I would be non religious though).
It doesn't seem that your conclusion is based at all on facts. I do not think neuropsychology has ruled out the existence of a soul. I'm not certain that much research into the existence of a soul has been done by psychobiologists or what such research might entail. I find nothing in science right now that precludes the existence of a living God. Again, setting the parameters of the research and designing experiments would seem rather difficult. And "living" does not necessarily have to fit the parameters you prescribed. Please provide a source that proves that a soul is a "human made illusion" and that God has to fit the parameters of existence that you set for Him. I think you have developed this model to fit your belief system and found some science which you believe supports your conclusion. Science and reason work in the opposite direction. It is a form of confirmational bias.

As of now, (without researching the topic) I would assert that there is no scientific proof or disproof of a God, or a set of parameters which definitively outlines what God would be. I would also assert that there is no proof or disproof of a soul, and that neuropsychologists would probably not even offer a definition of soul as it is irrelevant to their study.

No-name
22-05-06, 17:09
Although you are fairly correct about my scientific background, I don't think you should make assumptions. As far as my study of neuropsychology it is quite minimal. Although I have two masters degrees in Education and Special Education, our focus is on developmental psychology and not psycho biology. I do have a bare minimum undergraduate level education consisting of a few courses in psycology and psychobiology and in all that coursework, I do not remember the existence of either a soul or God being a topic of discussion, study or research.

Carlson
22-05-06, 21:57
But who tells you that these people weren't weak at cooking or at composing poetry ? Everybody is weak at something...

yeah and every religion killed for the sake of religion, no matter there weakness.
seems like a strong thing to do if you ask me.

PRIZMATIC
23-05-06, 00:45
:clueless: :mad: :note:
Really - the human consciousness in " chaotic construction of logic " is "something"...
......
To deny presence of soul, it is necessary to deny and that " the Universe began from "Nothing" "...
And it even " not under force " to atheists...:wave:
Everything, that " the science about the person " in real measurement has learnt it only " anatomy of a body and biochemical reactions of this body "... And it only knowledge " about an environment " and only...
People have comprehended only that see... And other "universe" was also him and will (!) be inaccessible...
It only "Evolution"... The Given form of the person has " the restrictions " - so the reality is arranged...
That it has changed - " it is necessary not much and not a little " - " Evolution the given kind "...
As this world of the person already for a long time lives in " to a certain information system of images and senses " only the "envoy" bearing in " an evolutionary code ", can create " an information level of evolutionary transition "...
" Translation of the Bible for atheists ":blush: :angel:
The Bible is a serious source of the information... Only to read it - people very many forgot...:angel:

PRIZMATIC
23-05-06, 01:00
P.S. And who has told, what "soul" is in " this measurement "?...

No-name
23-05-06, 03:54
Maciamo, correct me again if I am wrong- you are saying that non-athiests are weaker in reason and logic because they believe in God and a soul... and that science has proven that there is no God and no soul. Is this correct? If so do you have data to back up this claim? Can you give some citations? Has there been a comparative measure of logical intelligence between athiests and non-athiests? What parameters were set up in the disproval of the existence of the human soul? I don't want to mischaracterize what you are saying but is sounds a bit "iffy" to me.

I'm thinking that in neuropsychology that only the most reductive physicalist would bother refuting the concept of soul. This wouldn't however have anything to do with the existence or non-existence of the human soul, it would only dismiss the importance of the concept as it relates to psychobiology. I cannot find anything on line that explains this in laymans terms that I can handle. Interesting paper that mentions the "God spot" in the brain: http://info.med.yale.edu/intmed/hummed/yjhm/regular/mbasso2.htm

This article examines the the history of conceptions of the human makeup (body and soul) as they arose in ancient philosophy and religion-- primarily Christianity. http://www.meta-library.net/neuro/neuro-print.html

No-name
23-05-06, 04:12
yeah and every religion killed for the sake of religion, no matter there weakness.
seems like a strong thing to do if you ask me.

Especially that Gandhi guy and that Mother Theresa lady. I hear the Dali Lama has a huge human trophy wall and that Billy Graham is still quite the sniper at his age. Monks you know can be quite dangerous...After seeing Tom Cruise go balistic on daytime TV, I kinda cringe whenever I have to drive by the big blue building in Hollywood.

People have been killed over lots of other things besides religion-- to save the free world, to preserve or end slavery, to expand trade and borders, out of ethnic superiority, for gold, for and against communism, for King and country as well as God, for empire, for oil, for independence, for ethnic cleansing, for honor, for tradition... in all fairness, most religions don't command you to go out and kill people... and the underlying causes of most wars are a little more complex.

Revenant
23-05-06, 05:04
yeah and every religion killed for the sake of religion, no matter there weakness. seems like a strong thing to do if you ask me.... and the underlying causes of most wars are a little more complex.I don't doubt that some people were killed as a direct result of clashing religious beliefs, and I don't doubt that a lot of wars were waged in a certain religions name (we could wage a war in any name really, as long as it moves the masses. Democracy would be easy to do so in). But I challenge the idea that more people have been killed for actual religious reasons than simple socioeconomics.

No-name
23-05-06, 06:51
I think the 19th and 20th centuries have seen a shift away from conflicts over religion to political, economical and sectarian reasons. Colonialism, Imperialism, Fascism, Communism, Capitolism...The bloodiest conflicts in human history have not been fought over religion but over "isms."

Kinsao
23-05-06, 10:29
I think a lot of leaders/people in power have used the 'religious feelings' of the masses to fuel conflicts for socio-economic reasons, reasons of power and money. In that sense you can say the people who fall into the trap and end up fighting for what they think is a religious 'cause' are weak, because they have followed leaders into conflict without stopping to think 'is this something that would be wanted by the god that I believe in, all this killing and wars?' :okashii:

Carlson
23-05-06, 14:44
I think a lot of leaders/people in power have used the 'religious feelings' of the masses to fuel conflicts for socio-economic reasons, reasons of power and money. In that sense you can say the people who fall into the trap and end up fighting for what they think is a religious 'cause' are weak, because they have followed leaders into conflict without stopping to think 'is this something that would be wanted by the god that I believe in, all this killing and wars?' :okashii:


thats because if they stoped to think they get killed

guy 1. do you belive in god?
guy 2. no.
guy 1. *bam* dead

guy 1. do you belive in god?
guy 2. yes.
guy 1. do you belive in my god?
guy 2. no.
guy 1. *bam* dead

not trying to revert to my other post. but i bet if you add up all the number of people killed. more people have been killed in the name of religion.

heck its even in the bible all the way to modern day 9/11

Maciamo
23-05-06, 15:04
thats because if they stoped to think they get killed
guy 1. do you belive in god?
guy 2. no.
guy 1. *bam* dead
guy 1. do you belive in god?
guy 2. yes.
guy 1. do you belive in my god?
guy 2. no.
guy 1. *bam* dead
Add this one :
guy 1. do you belive in god?
guy 2. yes.
guy 1. do you believe I am god?
guy 2. no.
guy 1. *bam* dead

:D

Maciamo
23-05-06, 15:09
I suppose one of the biggest questions in considering whether or not there is such a thing as 'god', is: is it possible to have consciousness and intelligence existing outside of a biological body?

Is that even a question ? In fact, I could say that the "body" does not have to be 'biological', but just 'material' ('matter' including 'energy' here). We could imagine creating an intelligent (self-thinking) computer one day.

But I suppose that what most people call "god" is a creator of the universe, i.e. a creator of all matter and energy. How could something immaterial create matter and energy ? What's more, my definition of universe is everything that exist, even if there is something more than matter and energy (e.g. anything 'spiritual' that is not matter/energy, although I don't believe in it). So how could you create existence if you do not exist ?

Maciamo
23-05-06, 15:11
It doesn't seem that your conclusion is based at all on facts. I do not think neuropsychology has ruled out the existence of a soul. I'm not certain that much research into the existence of a soul has been done by psychobiologists or what such research might entail.
Learn and you will see. Don't assume before checking by yourself !

I find nothing in science right now that precludes the existence of a living God.
Do you know everything about sciences, especially neurosciences and psychology ? It seems that I happen to know something you don't know.

Maciamo
23-05-06, 15:15
Sabro, Revenant and Carlson, regarding your discussion about killing for religion, I find it a bit pointless to argue as you will always find examples and counter-examples of people who killed for religion, were manipulated into doing it, truly believed in it, or did very good deeds for the sake or religion. This doesn't prove anything, except that there are many kinds of people in the world.

No-name
23-05-06, 17:33
Learn and you will see. Don't assume before checking by yourself !
Do you know everything about sciences, especially neurosciences and psychology ? It seems that I happen to know something you don't know.
This is a rather strange response for someone who prides himself in logical and intellectual superiority:
1. "Learn and you will see." Okay. Show me and I will evaluate based upon my ability to reason and the logic you use to back up your assertion. So far you haven't "learned" me a great deal.
2. "Don't assume before checking by yourself." Assume what? Checking what? What did I assume? What do you want me to check?
3. "Do you know everything about science, especially neurosciences and psychology?" No. I never said I did. You don't know everything about sciences either. No one does. I do have a masters degree in education, which means I have a great deal of background in developmental and behavioural psychology with some in psycho biology as it relates to learning theory and learning handicaps. The rest is from basic undergrad stuff-- 20 years ago. (I don't think they have proven the non-existence of God in the last 20 years, or the non-existence of the human soul since then... but perhaps you can cite a study.)
4. "It seems I happen to know something you don't know." Yes you do. You undoubtedly know a great many things I do not know. Everyone knows something I don't know. I also know things you don't know. That is why I visit forums like this. To share knowlege. Please share what you know.

I'm not certain you actually addressed the point of my last posts. I tried to summarize your position for the sake of discussion. It wasn't so much a criticism as a query to see if I had it right. The follow up was to see if you had anything to back up your opinion or that you recognize its basis.

Carlson- In my country I have never heard of a person killed over their religion-- especially over conversion or belief. People kill each other in jealous rages, ethinc bigotry, over money, over our stressed out over-busy lives, over minor traffic accidents, and over gang affiliation. People change religions with every season of their lives and every major city has a mosque, synagogue and dozens of different temples and churches.

As far as your assertion that more people have been killed over religion-- that would be difficult to check, but I sincerely doubt it. I'm not discounting the Crusades or the Inquisition, but Hitler, Staling, Mao, and Pol Pot were not particularly religious characters-- the slaughter they initiated killed hundreds of millions far far more than Europe's religious wars. Likewise the largest and bloodiest conflicts, Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War, Europe's colonial expanisons, the Russian Revolution, and the Chinese Revolution, WWI and II, the Cold War were not religious conflicts. I would argue that religion is one of many convenient excuses. Take religion off the table and guess what?-- we still slaughter one another quite easily and in large numbers. Blame religion if it makes you feel happy, but the evidence shows a far darker truth about humanity.

No-name
23-05-06, 19:59
Revenant- I believe your intent in beginning this thread was to check whether the conception among athiests that religious people are in some way "weak" is true. Based upon what we have read here, I believe you have confirmed this prejudice. It does seem to be a generalization we can confirm that Athiests do hold their logic, reasoning and critical thinking skills to be superior to any person who claims a religion or faith. It was pointed out to me that I should have used the word "bias" instead of "prejudice." I believe the intent of this thread was to check whether the conception among athiests is that non athiests are weak. I believe you have confirmed this BIAS.

Mars Man
26-05-06, 05:01
It would have been nice, I can't help but feel, if some slightly more limiting definitions on 'weak' and 'strong' could have been propped up at least for the sake of discussion, although even that may not have helped so much.

Again, I would refer back to the firing patterns thing I had mentioned on my only other post on this thread--that basically means paradigm.

I will input more here soon--I have to go eat lunch now, then do a class--but will say for now that it should prove good to look into the capabilities of being able to make paradigm shifts; and what that means (in the sense of outcome), involves, and can lead to.

Of course, it is very clear that rushing into binary statements is a rushing into fallacy. (by binary statements, I mean statements that are absolute in nature such it is [which =1] or it is not [=0])

Tokis-Phoenix
26-05-06, 05:28
I think a lot of atheists think they are stronger or more superior to religious people because they tend to go down the path of scientific proof and reasoning to answer their big questions.
And when they need guidance, may it be moral or otherwise, they don't look upon the writings and learnings of people through thousands of years of humanity, but seek a cancelor or psychologist.
When an atheist fears the consequences of somthing they have done wrong, they do not fear them in death, because to an athiest there is no afterlife, no real purpose to life, other than to reproduce and evolve.

The opposites may also be true in some of these scenario's...

I think this comes down to being predudiced/biased, each person believing they are right because of the major choices in the beliefs they made so far in their life- but one thing is for certain. You cannot say "these millions of people are weaker than those millions of people because of somthing they believe which essentially nobody can prove".
Its a bit like saying your logic or strength is superior to somone else's because you support a particular political party which they don't happen to.

PRIZMATIC
27-05-06, 00:28
:blush:Small addition: In many respects " activity of atheists " is defined by presence in their consciousness of ideas on " presence of the termination of their existence " is "forces" them to search for ways to overcoming "it" is so the science appears and develops... But "impasse" for this way will consist that - was required to the Universe of books, not writings, not theories, not formulas, etc. to create Space, planets, forms of a life, etc... And realizing " incomprehensibility of the Universe ", "atheists" - continue to deny the God...
.................................................. ...................................
:blush:

Mitsuo
27-05-06, 03:08
To answer the question (which I am a little unclear of), I don't think Religious People are weaker than atheists. In my opinion, I don't think one is weaker or stronger than another.

It can depend on the person and how they view the world around them, as well as their own lives. So, I wouldn't put belief systems in the categorie, but more of attitude. Bad attitude and Good Attitude. Because to me, people with Bad attitudes are the weak ones.

Even though I answered the question, I want to know, weaker in what sense?

No-name
30-05-06, 20:17
Maciamo-
My post #81 was an answer to the very pointed response by you (Maciamo) in post #79. I asked some questions for clarification and to make a point. I don't think this has been addressed.

Smertrius
27-03-10, 20:07
Religious peoples are stronger than atheistic peoples. Faith is one of the biggest strengh, making religious peoples able to deal with the difficulties of life with much less doubts and much more confidence because "god's walking by their side".
Atheists have hope, religious have faith.

LeBrok
28-03-10, 02:37
Yes, in bad or very bad times, like in our past. In today's developed world, atheist better appreciate this only and short existence called life. No suicide bombers amongst them.

Smertrius
28-03-10, 19:23
I think on the contrary that there are more depressed and pessimistic peoples among the atheists than among the believers.
Not that much suicide bombers in the Bible belt either.

LeBrok
30-03-10, 07:02
I think on the contrary that there are more depressed and pessimistic peoples among the atheists than among the believers.
Not that much suicide bombers in the Bible belt either.

You had to jinks it, did you?

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5346

Smertrius
30-03-10, 19:17
You had to jinks it, did you?

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5346
Well, they're neither from the Bible belt nor suicide bombers.

FBS
14-02-12, 16:07
There are many 'levels' of religiosity. From the Spiral Dynamics terms, the most dangerous level is RED/blue (3rd level/entry to 4th level of consciousness) which is the militant religion. Remember the beginnings of any religion, when a "thug" (from RED) moves into beginnings of BLUE, those want to convert everyone to their 'true' religion because they consider that they have been saved. Remember the missions of conversion in medieval times and earlier. To understand this you can imagine someone who has been on drugs and now has been out of it through the help of God, God is their savoir the only Truth. The atheism has begun with 5th system when Europe started to exit the Blue system (which is also the system that has brought law and order with its starts in Roman Empire) with the first inventions in science, medicine and astronomy. This system, Orange, we know it as capitalism and era of science and atheism. We know up till now for 8 systems at work (look for the works of Clare W. Graves - Never Ending Quest, ECLET publishing) and the 8th system will be (is) spiritual but not dogmatic.


The bottom line is, we cannot simply say "Yes" or "No" to the question of this thread since the human complexity is a never ending story, or never ending quest, as Dr. Clare W. Graves found out through his 30 years of research of the human nature.

hope
15-03-12, 20:43
No I don`t believe they are weaker at all. In fact I would say they are stronger. Those who have belief gain strength from it and seem to be able to come to terms with certain aspects of life that non believers do not ..simple example being death.
On another level all faiths have patience and love for fellow humans as a fundamental lesson and believe me it takes a good deal of strength and faith to "forgive" and control your instinct not to re-act in certain situations.

Dianatomia
16-03-12, 01:37
No I don`t believe they are weaker at all. In fact I would say they are stronger. Those who have belief gain strength from it and seem to be able to come to terms with certain aspects of life that non believers do not ..simple example being death.
On another level all faiths have patience and love for fellow humans as a fundamental lesson and believe me it takes a good deal of strength and faith to "forgive" and control your instinct to re-act in certain situations.

I think you misrepresent the point. The fact that religious people need religion to gain strength could indicate that they lack something to have enough strength in the first place.

As for coming to terms with death. I think it is the non-religious people who have actually accepted that death is only natural. Religious people on the other hand like to believe that their life will somehow continue in an afterlife.

I also fail to see your argument about forgiving. Non-religious people are able to forgive just like religious people. They just don't need some imaginary entity telling them to do that.

I am not stating that non-religious people are stronger per se. Simply, the arguments you present contradict your claim.

L.D.Brousse
16-03-12, 14:57
I think a man that feels he has nothing beyond the grave is weaker. Because he fears death more . I was raised a Baptist Do I believe in a higher power ? "yes" Is he in the form of our Christian God ? I don't know. But there is a higher power even some scientist believe in intelligent design Look around you look to space how can there not be?

hope
16-03-12, 16:09
I think you misrepresent the point. The fact that religious people need religion to gain strength could indicate that they lack something to have enough strength in the first place.

As for coming to terms with death. I think it is the non-religious people who have actually accepted that death is only natural. Religious people on the other hand like to believe that their life will somehow continue in an afterlife.

I also fail to see your argument about forgiving. Non-religious people are able to forgive just like religious people. They just don't need some imaginary entity telling them to do that.

I am not stating that non-religious people are stronger per se. Simply, the arguments you present contradict your claim.


You make some good points, but the question was n`t whether what they believed or how they did it was wise or unwise or child like etc..it simply asked if because of their belief were they weaker and I do not think they are. Of course all humans are able to forgive if they so choose but the point I was making is that all religions teach this as a fundamental lesson to be observed.

sparkey
16-03-12, 17:35
But there is a higher power even some scientist believe in intelligent design Look around you look to space how can there not be?

It's a simpler explanation that people are natural pattern-seekers and storytellers, than to posit that their stories, which they make out of the patterns that they see, are true.

Dianatomia
17-03-12, 00:51
I think a man that feels he has nothing beyond the grave is weaker. Because he fears death more . I was raised a Baptist Do I believe in a higher power ? "yes" Is he in the form of our Christian God ? I don't know. But there is a higher power even some scientist believe in intelligent design Look around you look to space how can there not be?


I strongly disagree. I think that it is fear which drives most people to believe in some form of religion. Religious people tend to have the need for a comfort zone which is provided for by their religion. But since religion is not based on evidence, that comfort zone can be broken or harmed when it is confronted with critical thinking.

As for not the complexity of the Cosmos. I can see how people (even scientists) can find intelligent design fulfilling. But there is nothing wrong in saying I don't know when you don't know.

L.D.Brousse
17-03-12, 02:08
Fear has nothing to do with religion at least here in the states most people of my generation went to church every Sunday as directed it is more of a habit passed down . I'm a soldier, poet and free thinker and I lean way right. But when I look around me and listen IMO a higher power exist when I study the stars and hear words like infinity and see the wonders through a telescope I know there is a higher power IMO Now as far as being a Christian power who is to say our people meaning Europeans have been pagans far longer than we have been Christian

hope
18-03-12, 00:09
Fear has nothing to do with religion at least here in the states most people of my generation went to church every Sunday as directed it is more of a habit passed down . I'm a soldier, poet and free thinker and I lean way right. But when I look around me and listen IMO a higher power exist when I study the stars and hear words like infinity and see the wonders through a telescope I know there is a higher power IMO Now as far as being a Christian power who is to say our people meaning Europeans have been pagans far longer than we have been Christian

I can only speak from a personal stand and I have to agree with you that fear has nothing to do with faith, in fact it is quite the opposite. Also I do not have faith because I need a "comfort" zone and "want" to believe in something higher..it`s just what it is :)

Dianatomia
18-03-12, 04:57
Fear has nothing to do with religion at least here in the states most people of my generation went to church every Sunday as directed it is more of a habit passed down . I'm a soldier, poet and free thinker and I lean way right. But when I look around me and listen IMO a higher power exist when I study the stars and hear words like infinity and see the wonders through a telescope I know there is a higher power IMO Now as far as being a Christian power who is to say our people meaning Europeans have been pagans far longer than we have been Christian

You do not know. You believe so. It is your personal conviction. Such an interpretation could be typical for a mind that we possess. The mind of an evolved primate.


I can only speak from a personal stand and I have to agree with you that fear has nothing to do with faith, in fact it is quite the opposite. Also I do not have faith because I need a "comfort" zone and "want" to believe in something higher..it`s just what it is :)

Can you elaborate. How can it be the opposite? Either religion draws its strength (at least in part) from fear or it does not. What is the opposite of fear? fearlessness? That drives to religion?

L.D.Brousse
18-03-12, 06:06
That is why I put IN MY OPINION aka IMO. I don't push my views or believes on no one. Every mind has free will

hope
18-03-12, 13:36
You do not know. You believe so. It is your personal conviction. Such an interpretation could be typical for a mind that we possess. The mind of an evolved primate.



Can you elaborate. How can it be the opposite? Either religion draws its strength (at least in part) from fear or it does not. What is the opposite of fear? fearlessness? That drives to religion?

Again the question was not about "religion" ..it asked if "religious people, "in your opinion" were weaker than atheists and in my opinion ..No they are not. :)

Dianatomia
18-03-12, 20:11
That is why I put IN MY OPINION aka IMO. I don't push my views or believes on no one. Every mind has free will

Alright. But 'IMO' and 'Know' seems like an oxymoron to me.

Riccardo
02-04-12, 16:36
I think there are many misunderstandings about atheist perspective...I had to face many "verbal attacks" for that.
To be atheist means that you don't believe to any God or divinity. So you don't think that there is a Creator or a superior plan, like "destiny". You just find that existence has no sense, because sense is something related only with human (or terrain) conception of life.
This doesn't mean that atheists don't have spirituality. Every human being must have it, but the perspectives change. For instance I believe that our life is a matter of introspection. I do not believe in an external spirituality, because all we feel, all we see and all we experience is in the limits of our experience. That's why I think to be weaker doesn't depend on religious believes.

Balder
25-02-13, 21:02
I would generally say that atheists are more depressed, if you look statistically. This is because that we (I am an atheist) do not have that false safety net of belief to make ourselves feel better.

I also agree that atheists can sometimes come across as pompous or proud of being an atheist.

I think that everyone should be able to coexist and not let religion or lack thereof get in the way of our logic though. Both atheists and religious people have frustrations with the other side though.

kokki
27-02-13, 21:35
Religion is a need in the community. A person does not need. I see atheism as a dominant gene. I think that after 1000 years, will all be atheists ​

LeBrok
27-02-13, 23:53
Religion is a need in the community. A person does not need. I see atheism as a dominant gene. I think that after 1000 years, will all be atheists ​

Only when atheists have more children than religious people, and granted there is spiritual or atheistic gene.

kokki
28-02-13, 12:28
Ateist ic gene is a metaphor, of course. But atheism is winning cultural features Ateism like a horse and wheel 4,000 years ago. Technology that has advantages Reference atheism-standard displays it. More solve problems, not leave them under the bed / hypocritical, false / I'm talking about communities, not individuals / Scandinavia /

martinmkp
07-03-13, 08:59
I do not think atheism will prevail in future. It is so common between us because we have free of talk, expression, without any punishments in the society. In Middle Ages, if there would be "democracy", many people would claim benevolence to the religion as well. It is the same as the punishment for pre-marital sexual life, or question of divorces. If society takes it as a need, will form several ways of "punishments". If the question becomes less important for society - more natural behaviour will surface, but only in a part of that society.

And, religionism/atheism goes hand in hand with traditional versus open (more liberal) societies.

Selwyn Greenfrith
11-03-13, 04:48
I keep coming across atheists that somehow feel that religious people are weak. I don't get this perspective, as I feel that humans just can't deal with pure reality as pure reality, and all therefore have crutches to help them get through difficult times. To me, I see this particular atheistic perspective as arrogant, and somehow not true. I wish I could come up with something more solid, rather than just this vague feeling I have, at the moment what I want to say eludes me. Hope you can catch the gist of it.

Other perspectives?

No they are not, there is the weak and bold in both. Harvesting misoverfearfulness to make 'outsiders' of 'insiders' or 'hosts' or 'outlanders' of 'inlanders' or 'fellow man' is a weakness - weigh against another: Puritans, Quakers, and Amish and their ilk like Boers. The more truthfully religious they are (the Quakers) the more bold and broad-minded and truly forward-thinking they have shown to be - the Quakers have always been strong enough and ready to struggle with their self beliefs (not many of us who are happily godless even dare go there). Whilst the Amish art nowt but atheists with a fetish for wrapping themselves up in sham religious/period clothing and ways - as a means for these failed wannabe-Puritans to practice their weakness for primitive ethnocentrism. The Amish could believe in ghosts but they they would still be exclusive. Now (out of the foresaid) the Puritans went seemingly from godlimost and warlikemost/warlilikemost to seemingly utter godlessness, but in this meaning, unlike the manfearing Amish fascist, and in thitherness to Quaker boldness, it is the the godfearing Puritan bolding life to such a breadth that their religious beliefs had done its job and became no longer needed.

Twilight
30-04-13, 02:34
I don't agree that Atheists are stronger than Religious People, Meek is not nessisarily weak.

American Idiot
21-11-13, 16:25
dont know if religious people are weaker......maybe just more ignorant.

Coolboygcp
13-03-14, 06:15
Religious people are not weaker than Athiests, and vice versa.

It seems that many Athiests are more sad, somber, or depressed than religious people. I do not know why that is. Perhaps because hey do not have the assurance of a higher power?

Also, it seems that Athiests tend to be more sceptical than religious people.

Engel
05-05-14, 07:28
dont know if religious people are weaker......maybe just more ignorant.
For example, why would Christians be more ignorant than an atheist?
I would say, it is the other way around

Aberdeen
05-05-14, 16:09
For example, why would Christians be more ignorant than an atheist?
I would say, it is the other way around

Because it makes so much more sense to believe in an invisible bronze age sky god who's large enough to create whole galaxies but small enough to care who you choose to sleep with. A god that killed his own child in order to somehow redeem humankind (although there is in fact no historical record of Jebus).

In my experience, people will believe in or not believe in whatever they choose, and are unlikely to be persuaded by the arguments of others. Perhaps that proves that atheists are more intelligent than people who insist on taking religious mythology literally. However, I think it may just prove that humans are very stubborn creatures. And perhaps by insisting on atheism instead of agnosticism or belief in religion as useful and informative allegory, atheists are shutting out spiritual dimensions that are important to human wellbeing.

LeBrok
18-12-15, 04:40
Religious people have more morals than atheists. This is because all religions have core moral beliefs that followers are supposed to adhere to. Atheists do not have a standard collective morality they all follow. If they do, it is not common knowledge to everyone else. It could be said that obeying the law of the land means a person has morals, but everyone does not obey the law anyway.What a pile of rubbish!!! I bet, all of this "information" you gathered from Sunday sermons.
Here is statistics from US Federal prison (2013) about religious affinities of inmates. Barely any atheists (0.07%!), but a lot of Protestants and Catholics.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/16/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-its-a-lot-smaller-than-we-ever-imagined/

To make you feel any better, I will mention, that about 50% of scientists declare themselves atheists or agnostics. More atheists there than in general population. I wonder why?

Fire Haired14
18-12-15, 05:23
What a pile of rubbish!!! I bet, all of this "information" you gathered from Sunday sermons.
Here is statistics from US Federal prison (2013) about religious affinities of inmates. Barely any atheists (0.07%!), but a lot of Protestants and Catholics.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/16/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-its-a-lot-smaller-than-we-ever-imagined/

To make you feel any better, I will mention, that about 50% of scientists declare themselves atheists or agnostics. More atheists there than in general population. I wonder why?

He never wrote "information" so why are you quoting him? And take out the sarcasm, I'm so tired of your sac religiousness. And I have ever right to be rude to you. About those prisoners: The vast majority of Americans claim to be sometype of Christian. It's more a tradition and cultural thing than an actual believe. You have to take into a account we come from a society that was uniformally Christian for over 1,000 years. People always seem to forget this. This is why so many people claim to be Christian but don't care much about Christianity. Same thing with Islam in the Middle East.

What he says is true. Religious people have a set of moral rules while non-religious don't. That's fact. There's nothing stopping atheists from thinking or doing anything. Everything is just a chemical or whatever and morality doesn't matter. Your views on sexuality demonstrate this. You think only caring about whether"If it harms someone" breaks it down into a science and makes you intelligent, but it doesn't.

Why is harming people bad? It isn't scientific, it is just as scientific as saying sex outside of marriage is bad. Eventually I got you to admit that whether someone is hurt isn't all that matters, that's a start. You admit sex in certain relationships in inappropriate and therefore wrong. You need to rethink your view of the world. The atheistic view with essentially no morality, is dangerous, dark, and sad. It denies the most basic ways humans view their world.

LeBrok
18-12-15, 06:28
He never wrote "information" so why are you quoting him? Since when there is a rule to quote only information. :confused2:




And take out the sarcasm, I'm so tired of your sac religiousness. And I have ever right to be rude to you. About those prisoners: I'm also sick and tire to respond to your religious bigotry and intolerance. I guess, we are even.


The vast majority of Americans claim to be sometype of Christian. It's more a tradition and cultural thing than an actual believe. You have to take into a account we come from a society that was uniformally Christian for over 1,000 years. People always seem to forget this. This is why so many people claim to be Christian but don't care much about Christianity. Same thing with Islam in the Middle East. To make it simple this time. There is about 20% declared non-religious people of all population of US. Non-religious people among prison population are sub 1%, according to cited government document, above. Do you notice this disproportion? Why so few?!


What he says is true. Religious people have a set of moral rules while non-religious don't. That's fact. There's nothing stopping atheists from thinking or doing anything. Everything is just a chemical or whatever and morality doesn't matter. Your views on sexuality demonstrate this. You think only caring about whether"If it harms someone" breaks it down into a science and makes you intelligent, but it doesn't.

Why is harming people bad? It isn't scientific, it is just as scientific as saying sex outside of marriage is bad. Eventually I got you to admit that whether someone is hurt isn't all that matters, that's a start. You admit sex in certain relationships in inappropriate and therefore wrong. You need to rethink your view of the world. The atheistic view with essentially no morality, is dangerous, dark, and sad. It denies the most basic ways humans view their world.
Explain, why there are so few, disproportionate to general population, atheists in prison?! After all, by your standards, they are immoral and don't care for rule of law. And yet, they obey the law, and don't go to prison.



I got you to admit that whether someone is hurt isn't all that matters You have been dreaming.

Fire Haired14
18-12-15, 08:17
Since when there is a rule to quote only information. :confused2:

You're not making any sense. You simply miss read his comment.


I'm also sick and tire to respond to your religious bigotry and intolerance. I guess, we are even.

You're almost always the aggressor. I'm not a bigot and not intolerant. Give one example of me being a bigot or intolerant? Don't include old posts because I've changed. Saying homosexuality is unnatural is not bigorty or intolerance.



To make it simple this time. There is about 20% declared non-religious people of all population of US. Non-religious people among prison population are sub 1%, according to cited government document, above. Do you notice this disproportion? Why so few?!

An explanation I can think of is: Most atheist and agnostic are Middle or Upper Class white people. While, most in prison are apart of minorities who associate with Christianity: Blacks and Latinos.

The facts are: In Religion God(s) can be an authority on human behavior. While in atheism we're just particles with no leadership. Nothing we do matters, morality doesn't matter.

This is easy to understand.


You have been dreaming.

Alright then, I'll tell my friend Micheal he and his sister can...............

LeBrok
18-12-15, 09:27
You're not making any sense. You simply miss read his comment.You said this:

He never wrote "information" so why are you quoting him?
Read it few times till you understand sense of your statement.





You're almost always the aggressor. I'm not a bigot and not intolerant. Give one example of me being a bigot or intolerant? Don't include old posts because I've changed. Saying homosexuality is unnatural is not bigorty or intolerance.
It is in my book.



An explanation I can think of is: Most atheist and agnostic are Middle or Upper Class white people. While, most in prison are apart of minorities who associate with Christianity: Blacks and Latinos.

The facts are: In Religion God(s) can be an authority on human behavior. While in atheism we're just particles with no leadership. Nothing we do matters, morality doesn't matter.

This is easy to understand. You didn't answered the question. Why there are so few "immoral" and "not caring for anything" atheists in prison?

frontiersman
22-12-15, 09:37
one thing I noticed is that religious people are generally very anxious and insecure and religion is like a pivotal point they center their life around. they are scared by life complexity and look for safety in their religious belief.

Garrick
31-12-15, 16:40
I keep coming across atheists that somehow feel that religious people are weak. I don't get this perspective, as I feel that humans just can't deal with pure reality as pure reality, and all therefore have crutches to help them get through difficult times. To me, I see this particular atheistic perspective as arrogant, and somehow not true. I wish I could come up with something more solid, rather than just this vague feeling I have, at the moment what I want to say eludes me. Hope you can catch the gist of it.

Other perspectives?

This is an issue that is so set that no answer. What kind of research instrument we can put together? What the criterion to use? What are they poorer, in business, relations, keeping health, learning, skills, sport, discipline vices (eg. cigarettes), and so on. Believers can be successful in anything and atheists may be unsuccessful, again, there is no answer to this question.

The_Lyonnist
05-01-16, 21:28
To believe in a better life is a strength. It is indisputable!

LeBrok
04-02-16, 03:26
To believe in a better life is a strength. It is indisputable!Especially when your life sucks a lot like it used to be till modern times.
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/26867-Inglorious-lives-of-our-ancestors

hgfds
24-02-17, 01:14
What do you mean by weak exactly ? If you mean unable to have principles or strict beliefs, or lacking self-control, then no. But if you mean lacking lacking independence of mind, being more influenceable or weaker at reasoning, then I would tend to agree on a general basis.

Maybe the first wave of atheism (centuries ago) had independence of mind and was less influenceable and stronger in reasoning, but modern atheism in observation is just as lacking in independence of mind, more influenceable or weaker at reasoning. Modern atheism is inherited just like religion, either through family or society.

LeBrok
24-02-17, 03:07
Maybe the first wave of atheism (centuries ago) had independence of mind and was less influenceable and stronger in reasoning, but modern atheism in observation is just as lacking in independence of mind, more influenceable or weaker at reasoning. Modern atheism is inherited just like religion, either through family or society.In some extent yes, but atheism more than any religion is chosen by people. The best example are scientists, who as a group are about 50% atheists, more than any other occupational or social group.

Seanp
24-02-17, 03:34
I think we're in the age when science and religion meets.
Religion used the personal experiences of certain people to build up an own belief system
We supposed to have "Spiritual masters" who brought knowledge from unclear sources or dimensions, as most of us have no special powers just 5 senses to measure the universe

For example Someone with schizophrenic disorder experience a different reality and for a person like that a table which is non existent in our experience can be
measurable, as himself living in a different reality can experience it and consider it as part of the reality even it's just subjective
experience, but our consciousness is subjective itself, we can't know if others experience the same things we do, only that they're
supposed to, we might live a dream and we create every person into this experience so we experience a sort of Matrix reality.

We consider our lives as reality, because others experience the same. We judge our acts and lives by others standards and opinions.
If we dream and during a lucid dreaming period we become part of a different reality where 11 billion people lives
and they tell us that their existence is the ultimate reality then we easily turn confused and reject our past belief.

We don't know how could would perceive reality as a 4 dimensional being
we only experience the 3 dimensional life as humans, but if we're more than just physical body then this
life is just a possibility of the many alternative realities.

...
back to the original question i don't think there's a difference between an Atheist and a Religious person as both have an own belief.
Someone who consider himself Atheist may refuse the Christian version of God but believe in a system which is built on some form of mathematical intelligence.
There's a difference between believing something and experience. Religion was considered exoteric because it doesn't allow the
practitioner to experience the reality written in the Bible for example.
Esoteric knowledge is if someone is able to experience a so called knowledge by his more dimensional self.

tivali
04-09-17, 11:05
I've never read anything that would lead me to the same conclusions.

Wanderer
26-03-19, 06:24
Weak people are just weak. Theres atheists who have converted to religion or reverted to religion, later on they develop into Religious political correctness police that can't tolerate any kind of criticism or debate around religion.

I can tell you how.
They cry like babies when you tell a former atheists who converted to religion because of feelings after only reading a book ( because no evidence was demonstrated to them, only inspirations of a story). And than tell them you were dissappointed in them.
Then the owner bans you because his feelings were hurt.
Political correctness in effect. I didnt even use foul language or any slurrs on him.
Message before he banned me. He basically became an sjw when it comes to christianity. Can't handle criticism or dialogue. Just threats and ban hammers
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190326/f6a4161a1556f7be33b3524956a04fdb.jpg

Ygorcs
29-03-19, 02:21
I think any generalized and vague labeling of individuals based on just one superficial feature (e.g. a belief) will probably say more about the person who believes in that rationale than about the object of that analysis. What's "weak"? It's too generic, too vague. Also, there is no such implied psychological and ideological homogeneity among the people who are religious (and there are many ways to be religious, some of them almost as different and even hostile between themselves as they're as opposed to atheism), or those who are atheistic for that matter. I'm always wary of excessively simple explanations for complex phenomena (like an individual being "weaker" or "stronger") and correlations between unlikely things (e.g. being atheistic leads one to be stronger, or being stronger leads one to be atheistic, as if these things existed totally in isolation from social, cultural and familial conditions influencing the individual's mindset)... and I virtually never regret being so.

Salento
29-03-19, 05:01
It’s not Religion or Atheism that makes you weaker or stronger.

It’s all about perceptions.

Those who have a plan and hope win!

Hope without a plan is a disaster!

Planning and hope give you a sense of self-esteem, confidence, and optimism.

Planning without hope makes you more prone to cynicism, anxiety, and pessimism.

imo

davef
29-03-19, 05:10
Weak people are just weak. Theres atheists who have converted to religion or reverted to religion, later on they develop into Religious political correctness police that can't tolerate any kind of criticism or debate around religion.

I can tell you how.
They cry like babies when you tell a former atheists who converted to religion because of feelings after only reading a book ( because no evidence was demonstrated to them, only inspirations of a story). And than tell them you were dissappointed in them.
Then the owner bans you because his feelings were hurt.
Political correctness in effect. I didnt even use foul language or any slurrs on him.
Message before he banned me. He basically became an sjw when it comes to christianity. Can't handle criticism or dialogue. Just threats and ban hammers
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190326/f6a4161a1556f7be33b3524956a04fdb.jpg
Nothing to do with religion but eeeeeww, that fat ugly hippo is Loki?

Salento
29-03-19, 05:30
Nothing to do with religion but eeeeeww, that fat ugly hippo is Loki?
This is Taweret, she’s half Hippo, Egyptian Goddess of childbirth and fertility.

She’s got to be related to Anubis the jacka..ss LOL

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6c/Taweret.svg/150px-Taweret.svg.png https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6d/Anubis_standing.svg/112px-Anubis_standing.svg.png

Ygorcs
29-03-19, 05:48
It’s not Religion or Atheism that makes you weaker or stronger.

It’s all about perceptions.

Those who have a plan and hope win!

Hope without a plan is a disaster!

Planning and hope give you a sense of self-esteem, confidence, and optimism.

Planning without hope makes you more prone to cynicism, anxiety, and pessimism.

imo

That makes perfect sense, indeed.