ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 11th November 2017, 09:57 AM   #1
Cainkane1
Philosopher
 
Cainkane1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The great American southeast
Posts: 8,411
My Mormon friend asked me what do I gain by my atheism

I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
__________________
If at first you don't succeed try try again. Then if you fail to succeed to Hell with that. Try something else.
Cainkane1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:02 AM   #2
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 13,688
You're gaining 10% of your income which isn't going to the church. That's sufficient in my book!
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:10 AM   #3
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,636
You get to sleep late on Sundays.
__________________
Credibility is not a boomerang. If you throw it away, it's not coming back.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:19 AM   #4
dann
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,462
The only one watching you is the NSA - and that's only when you're online
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:28 AM   #5
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 13,567
I don't live in fear that I might be tortured for eternity because I chose the wrong religion or religious denomination and pissed-off some petty, jealous, vengeful god.

For that matter I don't have to continuously offer up prays of adoration, infatuation, and pitiful begging to keep a vain god happy enough to not smite me or my children in our life time.
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:37 AM   #6
sackett
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Detroit
Posts: 5,060
Peace of mind.
__________________
Fill the seats of justice with good men; not so absolute in goodness as to forget what human frailty is. -- Thomas Jefferson

What region of the earth is not filled with our calamities? -- Virgil
sackett is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 10:40 AM   #7
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,510
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
Well one, I didn't 'choose' not to believe in God any more than I chose not believe in fairies, leprechauns or alien abduction. I can't believe in what is patently 'unbelievable'.

As someone who grew up going to church regularly I admit I miss the community of church. I take to heart the teachings of Jesus's teachings to care for our fellow man.

But I don't miss pretending to believe in the ridiculous. I don't miss being ashamed of enjoying a sex life. I don't miss listening to charlatans who want me to pay for their family's next holiday vacation. The Mormon church bankrolled the California Initiative against homosexuality. Never mind that Joseph Smith was a sleazeball con-artist and sexual predator and pedophile.

I'd say there is nothing to gain in not believing a fairy tale, but there is. You gain your critical thinking skills.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 11:48 AM   #8
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 63,304
Sounds like a version of Pascal's wager. What does one gain by believing in a fantasy?

If you can't convince yourself the fantasy is true, you gain nothing anyway.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 11:59 AM   #9
The Sparrow
Graduate Poster
 
The Sparrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Central Canada
Posts: 1,163
I think that he is even asking the question in that way betrays a lot.

Sounds like he is choosing a 'belief' because of an advantage it might give him, rather than for the veracity of it.

It's kind of strange really.
The Sparrow is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 12:15 PM   #10
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,510
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Sounds like a version of Pascal's wager. What does one gain by believing in a fantasy?

If you can't convince yourself the fantasy is true, you gain nothing anyway.
A little Ginger. But I do understand the sentiment behind the question.

The one tangible value of religion is community. You're part of something that is bigger than yourself even if it is built on a myth. In a dog eat dog world, it's nice to know that even some perfect strangers have your back. I carried on the facade for many years because owning up to my disbelief meant the loss of my personal support structure. That's a scary thing.

This issue specifically has caused me to wonder at length how society can replace the community of churches and still dump the destructive and false superstitions that are religions. I don't have an answer but I do want a good answer.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 12:29 PM   #11
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 55,372
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
Essentially correct. recognizing truth is good but their is no gain or loss from it.
The religious won't ever know they were wrong. No sudden surprise, just nothing at all.
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 02:39 PM   #12
rjh01
Gentleman of leisure
Tagger
 
rjh01's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flying around in the sky
Posts: 23,103
You can come up with your opinions without others to tell you what they should be.
Just because a certain opinion was accepted 2,000+ years ago does not mean it is still correct today.
rjh01 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 02:53 PM   #13
fromdownunder
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 5,745
I don't gain anything by being an atheist, but nor do I lose anything. My atheism is such a minor part of my life that I rarely even think about it, except when I am reading threads such as this one.

Norm
__________________
Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain


fromdownunder is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 03:07 PM   #14
Thor 2
Master Poster
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 2,930
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?

An odd question that illustrates that uniquely theist idea that you can choose to believe something.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 03:56 PM   #15
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 55,372
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Essentially correct. recognizing truth is good but their is no gain or loss from it.
The religious won't ever know they were wrong. No sudden surprise, just nothing at all.
aaaaagh there - mea culpa!!!!!
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 05:47 PM   #16
Seismosaurus
Philosopher
 
Seismosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,112
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
I think it's an odd question, as it seems to be based on the premise that one should believe whatever is personally beneficial.

For instance, suppose an armoured car is unloading money into a bank. I happen upon it as the guard is inside, leaving a large bag of money untended (I know this would never happen, but it's just a hypothetical).

I could choose to believe that the money belongs to the bank, and that I should leave it alone. Or I could choose to believe that the money belongs to me, and I am therefore perfectly entitled to walk off with it.

What do I gain from believing that it belongs to the bank? Nothing! Nothing at all.

What do I gain from believing that it belongs to me? A big heaping pile of money!

So by your friend's logic, I should believe that the money is mine. Only, of course, there is an actual objective reality, and the money isn't actually mine.

And there isn't actually any evidence that god exists either. What I gain or lose from that proposition is entirely beside the point.
__________________
Promise of diamonds in eyes of coal
She carries beauty in her soul
Seismosaurus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 05:55 PM   #17
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 56,218
Gain? Why should there be anything to gain?
__________________
Read my fantasy novel for free!
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 06:06 PM   #18
BNRT
Muse
 
BNRT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 710
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This issue specifically has caused me to wonder at length how society can replace the community of churches and still dump the destructive and false superstitions that are religions. I don't have an answer but I do want a good answer.
The community of sports teams, bands/singers, political parties, video games, HAM radios, sailing, podcasts and pretty much any other single thing you care to name. There are many types of communities available and a lack of religion means you are free to chooss from many of them.
BNRT is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 06:39 PM   #19
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 13,688
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Essentially correct. recognizing truth is good but their is no gain or loss from it.
The religious won't ever know they were wrong. No sudden surprise, just nothing at all.
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
aaaaagh there - mea culpa!!!!!
I'll join any and become a fervent believer in any religion that can guarantee I'll never again type a homophone.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 07:05 PM   #20
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 16,849
"Being Atheist makes all sorts of underwear magical."
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th November 2017, 08:11 PM   #21
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,079
I gain no more from being an atheist than I gain from not believing that the Earth is flat. Neither lack of gain is a reason to change either lack of belief.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th November 2017, 05:27 PM   #22
Swordfishtrombone
Graduate Poster
 
Swordfishtrombone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 1,793
Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Peace of mind.
This. There's much unfounded fear and anxiety that comes along with supernatural belief systems - when I realized that I lived in a fully naturalistic world, with no supernatural elements, that took away the fear.

Of course, I did have to come to terms with me, and all my loved ones, being actually mortal, actually with a limited lifespan, and no such thing as an afterlife, but I have come to terms with that, and I have faced loss, and I think I've had an easier time with loss than others around me who do hold supernatural beliefs. When someone dies, they still have to worry about them, or convince themselves that that person is in heaven, or some other ill-defined pleasant place, even if the person who died didn't hold to the tenets of any faith.

I can mourn the loss with the understanding that they are no longer suffering, as they don't exist anymore, other than in the memories I and others have of them; I have no anxiety about it. Nor do I fear ghosts, or malevolent spirits, demons or angry gods. Not even slightly. These things are just utterly implausible to me, so I no more fear any of them than I fear the tooth fairy.

I think that the loss of that unnecessary anxiety and fear is worth something.

Of course, even if there was absolutely no benefit, and only negative personal consequences to accepting reality as it is, rather than believing in things that were not true, I'd still rather believe that which is true, than delude myself.

It's better to find out what the wold is like, without wishful thinking and self deception, as best as you can, as honestly as you can, and then find a way to live with that knowledge, and take the best view of it you can. And personally, I've found that view to be quite good.
Swordfishtrombone is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th November 2017, 07:28 PM   #23
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 17,234
Originally Posted by BNRT View Post
The community of sports teams, bands/singers, political parties, video games, HAM radios, sailing, podcasts and pretty much any other single thing you care to name. There are many types of communities available and a lack of religion means you are free to chooss from many of them.
Or,
"What do you gain by (not doing) X?"
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th November 2017, 10:42 PM   #24
Lukraak_Sisser
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,989
Adulthood.
Both on a direct personal level and a philosophical level.

Now, I come from the Netherlands where agnostic is pretty much the normal way of being raised. Officially we were religious, but in practice that ment going to church one time a year or so.
Belief in Jesus/God vanished at the same time as things like Santa Claus for me.

But looking at it now, if I were to become as religious as, for instance, the Mormons, for me I'd be giving up my adult freedom.
Suddenly not my own decisions, but those from a book as interpreted by my 'Elders' would become the basis of my life. I'd have to check with them every time a major decision comes up and defer to them when what I want goes against what they say.
Just like a child.

In the same way you also accept that it is not just you, but the whole of mankind. Everything good only happens because some outside force has decided to give us something. Our actions are pretty unimportant and unable to have any major influence on what is given when. Every achievement, every improvement is a handout.
At the same time, everything bad is, of course, our fault but we have no influence on the punishment or effects.
Again, just like children.

I get the lure of religion. No hard choices, no real responsibility at a deep level. The knowledge that there is some parent figure that has all the answers even if you don't understand it.
But for me, it is stifling. I prefer the grown up version where there might be no right or simple answers, but I am responsible for most of my life and will have to deal with whatever occurs on my own two feet. Yes, bad and good things might still happen outside of my control, but at least for me they are not rewards and punishments but rather they just are.
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th November 2017, 10:48 PM   #25
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,876
It is a well-known fact that all liberals get money from George Soros.
It seems your friend has discovered that all atheists get money from Richard Dawkins.

The gig is up!
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 12:11 AM   #26
thaiboxerken
Penultimate Amazing
 
thaiboxerken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,213
Atheism gives me nothing, offers me nothing, promises nothing. It is just a state of non-belief.
__________________
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power & profit - Thomas Paine
thaiboxerken is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 07:01 AM   #27
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 55,372
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
You gain nothing, but much more importantly you lose nothing - and since in reality there is nothing to gain you do not waste time and energy in trying to gain it!!!!!
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 10:08 AM   #28
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 3157'S 11557'E
Posts: 11,645
Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Atheism gives me nothing, offers me nothing, promises nothing. It is just a state of non-belief dis-belief.
You can give in to temptation and stir up a hornet's nest if you want to.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 10:44 AM   #29
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 14,284
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You can give in to temptation and stir up a hornet's nest if you want to.
No such nest need be stirred. The difference here is whether the question should be interpreted as an absolute or relative query. If an atheist considers his reasoning to be essentially a ground-state of thinking, then it's quite proper to characterize it as the absence of relevant beliefs, with the attendant lack of promise, lack of alleged responsibility, and so forth. That would be the absolutist perspective. If, on the other hand, the question is meant to relate atheism to a belief system such as Mormonism -- and I think we can allow that as a possible surmise of intent -- then an explicit rejection of some proffered belief would be the ticket, along with the obvious balance of equities.

Mormonism is a covenantal faith. Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semine eius, and all that. Mormons believe a specific form of the Abrahamic covenant applies to them, in which they promise to do certain things in return for which God is bound to reward them. The culmination of this covenant occurs in the Mormon temple. This equates to a transactional view of theology. If the Mormon is faithful in all things, he gains a throne of his own. One could consider that the question was intended to determine whether atheism offered a similar transaction. My answer would be, in the relativist sense, that the atheist -- in not practicing Mormonism -- gains the worldly pleasures that Mormons eschew and (as someone said) the peace of mind that comes from being relieved from arbitrary obedience. Utah has an abnormally high rate of suicide among LGBTQ youth, for example, probably for the obvious reasons. I feel atheism wouldn't lead to those underlying causes and would result in a gain of reasonably good people living to adulthood. But "not practicing Mormonism" here would be ceasing to practice Mormonism, not in simply avoiding Mormonism and continuing upon one's previous course of atheism. In the latter sense, the atheist gains nothing because he has always been in that state. Gain achieved by transitioning from Mormonism to atheism is not the same as a gain (or lack thereof) by simply having always been atheist.

Last edited by JayUtah; 13th November 2017 at 10:49 AM.
JayUtah is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 11:12 AM   #30
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,111
My sister gained something when she became a Mormon, a better social life and a feeling of belonging. This happened when she moved to a new region of the country with her family, and had no friends. If some other religion had knocked on her door first, she may not have become a Mormon.
Explorer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 11:36 AM   #31
Segnosaur
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 9,500
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".
Why exactly do you think its a "hard unpleasant truth" to come to the conclusion that there is no god?

How many religious people become paranoid about "did I do the right thing to get into heaven or am I going to hell?" The fact that we have rejected the afterlife and are simply making the best of the current world isn't unpleasant at all.
__________________
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer

I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu

We are Groot - Groot
Segnosaur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 11:45 AM   #32
Beerina
Sarcastic Conqueror of Notions
 
Beerina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 28,978
Originally Posted by dann View Post
The only one watching you is the NSA - and that's only when you're online

For now. As insectoid, and then dust-mote spybots are being developed, they can plant them inside, in vent openings, no freaking problem.
__________________
"Great innovations should not be forced [by way of] slender majorities." - Thomas Jefferson

The government should nationalize it! Socialized, single-payer video game development and sales now! More, cheaper, better games, right? Right?
Beerina is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 11:47 AM   #33
bytewizard
Graduate Poster
 
bytewizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: In the woods
Posts: 1,672
Not having to eat those ghastly communion wafers, and eating a beautiful, medium rare ribeye steak on a Friday night. Oh, and guilt free masturbation.
bytewizard is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 12:47 PM   #34
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,510
Originally Posted by BNRT View Post
The community of sports teams, bands/singers, political parties, video games, HAM radios, sailing, podcasts and pretty much any other single thing you care to name. There are many types of communities available and a lack of religion means you are free to chooss from many of them.
That is all true, but it's not the same thing. There ARE some positive benefits of religion. No one teaches you that you are you are your brother's keeper during a ball game. Or that we are all family or help each other face adversity during online gaming.

I want to destroy religion because it is false, breeds hypocrisy, awards authority to the undeserving and can easily manifest itself in destructive ways. But i also know the value of a church community and miss many aspects of it.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 12:57 PM   #35
MuDPhuD
Muse
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 643
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I told him I gain nothing but that atheists feel they possess a hard unpleasant truth that they have come to terms with, no life after death but no guilt feeling about committing some vague harmless "sin".

Do you guys agree?
A-theism is beneficial because it is an accurate view of the world in which I live.

The theist makes decisions about his life based on a misinformed model of reality, in which a nonexistent being makes rules, potentially alters the laws of physics as it wishes, assesses compliance of individual humans, and hands out punishments and rewards to individuals and groups. Any event in the world which the theist views as being related to god, ("God's work", "by god's hand", "gods word"), and therefore interprets in relation to god, his "scripture", or his "laws", is being misinterpreted by the theist.
This is so far off the mark from reality that it clearly results in a misunderstanding of events in the world, and thus in many poor choices.
(As a Dennis put it "You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!")

I benefit because I live in the world we actually have, not the one I wish it to be. I understand that rules and laws are made by men, to serve the common good, that humanity is part of and dependent upon a vast complex ecosystem which has developed over eons and of which we understand only the most superficial details, and that the "matter" of which the world is made behaves according the the principles of physics and chemistry. I understand that my mind is no more than my brain in action, and that it is subject to systematic errors in judgement which must be guarded against in order to behave rationally.
MuDPhuD is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 01:59 PM   #36
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 55,372
Originally Posted by bytewizard View Post
Not having to eat those ghastly communion wafers, and eating a beautiful, medium rare ribeye steak on a Friday night. Oh, and guilt free masturbation.
Mormon's are punished by how sticky then starchy their underwear gets after self-pollution!


(Look it up if you can't guess!!!!!)
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 02:00 PM   #37
Thor 2
Master Poster
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 2,930
As I mentioned in my previous post, the question implies that a choice is made, in becoming an atheist. This idea of choice to believe, and even become something, is a distinctly and possibly exclusively, religious idea.

Religions, like the abrahamic ones, must have this as a cornerstone of their faith, to maintain any credibility. You choose to believe in God and follow these teachings and you will be rewarded. If you choose not to believe you are going to be punished, big time, in the afterlife - and have your present life shortened if you are unfortunate enough to be born into a Muslim community.

I have heard it said many times, by Christians, that gay people choose to be homosexual, as fault must be squarely laid at the feet of the sinner. To admit otherwise is to concede unfairness.

As an atheist I am able to maintain intellectual integrity. I am not forced to perform mental calisthenics, to justify an irrational stance on some issue. I wonder how the religious maintain it to be honest, when presented with clear evidence that contradicts their faith based convictions. It must cause discomfort.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 02:01 PM   #38
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 55,372
Oh hell, enjoy the medical thoughts of the US around 1890 - it's a hoot!!!!!!!


http://www.ldolphin.org/vice.html
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 02:19 PM   #39
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,644
Tell him you'll avoid hell because you've refused to believe all the nasty rumors the major religions spread about God.
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2017, 08:01 PM   #40
thaiboxerken
Penultimate Amazing
 
thaiboxerken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,213
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You can give in to temptation and stir up a hornet's nest if you want to.
It is non-belief. Disbelief would be rejection of an assertion despite overwhelming evidence that supports the assertion. Climate change deniers disbelieve. People who reject the notion that the moon is made of cheese are in a state of non-belief.
__________________
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power & profit - Thomas Paine
thaiboxerken is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:49 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.