the other side can line up a bunch just as fantastic who do believe. It means nothing.
There are lies, damn lies... and statistics.
The only thing is... do you know how easy it would be to just give it up? To stop fighting what I've found to be the truth and say, "you know, things suck some times but there's a plan for it all so... it's ok." I could do that but I'd know it was a lie. I've watched people convince themselves that divorce, death, financial woes... all are just spiffy because God is testing them. God won't give them more than they can handle. It's a large hunk of steaming bullshit... but I've watched it.
Some of us just realize that gods and fairies don't exist. And we plod on without that extra little delusion.
If anything... I think atheists are stronger because we get up every morning anyway.
And athiest don't go to phoney rituals every week to reinforce superstition. yea: "Gods will" That's a great one! Tell that one to women and children getting the hell bombed out of them. Great excuse for mass murder.
"Do this for the rememberence of..." There are things done to remember and honor those that lived before us. We would not be here without them, and our lives would not be what they are without the lives that they lived.
People that go to church (or any place of worship) out of fear, or begging their own selfish wishs, are missing the point, imho. It's done out of choice, not fear. And it is done out of honor, not submission to dogma & rhetoric.
I suspect that there's an element of semantics to your point.
February 8 2009, 11:36 AM
You have faith in something, albeit sometimes difficult to describe. You value compassion, you detest disrespect, you value your family, you value human life, etc. So you don't like to call it "spiritual", or "God", or "whatever"... That doesn't deny the "it" that you value and believe in.
I think that there are many "religious fanatics" that have given up on that "it", and they don't even realize what's happening. These religious nut-cases hold such zeal for their own views that they can be "tricked" into abandoning the values they espouse. Simply by post a critical thought about their religion, and you'll receive a barrage of unthoughtful and frivolous attacks. Even if the criticism is true & has merit, it will not be faced.
I think it's sort of like crossing a river on a questionable bridge. You need to get across the river all right and the bridge is in place but it's a very poor bridge that will likely fail if you try to get across it.
What do you do?
A Christian believer would pray and go across it without doing anything else. If he falls, he falls. If he manages to get across, he's elated that GOD got him across and rewarded his faith!
An atheist would look at the same bridge and say, "Is there ANYTHING I can DO to strengthen that bridge before I start and thereby reduce my risk?" If so, he would do everything within his power to assure himself of the best chances for survival.
Overall then, the atheist would IMPROVE his chances for survival simply by doing whatever HE COULD do. He might fail but overall, his chances would be better than the Christians' chances.
an informed Christian would 'do all he can do and then stand' which I take to mean do the best he can and then leave the rest in God's hands. I don't really have proof suitable for others that God has helped me many times in my life, but it is proof enough for me to believe he has.
Christians can take heed in the biblical teaching that God helps those who help themselves. The Bible teaches that they need not trade off God for practicality. This is the moral authority for trusting in their ability ... to survive in difficult situations.
Unfortunately, the idea that God helps those who help themselves is not biblical. It is from Aesops Fables and was quoted by Ben Franklin - one of the least Christian of the many Founding Founders who were not particularly fond of Christianity. The Bible actually teaches exactly the opposite. http://www.dinosaursaddles.com/atheists_in_foxholes.html
If prayer works, 'believers' would've prayed all wrongs gone already a long time ago
As luck, or perhaps providence would have it, I just stumbled upon this piece which is apropo to the discussion.
t is an old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes. The idea plays well for theists who believe that in times of extreme pressure people will put their fate in Gods hands and fence sitters and atheists will join in prayer as a means of self preservation. Atheist soldiers have protested this charge and there are websites dedicated to atheists in foxholes. The reality of war, though, is that there are no Christians in foxholes.
It all depends what you believe prayer does. Personally, even as a Christian I didn't see it as something that changed reality. It was something more in lines with meditation. Me accepting what was going on.
You present an alternate plan which I hadn't considered. While I was fixated on somehow making that bridge work ......... YOU came up with a different idea that -by golly- might even work!
Is this how Christians suggest we conduct our lives of faith? To consider alternate plans or ideas to accomplish the same thing as what THEY hope to accomplish? To get across that river to the other side?
"Whether delusional or not, what I think may or may not be possible, does not dictate who I am and how I act.
SO I believe anyhow.............."
What I think may or may not be possible dictates everything I am--in thoughts and in deeds. That is so limiting at times.
Funny how we can be so different in thinking in some areas and so simpatico in others. That thought you expressed says so much about you, doesn't it? It is the essence of being a free spirit. You are definitely a step above the fray, love.
Atheists are probably over represented in the "genius" category. Atheists are generally of a higher morality than non-atheists.
I posted a survey about pornography here once, and Born Again Protestant males were way over-represented in that group.
Brings me back to the idea of "damaged", that Marge brought up recently, and that others have observed in the past. ie. That the "damaged" are attracted to the extreme forms of religion, that we often associate with the Evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal movements.
Just today I read a post at another forum speaking disparagingly of "unbelievers".
It's hypocrisy to complain about it when it is done to your group, and then in the next sentence, go and do it to the other group. There are none so blind.
I have long believed that underneath our beliefs we are all the same. I am starting to doubt that. It takes a special sort of self-delusion to believe in a 6000 year old Earth. It just does. While I have difficulty with evolution, I am open to the idea. The 6000 year old Earth theory I am not open to at all -- it's the same as the flat earth thing. It's just ludicrous.
So perhaps we aren't all the same.
Although I don't think a person is mentally ill to believe in a 6000 year old Earth. But they have misunderstood the Bible, and they don't have the remotest clue about science.
atheists get a lot of bad press (undeserved), starting in the bible which is the most published book in the world. Yes Jackie, I'd have to agree that in general religious are harder on atheists than the other way around. Not a good way to spread the love of God IMO.