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Ask an atheist

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Askthepizzaguy, May 7, 2011.

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  1. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    No idea how the mudslinging got started.

    I'm not saying atheists should be jerks. It's counterproductive, and some Christians throw the attitude right back. Still, tension is inevitable when words such as these are right at the core of the western world's most prominent worldview.
     
  2. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    The Psalms can hardly be said to be the 'core of the Western World's most prominent worldview' - the only airing they seem to get is readings of that tired old one about the Valley in the Shadow of Death.
     
  3. Midgard Eagle

    Midgard Eagle Warlord

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    I really doubt it's "so many". Atheists are simply people who don't believe in gods -- only a fraction of us hang out on message boards, and only a fraction of those are the elitist, arrogant people you're talking about.

    There aren't more "fundamentalist" atheists than fundamentalist Christians, I dare guess.
     
  4. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Deity

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    I'll stop being "elitist and arrogant" when people stop trying to force their ancient myths influencing public policy.
     
  5. Hitti-Litti

    Hitti-Litti Deity

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    I'll stop being "elitist and arrogant" when atheists have done it for as long as Christians have, hopefully I'll live for two millenia.
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I think that it's better to take the high-ground, because creating and transmitting a superior moral system is vital to human progress.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I don't care if someone insults my beliefs, and while I don't go out of my way to insult the beliefs of others.. you do not have a right not to be insulted.

    So go ahead and insult my belief that the Earth is spherical, or any of the other beliefs that I hold, it doesn't really matter to me.

    That's my take on it anyway.
     
  8. katipunero

    katipunero Prince

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    a lot of atheists are arrogant, ignorant, contemptuous and elitist, and generally are no better than their theist counterparts. there is no denying this.

    whenever two people, holding diametrically opposing views on religion, come together to discuss and assert their belief or non-belief, there is bound to be a huge helping of insults, condescension and scoffing coming from either side.

    so if you want to win the argument, you can join my non-elitist Church of Post-Theism where we believe that God once was but is now dead. i promise tolerance, patience and benevolent tutelage of the unsaved.
     
  9. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    What a shameless evangelism :D

    Also, I wouldn't consider a "church" that holds this position to be atheist.
     
  10. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    consciously speaking: the moment i realized there was no reason to believe in a god.
    it's a rather unspectacular process, like from when you begin to suspect there is no santa claus to the point where you're pretty sure there is none.

    subconsciously speaking: my interactions with representatives of the catholic church during my childhood were rather negative ones.
    we had nuns looking after us in kindergarten...
     
  11. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    I fully concede to being ignorant about many things related to God. But to my defence, I still am waiting for someone to even simply give me a clear agreed upon definition of the phenomena.
     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    You're waiting for that, I'm waiting for a documented and verified observation of it.
     
  13. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    My parents never indoctrinated me in a religion before I was mature and knowledgeable enough to make my own decisions about my beliefs, nor have I ever had any urge or reason to belief in ancient mythology.
     
  14. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Well, that's step 2.

    Maybe I should drop this question to define God in one of the many "Ask a Christian of Flavour X"-threads so it can be avoided and ignored there.
     
  15. mayor

    mayor Heart & Mind

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    I don't think that is completely fair since we're not allowed to answer that question here.... I'm willing to try and give you my definition of God but you'll have to wait for it since I'm rather busy currently... If you could wait till later this week I might be able to give a defition...

    Mind you, most Christians have different definitions.. Within the group I come together with every month there are about 6-8 different definitions (we're with 12 more or less)
     
  16. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Well, there's your (my) problem. I have indeed heard a lot of different definitions of God. This would mean either a. There are many different Gods and each Christian definition describes one of them, or b. there is only one God, so only one definition to describe it. Yours may be the right one, but that would mean all the others are false. If your definition differs from the definition another Christian might give, how is my atheistic take on them different from your take on the other Christian's definition of God?

    edit: To clarify, I was looking for a universally accepted definition of God. Or even a universally accepted definition of the Christian God.
     
  17. mayor

    mayor Heart & Mind

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    ...., I really want to go into this, I really do.
    I've got two important meetings this evening and tomorrows and during the day I'm at the office..
    I'll get back to this, hopefully Wednesdayevenig otherwise later this week.
     
  18. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    This thread will still be here. :)

    Take all the time you need.
     
  19. mayor

    mayor Heart & Mind

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    You know what.. It’s Monday and my productivity tends to be lower on Mondays anyway so I’ll just do it now.

    Let me start by saying I’m a very "liberal" Christian of sorts. I tend to curse, I hardly ever go to church at Sundays cause I’m going out the night before, I see the bible as a collection of stories not to take literally (exceptions aside) etc.
    This doesn’t mean I don’t do anything with my believe. I’m part of the Youth Organization Protestant Church Netherland, or at least an organisation related to that, with which we organize activities for the youth, including film marathons, musical activities and the Christmas nightservice for the ?congregation? of the city. Besides that I attend a monthly discussion group of sorts with whom we talk about God, Religion etc. and I did Confirmation, confirming you believe before the congregation, last Pentecost (the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples)

    Well now you know with what type of Christian you’re dealing with ;) let me start.

    That there are many different definitions has, I think, one reason: God is complicated (even more so that women :p) plain and simple (Paradox :D)

    For me God is omnipotent, he’s everywhere and ‘sees all’. God is both a being and a feeling.

    He doesn't, directly, interfere in daily life. He offers support and inspires to do the "right" thing.

    Most of all. God is a Believe.
    He can't be proven but neither can he be disproven.

    Please, never say that my definition is the right one. My definition is only the right one for me (and people who agree with it) :)

    It isn’t. The main difference between Atheisms and Christianity (and other religions) is that Christians believe in God and Atheists believe in nothing.
    I have more in common, in how I live my life and wish to live it, with certain Atheists I know than certain Christians (I don't know).

    Difficult. As I said God is complicated making a universal accepted definition of God very hard.

    The thing all (at least most) of the definitions have in common is that God is a omnipotent being.


    Final word: I deleted large parts of what I had written since it became more a piece about my believes than it was about a definition. I deleted this for the following reasons:
    First: My believe is very personal for me and it is not something I share easily. I only share things without asking with certain people because they know me.
    If people ask about it I keep it more superficial at first.
    Second: I strongly dislike evangelism. I don’t spread my believes to get people to believe the same and I feel that a piece that goes very deep into my believes is almost instantly evangelistic. Especially when people “only” ask for an definition.

    That being said I’m always prepared to share my believes to people who are truly interested. If you are you only have to ask and I will try to answer.


    And to show a bit more of my Christian mentality I would like to end with the following quote:
    "Jesus was Gods only son but we are all his children. So in the eyes of God we’re all a bunch of girls" – Bo Burnham (comedian)
    Please do not put this in a sig since I’m having it on my sig-list :p

    (EDIT: just in case it doesn't show. I am a strong believer :))
     
  20. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    This may very well be, but this does present another problem when dealing with it. For me as an outsider it is very strange to me for a believer to have a poorly defined complicated concept have so much influence in their lives. Because the lack of a clear definition does not stop religions making a whole bunch of claims regarding this poorly defined construct.

    And this brings me back to my original comment, what is lacking in the theistic/atheistic debate is a clear definition of what we're arguing for or against. I have often said that I cannot disprove a God. But it is possible to prove (a) clearly defined God(s).
    This is an example of taking advantage of the poor definitions. Being both a feeling and a being. Sounds nice, but doesn't actually tell me anything.
    Wouldn't an idea of God be just as effective in inspiring people as an actual existence?
    If something doesn't have a definition it's not possible to prove it. If it gets one, you can both prove and disprove it, unless the definition prohibits it. If I define a God that can't be observed, you can't prove or disprove it. If I define a God that does not interact with the world, the same. If I define God as being in the pub every tuesday afternoon, I can go to the pub and verify.
    But are you sure it's the Christian God?

    How can you tell?
    Which is what makes it odd there is such a thing as "Christian Religion" which all claim to worship the same God, but approach it in different ways.
     
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