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Atheist for an hour

 
 
Eorl
 
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 12:01 am
A challenge for theists, in the interests of enlightenment and understanding.....

Try atheism on for one hour. (The easiest way to do that will be to put your god in the same basket that you currently put all the gods you currently don't believe in. Poseidon, Zeus, Athena, Allah, Jehovah, Set, whatever.)

Try to think about the world and the universe, and what it might look like if everything you've heard from atheists was true.

You could think about these questions to help you...
Why do more and more things once assumed to be the work of gods turn out to have natural causes?
Why are some people seemingly miraculously healed by prayer...but not amputees?
How does the prospect of "death as the end" feel? How does it feel to know all your lost love ones are simply dead? Does the strength of my faith stem from fear? from a need for certainty?
Does the lack of answers to everything justify abandoning the search and guessing at the cause?
How would I worship today if I was brought up a Muslim (or Christian if you are muslim, etc.)

Can anyone do this? How did it work out for you? Which of you refuse to try, and why?

(Note: I do NOT want answers to the questions above)
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real life
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 04:24 am
Living life as if there is no God is the experience of everyone before they become a Christian. So we've all been through it before already, Eorl. Why must we do it again?
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 05:36 am
Real Life,

The majority of Christians have Christian parents, and a Christian upbringing. many have never lived without the impact of relgion.

Then there are others who, after being Christian, decide that they don't believe in God. They don't seem all that unfulfilled or miserable.

I was a deeply religious Christian in my youth. When I found that Christianity was no longer able to answer my questions, and that because of my faith, I wasn't living life to the fullest, I decided I no longer believed in the Bible. Actually the process involved finding contradictions between biblical christianity, and what i was learning in real life until I could no longer follow the religion without living a fake life. So I left..

I am now probably best considered an agnostic, or non-christian deist.

But in my experience Christianity was a stepping stone. It is not the end all it sometimes pretends to be.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:23 am
I didn't see Eorl specifically addressing Christians real life.

Could it be he was including others besides you?
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:35 am
real life wrote:
Living life as if there is no God is the experience of everyone before they become a Christian. So we've all been through it before already, Eorl. Why must we do it again?


Shocked I'm sure the majority of world that are Hindu, Muslim, Pagan, Shinto, Buddist, Jewish etc will be surprised to hear that.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:05 am
Those people don't count.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:10 am
Chai wrote:
Those people don't count.


Yeah, they're all going to be thrown into a special pit in Hell where the righteous Christians can rain spit down upon them. I know this to be true becasue I read it in the Bible.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:11 am
okay, as long as we're on the same page with this.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:17 am
real life wrote:
Living life as if there is no God is the experience of everyone before they become a Christian. So we've all been through it before already, Eorl. Why must we do it again?


So you allege that Muslims live their lives as if there were no god? You allege that Jews live their lives as if there were no god? You allege that Hindus live their lives as if there were no god?

This is why christian hypocrites make me want to puke--their blind, arrogant religious hubris.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:26 am
I look forward to the day when religion will only be taught as history, in the same way that pre-copernican world view is taught today.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:40 am
I've "tried on" atheism, and for more than an hour.
I've asked myself all of those questions and more.
I eventually came round to believing in God again.
That belief has changed over time, but it's still there.
I can't explain it.
I can't defend it.
I admit that it is irrational.
But there it is.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:48 am
I have some friends who have it the same way concerning demons in the mirror and disembodied voices in the dark.

Have you tried medicine?
Psychoanalysis?
Conversaton therapy?

My friends report that some of these approaches have been helpful in tackling such issues... Twisted Evil
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 09:23 am
Cyracuz wrote:
I have some friends who have it the same way concerning demons in the mirror and disembodied voices in the dark.

Have you tried medicine?
Psychoanalysis?
Conversaton therapy?

My friends report that some of these approaches have been helpful in tackling such issues... Twisted Evil

Thank you for your concern, but I think I'll just muddle forward on my own.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 09:36 am
And in case it wasn't clear as day, I was only teasing you.

Some people think that the way people cling to their irrational beliefs is a case of psychological dysfunction, but I do not share that viewpoint. But some individuals I've encountered seem to fall under that description though. I don't know enough about you to make that claim concerning you though, so I will not. :wink:
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 09:41 am
Thanks for that feedback, Cyracuz.
Yes, I guessed you were teasing.
I can be dysfunctional at almost any level, so that's usually a safe diagnosis.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 09:48 am
Quote:
I can be dysfunctional at almost any level, so that's usually a safe diagnosis.


Laughing

I took the liberty of quoting that one on the "things people said that would make great sig lines" thread in the general forum.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 10:16 am
I seem to have said this before Smile

A "believer" is not one that has "a belief" they are that belief !
By this I mean that the integrity of what they consider to be "the self" is glued together (firmly or otherwise) by their perceived relationship with "a deity". Phrases like "born again" typify the possible depth of that relationship with respect to self perception. This means that a believer can no more try atheism than a non-swimmer can try diving. The stakes are too high.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 10:37 am
Good point, fresco.

Beliefs are not coats to put on and take off. So questioning one's own beliefs is a matter of questioning oneself. This sort of self scrutiny is hard work.
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tycoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 12:00 pm
Damned right it's hard work, and downright scary at times. That's why I'm convinced the majority of theists possess an unexamined faith.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 12:22 pm
tycoon wrote:
Damned right it's hard work, and downright scary at times. That's why I'm convinced the majority of theists possess an unexamined faith.


Well, yeah...that goes without saying.
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