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Thread: Rationalizing faith.

  1. Top | #151
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Npyice how the thread devolves into hostile attacks and rationalzation in reponses...

    Don't remember where I read this, maybe Sun Tzu. 'Be careful how you choose your enemies, it is they who you will become most like'.
    Whatever you do, do not acknowledge rightful anger. Always call it hostility or irrationality, and that way you'll never have to examine your own!

    Also, I know I've said this a bunch of times, but you really should try to step out of that "enemies" framework. It's possible that no one is your enemy, even the assholes who are pissing you off. It's worth a try, Steve.
    The Authoritarians

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  2. Top | #152
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    Let us be clear. I am not criticizing "atheists". I am criticizing you. Your supposedly superior "label" means nothing to me, or to any thinking person. Your words and conduct are your own choices.
    I haven't read this entire thread, but have you considered that some of us atheists have been injured either from our religious upbringing or by the way we are treated when we are open about our atheism.

    I'm one of the lucky ones who was able to walk away from evangelical Christianity with very little damage. But, I have been abused by self righteous coworkers in the distant past, who condemned me, and caused division in the work place, which eventually made me ask for a transfer to another office, with a much longer commute from home. Luckily, the Christians in that office were kind, and appreciative of my work, as I was a very fast efficient worker, always ready to help my peers. I'm long over the way I've been treated, but I'm a fiesty first born who had a very close relationship with my evangelical mother, who despite her crazy beliefs, finally came to the conclusion that her first born daughter wasn't going to hell. I always saw my mother as a victim of the emotional indoctrination that she received when I was about 3 years old.

    Atheists are one of the most despised, misunderstood minorities in the US. We are expected to remain in the closet, although more of us are coming out and we are growing in numbers. Certainly, you of all people can understand what it's like feeling hesitant to reveal something about yourself that might be judged and condemned by some conservative Christians?

    We all react to the influences that made us who we are. I value AF's contributions. I know she gets angry sometimes. She put that right in her name as a warning. She is also a decent compassionate person with a wonderful sense of humor. I know she doesn't need me to defend her, but I can't help myself.

    I know I'm being a bitch by saying this, but good liberal Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek, not to judge.....You know.....all those idealistic nice Jesus things that most Christians seem to ignore these days.

    Btw, I like you both. I don't care that you feel the need to have some religion in your life. Mythology is interesting and meaningful to some people. I don't care that AF needs to tell you how she feels about Christian beliefs. As for me, I have learned to tolerate Christianity, for the most part, but if I'm really honest, I have no idea how any intelligent person can take any religious mythology as fact.

    Yes. Plenty of smart folks do believe in gods and myths. Just the other day, a very intelligent, charming PA told me that it was amazing how "The Lord" had placed my neighbor and I next door to each other. Really? I wanted to say, do you really believe that shit? Do you honestly believe that a god decided to put two retired nurses next door to each other?

    Instead, I was silent, but mildly disappointed that a medical professional still assumes that all of her patients believe in the Lord! That might sound very trivial to you, but when it constantly surrounds you on a daily basis, sometimes you just want to be honest and say to the other person, "What the fuck did you just say"? Irl, we usually hold our tongues. Here, is one of the few places where we can vent or let it out a bit.

    I sure can rant if I try.
    Then you should understand what its like to read an entire thread dedicated to saying the most vile things imaginable about religious people and, at best, pathologizing any dissent against atheist thinking as a form of mental illness. I do think it's best when people get along and tolerate their differences. I do not believe that giving free reign to bigotry is somehow the path to eliminating it. This kind of nonsense drives people further apart, not closer together. If you don't like religious fundamentalism, the most rational course of action, to my way of seeing things, is to reject it. Not to copy their style, with some of the labels switched but the core message of conformity-or-violence unchanged. That's just stoking the fire, and making religious or non-religious freedom difficult to reach in civil society. Do you really think young atheists are made safer by angry, unthinking anti-Christian polemics? Conversation heals. Argument does not.

    Never in a million years woiuld I think to call you a "bitch"; I have always known you to a thoughtful, caring, compassionate human being. If you think I'm wandering into hypocrisy territory, you should say so, and I'll take that opinion seriously. But as you have said, my life experiences have also given me insight into human communication and the plight of minority status. And I haven't, at least at this point in my life, ever seen anything to make me think that "tolerating intolerance" leads to a net increase in tolerance. I would still be in the closet, if I believed that this were so. And I will tell you this, I did not like the closet. Is it tempting to strike back in kind at the people you see as having held the door closed? Yes. Of course it is. But it stacks up the casualties. If your aim is poor, you end up venting that rage on people who had nothing whatsoever to do with your situation -- and thus creating new enemies all around you where friendships would otherwise have been possible.
    The thread is not about saying 'vile things about religious people.' It is about the absurdity of faith, believing fantastic things without the support of evidence.

    Faith exists, people do hold beliefs without the support of evidence, and that is the point of the thread. That faith is not a reliable means to truth. That faith is not a reliable means of sorting fact from fiction.

    This is not meant to insult or slander, it's just the way it is, some do believe in fantastic things without the support of evidence.

  3. Top | #153
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Oh, on that theme of being the same as your enemy, I have a question. How does a religious believer know when they are projecting? I mean, we all do it sometimes. It's human, but most of us can in hindsight see when we projected and committed other stupidities. But Christians and other religious believers are not really big on self reflection or admitting wrong or changing their minds. All this is built into the indoctrination. Doubt and questioning are sins, self reflection is only tolerated as far as it is used to ensure compliance and not to develop conscience, you're a sinful person and deserve punishment for engaging in any of this, etc., etc.

    So how would you know if you're projecting or not? What other perspectives have you honestly and thoroughly examined and "tried on" in order to tease out any possible mistakes in your own?

    Similarly, how would a religious believer know when their religion has been hijacked by authority figures who only wish to use them for their obedience mentality and low ability to question authority? I know there are lots of religious believers who, for example, saw Trump for what he was before 2016 and have never fallen for it. I would congratulate those people for trusting their own values and instincts over religious herd mentality. But there are still tens of millions more who don't seem to have those values and instincts. Why?

    When our collective scientific knowledge and history teach us something new, such as, say, the Milgram Experiments, and when that knowledge starts to spread, why do some people find insight into themselves in that learning and others never seem to? Even if they recognize the cognitive "mistake" being revealed, they never seem to internalize the information or reflect on their own capacity for that same behavior. I'm sure some people might figure it out later, but some people never seem to get there.

    If you learn that human behavior (meaning you) includes this tendency to obey authority even when it conflicts with what you feel is right, it changes you a little bit. You start to remember situations where you behaved in exactly that way and imagine how you might have done differently, and this in turn gives you the awareness to recognize new situations where you might feel uncomfortable with authority and you consciously make the decision to not be afraid to speak up.

    And some people actively seek out such knowledge for the very purpose of challenging themselves, and it's actually fun, and no religious belief or sense of identity even comes close to the level of satisfaction it brings. It's not without its downsides, though, one being that you will likely be very pissed off about a great deal of bullshit in the world, and you'll annoy others by asking them why the hell they are not also pissed.
    The Authoritarians

    Donald Trump was the fat line of coke conservatives snorted, thinking it would boost their energy and weight loss. Now they're waking up in a cheap motel room, picking at their scabs and denying that they have a problem.

  4. Top | #154
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The thread is not about saying 'vile things about religious people.' It is about the absurdity of faith, believing fantastic things without the support of evidence.

    Faith exists, people do hold beliefs without the support of evidence, and that is the point of the thread. That faith is not a reliable means to truth. That faith is not a reliable means of sorting fact from fiction.

    This is not meant to insult or slander, it's just the way it is, some do believe in fantastic things without the support of evidence.
    It's also about the psychology and cognitive aspects of religious beliefs and how they directly relate to problems and suffering in the world, especially all the vile, depraved things that abusers do under the protection and smoke screen of religious belief.
    The Authoritarians

    Donald Trump was the fat line of coke conservatives snorted, thinking it would boost their energy and weight loss. Now they're waking up in a cheap motel room, picking at their scabs and denying that they have a problem.

  5. Top | #155
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The thread is not about saying 'vile things about religious people.' It is about the absurdity of faith, believing fantastic things without the support of evidence.

    Faith exists, people do hold beliefs without the support of evidence, and that is the point of the thread. That faith is not a reliable means to truth. That faith is not a reliable means of sorting fact from fiction.

    This is not meant to insult or slander, it's just the way it is, some do believe in fantastic things without the support of evidence.
    It's also about the psychology and cognitive aspects of religious beliefs and how they directly relate to problems and suffering in the world, especially all the vile, depraved things that abusers do under the protection and smoke screen of religious belief.
    And it's good to bring those things into the sunlight. I'm often torn. Yes, one does need to chose one's battles, verbal battles included. And there's the old charm that if you can't find something good to say better to say nothing. There is wisdom there.

  6. Top | #156
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The thread is not about saying 'vile things about religious people.' It is about the absurdity of faith, believing fantastic things without the support of evidence.

    Faith exists, people do hold beliefs without the support of evidence, and that is the point of the thread. That faith is not a reliable means to truth. That faith is not a reliable means of sorting fact from fiction.

    This is not meant to insult or slander, it's just the way it is, some do believe in fantastic things without the support of evidence.
    It's also about the psychology and cognitive aspects of religious beliefs and how they directly relate to problems and suffering in the world, especially all the vile, depraved things that abusers do under the protection and smoke screen of religious belief.
    And it's good to bring those things into the sunlight. I'm often torn. Yes, one does need to chose one's battles, verbal battles included. And there's the old charm that if you can't find something good to say better to say nothing. There is wisdom there.
    As Christopher Hitchens said, the grave will provide plenty of time for silence. There is wisdom there, too.
    The Authoritarians

    Donald Trump was the fat line of coke conservatives snorted, thinking it would boost their energy and weight loss. Now they're waking up in a cheap motel room, picking at their scabs and denying that they have a problem.

  7. Top | #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Also maybe drop the toxic and inhumane elements like authority worship, misogyny, tribalism, moral superiority, condemnation of outgroups? And maybe institute elements that actually do mitigate the stupider and meaner side of human nature rather than reinforcing it? Like maybe valuing critical thinking, empathy, inclusiveness, acceptance of ambivalence, recognizing that one's tribe is all of humanity without exception?

    If only... But then if religions did this, they would disappear, and social dominance viruses like Christianity are way too virulent to become humane influences on their own. It's going to take conscious will to weaken it and immunize humanity.

    I think you are both touching upon one those "reading too much into it" moments, especially in terms of this particualr social cub scenario. And besides, the non-believer participant is quite aware of the religious co-participants, and the social club is run by the church, yet they (the non-believer) still like to take part.

    Don't worry about it DBT & AF, tea and scones is available to all.
    Where is all that Christian bear any sufferings, forgiveness and universal love?

  8. Top | #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post

    And it's good to bring those things into the sunlight. I'm often torn. Yes, one does need to chose one's battles, verbal battles included. And there's the old charm that if you can't find something good to say better to say nothing. There is wisdom there.
    As Christopher Hitchens said, the grave will provide plenty of time for silence. There is wisdom there, too.
    I think I read that in a fortune cookie.

  9. Top | #159
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Also maybe drop the toxic and inhumane elements like authority worship, misogyny, tribalism, moral superiority, condemnation of outgroups? And maybe institute elements that actually do mitigate the stupider and meaner side of human nature rather than reinforcing it? Like maybe valuing critical thinking, empathy, inclusiveness, acceptance of ambivalence, recognizing that one's tribe is all of humanity without exception?

    If only... But then if religions did this, they would disappear, and social dominance viruses like Christianity are way too virulent to become humane influences on their own. It's going to take conscious will to weaken it and immunize humanity.

    I think you are both touching upon one those "reading too much into it" moments, especially in terms of this particualr social cub scenario. And besides, the non-believer participant is quite aware of the religious co-participants, and the social club is run by the church, yet they (the non-believer) still like to take part.

    Don't worry about it DBT & AF, tea and scones is available to all.
    We take part because we are all a part of society and we are all effected by the beliefs of others as expressed in their attitudes and their actions. Pity it isn't just Tea and Scones.

  10. Top | #160
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    We take part because we are all a part of society and we are all effected by the beliefs of others as expressed in their attitudes and their actions. Pity it isn't just Tea and Scones.
    No, YOU are of that part of society that is godless and wicked, that part that is separate from the morally superior social club... oops, I meant separate from God.

    Christianity is fundamentally tribalist and will always serve as a source of conflict in any society. Like every authoritarian cult, the idea is that society should be entirely under the domain of the religion and then all will be lovely and peaceful for everyone. Until then, "peace" is for lost souls who worship themselves and are blind to God's love while Christian soldiers have much work to do in the war against evil.
    The Authoritarians

    Donald Trump was the fat line of coke conservatives snorted, thinking it would boost their energy and weight loss. Now they're waking up in a cheap motel room, picking at their scabs and denying that they have a problem.

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